Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion.
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…
Really kicking myself for not catching this one in theaters.
Pure cinema. Gorgeous.
For every moment of eye-popping beauty is a longer stretch of vague proselytization on the threat of global warfare, slaughterhouses, or sexual objectification, e.g. a montage of an assembly line that produces an endless row of bullets that culminates in the image of a former Army Sergeant left grotesquely disfigured by injuries sustained in Iraq. The soldier is Robert Henline, whose injury had nothing to do with gunplay, but who is nevertheless exploited by the film's political tactics. The film contrives dialectic analogies in this manner, and although it wouldn't amount to much more than the best screensaver ever without them its erstwhile beauty is severely inhibited by its overt politicization.
This movie could've been one massive bucket of pseudo-philosophical drivel - how many times do we need to be reminded that Westerners are wasteful, that we hold ourselves to unrealistic standards when it comes to our bodies, that we're evil, bloodthirsty savages underneath our designer clothes? Instead, Samsara overcomes any pretensions with the aid of breathtaking, painstaking footage of societies and cultures across the globe and makes its point of birth and rebirth without uttering a single word of voice over. A movie that never feels dull in the process and is surprisingly thought-provoking, it has me interested in checking out Fricke's other feature, Baraka.
This is from the guy that put together BARAKA, and it isn’t a huge departure from that. It's therefore more breathtaking and stunning visuals with evocative music - a moving two hour postcard put together from across the globe.
I saw BARAKA in theatres at least once, and was blown away by it. This guy captures sheer beauty via landscapes from around the world, and the closer he moves to humanity, has obvious comments to make about us. And it's very similar in SAMSARA, though it would appear this time around, he is making a comment about China being a growing power on the planet, which it is.
I can't get enough of films like this. It really should be screened at IMAX, but I guess it's not going make them much money as their shorter films. But I recommend it for someone who wants to watch something different.
I've always had an unfortunate disdain for documentaries, unfortunate because I think that non-fiction cinema has a lot of potential, yet so few actually embrace their work artistically and simply use the camera to detail information, making them drab in my opinion. Samsara is a documentary that fully embraces the artistic image, and uses to convey more emotion and information than most documentaries do.
I do think that Samsara overreached it's scope. Fricke tries to tie the message of his film to a sort of "this is human life and all that is on Earth" at the beginning , and slowly narrowed himself down into a critic of modern culture. Though this narrowed down approach leveled the film back in…
fotografía la zorra
Spectacular visuals which will never let us ask for any talks or dialogues till the end. Astonishingly beautiful. Had it for almost two years and watched at last.
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''A collection of films that paint with light, colors, and camera movement. No order. Some of these films may…
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By non-narrative, I don't mean films lacking narration, as a few of these do contain voice-over narrations; I'm looking for…