The movie industry seems to be overflowing with hyphenates more than ever these days. Writer-directors have been common for years. Actor-directors are becoming more common every day (Angelica Huston and Edward Norton have recently joined the ranks of Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner and dozens of others), as are actor-producers (Drew Barrymore, Tom Cruise). Occasionally you'll even see an actor-writer-director.
Here's a new one: Writer-director-Tibetan monk.
Khyentse Norbu, a lama recognized as the incarnation of a 19th Century Buddhist saint, was bitten by the filmmaking bug in 1992 when he served as a consultant on Bernardo Bertolucci's "Little Buddha." In between duties of devotion, he soon began experimenting with short films and last year he completed his first feature, a modest and supremely entertaining slice-of-life comedy called "The Cup," about the students at one of his monasteries in Bhutan going bananas with World Cup fever.
Continue reading: Khyentse Norbu
The first film to come out of the mysterious and beautiful kingdom of Bhutan, Travellers follows a frustrated and America-obsessed government officer Dondup (Tshewang Dendup) as he tries to leave his village and make contact with a connection who will get him to America, his "dreamland," a place where "you can do anything... wash dishes, pick apples, anything." Clomping through the hillside village with an "I Love NY" t-shirt pulled over his traditional garments, he's extremely impatient to leave. Unfortunately, Dondup misses the infrequent bus to town -- a very unlucky circumstance in transportation-starved Bhutan -- and finds himself walking and hitching with his turquoise suitcase hoping he'll make it in time.
Continue reading: Travellers And Magicians Review
Continue reading: The Cup Review