Posts Tagged ‘documentary’

The top 25 posts of 2015 on the @TMhome_com website that grabbed people’s attention

December 16, 2015

The popular TMhome.com website publishes a range of beautifully presented articles and interviews on the Transcendental Meditation technique and the people who practice it. They looked back and created a list of their TWENTY-FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS of 2015.

We made it into the list twice—yours truly (14) and a documentary on Maharishi I facilitated (10), along with a mutual friend, Valerie Gangas (22) and her book, Enlightenment Is Sexy!!!

Well-known supermodel Miranda Kerr (23), Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma (17), business leaders, athletes, the DLF Change Begins Within gala (16) including singer Katy Perry, and TM teachers are listed, along with MUM alumna, singer and mystical poet Lyric Benson Fergusson (7), and former Japan PM Yukio Hatoyama (#24) who delivered MUM’s commencement speech. The telomerase study ranked high (3), and the top post was an interview with Cameron Diaz. The last one is a list of 12 great quotes on creativity. Here are the three I mentioned first.

10

620z_maharishiyogidocumentaryfullmoviehistorychannelw

The full documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,
now available for watching online.
—— read the article ——
.

14

620z_Kenchawkinpoetry_2
.
We invited Ken Chawkin, the man behind innumerable
written lines and at least one great movie (see no 10 above)
to step into the limelight. .
—— read the article ——
.

22

620z_EnlightenmentisSexybookreviewvaleriegangas_1

Enlightenment is Sexy, Valerie Gangas’s book about
falling in love with the universe made a big splash this summer. .
—— read the article ——

Ledger’s Andy Hallman reports on Greg Reitman’s documentary playing in Fairfield, Iowa on Sunday

August 1, 2015

Documentary filmed partially in Fairfield to play Sunday

By ANDY HALLMAN Ledger news editor | Jul 31, 2015

t1200-Donovan, Greg Reitman, and students at tree planting ceremony

During his visit to Fairfield, film producer Greg Reitman planted a tree with MUM students outside the university’s library. Reitman is the man in the center with the necklace. The man to the right is the singer Donovan, whom Reitman interviewed for his film “Rooted in Peace,” which will be shown at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by: Nicole Hester-Williams/Ledger

A documentary that was filmed partially in Fairfield will make its Iowa debut at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Steven Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

The film, “Rooted in Peace,” is a product of Greg Reitman, founder of Blue Water Entertainment, Inc. In a press release, Reitman said the film challenges viewers to examine their values as Americans and human beings.

“Today we are at war within ourselves, with our environment, and with the world,” reads the press release. “Director and award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman invites viewers on a film journey to take notice of the world we live in, proactively seek ways to find personal and ecological peace, and stop the cycle of violence.”

Reitman interviewed numerous celebrities for the film such as author Deepak Chopra, film director David Lynch, musicians Donovan, Mike Love and Pete Seeger, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and more.

He also interviewed Fred Travis, professor of Maharishi Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management.

The press release states that Reitman learned kernels of wisdom from all those he interviewed.

“Reitman’s journey is an example of transformation — how one person can learn to make the necessary changes to enjoy a better life — and in so doing inspire others to want to improve their own lives, and society as a whole,” reads the press release.

Reitman said he became interested in documentaries while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, where he took a class on Italian cinema. He would go on to produce the 2008 SUNDANCE Audience Award-winning feature documentary “FUEL.”

After that, he started thinking about doing a film about all the violence in the world. An experience at JFK Airport in New York City opened his eyes to a whole new world.

“I almost got arrested for not giving up a bottle of water,” he said. “I was seeing racial profiling going on. It made me start thinking about our rights, and about what fear can do. It mirrored a world that I had lived in at age 19, when I was living in Israel during the first Gulf War.”

Reitman got in touch with Ken Chawkin, who was then the public relations officer at MUM. Chawkin encouraged him to visit Fairfield, and mentioned that the Beach Boys were going to be in town for a concert. Reitman’s wife is from Iowa, so the two decided to attend the concert.

Reitman came back a second time with Donovan for the David Lynch Film Weekend. During his second trip to Fairfield, he interviewed Donovan, David Lynch and Bob Roth.

After the film, Reitman will hold a question-and-answer session with the audience.

One of the common questions Reitman has received in his other Q and As is, “Why did the film take so long to make?” The film took five years in all, which Reitman said is not too far out of the ordinary for documentaries.

“The reason it took me so long was that I had to find peace first,” he said. “When I talked to Ken, he said, ‘Greg, you’re not going to understand peace until you come to Fairfield.’”

