River Bank by Brad Paisley. Norman is a weak loser in love with a rich girl who barely seems to be able to stand being with him. When he steals the wife of Son of Light, the hero goes in pursuit, and meets the Pinon Maidens, Spider Woman and Mole, who all volunteer to help him. Naked and the Living Dead, The. The question of forgiveness is as old as human sin.
When a new employee joins his company, nobody seems to notice that they are identical, since this new guy is everything he isn't: A confident ladies man. Their lives become intertwined in ways they don't expect when they start to take over each other's lives. A psychologist encounters a teenager who has created his own abnormal religion of horse-worship and unbridled passion.
The jaded psychologist, acted powerfully by Richard Burton, already having doubts as to his work of 'normalizing' youths, reaches an intense state of self-doubt as he both respects, fears and psychologically manipulates the sick but vibrant youth who had a bloody eruption of passionate guilt that ended in violence. Although this was written by Charlie Kaufman, I feel that Gondry made it his with his many visual quirks and love for his characters, as opposed to Kaufman's loathing.
This movie explores the above themes by taking a loving relationship that has gone bad, and adding a memory erasure procedure into the story. Lovers that live in pain naturally search for a way to remove their suffering, but what is left after memories are erased?
Perhaps the love would remain, as well as habits, inclinations and even emotions that would cause us to make the same mistakes over again? What if, during a memory erasure procedure, we suddenly realized that we don't want to lose the good with the bad and that the good was a lot more important than we imagined?
Gondry has both visual as well as intellectual fun with all this, adding slight surreal touches as we see the world through a man's emotionally torn mind that is being systematically scrubbed.
Memories are consciously hidden or moved elsewhere, change before our very eyes, and even become surreally warped. Superbly touching, fun and fascinating for thinking, sensitive audiences. This is one of those movies where the experience surpasses any attempt at description. Phillippe is a sad man who seeks out the greatness in humanity through space travel. But he is constantly bogged down by his cynicism and perception of reality, and writes a thesis on how humankind's attempts at reaching the moon were driven by narcissism.
This metaphor is combined with the far side of the moon as a hidden, disfigured facet, the movie drawing parallels with this man's turmoil and troubled relationship with his gay, superficial, twin brother. All this heaviness is perfectly balanced with the humor and subtle comedy emerging from his personality, one highlight being a video he prepares to instruct aliens on the lifestyle and foibles of mankind.
Another special mention must go to the highly inventive segues and superimpositions of fantasy and imagination, many of them so smooth and beautifully done, they result in surreal moments, leading to the delightfully playful ending.
An uptight doctor who treats and researches terminal patients is barely alive himself until an ex-patient of his with the uncanny ability to grant wishes and be everywhere forces himself into his life. The doctor's evil, nihilistic side starts coming out and his wishes more perverse and immoral.
The movie brilliantly leaves the supernatural aspects ambiguous so that you don't know if something magical and evil is truly going on, and uses an ugly but gripping urban set design to explore the psyche of a man who has buried himself in hospital plastic and professionalism, hiding from the ugly world outside and his ugliness inside.
A challenging and bold movie that will leave Hollywood fans in the dust, and a great accompaniment to Angel Heart. One schizophrenic man gets caught up with a radically new attitude that starts with the anarchical release of a fist fight, which grows to a fight club and then to a full fledged revolution.
A fascinating, energetic film with an almost inconceivable twisted ending that pushes the whole exercise further into dementia and anarchy. A psychological and disturbing horror movie about a psycho killer and a hostage that is believable and twisted in a human way, rather than just going for shock.
Yannick, a film student, finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and soon finds himself forced to become involved with a demented religious family, trying to confront or exploit their various issues in order to escape them.
The father-killer is a three-dimensional character that reminded me of old-school horror characters like the Stepfather. But there is also a believable angry teenager, submissive dependent mother, and a near-psychotic damaged little girl.
The father seems to have luck or providence on his side as nothing works out for Yannick, including all attempts at escape, and his need to prove the father's self-righteousness wrong, grow to the point of obsession and madness.
This brings light surrealism in the form of hallucinations, reaching a climax of deeply disturbed explosive breakdowns and a twisted game of chess in the basement. It's more like Frailty in that sense. The four plot threads start in puzzling ways and slowly weave together for a single ending. One storyline takes place in a fantasy dystopian world where a single atheist, bent on revenge for the death of a little girl, evades a religious ministry and a city populated by absurd religions one worships washing-machine instructions.
The rest take place in our world, one involving a young man jilted at the altar who chases his childhood love, another Eva Green with serious problems with her parents who creates a suicidal student-art-project, and a religious man in search of his vet son. Many clues appear in parallel stories, sometimes in puzzling ways, only to work themselves out. Even a seemingly chance encounter at the end is tied with clues dropped at the beginning of the movie that somehow both compounds the fatalistic coincidence, as well as explains their attraction.
The ending is not as satisfying as it should be and the tying together of clues in several stories is not as clever as it thinks it is, but the subtle way they emerge and the development is done in very intriguing ways, making for a mentally invigorating watch you'll need to watch at least twice , and the ambition of the movie, as well as the visual look of the fantasy world are big pluses as well, making this a keeper.
There's a bit of Del Toro in its psychological escape to dark fantasy, a bit of Gilliam in its meshing of reality with fantasy except fantasy doesn't exactly triumph here, and it is reminiscent of Stay in how clues come together except this one doesn't use dream-logic.
In the future, a corporation called Eugenics rules New York City, performing experiments on humans, raiding the lower levels of the city for rejects and guinea pigs. A pyramid has appeared floating on top of the city and the Egyptian God Horus is out searching for a hosting body and a female to mate with. He finds a subversive human amidst the genetically altered population and a strange alien female capable of bearing his progeny.
There is a lot more to the plot and many elements aren't explained fully. The city of the future is unoriginal but well done, the CGI characters however are badly done. The real actors mixed in this CGI world aren't that interesting but the overall effect of the movie is somewhat mesmerizing.
This is an intense, disturbing and intelligent masterpiece. The movie explores two male characters as they plot to manipulate a sweet deaf girl at the office into love before pulling out the rug from under her feet. A meeker man goes along with the schemes of an alpha jerk, only to get bitten by their cruelty in some ways even worse than their intended victim.
This is also a look at the theme of dehumanization in cut-throat business and various characters that are swept away by it. A powerful look at male-oriented emotional cruelty in the modern world. Neil LaBute followed this with the equally bleak and disturbing 'Your Friends and Neighbors', a very sharp and dark satire on selfish and broken human behaviour with awkward moments that rival Happiness, except without that movie's extremism.
It's the dark story of a boy and his sister, abandoned by their distraught psychic mother and philandering father. Each are adopted separately by very different families, the boy abused terribly, and growing up intensely hateful and angry.
The girl develops psychic abilities, but the boy harnesses his gift in angrier ways through a bizarre machine which he builds in order get revenge. Features an unforgettable silent set of four malignant sisters, a fascinating and unusual psychic romance, hypnosis-violence, intense performances by everyone involved especially by Alexis Arquette who is given a lot to do , and the emotions and cruelty build to a crisis, leading to a strange finale indeed. Either way, it's a dark supernatural trip and we're invited to experience it with him.
A classic amongst reality-bending horror movies. And yet it is, for what could be more surreal than the possible end of the world? This is one of those movies, like Cloverfield, that you are better off watching without knowing much about it in advance. It is also a cult movie in the sense that it polarizes audiences, and you will either hate it or love it. Be warned, however, that it is a feel-bad movie, and unforgettable. The first 15 minutes make you think it is a romantic comedy with quirky characters, then it veers into 'After Hours' territory also a great movie with an increasingly surreal reality.
