Cinema Nirvana: Enlightenment Lessons from the Movies

Dean Sluyter, Author, Ean Sluyter, Author Three Rivers Press (CA) $14 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4974-5
Could funnyman Jim Carrey possibly have anything to teach us about the nature of reality? The answer is a resounding ""yes,"" according to Sluyter, cofounder of the New Jersey chapter of the Dzogchen Foundation. He explains: in the film The Truman Show, Carrey uses his ""superb physical acting skills"" to portray one man's ""journey of spiritual discovery."" This is only one of 15 examples of the enlightenment lessons apparent in Hollywood movies that Sluyter happily explains in this unorthodox film guide. From The Graduate and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Jaws and Memento, Sluyter analyzes each movie's basic essence, tying its characters, plots and messages to spiritual teachings. Despite the book's gimmicky hook, it's is actually quite in-depth, and Sluyter seems to know his stuff. He can be funny (""As a role model, Snow White sucks""), but intellectual, too (the conflict Rick faces in Casablanca ""recalls the choice faced by Arjuna the warrior, hero of the Bhagavad Gita""). Basic knowledge of the films and religious texts is recommended, but certainly not required; Sluyter explains each concept in a non-technical, conversational way. (On sale Feb. 22)
Reviewed on: 02/21/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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