The Spiritual Cinema Alliance is Dedicated to the Development & Promotion of Spiritually Exalting Movies & Media Programs

Director Frank Capra's advice to young film-makers, "Don't follow trends. Start them!"

Joan Holman
Founder & Executive Director
Spiritual Cinema Alliance

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It is a film that uplifts and inspires, that explores higher realities and the spiritual potential of man and woman.

It is a film that exalts the worth of the individual and shows the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. It is a film that differentiates between light and darkness and affirms light as the essential nature of all things spiritual.

It is a film that leads people, through images, music and messages, to create inner and outer worlds of beauty, truth, love, harmony and happiness.

Joan Holman with Dean Mitchell who is recognized as one of the finest painters in America. Coming from poverty and raised by his grandmother, Dean has risen to the heights of the art world. His work, which deals with the universal themes of life, death, family and psychological and spiritual revelations, has appeared in numerous publications and can be found in private, corporate and museum collections across the United States.

New York Time bestselling author, successful entrepreneur, popular business speaker and a syndicated columnist Harvey Mackay and Joan Holman
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by Joan Holman

copyright 2002 Joan Holman

"To me, the film visually illustrates people being unconscious and living life in a dream state, living in darkness and not in light."

My husband and I went to Solaris last night. The theatre was about two thirds full. After about a half hour, a young woman in the row ahead of us appeared to be so bored that she got out her PDA and sat there inputing data and doing other tasks. (I do not think that she was writing a film review!) The lighted PDA was so bright that it was distracting to us in the row behind her.

At the end of the film, the audience let out a collective groan and my husband commented that it was obvious people did not like the film.

I thought the film was provocative and I was engrossed in it (after all, Stephen Soderbergh was the director and I think that he is fantastically talented).

However, I believe that mass audiences do not find these kind of melancholy, introspective films appealing. Great spiritual leaders have taught people in parables and through human stories stepped down to the level of understanding of the general public. It is the general public to whom the ticket sales must go if large movie budgets are going to recouped. Not that art films for limited audiences are bad, only the issue is who is going to pay the price for these films when they run into the tens of millions of dollars.

What appeals to people in general is what Frank Capra called "the triumph of the human spirit over adversity." There was a touch of that in the ending of Solaris, which is why I ultimately had a good feeling at the conclusion and why I am not completely down on this film.

Obviously, this is a film produced for the sake of art, and not for the sake of business. So I am surprised that Hollywood even backed this film at all. Maybe they thought there was enough going for it with George Clooney and Soderbergh on board.

It is obvious this film is not going to be very popular or very profitable. Of course, I believe in artistic expression, however, in the movie business, our works of art can be mighty expensive. For those who don't have the luxury of access to zillions of dollars, creating films that are popular and profitable must be part of the equation.

And, personally, I have had it with the incessant portrayal of darkness over and over in films, both Hollywood films and independent films. Fine, show some darkness, but please contrast it with some light, some beauty, something transcendent.

In life, there are two ways to go, either up or down. Too many Hollywood films, and even independent films, paint on a dark canvas and take people down in mood, in imagery, in consciousness.

Solaris immerses us in dark, cold images for 99 minutes. To me, the film visually illustrates people being unconscious and living life in a dream state, living in darkness and not in light. And, personally, I think that many, if not most, people live an unconscious life and in darkness.

As a filmmaker, I want to take people up. I want to show people the higher planes, the light side, a transcendent world of beauty, which can be manifested on this Earth if we would just change our images, our visualizations, our belief systems, our consciousness.

I believe that artists are the ones who can paint a whole new world through film, music and the other arts. I believe that life imitates art and that filmmakers have a great responsibility and a great power.

So a film like Solaris is just not my cup of tea.

Bring on the light!

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The Spiritual Cinema Alliance serves under the umbrella of the National Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., which has been helping individuals, corporations and communities express themselves in the charitable, educational, scientific and religious sector since 1968. The National Heritage Foundation has 7,000 foundations under its umbrella.

To make your tax-deductible contribution or for more information, contact Joan Holman at 763-551-3969.

"Joan Holman has a relentless focus to produce something positive to lift the human spirit. I can't say enough to describe the GREATNESS of Joan Holman other than she is in in simple terms a GREAT HUMAN BEING and for that she will always have my friendship and support."

Dean L. Mitchell, acclaimed artist

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