Reitman said he greatly enjoyed his time in Fairfield. It reminded him of another small town he filmed in, Carbondale, Colorado, with a population of just over 6,000.

Part of the film is autobiographical, where Reitman shares his person story of living in Israel and visiting Hiroshima, Japan. That said, he feels it’s more an inspirational film than a dry, descriptive documentary.

“It’s one man’s quest to seek inner peace and coming upon the roadblocks that lead him to enlightenment,” he said. “It’s about him having to unlock each of those pearls of wisdom, to understand the concept of a healthy heart and a healthy body. Then you can understand what a healthy world looks like.”

This three-column cover story with large photo carries over to a page 7 three-column section with two photos, one of Greg Reitman with Donovan playing guitar, the other of Mike Love singing on stage from the Beach Boys concert. This article is republished here with permission from The Fairfield Ledger. Click FF Ledger Documentary 7-31-2015 to see a PDF of the whole 2-page article with photos.

See other news about the film here.

Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise

September 24, 2013

See my earlier post on a segment from this film: Maharishi describes the nature of inner life: bondage and liberation, and gaining bliss consciousness through Transcendental Meditation. Maharishi is seen walking and talking about the nature of life, with the beautiful scene of Lake Louise and the Rocky Mountains behind him. He describes the lake, its surface and depth, and the reflections on it, as a metaphor to explain the spiritual content of life and how it gets lost and overshadowed when we identify with only the surface material objects of life, a state of bondage, at the expense of our own inner unbounded nature, bliss consciousness, which gets unfolded and integrated through the practice of his Transcendental Meditation technique, into a state of liberation. I transcribe Maharishi’s words there, the film’s essential spiritual message.

maharishi signs gita for ken

In the opening scenes of this complete video of the CBC documentary, we were all walking up to Maharishi to give him a flower. At 2:07-2:10, I’m seen coming up to Maharishi asking him to sign a copy of his translation and commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita, Chapters 1-6. The film closes with more of the same footage, which was all actually shot towards the end of the course. That wonderful week was the first time a lot of us got to meet Maharishi. It was an unforgettable divine experience in a most sublime natural setting!

Four years later, my mother, two sisters and I would meet privately with Maharishi at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, where a Symposium on the Science of Creative Intelligence with many of Canada’s intellectual luminaries was taking place. But that’s another amazing story!

Forty years after I started TM, and thirty-nine years after having met Maharishi, I was able to assist an ITN Factual commissioned producer in making the A&E biographical film, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, for the History International Channel (November 2007). Luckily I was able to procure vintage footage taken by Eileen Learoyd, a Victoria, BC journalist, and the first national leader of the Canadian TM Movement. Grania Litwin, her daughter and also a Victoria journalist, was kind enough to send us those home movies transferred to videos taken by her mother. We found one of Maharishi at Catalina Island from 1962 that was still in the original film canister! We had them all digitized and sent selections to the producer for use in the film. She was delighted to have received such historical footage. We also returned the videos with new DVDs to Grania.

I also put the producer in touch with Alan Waite, who had made the award-winning 1968 documentary, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Sage for a New Generation, and she ended up using many segments from that film as well. Also lined up interviews for her when she came to MUM in Fairfield, Iowa, as well as Mike Love in LA and Donovan in London.

Eileen and Hubert with Maharishi

Eileen and Hubert with Maharishi at Emerald Lake, British Columbia

Eileen Learoyd and her brother Hubert Gray organized a seminar for meditators with Maharishi at Emerald Lake, British Columbia in 1964. Elieen would later organize the 1972 SCI Symposium. In June 1968 they arranged for the CBC to film Maharishi at the Lake Louise, Alberta course. Interestingly, after Maharishi signed my copy of the Gita, we both turned it toward the camera. That footage was edited out, but it seemed to be a symbolic gesture for what I would end up doing with a large part of my life in my own small way — helping to teach, promote and publicize Maharishi and his world-transforming Vedic knowledge and TM technique. And for that I am most thankful and fulfilled. Jai Guru Dev, Maharishi. Na Guror Adhikam.

And last year, (2012) a small crew from DFL.TV and I were fortunate to have assisted Oprah’s producers by providing them with more b-roll footage for the OWN program on the meditators of Fairfield, Iowa, referred to as “TM Town” by Oprah. They even gave us a credit! Here’s a post with Video segments of Oprah’s Next Chapter on OWN: Oprah Visits Fairfield, Iowa—”TM Town”—America’s Most Unusual Town.

