Filmed over a period of five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on 70mm film, SAMSARA transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary. It encourages our own interpretations, inspired by images and transcendent music that infuses the ancient with the modern. SAMSARA explores the wonders of our world, from the
mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of man's spirituality and the human experience and illuminating the links between humanity and the rest of nature.
||August 24th, 2012 (Limited) by Oscilloscope Pictures|
||January 8th, 2013 by Mpi Home Video|
||PG-13 for some disturbing and sexual images.|
(Rating bulletin 2228, 6/20/2012)
||Avant Garde, Limited Dialogue, Prison, Poverty, Religious, Food, Performing Arts, Robot, Artists, Dancing|
|Source:||Based on Real Life Events|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
||Magidson Films, Mark Magidson|
There are many reasons why I pick and choose the screeners I want to review. Sometimes it is a big film and I want to know what the buzz was about. Sometimes it is a smaller film that I think deserved more publicity. Sometimes it is because of the cast or the director. Sometimes, the reason is a little weirder. Part of my job is cataloging every movie based on their keywords. Its a daunting task and involves a lot of research, usually reading a number of reviews. When it came to Samsara, no matter how many reviews I read, I couldn't quite figure out what it was about. So when an offer to review it arrived, I said yes right away. I needed to see the film for myself.
After two weeks of almost nothing worth talking about on the home market, there's plenty to talk about this week. ... Actually, to be totally honest, it is another slow week, it's just not painfully slow. (Also, I'm unwilling to pad the list like I had to do the last couple weeks.) Worse still, because the holiday just ended, a lot of the screeners that were supposed to arrive have not, including a few Pick of the Week contenders. Compliance, Dredd, and Frankenweenie are all contenders that are currently late, and I really don't like choosing a late screener. In the end, it was literally a coin toss between Archer: Season Three on DVD or Blu-ray and Red Dwarf: X on DVD or Blu-ray. And the coin said... Red Dwarf: X.
One statistic suffices to sum up this weekend at the box office: based on estimates received so far, the weekend ranks as the 5th-worst weekend for total box office receipts since January, 2000 (see full chart here). While that position will improve when we get complete numbers on Monday, there's a good chance this will end up as the worst weekend since 2001, even though ticket prices have risen substantially since then. The two marks that industry watchers should look out for are the $67.5 million weekend of September 5, 2003 and the $67.9 million weekend of September 5, 2008. Unsurprisingly, the top film at the box office this weekend is the same as last weekend: The Possession is set for about $9.5 million in its second outing. The Words is the top opener, with about $5 million in 2,801 theaters -- certainly a disappointment, although CBS Films is hoping for good legs thanks to its adult-skewing demographic.
Samsara expanded from two to nine theaters, but held on well enough to rise to top spot on the per theater chart with $12,597. Sleepwalk With Me expanded to 29 theaters and was very solid with an average of $11,127.
Labor Day weekend is traditionally the slowest holiday weekend at the box office, so it comes as no surprise that the overall chart looks fairly weak. However, Possession is set to produce a very credible box office number, with Lionsgate estimating $17.725 million through Sunday and comfortably over $20 million for the full 4-day frame. That's hardly blockbuster level, but is considerably better than consensus predictions coming in to the weekend. Another opener, Lawless, is well behind, with Weinstein predicting $9.7 million for the Friday-Sunday portion of the weekend. Far, far behind that is this weekend's other new wide release, The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure, which is headed for about $450,000 from 2,160 theaters and will end up in the record books for one of the poorest openings in history.
Sleepwalk With Me found its way on top of the per theater chart with $68,801 in one theater. This is higher than the per theater average for the opening of The Avengers, which was the goal of the filmmakers after their fake fight with Joss Whedon. Samsara opened with an average of $38,111 in two theaters. The only other film in the $10,000 club was Space Station with $14,268 in one theater.
The Summer box office season will come to an abrupt halt this weekend as returning films dominate the chart thanks to some decidedly lackluster openings. The top holdover, The Expendables 2, will win by default with a decent second weekend of $13.5 million, according to Lionsgate's Sunday morning estimate. That's down a fairly respectable 53% from its debut figure. The standout performer among returning films is political documentary 2016: Obama's America, which is projected to earn $6.2 million from 1,091 theaters -- the best per theater average in the top 10. That film will end up in 8th place, though, after an impressive 4th place on Friday, suggesting that it has a fairly narrow, if enthusiastic, fan base.
Like I said last weekend, it is an awkward time to debut a film in limited release. It is too late for summer holidays, but too early for Awards Season. There are not nearly as many releases this week as there were last week, but at least there are a few earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. The one with the best chance of success is Sleepwalk With Me, but Samsara and Somewhere Between could be art house hits.
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