The odd people and events accumulate to the point where you feel you must be dreaming. It's all very 80s, but the Tangerine Dream soundtrack is superb. A teenage girl in a circus has typical bratty and escapist issues and fights with her loving mother. When her mother is hospitalized, she is disturbed by her own immaturity and struggles with her subconscious in a movie-length dream-like world of her own creation where temperamental books fly back to the library when insulted, palace guards are strange creatures on stilt-legs, there is a good queen in a coma and an evil one who is turning everything into shadows, real faces are bland or disgusting and masks are popular, and pets are scary creatures with men's faces who like riddles and eating books.
Very dense with metaphors and psychological layers, and the effects feel somewhat overdone at first but are magical once you get used to them. A quiet masterpiece that grows on you extremely well in your subconscious and imagination. This is not about time-lines, alternative realities, sci-fi, dreams, or madness. It is not even a puzzle for audiences used to a narrative to try to shoehorn into some kind of logical theory.
It is French existential horror that simply enjoys raising mind-warping questions without caring whether there are answers. Here is my interpretation of the movie with minimal spoilers: A man shaves off his moustache on a whim after his wife raises the question of how her perception of him would change if he did.
Thus, we realize, his world and actions, just like most of ours, are dependent on other people, little things they say or do, especially when it comes to seeing things through the eyes of the ones we love.
So what follows is a complete breakdown of this stability. Did he ever really have a moustache? People he knows and trusts don't seem to think so, but strangers do. They can even look at the same photographs and see different things. He considers whether it is an elaborate joke, a conspiracy, etc.
He goes to get lost, to keep moving, to be surrounded by strangers. And when his confidence and peace of mind returns in this world full of strangers, so does reality. But does he really have his identity and confidence now?
It's a road movie full of quirky characters, but unlike any road movie you've ever seen. The protagonist is a 16 year old headstrong, slightly wild, simple-minded girl discharged from her boarding school and on a quest to return to her mother. The absurd world and characters she encounters are full of quirk, of lurking but hidden dangers, and behaviour that is so strange, it becomes absurdly surreal or even fantastical. A man's job is to burn clothes but he doesn't know why, a chairman hides from his board meeting and gives her strange advice, so does the priest at a wedding that ties together a depressed young man and an older woman with bizarre rituals, then there is the charmingly insane old woman that wants to convert part of her house into a car park while the rest of her house floats in water when it rains, and so on.
When she finally reaches her destination, her goal seems a lot smaller than she hoped. The truth is, the charm of this movie is magical and indescribable. It manages to convey sadness through light cheery innocence, to distill broken people through lovably quirky humanity, to hide dangers behind a flimsy curtain of optimistic cheery innocence, and to leave you with a feeling of both bittersweet resignation and warm hope for a broken world.
Famous for its deadly flying silver balls that drill into people's brains, a Tall Man who's amputated limbs have a life of their own and eventually turn into large insects, shrunken zombies, and other bizarre elements. A very imaginative b-movie that doesn't make much sense but achieved cult status thanks to its creativity and creepy atmosphere. A memorable cult classic. It's only strange in a light Bunuelian absurd way, but the tension keeps building until the unforgettable ending that packs a wallop.
An ordinary man becomes trapped in an ordinary phone booth with amused reactions from various passersby. The situation becomes more ridiculous as time passes by. To say any more would be to ruin the movie. This one would go well as a slightly darker but more subtle companion piece to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The movie is mostly metaphysical, philosophical and intellectually romantic with only one surreal dream sequence.
A bizarre murder takes place where a man's brain is stolen. At the same time, we witness a man who seems to live in multiple worlds and is very aware of it, and in each one he encounters the same intriguing woman only in different roles.
This movie asks many intriguing questions about the imagination and power of the mind: If you had the power to live in infinite worlds, wouldn't you be as omniscient as God? What would life be in a world of mind unconstrained by physicality? What would happen to emotional attachments in such a world? How does one find meaning and passion under such conditions? The plot is about some engineer hobbyists that try to make money by building an unusual machine.
So many ideas get thrown around, and the machine's goals keep changing so often, that even they can't figure out what they put together, and soon unusual things start to happen, until they figure out that they have invented a time loop.
At first, they use it for simple financial gain, beautifully taking into account minor details such as the many ways they may affect their own timeline, two cellphones with the same card existing at the same time, and leaving a car ahead of time so they can drive back home. But as they use it repetitively, the recursive permutations involving the same people going through the same short timeline noticing different details every time and trying to fix little things that have gone wrong encountering their future selves trying to change things that haven't even happened and that may not even happen, all goes over their and our heads.
The techno-babble and the various repercussions of time-loops are both thrown around at a brisk pace to provoke thought without caring whether the audience can catch up or understand, and eventually, like with the more existential 'I Love You' by Resnais, something else emerges and you just enjoy the movie's metaphysical provocations at a higher intellectual level.
This is like the hardcore geek version of 'I Love You' with the low-budget and intelligent feel of Pi, it is metaphysically challenging and purposely confusing, and is only suitable for people that really, really love the technical, ethical and philosophical side of time-travel conundrums.
This one dives into the limitless possibilities of time travel, and isn't afraid to drown in it. It deals with repeating fragments of memories by a man who becomes obsessed with them, until something different emerges from the movie: An existential, thought-provoking, reality-bending experience.
It's Synecdoche, New York done right without the self-loathing. This man suffers severe damage from a mysterious falling object after being there for unknown reasons with a mysterious suitcase. After a long recovery, his life without memories has become meaningless and disaffected and the remainder consists of only fragments of memories which he struggles to remember and piece together, these memories becoming his only link to life and meaning.
A large financial settlement allows him to hire anyone and anything to reproduce the memories. But his obsession gradually shifts from trivial fragments to more violent events that awaken something inside him, and he goes to very extreme lengths to explore and reproduce those and get any kind of connection to life. Reality merges with staged reality, real lives become subservient to an obsession, and life becomes a quantum reality that creates itself.
An unstable recluse and his brooding aerialist girlfriend kidnap a CEO whom they think is an alien from Andromeda and submit him to various tortures in the belief that they are saving the planet. A police duo provide some intelligent sleuthing to track down the kidnapper. Is he insane or does his convincing encyclopedic knowledge about aliens have a factual basis?
The film mixes touching drama, wacky black comedy, bloody horror, cruel violence, thrilling tension, science-fiction, demented plot twists and props, and rich scenery and cinematography which is at times a tad reminiscent of Gilliam and Jeunet. For those of you that have had enough of the relentlessly grim Korean war and vengeance cinema but enjoy the style, this early entry may be just what the doctor ordered: Uniquely insane and balanced with a human as well as a blackly humorous angle.
OK so it's the only one of its kind, but it's absolutely great entertainment. The heroes and villains are mythical and almost surreal, the scenery and costumes are inspired by Mad Max but have a style of their own, and the action, music and camp comedy are all superb. This movie defies any and all categories and is superbly entertaining to boot.
Definitely a cult movie waiting to be discovered by a wider audience. They set their eye on his wife who encourages and flirts with them to annoy her husband, they fight with him about a construction job they are too lazy to complete, and start a lynching party after a local retard whom they think is a perverted animal. It all escalates quickly, pushing the American over the edge into brutal violence and intense psychological emotions that he didn't know he had in him.
