From Dystopia To Utopia… Or Theaters 9 to 19

It was a double header to remember, we grabbed the refillable popcorn and soda and settled in for Mad Max for a reality check in destroying resources and turning our sustainable world into a dangerous dystopia where the cruelty of men is evident in their drive to survive. The shots were beautiful and the composition helped tell the story in a very evocative way. Starting with close shots and then cutting to a wider frame told the story more than the dialogue for some parts. What really caught my attention is where they used Max as a car hood ornament and were stealing his blood via pipeline in pursuit of a war vehicle.

With a five minute break between show times we hurried across the cinema to see Tomorrowland, another story of depleting our resources here on earth. This film takes the converse approach and creates a riff in the time space continuum to create a utopian city to provide refuge for humans. Created by the most intelligent and artistic men and women, the inventions were stellar and you could see the way using a pin or a space ship inside the Eiffel Tower- whichever you prefer. This film had a great look back at the World’s Fair in the 60s and glided through time with such ease that I for one left the theater excited and inspired for the future that I will be a part of creating.

I think movies based around the basic concept of change and depletion of resources are important especially for today’s generation because they aren’t thinking about these things inside their technological bubbles. We still have yet to learn how to control technology instead of letting it control us and our lives. It is so important to teach the younger generation about living with nature and how to allow nature to thrive while embracing positive change not just for the earth but for mankind. Challenging the way we think and act as a community of men (and women) is the ultimate goal of any filmmaker in my opinion. You want to get butts in seats so that you can morph their thinking by the time those same butts get out of the seats.

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Tampa

Tampa is a place I have loved, fell out of love with, and am learning to love again. Some of my favorite things about this growing  city are simple yet perfect. There are other things that are not included that keep me here such as the film festival and concert seasons, but those deserve their own posts.

  1. Treasure Island Drum Circle
    1. Better than church, every time I attend I feel more centered and at one with myself and the world around me.
  2. Flatwoods
    1. Best place to go for a nice long trek with the dogs, they love the trails and the smells of this park.
  3. Oxford Exchange
    1. Designed like a tudor mansion study, this coffee shop also sells books and other artifacts. They also hold events for all sorts of interesting things. Recently I went to a Book Fair for local authors as well as a Tampa Type event. You can read about that here.
  4. Indian Rocks Beach
    1. This beach reminds me of my hometown, I get a spoonful of nostalgia every time I park (for free) and walk across the quiet street to the beach access. This beach is much more residential than most in the Tampa Bay Area and thus much more relaxing.
  5. Felicitous
    1. Locally owned, purple building, has a yard with monthly open mic nights, and amazing coffee & tea. What more do you need to know?
  6. Thai Temple Sunday Market
    1. I didn’t expect to find this gem, the experience alone takes you to a far away place. Nestled along the Hillsborough River bed with temple services running while authentic Thai food is being served until it runs out – and it will run out so get there early.
  7. University of Tampa
    1. Albeit cheesy, my alma matter is hands down the most beautiful sight in downtown Tampa. The history that lines the halls and the grounds is an inspiration to students and visitors alike. I still enjoy a nice stroll in Plant Park and my breath still catches when my eyes take in Fletcher Lounge.
  8. Morris Bridge Road
    1. A quiet country road in north Tampa, lined by some of the most beautiful trees I’ve ever seen and pastures of heifers and horses. Something about this drive from Cross Creek to SR 54 captivates me. Perhaps it is the memory of a simpler time, driving down that old country road. Perhaps it is just my new found appreciation for country music.
  9. Gandy Bridge
    1. Bridges are beautiful for many reasons past merely the water it crosses. This particular bridge is lovely because  on the Pinellas side there are inlets on the bay where you can go and launch kayaks and paddle boards – even fireworks on the fourth of July. My favorite time to be here is on New Years Eve where we have made it our tradition to go build a fire out there and stargaze.
  10. Ella’s Folk Art Cafe
    1. If you like delicious food paired with amazing folk art, this is the place to go. Seminole Heights is an up and coming Tampa neighborhood, but this gem has been here for a while and has a fabulous reputation among the locals. Their veggie burger is heaven for your taste buds!