Sharchen Dzong Film Society
The Sharchen Dzong Film Society is dedicated to bringing great film to our community for free. We present films that examine themes such as devotion, intention, transformation, happiness, healing, suffering, connection, impermanence and the illusory nature of experience.
Consider movie night an opportunity to try one of the many nearby restaurants before joining us for the film. If there is a film you’d like us to show, send an email to film [at] sharchendzong [dot] org.
Winter 2013-14 Film Schedule
December: Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas (2012 / 172 min) is an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.
The reincarnation of a soul travels through time beginning with the diary of a potential slave-owner voyaging across the Pacific in 1849, then a talented composer writing letters to his lover in Britain’s 1930s, followed by a reporter investigating a corrupt case about a US nuclear power-plant in the 1970s, succeeded by a publisher’s comical entrapment in a nursing home in 2012, followed by a clone’s thrilling escape and rebellion in 2144′s Korea, and finally a tribesman fighting cannibals in Hawaii in a post-apocalyptic world past 2300. Each story challenges the corrupt norms of the time, changing the course of history, and shaping the future through acts of kindness, big and small.
Date: Friday, December 20th
January: Free Radicals – A History of Experimental Film
Free Radicals (2010 / 86 min) is a feature-length documentary that provides a vivid, eye-opening, and appropriately personal introduction to one of the most important, yet perpetually marginalized, realms of film making: avant-garde cinema.
Achieving the near-impossible task of doing justice in a mere 82 minutes to this incredibly rich, varied, and expansive domain, FREE RADICALS is as expertly constructed an introduction to the topic as one could hope for, thanks in large part to the film’s privileging of rare interviews with some of the most important filmmakers in the avant-garde tradition (including Jonas Mekas, Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage, and Hans Richter), and its inclusion of several films in their entirety. The film’s sincere admiration for its subject is best reflected by Chodorov’s own description: “I wanted to share a few of the films I love and introduce you to some of the free, radical artists who made them.”
Date: Friday, January 10th
Milarepa (2006 / 90 min) depicts the humble beginnings of the man who was to become Tibet’s greatest saint. A true story based on centuries-old oral traditions, a youthful Milarepa is propelled into a world of sorrow and betrayal after his father’s sudden death. Destitute and hopeless, he sets out to learn black magic – and exact revenge on his enemies – encountering magicians, demons, an enigmatic teacher and unexpected mystical power along the way. But it is in confrontation with the consequences of his anger that he learns the most. Photographed in the stunning Lahaul-Spiti region of Northern India, Milarepa offers a provocative parallel to the cycle of violence and retribution consuming today’s world.
Date: Friday, February 21st
March: Wings of Desire
Wings of Desire (1988 / 127 min), is Wim Wenders’ remarkable modern fairy tale about the nature of being alive. The film tells the story of Damiel and Cassiel, angels who watch over the city of Berlin. They don’t have harps or wings well, they usually don’t have wings and they prefer overcoats to gossamer gowns. But they can travel unseen through the city, listening to people’s thoughts, watching their actions and studying their lives. While they can make their presence felt in small ways, only children and other angels can see them. They spend their days serenely observing, unable to interact with people, and they feel neither pain nor joy.
One day, Damiel finds his way into a circus and sees Marion Solveig Dommartin, a high-wire artist, practicing her act; he is immediately smitten. After the owners of the circus tell the company that the show is out of money and must disband, Marion sinks into a funk, shuffling back to her trailer to ponder what to do next. As he watches her, Damiel makes a decision: he wants to be human, and he wants to be with Marion, to lift her spirits and, if need be, to share her pain.
Date: Friday, March 21st
Films We Show
There are many films that explore contemplative themes from a variety wisdom traditions. Films such as these offer the general audience an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the many diverse forms of buddhism.
The film society regularly presents a selection of exceptional and hard-to-find dharma films.
Mainstream film can be described as commercial films that have a wide release and play in first run theaters. The boundary is vague. Mainstream suggests middle-of-the-road and implies commercial viability, sometimes implying that the commercial viability is tantamount to a loss of artistic creativity.
The film society presents a wide selection of mainstream films that provide though-provoking and inspiring stories.
Experimental film is often characterized by the absence of linear narrative, the use of various abstracting techniques (out of focus, painting or scratching on film, rapid editing), the use of asynchronous sound or even the absence of any sound track.
The goal is often to place the viewer in a more active and thoughtful relationship to the film. The terms avant-garde and undergroundhave been used to describe films that today are commonly called experimental cinema.
The film society presents a selection of experimental films that provide our audience the opportunity to experience beginner’s mind.
Our community includes a diverse and extraordinary group of filmmakers making films that examine issues both personal and universal in a wide range of styles and genres, including: animation, experimental, drama, documentaries and others.
Contact: For more information, please send an email to:
film [at] sharchendzong [dot] org.