Features an intense, semi-cooperative rape scene that obviously annoyed the feminists. The remake is competent but inferior thanks to the weaker location and casting, and this movie simply didn't need a remake in any case. The setting is a pseudo-mythical land of Serbia during WWI after most of the men have been wiped out, and some villages consist of only women, lust, longing and magic.
Two women, who work as professional mourners, and after having a disastrous appointment with the only old man left in the village, are cursed and sent off to find men to bring back to the village, while the rest drink spider-brandy and literally flirt with ghosts. They find a circus strong-man and a smooth-operator Charleston dancer, bring them back after a delirious marketplace chase, and promptly fall in love, complicating matters with the village.
A visual feast and a nice blend of sadness, energy, ghosts, death, overflowing lust for life, and magic that loses its way only a bit in the second half. Its main focus is atmosphere, experimental visuals and the portrait of a futuristic dehumanized world rather than a complex plot, which simply tells the story of a man trying to escape a world where everything is mechanized, budget-driven, and efficiency-oriented, and passion is controlled with drugs.
This world is occupied by strange, unsympathetic characters, driven by deeply confused but subdued neuroses, prisons are stretches of pure white without bars and walls, and people look for answers in robotic spiritual booths with canned answers.
Not a popcorn sci-fi movie, and full of gripping atmosphere and enigmatic details. And what a magically warped, and charmingly grotesque this movie is. The story involves a little French woman, a dog that hates trains, and her boy obsessed with cycling, whom she trains until his muscled legs become five times the size of his skeletal torso.
He is kidnapped by a 'French mafia' while on the Tour de France and she follows him to Belleville, a grotesque version of America, where she enlists the aid of a very eccentric performing triplet of old ladies. This a world where legs are massaged with vacuum cleaners, dogs dream of riding trains and being barked at by humans, old ladies blow up frogs with grenades for food and play music on refrigerator shelves, ships tower over the water like skyscrapers, and waiters literally bend over backwards to serve.
I also liked the use of Bach and other classical pieces in the soundtrack. Endlessly surprising, amusing and highly recommended. The first part is a horror-thriller about a man who just split up with his girlfriend and who is sure that a strange man is lurking in his big house but he can't find him. This first part gets under your skin and is done very well. The second part becomes subtly bizarre as it reverses the roles, and is highly entertaining as well as unsettling.
And then suddenly everything turns utterly bizarre into dream-logic, leaving you no alternative but to re-interpret the movie, especially when you realize that the same actress acts in two roles. This brilliant movie turns out to be about relationships and the fears of living with somebody and sharing your space and living habits with them, an artsy movie about living with someone with secrets, where a basement symbolizes the subconscious. A horror movie indeed.
Full of over-the-top dark humor, this noir film follows the life of a man whose life just keeps getting worse and worse to the point of absurdity. He gets caught up with domestic, incestuous violence, greasy opportunist mechanics and many other strange adventures in an inbred, trashy town from hell.
The atmosphere, music, characters, acting, story and setting are all extremely well done, and the movie has an extraordinary and indescribable effect, etching itself permanently in your brain with a powerful ending. It offers a fascinating and unsettling look into Pagan lifestyles of old, complete with long musical episodes where the folk dance and sing joyously while performing acts of alien and barbaric religion.
And yet the comparisons to Christianity provoke thought. I usually don't like musical performances in movies, but the musical set-pieces here are unforgettable and add a lot to the movie, including a popular number by a naked Britt Ekland.
Chilling, fascinating, erotic, unforgettable, classic cult material. Things get violent when they kidnap an aggressive mogul's daughter and run off to a planet populated by psychotic miners who haven't seen a woman in decades Campy, violent, slightly twisted fun with an art department that went on to do Delicatessen. The theme seems to be about empty people living through objects, rented emotions, fantasies, and other people's lives, the value of life classified, evaluated and adjusted by insurance adjusters or cinema censorship systems.
Noah goes above and beyond the call of duty to help people after a fire has taken away all of their possessions, comforting them and even giving them sex when they need it, regardless of their sexual orientation, all the while evaluating their lives through their belongings, leading his customers and motel owners to put him on a pedestal as a kind of saint.
His wife evaluates films by pressing buttons, then records the deviant pornography so that an immigrant can experience what she is going through. They live in a model home with fake books, opposite billboards depicting more fake homes. Finally, a rich woman with ridiculously complex sexual fantasies involving exhibitionism and her accommodating, insane husband, take over their house and lives under the pretext of making a movie, leading to a bizarre ending that kinda makes sense once you understand the language of this movie.
As opposed to the rest of Egoyan's fans however, I didn't find this particularly deep or interesting. A group of teens sigh find themselves abducted and then entangled with a sinister government project and nasty individuals that experiment with alien semen and perform lobotomies with a blender.
Some interesting nightmarish and bizarre moments, some gore, lots of bad acting that ruins the film, acceptable special effects, an interesting twist ending, and a weak final scene. It's also Danish and has superb production values, even though it uses shaky cameras and gritty lighting, almost like a Dogme 95 film. The powers-that-be arrange for a visitation to the Zone where he will learn Important Lessons about his past and his soul and where his Talent is stored in a jar.
There is some light wry humor that pokes fun at the absurdity of the fantasy situation, but, otherwise, this is obvious, crude and unchallenging. It even has the same flaw. Alyce, who is obviously mentally unstable from the start, and her friend Carroll, are both stupid girls trying to get over Carroll's boyfriend cheating on her in an endless setup where we get to hang out with a distasteful group of youngsters. After she accidentally pushes Carroll off the roof, she makes the stupid decision to run, hide from police, feel horribly guilty, and then sell her body for drugs what?
But this is only the beginning, and when she snaps, it's not a pretty picture. Unfortunately her personality never rings true, but the acting is good, and her psychotic, devil-may-care attitude in the second half of the movie as she starts masturbating to news footage of the Middle-East, playing deranged and violent games with lovers, flirting with necrophilia, and inventing gory ways to get rid of bodies, is a must see.
And no, besides the names, and the fact that it has some colorful characters and a girl losing her mind, this has nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland. A man takes a suicidal man to a bar where he is celebrating a biographical book with his old friend. They tell the tales of their past since growing up in the 50s until the 90s, with characters from the past popping up in the bar as they go along.
The movies and music that shaped Brazil interweave with the stories, some involving sudden violence or crime, a strange relationship with a prostitute, life in the country and in the city, the turbulent 70s where his bedroom suddenly becomes a mass of swarming red-book students and Godardesque intertitles, that all somehow turns into a sex thing.
Other absurdities include a bodybuilder posing in front of the bar, a skeleton in a typing office, and people magically transported to different settings. A moderately interesting complex artsy epic. A girl appears out of nowhere who has a thing for burning cars, a criminal dies at the dinner table to which his mother reacts with a mild criticism, and a crime boss brings along a woman who urinates on graves on command.
Features a sprinkle of absurdism, a dash of psychological tension and Freudian themes, an ambiguous ending, and a speck of surrealism but none of these elements stand out and the movie doesn't quite feel original. So she displays her body and bodily functions, seduce each other in twisted ways, intellectually discuss sexuality as only the French can while he plays with and mildly abuses her body while trying to come to terms with his disgust.
This one uses explicit pornography to explore the female body and wanders into gratuitous territory with some nasty menstruation games, but as usual with Breillat, it manages to philosophize nonsensically as well as provoke some thought. These movies straddle the border between erotica, exploitation, art and thoughtful drama. The first deals with teenage rapists as brutish animals trying to deal with their conscience and their treatment of women, one of whom has a young sister that makes things difficult for him to behave as if he doesn't care.
The second deals with porn and illusion as a pornographer falls in love with an innocent-looking girl in a rape flick only to find that reality is much darker, her innocence and charm long dead as she sells herself and practically rapes customers in nymphomaniac lust.
The third follows a female reporter who tracks down rape victims to document the aftermaths, and finds much more than she bargained for as victims show her their twisted lifestyles, or cower in fear and look at her like a disease as she uncovers their experiences. The fourth deals with perception and relative perversity: The fifth tells the tale of a couple with trust issues after being raped, cheated on, abused, lied to and abused by society, who then try to build a romance after he hits her with his car and rapes her in despair.
All the movies are filmed beautifully and artistically enhanced by some dream sequences, they linger on numerous graphic sex and rape scenes but creatively hide the cruder details, the actors are all good, and the themes are explored thoughtfully. Portrait of a Serial Killer. A pathetic sociopathic loser with ambitious fantasies for committing evil is released from jail and promptly goes looking for people to kill, plotting and planning but always failing to pull anything off due to his weak will and mind.
After running away from a confrontation with a suspicious female taxi driver, he finds a house occupied by a lady, her mother and her retarded brother and even then, his attempts at sadistic murder become extremely messy. The camera-work is incredibly skilled as it follows him around, and the voice-over by the killer informs us of his plans, thoughts, and dysfunctional relationship with his family.
Gritty, grimy and unpleasant. What's really weird is how straight this Argentinian black comedy plays it. It takes the idea of a man having a passionate affair with a sheep, and just runs with it, as a deadpan comedy-horror.
The sheep's eyes call him, they fall in love, there's an torrid affair in the barn, he shares his feelings and thoughts with the sheep. But then the problems start and never stop. A rapist farm-employee, discovery, his family becomes involved, he may have to commit murder and other immoral deeds to protect his love, and what if the sheep decides to cheat on him with a ram?
It also contains one of the most deranged cover-ups of a murdered body ever. I can't say that this is a tasteful movie, but it does its utmost to be tasteful, except it's completely warped and witty, resulting in a hilarious movie, except you wouldn't want to tell your friends that you laughed.
It starts with a dream about faucets left running and a strange person knocking at the door, then it turns into reality as one strangely dressed person after another pops up in her house. People appear, disappear, there's a murder, the victim may or may not be alive, people in raunchy costumes appear for a sex party, there's a painter, a television with a mind of its own, etc.
Is it all in her mind? But surprises and odd events turn out to have perfectly normal explanations, then again, the normal explanations run out of steam and it becomes an absurd fantasy involving queens and special powers.
But the movie is a dark body-horror movie about a society obsessed with diseases gotten straight from celebrities, ruthless businesses that thrive on this, 'cell-steaks' grown from celebrity bio-matter, and a black market based on these and other disturbing abuses of bio-technology.
If this makes you think of a certain director, then you should not be surprised to find that this was made by Cronenberg's son. When a black marketeer gets his hands on a celebrity virus that is unable to be tamed, and everyone wants a piece of him, the thriller plot emerges together with the horror and understated dark satire.
This also features machines that interface with viruses, and viruses given human faces. I think his next movie should be about horror film-making talent made flesh and passed on via genetics to create little mutant horror film-makers disguised as humans. A quite good one. A grounded, thoughtful young man discovers what appears to be a video camera that shows him other lives, the past and some possible futures, which gradually alters his perception of reality.
Dangers also appear, insanity, and it is discovered that previous owners of this object may have died. Metaphysics, perception, the power of the mind, transcendence, and similar concepts are thrown around, as the young man rises through levels of enlightenment while being jailed for a crime.
The first half of this movie is intriguing and promises good metaphysical sci-fi, but then it unravels with a mish-mash of new-age mumbo-jumbo and muddled writing, hoping that something grander will emerge by throwing together random Asian characters and random cliched concepts of mental powers, reincarnation, astral projection, flying, subjective perception and how reality affects and stagnates our abilities.
The actors are either bland, or poor, and the dialogue tends to become unnatural and pretentious. Top marks for ambition, above-average marks for making the movie look good despite the low budget, low marks for implementation details and muddled new-age claptrap in the second half.
A writer, some friends and associates are haunted by the continuous presence of the mysterious Joachim Stiller. Letters arrive with impossible knowledge, proof of Joachim's existence from different times in history, prophecies, mysterious bell music, omens and messages. Joachim can be interpreted alternatively as God, a guilt complex, a prophet of the apocalypse, a conspiracy, a time traveller, the second coming, a supernatural being, a magician, an illusion.
Intertwined with this mystery are the lives of the protagonists, their love affairs, and a hilarious story of a deranged, old bathroom-graffiti pervert who is grabbed and promoted as a new visionary artist and bribed with whores. A very well-done and intriguing movie, but I'm not sure what to make of it. The future consists of huge megapolis cities with the desert area in between ruled by local despots with their police or anarchy.
One man tries to escape from this life with dire consequences. A stunt-man has the hots for a local country girl with vocal talents but her protective father puts him in jail. A sleazy talent scout finds his way to the village and sets his eyes on her, but so do some violent flying aliens who enjoy decapitating and impregnating humans. Chaos ensues while another local talent makes a dog howl musically by fingering its wound. Entertaining and nicely filmed but feels unfinished and has way too much singing.
A journalist wounded in Vietnam continues his thirst for answers after witnessing raw death and birth in the war. He conducts interviews with various experts and asks people in the street what they think of death in preparation for his book, but of course, not many people have interesting things to say and most ignore it or have unrealistic attitudes about it. This is mixed with some poetry and quotes recited by various characters, drama over a sudden death of a young man and his family, and drama over marriage and various people who forget to live.
But all this is just decoration over the centerpiece, which is a real human autopsy in graphic detail intercut with all of the above that the journalist watches and films for his book, and which this movie treats as a life-changing experience. Of some interest only. A ghost, and his own walking-talking skeleton who keeps trying to dig himself out, is finally judged by God and given one last chance to redeem himself if he makes one woman out of four fall in love in him to the point of self-sacrifice.
To this task, the devil himself is given the job of bringing women to his haunted abode and he recruits some odd families, luring them to the castle with the promise of money, playing games with them and pitting them against each other.
There's a silly gag and surprise every other minute, with a mad inventor, a robot grandmother, a retractable tail, a reduction chair that makes the devil splatter sulfur, many women in bikinis, Christmas trees as disguises, rain that literally falls in buckets, beatnik juries, a man-child that speaks in a tiny voice, special agents and much more. A nurse ignores her better judgment when she gets involved with a confident con-man and skirt-chaser.
In the meantime, women are arriving at the hospital with bizarre and painful pregnancies that end quite nastily, and a blind and desperate female patient with cancer keeps hitting on her. Matters escalate, the con-man seduces more and more women, while she tries to dig herself out of the trouble she finds herself in and get away from the devilishly overpowering jerk, leading to a surreal twist.
A welfare worker becomes interested in a case of a grown man still acting like a baby, in diapers, unable to speak or walk and under the care of a mother and her two grown daughters. The acting is chillingly superb, the characters are never stupid, and the movie makes its case well, making for some disturbing, plausible horror, up until the surprising twisted consequence-free ending that disappointingly makes the movie lose its plausibility.
Imagine a version of Henenlotter that likes to stick things up his butt, directing Gremlins after watching The Brood. This is a movie that, right after having watched it and picked your jaw off the floor, you may find yourself wondering why the hell you just enjoyed a movie about a butt monster.
This feels like a comedy-horror throwback to the 80s in a good way, except it's about a man whose alter ego is a creature that lives in his stomach.
This vicious-cute demon has a And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. This prophecy also predicted the false theory of evolution which a Christian, of course, cannot believe in since it contradicts the biblical story of creation, with death entering into the world first after sin. The second greatest evil after the sexuality and immodesty in children's shows is the constant bullying and fun making of the weaker characters, and the violence in both magazines, shows, films and video games of course.
Even the secular press acknowledges that children's shows oftentimes are more violent than other programs broadcasted for the general public! This article below was taken from the Daily Mail and clearly proves this point further. They found that animated shows aimed at youngsters often have more brutality than programs broadcast for general audiences. And they said children copied and identified with fantasy characters just as much as they would with screen actors.
The study also found that youngsters tended to mimic the negative behaviour they saw on TV such as rumour-spreading, gossiping and eye-rolling. The researchers found that output aimed at children as young as seven, which included a number of cartoons, had the highest levels of violence.
They recorded 26 acts of aggression an hour compared with just five in shows aimed at general audiences and nine in programmes deemed unsuitable for unders. The following story was taken from a Chinese newspaper further proving the point on how bullying, rebellion, disobedience, etc.
According to the worldly norm, one should idolize weak human beings. His heroes are two Japanese animated characters who defy their parents and teachers. Local educators are worried and say that some of characters may be a bad influence on youngsters. Xin San, an arrogant kindergarten student, bullies the weak, battles the strong, and constantly lusts after women - lots of women. She said many students like to imitate the actions of these cartoon kids, causing trouble in the classroom and at home.
Zhang would like to see steps taken to prevent children from reading books and watching videos and VCDs about Xin San, but the cartoon kid is just too popular to be avoided. But today's kids don't want to be instructed, they want innovative cartoons with characters who are rebellious, Xu pointed out.
Sales of books and VCDs of the two cartoon series, plus viewer ship levels of the "Chibi Maruko Chan" on Shanghai TV prove that rebellion is very popular with local youngsters.
Unfortunately, children are picking up those rebellious attitudes. Zhang said that many children now bully their parents into buying them a new toy - a trick that they picked up from Chibi Maruko Chan undoubtedly they also bully their weaker classmates as they have been taught. Even worse, she said, some young boys lustfully gaze at their girl classmates. A while ago, when the Catholic Church had a great impact on morality in the Christian society, people looked up to and adored our divine savior Jesus Christ, the blessed Virgin Mary, and the fame and virtues of the Saints.
Every Catholic child had a patron Saint of his choosing to look up to and follow. What better examples in virtues and good manners can there possibly be?
Satan has in fact exchanged an adoration of God for man through the media. This is why children nowadays look up to actors, artists, heroes or characters mainly found in media. What child today would not want to be as Superman, Spiderman or any other Superhero, who is depicted in the media as invincible, adored, and beloved by all? Why are both grownups and children nowadays so prideful and violent, unloving, disobedient, lustful and arrogant, etc.
With the devil as an example through his debauched actors and animated characters, it will always end badly. With holy examples, such as of our Savior himself and of the Saints, virtues such as humility, patience, charity and love flourish and is found. Therefore, learn to educate your children in the knowledge of Christ and of His Saints, give them Catholic books about Saints so that they can learn about virtues, and good Catholic films about the Saints.
You can find a lot of different Catholic books from Saints at this site below, and more is added frequently! Unless you keep this standard, you will have your children tormenting you for all eternity in hell since you allowed evil influences and sins to effect them at an early age.
You are responsible for their spiritual well being as long as they live under your roof. This, of course, should make every parent very nervous. For if you had a real live tiger in your bedroom, you would never allow your child in there since the animal could kill them and eat them. The TV, Internet or media is far more dangerous than a tiger ever will be since it kills the immortal soul of your precious child!
Yet, most people allow their children to watch TV without any supervision. If you say that you cannot supervise their viewing of media, then throw out the TV and other media appliances that they use to access sinful things or prepare yourself to suffer the eternal consequences in the fire of Hell for your actions! Now a further examination will be made on the different kinds of programs that are presented throughout the media.
Now, you might ask: Not all media is bad, but almost everything on television is however. You might have to watch less at what the box has to offer for you. There are for example numerous great religious films and series which is totally acceptable and good for the Spirit to watch even though, in many films, especially newer ones, there will be immodest scenes or scenes of impurity. A Christian must not look on films or series which they know have bad scenes that will tempt them.
Religious films are the best since they direct your mind toward spiritual things and God, which cannot be said of worldly films. When I am talking about Religious films, I am not referring to these worldly films disguised as religious films, which really has nothing at all to do about spirituality but really about the world, for example, stories about a man falling in love with a woman or a woman falling in love with a man, or other worldly motives, with jokes, much vain talk, etc.
This is complete and utter nonsense and serves nothing at all for the edifying of soul, mind or body, and should be totally avoided as the trash it really is! Most documentaries for example, regarding on what documentaries you watch can be watched even if most of them aren't good or edifying to the soul.
Documentaries on prophecies, end times or doomsday, is acceptable since it draws your mind toward the end, death and coming judgment. Documentaries on animals, nature, space, history, etc. However, they will many times be the beginning of great evil and sin. Whatever you watch or listen to, it is always a danger if you get too attached to it and allow too much time to be spent on it every day.
As a rule, if you cannot stand a single day without visual and audible media, television and music this is a clear sign that you are addicted to media. So if you must watch something and if you can't abstain, you need to learn to watch programs that are not against God or Christian morals.
But, the danger still of watching these are the same as with other bad shows since they will direct your mind towards worldly things, but at least it draws your mind towards God's creation or history which one may contemplate and draw fruit from, which cannot be said of fables and fairy-tale, pro-evolution anti-God films.
People however, that always prioritize worldly activities before spiritual ones will most assuredly lose their souls. A person must be able to make a resolution to leave worldly activities for hours per day and offer up those hours for God in solitude by praying and reading his words. Many people have time, but they spend it badly and chose to watch media or doing other fruitless works of damnation. You would be a Saint if you had the same desire and longing for God as you have for worldly things.
You can only receive a desire, love and longing for God as you have for worldly things when He is whom you desire and strive for above all other things. This will not happen as long as you are over-attached to worldly things. You must also be able - or at least have a desire to be able to - to come to the point were you want to give up watching media completely.
For if a person doesn't even desire the better part, how then can he grow? God is the better and best part! All films and series that leads your mind toward fantasies and fables such as Lord of the rings, Heroes, Smallville, Avatar, etc, even if we were to say, for the sake of argument, that they have nothing in them against God which is not true , should still be avoided, since they direct our minds from God, from the natural world we live in, toward fantasies and all kinds of thoughts referring thereto.
This is the main cause for it being so dangerous and the reason why so many persons watching these shows have unwholesome unrealistic desires or depressions. For a person that spends much time on finding God, will evidently dream and long much for God and come close to Him. In contrast, a person that spends much time on the world, is far from God and dead before God!
Now you might ask: I would say that one can watch movies and series about the end of the world, the afterlife and the paranormal, etc, since it leads your mind toward the judgment and the death of the body to come which is a good thing. From this can be understood that it depends on what fruit can be drawn out from it to begin with. You will without a doubt bring forth bad fruit if you spend much time on bad things.
