Thursday, December 31, 2009

Indian Auteur: JumpCut

IA gleans over the decade past: The confession from a maniac cinephile's journal: the enduring images, the random thoughts, the harangue and the eulogies.

JUMPCUT: Films 2009- Maithili Rao

JUMPCUT: The OO's- Anuj Malothra.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

IA Weekly: 3 Idiots

3 Idiots : Who is the idiot then? The cinema screens all over the country become the most potent of weapons for the middle class to battle The Man. But the battle is not one that involves any amount of introspection, only sloganeering. IA sees a trend emerging. Anuj Explores.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

IA Weekly: AVATAR


Indian Auteur Weekly Review Updates: Anuj writes on, Avatar...

“I’ll tell you the story of Ramakrishna and his disciple. Ramakrishna was a Hindu wise man. And he had a disciple who had absolutely no faith in his teachings. So the disciple went off all by himself. Fifteen years later, he came back and said, “I have found the Way!” He told Ramakrishna, “Come, and I will show you.” Then he took Ramakrishna to a river. And the disciple went back and forth across the river, walking on water. “See?” he told Ramakrishna. “I can cross the river without getting wet! I have found the Way!” Then Ramakrishna said to him, “You’re a complete ass. With one rupee and a boat, I’ve been doing the same thing for years!”

- Contempt(1963)/Jean-Luc Godard

The history of cinema is linear. If an event occupies a certain point on the linear cinema history-time, it will never reiterate, repeat or recur; instead, like the history of time, being frozen at that point. Such recurrence is rendered impossible because cinema the artform is intertwined with cinema the technology. Each era in cinematic history is marked primarily by the machine (or set of machines) that facilitates its creation. The cinema is but a yield, a subservient one at that, of the level of technological development at the point of its production. If one were to attempt a summarization of cinema’s history in a few words, he could exclaim the names of Lumiere, Melies, Griffith, Eisenstein, Lang, Ford, and Godard; and the answer would be correct, but if he were to choose to constitute his answer with terms such as Phantasmagoria, Zoetrope, Kinetoscope, Bioscope, Kodak, Arri, Michell, Bolex, and Ampex, would it be wrong? No. Read More



Friday, December 4, 2009

Cinematography: Subrata Mitra


Discussion on favorite cinematographers and their aesthetic and technique at Indian Auteur Forum. The discussion kicked off with the works of the legendary but largely forogtten cinematographer Subrata Mitra. Join in to discuss this and more at the forum:

'Subrata Mitra is perhaps the greatest ever Indian cinematographer who revolutionized prevailing aesthetics in Indian Cinema with innovations designed to make light more realistic and poetic.

Mitra was born into a middle-class Bengali family in 1930. Even as a schoolchild he would cycle with classmates to the nearest cinema to watch British and Hollywood films. By the time he was in college, he had decided he would either become an architect or a cinematographer. Failing to find work as a camera assistant he reluctantly continued studying for his science degree.

In 1950 the great Jean Renoir came to Calcutta to shoot 'The River'. Mitra tried to get a job on the film but was turned away. With the efforts of his father he was given permission to watch the shooting. Out there he used to make extensive notes and meticulous diagrams detailing the lighting and the movements of camera and actors. In fact one day the cinematographer Claude Renoir asked for his notes to check lighting continuity before doing a retake. Also visiting the sets on Sundays and holidays to watch the shooting was a graphic designer. Mitra became friends with him and would visit him every day and describe in great detail what he had witnessed at the shooting. The other gentleman was planning a film and one day he asked Mitra to photograph the film for him. And so at the age of 21 Mitra became a director of photography.

