on creativity, science and tolerance

An existential afternoon with Kurosawa

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Only Kokoro can feel and see..Ran - Kurosawa 2

Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)

Kyoami: In a mad world only the mad are sane.

I remember what my mother used to tell me when I was a child. She said: “Love of God and holiness should be kept within the heart

Like Ikiru, I remind him, thinking of the old man Watanabe, 25 years “dead” with a cancerous stomach finally making him live to sing:

Life is short,

Fall in Love, dear maiden,

While your lips are still red,

And before you are cold,

For there will be no tomorrow,

Life is so short,

Fall in Love, dear maiden,

While your hair is still black,

And before your heart withers,

For today will not come again.


Kurosawa is a director amazingly articulate, with a voice for all people. Perhaps the strain in his eyes is not a strain of age, but a weariness with the world. But sadly for most of us, this ennui has become no longer a feeling, but a fad.

He lights a cigarette and stares through the glass window at the cars that continuously pass. He breathes deeply. Again, he smiles, “There is no rest for this kind of life. But I am happy with it. I work for months on a script before I feel that it is ready for a film. And this is the case with all my films. I think of them again and again even in my dreams. Sometimes while shooting a film, I am still bothered by a film I had finished months earlier.”

The Absurd

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Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959)

Judah: He gave me water, and the heart to live. What has he done to merit this death?

Balthasar: For this beginning.

I  have seen people behave badly with great morality and I note every day that integrity has no need of rules. […] It is strange in any case that works of related inspiration like those of Kafka, Kierkegaard, or Chestov -those in short, of existential novelists and philosophers completely oriented toward the Absurd and its consequences- should in the long run lead to that tremendous cry of hope*.

Albert Camus (1955), The Myth of Sisyphus and other essays, Random House.

Purity of Heart

Written by The Wheel of Life

abril 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Autumn Sonata

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Autumn Sonata -1

Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman, 1978)

Eva: There are no limits, neither to thoughts nor feelings. It’s anxiety that sets limits.

The external plot is simple: Charlotte Andergast [Ingrid Bergman], internationally a fairly successful concert pianist, has just lost Leonardo, the man with whom she had been living for many years. His death shakes her, leaving her in a state of loneliness and bewilderment. Her daughter Eva [Liv Ullmann], who has been married for some years to a clergyman [Halvar Björk] and lives in a small town in Norway, asks her mother to visit her. For several days the two women are confronted with each other. They seek and repulse each other by turns. The encounter is crucial for the future of them both.

On an internal plane what is all boils down to of course is love: the presence and absence of love, the longing for love, love’ s lies, love that is deformed and Love as our sole chance of survival.

Ingmar Bergman

Autumn Sonata -2

Written by The Wheel of Life

abril 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm


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Can you be one and the same person at the same time?

They said you were mentally healthy but your madness is the worst

Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

Elisabeth: I always thought that great artists felt great com-passion [Miseri-cordia] for other people

Sister Alma: Elisabet, you virtually have it all in your armoury as woman and artist. But you lack motherliness

Elisabet? Can I read you something from my book? Or am I disturbing you? It says here: “All the anxiety we bear with us, all our thwarted dreams, the incomprehensible cruelty, our fear of extinction, the painful insight into our earthly condition, have slowly eroded our hope of an other-wordly salvation. The howl of our faith and doubt against the darkness and silence, is one of the most awful proofs of our abandonment and our terrified, unuttered knowledge.” Do you think it’s like that?

Nadie ignora que todas las cosas humanas, como los Silenos de Alcibíades, tienen dos caras, totalmente diferentes. Lo que a primera vista es, como si dijéramos, muerte visto desde dentro es vida, y viceversa. (…) Quizás alguien diga que he expresado esto demasiado filosóficamente; pues bien, lo diré a la pata la llana, para que se me entienda.

Si he de ser franca, lo que nos dejó Seneca, mas que un hombre es una estatua de mármol, totalmente impávida y desprovista de cualquier sentimiento humano. Que gocen, pues, los estoicos con su sabio, si les viene en gana; que lo amen sin competencia de ninguna clase, o que se vayan a vivir con él a la República de Platón. Y si lo prefieren a la región de las ideas, o a los jardines de Tántalo. ¿Quién no huiría aterrorizado de un hombre con aspecto de monstruo, insensible a todo sentimiento natural, y a quién el amor, la ternura o cualquier clase de afecto dejan insensible como si fuera un duro pedernal o bloque marmóreo de Paros?

Erasmo (1511), Elogio de la locura

Written by The Wheel of Life

abril 14, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Facing death

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Jons: But feel, to the very end, the triumph of being alive!

The Seventh Seal_Milk_StrawberriesThe seventh seal

The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

Antonius Block: I shall remember this moment: the silence, the twilight, the bowl of strawberries, the bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light. Mikael asleep, Jof with his lyre. I shall try to remember our talk. I shall carry this memory carefully in my hands as if it were a bowl brimful of fresh milk. It will be a sign to me, and a great sufficiency.

I often wonder

Written by The Wheel of Life

abril 13, 2015 at 12:42 am

Sartre and Camus

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MGM logo

The making of the MGM logo

What will become of us I do not know: perhaps we shall end up on the same side, perhaps not. The times are hard and confused. In any event, it has been good to be able to tell you [10-pages reply] what I have been thinking . The journal is open to you if you want to reply, but I shall make no further reply to you. I have said what you were for me and what you are at present. But, whatever you may do or say in return, I refuse to fight with you. I hope our silence will lead to this polemic being forgotten.

Letter written by Jean-Paul Sartre to Albert Camus.


Stephen Hawking: No… doctors. No doctors!

Methadone is defined as a therapeutic agent and heroin as a dangerous and illegal drug . But heroin itself was declared and first used as a therapeutic agent -as a treatment for morphine addiction. It’ s sad. But Santayana [Jorgewas so right when he said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Thomas S. Szasz

See Ketamine, for 2016.

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Beyond the Genome, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Written by The Wheel of Life

abril 11, 2015 at 1:04 am

On trial: a ridicola farsa

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Reason and the irrational lead to the same preaching.

Albert Camus (1955), The Myth of Sisyphus


La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (Carl Th. Dreyer, 1928)

Jeanne d’Arc: [talking to her Love] Will I be with You, tonight?


Judge: Has God promised you things?

Jeanne d’Arc: That has nothing to do with this trial!

 joanne-3 - Copyjoanne-6 - Copyjoanne-2 - Copy   joanne-8   joanne-4 - Copy  joanne-10 joanne-11joanne-13 joanne-12 joanne-15  joanne-14

How reason kills the Spiritby Carl Th. Dreyer

Written by The Wheel of Life

abril 4, 2015 at 2:25 pm


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