It’s Spring of 2023, and things are looking up here at Golden Flower Network! We have some new projects in our spiritual cinema hopper – namely, and our lead horse in the race for film production is a biopic on a certain French jazz pianist who never gained the fame he should have had here in the United States, despite years of touring here. (Can you guess who he is? Hint: He lived a very short life and died in 1999.)
This is a tale of monumental odds stacked against an individual with physical and genetic disabilities yet who rose to ultimate prominence and respect in the jazz world. Having toured the world many times over and been a feature of such prominent venues as the Montreux Jazz Festival and Montreal Jazz Festivals, his legacy is right up there with Duke Ellington, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and many others. This will be an especially important story for young people as well as those with developmental disabilities or other “disabling” setbacks. We have half the script written already, with a target date of June 30th, 2023 for a finished script that can be presented to potential producers as well as actors.
Who will play the part of this jazz piano prodigy who lived a wild, no-holds-barred life, and “had the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard [from a piano player]” according to the head of one record company? We have a very specific type that needs to be cast, so are in need of a very unique actor and performer. We also don’t want this to be just another biopic, despite the popularity of biopics these days.
And, there is so much more to tell you. We’ve been away from the web for awhile, but we are excited to announce several film projects currently in the pipeline. In addition to the biopic on a certain French jazz pianist, we have an episodic series about a Sicilian family in the wine making business called The Padrones, for which we are currently seeking a cast and executive producer. We also have a completed film synopsis about a psychiatric institute in Sonoma County with a checkered past (to say the least).
In the last several years we have done some revising of personnel, and just recently in January took a new screenwriter onboard – Chris Robideaux – who has brought several projects of his own to the table, including four possible novel adaptations, three sci-fi short stories and two film scripts for possible development into either full-length film projects or episodic series options. He’s working with Jon Bono, one of the founding principals of the Golden Flower Network.
As always, we are committed to the core idea of “spiritual cinema,” and all that such a philosophy entails. So…
What is Spiritual Cinema?
We believe Spiritual Cinema describes films as they should be rendered. Films that move and transform you. Films that uplift and touch the soul of the viewer – as opposed to the junk we’ve mostly had to endure being produced by Tinsel Town in the last twenty-five or so years, using their cold, mechanistic process of “milk the money formula for all it’s worth”. We eschew the “greed is good” ethos and the fetishization of the baser, venal, and more aberrant aspects of the human character in favor of one that uses cinema to uplift, inspire, question, and aspire to better things – either for the character or characters themselves, or for humanity as a whole.
The Spiritual Cinema esthetic can be found in the documentaries, experimental films, and indie dramas (and comedies) that present new ideas, provoke debate, and even have a touch of the revolutionary (hopefully). Can it be found in the big-budget film projects as well? Perhaps…maybe a slim thread of it can work itself into the occasional box office sensation – like Field of Dreams or Life of Pi, etc. – but, alas, these projects are all too few and far between in our current media maelstrom and pop culture milieu.
We want to tell important stories; stories we desperately need to hear, see, and understand. Stories that touch the spirit and move us out of existential stagnation and towards the better parts of us; the eternal, transcendent parts of our being that needs things like true hope, faith, and trust in the human condition. We don’t need another story that tears us down, divides and debases us, that insults our humanity, and spits on our spiritual sanctity.
We certainly don’t need another tale about a hitman, or pimp, drug dealer, or CIA agent, full of high body counts, gratuitous sex and violence, and an overall vibe of evil menace…do we, Hollywood?
Does Spiritual Cinema require a tone of high, neat-and-clean morality or religious or quasi-religious suggestiveness? Certainly not. But, we do believe it requires a fundamental respect for the specialness of each individual, and of course the ecology as well, as it provides and/or proposes ideas that enhance or underscore the importance of positive human development.
We see this endeavor as an outgrowth of the Human Potential Movement, and something that provides meaning in an age largely devoid of more meaningful and spiritually-edifying works of (cinematic) art. To us, it is an existential as well as professional challenge to produce only those movies that reflect not only the spiritual cinema ethos, but also the art of “pure cinema”. We love outside-the-box, imaginative and unique filmmakers like Chris Marker, Andrei Tarkovsky, Krysztof Kieslowski, Jean-Luc Godard, as well as more recent directors and writer-directors like Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, and others who exhibit a distinct penchant for spiritually-literate cinema.
We’d Like to Hear From You
What are your thoughts on spiritual cinema and what it means and should mean to cinephiles and the average filmgoer? What kinds of film projects would you, a person of conscience and compassion, like to see? Are you interested in being an investor in one or multiple projects of ours? Let us know!
Stay tuned-in for more forthcoming posts regarding our latest projects! We want to keep the channels open for interactive discussion on these matters, so please leave comments and contact us for how to sign up for our newsletter. Your opinion matters. We want to hear from you who are also passionate about spiritual cinema and film projects that uplift and affirm the human condition and character, not debase and demean it.