Scorsese’s Kundun is on, and it occurs to me that this is his most beautiful film. The opening, a sequence of details from a Tibetan sand mandala, is entrancing. Roger Deakins (cinematographer) rocks. Here’s an interview with him and 13 other great DP’s. If you’ve never watched Tibetan monks make a sand mandala, seek it out. There should be a Mandala Aggregator site, like PublicRadioFan, where you can find mandalas in process anywhere in the world. [Is this what Larry King’s column’d be like if he knew XML?]
I stayed up too late last night watching that sycophant on In The Actor’s Studio suck up to Mr. Scorsese (Oh, sorry. Marty.) for two hours. He had to mention their dinner together at Cannes three times. Anyway, I imagine a movie about the Dalai Lama’d be a little weird for a Christmas gift, but Amazon can’t ship it in time anyway.
An embarassingly bad collection of operatic shorts just ended on Sundance, including one by the late Derek Jarman. That, in turn, reminded me of Blue, his last feature. Blind from persistent chemotherapy treatments, Jarman had an unexposed reel of film printed as azure blue (apparently, there are no frames). For eighty minutes, dialogue, sounds, and music wash over you; by about half way through, you’d swear there are distortions, shadows, movement on the monochromatic screen. It’s wonderful (and available on CD). Reading it is nice, but it doesn’t do it justice.