See a photo of Eileen and Hubert walking with Maharishi into the lobby of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Five-Star Hotel posted here. Here is a group photo of that sublime one-week residence course with Maharishi.

Enlightenment, the Transcendental Meditation Magazine, also published an article on Maharishi at Lake Louise discussing the blissful nature of the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique.

In the summer of 2014 I retired from my position at MUM. A year later I was featured on the TMhome website: PR to poetry – how things sometimes happen to Ken Chawkin. They followed up with The story behind the making of the International History documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (International History Channel documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi). A nice way to go out. I continue to write, blog, and freelance as a publicist for the movement as needed.

On September 30, 2014 I had posted how I learned #TMmeditation 47 years ago today. In there I share more information about the making of the CBC Telescope film, The Guru, of Maharishi at Lake Louise. Richard Day shared a story he had heard many years later about the director of the film who told Maharishi that he wanted to film him saying something that would encapsulate all his teachings. Maharishi said, “I’ll walk by the lake, you walk with me, and I’ll tell you everything about spiritual development.” He did it in one take! That’s the part I had transcribed and posted in the first link above.

Save

Russell Brand and David Lynch at LA Premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ Documentary

April 5, 2013
Comedian Russell Brand and Founder/Director David Lynch speak during the 'Meditation In Education' Global Outreach Campaign at The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum on April 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Comedian Russell Brand and Founder/Director David Lynch speak during the ‘Meditation In Education’ Global Outreach Campaign at The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum on April 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

David Lynch and Russell Brand joined forces to help bring Transcendental Meditation to 1,000,000 at-risk youth at the U.S. premiere of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 2. The premiere marked the launch of the “Meditation in Education” global outreach campaign.

“Proceeds from the global distribution of the documentary will be used to help students in the United States and across the world overcome traumatic stress, improve learning ability and raise performance through Transcendental Meditation,” said Lynch.

The response to the film was overwhelming with only 300 seats and over 1,000 people showing up. An overflow hall and outdoor screens were set up so hundreds more could see the film, and the dynamic 41-minute interview that followed with David Lynch, Russell Brand, and DLF executive director, Bob Roth. Hopefully that interview will be posted soon.* Roth said the overwhelming response was indicative of a change in collective consciousness since the film was first shown in New York a year and a half ago.**

Russell Brand and David Lynch talk Transcendental Meditation with Bob Roth. Credit/Copyright: Amy Graves via The TASC Group

Russell Brand and David Lynch talk Transcendental Meditation with Bob Roth. Credit/Copyright: Amy Graves via The TASC Group

Following last night’s debut in L.A., the documentary will go on to screen in 12 major international cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Toronto, in May and June. The film will also be screened at the Palm Beach International Film Festival in West Palm Beach, FL on Saturday, April 6. Visit the new website, Meditation Creativity Peace, for a list of upcoming and previous screenings: http://meditationcreativitypeace.com.

Read more of what happened that night in these reports: Look to the Stars: Russell Brand And David Lynch Bring Meditation To At-Risk Youth and LAist: David Lynch & Russell Brand Changing Lives With ‘Meditation Creativity Peace’, which include photos and videos. Sean Macaulay covered the event, including an interview, for The Daily Beast: David Lynch Discusses Transcendental Meditation in Los Angeles. Google posted this excellent article by AFP: Filmmaker David Lynch touts meditation for PTSD.

Here are some videos by World Monitor TV covering the event. In this first one, Russell Brand and David Lynch arrive at ‘Meditation Creativity Peace’ US premier, after posing for photographers, David and Russell walk over to Puki Freeberg for an interview, which starts around 1:38. It’s difficult to make out what they’re saying with the many people talking in the room and photographers shouting at the celebrities to turn their way. At first David complains about the bright lights, saying they need to be covered with gels. But then David introduces the “fantastic” Puki to Russell who lights up and exclaims, “Oh you’re Puki! I hear a lot about you, and I met you once after a show in a different context, in a different dress, in a different light.

Puki asks Russell why he supports the David Lynch Foundation and he answers, “Because of the wonderful work it does in schools, with veterans, and because meditation is something everyone can use in their life, and because David asked me.”

David smiles and tells Puki that “Russell Brand is going to start a revolution…for peace and enlightenment…for all the people…and that’s why Russell’s here. And also Russell has a gift, somewhat of a gift for humor, and it’s really good to have him here.”

