According to Joseph Campbell, “the function of mythology is to connect you to your bliss, and find where it truly is.” Films, as one form of our modern-day mythology, can infuse us with energy and a passion for life. This exuberance can spark creativity through bringing together ideas in unique and novel ways. Finally, we are in the flow of life that Campbell describes: “Participate in the play, in the play of life… the Great Delight.”

In these eight feature films the main characters embody exuberance and creativity in luminous, numinous performances. Watching these performances trains our eyes, minds, and hearts for a most specific purpose: to see, understand, and feel the longings of our psyches for delight.

Films shown in this order:

  1. The Magic Flute
  2. Shall We Dance? (1996 Japanese film)
  3. French Cancan
  4. Reaching for the Note
  5. Day For Night
  6. Don Juan DeMarco
  7. Dream Window: Reflections on the Japanese Garden
  8. Rivers and Tides
  9. Tampopo

Late-night bonus films:

  1. Dances of Ecstasy (2009 DVD replaced the 2003 DVD)
  2. Leonard Bernstein Conducts “West Side Story” (1985 DVD)
  3. What the Universe Tells Me – Unraveling the Mysteries of Mahler’s Third Symphony

See also: Twenty Favorite Films

Photo by Mi Pham

Br. David Steindl-RastJoy