Internal Gong Fu Training Videos
To really get a feel for the nature of internal gong-fu practice requires getting a feel for how you live your daily life. Ultimately, how you live your daily life (in terms of how connected to feeling you are) shows up in how you practice your internal gongfu. The two are one and the same; inseparable, connected.
The following movies are those which were either recommended to me or which I found on my own. In either case, when these movies are interpreted through the lens of internal gong-fu training, a deeper meaning is revealed. These are movies that helped show me the difference between living mechanistically and living with a bit more feeling.
If you find yourself asking, "What does this movie have to do with developing internal connection?" this is a good first step. Remember though, if you dismiss the movie with a conceptual analysis, then you've missed the point. Look at these movies as if these were internal gong-fu training videos. How can you make little changes in your life like these characters; to feel more, to connect more...
Circle of Iron (the 1978 remake of Bruce Lee's "The Silent Flute")
I first watched this movie over thirty years ago before I started on the Tai-chi road. At that time I was enamored with the choreographed fighting scenes and the Asian martial arts mystical fantasy. Now, after thirty years of seeking and training to develop "internal connection", I watched this old movie again but with different eyes. See my Circle of Iron - Quotes for Internal Gongfu.
This movie uses black-and-white to represent a non-feeling mechanical life and color to represent living with feeling. Notice how people and their environment change from black-and-white to color when they allow themselves to feel. When viewed this way, the title, "Pleasantville" sarcastically suggests that mechanistic life is, well, "pleasant". There are no dramatic nor authentic expressions of feeling because this might be unpleasant. In this world, it is better to express yourself according to the way you think a feeling should be expressed; the socially agreed upon expression of a feeling. See my Zen of Pleasantville (1998) Movie Analysis
City of Angels (1998)
The inner meaning in this movie is that to become human, to feel, requires dying to being disembodied and becoming fully embodied. Feeling is what it means to be fully human. In this film, angels represent the non-feeling disembodied life; disassociation from the body. Their drab, black attire lacks vibrancy. This is juxtaposed against the world of humans portrayed in color. When viewed this way, the title, "City of Angels" suggests cities full of people living their lives mechanistically, out-of-touch with feeling. See my City of Angels (1998) Movie Review and Summary.
Originally titled, "Danny the Dog", this movie can be viewed as a dramatic depiction of the internal gong-fu development process. As I've repeated in this blog, the process involves identifying and letting go of habituated muscular-emotional patterns to develop integrated mind-body presence. In this film, Danny shut down to feeling and lived mechanically until feeling broke through. At that juncture, he chose the difficult path of pursuing living with feeling. The end offers an ironic twist; exchanging one collar for another. Deeply philosophic.
See my Unleased (2005) Movie Review & Summary.
Fearless - The Director's Cut (2006)
The Hollywood release of this movie is completely different from the Director's Cut version. I highly recommend you watch the Director's Cut version. The core of this version focuses on the transformation of the main character, Huo Yuanjia, from someone who focused on developing "external" fighting skills (and becoming really good at this) to someone who softens, and connects with the feeling of living and through this transformation, develops a deeper understanding of life and the expression of life through his fighting. He transforms from a martial technician to a martial artist.
Roman Holiday (1953)
While this has been long billed as a romantic comedy, or romantic fantasy, there is in fact a key subplot relevant to this blog. The princess lives an isolated, routinized, scheduled life. Her one desire is to escape this life, if only for a day, and live spontaneously, without schedules, and alive to feeling every feeling of every moment. In the end, she chooses to return to her "career" and when she does, it is with a new understanding; she is less a slave to her schedules and protocols and is more self aware.
If you have other movies that you believe are relevant that I may add to this list, email me and I'll have a look.