Wednesday, July 11, 2012
When I received an invitation to the screening of SAMSARA, I was excited about attending.
After all, according to the press kit, filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson travelled to twenty-five countries on five continents to fathom the elusive current of “interconnection” that runs through our lives.
In this instant case – it’s so elusive – that the filmmakers haven’t managed to capture it on the screen through the entire ninety-nine minutes of wasted celluloid.
The publicity release alleges that through “breathtaking images” and “transcendental music” (if you can sit through endless replays of Enya, then you’ll love the soundtrack here, by the way) the filmmakers illuminate the links between humanity and nature.
By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts expectations of a traditional documentary and encourages our own interpretations, the handlers underscore in so many words.
The end result?
The audience is left in a rudderless boat to nowhere until the credits crawl and the lights go up.
Apparently the “seed” of the idea was inspired by “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
“When I was a kid in college, it (Space Odyssey) really whacked me in the head (!), and I guess I never got over it. The fact that you could take big screen commercial cinema and do something so amazing without words,” gushed Fricke in a recent interview.
Sorry Mr. Fricke, you’re no Stanley Kubrick!
Edit SAMSARA down to ten minutes, inlay a voice-over to connect the images, and submit a “Short Film Program” at a local film festival.
At the door, hand out a few fat “doobies” - and with any luck – you’ll win the Audience “Far Out” Award (you betcha).
1 ½ stars
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 12:20 PM