Groundhog Day The Movie, Buddhism and Me
In "Groundhog Day" you depicted a guy who needed to relive one day numerous times to find himself....Are you consciously exploring the fractured nature of the way we live today?
Of course I'm conscious of it, but I might have said as much as I want to say about it now, in the films. "Groundhog Day" came to me as an original script from Danny Rubin, but the core of the movie was always there. It was the Nietzschean/Buddhist premise of eternal repetition and what we could learn from it. And the response from the spiritual community to that movie was unbelievable. I literally got letters from every known religious organization and discipline, from yogis, Hasidic Jews, Jesuits, psychoanalysts -- all claiming the movie, all saying you must be one of us because this movie so perfectly expresses our philosophy. That one for me was about getting off the wheel of comedy by losing yourself, which is a purely Buddhist idea: The hero stops thinking about himself and starts performing service. That's what Mahayana Buddhism is all about.
And "Groundhog Day" hooked into a more general idea that people really respond to: What if you could do things over again? Danny Rubin actually took Elisabeth Kubler-Ross as a model -- her five stages of death and dying -- and we used that as a template for Bill Murray's progress.
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Other material. This is a chronological "blog" of new Groundhog Day material as it accumulates; much of it once resided on the home page, but that page had become too large.
Groundhog Day essay in Stephen Simon's book, The Force Is With You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives
Groundhog Day essay by Mario Sesti in the Museum of Modern Art catalog for, The Hidden God: Film and Faith
Groundhog Day by Ryan Gilbey, published by the British Film Institute and the University of California Press.
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