The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

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Mawkish1983
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The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:15 pm

I hope I have posted this question in the right place; my apologies if I haven't.

I've just watched The Golden Child again. I was wondering how close to the mythology of Tibet or Tibetan Buddhism the film was. Are there aspects that the film gets right? Are there aspects that the film gets wrong? If someone was to view this film and use it as their only basis for understanding Tibetan Buddhism, how similar to Tibetan Buddhism proper would their understanding be? I'm struggling to word my question meaningfully, so I hope this makes sense.

I have also asked this question at http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=11752

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:52 pm

I think Eddie Murphy was portrayed very accurately.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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justsit
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby justsit » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:10 am

Having watched only the trailer, not the full movie, I think I can safely say PadmaVonSamba is spot on.

For something authentic, you might try .

Josef
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Josef » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:14 am

I love The Golden Child.
It's not very accurate though, other than the nose picking.

krodha
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby krodha » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:20 am

Brotha Numsie!

zavk
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby zavk » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:53 am

Hi all

I responded to Makwish's question over at DhammaWheel, just thought I'd post it here too.


Hi Mawkish

This essay from a while back doesn't mention The Golden Child but analyses Seven Years in Tibet, Kundun and Little Buddha. The points it raises about the West's fascination with and idealised constructions of the 'Mystical East' might shed light on your question. Hope this helps.

Metta

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kirtu
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:28 am



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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justsit
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby justsit » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:50 am


zavk
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby zavk » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:24 am

Hi all

I should have added some qualifying statements in the initial post. I did notice the bit by the follower of Dorje Shugden. I do not follow the contestation about the matter and it is not my intention to engage in it here. The essay's interpretation of the films are of course contestable, as any interpretations are.

The main ideas I wanted to share are more precisely the points about the ongoing influence of Orientalism—i.e. of how media texts could sometimes, even if unintentionally, perpetuate unhelpful stereotypes which reinforce cultural hierarchies or misrepresent others. You'll note that the essay engages with the work of Donald S. Lopez Jr, who is a noted Buddhist scholar. Before anyone dismiss him as being merely an 'academic' Buddhist, it should be noted that he is also a committed, longtime practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. His scholarly work and sacred pursuit co-inform one another. If anything, based on what I've read of his work, his critiques of Orientalism reflects a desire to respect and honour Tibetan Buddhism and culture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_S._Lopez,_Jr.

So, while the author's reading of the films may to some degree or another be regarded as personal opinion, Lopez's ideas are far from being groundless assertions, kirtu, developing as they have out of many years of historical research as well as study of Tibetan Buddhism and culture (but admittedly, the brevity of the essay limits a clearer understanding of his work)—not to mention that Lopez's work derives from a broader and very legitimate and respected field of postcolonial studies.

In any event, bracketing the specific matters related to conflicts in Tibetan Buddhism and culture, the argument that media texts can sometimes reproduce unskillful oppositions between the developed First World and the undeveloped Third World—ideas that champion the West as 'saviours'—and so forth, are exemplified in the counter-criticisms by African commentators on the Kony2012 campaign. As you can see in this small selection of responses by Ugandian journalists and social activists, they make similar arguments: ttp://americawakiewakie.tumblr.com/post ... actions-to (note: I'm just citing this to clarify my point, not to start a debate about Kony2012 as such)

Let me stress again that my intention is not to cast aspersions on any aspect of Tibetan Buddhism or culture as such. Nor am I suggesting that any attempt to represent Tibetan culture in a favourable light is wrong or bad. All I wish to do here is merely to draw attention to how broader historical processes may influence construction of media representations in popular culture—and by extension, the conditions underpinning our understanding.

It is the influence of these broader historical process which, I think, might be of interest to Mawkish as well as others who are curious about the matter.

:anjali:

EDITED: the link I put up initially was incomplete; it works now.

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kirtu
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:16 am



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

zavk
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby zavk » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:44 am


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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:59 pm

Tibetan culture and it's various Buddhist traditions are full of stories people with "magical" powers, and Tibetans themselves are very aware at the marketing potential that these legends provide, but the ends are seen to justify the means. So, it is not only western filmmakers who perpetuate what Alexandra David-Neel called "the Magic and mystery of Tibet". Filmmakers such as Khyentse Norbu, also exploit this, as do as many purveyors of Tibetan merchandise such as "singing bowls".

To any kind of 'outsider' to any tradition or culture, what is not understood is always a mystery and therefore has endless potential for elaboration. The Golden Child gives about as accurate an understanding of Vajrayana Buddhism as the Wizard Of Oz does about what one is likely to encounter in a tornado.

It's a movie!!!!
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby DGA » Wed May 02, 2012 2:21 pm


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Grigoris
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Grigoris » Wed May 02, 2012 3:25 pm

As for Little Buddha, any movie casting Keanu Reeves as the Buddha has to be seriously depraved: "Like... samsara, dude... whoa!" :tongue:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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kirtu
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Wed May 02, 2012 5:43 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Fa Dao
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Fa Dao » Wed May 02, 2012 7:58 pm

oh for f**ks sakes people, lighten up!! Its a hollywood movie...of COURSE its not going to be realistic..its meant for entertainment. I enjoyed all of those movies for their entertainment value. Eddie Murphy was hilarious... and apparently I am one of the few that likes Keanu Reeves movies. I thought he did a very cool Shakyamuni. So there...nyah nyah nyah!!
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

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Grigoris
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Grigoris » Wed May 02, 2012 9:13 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Nosta
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Nosta » Wed May 02, 2012 10:23 pm


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Lhug-Pa
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu May 03, 2012 12:27 am


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Grigoris
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Re: The Golden Child vs Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Grigoris » Thu May 03, 2012 9:37 am

DAMN! Lost again! :crying:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde


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