So if the film or show is about worldly and vain things, then one should not watch such shows since the fruit thereof is empty and vain. This point can be further proved from sacred scripture. This pretty much rules out all the films, shows and series anime series and video games as well that has ever been made in the entire world. To read newspapers which you know will contain many unchaste, immodest and sexual pictures and useless stories about sex, etc.
For example, I have gone to numerous mainstream news websites just to read news, and it has become so bad that I never go to them unless I first have all the images blocked. Adblock extension for Firefox or Google Chrome webbrowser is also a good tool to get rid of all ads, immoral or otherwise.
We advice you to never watch news on television or the like since it is so filled with sins that it is almost impossible to watch without seeing things that will injure your virtue like immodesty, make-up, blasphemy, gloating, lust, adultery etc However, to watch news daily is hardly necessary and St.
Alphonsus clearly rebukes people for this in his most excellent work, The True Spouse of Christ. I will lead her into the wilderness, and I will speak to her heart. If, then, the soul wishes that God speak to its heart, it must seek after solitude; but this solitude will never be found by religious who do not love silence. Hence, for a nun that delights in receiving visits and letters, in reading the newspapers, and in speaking frequently of the things of the world, it is impossible to be a good religious.
Every time that she unnecessarily holds intercourse with seculars, she will suffer a diminution of fervor. Most shows are evil in themselves whether or not you fix your eyes on bad scenes. And the objects of discussion on those shows are often the cause of it being sinful; for it is vain, foolish or against God.
News on the other hand is not unless you deliberately choose to delve in bad news or shows, such as celebrity news or celebrity shows such as 'Idol' and the like which is mortally sinful and complete and utter foolishness to watch and take delight in. For it is idol making of weak human beings. We will not make much mention of films or shows like Prison break, Heroes, 24, Matrix, Terminator, , X-men, Transformers, Spiderman and the like, etc. For there should be no need of explanation about these shows.
They are all against God, they are all based on breaking God's commandments and doing evil or violence, or enjoying others doing evil or violence. Every time you agree with or fail to disagree with something which obviously is against God, you committed sin! When you watch films or shows for pleasure which have the characters doing crimes and sins, you do in fact agree with them by your continual deed of watching and by your failure in renouncing it in the very same way a politician that is speaking against abortion would be a pro-abortionist when continually voting for allowing abortion.
Thus, you are in fact in favor of evil by not denouncing and renouncing it completely! Ask yourself, is it fitting for a child of God to take delight in such nonsense?
Would God approve of these evil shows? Watching shows like this will only serve to stir you up towards wanting to watch more worldly and ungodly shows. Shows with much violence, superpowers, magic and fighting are the most dangerous since they excite our flesh and body in a false sensation or thrill exceedingly much.
A person who does not cut this off from himself will lose his soul! It is in fact a real and eternal spiritual slaughter of billions of people — which is far more horrifying and lamentable than any physical slaughter will ever be — which we observe happening in real time without anyone lifting an eyebrow! However, their laughter will turn into an eternal sorrow after the very moment their death will come!
Then every word of mockery and blasphemy will have its special torment in hell for all eternity to come. Learn to meditate on Hell daily and you will not hesitate one second to quit watching evil and ungodly media! The learning and controlling of your sight will be most necessary for salvation. You cannot fool God! Every time you look willfully with lust in your heart at an unchaste, enticing or unsuitable object, you have most assuredly committed a mortal sin!
Therefore, whenever you come across something sinful or even something licit but which is very beautiful with your eyes, you must make a habit to look down or away — for the sin of lust will not be far away — making the sign of the cross and saying a Hail Mary, which is highly recommended and helps against impurities.
Countless of Saints have rebuked people for the great error of failing to controlling their eyes. Ignatius Loyola for example rebuked a brother for looking at his face more than a brief moment. Bridget made a specific confession for every single face she saw during each day! This is true wisdom, for the world tells you to always watch the person you are with in the face.
This will many times lead to sins and impure thoughts. Is it permitted to seek directly the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor? This, of course, proves that the Church abhors every act of the will where we unnecessarily allow ourselves to be tempted, or to be in a place or situation where we know that there is a great chance that something will tempt us, or be against God.
Our enemy, the Devil, first and foremost comes to us and enter our hearts through our eyes. No other sense is more potent in tempting man. Learning to control what you look at is absolutely crucial in order to be saved, for every time you look willfully with lust in your heart at an unchaste, enticing or unsuitable object, or any object at all for that matter, even if modest, you have most assuredly committed a mortal sin!
Countless of Saints have rebuked people for the great error of failing to control their eyes. Ignatius of Loyola for example rebuked a brother for looking at his face for more than a brief moment. This is true wisdom, but the world and current custom and habit tells you to always watch the person you are with, or looking at, in the face, even if they are on the Television! This is a bad custom or habit to say the least.
This will many times lead to sins and impure thoughts and temptations of the Devil. Modesty and purity requires us to not stare people in the face, and especially the eyes, even at all, or only for a very short moment, even when we talk to them directly. In former times, this was common knowledge.
Alphonsus Liguori writes the following concerning this: Gregory, "to behold what it is not lawful to covet. This virtue may indeed be hard to put into practice for many in the beginning, but overtime and with practice, it will become easier.
The above quote from St. Alphonsus also shows why most of the things broadcasted on the media are totally unsuitable to watch or read. Remember, "It is not lawful," says St. Therefore, if you care for your salvation, you must not read any newspaper or magazine or watch any show or film that contains immodesty of people tempting you.
Alphonsus, On Avoiding the Occasion of Sin: And when the occasion is voluntary and is actually existing at the present time, the penitent cannot be absolved until he has actually removed the occasion of sin. For penitents find it very difficult to remove the occasion; and if they do not take it away before they receive absolution they will scarcely remove it after they have been absolved. For example, in the past I have gone to numerous mainstream news websites just to read news, and it has become so bad that I never go to them unless I first have all the images blocked on my web-browser.
In truth, I have seen and learned that from personal experience too many times. Adblock or Adblock Plus extension for Firefox or Google Chrome web-browsers are also good tools to get rid of all internet ads, immoral or otherwise.
For instance, Blessed Pope Innocent XI during his papacy, condemned three propositions that denied this truth: People who reject this advice and continue to put themselves in a proximate or near occasion of sin will undoubtedly lose their souls, since God will allow the devil to fool them in some way since they rejected the Word of God, and chose to put themselves in the way of temptation.
God will undoubtedly leave a person who is presumptuous and prideful, and the Church and Her Saints have always condemned such individuals that trusts in their own strength. As a matter of fact, one can even understand from the light of natural reason that one is not allowed to put oneself in the occasion of sin, so those who do this act will have no excuse whatsoever on the day of judgment.
In addition, a person who watches bad, worldly or ungodly media, tempts his fellow man to watch these evil things also, and thus, by his bad example, puts both himself and others in the way of damnation by his selfishness and presumption.
So in addition to damning himself if he obstinately continues in such a course of life , such a person also actually tries to damn others by his bad example, trying to drag others with him into the eternal darkness and fire of hell. This is a kind of evil that is breathtaking to behold! The amount of pitiful and pathetic excuses that we have had to hear from bad willed people who try to excuse their act of putting themselves in the proximate or near occasion of sin is, simply said, almost endless.
