Daily Archives: April 20, 2019

Comeback Kid [LITTLE BUDDHA]

From the Chicago Reader (June 3, 1994). — J.R.

** LITTLE BUDDHA

(Worth seeing)

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci

Written by Mark Peploe, Rudy Wurlitzer, and Bertolucci

With Keanu Reeves, Chris Isaak, Bridget Fonda, Alex Wiesendanger, Ying Ruocheng, Jigme Kunsang, Raju Ial, and Greishma Makar Singh.

“Nirvana” is a word that comes from Sanskrit, the Reader’s Encyclopedia informs me, meaning “blowing out, extinction”; in Buddhist teaching it refers to “a complete annihilation of the 3 main ego-drives, for money, fame, and immortality.”

Bernardo Bertolucci has said that his aim in Little Buddha is low-key. Of the third film in his self-described orientalist trilogy, following The Last Emperor (1987) and The Sheltering Sky (1990), he says, “My hope is to open the eyes for a glimpse of something, my hope is to trigger a curiosity about something. I can’t teach or ask anything more than just for others to participate in my emotional discovery of Buddhism.” But Little Buddha is a multimillion-dollar project designed to make money and to exploit and perpetuate Bertolucci’s fame while catering to the viewer’s desire for immortality. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that nirvana, one of the cornerstones of Buddhist thought, plays a reduced role in Bertolucci’s “emotional discovery,” whereas reincarnation as a means of immortality plays a major role.… Read more »

Off Color [Kieslowski's WHITE]

From the Chicago Reader (June 17, 1994). — J.R.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_fYv3dsEBzEI/SV8T_AtuQBI/AAAAAAAAAOk/sjS6Gy6tgCU/s400/kieslowski_white.jpg

** WHITE

(Worth seeing)

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski

Written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz and Kieslowski

With Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delphy, Janusz Gajos, Jerzy Stuhr, Grzegorz Warchol, and Jerzy Nowak.

“Imagine a kind of filmmaking that’s truly in tune with the ways you think and relate to other people. A deeply humane kind of filmmaking, but free from ‘humanist’ lies and sentimental evasions. Not a dry, ‘realistic’ kind of filmmaking, but one in which all the imaginative and creative efforts have gone into understanding the way we are. A kind of filmmaking as sensitive to silence as to speech, and alert to the kind of meanings we prefer to hide away. To my knowledge, only two directors in the world are currently making films like that. One is Krzysztof Kieslowski in Poland. The other is Edward Yang in Taiwan.”

These rousing words by Tony Rayns in the June issue of Sight and Sound were just what I needed to read after returning last month from Cannes, where wonderful films by Yang and Kieslowski about contemporary life were showing in competition. They were the two best competing films that I saw, though neither won any prizes.… Read more »