The film he was to photograph - 'Pather Panchali', and the director - Satyajit Ray. 'Pather Panchali' was shot over four years in chunks whenever Ray was able to find funds. In fact for 18 months the production shut down entirely until Ray's mother talked to a friend of a friend of the Chief Minister of West Bengal who agreed to finance the remaining part of the film. 'Pather Panchali' led to a collaboration with Ray which produced 10 films in 15 years.Read More

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Indian Auteur: November, Issue no-7


TABLE OF CONTENT: NOVEMBER 25th- December 25th Issue no:7

E-Magazine Archive

(article available on the web from this issue)

AUTEUR

The Legend of Herr Zolka: Anuj Malhotra

COVER STORY

Paradise Lost: Kshitiz Anand

Cinephilia in India: Nitesh Rohit

Porgramming a film festival: Sachin Gandhi

Seeing is Believing: Supriya Suri

Cinephile, Adjectiv- Cinephilia in Romania : Anamaria Dobincuic

Winds From The East: Sagorika Singha

Multiplexes, Millions& Wood: Anuj Malhotra

Interview

Adrian Martin

World Cinema

The Space Race: Gautam Valluri

Reviews

Crossing The Bridge: Gautam Valluri

Deep in the Valley: Anuj Malhotra

Inglourious Bastards: Gautam Valluri

Animal Town: Supriya Suri


EDITORIAL:

“The Cinephile is an orphan who chooses to be kidnapped by a rather special passer-by who launches him, but not just any old way, on his apprenticeship in the world”

Serge Daney

My father was one of the lucky few in his college years who had a bicycle, and he fondly re-members picking two of his best friends, and riding his way to the movies. For the trio it was a ritual to watch a film everyday, even if that meant seeing the same film thrice. Cinema for them was glimpse into an art-form that could provide these small town boys a chance to witness a world that existed beyond the boundaries of their own lives. Yet, at the same time, it gave them a chance to mould themselves like the characters they admired. It taught them how to dress, speak and interact. In short, for them, cinema was life and life was cinema. The two were so inextricably linked that they only bought clothes from only those tailors who could stitch trousers and shirts like those worn by the stars they admired.

But it was not just the persona of stars that was shaping their attitude. Music played an important role in the lives of these cinephiles. The songs from the Golden Age of Indian cinema and till the late 70s formed a foundation for them to dive into understanding Urdu, as many lyricists who were working then in the industry were Urdu poets themselves. So the poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz was spoken in the same breath as a film by Basu Chatterjee. This at the same time also made them get into the dramatics. But all their new found interest was done on their foundation for the love of films. They could talk about directors, musicians, actors and the overall film. And this cinephile growth was occurring without any knowledge regarding the presence of world cinema or the realization of any cinematic conventions. A film celebrating a Golden Jubilee or a Silver Jubilee was the talk of the town and Filmfare Awards were seriously taken and discussed. Just like the trailer of every new film that was shown before each film that played in the theater. If there was one common wish they all wanted to fulfill before dying - it was to watch a film shoot.

It’s only in the early 80s that the trio disbanded, my father’s best friend decided to go to Mumbai to become a film director, his second lieutenant entered the world of politics. While my father’s love affair with cinema continued. He went on to open one of the first video libraries in the early 80s in Patna, Bihar. So the decade brought in new possibilities: color television, regular TV shows, VCRs, VCP and soon the world of movies became bigger. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly became a household name, and Clint Eastwood was as much in vogue as Amitabh Bachchan. But the ever mutating face of cinephilia proved too costly for the cinephiles of my father’s generation. As Indian cinema slowly becoming an ugly Godzilla like creature called Bollywood.

The love for movies was slowly disappearing from the landscape. When cinephilia entered the 90s my father had lost his interest in movies completely; he never went back to the theater he so much loved, except for the fact that he reminisced about the films of Guru Dutt, Vijay Anand, Basu Chatterjee and more. The baton of the cinephile dream was passed on to me. And it’s this transition that the cinephile in India needs to construct as he(she) has an important role to play in finding the missing images(histories) that are completely lost between cinephilia that existed in the 20th century and cinephilia that exists now. So that a genealogy of Indian cinema can be created that would help in understanding the relation of cinema and its role in shaping the cultural milieu of our society today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Global Festival of Documentary Films




Global Festival of Documentary Films emerges as the most prestigious South Asian Documentary Film Festival as it bags the most awarded and talked about films for participation in the Festival organized by International Film & Television Club of Marwah Studios, a Creative Enterprise.

