Zen Noir (2004)

“Are you going to eat orange or freak out?” 

I love this movie, but it isn’t for everyone. This is not a movie you watch for plot–the plot is illusive. It got fairly awful reviews, despite winning several indie movie awards. It has jarring music and it seems to be longer than necessary.

The premise: a detective is investigating a death at a temple…but really, it is Everyman investigating the meaning of life. He tries to analyze it but gets confused. Message: left brain vs. right brain, logic vs. instinct… you can’t understand the essence of life by studying it like a math problem. You have to experience it.  I love this movie even though I hate the music. Why? IF you have a basic understanding of Zen Buddhism, this movie is funny and explains the essence of Zen well. 

Actor Kim Chan who plays the wise old monk had me convinced the studio had hired a real monk. He’s hilarious and delightful. This movie is rich and funny, sad, weird and wonderful–about life and death and being in the moment… it is one that I need to watch again every once in a while.

The film is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckL4gJi9T1I

Zen Noir gets FIVE MONKEYS from me for its ambitious and daring approach to explaining zen. Is it the best movie I’ve ever seen? No, but it sure lingers and you can’t say, “Oh yeah, it’s like… I don’t think there’s anything quite like it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s