Have had the good fortune to make it to the evening’s first screening at Film Society of Bhubaneswar “The Pearl Button” – a magnificent, enlightening and moving film by the veteran director Patricio Guzmán. It is so difficult to define this Chilean film as a plain documentary for it educated, mesmerized, astonished and at the same time put me into a standstill with the cinematic brilliance this film offered.
Is there a page you would like to skip? – No. Well, there will be many books where the same holds true. But this is no ordinary book. It is not a fantastic work of fiction either. The book is naked, raw and has some startling revelations on India, its democracy, bureaucracy, corporate business and their marriage to corruption since Independence. The fact that the author has put up a brave fight in the face of defamation cases (after the publication of this book) bears testimony to the struggle and the tedious documentation that would have gone into his years of investigative journalism.
Tope – The Bait, Buddhadeb Dasgupta‘s latest film is reasonably fast paced and is theatrical in terms of the characters sketched, unlike his past films. But without doubt everything about Tope is a masterpiece. Of course, the pacing of a film has nothing to do with the artistic charisma it can display. A master filmmaker just makes it right with his vision and cinematic excellence. And we must all thank the gutsy Pawan Kanodia for producing such a brilliant film in today’s times.
Tope holds on to the psyche right from its first frame – An old gramophone within a frame of faith welcoming the vast expanses of human mind – just makes you sit and wonder as the film that unfolds. Just as the English name of the film – The Bait, suggests the film explores the human nature of being always in the search of a decoy – a hope – in order to fulfill many inherent desires. The dialogues in the film are both humane and thought provoking at the same time. And the characterizations in the film are top notch.
“Beautiful” would be an understatement. The grace and the charm of Walkabout just fail to die even after a day of watching it. A BIG Thank You once again to Film Society of Bhubaneswar for this opportunity to experience such landmark films.
Walkabout by Nicolas Roeg is a 1971 film. Well, if you would have watched the film before knowing the year of release, I can bet, you would be now twice checking that. It’s because the production value was so top notch with excellent sound, artistic imagery and intelligent juxtapositions that you just can’t take your eyes off the Australian outback. Like me, one could easily mistake it for a much recent film that has used greater technological advancements than what was available then. But now it only goes on to show the great skills and experience of cinematographer turned filmmaker – Nicolas Roeg.
Recently I was reading an interview of dear director-friend Amartya Bhattacharyya. Without a doubt, it was as insightful as it could be. One of the golden statements he made there has stuck with me since then – “Our brain was never meant to be a hard disk; it was always meant to be the processor. And you have to use it like one.”
This particular statement doesn’t tell us anything that we don’t know. Rather it just serves as a reminder to something that we have forgotten. For some time I have been observing the infatuation among people with associations that are misplaced at the first place. Many of them happen out of ignorance about which they are themselves ignorant. And ever since these random thoughts kept kissing my leisurely moments, I have been asking myself – Where did we go wrong and what has led us into this hollow, brazen self? Indeed it is this rendering of our already underutilized piece of a brain as mere storage centers has reduced it now to a defunct hardware add-on.
Social media during its nascent days were designed to socialize, spread and connect mostly with friends who have spread out to various geographical locations. It used to be an equivalent of a mushy mushy love story being written over the internet, with no demons and villains nor twists or turns. All it did was extend a little bit of sweetness to life. In today’s time it is one of the most important activity that needs to be accomplished after getting up from bed, before retiring to bed and at times while at bed; ensuring our virtual social network is made aware of our thoughts, opinions, and preferences, at times, accompanied with the cost of sounding either condescending, stupid, naive or wise. Everybody and everything has to be on social media – right from the departure of flights to wishing someone in the family stationed in the next room to giving insights on issues hitherto unknown to the general 4G public.