Friday, September 30, 2005

Repertory watch: Curzon Soho

The Curzon Soho seems to be the place to go this weekend. Apart from the short films I’ve already mentioned, the venue will be showing Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy (Recut) by director Graham Coleman. The re-release of the acclaimed documentary marks the digital remastering of the masterpiece, first released in 1979. The new version includes additional material and a new commentary, and has been edited down from its original four hours to a more compact running time, retaining its three-part structure. Part 1 introduces us to the richness of Tibetan Buddhist culture and observes the Dalai Lama in his dual role as Head of State and spritual teacher, filming him in his residence in Dharamsal, North India. The central section of the film generates a vision of Tibetan society previously unseen. Set entirely within the confines of one monastery, in the remote mountain retreats and within the township with the monastery serves, the film follows the lamas of the Sakya Monastery in Boudha, Nepal, as they prepare to perform an ancient protective ritual known as ‘A Beautiful Ornament.’ In Part 3, we move to the landscape of Ladakh, following the monks and farmers through their day and ending with a depiction of the monastery’s moving ritual response to a death in the community. The promise is that this is the first time the film is shown as intended. So get your Buddhist bells down to the materialistic confines of Soho and give the singing Hare Krishnas some serious competition.

Sunday, 2/10 at 2:45pm.

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