Puki asks David how he feels about premiering his documentary (Meditation, Creativity, Peace) in LA tonight, and he says, “I feel very good about it, because, hopefully, the documentary holds good news for the people…and we’ll see how it goes tonight…we’ll see if they think it’s good news.” There’s more discussion about the interview, which Russell says was very successful, but it’s hard to discern the rest of what they’re saying as they bring it to an end. Here is a more recent updated clearer version:

 Other meditating celebrities arrive and are seen in these videos: Maya Stojan, Russell Brand arrive at ‘Meditation Creativity Peace’ US premier | ‘Meditation Creativity Peace’ US premiere – Matt Bomer, Russell Brand, Nick Zano | Matt Bomer, Nick Zano all smiles at ‘Meditation Creativity Peace’ US premiere.

*The Hammer Museum did post the 41-minute interview the following month: David Lynch, Russell Brand, Bob Roth Q&A after screening Meditation, Creativity, Peace documentary at Hammer Museum. Richard Broome also posted it on his website highlighting key quotes from the interview.

**Here is an earlier post on the film when it was shown in NYC: Watch the trailer for a new documentary film on David Lynch titled “Meditation Creativity Peace”.

Enlightenment, The TM Magazine, also reported on the event: Meditation Creativity Peace: How the David Lynch Foundation Brings Change from Within.

David Lynch speaks with Alan Colmes about his 16-country tour film Meditation Creativity Peace.

Every War Has Two Losers, a Haydn Reiss film on poet and conscientious objector William Stafford

October 18, 2009

EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS

A Poet’s Meditation on Peace

A FILM BASED ON THE JOURNALS OF WILLIAM STAFFORD

Haydn Reiss (producer/director) has been making independent films for twenty years that often focus on writers and poets. As a producer for hire his clients include organizations working on the front lines of education, the environment, culture, human rights, politics and health. In 1998, Reiss directed the award-winning RUMI: Poet of the Heart, which was seen on over 100 PBS stations and screened in festivals around the world.

EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS tells the story of how one man, William Stafford (1914-1993), chose to answer the call to war. It is a story of confronting beliefs that swirl around war — Isn’t war inevitable? Even necessary? What about the enemy? Stafford refused to fight in World War Two and served four years in camps for conscientious objectors. Later he was the winner of the National Book Award for poetry.

Other participants appearing in the film include Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, John Gorka, Maxine Hong Kingston, Michael Meade, W.S. Merwin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Kim Stafford, and Alice Walker.

Director Haydn Reiss first met Stafford in 1990 and later produced a one-hour documentary, William Stafford & Robert Bly: A Literary Friendship. That film chronicles the similarities and differences between these two close friends and great poets. Approaches to writing, teaching and the meaning of poetry are all explored in this lively and engaging film. (The film is included as a DVD extra on EVERY WAR HAS TWO LOSERS)

Interview with Haydn Reiss:

Q: What’s the genesis of the film?

HR: In 2006, I read the book the film is based on and that was edited by his son Kim, “Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace & War” (Milkweed Editions 2004). It’s fifty years of excerpts from Bill’s journals related to war and reconciliation. As with all of Stafford’s writings, there is a sense of a deep intelligence at work that stays human and available to the reader. There’s humor, heartbreak and a general sense, or assertion, that we human beings are capable of doing better with each other. I’m a father of young children and I have to believe that’s true. More importantly, I had to try and make a contribution to that effort and that’s what I attempted with the film.

Q: How does the book differ from the film?

HR: Obviously there’s a lot more writing and poems in the book than the film. The challenge was to pull journal entries that could be arranged in some form or fashion and create an overall arc to the film. A beginning, middle and end has not been much improved upon in the world of storytelling. All the material could be endlessly mixed since there was no inherent order to it other than chronological. So mix it we did some untold number of times until the cylinders seemed to line up and my editor and I had something we liked. The film brings in its own ingredients of music, images and a remarkable collection of participants.

Q: What do you hope the film does for the viewer?

HR: It would be very satisfying to think that after viewing the film you would ask yourself, at a deep level, what you really believe about war. And the follow-up question of “How did I come to believe that?” I think we have been very successfully indoctrinated into accepting that war is a given, it’s what human beings do. The distinction is, and I think this is what Stafford is saying, is “Yes, we do and can make war. But what else can we do?” The undiscovered possibilities in human behavior are what we should pursue. The die is not cast; imagination and creativity are not in short supply. That this is the real, pragmatic work of the world.

View trailer, download PBS station airings August-September 2010, bios, and purchase a DVD of Every War Has Two Losers.

Also see PEACEFUL POETS: Filmmaker Haydn Reiss on Rumi and Stafford and the Power of Words and A Fascinating Approach to Peace.


%d bloggers like this: