To Switch or Not to Switch. That is the Question.

To Switch or Not to Switch. That is the Question.

The Switch is an acclaimed independent film that received Tropfest short film awards at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The guiding theme for the 2007 Tropfest competition was the concept of a slice, which the juried films portrayed with a variety of techniques, ranging from incorporating slices of food in a film, to a more subtle psychological slicing up of a film’s characters, to even slicing the movie screen in half.

The Switch weaves an unusual story that reveals the painful experience of a grievously fated intimate attraction. Specifically, the film traces the course of a serendipidous encounter between two people whose surface disparities form the basis of their strong mutual attraction, while a more fundamental difference between the persons ensures that the yearnings of both for the most intimate level of love with each other will be doomed. However, the ending of this film expresses an important message to more attentive viewers about the relational importance of the experience of surprise.

A major implication contained within this humorously bittersweet short film is that while life’s ambiguity ultimately is irreducible, learning to embrace the ambiguous and uncertain nature of our lives can vitalize and enrich our experiences of surprise. In other words, focusing upon the present can expand our capacities to become more engaged in depth with the ongoing, day-to-day events and loving relationships in our lives. This in turn calls for us learn how to become prepared to be unprepared for new emotional experiences.

To Switch or Not to Switch. That is the Question.

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Thoth: The Soul-Stirring Muse of Central Park

Thoth: The Soul-Stirring Muse of Central Park

Thoth: One Man’s Painful Search for Self-Identity

People can hardly ever forget the first time they witness, or rather experience, S. K. Thoth performing in the tunnel at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, directly across from the “Angel” Fountain. Costumed like an ancient Greek superhero, complete with golden loincloth and a red feathered headdress, Thoth is truly a striking sight to behold.

Then he opens his mouth and begins to sing in his three range operatic voice, with a violin on his shoulder, dancing like a man possessed by something otherworldly, stomping rhythms with his heeled sandals and belled ankles making an indelible impression in your mind. Many of the people in his audiences have no idea what they’re watching, nor do they understand what it could possibly mean. Nevertheless, viewers are often moved to tears, with an experience that they describe as beautiful, soul-stirring and transporting. Mesmerizing in the truest sense of the term.

Thoth calls this expression his “prayformance” in which he presents his “solopera,” a multi-disciplined and multi-media performance piece, drawing on an imaginary mythological world that he created in childhood, and which he’s been writing about ever since.

The story of his life was made into an Oscar-winning documentary film, Thoth. So powerful is this street artist’s work that it captured the rapt attention of award-winning documentary film director Sarah Kernochan, and the film that emerged from her collaboration with Thoth won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film.

Thoth: One Man’s Painful Search for Self-Identity

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