Eminent film makers like Megan Mylan, Teri McLuhan, A.S. Bedi, Kim Longinotto amongst a long list of internal names enter their films in the festival. Global Festival of Documentary Films is taking place from 20th to 22nd November, ’09 at Marwah Studios Complex, Film City, Noida, U.P.The awards in the Young Film Maker Category would be – 1st prize of Rs. 25,000/-, 2nd prize of Rs. 15,000/- and IIIrd prize of Rs.10, 000/-

The highlights of the Festival are Smile Pinky by Mylan Megan, an Oscar winner this year, and Frontier Gandhi by Terry McLuhan, renowned film maker. These directors will be present to interact with the young film makers to share their experiences and observations. This would be a golden opportunity for the students to learn from the masters in almost one-on-one sessions.

MOVIES TO BE SCREENED :-

Superman of Malegaon
Harishchandra Factory
Smile Pinky
Frontier Gandhi

MORE FILMS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Film Funding Opportunities for Filmmakers: Cinedarbaar is actively taking part in this initiative, so watch out for more updates on this space.

Interaction with Jury Members
Interactions With International Renowned Directors
Market Session for Marketing Films
Interactions with Producers



VENUE: Marwah STUDIO, Sector 16-A, Noida Film City, NCR.

Friday, November 6, 2009

An Interview with Atsushi Funahashi


Please could you elaborate, for us, on your history and growth as a cinephile.

I was a pure cinephile when I was in my teens and was watching as many movies I could. Usually in Japan it’s very hard to get into college so you have to study a lot. That’s why the high school forces you to quit sport- I was playing tennis since I was a kid- but the school forced me to quit and two years were spent in preparation of an entry into college. And I absolutely hated it, because it’s forbidden. A friend of mine encouraged me to come and watch films, and so I did. That one movie turned into a life long passion. But the movie that had a great impact on me was Samuel Fuller’s White Dog. I just had to spend time watching many Fuller films and it was cheap at around 600 Yen (around 6$). It is a reasonable cost for high school students.READ MORE


RELATED READING

DEEP IN THE VALLEY FILM REVIEW



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

IA Dialy: Osian Film Festival 2009


Friday, 24th October 2009 saw the commencement of the 11th Osian Cinefan, the prestigious film festival that centers itself in New Delhi. The festival will be noted for the first significant instance of a major festival’s embracement and acknowledgment of changes in our mainstream cinema that they can see and we cannot. Thus, the fortress of Delhi, after much resistance from its enclosed and exclusive art culture, has finally fallen to the all pervasive market phenomena of Mumbai. It is an invasion, thus, of the old sacred space whose preservation is as essential as the protection of a national monument – for like the latter, the former is a document of the existence of a minority like us – a document we are not willing to let go of just as yet.Read More

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The ongoing work of Cinedarbaar was briefly mentioned in the leading daily Times of India.

NEW AGE FILM CRITICS:
Ruhi Basin

Popular flicks screened at multiplexes and on television no longer satisfy these `cinephiles' for their interest in cinema goes much beyond just watching a `good' film. For these new critics, movie viewing is serious business and discussing the nuances of each film transcending language barriers important.

Cine Darbaar, a film appreciation club in the city, calls itself one such group of cinephiles. Started by Nitesh Rohit and Supriya Suri, who come from a mass communication background, the club screens movies twice a week on Saturdays and Sundays. Twenty-three-year-old Suri said, "As an alumnus of a film school in Paris, I noticed the inability of some film schools to mould students such that they appreciate the history of cinema. I and my friend decided to start Cine Darbaar to fill this void. The club is simply a platform to watch and discuss movies.''

From the story line, narrative, camera work to music, sound and editing, various aspects of a movie are discussed here. "There are several film screenings, festivals and TV channels that show world movies, but our city lacked a forum where one could debate over movies,'' added Suri. Cine Darbaar also maintains a video library of its own and is now planning to hold a film festival in the city colleges in October to promote cinema from Taiwan. The club doesn't charge any membership fee.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Indian Auteur: Forum



OUR E-zine

Our Forum

Our Website

The primary goal of Indian Auteur is to initiate a discussion among people who love cinema and everything else that is part of the medium. Discussion is an important reason for us taking different initiative across India. From our journal, Cinephile Meeting, Film Experiences and the Online Forum.

