Trance Cinema Live - An Evening of Ritual and Ecstatic States - Fri. Mar. 1st - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Trance Cinema Live - An Evening of Ritual and Ecstatic States with live electronic accompaniment by Jakarta musician Iman Fattah. Oddball Films continues its series of ecstatic states and global rituals with a live cinesound presentation. Sherpa High Country (1977) documents the ecstatic three days of ritual in Nepal during the Mani Rimdu ceremonies celebrated each year by Buddhist Sherpas.  In Ma’Bugi: Trance of the Toraja (1970s), women dance ecstatically and men climb a ladder of knives in a trance ritual that functions to restore the balance of well-being to an afflicted village community.  Walbiri Fire Ceremony (1977) showcases a spectacular three-day Australian Aboriginal communal ritual of penance.  In A Balinese Gong Orchestra (1971), musicians showcase their mesmerizing rhythms.  In Trance and Ritual in Bali (1972), trance dances and ecstatic spirit possession are mixed with electronics by Iman Fattah and Tanka (1976) a fierce animated vision of ancient gods and demons in the Tibetan Book of the Dead pulsates and projects from still Tanka images.
Come early for a double screen, overlapping projection of the exotic curios Belles of the South Seas and Belles of Bali (1930s).

Date: Friday, March 1, at 8:00PM.
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street, San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating - RSVP $12.00 at the door to: 415-558-8117 or


Sherpa High Country (Color, 1977) is a beautifully photographed look into the life of Nepalese Sherpas from the Solu Khumbu highlands near Mt. Everest, over 4,000 ft in the sky. Sherpa life is shown in detail and features stunning cinematography of the great annual three-day Mani Rimdu ceremonies held at the Tangboche monastery. During the Mani Rimdu a unique orchestra of horns, drums, conch shells and cymbals accompany ritualistic dances in which monks in vibrant robes and bizarre glowering masks act out the roles of deities. These historico-mythical ceremonies replay the vanquishing of demons and the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet. This film is a document of a celebration that now draws thousands of visitors from around the world.

Walbiri Fire Ceremony (1977), From the other side of the planet documents a spectacular three-day Australian Aboriginal communal ritual of penance. The ceremony culminates in a nighttime ordeal in which the owners are humiliated, engage in self-flagellation with burning bundles of twigs and are showered with sparks from burning branches. This is a powerful, engaging and fascinating film.

Ma’Bugi: Trance of the Toraja, (Color, 1970s) depicts an unusual trance ritual that functions to restore the balance of well-being to an afflicted village community. This film clearly portrays the song, dance and pulsating tension that precede dramatic instances of spirit possession in the Toraja highlands of Sulawesi (Celebes) Island, Indonesia.  Ma’Bugi: Trance of the Toraja, augments the growing body of documentation of ritually sanctioned altered states of consciousness. This remarkable film communicates both the psychological abandon of the trance state and the often neglected motivation underlying such activities as the supernaturally curing of the chronically ill and the ascent of a ladder of knives.  The ceremony is narrated by the Tominaa, priest of the ancestral Toraja religion.
A Balinese Gong Orchestra (Color, 1971)
A film explaining the famous "Gamelan Gong" that includes the orchestra Tunjuk. Each instrument is described and explained, then the orchestra performs a piece taken from the Ramayana ballet suite (written in the 1950s and based on traditional themes). Segments of this film will be double screen projected.

Trance and Ritual In Bali (Color, 1972)
Rare footage of cremation ceremonies, trance dances and ecstatic spirit possession in Bali. With live music composed and performed Jakarta musician by Iman Fattah.

Tanka (Color, 1976)
"An extraordinary film."-Melinda Wortz, Art News
Tanka means, literally, a thing rolled up. David Lebrun’s Tanka is brilliantly powered by the insight that Tibetan religious paintings are intended to be perceived not in repose, but in constant movement. The film, photographed from Tibetan scroll paintings of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, is a cyclical vision of ancient gods and demons, an animated journey through the image world of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Belles of Bali/Belles of the South Seas (B+W, 1930s)
Come early to see these unusual curios examining the female culture and day-to-day activities of “exotified” Balinese women as well as the “strange and savage” cultures of the South Seas.  Both films will be projected and overlapped simultaneously

About Jakarta Musician Iman Fattah
Iman Fattah is a musician, sound designer and producer from Jakarta, Indonesia. His father is a legendary Indonesian musician Donny Fattah. Fattah has been active in Indonesian rock and experimental music scene for the past 15 years, playing guitar in his own band called Zeke and the Popo and RAKSASA. Additionally he produces music for films, theater and commercials.  In 2010 Iman collaborated with cutting edge film director Joko Anwar Indonesian as sound designer in the award winning theatrical performance Onrop.