''A collection of films that paint with light, colors, and camera movement. No order. Some of these films may…
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.
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.
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…
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…
There's no doubt that this movie is gorgeously photographed. But for me without a narrative or purpose behind it I cannot bring myself to care. I understand the appeal for those who dig this but there's little for me to latch onto here.
Ron Fricke returns with a sumptuous film ... five years, twenty five countries, five continents, shot in breathtaking detail on 70mm film. If you've seen Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi or Fricke's Baraka, then you'll have some idea of what to expect here. If not, it's hard to describe in any way that can do it justice. Beautiful photography of land and people, shot all over the world, using time-lapse, soaring aerials, languorous closeups ... inspiring and sad, glorious and frightening. Overall, it may be a bit more didactic and eccentric than Baraka, but there is so much here that is still worthwhile. We see a world that is still beautiful, whether it is in the uncompromised grandeur of nature or the strange, repellent beauty of those places where man has created chaos and squalor. A world that's our home, for good or ill.
Its hard to express into words what to say about this doc,but some of the images will stay with me and ingrain themselves in my memory for a long time.
Very exciting pictures... Frightening as well...
Works best when it's an art doc, exploring the various aesthetics of our world. Doesn't work so well when it tries to be a social doc (mainly through the use of suggestive editing). A sequence juxtaposing sex dolls and strippers isn't very insightful, nor is one that includes bullet production and a man being buried in a gun-shaped coffin. I can't be sure if Fricke wants to show us something universal or something unusual. It feels like he's aiming for the former, but giving us the latter.
A very disappointing sequel to Baraka. Everything that movie got right is diminished here.
A few moments aside, Baraka hit the right balance of delivering a message without feeling didactic. Samsara lacks that subtlety. The nadir is the geisha who cries a single tear, but I also could have done without some of the less-than-clever connections made by the film. Bullets have something to do with armies? Strippers are like sex dolls? Such mind-blowing insights!
In Baraka, the editing and the juxtaposition of music and imagery were so powerful they sometimes gave me chills. Here, the editing veers from obvious to random, and the music and images are combined in a way that fails to transcend.
Samsara also suffers…
Would make a lovely screensaver.
Someone needs to get that office worker a Xanax stat.
One of those films I hated the first time I watched it, but the more I expressed my compassionate dislike the more I realized it was brilliant
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