The lies we tell ~

I called my accountant the other day.

The call went through to the office reception desk, and I asked to speak to him.

The receptionist, a sweet lady, said: Hold on, I’ll see if he’s in.

It occurred to me – that’s a lie.

I know how that office works, I know the physical layout – I know that the receptionist would know for certain whether he’s in or not.

She knew he was in.
She lied.

She didn’t want to say to me: Hold on, I’ll check to see if he wants to talk to you.

That would have been too confronting. So she lied instead, so that I wouldn’t be offended if my accountant didn’t want to talk to me.

We accept these lies.
We understand that lying is an accepted form of social discourse and interplay.

Another lie we accept, when meeting a friend: Oh, you look great.

When actually, you are shocked at how old / haggard / fat / rundown / stressed out / unattractive they look.

A little lie is better than saying: Jesus, you been hit by a truck?

What’s the difference between a little lie and a big lie?
Dare I say it, a Trumpian lie?

We lie all the time.
Even those of us who value truth above all else.
Moreover, we accept that people lie to us.

Could we ever live in a world which lives by:
You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth.

Wouldn’t it be good if we were that strong…

Intuition for kids ~

I just wanted to pass onto you a message I got overnight from someone who’d seen my film PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System. 

I just wanted to compliment you on producing a beautifully executed movie on what is an elusive subject for many. I have three children (Freshman, Junior & Senior) that all attend separate private schools in the suburbs of Philadelphia and I sent each head of school a screen shot of the movie asking them to show it to the juniors and senior. Of course I think every kid (and adult) should watch no matter what their age. Anyway I REALLY think you all should promote this movie to schools. Again well done!

It’s interesting because when I made the movie, I thought it would really only appeal to an older audience – but from the screenings we’ve had I’ve been surprised at how strongly it resonates with millennials, and even younger.

It would be great to get the movie into schools. If you have any ideas on how we best to that, please contact me at: billpgsblog@gmail.com

If you haven’t seen the film, here’s a link:
www.pgsthemovie

And you should check out the book:
Amazon link to PGS the Book

Oscars – not quite the seismic shift ~

Well, this year’s Oscars wasn’t quite the seismic shift I – and a lot of others too – were hoping for.

Roma missed out on Best Picture – the largely staid, conservative, white, male, Academy voters just couldn’t bring themselves to give the big gong to a black and white foreign language film made by a Mexican about Mexicans.

Mind you, producer/director.writer/cinematographer/editor Alfonso Cuaron – who is entitled to call himself an auteur – came away with some impressive hardware – three Oscars; for Best Director, Best Cinematographer, and Best Foreign Language Film.

So how did I go with my predictions?
Not as good as in previous years.
But not bad either.

You decide –

Best Picture
Roma
NUP – GREEN BOOK

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron
Roma
YEP

Best Actor
Rami Malek
Bohemian Rhapsody
YEP

Best Actress
Glenn Close
The Wife
NUP – OLIVIA COLMAN, THE FAVOURITE

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali
The Green Book
YEP

Best Supporting Actress
Marina de Tavira
Roma
NUP – REGINA KING, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Best Documentary
Hale County This Morning
NUP – FREE SOLO

Original Screenplay
Green Book
YEP

Adapted Screenplay
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
NUP – BLACKKKLANSMAN

Foreign Language Film
Roma
YEP

Cinematography
Roma
YEP

Film Editing
Bohemian Rhapsody
YEP

Production Design
Black Panther
YEP

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity Wars
NUP – FIRST MAN

Original Score
If Beale Street Could Talk
NUP – BLACK PANTHER

Original Song
A Star is Born
YEP

Sound Mixing
Bohemian Rhapsody
YEP

Sound Editing
Bohemian Rhapsody
YEP

Costume Design
The Favourite
NUP – BLACK PANTHER

Makeup & Hair
Vice
YEP

Animated Feature
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
YEP

So of the 21 I called, I got 13.
Pretty pathetic if you ask me…

Oscars 2019: a seismic shift ~

Each year, as many of you who follow this blog might know, I make my Oscar predictions.

I’m normally pretty good, with a strike rate usually in the mid 90%.

This year it will be more of a guess, because I haven’t seen many of the films, in part because of my living in Mudgee where sadly there is no working cinema – but also very few of the films have compelled me to get in my car and drive 4hrs to Sydney to sit in a cinema and watch them.

Bohemian Rhapsody was one such film, and it was well worth the total of 8hrs driving.

This year will see a seismic shift in the power of Hollywood. The Netflix film Roma will take out Best Picture and a slew of other awards, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron – and deservedly so. His black and white forensic detailing of his early upbringing in Mexico is an exquisite piece of craftsmanship and artistry.

Most punters though, if they’ve even seen the film at all – or had the patience to sit all the way through it – would think it a boring load of crap and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Oscars celebrate the epitome of craftsmanship and cinematic art, not popularity.
So punters – suck it in.

