One man with a website who forever changed the media paradigm, upending the traditional press and changing the ground rules of political journalism.
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Lanky Man P (au) wrote: A boring film about a boring war. Jackie Chan needs to stick to Rush Hour.
Jake B (au) wrote: Many moments and shots from Unmistaken Child, if you didn't know any better, look they came from a time long past. (Despite itself, the film is shot on DV, seemingly out of necessity than out of design. While the recorded material can never appreciate the source to its fullest, it at implies greater authenticity.) Shanty homes of brown and gray are surrounded by the lush-yet-harsh-ness of nature: of green mountainsides covered forever in mist and mystery. The film's design relies on this environment, because it plays such an important role. At its most base, nature at least reminds us of death, of how natural it actually is. How inescapable. And death (and by extension, new life) is "Unmistaken Child's" central theme: a disciple of the great Buddhist teacher, Geshe Lama Konshog, is charged after the Lama's passing to find his reincarnation, his 'unmistaken' spirit made tangible. Whatever (non)spiritual angle you come from, the idea can delve into profundities on labyrinth human nature, truth and fiction, and the sheer beauty of human relationships. The filmmakers, thankfully, discover all these things, due in part to those two wonderful flukes of documentary filmmaking - serendipity and happenstance - which they find in abundance. The film's physical protagonist, Tenzin Zopa, resembles a malnourished Tony Leung Chiu Wai - both exhibit that strange blend of restive worldliness with vulnerability and despair. He is composed, sure, but at the mercy of greater forces than him: and he knows it. It's perfectly clear that Tenzin believes in his quest, although initially, for the wrong reasons: if he's not spiritually attune, if he singles an ignorant, unwilling charlatan as his master Lama, it could misrepresent his faith to outsiders. And Tenzin is naturally candid: how can he, a mere servant, recognize the Lama Incarnate? He feels spiritually undernourished for the task. And for his journey, Tenzin has to travel to his personal childhood province, to his town, into his past. He must make everyday decisions for himself, he must to interact with the religious establishment - all things Tenzin himself admits were handled by his mentor. This internal struggle marries his physical coming-of-age with a spiritual pilgrimage. To a greater degree, the story's whole improbable web of probability hints at a Divine design, like a last, after-death object lesson from teacher to pupil. It's a masterstroke of narrative documentary that only a few leaders of the form would attempt. The great difficulty of the film is figuring whether it - truly - believes in its central narrative, but this luckily lends the proceedings a subtle tension, one which works to its benefit. The filmmakers try their damnedest to arrange their footage with a sense of objectivity, inserting awkward asides and glances of stuttering theological foreboding - either in red baby herrings or the toddler Lama's many identity tests. In moments, you find yourself questioning even the best intentions of the monks: what are the long term effects for the reincarnated Lama's parents to give up their child in such a way? Or the boy's sense of inflated worth? Tenzin receives the hint to the boy's whereabouts through a distant relative. Is this really Divine or personal wish-fulfillment? Are we simply witnessing remarkable feats of chance? The filmmakers are keenly aware that their intimate proximity to the subject could cloud their documentary intentions, and it asks the hard questions when it can. But thankfully in moments of grace, they let this go. As a viewer, I don't look necessarily for a film to validate my personal beliefs, or to uphold every political, spiritual, or social precept I hold dear. Film would not be as fun, just as life is never that simple. The complexities of life lose their sense of a greater Design. Tenzin's quest for his teacher's reincarnation has so much Byzantine pathos it's hard not embrace a certain mystery. How strange it is, in "Unmistaken Child," to actually see, without distance, the monk play with a child who used to be his spiritual mentor, and for Tenzin to teach his teacher about Buddhist dogma? You could perceive Geshe Lama, in remarkable foresight and spiritual clarity, teaching his disciple Tenzin something greater about himself, about the mysteries of life and death: the Lama himself as that object lesson. Or, it could all be folly. The film embraces both possibilities, and to its credit and against the odds, finds a middle way.
Carlos D (mx) wrote: Beautiful scenery,Japan is just amazing and this movie make it even better.
Andrew H (jp) wrote: What a disgusting and obnoxious person to focus a documentary on. I wouldn't want to watch this again, even though it's very well made and serves as a wonderful cautionary tale.
Liico T (de) wrote: Making a mosaic of characters showing the vision of the misfits of the 60s, the movie is filled up with tones os prejudice characters and pessimists points of view of the society at the time. For this, the movie becames a must-see piece of cinema, if not for the chacarcters, at least for the story and the hole sunspense created in the situation.
Ahmed K (ca) wrote: You can't resist George Sanders and Herbert Marshall in the same film together!
John M (au) wrote: I love Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss and they have good chemistry in here but this film is so messy from a writing and directing standpoint. Once you realize the initial premise and setup about an alternate universe, it becomes very exciting, but it's slowly downplayed by obvious execution and exposition and I feel it just tries to confuse the audience when it really should be exploring this relationship in a deep and meaningful way given the metaphors.