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Mindful : June 2014
What are you doing tonight? Reading? Surfing the net? Going out with friends? Or going to a movie? That last option may give you a chance for some real mindful moments. Consider this: You’ll be seated comfor t- ably in the dark, your attention focused on the stor y unfolding in front of you. You’re discon- nected from your smar tphone and all other responsibilities. All you have to do with your time is pay attention. But in our tech-saturated culture, one screen might not be enough anymore. When Disney re-released The Little Mermaid last year, they did it with an accompanying app. Kids who brought iPads into certain cinemas could play games and access other ex tra content related to the film—all while watching the movie. This is called a Second Screen experience, and a lot of adults are thinking about it, too. While we’re all for new ideas, isn’t a single screen at the cin- ema enough? We may be more likely to have an ex tra screen at home, but being mindful while you’re out at the movies can make going even more fun than interactive ex tras. Here are three tips for cinema mindfulness: Movie-watching 101 1. Just be there. Once you switch off that cell phone, settle in. Take a breath and relax. When the movie star ts, let the stor y wash over you. Try not to figure out what’s coming next in the plot. Be present with the characters, and they’ll reveal themselves. (Even when they’re played by Vin Diesel.) 2. Pay attention to the details. Once you’re engaged by the stor yline, take in the sound effects and the score, check out the set design, the props and the costumes. Someone created ever y par t of what shows up on screen. Watch how the camera moves, and how scenes are put together. What does the direc- tor want you to see and hear? 3. Talk about it afterwards. It’s always fun to go to the mov- ies with someone. Walking out, you can chew it over together while it’s still fresh in your minds. Did your time at the cinema challenge your precon- ceptions, did it surprise, make you laugh, or just offer a bit of escape? Revisit the emotional moments, per formances, and plot par ticulars. Even if you didn’t much like it, mulling over the experience provides ex tra value to you and the movie. ● now 14 mindful June 2014 Illustration by Gavin Potenza