Since 1990 Dr. Francis Lu and Brother David Steindl-Rast have led annual 5- or 7-day film seminars at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Films on a particular spiritual theme are shown and discussed, focusing on the participants’ personal experiences.”Zest, Vitality and Humor in Film” was one of two themes in 2014.

Babette's Feast

As perhaps the chief form of contemporary mythology, film can infuse us with zest while we contemplate unique approaches to life. The anticipation, energy, enthusiasm, and excitement we feel as we watch films move us to think in new ways. We are in the flow of life that Joseph Campbell recommends: “Participate in the play, in the play of life… the Great Delight.”The fifteen feature films shown during this seminar offer unique, zestful, and humorous performances that train our eyes, minds, and hearts to see, understand, and feel the longings of our psyches, and how they may be achieved.

Films shown in this order:

The Thief of Bagdad
The General
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Life of Pi
Top Hat
Sherlock, Jr.
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Don Juan deMarco
Shall We Dance?
Babette’s Feast
Zorba the Greek
Harold and Maude
Fiddler on the Roof
Young Girls of Rochefort
Bagdad Cafe

Bonus Films:

The Gold Rush
A Hard Day’s Night