Samsara official press releases
Magidson Films - 20-June-2007
Samsara 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; 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 on a journey of the soul. Through powerful images, the film will illuminate the links between humanity and the rest of 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.
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 with the film techniques, bringing a vastly diverse musical component 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.
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 film using both standard frame rates and a motion control time-lapse camera designed specifically for this project. This camera system will allow him to shift perspectives to reveal extraordinary views of ordinary scenes. The film elements will be 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.
Magidson Films - 5-May-2007
Fifteen years after BARAKA wowed audiences across the globe, its sequel SAMSARA has been set in motion. Released in 1992, the original BARAKA was an epic film that explored the evolution of earth and man. Weaving together image, sound, and music in an exploration of nature and humanity BARAKA used the exquisite 70MM film format to present a kaleidoscope of stunning images. Producer Mark Magidson and director-cinematographer Ron Fricke traveled 24 countries on six continents to amass footage of man’s dramatic – and often detrimental – collision with his surroundings. BARAKA abandoned a traditional narrative approach in favor of one that transcended language and cultural barriers in order to become a breathtaking non-verbal masterpiece and critical success, and has enjoyed a sustained cult like following as a DVD release. “Baraka,” an ancient Sufi word, translates to “breath of life.”
SAMSARA, the BARAKA sequel, will continue where its predecessor left off, taking a deeper look, in far flung locations, at the cyclical interconnectedness of our world, exploring the themes of birth, death, and rebirth, and presenting it once again without dialogue in stunning 70MM. Ron Fricke returns to shoot and direct.. Mark Magidson is producing, again through his Los Angeles based production company, Magidson Films, Inc. “Samsara” is a Sanskrit word meaning “cyclic existence.”
BARAKA will also be re-released later this year through MPI Home Video in a special edition DVD both in standard def and HD (release date to be determined).