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Dante Ferretti's design recreating faithfully the traditional costumes and building with a great reality, with Roger Deakins beautiful cinematography (which depth, nuances and richness of colors are so beautifully transferred on this DVD), as well as Philip Glass's music, make KUNDUN a visual poem. Also must be noted is Thelma Schoonmaker's complex editing which explores and reveals the complexity of the story and giving them a beautiful, almost musical rhythm. According to Mr. Scorsese, the climatic Sand-Mandhala montage sequence that cross-cut the Dalai Lama's exile to India and a religious ceremony was her idea, and it brings the film up to an incredible spiritual level. Yet, Scorsese does not show Tibet as an idyllic and idealized society. By using the young Dalai Lama's point of view as a narrative strategy throughout the film, by showing almost everything through his eyes, the film also glimpses at the complexity of the Tibetan society and its own problems; "I didn't know monks has guns" "Is there a prison in Potala" says the 12 years old Dalai Lama.
Violence, or human pain to be more exact, is also present in this film. An amazing nightmare sequence shows the Dalai Lama in the midle of thousands of dead monks. A typical Scorsese image?Read more ›
But now I look at the film as being almost two separate parts. The first half shows us the Dali Lama as a child who must take on the role of Kundun and gives us a very slow (and beautiful) sense of environment and atmosphere. It also quietly sets up characters that will grow in importance as the film continues. The second "adult half" of the movie focuses on the Kundun having to deal with an aggressive communist China closing in on him and his people.
I feel like many people (including Ebert who said this is the only Scorsese movie he would not want to see again...) watch it once and say it was slow and they didn't care about the Dali Lama character enough. Well if you only watch it once you won't be able to see the detail (like the shot of the Kundun looking at Mao's shoes, or the baby Kundun separating the fighting beetles) , and depth that make up the fabric of this movie. There are all kinds of great shots and quick edits (the 3 seconds of violence in this film are more powerful then the lengthened violence in other films), and symbolism that you simply can't get your mind around the first time you watch this movie. Having said all of that, the cinematography alone would make this movie worth getting. And at $10, you make out like a bandit.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book and follows the story line, similar to SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET. Well worth reading both books and getting the CD.Published 7 days ago by PfV
A mesmerizing masterpiece! Another brilliant epic from five-time Academy Award nominated-Director: Martin Scorsese. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nina Kish
I can really add nothing to the other reviews other than to say this is a great movie regardless of your spiritual views.Published 1 month ago by Dwayne the Luddite
When Disney was making the movie, the Chinese government told it to stop or face stoppage in the construction of the Disneyland in Shanghai, China. Read morePublished 2 months ago by H. Ma
This movie is taken from Tibet, where a 2 year old boy has been described as the 14th reincarnation of the Buddha of Compassion. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jeremiah Sanderson
The film opens in Tibet in 1937, four years after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama, as monks find a young boy whom they sense may be their reincarnated leader. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
‘Kundun’ stands out to be influential as compared to other epic biographical films of the past and present generations. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Moe A.