For about a hundred years ago, almost no media existed as compared to today, and people thrived and the crime rates was as nothing when compared to today. We advice all people to use the internet in this safe way as described above, and always have images blocked. And we want to warn people not be deceived by the Devil or their evil attachment to images on this point. Again, remember what St. Attachment to images made me delay using the internet in this safe way for way too long.
If there are images you want to view, then you can always open another web-browser with an ad-block installed! Most of the time there are no real reasons or necessity to see any images anyway.
Only curiosity makes us want to see them. But how often do we need to see images at all times? Therefore, if we have no reason or necessity to have them on, they must be off. The best and easiest user experience in using the internet in this safe way is using a web-browser with add-ons or extensions installed that manually blocks and unblocks all images easily with just one click of a button, which means that you will not have to enter settings all the time to do this.
By using extensions to block images, you can just click on the icon visible on the top-right side of the web-browser, thus manually blocking and unblocking all images, or just press on the image itself as explained in the Google Chrome section.
We generally recommend no one to use any other webbrowser than Google Chrome , since it is so much better when it comes to the extensions available, as is explained in the above article. The image blocker extension for Google Chrome is just superior to all other webbrowsers, which means that more people will continue using an image blocker when surfing the internet and not give up. It also helps you keep your Ad-Blocker active and the webpage working, when you visit a website and it asks you to disable.
In order to understand how to use and configure uBlock Origin in order to remove as much ads as possible, you need to read this and the following section. If you want to use other adblockers and other webbrowsers and configure them correctly, you need to consult these links:. Adblock Plus for Firefox. This image blocker is the most convenient and user friendly image blocker that I know of. It is only available for Chrome and Chromium based browsers, such as Opera. If you want to learn how to use this image blocker and everything it can do you will need to read the more detailed instruction on how to use it.
But in order for the above image blocker to work more effectively, it will be necessary to also install Fast Image Blocker for Google Chrome and have it activated at the same time with Wizmage Image Blocker. The reason for this is that the Wizmage extension does not always block all images on certain sites nor does the programs always block all images immediately.
If you need more detailed instructions with images explaining how to use and configure the extensions, see the section on Fast Image Blocker for Chrome , and Wizmage Image Blocker for Chrome. Press the X icon in order to remove a website from the list. Also, when clicking the camera icon, if the camera icon in the menu is colored, this means the image blocker is activated; if it is grey, it means it is disabled for all websites.
It is important that you use both image blockers at the same time. If you want to use other image blockers and other webbrowsers and configure them correctly, you need to consult these links:. The best and safest image blockers for Firefox.
Best and safest Image Blocker for Opera. Why you should completely disable images in Internet Explorer even if you never use it. Microsoft Edge, Safari, and others. A flash blocker helps you have more control of flash content by preventing it from loading in webpages until you allow it, such as videos and other flash related content, which means that you cannot see videos or things that are flash related playing or showing their content automatically without you first having given your authorization.
This flash blocker is the only one we currently recommend for Chrome since it blocks more flash content than any other flash blocker we know of. But in order for the this flash blocker to work properly, you need also to download and install an extension that blocks html5 content from automatically playing on youtube and on other websites that you are browsing, such as this one:.
Since html5 is becoming the new standard online, is not enough with just a flash blocker anymore; and most youtube videos are also automatically played with the new html5 format when available.
In order to learn all the information you need to know about these flash and html5 blockers and how to use and configure them in the best possible way for your own convenience, please see the Flashcontrol section, and the Disable HTML5 Autoplay section for Google Chrome. If you want to use other flash blockers and other webbrowsers and configure them correctly, you need to consult these links:.
The best and safest flash and html5 blockers for Firefox. The bad thing with this option, however, is that it perpetually enables and allows all images to be shown on that domain and not just temporarily. So do not allow images to be shown in this way on all sites or bad sites but only on trustworthy sites you go to often. Also, in Firefox, the images displayed by Google is not blocked by all image blockers. That is why we recommend users to use Google Chrome instead of Firefox.
So when you search for something on this browser, you will not risk seeing something bad being displayed by Google against your will. Please see the best image blockers for Firefox for all the information on how to safely block all images in this web-browser. Always surf without images on. If you want to see images on some site, then allow the images only temporarily and afterwards block it again so that you do not continue surfing the internet with images on.
Only a condemned person not fearing God or sin at all would refuse to follow this good advice that helps him avoid falling into sexual temptations and sins everyday. Alphonus, On Avoiding the Occasions of Sin: Thomas says that the mystical meaning of this miracle is that the Lord does not enter into our souls unless we keep the door of the senses shut.
On John, 20, 4 If, then, we wish Jesus Christ to dwell within us, we must keep the doors of our senses closed against dangerous occasions, otherwise the devil will make us his slaves. I will show today the great danger of perdition to which they who do not avoid the occasions of sin expose themselves. We read in the Scriptures that Christ and Lazarus arose from the dead.
Christ rose to die no more: The Abbot Guerric remarks that Christ arose free and unbound; "but Lazarus came forth bound feet and hands. He, then, who wishes to save his soul, must not only abandon sin, but also the occasions of sin: In consequence of original sin, we all have an inclination to do what is forbidden. Paul complained that he experienced in himself a law opposed to reason: Thomas, in his comment on this passage, "we expose ourselves to danger, God abandons us in it. Bernardine of Siena teaches that the counsel of avoiding the occasions of sin is the best of all counsel, and as it were the foundation of religion.
Peter says that "the devil goes about seeking whom he may devour. Hence, he seeks to place before us the occasions of sin, by which he enters the soul. Cyprian, "an sit pars cujus aditu penetret. The ruin of our first parents arose from their not flying from the occasions of sin. God had prohibited them not only to eat, but even to touch the forbidden apple. In answer to the serpent tempting her, Eve said: This is what ordinarily happens to all who expose themselves to the occasions of sin.
Hence, being once compelled by exorcisms to tell the sermon which displeased him most, the devil confessed that it was the sermon on avoiding the occasions of sin.
As long as we expose ourselves to the occasions of sin, the devil laughs at all our good purposes and promises made to God. The greatest care of the enemy is to induce us not to avoid evil occasions; for these occasions, like a veil placed before the eyes, prevent us from seeing either the lights received from God, or the eternal truths, or the resolutions we have made: Hence, the Wise Man advises those who wish to be secure to guard themselves against the snares of the world, and to withdraw from them.
Hence, after having with so much loss learned the danger of exposing himself to the danger of sin, David said that, to continue faithful to God, he kept at a distance from every occasion which could lead him to relapse. The devil is careful to find pretexts to make us believe that certain occasions to which we expose ourselves are not voluntary, but necessary.
When the occasion in which we are placed is really necessary, the Lord always helps us to avoid sin; but we sometimes imagine certain necessities which are not sufficient to excuse us. Cyprian, "as long as a robber is harbored within; nor is a lamb secure while it dwells in the same den with a wolf. The saint speaks against those who do not wish to remove the occasions of sin, and still say: James teaches that every man has within himself a powerful enemy, that is, his own evil inclinations, which tempt him to sin.
Let us, therefore, place before our eyes the general remedy which Jesus has prescribed for conquering temptations and saving our souls. Francis of Assisi used to say, as I have stated in another sermon, that the devil does not seek, in the beginning, to bind timorous souls with the chain of mortal sin; because they would be alarmed at the thought of committing mortal sin, and would fly from it with horror: Hence he who wishes to be free from the danger of being the slave of hell must break all the hairs by which the enemy attempts to bind him; that is, he must avoid all occasions of sin , such as certain manners of speech, places, little presents, and words of affection.
