Manakamana Reviews

  • Aug 30, 2019

    The critics must have been really smoking *something* if they rate this movie as a 91%. Fools often admire what they don't understand especially in today's world where every piece of bullshit filmmaking is touted as "art".

    The critics must have been really smoking *something* if they rate this movie as a 91%. Fools often admire what they don't understand especially in today's world where every piece of bullshit filmmaking is touted as "art".

  • Apr 01, 2015

    Manakamana is a Hindu temple in Nepal that people visit and make offerings or sacrifices. There's a cable car that takes people up to the temple. For the first half of this documentary, people take the cable car up to the temple. In the second half, people take the cable car down. That is quite literally all that happens. People are filmed in real time for the 10 minutes it takes to ride the car. Sometimes they talk to each other. Sometimes they don't. In one case, they are a bunch of goats (really). They don't seem to be aware that they are on camera. This film is riveting. Seriously. I loved it.

    Manakamana is a Hindu temple in Nepal that people visit and make offerings or sacrifices. There's a cable car that takes people up to the temple. For the first half of this documentary, people take the cable car up to the temple. In the second half, people take the cable car down. That is quite literally all that happens. People are filmed in real time for the 10 minutes it takes to ride the car. Sometimes they talk to each other. Sometimes they don't. In one case, they are a bunch of goats (really). They don't seem to be aware that they are on camera. This film is riveting. Seriously. I loved it.

  • Mar 31, 2015

    A film about car lift rides on the way up to the known temple. It's really one of the most simple films to do. Just place a camera in a car lift, capture the entire ride and wait for a new ride. We get talking along the third ride, and since I have learned that the most noisy tower is indicating that they are almost there I guess that ride number three is nearly done too. Inspirational and very sedative film. A beautiful documentary but first of all a geniously simple documentary. We get old people, younger people. Some silent, some talkative. My favorite "rides" are the rock dudes with cameras and a kitten and the ice-cream eaters was my favorite, but the ride with the dudes playing those kick ass instruments was the most magical one. 7.5 out of 10 popped ears.

    A film about car lift rides on the way up to the known temple. It's really one of the most simple films to do. Just place a camera in a car lift, capture the entire ride and wait for a new ride. We get talking along the third ride, and since I have learned that the most noisy tower is indicating that they are almost there I guess that ride number three is nearly done too. Inspirational and very sedative film. A beautiful documentary but first of all a geniously simple documentary. We get old people, younger people. Some silent, some talkative. My favorite "rides" are the rock dudes with cameras and a kitten and the ice-cream eaters was my favorite, but the ride with the dudes playing those kick ass instruments was the most magical one. 7.5 out of 10 popped ears.

  • Mar 08, 2015

    What an incredible film. I should say this at the outset: the biggest pitfall is to judge this film with Hollywood (or even Western) aesthetics in mind. Calling this film "boring" is the symptom of a Michael Bay disease. Calling it "boring" presupposes that the film exists to entertain...which it certainly does not. When criticizing the film, we should pretend the filmmakers weren't even there. In fact, we really get the sense that there is no camera - you see what any other passenger would see. The fact that you don't see the Manakamana temple makes it all that more mysterious. What we do get from the film are pilgrims in the 21st century visiting a 17th century temple which represents an ancient religion. This is not a film that depends on whether or not the viewer "likes" it or not. What we see are many seemingly different passengers; however, they are, in a way, all made the same by climbing the hills in the cable car. We never see the temple. Westerners wouldn't believe there is a goddess there. But how can we know she isn't there?

    What an incredible film. I should say this at the outset: the biggest pitfall is to judge this film with Hollywood (or even Western) aesthetics in mind. Calling this film "boring" is the symptom of a Michael Bay disease. Calling it "boring" presupposes that the film exists to entertain...which it certainly does not. When criticizing the film, we should pretend the filmmakers weren't even there. In fact, we really get the sense that there is no camera - you see what any other passenger would see. The fact that you don't see the Manakamana temple makes it all that more mysterious. What we do get from the film are pilgrims in the 21st century visiting a 17th century temple which represents an ancient religion. This is not a film that depends on whether or not the viewer "likes" it or not. What we see are many seemingly different passengers; however, they are, in a way, all made the same by climbing the hills in the cable car. We never see the temple. Westerners wouldn't believe there is a goddess there. But how can we know she isn't there?

  • Feb 20, 2015

    An interesting variety of passengers but ultimately not worth the two hour investment.

    An interesting variety of passengers but ultimately not worth the two hour investment.

  • Jan 23, 2015

    Transcendence in mundanity.

    Transcendence in mundanity.

  • Jan 09, 2015

    Manakamana is not for everyone and at times patience testing but for fans of James Benning or films like Le Quattro Volte and Nénette, it offers real cultural insight through observation. The film can be likened to Lois Patiño's Costa Da Morte, only this documentary uses similar methods to tell a far more contemplative story of Nepal's cultural, religious and social history.

    Manakamana is not for everyone and at times patience testing but for fans of James Benning or films like Le Quattro Volte and Nénette, it offers real cultural insight through observation. The film can be likened to Lois Patiño's Costa Da Morte, only this documentary uses similar methods to tell a far more contemplative story of Nepal's cultural, religious and social history.

