This insightful and informative documentary explores the popular world of Mindfulness from the perspective of four people who study and teach it. Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
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The story follows Abby, a thirty-something artist living in Rhode Island caring for her husband William after he’s tragically injured in a bar fight. As she attempts to coax him back to health, James, her childhood sweetheart and unrequited love, attempts to coax her back into living life again herself. The complicated love triangle that ensues is touching, poignant, and concludes with a realization that’s as profound as it is beautiful.
After his fiancée, Kate, dies in an accident on their wedding day, veterinarian Henry grows depressed. To help him move on, his sister has him visit psychic Ashley and gives her Kate’s diary. Ashley uses the journal’s details to convincingly deliver the fake message that Kate wants Henry to move on. However, Kate’s ghost is watching over Ashley and Henry. Furious when they fall for each other, she vows to sabotage their relationship.
After her experiences in Nazi Germany, actress Macarena Granada traveled to Hollywood, where she became a star. In the 1950s, the diva returns to Francoist Spain to star a Hollywood blockbuster about Queen Isabella I of Castile. (A sequel to “The Girl of Your Dreams,” 1998.)
In 1985, former oil rig worker Richard Linklater began a film screening society in Austin, Texas, that aimed to show classic art-house and experimental films to a budding community of cinephiles. Eventually incorporating as a nonprofit, the newly branded Austin Film Society raised enough money to fly in their first out-of-town filmmaker: James Benning. Accepting the invitation, Benning met Linklater and the two began to develop a personal and intellectual bond, leading to many future encounters. Starting in the 1960s, Benning had been creating low budget films mostly on his own, while Linklater had just begun to craft his first shorts. The filmmakers have remained close even as their careers have diverged. After the cult success of Slacker, Linklater went on to make films with Hollywood support. Benning, meanwhile, has stayed close to his roots and is mainly an unknown figure in mainstream film culture.