Topic: Movies

Trailer: “The Fourth Noble Truth” is a very Buddhist love story

Can you think of an instance when the Buddha’s fundamental teachings formed the framework for a commercial film, right down to the title? That time has come, and those attending the 17th Annual Sonoma Film Festival will be the first to get a look at The Fourth Noble Truth at its world premiere April 3, […]

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

At the Shambhala Sun, we’re great admirers of Alice Walker, and we’ve been honored to publish her work over the years. We admire her art, her commitment to social justice, such as her campaign against female genital cutting, and her spiritual practice, which is at least partly informed by Buddhism. Friday night on its American Masters […]

Watch the trailer for “Hector And The Search For Happiness”

Check out the first trailer for Hector And The Search For Happiness, a forthcoming film directed by Peter Chelsom that brings Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) to a Buddhist monastery, among other places. A key line: “Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness.” The film is currently slated to premiere this fall.

Nicholas Vreeland documentary “Monk with a Camera” slated for Amsterdam world premiere

In May of last year, American monk Nicholas Vreeland’s name rippled through the Western Buddhist world following the announcement that the Dalai Lama had named him as the first Western abbot of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Vreeland has long been known as the “monk with a camera,” raising funds for the institution in question, Rato […]

“Your movie, Vara, was picked to open a major film festival. What are you going to do next?”

Imagine that you had a new film opening South Korea’s Busan film festival — the most prominent such festival in Asia. You’d probably be there, right? Well, as As Salon reports today, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche — the Bhutanese Buddhist master who goes by the name of Khyentse Norbu when he’s got his director’s hat on […]

Zen yogi/activist Michael Stone’s film “Reactor” set for August release

Last spring we told readers about Reactor, a film-in-development tracing Zen yogi and activist Michael Stone’s pilgrimage of inquiry among the people of Japan in the wake of the 2011 tsunami and the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear energy plant. Directed by fellow Canadian Ian MacKenzie (Occupy Love), Reactor is now in final form and […]

Video: “Free the Mind” to premiere at the Rubin Museum in May

Free the Mind is a new documentary about the ability of meditation to rewire the brain. Featuring neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson, the film follows two veterans grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as Davidson teaches them meditation to ease their pain and help them return to the lives they had […]

Hey Lebowski Achievers! You can win a copy of “The Dude and the Zen Master.” (Contest now closed)

If you’ve read our publisher Jim Gimian’s editorial in our May magazine, you might have noticed something a little odd about it. (That Jim calls himself an “Achiever” in the very first sentence may well have tipped you off.) The editorial is loaded with references to The Big Lebowski, and it’s not just because Jim’s […]

X-Men’s Wolverine: A Zen Buddhist?

Is Wolverine a Buddhist? Well, that may be pushing things, but as Jeffrey Kripal’s book Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal says, “Wolverine spent some time in Japan as a boy, speaks fluent Japanese, and practices Zazen.” (He also, as Kripal adds, has practiced tai chi.) And now that he’s got […]

Help Kickstart “Naked Mind,” a documentary on meditation’s potential

Naked Mind is a new documentary that explores the effects of meditation and its potential to change society, asking the questions “What does mindfulness mean, how does it relate to human happiness, and what does it mean to practice mindfulness in today’s society?” To make the film, filmmakers Sarah Barab and Paxton Winters traveled to […]

It’s Groundhog Day — for Buddhist film buffs, a day that keeps giving

With his 1993 film Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis ended up not just making a classic comedy, but an underground Buddhist favorite. Perhaps that’s not such a surprise; as Buddhist author/teacher and comedian Wes Nisker says,“Harold Ramis should be considered a revered lineage holder in the crazy wisdom tradition of the Tibetans.” So, what’s the Buddhism/Ramis […]

Video: Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman talk “The Dude and the Zen Master”

Jeff Bridges and his longtime friend and Zen teacher Bernie Glassman, made an appearance on Today this morning to promote their new book, The Dude and the Zen Master. The book, a dialogue between the two friends about life, movies, and the importance of doing good, was inspired by Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski. […]

Every Crime and Every Act of Kindness: Cloud Atlas, reviewed

The film version of Cloud Atlas, says our reviewer Scott Mitchell, presents a surprisingly traditional view of karma and rebirth—“and so any attempt to figure out its logic is probably doomed.” (Click here to watch the CA trailer.) Cloud Atlas is an ambitious film: one that is both compelling and something of a mental workout. […]

Video: “Third Fire” showcases the wisdom of older women

A new documentary shows that women in the third phase, or “third fire” of their lives have long been underestimated, and have much to offer society. Directed by independent filmmaker Joni Steele Kimberlin, Get Real! Wise Women Speak includes interviews from 18 notable women over the age of 50, including Buddhist nun Tenzin Palmo, actresses […]

Filmmaker trying to save ancient Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan

Mes Aynak, located just outside Kabul, is home to a sprawling ancient Buddhist monastery complex, filled with hundreds of historical artifacts. It’s also home to the second-largest copper deposit in the world, and the site could be dug up in just a few months. Teams of archaeologists have been frantically trying to salvage as much […]