Manakamana

A documentary about a group of pilgrims who travel to Nepal to worship at the legendary Manakamana temple.

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  • ★★★★★ review by Joe on Letterboxd

    Got a pretty cool time-distortion effect with this one, where I thought, like, an hour had passed but it had really been two. Only other piece of art to do this so acutely to me was the album Dopesmoker by Sleep - I'm not saying that record and this movie are going to sync up Dark Side of the Rainbow style, but just having the thought probably means I'm eligible for prison time in Texas.

  • ★★★★ review by matt lynch on Letterboxd

    absolutely enthralling, packed with indelible moments, funny as shit. constantly pokes at ethnographic documentary construction, preconceived notions of it, and even the privileged distance that's a part of watching it. metalheads, goats, ice cream, rooster.

  • ★★★★★ review by Sam Van Hallgren on Letterboxd

    While it's streaming on Netflix, I'd recommend watching the first three car rides. It's about 20 minutes. You'll know by then if it's for you or not. And if you watch to the end, well, I'm tempted to say: that's life.

    Lots of Fish Head "Scene of the Year" nominees.

  • ★★★½ review by preston on Letterboxd

    An interesting point about the static, nothing-happens shots of the so-called festival style: once you know exactly how long the shot is going to be (even if it's very long, e.g. 9 minutes) any sense of boredom dissipates, as though boredom were just a defence mechanism against the fear of time stretching out indefinitely. That said, this is canny about the placing of those bits where 'nothing happens', and e.g. Journey 6 - or the excellent joke that begins Journey 6 - wouldn't be half as funny if things hadn't gotten progressively more lively and human in Journeys 2-5. Ice cream becomes a source of tension in Journey 9, music creates an abrupt magical bubble in Journey 10, little mysteries lap around the edges - why does she call herself "deaf" when she obviously isn't in Journey 2? is the woman talking to herself in Journey 7? - and of course there's a spiritual rider, the goddess looking down ("Manakamana protect us!") on all God's creatures. All in all, ingenious.

  • ★★★★★ review by FilmApe on Letterboxd

    The ride where they are eating the ice cream bars inspired me to hit pause and get an ice cream bar out of my freezer and eat it while I was watching. It was like I was eating ice cream with them, and it was amazing. 5 Stars.

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