A Weekend in the City, with More to Come
This and That

Groundhog Day Movie and Buddhism

As usual, I expect  new material for my Groundhog Day The Movie website from my avid readers. Fire away if you have something you don't see here.

Welcome to another perennial item. I run this one (nearly) every year in conjunction with Groundhog Day. The Bill Murray movie of the same name is the 34th funniest American film of all time, according to the American Film Institute. It is also my favorite movie of all times. This is the ninth time I've run this item!

I went to a showing of Groundhog Day sponsored by the San Francisco Zen Center on Friday, Aug. 10, 2001, held in the Trustees' Auditorium of the Asian Art Museum in Golden Gate Park (relocated in October 2002 to the old SF Main library in the civic center).

I have so much to say about this exciting, exhilarating, eye-opening experience that it is now a subsite titled Groundhog Day The Movie, Buddhism and Me, which includes a description of that seminal showing, commentary, and links to other sites that deal with the connection. While noticing the connection between this movie and Buddhism is not particularly profound, it was news to me, and the nuances were explored in a particularly exciting fashion during the Zen Center presentation. My site is rapidly gaining ground as the authoritative center for GHD/Buddhism commentary on the web. I brush it up and add new material regularly, so if you haven't been there in a while, take a look.

If you love the work of GHD writer Danny Rubin as much as I do, check out his web site which includes a bio, a list of his works in progress (exciting) and a list of his sold films (also exciting). I have been privileged to share a radio show with him. He has been nice enough to correspond now and then with me via e-mail. He's written a great e-book, How to Write Groundhog Daywhich I  thoroughly enjoyed. Go out and buy your own copy!

Also, the University of California has published a Groundhog Day book, by Ryan Gilbey.

I finally bought the book The Magic Of Groundhog Day by Paul Hannam. Danny Rubin who wrote the foreword. You can find out more at Hannam's website (check out his blog!). Hannam wrote me that he "did a book group on my book and several readers said that they could not believe how great the movie was after learning about its profound spiritual and psychological meaning. Even at Oxford 90% of the students thought it was just a Bill Murray comedy!"

Robert Malchman found a New York Daily News Where Are They Now feature

Bob Nilsson checks in:

I stumbled upon this clip of Stephen Tobolowsky explaining Bill Murray's pain in stepping into the puddle during Groundhog Day. Looks like there are many clips at YouTube about the movie.

Kent Peterman found a Groundhog Day quiz. My nephew Paul found a collection of interesting facts.
Turns out there is a spiritual analysis of an obsession with movies. A friend writes:

Every movie you see saves you a few cycles of living through another "groundhog day", because you learn from the mistakes you see others make in the movies and see heroes to emulate.
For our generation, movies and tv were/are the shared mythologies of the day.  There is a wonderful old episode of Northern Exposure TV show that addresses that--where one of the characters tries to interview people inthe town about their ancestral and current mythologies but discovers that the shared images and metaphors they all have are from movies--just like all men knowing exactly what a certain scene or two from the Godfather movies "means" to them as men trying to function inthe world.
This current generation seems to still have movies as their mythology shared, but also you tube, etc.--I have witnessed amazing conversations among twenty something year olds that seemed to be entirely shared you tube view reactions.
The movie thing has probably helped you skip ahead a lot in your own unfolding of remembering of god--sort of like the prodigal son getting to skip some of the wastral years and then take a more direct flight back to the Father's house.
The way the Course in Miracles phrases it is that it is the function of the Teachers of God to "save time"--because each of them that witnesses to the Truth of God that they have seen/experienced helps others take little time leaps over their own learning curve.
Eastern religions that use a lot of reincarnation metaphors would call it getting to skip over many reincarnations to ultimate Nirvana

An interesting meditation on my favorite film, Grounhog Day appeared in the March 2013 issue of The Atlantic and was brought to my attention by a friend.