The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
A documentary about a group of pilgrims who travel to Nepal to worship at the legendary Manakamana temple.
Got a pretty cool time-distortion effect with this one, where I thought, like, an hour had passed but it had really been two. Only other piece of art to do this so acutely to me was the album Dopesmoker by Sleep - I'm not saying that record and this movie are going to sync up Dark Side of the Rainbow style, but just having the thought probably means I'm eligible for prison time in Texas.
While it's streaming on Netflix, I'd recommend watching the first three car rides. It's about 20 minutes. You'll know by then if it's for you or not. And if you watch to the end, well, I'm tempted to say: that's life.
Lots of Fish Head "Scene of the Year" nominees.
absolutely enthralling, packed with indelible moments, funny as shit. constantly pokes at ethnographic documentary construction, preconceived notions of it, and even the privileged distance that's a part of watching it. metalheads, goats, ice cream, rooster.
Walked out of this 18 months ago, and I'm afraid seeing the rest didn't much help, though at least there's some comedy and music in the home stretch to liven things up. For whatever reason, my interest in the Sensory Ethnography Lab films is inversely proportional to the amount of screen time devoted to human beings—I loved Sweetgrass until it started paying attention to that one lonely cowboy, and my least favorite part of Leviathan was the shot of the fisherman falling asleep watching Greatest Catch or whatever it was on TV. Not that 11 empty cable cars would be an improvement here, but I might've been more enthused about, say, 11 different cable-car rides, in different locations, à…
The ride where they are eating the ice cream bars inspired me to hit pause and get an ice cream bar out of my freezer and eat it while I was watching. It was like I was eating ice cream with them, and it was amazing. 5 Stars.
An interesting point about the static, nothing-happens shots of the so-called festival style: once you know exactly how long the shot is going to be (even if it's very long, e.g. 9 minutes) any sense of boredom dissipates, as though boredom were just a defence mechanism against the fear of time stretching out indefinitely. That said, this is canny about the placing of those bits where 'nothing happens', and e.g. Journey 6 - or the excellent joke that begins Journey 6 - wouldn't be half as funny if things hadn't gotten progressively more lively and human in Journeys 2-5. Ice cream becomes a source of tension in Journey 9, music creates an abrupt magical bubble in Journey 10, little mysteries…
Beautiful film. I wish I would seen this in HD though
An interesting documentary about pilgrims traveling to Nepal to worship at the legendary Manakamana temple. The pilgrims range from an elderly couple to a couple young metal-heads who have a cute kitten. (I think you can guess which ones I liked the most.) Some of them sit quietly, waiting for the lift to get them to the top while others converse with the camera and play with their adorable kitten. Expires from Netflix on the 15th.
Those ladies could have used Ali G's ice cream glove
Like Mountains May Depart, somewhat shocked to say this has the biggest laugh of 2013.
Whether or not the audience “gets it”, all have to admit that the folks at the Sensor Ethnography Lab are tapping into something special. Far too often critics laud praises on filmmakers for “pushing the boundaries of the medium” or some such hyperbole. Usually, it just means they saw a great film – films that actually push said boundaries are few and far between. Films like Manakamana and Leviathan are at the opposite end of the spectrum. I wouldn’t necessarily call them essential films in the same way that The Godfather is an essential film, but it’s evident that the filmmakers are interested in doing something more with the medium. Grading these films on the same standard as traditional narrative…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This was a meditative documentary but really I can only look at a goat's anus for so long.
Manakamana isn't a movie in most of the normal senses, and it isn't worth judging in comparison to other movies. As an ethnography, I'm not really sure it does much more than give a brief snapshot into a few individuals' lives. I guess the whole thing is vaguely framed as a spiritual thing, and theoretically everyone on the cable car is going to or coming from a temple, but it really just feels like commuting footage, watching people take a bus or a train. This is essentially as boring and prosaic as you'd expect it to be, and the philosophical points to take away from it are not especially interesting - it's an inversion of narrative, focusing on the majority…
A series of cable car rides. Sometimes in silence, sometimes not. You will spend eight and a half minutes looking at the rear end of livestock. And like it too.
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