Here the Echoes Samsara Interview on Echoes weekend stations.
Samsara is the third feature film from director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson. Like their previous movies, it explores grand concepts with grand images and grand music. Samsara is Sanskrit for “continuous flow”, the repeating cycle of birth, life, death.
Ron Fricke: How we created it is as a nonverbal guided meditation on the themes of birth, death and rebirth. It’s about that flow.
The film travels across the globe with spectacular footage of dancers in Bali and China, temples in Burma, and worshipers in Mecca. These spectacular and scenic vistas are interwoven with scenes of destitution, abject poverty and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina where they shot buildings decimated by wind, rain and floods.
The score, half written by their long time collaborator, Michael Stearns and the other half by Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance and her writing partner, Marcello DeFrancisci, is an ambient global meditation with none of the sweeping orchestral sound that is the convention for this kind of film. In these non-narrative films, with no actors or dialogue, music is the emotional conduit.
Ron Fricke: I would say it’s at least half, 50/50 image and you know, in music. It’s really, the dialogue of the film is really the music. It give you the emotional context of the film.
Mark Magidson: We’ve been doing this for a while and Michael is a big part of the process as a partner. Michael’s music is very spacious and that kind of approach is conducive to this kind of filmmaking and the kinds of films that we’re making that leave space for the viewer to bring something of their own reality or their own experience to the viewing experience, where we’re not trying to necessarily say good or bad, or right or wrong with the imagery, it’s open to some interpretation, but the experience is guided.
You can hear an interview with Ron Fricke, Mark Magidson and Michael Stearns talking about Samsara in the Echoes Podcast.
~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))