Published on September 13th, 2013 | by Dan Gvozden



“Stream My Reels” is a weekly column that will feature one recommended streaming title from many different sources (Netflix, OnDemand, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.).

How could a film with no characters, plot, or dialogue be so dramatically rich?  It’s a great question and one that goes back to what makes film such a powerful art.  Samsara‘s beautiful images from around the world are able to say everything the film needs to say through how these images are juxtaposed. A simple cut from a massive chicken factory to an overweight family greedily eating chicken at KFC has more on its mind than any other image I’ve seen on film in quite awhile. It is this understanding of the power of the consecutive image that takes the dialogue from the screen and places it squarely in the minds of its audience.

2_e_Ron-Fricke-_SamsaraHere the drama of human existence and the balance/war between nature and human society take the forefront.  That tension is palpable in every image and creates truly compelling drama that I was never able to look away from.  It doesn’t hurt that the score from Marcello De Francisci, Liza Gerrard, and Michael Stearns keeps the film moving at a brisk pace and is always appropriately mixed.  Time lapses, slow-motion, and sped up imagery create a hypnotic intellectual montage that while obvious and blunt at times is also potent and uplifting.  Even on streaming the 4k imagery sizzles and the colors pop right off the screen.

There are so many moments and images that make a film like Samsara an unforgettable experience, but most of all keep your eye out for the man I’m dubbing “green clay man.”  You’ll know him when you see him, especially when he invades your nightmares.

“Samsara” is now available for instant streaming on Netflix Watch Instant.

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About the Author

Do you remember that dorky kid from elementary school who loved movies and comic books? Dan's him, but an adult... well in most senses of the word. All that matters is that he's an aficionado of all things pop culture and wants to share his interests with the world.

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