The Cinephile Meetings in April did not take place across India due to several factors. One of the prominent reasons being that, most people are busy with their college exams or don’t have an hour to spare. People don't have time to dedicate one hour of their lives just for one given Sunday of a month. I guess everyone has their own lives and priorities, and cinema definitely is not on many list of undisputed agenda to discuss and talk. Or the most valuable question people ask- " What will we get out of this?"
While many people live in the disillusionment that making films(and their masterpiece) will solve all the problems of Indian Cinema. And discussion and writing on cinema are pure thrash. And this is the same branch of people who tend to forget that they will need someone to champion their film and somewhere to show their film. And when both these groups does not exist or fit in the current state of Indian cinema culture ‘Their dream masterpiece will die even before it’s born’. First one needs the foundation than only skyscrapers are possible, its pointless to dream from the top to bottom. Until we don't co-operate across platforms on grass root level to change things nothing will ever move here.
We need to co-operate and hold hands and that is the only way things will move. A new nomenclature needs to be developed. One of cinema, a language of expressing our desires, our stories and our commitment for change that should start from us and then move outward, so for every film in India that derives its source of inspiration from clichés we should strive for new stories. And I'm sure every Indian who reads this post knows that we have many untold stories and a culture and tradition so rich that that it would take a person to be reincarnated at least a seven life time to even touch one aspect completely.
For every film in India where the camera is dead- The camera needs to wake up, it needs to move like it does in an Max Ophuls films, or it should remain at a distance like it does in a Tsai Ming Liang films. It’s not just about the nature of content; it’s a also about the nature of film camera and the questions it can raise and bring to a film- a certain relationship that can be developed- a protest-a nature to move away from what has been done till death. It’s important, and it’s more than needed. Because the further we go the more local we become and it’s through these stories closer to our heart and mind new images and new criticism in India will develop. And for that an all out getting together is the only key to survivial for anyone who dares to defer from the basic notion of cinema in the country.
This month has been invaluable in weighing the pros/cons of the overall structure of such meetings and the development of a culture of cinema in India. I also realize that no form of online interaction, discussion can seriously replace the power and bonding that one can develop in the course of meeting people. For us, this is an important step, and will continue to be so (to push for a print journal and establish nation wide underground screening hubs) to really become relevant and affect the Industry that we seriously dislike.
Nonetheless, the meeting took place and although a little less fiery than the last two it still was a thrilling experience. Personally, with every ‘Cinephile Meeting’ there are growths in different areas for all of us who are involved in this endeavor. Starting with the understanding of organizing an event and learning about the ideas of cinema and life that cuts across different ages groups and social structure of people who come for these meetings.
The current Cinephile Report Part-1 is written by a leading Social researcher and Media sociologist in India who attended the meeting. Although, what she writes is not necessarily what we did discuss. But for me, it’s always interesting to know how facts sometimes are misinterpreted and over analyzed at the same time. Yet, it’s always liberating to listen, and read such a viewpoint and this is definitely an interesting read. It’s always important to have people who disagree with us but the fact we have so many that- it make the whole thing even more amazing.
This month the same topic will be carried forward for the Meeting to be held in Delhi. While in the rest of India it would only begin when exams ends and people are free to talk about cinema.
ISSUE No-3 coming soon
pic source- Two men place a hammer and sickle symbol outside the Cochin Communist office during an election campaign.
Photograph by Steve McCurry