Following the trail that serendipity was showing me, I convinced Greg to go with me to see the new movie, Samsara, on Friday night. The day before, I'd come across an article about its making in a magazine. Earlier that day, several friends had waxed enthusiastically about it on Facebook. Realizing that Samsara was actually showing in Wichita seemed like a sign. If nothing else, I wanted to support Warren Theaters for screening something beyond the latest low-level comedy or gore-filled thriller.
The movie fascinated me. However, Greg fell asleep several times in the first 20 minutes and then, apparently, had to force himself to stay awake for the rest of it. Perhaps not a movie to see after a long day at work....
Samsara took 5 years to film and was filmed in something like 25 countries. There are no actors, per se, and there is no talking - just music and video sequences. The trailer gives a good feel for how the movie feels overall.
There is no labeling, so you have no idea where each sequence is from, unless you happen to recognize it from your internal store of world knowledge.
I am aching to have someone to discuss some of the scenes from the movie with, as well as to help me analyze what the intent of the film-makers was in how they juxtaposed the sequences. Why they chose to film what they filmed. Sometimes the movie seemed celebratory, but at other times very disturbing.
It took me quite a while to come out of the spell that the film wove and, even now, I find myself slipping back into a mesmerized state thinking about it. The scenes of the Great Mosque were mind-blowing. A mechanized milking platform that still amazes me. Shifting sands. Martial arts practice by a crowd, a real CROWD. Inside views of soaring modern hotels, ancient cathedrals, and homes being buried. Red-robed monks creating a sand painting, watched by young initiates. Beautiful women from different ancient cultures, some dancing in ways that seemed unreal. Resolve. Hopelessness. The mechanics of daily life in places far removed from my daily here and now.
Hopefully I'll be able to see the movie again, preferably with someone who is stirred enough by it that they want to delve into what they've seen. Meanwhile, I'm finding that I recognize certain images that wouldn't have meant much to me before. (That's how I was able to pair up the movie sequences of the Great Mosque in Mecca with the name of the actual place I had seen - thank you, National Geographic!) I may even go back and see Samsara alone, just to see what I notice on my second viewing that escaped my eyes the first time around.
If anyone who reads this has seen Samsara, I hope you leave a comment and let me know what you thought about it. And if you haven't seen this movie, I must admit that I hope you get a chance to do so, at least once.