Friday, March 9, 2012

Beyond Words

Clip from the 1997 documentary Beyond Words by Louis van Gasteren. The following description is from Wikipedia.

Shot in India partly in 1967 in 35mm film and partly thirty years later in 1997 in video, Beyond Words is one of only three or four films ever shot of the silent master Meher Baba that include synchronized sound and the only film shot of him in 35mm color. In the film van Gasteren deftly interviews Meher Baba on finding God within the self, drugs, and cinema. Meher Baba's silent gestures are interpreted in English by disciple Eruch Jessawala. It was one of the last films and by far the most professional ever shot of Baba, with cinematography by Jan de Bont.

The Meher Baba footage in Beyond Words was originally planned by van Gasteren to be included in a longer film titled Nema Aviona Za Zagreb (No Plane for Zagreb) which was never completed. After a long period of consideration van Gasteren finally released the unseen footage in Beyond Words in 1997. Although Gasteren did not show the 1967 footage of the film publicly for 30 years, he allowed Pete Townshend of The Who to include two still frames inside the gatefold cover of his 1972 Meher Baba tribute album Who Came First. Van Gasteren also interviewed and filmed Timothy Leary in Millbrook, New York for the film No Plane for Zagreb. The footage of Leary does not appear in Beyond Words.

Update 9-19-14:

After almost fifty years form first filming, Nema Aviona Za Zagreb was completed in 2012. It premiered at Eye Institute in Amsterdam on Mr. Van Gasteren's 90th birthday.

Meher Baba once said of Van Gasteren, after cooperating with him on his film:
I know that he will try his best to have the film shown all over the world. He worked at it with all his heart, and I cooperated with all my heart. So, this must bear good results. (Lord Meher, 1986 print edition, p. 6534)

See also Why Baba's hands don't match what is being dictated in films

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