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Finding Joe
An Emily Blunt Review
Directed by: Patrick Takaya Solomon
Featuring: Deepak Chopra, Mick Fleetwood, Tony Hawk, Rashida Jones, Laird Hamilton, Robert Walter, Robin Sharma, Catherine Hardwicke, Sir Ken Robinson, Akiva Goldsman


Bluntly speaking? Joseph Campbell was a professor at Sarah Lawrence College for 38 years. His seminal work, "A Hero with a Thousand Faces," was published in 1949 and greatly influenced generations of artists and writers, including Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, Jerry Garcia and perhaps Charlie Sheen (though, if so, Chuck has freely “interpreted” a few key factors…).

Joe was a philosopher. He felt humans created myths and legends as metaphors for learning to become what you are meant to be. The universe will open a door when you lose your fear and go for what makes you happy. With all the fear mongering in the media, this documentary is the anti-fear film of the decade.

And, yes, Finding Joe is one of those philosophy-filled self-help, feel good and find your greatness yarns inspired by the man behind the message of, “Follow your bliss.” But if you think only hippies drop security-filled work-a-day, happy-to-get-two weeks-vacation and run after what they are passionate about, you're sadly mistaken. Maybe the message will smack you upside the head into living – literally…living. Maybe you'll find Joe.

Through interviews with people – with the same beliefs – in varied walks of life, director Patrick Takaya Solomon tells the secret to and the story of finding Joe. I don’t think I am giving anything away when I say here, finding Joe is a metaphor for finding yourself, while discovering the words of one heluva smart thinker, who loved metaphors to pieces.

My only whine is the piece has a fable-esque movie unfolding that runs behind and between interview subjects. There’s some points that truly make no sense, and the soundtrack is a continually triumphant end-of-a-film crescendo sort.

So, Finding Joe is very inspirational, while also being very odd. Though I think as the film maker is actually following the creed of its subject, Joe Campbell, my personal dislike for the often jarring ongoing back fable intertwined between interviewees means absolutely nothing. He did what he wanted and the magic comes through in the end.

Finding Joe is a great and needed documentary. Let’s just say it’s made differently; and not in a The Kid Stays in the Picture revolutionary made different way. Get out and see this film; or buy it when you can. Sure, you will sometimes be eyeing the exit signs for assurance, but if you stick with it, you may just have a wonderful epiphany at its end.


"We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell

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