The Forum is a place where one should engage in a discussion to understand and discover cinema. The Forum is a place to learn and interact. So please abide by the rules and guidelines to keep a healthy, passionate and engaging discussion among cinephile brewing across the world.


pic- Yo La Tengo, cover album.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Indian Auteur E-Mag and Website Online.




Online E-Mag.

Download E-Mag

Those who view the storm from afar.

…see no difference between

Here and there

To join in and to become a part of it.

This is the call of the times,

Here and there

- Kafi Azmi.

Despair is the breeding ground for any form of revolution; it makes one do the unthinkable, film the unimaginable and write knowing that this may be one’s last sentence. Nicolas De Stael leaped into the void; MS Sathyu filmed Garam Hawa and Jack Kerouac fired with On the Road…and Indian Auteur is a child of one such despair.

In a country that is in a state of transition; where the struggle to live each day is a task; that history or critical thinking cease to exist for most; hence, our relation with our very own roots is slowly and steadily disappearing. Film Archives are selling films as scraps, auteurs works are facing extinction and cinema in the nation begins with the birth of Bollywood in 80sRead More

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Delhi Manifesto

.................
The seeds of Indian Auteur were sown with the initiation of "The Delhi Manifesto" and nine months down the line we are working towards the same goals. So before we come online again. Our Manifesto. Relaunched
...................

* Our cinema screen has become an ill-constructed, and conventional portal to a world we aspire of, rather than a mirror, which reflects us.

* Our emotions are guided by leitmotifs placed deftly, and religious beliefs exploited.

* Our spirit of inquiry has become dead and we have been reduced to mere receivers in the process.

* Cinema and television has replaced interaction with imposition of thought. Its thought. An artificial, fake and ill-created thought, a manifestation of our needs to escape ourselves.

* The medium has become a symbol of cheap entertainment, devoid of any examination of the form, and a victim of our collective need to create personalities, perfect alternate universes, and images of our aspiration.

* Our criticism has become trivial. Stories take precedent over the intrinsic qualities of the cinematic medium.

* Our film lovers are snobs, indulging in their wholehearted pseudo-intellectual diatribe, condemning the ignorant, and the ignorant have become so used to a cinema that’s meager that they are satiated with films from the West.

* Our parallel offerings remain strictly entrenched in the tradition of the mainstream, and hence, are versions of the same, rather than its replacements

We reject a system that encourages the above, despite its realization, and seek:-

* To incite discussion on the possibilities, limitations and viability of the application of the auteur theory as a critical prism.

* To use criticism and our theories to both champion and strive for innovation and cutting edge in form, form and content

* To attempt a formulation of a pure love for cinema, a middle ground between the pseudo intellect of the snobs, and the ignorance of the unknowing, and attempt to mobilize their film loves to this new ground.

* To attempt a critical theory that moves beyond the supply of the story and the statistical rating points.

* To observe, notice, and champion upcoming films, filmmakers, and technicians, who remain obscured in the looming shadows of commerce and a faux parallel cinema.

* To champion cinema that creates dissonance, repulsion, interpretation, confusion and discussion rather than loud claps, whistles and scrupulous satisfaction

* To work towards a film love which adopts a middle ground, to reinstate the cinema director to his deserved position, to celebrate Indian cinema of the past and the present, to examine its potential, we propose "The Delhi manifesto.”

- A Delhi Suburb, 1st Jan 2009

SIGN IN:-

( All the early signatories will be soon be online on the new website)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Granma



Six months or half an year ago, we launched Indian Auteur with a certain set of objectives in mind – the primary among them being the need to protect our notion of cinema – one of a personal, uncompromising, unflinching artist who wields the camera – instead of one whose film is a result of populism, rather than it being the other way around. The notion of an auteurist cinema. In these six months, we have been called confrontational, controversial, direct, and romantic. We have also been called cinephiles. The former is what we would call the collateral damage of the exercise we have undertaken. The latter is our reward.


