Richard Hobby is a man on a crusade: To steer you to spirit-lifting movies full of love, heart and courage, and away from those that are bad for the soul.
Not your standard movie critic, the veteran communications specialist has created Zero Circle Films, a membership-based website that recommends four movies a month, pictures he calls “Third Way” cinema.
‘I’m sort of detective of sorts, searching for films that dazzle and celebrate the human spirit,’’ Hobby tells Newsmax Magazine.
“There are increasing numbers of films that are destructive to the soul. They are supposed to be cutting edge, but they basically say, ‘screw you,’ to basic decency.’’
Hobby, founder of the Yarmouth, Maine-based communications firm Greengage, whose clients have included PepsiCo, Chrysler and MetLife, says Hollywood churns out three types of movies:
First Way Films which uphold “the norms of society and contain “decency and reasonable goodness,’’ but are “bland and thin.’’
Second Way Films which promote “pathological and bad behavior” while proclaiming to be art.
Third Way Films which are “realistic, but lift the human spirit,’’ with “goodness, depth of feeling, true poetry, love, courage, heart and true art.’’
“Films of the ‘Third Way’ do not escape reality. Instead they face the fact that life on this planet is mysterious and beautiful and tragic and that by facing that reality courageously, we feel ecstasy and love,’’ Hobby says.
He has created a list for Newsmax of must-see “Third Way’’ films:
Highly Recommended ‘Third Way’ Movies:
The Counterfeit Traitor (1962) William Holden, in the oil business in World War II Sweden, is drawn against his will into spying for the Allies. He comes to see first-hand the evil of the Nazis and, with great heart, courageously risks his life to protect the good in this deeply moving film.
Four Friends (1981) A beautiful coming-of-age story of immigrant Danilo (Craig Wasson) and three friends, Tom, David, and Georgia in an Indiana steel town in the Sixties. Danilo falls for the lovely, irresistible, tempestuous Georgia - and the film itself flows with goodness, innocence and heart.
Game Set Match (1988) Ian Holm stars as Bernard Samson, a British spy in Len Deighton’s brilliant thriller of deception, assassination, betrayal and intrigue, played to perfection by an ensemble cast. Bernard, often at odds as much with his colleagues as with the enemy, does what’s necessary to win the day.
La La Land (2016) It understands the tragic nature of life but responds with an overflowing of love and generosity. An amazing and beautiful experience.
Nocturnal Animals (2016) Amy Adams’ character marries kindhearted Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) against the advice of her mother, who sees him as weak and unlikely to provide her with an upper bourgeois life. She winds up betraying Edward, aborting his baby, and abandoning him. Then, 19 years later, Edward writes a novel symbolic of what happened and we enter a world of pure evil. Yet Susan is a sympathetic and tragic character.
La Petite Lili (2003) Sensitive and difficult Julien (Robinson Stévenin) his mother Mado (Nicole Garcia) and her lover Brice (Bernard Giraudeau) are at their summer house by the sea. Conflict ensues and yet they also say and do things that are beautiful and generous.
Redbelt (2008) Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor) owns a martial arts school a man and who from the depths of his soul wants to help people. His wife Sondra (Alice Braga) is focused on paying the bills. Deception and betrayal follow in thus drama from writer/director David Mamet, but doing the right thing prevails.
Shinobugawa [The Long Darkness] (1972) Tetsuro (Gô Katô) is a student at a military school. Shino (Komaki Kurihara) is a waitress. Each has a troubled past, but they fall in love. This is the greatest love story ever told.
Tender Mercies (1983) Mac Sledge (Robert Duvall) is a washed-up, penniless country singer. Rosa Lee (Tess Harper), a widow who runs a motel and gas station, brings him back to life with love and kindness.
Wind River (2017) Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is a hunter in Wyoming who shoots wolves who are killing livestock. Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is an FBI agent who arrives to investigate the death of a young Native American woman. They work together to solve the crime with strength, kindness and genuine compassion.
Hobby’s website is zerocirclefilms.com
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