Preview: Khyentse Norbu’s Looking For A Lady With Fangs And A Moustache

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The acclaimed film Looking For A Lady With Fangs And A Moustache is a mystery drama set in Kathmandu, is getting ready for release this April. It is the latest feature from director Khyentse Norbu whose past films have played at Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Venice and other top global film festivals.

On April 8, The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City will host a virtual live premiere screening followed by a live conversation with director Khyentse Norbu and Dr. Richard J. Davidson. The Global Watch Now @ Home Cinema Release will be the following day on April 9, concurrent with some traditional in-theater engagements in Asia as circumstances allow.

The mystery drama tells the story of Tenzin, a modern Tibetan entrepreneur, utterly skeptical of ancient, mystical beliefs, who is suddenly haunted by frightening dreams and hallucinations. A sage tells him those are omens for his imminent death. Filmed in a mesmerizing and magical Kathmandu, Tenzin will have seven days to save his life: a most unconventional, sacred journey into feminine energy.

“I hope this film will transport audiences to a profound, mystical, and yet very real and accessible dimension of life with which our modern world is sadly and rapidly losing touch” stated Director, Khyentse Norbu.

In our increasingly mechanized and automated world that frowns on superstition and mysticism, this story shows how vitally relevant our disappearing ancient wisdom and traditional beliefs still are. In particular, the film focuses on the age-old Himalayan respect for and celebration of feminine energy as the most supreme aspect of being. This energy is personified in tantric Buddhism by dakinis who may appear as mysterious living beings who give or take away our life force and guide or ruin our lives. While only realized adepts like the character of O.T. in this film, who is based on an exceptional living master, are today able to summon this vital energy through esoteric dakini practices, it so crucial to our volatile era that the times demand it be communicated to a wider audience.

That’s what this film tries to do through the eyes of Tenzin, a sceptical and ambitious young Tibetan entrepreneur who is caught between the modern and traditional worlds. Somewhat driven and obsessive, Tenzin is focused single-mindedly on creating Kathmandu’s best coffee shop. Though he disparages superstition, Tenzin is suddenly tormented by peculiar and recurring dreams and images that signal his imminent death. The audience will identify with both the character and the paranoid panic that can seize even the most hardened sceptics when faced with the reality of their own death.

Sages and ancient texts advise that only finding a special dakini can save Tenzin’s life. The character’s desperate search for the woman who now holds his life in her hands brings him face to face with his own neuroses and attachments and with the speed, frenzy, distraction and rational limitations of modern life.

This story is interwoven with sub-plots, including Tenzin’s best friend’s hidden love for a sparkling young Tibetan songstress with a secret life; the efforts of that songstress’ old father and Tenzin’s mother to preserve a traditional Tibetan song art on the verge of extinction; the frustrations of Tenzin’s colorful business partners as his obsession with imminent death distracts him from his work obligations and more. Through these sub-plots, the film also depicts the often-painful ways in which our personal fixations and preoccupations short-circuit genuine communication. And yet there is a warmth, tenderness, undertone of mystery, and subtle humour in all the characters and their interactions with which the audience will empathize.

We have some special stills to tease you until you can experience the film yourself.

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