spacetime coordinates: 11th century Tibet
Milarepa (Tibetan: མི་ལ་རས་པའི་རྣམ་ཐར།།, Wylie: mi-la-ras-pa’i rnam-thar) is a 2006 Tibetan-language film about the life of the most famous Tibetan tantric yogi, eponymous Milarepa. The film was shot in the Spiti Valley, high in the Himalayas in the Zanskar region close to the border between India and Tibet due to the location’s resemblance to the Tibetan landscape.
Directed by Neten Chokling, a Lama from Western Bhutan who has previously worked with Khyentse Norbu on the films such as The Cup and Travellers and Magicians, the film is the first part about the adventurous formative years of the legendary buddhist mystic, Milarepa (1052-1135) who is one of the most widely known Tibetan Saints. The film combined myth, biography, adventure, history and docudrama.
The second part of the film, where Milarepa meets his Master Marpa the Translator and his ultimate enlightenment, was stated to be released in 2009 as per the information at the end of the first part of the film.
spacetime coordinate: 1980s China
Les filles du botaniste (Chinese: 植物园, Botanic Garden) is a dramatic and delicate story of two star-crossed lovers set against the fantastic lush of Chinese gardens.
based on a true story
The story starts when Min, a botanist who spent her childhood as an orphan, comes to intern at the botanical gardens under her new instructor, Chen. It is there that she meets An, Chen’s daughter, and finds herself falling in love in a time and place where same-sex relationships are an unforgivable crime.
Since it delves into a topic considered taboo in China, the government refused to allow for the film to be shot or even shown in the country (it was ultimately filmed in Vietnam)
Dai Sijie (director) “I felt that the deep love that brought these two young women together was extremely romantic. In my mind, these women weren’t so much ‘lesbian’ – since they didn’t really possess a recognition of knowledge of themselves as such – but rather they just were determined to love each other dearly. That unwavering surety of pure love just tears at the heart. Also, what really got to me was the fact that these were women denied their freedom. They were justified in their love and there should be no reason why they shouldn’t be able to continue in it–so one has to wonder, why do they not have that right? Since I have experienced losing the right to my own expression, I know what it feels like to not be able to be who you are in your own country. I felt close to both of them, because to me it seemed like we were all outsiders.”
The Chinese Botanist’s Daughters Interview with Dai Sijie in Tokyo Wrestling
Enter the Void is a 2009 English-language French drama film written and directed by Gaspar Noé and starring Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta (*Noé found Paz de la Huerta after holding auditions in New York City.”She had the profile for the character because she likes screaming, crying, showing herself naked—all the qualities for it.” Due to a desire that Linda and Oscar should be believable as siblings, Nathaniel Brown, a non-professional, was cast because of his resemblance to Huerta.:) and Cyril Roy.
Set in the neon-lit nightclub environments of Tokyo, the story follows Oscar, a young American drug dealer who gets shot by the police, but continues to watch subsequent events during an out-of-body experience. The film is shot from a first-person viewpoint, which often floats above the city streets, and occasionally features Oscar staring over his own shoulder as he recalls moments from his past. Noé labels the film a “psychedelic melodrama”.
Noé had tried various hallucinogens in his youth, and used those experiences as inspiration for the visual style. Later, when the director was already planning the film, he tried the psychoactive brew ayahuasca, in which the active substance is DMT. This was done in the Peruvian jungle, where the brew is legal due to its traditional use as an entheogen. Noé described the experience as very intense, and said he regarded it “almost like professional research.” Since few on the design team had ever taken a hallucinogen, it was necessary for Noé to collect and provide visual references in the forms of paintings, photographs, music videos, and excerpts from films. One reference used was the works of biologist Ernst Haeckel, whose drawings influenced the organic patterns seen during Oscar’s visions. read more