In my opinion, of course!
And only including films that I've seen.
Hardly in order after the top fifty.
Samsara is a word that describes the ever turning wheel of life. It is a concept both intimate and vast - the perfect subject for filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, whose previous collaborations include Chronos and Baraka, and who, in the last 20 years, have travelled to over 58 countries together in the pursuit of unique imagery. Samsara takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation that will transform viewers in countries around the world as they are swept along a journey of the soul. Through powerful images pristinely photographed in 70mm and a dynamic music score, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of the nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.
Cool feature-length adaptation of Madonna's "Ray of Light" video [THIS HAS BEEN A JOKE ABOUT TIME-LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY. THANKS FOR READING.]
While just as visually and technically awe-inspiring as Baraka, Samsara feels much more anthropocentric, which diminishes that feeling of universality contained in its predecessor. Still, for someone who does not usually search out documentaries, Fricke's two masterworks, coupled with the recently watched Bestiaire (thanks for putting it on the radar, Marcissus), have got me craving more non-narrative and lyrical films. I'm looking at you, Qatsi trilogy.
While undeniably beautiful, this film left a bad taste in my mouth. Samsara is a series of images, cut together in fairly rapid succession, taking the viewer on a “global” tour of the “cultures of the world”. Some images are meant to be purely aesthetically beautiful (which they are), some images are meant to be confrontational. But as these are just images, without context, and in the absence of any explicit narrative, the meaning comes from montage, and I did not care for that meaning.
Yes, there is confrontation, but there is also exploitation and exoticization. Unlike (from what I hear) Baraka, Samsara concerns itself mainly with humans. The near absence of white people, except for a few shots from…
Ron Fricke’s first film in twenty years, Samsara, is another bold and dazzling explosion of images from around the world chronicling the progression of life and interconnectedness of the human race. Those familiar with Fricke’s stunning Baraka will know what to expect from his latest non-narrative globetrotting odyssey that took five years to make and explores human life on five continents.
Shot on 70mm film you’ll be hard pressed to find a more visually resplendent cinematic treat for the eyes. It is a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of unforgettable images that threaten to overwhelm the audience in their beauty. The colours are eye-poppingly vibrant, the textures tactile and it contains some truly breathtaking time lapse photography. As a work of visual…
Whoa! What a truly inspirational movie! I was totally blown away!
My boyfriend described it as a "big fuck off PowerPoint" but even he was blown away by it.
I have so many question, I wish there were subtitles for each image so I knew where it was or what was happening. On the other hand, that could ruin the film's beauty.
It's all just sand
My 100th review! This is a movie that I was nervous to see, mainly because Baraka was a piece of art that had spoken to me in such a powerful way I didn't want to experience "Baraka light" or a Baraka knockoff. It is sometimes unfair to compare a directors works against each other (especially if you have an emotional connection to something) instead of just taking the work on its own. Listening to a new album or seeing a new movie should valued on its own at first, then maybe compared against other works later.
The message I get from this movie is that life is short, the existence of the world is long, and…
I don't think I've ever seen anything like this. It's a "real-life" version of Fantasia and it is profound and beautiful. Even with its close to two hour length, I don't think I was once bored. This was simply amazing to watch.
Rewatched this on a private IMAX screen with only 8 of my friends in the theatre with me, reminded me why this is one of my favorite films. Flawlessly meditative and transcendent filmic poem, combing rhythmic 70mm god-level cinematography with spellbinding sound design. The subject matter is provocative and presented with an emphasis on emotion, cycling through virtually every state of existence and mind. If every movie was as visually arresting as Samsara, the world would be a far better place.
Devastating beautiful/gorgeous....... What do I call this, documentary? It is a composition of scenery and footage from different cultures and countries around the world. The compare and contrasts between tribes in Africa, and the consumerist nature of Americans.
And the timelaspses in this movie are beyond words. When the movie finished, Nathan and I went BACK and re-watched our favorites. I can't even begin to describe them. Best I have ever seen.
The music was consistently nice, and deserving of a nod.
The quality was superb. So much effort went into the making of this film. it truly shows.
I do feel the need to bring up Koyaanisqatsi , (Link to my review of that one, a film in this…
Intellectually and cinematically I have a bone to pick with Samsara. On one hand it is a vapid, occidental, predictable and tedious screensaver of a film, seemingly bankrolled in part for public displays in museums and television departments.
On the other hand, the consistent integrity of the directorial approach accumulates along with the thematic narrative into diversely thought-provoking material. You’ll get out what you put in. Samsara is (implicitly) principally concerned with both the natural (and religious) cycle of man, as well as the ritualistic worldly activities of man. Rarely has a film so evoked a sense of man, its world and rituals, ravaged and transformed by the shifting sands of time. Whilst we always look searchingly to the heavens…
I haven't watched this since seeing it in the cinema on release, but I recall it being different to the other similar films in that it see
An impossibly beautiful film (thanks in part to Panavision Super 70) that is captivating from the first frame (though perhaps not till the very last; am I alone in thinking that the film should have cut to black in sync with the dragon lady's eye blink?). It is as beautiful, if not more so, than you've likely heard it to be. Simply stunning.
That being said, I felt that the through-line of the narrative was often vague and tenuous, and the film also suffers from favoring a Western perspective too heavily. It's a fine line, honoring a foreign culture through astute observation and painting it as a novelty or sideshow. I don't necessarily think that this film is guilty of…
Humans - what a bunch of crazy, genius weirdos.
Oh god, so fucking beautiful. I want every frame of this film on shuffle as my wallpaper till the end of time.
In my opinion, of course!
Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion.
''A collection of films that paint with light, colors, and camera movement. No order. Some of these films may…