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BARAKA a Visual Journal

This article first appeared in
..in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Written by: Thomas Hauerslev Issue 60 - March 2000
BARAKA a visual Journal, is a new splendid coffee-table sized book published by St. Ann's Press, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

It is not the book about the film, or The Making of Baraka. It is, however, a wonderful book containing stunning images photographed by "Baraka" producer Mark Magidson during the shooting of the film. Like the film "Baraka" (very often mistaken for a documentary - it isn't - it's a non-narrative film!) the book BARAKA a visual Journal, demands the readers full concentration. It is a book for thoughts. It's a book for the dedicated fans of the film "Baraka".

Only two 65mm cameras were used to film "Baraka" one of which was equipped with a lens built originally for a 6x6 Hasselblad still camera. Mark Magidson used that lens on his own Hasselblad camera body and photographed the pictures, of which several have now been published nearly 10 years after the film opened in cinemas.

"BARAKA a visual Journal" is 58 pages with one picture printed on each page. Pictures vary in size and some are in black and white and some in full color. There is no text to the pictures. All pictures have their own story and it is up to the viewer to translate. It is the universal book and, like the word baraka itself (which is an ancient Sufi word) the book encompasses the essence of life for good and for bad.

All photographic locations of the plates are explained to the reader at the end of the book. Which is very nice to know, as you find yourself cascaded around the world while reading, or actually experiencing the book.

Further in 70mm reading:

"Baraka" credits

Todd-AO at "Sea"

Internet link:

The book is distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, Second Floor
New York
NY 10013

Phone +1 212 627 1999
and fax +1 212 627 9484
Book ISBN: 0-9671744-0-6

For name(s) of sales outlets in Europe, call Idea Books: +31 20 622 6154.

The publisher can be reached at www.stannspress.com


Mark Magidson

An inventor and industrial designer with numerous patents and a diverse technical background, Mark developed a successful company in the mid-1980s. He then sought to broaden his interest into the arts. He began in film production as a co-Producer of the acclaimed IMAX film "Chronos" with director/cinematographer Ron Fricke. "Chronos" (1985) was awarded the Grand prix du Jury Award at the first festival International du Film Omnimax de Paris (1987).

Frustrated by the lack of venues in the IMAX format, he subsequently pioneered a first-of-its-kind conversion system for the film in the new 870 film format [70mm film with 8 Perf. per frame, editor], expanding its availability beyond the limited confines of the IMAX theatre group. That system has since been widely emulated.

Viewing "Chronos" as a stepping stone to a broader and more complex film in the same genre, he and Fricke began to develop the 70mm feature project that was to become "Baraka". He produced, co-wrote and co-edited "Baraka" (1993).

In 1995 he produced and directed "Toward the Within", a feature length documentary about the cutting-edge world music group Dead Can Dance. It was released theatrically and was one of the best selling videos of its kind that year.
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Updated 07-01-23