Amphitheater, Community & Movie Reviews

As some of you know, I’m an unabashed movie lover. I got my start when I worked for Blockbuster Video years ago doing international development in places like Japan, Brazil and Thailand.

Since then I have built several home theaters, one with a small stage. From that experience I learned the power of having an active venue that brings people together for expression, entertainment and education. We regularly invited friends with their families to enjoy a movie and some light refreshments or a barbecue. It frequently amazed and delighted me when, as the adults enjoyed some light conversation and prepared the food, the kids would disappear into the basement only to reappear an hour or so later. They would announce that they had put together a skit and wanted us all to come down to the theater to watch them perform. What a joy that was! That experience brought us all so much closer together.

We began to actively plan our social visits by choosing a short play in advance and doing reader’s theater with our friends. It was easy, required no memorization, but brought out new sides of our friends that we hadn’t seen and it brought us closer together. Similarly, enjoying a stimulating movie together followed by some discussion created links of mutual understanding.

That’s why, as we work to build a close-knit community at the Village, the first thing we built is the landscaping for the amphitheater and a simple stage.

When we have enough people resident on the property to assure some oversight, we will install the large movie screen that we have already acquired and set it up with low power FM broadcast, a projector and media player. Meanwhile, we will temporarily use our smaller 12′ screen on an as-needed basis at the amphitheater and in our home, that now boasts a comfortable home theater. We have a standing offer for Movie night at the Millers pending RSVP.

As for content, like just about everything else in our lives, we enjoy being a bit eclectic. Recently I have felt a sense of responsibility to share and educate others about the need to live a sustainable life.

Here are a couple of recommendations for documentaries I have recently viewed that I think do an excellent job of speaking to two of the four important elements of sustainability that are part of our mission, renewable energy and food. You can rent these from Netflix (my current favorite source).

They are:

* The Future of Food: a sobering look at the industrialization and control of our food chain. This one will make you want to start your own garden – soon.

* Car of the Future: A humorous approach hosted by Click and Clack, the tappet brothers of NPR “Car Talk” fame with an optimistic view of what is achievable and already achieved.

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