Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Black Panther Marks a Major Integral Cinema Milestone


Marvel's Black Panther is taking the world by storm, raking in over a billion dollars worldwide in its first five weeks of theatrical release, garnering rave reviews from critics and fans, challenging racial and diversity biases and boundaries in Hollywood film culture and beyond, spawning numerous testimonials about the films positive impact on individual viewers and minority communities, and eliciting glowing commentaries on how the film is a milestone in these and other various domains. After analyzing Black Panther and its impact on the individual and the collective, it appears that this wonderful superhero film is a major Integral Cinema milestone as well. 

Black Panther's Integrally-informed cinematic structuring beautifully and subtly mirrors multiple stages of development in all aspects and levels of its narrative, visual, auditory and temporal/editorial expressions. It also shows both healthy and pathological manifestations of each developmental stage and represents subtle ways that one can transcend the pathologies and evolve to higher stages of development. At the same time, the film tackles major psychological, cultural and social issues, from primal psychological wounding to complex issues of race, gender, class, oppression and isolationism, in subtle and deep ways. Most extraordinarily, all of this is elegantly hidden beneath the surface of a wonderful, fun and seemingly-traditional superhero genre piece.

In terms of Black Panther being a milestone in the history of Integral Cinema and the cinema itself, it appears to be groundbreaking in its advanced capacity to integrate and synchronize all dimensions of cinematic expression (Text, Image, Sound and Time) through all levels of storytelling (Textual, Subtextual, Metatextual and Transtextual). While this form of synchronization is at the heart of the cinematic expression tradition, dating back to Sergei Eisenstein in the 1920s and used by many filmmakers since, Integral filmmakers like Ryan Coogler appear to be creating an advanced form that also integrates the different structures of consciousness, culture and society (Archaic, Magic, Mythic, Rational, Pluralistic, Integral). Mr. Coogler's use of this type of cinematic expression in Black Panther is unparalleled in its depth and breadth and the sublime way it hides and integrates its complexity beneath its deceptively simple surface. This approach has the potential to induce subtle yet deeply immersive and transformative experiences in the viewer, transformation that could potentially extend to culture and society as well. This potential is hinted at by the cultural impact the film is already displaying.

From an Integral Cinema perspective, our research suggests that major advances in cinematic expression like those represented by Black Panther affect other creators and their cinematic works. These advances in expression create a major shift in cinematic consciousness, which is the collective way moving images in a given era communicate with the viewer. In turn, these types of advances in cinematic consciousness tend to entrain the audience to perceive in deeper and more expansive ways. In this way the moving image, consciousness, culture and society can be seen to co-evolve.

For more on all of this check out the new Integral Cinema TEHNC podcast series on Black Panther...


3 Keys to Unlock Black Panther (Short introduction to full-length analysis) - This special preview episode introduces you to 3 important keys you can use to unlock the hidden genius of Marvel's blockbuster Black Panther. This 5-minute summation by Integral Cinema Project research associate Jonathan Steigman is a sort of Cliff Notes version to whet your appetite for the full-length examination of the keys and how they manifest in the film with Mark Allan Kaplan, ICP lead researcher and the leading scholar of Integral Cinema.


The Hidden Genius of Black Panther (Full-length analysis) - Mark Allan Kaplan of Integral Cinema Project joins ICP research associate Jonathan Steigman to discuss 3 major keys that can help viewers discover the hidden genius behind the recent Marvel worldwide smash hit, Black Panther. Mark and Jonathan believe the film holds the potential to transform consciousness the world over and they unpack some of its secrets and point to why the film could transform cinematic consciousness as well. Filmmakers and others, take note!

