In no particular order (1940-2016).
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 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…
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.
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…
Have now seen this five times, including twice in 2015. Easily Fricke's best and an astounding maze of themes that wind their way like a snaking river, always transiting to something worth your attention. One of the best films of the decade, that much has been cemented in my mind.
and the award for the most visually stunning movie of all time goes to.....
The dictionary defines pretentious as 'attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed', now this 99 minute collection of breathtaking images could be described as such but I think that's the beauty of the film, you attach as much meaning and merit to it as you want to infer.
It's described on Wikipedia as 'non-narrative' but I don't think that's necessarily true. Over the course of the film you're shown an array of footage, filmed in over 25 countries, and it's hard to think that there was nothing the director wanted to achieve. This wasn't a random choice of clips, shots cover broad topics to do with birth, life then ultimately death and everything in…
it's impressive seeing the progression from (koyaanisqatsi to) cronos to baraka to samsara. samsara is so much more evolved in its storytelling and so much better about choosing its effects wisely. As a result, it feels more restrained but more focused than the others while at the same time forcing some seriously difficult imagery. I was a little surprised to see the same factory from burtynsky's manufuactured landscapes appear here (and with much the same treatment) but many other locations are handled well and in keeping with the overall flavor of the story. If any of his other movies have resonated with you, i can't imagine samsara not feeling like a net positive.
It's up to you. You can watch this film, as a whole bunch of ballbags on this website did, and fail to see any meaning beyond laptop screensaver/national geographic/pop video, probably spending most of the running time thinking of trite shite to write here because you can't deal with being shown what your species is really about.
or you can wise up.
Stunningly beautiful and wonderfully thoughtful. There are shots in this that just make you feel nice.
Viewed at Seattle's Cinerama Theatre.
This is real cinema!
There's moving images.
It goes from real cute to real sad to real freaky to 'its 1 am and I have work in 7 hours and I am going through an existential crisis and there's so much dread Around me oh god I'm gonna die alone.'
But seriously, there's a lot here and I'm hoping I'll be rewarded with repeat viewings. The symbolism and contrast is crazy. Also, this is arguably the most visually stunning film I've ever seen. Really, some of these shots should be framed in museums.
The movie is essentially a moving visual museum. I regret not witnessing it on the big screen.
In my opinion, of course!
And only including films that I've seen.
Hardly in order after the top fifty.
I work at a movie theater and patrons mess up movie titles all the time. Here are some of the…