  • Jan 07, 2015

    Not really sure what the critic consensus means by "haunting." The film is what it is, a series of people riding a cable car for a little under ten minutes each. People's experiences will vary. To say it's boring or not boring would be false. To say it's important or unimportant would be false. The experience is entirely subjective. Objectively, there is only a little we can say for the film. It doesn't cut from the top to the bottom of the car ride, so we are forced to endure the ride as the subjects do. We can say that the film aims at some sort of truth by refusing to cut, even when one car is just full of goats (which to me felt like it was toying with the audience, like "you think this is interesting? well what do you think about staring at these goats' assholes for ten minutes?"). The setup of the project provides at once a portrait of the individuals that enter the car and a pleasant scrolling landscape whose beauty the subjects often comment upon. That it is a portrait of Nepal society, I don't know... not really sure how people came to that. But the filmmakers did edit it in such a way that the riders and sequence of riders are not random. I identified a juxtaposition between three old ladies in the car referencing briefly the hardships of their childhood and three young rockstar guys taking pictures with their digital cameras. As for my personal viewing experience, I found it to be boring and ridiculous at times, like when the goats came on and it seemed the film was mocking us. But I wasn't completely bored and was at times intrigued. I liked that I had time to contemplate the images but after a while it lost its appeal and was kind of like an endurance test for myself. But it was enjoyable to see who would get in the cart next and at one point I was so transfixed that when the car went over a series of wheels I expected to feel it jiggle me. Would the film have been better if the riders did more? If the filmmakers hadn't included those single riders that barely did anything? I don't know. There certainly isn't a lot of information in the film which creates a desire to search for some which I assume makes people like it because they are looking where they normally wouldn't. I can't say your experience will be good or bad. If you think the trailer looks stupid don't watch it, there is nothing for you. Is there really that much to gawk at here? It all depends on how you see it. But I honestly some people are going overboard in calling this a masterpiece or a portrait of society.

    Not really sure what the critic consensus means by "haunting." The film is what it is, a series of people riding a cable car for a little under ten minutes each. People's experiences will vary. To say it's boring or not boring would be false. To say it's important or unimportant would be false. The experience is entirely subjective. Objectively, there is only a little we can say for the film. It doesn't cut from the top to the bottom of the car ride, so we are forced to endure the ride as the subjects do. We can say that the film aims at some sort of truth by refusing to cut, even when one car is just full of goats (which to me felt like it was toying with the audience, like "you think this is interesting? well what do you think about staring at these goats' assholes for ten minutes?"). The setup of the project provides at once a portrait of the individuals that enter the car and a pleasant scrolling landscape whose beauty the subjects often comment upon. That it is a portrait of Nepal society, I don't know... not really sure how people came to that. But the filmmakers did edit it in such a way that the riders and sequence of riders are not random. I identified a juxtaposition between three old ladies in the car referencing briefly the hardships of their childhood and three young rockstar guys taking pictures with their digital cameras. As for my personal viewing experience, I found it to be boring and ridiculous at times, like when the goats came on and it seemed the film was mocking us. But I wasn't completely bored and was at times intrigued. I liked that I had time to contemplate the images but after a while it lost its appeal and was kind of like an endurance test for myself. But it was enjoyable to see who would get in the cart next and at one point I was so transfixed that when the car went over a series of wheels I expected to feel it jiggle me. Would the film have been better if the riders did more? If the filmmakers hadn't included those single riders that barely did anything? I don't know. There certainly isn't a lot of information in the film which creates a desire to search for some which I assume makes people like it because they are looking where they normally wouldn't. I can't say your experience will be good or bad. If you think the trailer looks stupid don't watch it, there is nothing for you. Is there really that much to gawk at here? It all depends on how you see it. But I honestly some people are going overboard in calling this a masterpiece or a portrait of society.

  • Jan 07, 2015

    If your film diet is Marvel and Superman then you won't like this. If , like me , you adored 'Le Quattro Volte' you will find that this film too is well worth focusing on, in the same way as a meditation. YOur mind may wander from time to time at the long, real-time takes, but the gradual build up of a range of contrasting personalities (including goats) and their interactions with each other, the spectacular scenery and the various objects they carry with them (from chickens, to diaries and musical instruments) left me enchanted and reflective about my own inability just to 'be' as well as contemplating the pros and cons of a rapidly changing society.

    If your film diet is Marvel and Superman then you won't like this. If , like me , you adored 'Le Quattro Volte' you will find that this film too is well worth focusing on, in the same way as a meditation. YOur mind may wander from time to time at the long, real-time takes, but the gradual build up of a range of contrasting personalities (including goats) and their interactions with each other, the spectacular scenery and the various objects they carry with them (from chickens, to diaries and musical instruments) left me enchanted and reflective about my own inability just to 'be' as well as contemplating the pros and cons of a rapidly changing society.

  • Jan 05, 2015

    Possibly the worst film I've ever watched in my life. Pretentious & meaningless, a complete waste of time.

    Possibly the worst film I've ever watched in my life. Pretentious & meaningless, a complete waste of time.