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Feb 10th
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Pregcellent

film_babies2There’s plenty to go gaga over in ‘Babies’
It took director Thomas Balmès four years to give birth to Babies—talk about labor pains—so here’s hoping local audiences consider the new film a bundle of joy. Chance are they will.

The engaging documentary (HHH1/2 out of four), which opens Friday at The Nick, chronicles the offspring of four couples from different parts of the world, tracking a year of their baby’s life—from birth to first steps. There’s a boy from Mongolia, a girl from Namibia and a feisty gal from Tokyo. Best of all is San Francisco’s Hattie Bradshaw.

Naturally, her parents, Frazer Bradshaw and Susie Wise, couldn’t be more proud. Bradshaw is a cinematographer. He actually shot a good portion of Hattie’s footage whenever Balmès was in other parts of the globe filming the other babies. Wise teaches “design thinking” at Stanford.

“I really love the observational nature of the film,” Wise told GT when we caught up with her. “I felt that the way it showed the babies evolving and learning was very interesting, especially when we live in a world where we’re used to going a million miles a minute.”

Bradshaw adds, “We live in a culture that tells us how we’re supposed to think and feel and the film offers a really different perspective.”

Indeed it does. There’s hardly any dialogue in the doc, and thanks to its four engaging stars, as well as the music by Bruno Coulais (Coraline), the film hopes to offer enough mental breathing room for its audiences to just “experience” something rather than be bombarded by it.

All of it, though, wouldn’t have resonated as well as it does on-screen without Balmès’ unique take on the subject—he really ought to be credited for re-defining the nonfiction art form. Less is more here and the doc’s voyeuristic nature charms. He’s tracking the earliest stages of the journey of humanity and manages to win the audience over with something universal to all of us—living, learning and growing.

As for young Hattie, who is now 4 and lives with her parents in Oakland, well … she actually watched the film. (That is … she watched as much as a 4-year-old’s attention span could hold.)

“She’s actually more of a fan of the trailer,” Wise notes. “She was curious about seeing herself but really fascinated about watching the other film_babiesbabies. She calls them by name and talks about them. She mostly concluded that she is a “girl.’” This after witnessing one scene from the movie that finds the male Mongolian baby lying on his back in between diaper changes happily relieving himself, creating an impressive arch of urine.

Hey … it happens.

“She’s really interested now in seeing it in a real theater,” Wise adds. “Hattie told me, ‘I am going to see it really big theater and be with my friends.’” Whether she’ll take her thumb out of  her mouth long enough to give it an official “thumbs up” remains to be seen.
Watch film trailer >>>

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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