"Samsara" - in Panavision System 65
The 70mm Newsletter
by: Mark Magidson & Ron Fricke, Hollywood, USA
is a Tibetan word that means ”The ever turning wheel of life”, a concept
both intimate and vast, obvious and oblique, the perfect subject for
filmmakers Mark Magidson and Ron Fricke who have awed us with exquisite
images of the mundane; the filmmakers with an uncanny ability to reveal
the elusive current of interconnection that runs through the universe
and our lives.
Both philosophically and technically, “Samsara” will build on the team’s
earlier work. Expanding on the themes of interconnection and
transcendence which they developed in “Baraka” (1992), “Samsara” will
focus on the cycle of Birth, Death and Rebirth, from the perspectives of
many cultures. Neither a traditional documentary, nor a travelogue,
“Samsara” will take 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, the film will illuminate
the links between humanity and the rest of the nature, showing how our
life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet. “Samsara” will be part of a
21st Century mythology, revealing parts of our imperilled planet never
before photographed. It will combine original and indigenous music with
dance as well as other contemporary art forms.
in 70mm reading:
"Samsara" Internet Sightings
Panavision System 65
"Baraka" cast and
Baraka - A Visual
Todd-AO at "Sea" in
Fricke and Magidson firmly believe that nonverbal films must live up to
the standard of great still photography, which reveals the essence of a
subject, not just the physical presence, but the inner workings as well.
In order to accomplish this goal, they rely on the careful balance of
three elements: cinematography, editing and music. To achieve this
synthesis, the musical score for “Samsara” will be commensurate to the
film. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes of thematic score will be composed
and woven into original music from accomplished international artists,
the carefully coordinated score matching the imagery in sophistication
and cultural integrity.
Hi, just a comment
It says Samsara is a Tibetan word, but this is wrong. it's actually a Sanskrit
word from ancient India. though Buddhism traveled to Tibet, and they too
have the word Samsara, the word is in Tibetan: "khor ba". you can read more
With a team that has collaborated for over 20 years,
“Samsara” will be
filmed in 20 to 25 countries. Director/Cinematographer Ron Fricke will
photograph in 70mm using both standard frame rates and a motion control
time-lapse camera designed specifically for this project. The camera system
will allow him to shift perspectives to reveal extraordinary views of
ordinary scenes. The film elements will then be scanned to a digital
intermediate format. Effects produced in this manner will be stunning
without appearing artificial. “Samsara” will be the ultimate showpiece for
both the HD format and high-resolution digital projection, as well as
standard film projection.
After the fantastic and time proven response to “Baraka” (Variety declared
it a “Masterpiece” and the Hollywood Reporter a “riveting” experience), Magidson and Fricke are confident that world audiences are ready for films
with a life-affirming message. They aim to take the universally understood,
nonverbal genre to new heights; a global vision for a global audience.
CANNES -- Nearly 15 years
after "Baraka" gained critical acclaim and estimable returns in homevid, a
sequel is in motion.
"Samsara," directed and shot by Ron Fricke, has begun lensing and will span
12 to 14 months and more than 20 countries.
"One of the challenges of this is to try to get stunning and unfamiliar
imagery," producer Mark Magidson said. "We also need to have a lot of
density of imagery to build the sequences for a film that relies on
non-verbal storytelling and can sustain interest for the length of a
With elements of travelogue, New Age trip and anthropological exploration,
"Baraka" and its followup belong to a subgenre of non-verbal pics that
includes such titles as "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Winged Migration." "Samsara" is
a Sanskrit word for "cyclic existence" and the filmmakers call the film a
"guided meditation" through "birth, death and rebirth" in several cultures.
In 1993, Samuel Goldwyn's release notched a $1.3 million domestic cume.
Tech aspects and music play a key role in non-verbal films, and Lisa Gerrard
of Dead Can Dance and "Gladiator" fame will be involved in the "Samsara"
Improvements in home- theater systems over the years have helped keep
homevid demand strong, and "Baraka" has shipped more than half a million
DVDs to date. An upgraded edition, in both regular and high-definition, is
on the way from MPI Home Video by year's end.
Budget for the sequel is likely to exceed the original's $3 million, with
world distribution rights expected to remain up for grabs until shooting
Mark Magidson and film director Ron Fricke reunite to shoot another 65mm
project titled SAMSARA, a continuation of their previous film BARAKA. This
project will go around the world covering over 24 countries and 5
Produced by Magidson Films, SAMSARA is due for theatrical release in 2009.
Location: Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt)
Producer: Mark Magidson
Director: Ron Fricke
Line Producer: Myles Connelly
1st Assistant Camera : J.C. Earle
2nd Assistant Camera : Siddhartha Abbazi
Photography by : Siddhartha Abbazi
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