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Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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All of this doesn't mean this isn't a -good- movie. It contains a lot of sweeping ocean scenery, with of course lots of wonderful footage of seagulls. It also has the great score by Neil Diamond, and then woven throughout this is the original story by Richard Bach. And it is perhaps in that order that this movie exists. It is a relaxing, calming, as well as uplifting (on a very subtle scale) experience. To watch it with the same rapt attention that you might a modern "spectacular", you would no doubt be quickly disappointed and bored. Instead, it should be watched at a time when you just want to relax, no pressing chores calling your name, and no interruptions that you might need to deal with. You might think of this as the closest thing to a full-body massage for the mind, encapsulated in a hour and a half movie.
One caveat however, is that I would recommend that you read the book first, because there are times when exactly what is going on with the seagulls is a little confusing, and difficult to figure out from what happens on-screen.
While I doubt it will ever happen, I would love for this to be released on DVD, it would greatly improve the quality of the video and soundtrack (both copies I've seen of this movie have had an mildly distracting "tracking" problem which results in pops and crackles in the audio), and it would perhaps also allow supplimentary audio tracks with discussions from Richard Bach, Neil Diamond, and perhaps others associated with this film (Hall Barlett, the director died in 1993).
After finishing this movie I went outside and wept. Am I fulfilling my purpose in life? That dream that I once had of something greater? This movie sings: wake up and live again!
Message - Brilliant.
This is a film about an anthropomorphic bird, a seagull who wants to break from the flock's set ways, tiring of the endless meaningless pursuit of mere survival. He wants to learn rather than blindly conform, would risk death in order to truly be alive.
This is an eternal story - the one who wants to understand becomes an outcast, and ultimately comes in contact with the real world. Is there an ethereal inner circle of humanity, guiding us all and helping the few that really need release from this circle of life and death? This story does not deny such a reality.
I was surprised at the depth of this movie, despite its cloying attempts to make us sympathize with the poor bird washed up on the raft of driftwood, freezing in the snow etc. The faux-innocence of Johnathan's dopey voice over makes me want to laugh, but I appreciate the idea and the difficult technical/creative work that went into making this unlikely feature film.
Interestingly 30 years ago SEAGULL ruffled some defensive feathers, challenging common notions of 'heaven' and 'faith' and our innate purpose. The 'mystical' is always a threat, reviled or ridiculed. Here in know-it-all 2005 people seem to think nothing of either faith or mysticism, content to blindly accept the illusions of their life in the Flock of humanity (note in the film the garbage dump the gulls cling to for their swill.) Yet some itch to look beyond, to know what really IS. "The Matrix has you, Neo..."
A good film for the restless seagull.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved it - haven't seen it since I was a kid. The music is beautiful.Published 3 months ago by Suzie
I have always loved this story by Bach and enjoyed seeing this movie again. We also loved the Neil Diamond sound track which is so beautiful!Published 4 months ago by Janice P.
Terribly depressing. I've read the brief book by Richard Bach and listened to the Richard Harris recording in the '70's and hadn't recalled it being like this. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Perry S.
Spectacular scenery and photography, beautiful music and interesting story of a spiritual quest.Published 5 months ago by Joseph H Sanders
Awesome! Very thought provoking, although slow at times. Explore life, death, courage and failure. Being at one with your world and being different.Published 8 months ago by Dorothy.C.
This magnificent movie deserves a remake given the evolution of photography technology.Published 10 months ago by Ricardo Pareja
A friend glowed about this. It was not a movie I would recommend.Published 11 months ago by Linda N