Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shame Of The 60s: The Sham Of Enlightenment

We've covered this documentary before but, since it's finally coming to the United States, we think "David Wants To Fly" deserves all the exposure it can get:

"David Wants to Fly" is a documentary film that is at times hilarious, frustrating and enlightening. Bourgeoning filmmaker David Sieveking takes us on his path to filmmaking, as he peaks behind the Maharishi's curtain, that wonderful wizard of "Ohm." While Maharishi's teachings of Transcendental Meditation spread to the world through the likes of the Beatles, Sieveking tapped the unlikely source of David Lynch.

The widely influential films of David Lynch such as "Eraserhead", "The Elephant Man", "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Drive" are transcendentally macabre, more than meditative. Yet, Sieveking idolized Lynch and jumped a plane to Iowa to see the master speak about creativity through Transcendental Meditation (TM). Iowa is of course the unlikely home to Maharishi University and its Golden Dome of Pure Knowledge.

Throughout the course of Sieveking meeting Lynch and embracing his assigned TM Mantra, the documentary traces the realization of true filmmaking. Sieveking knows he is his own subject, playing the protagonist on the yellow brick road of self-discovery. Though, David doesn't want to go home, "David Wants to Fly."

Inspired by his idolization of Lynch, Sieveking learns some essential lessons in documentary filmmaking and the deconstruction of Idols. Sieveking comes to odds with Lynch, challenging how he has become a spokesman for a multibillion dollar industry. Through Sieveking's deconstruction of Lynch, he obsessively questions the TM movement itself, thus deconstructing Maharishi.

Sieveking comes to the potent realization that Transcendental Meditation has done the exact opposite of what Lynch promised him. The documentary lens zooms in on the unraveling of Sieveking's personal life. He runs into the open arms of the TM community, but is banished once he questions that it is industry, rather than community. As his girlfriend leaves him, his filmmaking career seems to be blackballed by Lynch's disapproval and Sieveking's mantra chanting starts to sound more like a Country song.

Yet, the young filmmaker's journey is in essence transcendental as he finds his true path. He becomes a filmmaker, not by blindly following Lynch's advice to close his eyes in meditation. Instead he opens his eyes to the blind following of a movement and shines light on the dirt swept under the rugs they meditate on.
Catch it where you can, people, because this is a picture that contains a damn good lesson for everyone:

Do not follow.

(Click the tags, below, for more on the lies of David Lynch, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Deepak Chopra, and Transcendental Meditation.)