“God sleeps in stone, Breathes in plants, Dreams in animals, And awakens in man.”
~ Ancient Hindu Proverb
I quoted back to the director one of his favorite proverbs. I was wondering about how it connected with his latest work, “The Shaman.” Marco Kalantari said he was looking for a way to create a synergy between today’s science fiction and ancient legends. And, on that intriguing note, we began our interview. “The Shaman” is definitely something unusual with shades of “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” mixed with a distinctive vision. It is one story with great potential for being expanded into a feature length film. What you’ll come away with the feeling you’ve just seen something unusual. And, if you’re in the New York metro area, you will get a first look at it during the Tribeca Film Festival, April 15-26. Details here.
Marco Kalantari is a talented filmmaker devoted to telling a good story with a quirky twist. His short film, “The Shaman,” (review here) is one of the gems you’ll find at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. His commercial work in the Asian market has led to some of the most remarkable sci-fi inspired mini-movies for such global brands as Nokia, Pepsi, Chevrolet, BMW, HSBC, and Panasonic.
The eccentric Austrian filmmaker started his international career with a Silver Lion in Cannes 2003 for his television commercial for “Medecins Sans Frontiers.” Within a year he became one of the most demanded directors on the Indian TVC market, and soon shot all over Asia, including China, South-East Asia, Hongkong, and Japan. Since 2010 Marco is managed by Savage/Prague in Europe and the US, and by AOI promotions in Japan, being the first foreigner to start such a relationship with a major Japanese production company.
As Kalantari states, he’s been working his way from the East to the West. And it is this Eastern tradition of focusing on stories with vivid characters and intricate worlds which informs his work. He considers himself a “professional dreamer.” In 2006, Buena Vista International released his first movie “Ainoa,” which also travelled to festivals around the world. And it is with “The Shaman” that he further demonstrates his powerful storytelling.
It is a pleasure to share with you my interview with the director. You can listen to it by clicking the link below:
Visit Marco Kalantari and keep up with “The Shaman” right here.
Marco Kalantari’s “The Shaman” will be on view at the Tribeca Film Festival. The first showing will be on Saturday, April 18. For details on The Shaman schedule during the Tribeca Film Festival, go right here.
There’s a touch of the poet, the adventurer, and the dreamer in Marco Kalantari’s short film, “The Shaman.” There’s a quirky intensity here like you might find in your favorite story or game. And I consider myself most fortunate to know about it now.
It’s bursting with originality and fierce energy that grabs you from the start. It is 2204. We fight our wars with intelligent machines. The only way to subvert their power is to engage with their souls. And it is only the shamans who can access these machine souls that exist in the Netherworld.
The world war has been raging for 73 years on. It’s some really strange and dark holy war or something quite bad. A scorched Earth is nothing new to anyone. But there’s the Netherworld and, perhaps, it is there that all souls will some day know eternal peace.
“The Shaman” packs quite a punch. It’s a dark and gothic mashup of “Star Wars” and “District 9.” The special effects are first-rate. And there’s plenty of new ground upon which to trod and take leaps of faith from. You’ll love the ritual involved in transporting a Shaman to the Netherworld. This short film provides a whole new set of terms and signs to behold.
And the scene between The Shaman (played by Danny Shayler) and the Soul of the Colossus (played by Susanne Wuest) is brilliant. This is a great battle of wits between shaman and machine. It’s wonderful to see and let’s hope that perhaps all this leads to a major full-length motion picture. I really think that’s possible. Whatever lies ahead, this is an excellent short film.
What follows is a prequel to The Shaman. This is a manga story setting the stage for what lies ahead in the main story:
“Kiss The Water” is a documentary that functions much like a mystery. We never see the subject of this documentary, except of a fleeting view of archival footage at the end which helps to obscure rather than reveal. Most fitting for such an enigmatic character. The filmmaker, Eric Steel, begins by telling us about one of his daily habits, that of reading The New York Times obituaries looking for inspiration from life stories. About ten years ago, he caught a particularly interesting prospect: It was for a December 11, 2001 obit entitled, “Megan Boyd, Eccentric Master of Fish Flies, Dies at 86.” The article sounded pretty intriguing, beginning with the word, “eccentric.” It is the eccentrics of the world who get things done.
And so a documentary came to life. It is made up of a series of reminiscences by those who knew Megan Boyd and intertwined with haunting animation, led by Em Cooper. Add to this the lingering cinematography of Ole Bratt Birkeland and the brooding score by Paul Cantelon, and it all conspires to transport you to a lonely but beguiling patch of land and sea at the end of the world, Brura, Scotland, to be precise.