Enter the Void brings with it an ecstatic reality from conception to death and the stages of afterlife loosely based upon the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The French director takes first time American actor in Tokyo as a young drug runner who gets mixed up in the wrong crowd. The reviewers and festivals criticized its overuse of pornographic scenes and long animated scenes with psychedelic color wheels with strobe lights hitting in between rambling quotes from the dead American drug runner. Anyone spending the nearly three hours it takes to watch this epic production of a bad trip in Tokyo will be sure to walk away disturbed by the total disregard the director has for the well being of his actors who experience a downward spiral into sex, drugs, and insanity. An ending with death opening to a birth is creepy with the baby flashbacks and animated sperm to egg scene after full frontal intercourse by the cast. Overall the film is a worthwhile experience, especially if you are feeling like there is not much left to do with a day to get the feeling similar to the one you get with Requiem for a Dream, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Gladiator. It is no joke, a human approach to dealing with one of the least covered topic in film, death. Although a common theme, the moment after from the point of view of the deceased is rare, especially from the point of view of a character under the influence of DMT shot by a director who took advantage of all the pulleys available with his camera to hover over the back streets of Tokyo and keep you interested in where the journey would go next. Three out of four starts without a doubt. The four stars are reserved to movies that end with some sort of long lasting taste, like the desire to watch it again in the future. Enter the Void is surely a one time or two time experience. The only time you should ever watch Enter the Void after that is with another person so that you do not go entirely insane. Onwards and upwards.
The Great American Walkabout
Excerpt by Edwin Bond
As the hail started to fall alongside rain, the runoff from the cliffs above began to pour down upon us. The little inlet we thought had looked safe was clearly just a drainage shoot in the topography for storms like this. So all of a sudden rocks and boulders began to fall around us.
Hail was pelting us, but now rocks were also mercilessly crashing into us as we struggled to deal with the raft. I still have scars from the rocks that sliced open my ears and hands that day, raining down from a height of nearly a thousand feet. They were also hitting our raft, and before long there was a hole in it. Fortunately, it was just in one of our pontoons, not the bottom of the raft itself, but things were not looking good.
Basically, we ended up in the middle of a massive mud landslide. An endless sheet of muddy water, full of sticks and rocks pummeled us, completely filling our raft. I was terrified that at any moment a large boulder would dislodge and crush us. We took turns working the pump to fill the raft back up, but it was exhausting work. It normally takes 30 minutes to pump up the raft. In conditions like this we might not survive two more minutes! I would pump until I couldn’t do it any longer, then Mike or Bulla would step in. One guy had to always hold onto the side of the cliff and hold the raft in place, or it would have gotten away from us. We were all trying to do something, just reacting but none of us knew what to do. It felt like an eternity, as each rock struck us or as we watched large rocks and boulder splash into the water beside us, but I think the whole ordeal lasted less than 5 minutes. We needed to get back into the river, desperately or we might be crushed.
All I could do was pray. I prayed desperately, praying that his would go away, that the skies would clear and we would be safe. It seemed like this was the end. If there was a pinnacle to our journey, this was it. Our fate was completely in the hands of Mother Nature.
Edwin Bond is an adventurer, entertainer, and entrepreneur from Hawaii. In 2011 he sold his successful straightjacket business and everything he owned to coordinate and lead a group of magicians on an incredible journey of discovery on foot across the United States. Enthusiastic, with a passion for adventure and exploration, Edwin is earnestly devoted to living life to the fullest. Today he lives and works in Hawaii while planning and preparing for his next great adventure.
Draft: “The aroma of incense filled the busy, crowded plaza as I watched both men and women chop fresh cut coconuts and stab them with straws. The scene around me was something incredible and the adventure had only just begun.
When someone thinks of a shopping, one doesn’t immediately think of a scene such as this, but in beautiful Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, this is just another part of the day. The historic supermarket Mercado Modelo that opened 100 years ago this year, is something incredibly special. The outside plaza is filled with what the locals call “hippies”, or poverty stricken people who craft their own handmade goods and sell them for a living. You can find anything from handcrafted incense burners to wooden carvings of the famous market to purses and bags made out of anything from to bamboo to soda can tabs. Don’t forget the reggae style drums and hats as well. The ambiance of the front plaza is noisy and busy, but still has a laid back feel. The vendors are yelling advertisements and heckling anyone who walks by their stand to buy their product. If you can make it inside before a crater develops in your wallet then you are in for a whole other experience.
As soon as you enter the market you understand the hustle and bustle feel of the market. There is one main corridor with 4 rows shooting off each side of the corridor. Space is crucial and there isn’t much room to move, but each stand has something new and unique, making you forget all about your personal bubble. Handmade leather goods, famous Bahian hot pepper sauces, hand knit table clothes and hammocks are just the beginning of the offerings from Mercado Modelo. Everyone is friendly and if you’re in the bargaining mood, you’re at the right place. Once you explore the first floor left and right and all around you get surprised with a lonely tunnel the end of the market. This tunnel leads to stair and this leads you to yet again another section of the market. The upstairs is filled with professional soccer jerseys and handmade instruments, jewelry, traditional Bahian apparel, and so much more. If you’re not careful you might spend an entire day at the market without even realizing there is an upstairs.
The Mercado Modelo is a beautiful, historic market that is filled with the Brazilian spirit and an ecstatic atmosphere. The Market is a true experience where every time you visit you get a new memory, whether that may be good or bad is the fun of it. There is more than enough to see and visit and if you get bored, there is always one of the 365 churches in Salvador to visit, one being right across the street. You won’t get a much more authentic feeling than visiting Mercado Modelo and it will always be a memory that I will hold on to.”