An Interview With the Creators of the World-Spanning and Visually Stunning 70mm Film 'Samsara'
This past weekend I went to go see the opening of Samsara in glorious 4K at Seattle’s Cinerama. The word “breathtaking” is often bandied about in movie reviews to the point where it’s become cliché, but believe me when I say that this movie is truly breathtaking. Shot on 70mm film in 25 countries over 5 years with no dialogue or narration, the film is essentially a visually rich cross-section of life around the globe. David Poland of DP/30 recently interviewed the makers of Samsara — director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson (the same filmmakers behind Baraka and Chronos) — to talk about the shooting and editing of the film and their thoughts on film and digital technologies.
You can check out the film’s trailer below:
(Note: There is somewhat of a spoiler about the beginning and end of the film in the interview):
During and after the film I kept wondering whether the meaning of the juxtaposed images had an intended message aside from the theme of birth, death, and rebirth, or if the meaning I was inferring was just the good old Kuleshov effect at work. The interview with the filmmakers doesn’t really shed any light on this specifically, but Fricke emphasized that the film was about flow and interconnectedness. And perhaps that suggests the best way to look at the film: an outpouring of images that –while having an over arching cohesive theme– will tell a different story to each person that views it.
Samsara is an extraordinary example of visual storytelling and I can’t recommend it enough. For a full schedule of screenings in cities both in the U.S. and abroad, visit the Samsara website.