View Full Version : Manakamana (Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez)

Stay Puft
07-10-2014, 04:51 AM
Dir. Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez

IMDb page (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3103326/)


Stay Puft
07-10-2014, 04:55 AM
The perfect antidote to Transformers: Age of Extinction. If this thing had been shot in IMAX 3D we'd have the summer's best blockbuster.

07-11-2014, 01:30 AM
It took me about two-and-a-half trips up the mountain to get into the rhythm of this one, but once I did, it was pretty mesmerizing. I don't like it quite as much as the other two Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab films, but I would say they're three for three. Duke should stay far away from this one.

Stay Puft
07-11-2014, 03:10 AM
It might be my favorite. I had some issues with parts of Leviathan but I found this one delightful and engaging all the way through. There's surprising variation in the seemingly simple/repetitive structure. After a couple trips, I had developed a natural sense of the length of time of the trip, so that when the trio of old women from the third trip are confused about whether or not they've arrived at their destination, I'm laughing because I know they're only half way there - but also because I know exactly what they're looking at, having been similarly fooled during the first trip (when the car passes that first village). And then there's the constant surprise of simply waiting to see what happens next, or who will be riding in the cable car next (I love how we just see silhouettes until the car is out over the hills) and being especially delighted by the trip with the goats, and also the final trip, when we're reunited with two of the travelers from the first half of the film.

Minus half a star though for the two older women trying to eat ice cream bars. Most people seem to find this part cute or funny but haha they annoyed the fuck out of me.

07-11-2014, 03:22 AM
Yeah, the way it plays with your expectations and spatial awareness is definitely unique.

Also, I thought it was cute and funny, but thinking about how sticky her hands must be made me really uncomfortable.

12-09-2014, 02:24 PM
As others noted, the rhythm here is key. I struggled through the first two largely silent trips, but after that I became enthralled. It's a great experiment in what we can learn about people and their concerns in such a limited time, and a study in what strangers are willing to share with a camera--how much subterfuge they use to talk, how shy they become, and just how similar we are in expressing interest about our surrounding.

The metalheads and the three elderly women were my favorites. Not as innovative as Leviathan, but this is one I'd rewatch before it.