But the idea is in the penultimate stage of its life cycle. As we come out with the sixth, the half-yearly issue, we seek a restitution and a renewal of ourselves as an organization. Hence, in September, we will reveal ourselves in a completely new format. Therefore, with the promise of rewarding our loyalists, and provoking those who are not, we will take this extended break between two issues to come out with an issue that not only puts into more serious perspective, our own position as a body, but also, that of the exercise of film writing in this country itself. All we can promise, however, is that, the first six months was the preparation. The next, would be the war.


- Indian Auteur Tm.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bright Future

Massive wave of jellyfish to attack Japan
Japanese marine experts have given warning that the country's
northern coastline...
...is under
threat from a plague of jellyfish.














---------------------------------------------

Images- Bright Future- Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Headline- The Telegraph Report on Jelly Fish attack on Japan shores

COMING SOON- THE ALL NEW INDIAN AUTEUR

Friday, August 21, 2009

Siddheshwari














































---------------------------------------------------
Born on 8'th August 1908, in Banaras, Siddheshwari Devi had her initial training in Indian Classical music from Pandit Siyaji Maharaj. Later, she also trained under Pandit Bade Ram Dasji of Banaras. Siddheshwari shifted from Banaras to Delhi in 1965 and taught music in Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra for more than a decade till she passed away in 1977.



Siddheshwari Devi's music represented Banaras Gharana style, which lays more emphasis on the intensity of feelings and expression of emotions through musical notes and voice modulations. A stalwart of thumri, Siddheshwari's music also included khayals, dhrupads, dadras, tappas, kajris, chaitis, horis and bhajans. In thumris she specialized in "Poorabang" thumri, which is also known as the "Bol-Banav-ki thumri". Reliance on ragas was a distinctive feature of Siddheshwaris thumris. She helped in raising thumri to a classical form. She earned the title of "Thumri-Queen" and was presented the much coveted Padma Shree award in 1967.


Siddheshwari Devi strongly believed in "Guru Shishya Parampara" which has been kept alive by her daughter Vidushi Savita Devi. Savita established "Smt Siddheshwari Devi Academy of Indian Music" in the loving memory of her mother in 1977, the year in which Siddheshwari passed away.


Images- SIDDHESHWARI Directed by Mani Kaul.

NEW INDIAN AUTEUR WEBSITE/ISSUE COMING SOON.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bollywood and Indian Cinema



On Bollywood-


Indian film reviewers and trade analysts( who act as critics ) are head over heels with a new " Bollywood" film called Kaminey. So, inspite of the tight scheduled of our cinephile team, who are working on the special issue of Indian Auteur and the new version of the website- that is launching next month. Our team mate Debojit Ghatak managed to jot down few words on the film part of the so called " Indian New Wave" :-

Among other headlines from the world of modern fashion, the hand-held is now in vogue. The shaky, apprehensive, hesitant hand-held, that lends a sense of unrelenting urgency to a scene. That replaces the compulsion of aesthetic with the luxury of post-production. That eliminates the need for a dolly track, or a cut, to manage disconcerting proximity with the actor’s skin. That replaces meticulous blocking with a single continuous action (shot in infinite takes). That subjugates the possibility of space, and restricts the actors in mid-shots and close-ups. That announces the confirmation of coverage as the method of cinema, and when shot on real location, announces the death of mise-en-scene. Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminey is the latest issue of the fashion magazine Read More.


On Indian Cinema-



PART-1




Part-2




Part-3





pic- Kaminey, UTV motion pictures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Time to Live and a Time to Die


























Originally Dad planned to stay in Taiwan for only three or four years before going back, so he bought bamboo furniture because it was cheap and he could throw it away when he left. Later mom wanted to buy a sewing machine. It took so long to persuade him. Dad had tuberculosis... so he kept his bowl and chopsticks away from us. He kept a distance from us avoiding us when he coughed because he was afraid that we might be infected.




A Time to Live and a Time to Die- Hou Hsiao Hsien

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COMING SOON- The All New Indian Auteur.