Hollywood has taken a cue from the cosmic weather. The newly released films and upcoming offerings have been shifting consciousness and reflecting the archetypal evolution unfolding at this critical turn of the ages. Here are some thoughts on why film is such an important and magical experience at this time.

The beauty of of film is that it includes great artists every realm of art — costume, photography, music, acting, makeup, etc.  What I’ve been observing, from a socio-archetypal perspective, is that because of the flowing waters of the Saturn in Scorpio trine to Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, the pools of the imagination have whirled today’s mythmakers into mystical magicians.

There is a real ability with this transit for all of us to creatively actualize our dreams, to fashion into form the depth of our inner selves, to serve the muse with alchemical potency, and to transform the storyteller into healer.

In Cloud Atlas, the team from the Matrix and Run Lola Run came together to share a riveting, perplexing, and challenging wake up call to all of us. They present a vivid synthesis of the latest in astrophysics theories, eastern religions, and what many of us feel to be a cosmological shift—that we are living parallel lives in multiple universes, that every incarnation affects every other and the locus of power within us is the perception of ability to affect all eternity in the Now.

Life of Pi in 3D was for me one of the most transformational filmgoing experiences of my life. Impossible to categorize, the film transcends genre, and the voiceover narration leaves us wondering what truly is real, and what story we prefer to tell. I could write volumes about the layers in this film, but essentially we are left to ask: How much faith can one have, how much medicine can the soul drink in solitude, when challenged to wrestle with its inner demon/daimon, its true teacher and guide, its higher self shaped as the shamanic power animal?  The 3D and CGI challenge us to completely surrender and bask in the palette of angels at play.  I saw colors in this film I have never seen before in my life…

With Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, another interesting and important trend is emerging in Hollywood. Pisces is the most literary of astrological signs, as it is the Omega point of the zodiac—the culmination of all stories, myths, and characters which have come before, where the dimensions slip between the cracks and spacetime is transcended in the art of story. Thus, great works of literature are being translated into film, with current technology's unprecedented ability to expand on the novel with visual and musical textures.  

As the year ends, we have Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Kerouac’s On the Road, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, with 2013 promising us F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

4D Cinema and Genre Bending

Not only is the novel being translated into film at an unprecedented rate with unparalleled craftsmanship, but the genres of presentations are blending and bleeding into each other, increasing the Neptune in Pisces surreality. For instance, theater and live performances are now being translated into film, such as the solstice release of Les Miserables and Cirque du Soleil.  In addition, some AMC theaters around the country are now showing exclusive live broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Filmmakers are feeling the Uranus in Aries’ experimental call and leaping into new territory. Scores are always written after the film has been shot, but not in Cloud Atlas. For this movie, one of the filmmakers actually co-composed the main theme of the score, and the actors used this during takes. Everyone who sees this film knows how essential the music is to the epic tone of the work. Also, in Anna Karenina, theatrical sets are employed as the primary backdrop for the film’s scenes, blending theater and film into a seamless whole.

Dreamworks, Disney, and Pixar continue to make astonishing films, and live action, blended with animation and 3D, continues to create immersive fantasies. These filmmakers also take previous fables, legends, and lore and update them with their magical toolbrushes, such as in Rise of the Guardians 3D or next March’s Oz: The Great and Powerful.

This year, I also experienced my first 4D sensual immersive experience in a theater at Baltimore’s Aquarium. While watching a segment of Planet Earth, I experienced being sprayed in the face by water from a breeching Humpback whale, the cool breezes of the Arctic air, and a sea serpent poking at my back! I believe that tactility and smell, added to the visual and sound of film, will become another major trend in the art of storytelling, helping us to eclipse the distance intrinsic to having separate bodies. This boundary dissolution is Neptune in Pisces’ (2011-2024) domain. The technological breakthroughs that shift the culture’s collective experience continue with the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square. South Korea’s CJ Group hopes to outfit 200 theaters in North America with 4DX technology over the next four years, starting with theaters in New York and Los Angeles.

The kinds of stories we tell — liberating, hopeful, layered, playful — as well as the revolutionary inventiveness in the ways we share those stories, testifies to our increasing power at the Aquarian Dawn to choose our adventure, and to thoroughly enjoy the ride along the way, for the future is now and we are creating it.

And at the end of time, or of the world as we know it, the best story wins. 

Image by aepg, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.