Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez
USA, Nepal 2013
118 min

MANAKAMANA is part of the SPECIAL: Sensory Ethnography Lab

The camera-wielding researchers at Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, an eccentric team responsible for experimental documentaries like last year’s groundbreaking fishing-boat portrait LEVIATHAN and the shepherd-focused SWEETGRASS, typically refuse to identify as “filmmakers” in the traditional sense of the word. The startlingly unique viewing experience MANAKAMANA provides the best case for that claim. Shot with a static camera exclusively within the confines of a cable car as it travels up and down the Nepal Valley for a series of 10-minute rides, MANAKAMANA contains nothing traditionally movie-like in its progression. And that's exactly what makes it one of the most engrossing cinematic achievements to come along since ... well, LEVIATHAN. (Eric Kohn) “We chose to shoot on 16mm film not only for aesthetic reasons, but because it lends structural integrity to our commitment to filming the full duration of rides on the cable car. The time that elapses over a 400’ magazine of 16 mm film is roughly how long it takes for a ride up or down the mountain. The cable of the Manakamana cable car also runs parallel to the spool of film as it is exposed to light.” (Stephanie Spray)

In the presence of Stephanie Spray.

  • Pacho Velez
  • Stephanie Spray
  • Pacho Velez
  • Stephanie Spray
Sensory Ethnography Lab, Harvard Film Study Center

Sensory Ethnography Lab

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