I have never technically struggled…(for the essentials). But such are the times that every little unconventional work that one does these days, tendency gathers to seek out gratification from people around us. And in fact, there will be people to establish that false sense of achievement by lauding the effort traditionally using the words – “at least you have been able to do this…” Thus every time I started to look at some of my accomplishments – be it materialistic or artistic – I could not help but wonder and compare with all those men and women who would have struggled harder, toiled more throughout the day and night and even during the sleep in between, who would have tirelessly pursued their goals and ambitions, and would have fought a far greater battle with destiny to turn the tide in their favor – to be where they are, just to have at the end in equivalent measures what I have. I couldn’t then help but ask myself – am I still worth the privileges I enjoyed or received.
Last time had the opportunity to watch ‘Daisies’ during the monthly screenings held by Film Society of Bhubaneswar.
‘Daisies’ is a 1966 film by Věra Chytilová and is highly regarded as one of the distinguished films of the 1960’s Czech new wave era. As the name suggests, it would easily come across as a non-serious and a non-intense film. But just like some of the facts about the film that are very interesting and surprising, the film, similarly had layers of political and ideological statements ready to be peeled off its surface.
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.