Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Zen Noir, directed by Marc Rosenbush


While I have read several negative reviews of Marc Rosenbush's Zen Noir, I found it a great and artistic film. The film is presented in a manner that is normally reserved for on-stage productions with most action taking place on single small settings. It has, at first, a quirky sense of humor to it but definitely tackles the heavy issues of knowing ourselves and dealing with death by the end. Many of the negative reviews that I have read about Zen Noir are focused on the characteristics of film noir. For example, the film is in first person, involves disruptive editing and flashbacks, and voice over narration which is characteristic of film noir.


After receiving a mysterious phone call forecasting a murder, a "film noir-styled" detective finds himself in the middle of a Zen monastery. Shortly before his arrival, a monk suddenly dies during a meditation session. Our detective is thrown into a disjointing realm of Zen practitioners as he tries to establish motive so he can single out who may have killed the monk. Meanwhile, he is spiraling into a self-absorbed depression brought on after the death of his wife a few years before. He finds himself running around in circles, literally, as he attempts to interview the various members of the monastery. He finds the beautiful lay person Jane, the stereotypical Zen Master who is always presenting oranges, and the disturbed Ed who has taken over the duties of the deceased monk. Will he ever discover how the monk died and who murdered him? Or will he find even more valuable truths for himself?

You can find Zen Noir in the Virginia Beach Public Library system.

If you would like to find a movie that explain Zen, then you may be interested in The Zen Mind.

If you are interested in Buddhist fiction, then you may enjoy reading The Buddha and the Terrorist by Satish Kumar or Buddha by Deepak Chopra.

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