Ken Burns + Traleg Rinpoche Talk about Nothing
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"We see our own reflections countless times a day...and we are curious, pleased, critical, vain. But we rarely have the courage William Segal had, the courage of self-portraiture, to ask with each fleeting glimpse of oneself: Who am I?" –Ken Burns
Documentarian Ken Burns meets with Traleg Rinpoche to look at the life of William Segal-a Buddhist, a philosopher and painter who searched relentlessly and compassionately for meaning in the chaotic and distracted time we call the 20th Century. They engage after the screening of two short films by Ken Burns William Segal (1992) and Vézelay (1996).
William Segal (1992) the first documentary in the trilogy, is filmed in Segal's art studio and garden. The film focuses on Mr. Segal as he paints and discusses the creative process and the intimate personal and spiritual relationship between the artist and the work of art.
The magnificent basilica at Vézelay in France has lured pilgrims from around the world for centuries. Its magnetism and serene beauty inspired Segal and Burns to examine the expansive question of search. Vézelay joyously probes the eternal question of individual identity and the obstacles and exhilarations of seeing, searching and being.
Ken Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films known for his style of making use of archival footage and photographs. Among his most notable productions are The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001), The War (2007), and most recently The National Parks: America's Best Idea (2009).
Traleg Rinpoche is the current incarnation of the Traleg trulku line, a line of high lamas in the Kagyu lineage of Tantric Buddhism. He is a pioneer in bringing Tibetan Buddhism to Australia.