With regard to those who have had a habit of impurity, it will not be sufficient to avoid proximate near occasions; if they do not fly from remote occasions, they will very easily relapse into their former sins. Augustine, is a vice which makes war on all, and which few conquer. But to induce you to expose yourselves to occasions of this sin, the devil will tell you not to be afraid of being overcome by the temptation.
Jerome, "to fight with the hope of victory, lest I should sometimes lose the victory. To escape defeat in this struggle, a great grace of God is necessary; and to render ourselves worthy of this grace, we must, on our part, avoid the occasions of sin. To practice the virtue of chastity, it is necessary to recommend ourselves continually to God: Cyril of Alexandria says: Philip Neri used to say that in the war against the vice of impurity, the victory is gained by cowards -- that is, by those who fly from the occasions of this sin.
But the man who exposes himself to it, arms his flesh, and renders it so powerful, that it will be morally impossible for him to resist its attacks. John Chrysostom, if all flesh is grass, it is as foolish for a man who exposes himself to the occasion of sin to hope to preserve the virtue of purity, as to expect that hay, into which a torch has been thrown, will not catch fire.
Cyprian; it is impossible to stand in the midst of flames, and not to burn. Bernard teaches that to preserve chastity, and, at the same time, to expose oneself to the proximate occasion of sin, "is a greater miracle than to raise a dead man to life. In explaining the fifth Psalm, St. Augustine says that "he who is unwilling to fly from danger, wishes to perish in it. Some foolishly trust in their own strength, and do not see that their strength is like that of flax placed in the fire.
Through the grace of the Lord, I have now no bad motive in seeking the company of such a person; her presence is not even an occasion of temptations: Listen, all you who speak in this manner. In Mauritania there are bears that go in quest of the apes, to feed upon them: But what does the bear do?
He stretches himself on the ground as if dead, and waits till the apes descend from the trees. The moment he sees that they have descended, he springs up, seizes on them, and devours them. It is thus the devil acts: We find in ecclesiastical history that a holy woman, who employed herself in the pious office of burying the martyrs, once found among them one who was not as yet dead.
She brought him into her own house, and procured a physician and medicine for him, till he recovered. These two saints as they might be called -- one of them on the point of being a martyr, the other devoting her time to works of mercy with so much risk of being persecuted by the tyrants first fell into sin and lost the grace of God, and, becoming weaker by sin, afterwards denied the faith.
Macarius relates a similar fact regarding an old man who suffered to be half-burned in defense of the faith; but, being brought back into prison he, unfortunately for himself, formed an intimacy with a devout woman who served the martyrs, and fell into sin.
The Holy Spirit tells us that we must fly from sin as from a serpent. Isidore says that he who wishes to remain near a serpent, will not remain long unhurt. It is better that you should suffer a temporal loss, than that you should lose your soul and your God. True love, therefore, forsakes the prestige offered by the culture in its illusions. Yet, when we have been taught from childhood to covet this prestige as our very identity , is it any wonder that we fear love?
And rightly so, for her work is characterized by speculative and fantastic explanations of, well, infant fantasy. In essence, the infant constantly flip-flops between love and hate: In her work, Klein tried to explain the process by which the infant seeks to repair the damage of its hostility to its mother. In fact, the titles of two of her most significant collections of works, Envy and Gratitude and Love, Guilt, and Reparation , tell the story almost as well as the writings themselves.
Lacan saw through these errors and taught that psychoanalysis must involve three persons: If they try, it will lead to psychological disaster, for without the third person of the unconscious in the consulting room the psychotherapy can degenerate into all sorts of perversions. Often people fear that someone or something they love will be stolen from them by someone else. But in real love there is no jealousy. This explains the essence of jealousy: Offer love in spite of the abuse. Well, it is true that many saintly individuals have patiently suffered through difficult marriages.
But saintly individuals do not need psychologists. If the abuse gets violent, police protection may be needed, but no one who understands real love will ever have to sit in front of a psychologist offering excuses. Excuses serve to justify repeated behavior. And, as Freud discovered, repetition is the return of the repressed. What, then, is this repressed which keeps getting repeated? The repressed is desire , and in abusive relationships it is a desire often hidden in plain sight.
So there you have it. Nevertheless, some persons are troubled by their sexual desires, especially when they involve masturbation or other forms of sexual activity. Consequently, the term sexual addiction may be used, but it is really just a politically correct way to make it seem that sexual behaviors are matters for medical oversight and control rather than matters of personal responsibility. The truth is, you seek your identity in sexuality because you have been duped by society into believing that sexuality has the power to redeem your emotional emptiness.
You have been duped especially by the entertainment industry, an industry that has worked subversively through movies and television to glamorize the image of lust in our culture.
Psychologically, all this fascination with lust has its roots in the emotional emptiness that a person wants to push out of awareness with the illusory thrill of intoxication. In the s, psychological researchers began to experiment with the intensely pleasurable effects of electrical stimulation of the brain on animal behavior. Speaking of intoxication, some persons wonder what effect alcohol has on sexual desire.
Well, actually, it has no effect. Alcohol simply deadens the inhibitory function of the frontal lobe of the brain. If you are going to have sex, I want you to use protection. If you are going to have your boyfriend stay overnight, I want to see him sleeping on the couch in the living room when I get up in the morning. If you have a car accident, I want you to get it fixed yourself. But is it true that no harm is done?
J ust about everyone has had some sort of sexual fantasy. Many persons, however, find their fantasies to be quite troubling; fantasies can lead to repetitive acts of masturbation genital self-excitation that ultimately become more frustrating than satisfying, and, if the fantasies have a criminal or anti-social trend, they can trap a person in feelings of shame, guilt, and fear of discovery.
Well, the answer begins with the fact that fantasies are intellectual products, not acts of will. Maybe that statement needs some explanation. By this they mean that the crime is so brilliantly designed as in a detective story that one can actually admire it intellectually. Or so we would hope. Fantasies occur simply because it is intellectually possible to conceive of them. If you walk past a bank and think of how it could be robbed, you are thinking only of a possibility. The fact that a fantasy occurs does not necessarily say anything about who or what you are as a person.
In this same regard, having homosexual fantasies does not mean that you are homosexual. Instead, these fantasies point to some emotional wound from childhood you are unconsciously trying to resolve in yourself. In a similar way, a man who looks at the genitals of another man may be looking for the strength and protection his father did not give him; at the same time, he may be looking at the other man with an admiration that wanted his mother to have for his father. Or, the fantasies may be unconsciously re-enacting a molestation that occurred in infancy, an experience with vague emotional memories but not accessible to conscious memory.
Pornography , in its own way, derives from the urge to defile an other. On the surface, it may seem that pornography is simply about erotic pleasure. But when the human body is made into a biological toy, it is stripped of all human dignity, and this defilement is an act of aggression. The hostility may be unconscious or it may be openly violent, but, either way, it has its basis in resentment. And to whom is the resentment directed?
Well, as in all things psychological, the resentment primarily goes back to the parents. The resentment can also be directed to individuals responsible for a molestation that happened in childhood.
The origin of homosexuality in any person is a complex issue; that is, there are so many factors the psychological and emotional aspects of the conception, intra-uterine experiences, family dynamics, and social conditioning so intertwined that no single explanation can fit all cases.
Moreover, homosexual desires can be a product of the prevailing culture through social influence and political advocacy in education, entertainment, and advertising. Furthermore, homosexual feelings can be planted directly in a person through an experience of childhood abuse or seduction as an adult.