"There is a saying in Buddhism, 'pecking in and pecking out,' and in a certain way this is happening in film," says Wenger. Pecking in and pecking out is a koan about a mother bird pecking from the outside of an egg and a baby bird pecking from the inside. Each is pecking away, trying to get rid of the eggshell, an image that reflects how a teacher and a student each work in their own way on the barriers to wisdom.
"We have a visiting Tibetan teacher who is now doing full-length films, and there are other western Buddhists who are now using film. Many of us who have studied film find it is a very good way to talk -- it is a good expression of Buddhism because it is a series of flashing stills, which in some ways is what life is like. Suzuki-roshi once said the most important thing about film is the empty screen because it can accommodate anything."
The films featured include rare footage of Suzuki Roshi, and
Among film highlights are a Fresh Look presentation of Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man" (starring Johnny Depp, with a soundtrack by Neil Young); the San Francisco premiere of a little-known Giuseppe Tornatore ("Cinema Paradiso") classic, "A Pure Formality" (starring Roman Polanski and Gerard Depardieu); the U.S. premiere of "Beyond the Mountain," by Korean director Chung Ji-young; the San Francisco premiere of "Hi! Dharma," by Korean director Kwan Park; and the U.S. premiere of a Thai feature, "Angulimala," by Suthed Tunnirat.But, here's the thing, the greatest Buddhist film is Groundhog Day. No debate. And if you don't believe me, here's a bit more the consider. Or here. It's just a suggestion.....