Why a seismic shift?
For two reasons –

Firstly, I think this will be the first time that the Oscars will be host-less. Because of a twitter controversy involving the formerly chosen host, comedian Kevin Hart, both Hart and the Oscar organisers figured it was best he step down from being host.

But the real seismic shift will be the enveloping power of Netflix.

Not only is the streaming giant represented by Roma, but also the Coen Brothers brilliant and crazed metaphysical ode to Death, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Recently Netflix was admitted to the MPAA – the Motion Picture Association of America, an organisation reserved for the traditional movie studios only. This was seen as a huge political move.

Netflix now has a yearly purse of more than $8 billion to spend on production – more than any of the studios. So it’s at the cutting edge of change in Hollywood. And when Roma picks up Best Picture in a few hours, it will give it even more leverage to shift the creaky old power levers of Hollywood.

Thing is – Netflix is producer, distributor and exhibitor of content – and by law none of the studios are allowed to own cinemas to screen their movies. So Netflix has a major advantage. The other advantage is that its long term viability doesn’t depend on the mercurial nature of box office revenues – having hit movies – but on subscription numbers.

It’s a whole new ballgame, and for those of us that relish innovation and change, it’s exciting times ahead.

So, here are my predictions / guesses –

Best Picture
Roma

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron
Roma

Best Actor
Rami Malek
Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Actress
Glenn Close
The Wife

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali
The Green Book

Best Supporting Actress
Marina de Tavira
Roma

Best Documentary
Hale County This Morning

Original Screenplay
Green Book

Adapted Screenplay
Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Foreign Language Film
Roma

Cinematography
Roma

Film Editing
Bohemian Rhapsody

Production Design
Black Panther

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity Wars

Original Score
If Beale Street Could Talk

Original Song
A Star is Born

Sound Mixing
Bohemian Rhapsody

Sound Editing
Bohemian Rhapsody

Costume Design
The Favourite

Makeup & Hair
Vice

Animated Feature
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Them’s me picks – in part from having seen some of these films, and also based on heat from the respective guilds. Irrespective, it will be seen as a watershed year for the Oscars.

The Camino as equaliser ~

We each walk through this world and we form certain opinions about others based on their appearance, their trappings.

That person has a Rolex, they must be rich.
That person has sneaky eyes, they must be untrustworthy.
That person lives in a caravan park, they must be destitute.

These are judgements we have made based on very superficial factors.

The person with the Rolex might be bankrupt.
The person with sneaky eyes might have cataracts.
The person who lives in a caravan park might have millions in the bank.

The Camino is one of the few places I know where it’s very hard to make those kind of judgements, because there’s often very little to make judgements on, other than attitude and behaviour.

Most pilgrims don’t take expensive jewellery or watches on the Camino. Most pilgrims wear the same kind of hiking clothing. You can’t make judgements on them based on what car they drive, or what house they live in.

Often you meet a pilgrim and you have no clue if they’re a judge or a janitor.

The Camino, in that sense, induces a base level of status. Very few come to the Camino with their status on display. And if they do, often the Camino strips them of that status in very humbling ways.

That’s not to say pilgrims don’t immediately judge. They judge the “trueness” of the pilgrim, often by asking the seemingly innocent question: Where did you start?

That’s far from an innocent question.

If the pilgrim being asked that question states Pamplona, or Burgos, then the pilgrim asking the question, having walked from Le Puy or Seville, can puff themselves up a bit and think they are a “truer” pilgrim, whatever that means.

Of course, like any form of judgement, it’s based on ego, a need to feel superior, which in turn stems from lack of self worth, and ultimately fear.

Largely, and I say largely, the Camino is a leveller. People who, in their lives back home, might be famous, might be rich, might wield enormous power over others, sit down at communal tables, eat €10 pilgrims meals, and you’d never know.

And in the end, what does it matter? It’s who we truly are that matters, not what resources we might have accumulated elsewhere.

The Camino helps us find out who we really are…

 

You are all intuitive. “I’m not!”

Reminds me of that classic scene in Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.

Brian is addressing a huge crowd that is mindlessly following him, thinking he’s the messiah. He tries to impress on them that they should think for themselves – and tells them they are all individuals. They are all different. And then a meek voice comes from somewhere in the crowd: I’m not.

Life of Brian 45sec clip

You are all intuitive. You were born with intuition – it works as a legitimate functioning system within your body, connecting to energetic systems outside your body.

I call it your Personal Guidance System. 

Jennifer and I have started doing workshops. Teaching people how to become more intuitive. We emphasise the word more, because everyone is intuitive, irrespective of whether they acknowledge it, or trust it, or deny and suppress it.

What our workshops do is teach you how you can become more intuitive, and bring forth these nascent skills and powers so that you can begin to make better choices in your life. Because in the end, that’s the purpose of intuition – to help guide you along your journey through life.

One of the things we do in the workshops is detail the thirteen steps you can take to prepare yourself for intuition. These steps are a necessary precursor to embracing your PGS.

If you want to host a workshop, get in touch: billbennett.pgs@gmail.com
To view the film, go to http://www.pgsthemovie.com
To buy the book, go to Amazon – PGS Book page