Be sure to also check out Jonathan's short preliminary podcast on The Subversive Brilliance of Black Panther and Mark and Jonathan's short bonus podcast exploring The Previous Films of Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Research Report: Integral Cinema Project 2017 Year in Review



Due to the profound shifts in the American zeitgeist, this past year has been deeply soul-searching for many individuals and collectives, and that includes myself and my work through the Integral Cinema Project. I have been asking the question, how can I and the Integral Cinema Project respond to this new landscape and be of service to the evolutionary moment in which we find ourselves? Life as usual just isn’t working any more. I feel a deep impetus to rise to the calling of this moment and seek the what-when-and-how of that calling. While I still do not have all the answers I am called to finally communicate with you and update you on the state of the Integral Cinema journey…

With the ongoing support of many of you, I have been working on several projects this past year, each exploring in some way how to respond to the calling of this new zeitgeist. These include:

An Integral Cinema Project presentation to the Carey Institute for Global Good outlining an integrally-informed approach to media literacy designed to help people discern what is the truth in this age of fake news, reality bubbles and invisible propaganda networks. 

A collection of moving image meditations that attempt to use advanced audiovisual and cinematic entrainment technologies along with animated abstract art to explore the human perceptual field, potentially inducing shifts in our awareness of our own perceptual field and bringing the normally unconscious perceptual construct-forming system of the human mind to conscious awareness.

My 45 day lived-inquiry experiment of doing a video journal recording and creating a work of art  (still and/or moving image) every day, along with video journal notes on my integral cinema research and soul searching process. The 45 day time-frame is purported to be the time it takes for the human brain to lay down new neural pathways to make a behavior feel natural and easy. Given my history as stutterer, I chose video journaling to see if I could transcend my awkward feelings around speaking in front of the camera. I chose daily art creation to see if I could transcend the constructs that prevent me from fully owning my creative soul.



I have also been busy on the integral cinema research front:

  • Exploring an integral approach to more deeply understanding the language of the moving image;
  • Developing an integral transformative approach to cinematic and experiential design to help creators storify and gamify the spiral of human development;
  • Experimenting with new inception and creation practices designed to help creators tap into the evolutionary impulse and generate new story ideas that will speak to the calling of the evolutionary moment;
  • Working on a new integral cinematic lens (The Evolutionary Lens) based on the work of Sri Aurobindo and others, and;
  • Continuing to write my book on integral cinema (stay tuned...).

At the same time, I have continued my research into the co-evolution of the moving image, consciousness, culture and society, and testing cinematic works for signs of the integral structure of consciousness. For those interested I have posted the 2017 new integral movie and television discoveries on the IMDb Integral Movie and TV List.

On the publication front, I wrote a short piece on What Sam Sheppard Taught me about Storytelling and Life to mark his passing.

On the education front, I am redesigning the meta-movieology courses on using the moving image for the evolution of consciousness, and developing them into asynchronous online courses for general release.

On the enactment front, I am currently in production on an integrally-informed avant-garde video meditation on the wind, and am in development on a low-budget feature film and a television series, videogame and VR/AR/MR transmedia project designed to storify and gamify the individual and collective evolutionary spiral. These projects are all enactment experiments designed to utilize and test the new integral-evolutionary inception and design approaches I am been researching and developing.

And amidst all this I was honored that the Integral Cinema Project was named one of the TransTech 200 Innovators for advancing the work of using technologies for individual and collective transformation.





I believe every problem we have is a problem of consciousness, and that media is one of the most powerful tools humanity has created to affect consciousness on a deep and expansive level. As we have seen more clearly this past year, media has the capacity to shape the hearts and minds of millions of people, for good and for bad. We live in times of ever-present and hyperreal media, fake news and vast propaganda networks. We must find more ways to mitigate and transcend the use of media to manipulate and limit our capacities, and to use media for higher and nobler purposes. I am committed to continuing to work towards these goals and deeply appreciate all the support I have received.

With deep gratitude,

Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.
Integral Cinema Project
Founder and Executive Director

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Media Literacy for a Post-Truth Age


Announcing the release of "Media Literacy for a Post-Truth Age," an Integral Cinema Project presentation to the Carey Institute for Global Good outlining an integrally-informed approach to media literacy designed to help people discern what is the truth in this age of fake news, reality bubbles and invisible propaganda networks.

This approach has been developed from an integration of the some of the most recent understandings and advances in the fields of communication theory, propaganda theory and practice, media psychology, human perception research, and Integral, complexity and systems theories. Topics covered include identifying truth frames, discerning types of truth, sorting truth by spotting propaganda framing techniques, and a set of practices for good media literacy hygiene in the post-truth age.