Monday, 16 May 2011

Note there are a number of Youtube videos discussing Flickering Reality that have been posted
on the Face book "A Flickering Reality" page and F. David Peat's Face book Flickering Reality group.

Monday, 9 May 2011

A Director's Obsession

Sometimes a  director can become obsessed with a film. Coppola decided to transfer Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" to Cambodia. But bad weather and a variety of difficulties extended the shoot from a predicted three months to fourteen. Copolla's wife, Eleanor, made a documentary "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse
In Werner Herzog's case his determination to shoot Fitzcarraldo and actually drag a 320 ton ship over a Peruvian mountain caused a mountain of troubles and when Klaus Kinski said he would leave the film Herzog threatened to shoot him. Again this lead to a documentary, Les Bank's "Burden of dreams"

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Fillums by Hugh Leonard

Those interested in film may like to take a look at Hugh Leonard's novel "Fillums". Perry, a playwright who is suffering from shame at the slamming of his latest play decides to move Drane, to the most boring town in Ireland. However the high point is Drane's local independent cinema and so the town is filled with eccentric figures who know all the classic films by heart and a willing to do imitations at the drop of a hat!

Sunday, 1 May 2011


An excellent film, particularly with Aimee Mann’s singing. The film involves a series of encounters, many by chance, which have the effect of changing a character’s life. In this sense the film is based upon Carl Jung’s theory of “Synchronicity” which he defined as “acausal coincidences” or “meaningful coincidences. Often they are about a connection between a person’s inner and outer life and for example when elements in a dream are reflected in some real event on the following day. Of course coincidences occur all the time but for them to be real synchronicities they must embrace the numinous. They have also been seen as “markers in time”: at times we tend to be trapped by the past but a synchronicity can free us to move into the future. Synchronicities have also been considered as meeting points – the encounter with another person, for example, which acts to open a door into our lives. The meetings in Magnolia are clear such types of encounters that act to transform a life.
The theme of meetings is also at the heart of such films as Closer and Crash. Maybe you have other examples?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

A Clockwork Orange/ A Clockwork Testament

Most people will have seen Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" and may have noticed that the name "Anthony Burgess" features in the credits in a typeface as large as Kubricks since the film is based on a novel of the same name. While Burgess's novel also features the teenage criminal Alex it also has a serious intent, to explore the conflicting viewpoint of Saint Augustine and Pelagus on the notion of Original Sin and the freedom to chose between good and evil. When Alex is offered the chance to leave prison if he submits to a form of conditioning the prison chaplin argues that if a person no longer has the freedom to chose between good and evil then they are no longer fully human but no more than a mechanical being - a clockwork orange.

Kubrick's film was a great success but did precipitate a degree of violence which backfired on Burgess as being the originator of the story and therefore responsible for the violence that was caused. In response Burgess wrote "A Clockwork Testament" which features Enderby, a character from several other of his novels. Enderby is a poet, now living in New York and at work on an epic poem about Augustine and Pelagus. But he has also written a shooting script based on Gerard Manley Hopkin's poem "The Wreck of the Deutschland" in which a group of nuns bound for America are shipwrecked and drowned. The result is a rather exploiting film which features nuns being raped by Nazi youth and suddenly poor Enderby, as did Burgess, receives all manner of abuse and threats that he has precipitated attacks on nuns. The novel
is humorous but also Burgess's way at hitting back at Kubrick and a film that he particularly disliked.

But yet again it is a meditation on the notion of original sin and the freedom to chose.

Monday, 18 April 2011


The last post was on Active Information. This one is on projection which is the basic principle of cinema - projecting images onto a white screen. It is also used on a metaphoric sense for the way a patient "projects" material from the unconscious on the bank screen of the "non-judgemental listner" - the analyst. This a patient may become aware of feeling of anger, or love towards the therapist and the therapist can then address those feelings.

Of course we tend to project into those around us but most of them do no act as blank screens because then exhibit a "persona". This was the name for the mask used in Greek theatre. Similarly a person may wear a mast in their professional life or in their dealing with colleagues - it may be the mask of the "helpful friend", "unflappable expert", "professional teacher", "sympathetic doctor" and so this may act to interfer with our projections.

But what if a person has no persona? This was the case in the film Being There, Seller pays a man who has no persona, no public mask. He is a total blank onto which people can project anything they like and so he soon becomes the expert businessman, the astute politician and at the end of the film his colleagues have even chosen him as the next president.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


Note there is also a discussion of "Flickering Reality" in a group of F. David Peat's Facebook page. In addition we have just opened a "Flickering Reality" page on Facebook.

Note that copies of the book "A Flickering Reality: Cinema and the nature of reality" can be purchased from
Amazon or