Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders.
Balinese Tari Legong Dancers,
Ni Made Megahadi Pratiwi,
Puti Sri Candra Dewi
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In this cinematic concert, mesmerizing images are plucked from everyday reality, then visually altered with state-of-the-art digital techniques. The result is a chronicle of the shift from a world organized by the principles of nature to one dominated by technology, the synthetic and the virtual. Extremes of intimacy and spectacle, tragedy and hope fuse in a tidal wave of visuals and music, giving rise to a unique, artistic experience that reflects the vision of a brave new globalized world. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Having enjoyed Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqatsi I was looking forward to this third part of the Qatsi trilogy and seeing what direction it had taken. Rarely has a film so spectacularly failed to live up to its predecessors and lost its way. Although it tries to represent "civilised warfare" in the form of sport, science, trade and other forms of competition, it lacks the global scope and even the coherently developed themes of its predecessors. War is chaos, but even wars have an aim in mind and this film had little structure and unclear goals.
Naqoyqatsi is flawed by being a chaotic melange of images that does little to develop its theme. On the plus side, it wisely avoided using some of the iconic images of last century's wars.
Naqoyqatsi is also so insular that several times I had to remind myself that I was not watching an advertisement promoting the American way of life. Perhaps this insularity reflects the ongoing "War on Terror". When representing "sport as war" the prominent team logos ensured that the USA was depicted as the winner. Hence it missed the opportunity to depict some of the many sports around the world and showing that humanity is united in its use of sport as a form of civilised warfare.
Apart from newsreel, the footage seemed to have been shot on a budget in the confines of New York and there was little recognition of "life as war" in the rest of the world. The gallery of faces (waxworks) gave only a nod to the existence of important personages outside of the USA. The makers missed the point that globalisation does not mean Americanisation.
The Philip Glass soundtrack sounded much like every other Philip Glass score I've heard (with the possible exception of Koyaanisqatsi) and at best can be described as "inoffensive" neither adding to, nor detracting from, the chaotic imagery.
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