Sunday, September 16, 2012

Samsara, Take Two

For those who insist, here are some details...

Samsara is the ancient Pali or Sanskrit word applied to the Vedic concept of perpetual life, death, and rebirth.

Samsara, the movie, examines humanity in its many manifestations and its search for spiritual truth as we live out our lives on an ever turning wheel of existence.  Samsara is without dialogue; it tells its story with majestic images and a compelling sound track.  Many scenes of nature and the human environment are stunning.  As it is in life, not every human experience portrayed is pleasant.  Samsara features images of discord, inequity, and objectification.  While much of the movie is writ large it takes time to look deeply into the eyes of the people whose lives it captures, young, old, familiar, different, energized, tired, content, and put upon.  As they engage us from the screen are eyes expressing a question or making an accusation?

Samsara evokes memories of the ground-breaking 1982 Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (The first film in Godfrey Reggio's Qatsi trilogy, which also included Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi.), the 1985 Chronos, and the 1992 film Baraka, and for good reason.  Director Ron Fricke applied his prodigious talents to all of them. 

Samsara's producer Mark Magidson worked with Fricke on Chronos and Baraka (the home video release of which was described by Roger Ebert as "sufficient reason to acquire a Blu-ray player").  In their latest collaboration they are making use of the finest cinema technologies available.  It is simply an awesome experience!

Cassie and I saw Samsara at the Edina Cinema, which converted to DLP Digital projection and sound just last month.  The experience could only be more real if you visited the 25 countries where the film was shot over the last five years.  There was a time when serious cinephiles sought out movies of this quality early in their run, before the prints began to show their age due to scratches and repaired breaks.  Now it seems films preserved in the digital format will not age.  See Samsara on the largest and very best screen you can find.  

Just go see it.

You can thank me later.