Cinematography and Time-II

A recent comment from Haridas B at the Indian Auteur website pointed us towards these set of lectures given by Mani Kaul at the International Film Festival of Kerala, 2006 and also a subsequent debate on the same with cinematographers and filmmakers at the Osian film festival 2007. This debate was further revived by the same group of cinematographers and they had this to say:

"We found Mani Kaul's argument very interesting and relevant. But unfortunately this subject has not been picked up and debated enough. So we have compiled the video recordings of both the events here. Please view the videos and contribute to the debate"

I would like to know the views of people here, so we to can contribute to the overall discussion.

Mani Kaul also wrote an essay exploring similar themes and topics in Beneath the Surface: Cinematography and Time which is available online at the Indian Autuer website.

The New Issue of Indian Auteur

Video source:-


An awesome follow up to the article...

"The work of a director is recognition, not creation..." - Deserves some thought...But how does one recognize?

Thanks for these vids Nitesh...
nitesh said…
Thanks for the comment. I never quite got the idea to behind this- Especially what form of 'recognition' is being expressed?
Anuj Malhotra said…

Fascinating stuff.

"The work of a director is recognition..."
In very simplistic terms, can the statement be reduced/equated to saying - "The job of a director is to wait and watch, not impose himself onto his construct, and then merely pick up the most suitable take in the post"? My argument is two fold-:

a) Isn't the job of a director, even in this scenario - creation, for doesn't he create the very construct which facilitates the occurrence of the accident? Doesn't he set the shot, instruct the crew? Even if these processes are mere mechanisms and not objectives within themselves, who creates the mechanism which lies beneath the accident?

b) As JAFB says, "How does one recognise" - that again brings us down to an appraisal of Bresson's intuitive ability to choose the best take, and thus subsequently, his ability as a filmmaking master, which is so singular to him. As a method of shooting thus, it can never be generalised or used by a lot of filmmakers.
yes, and I think we shouldn't take MK's statement too literally. Even Kubrick did that. He went into tens of takes to obtain some atmosphere that he only knew. May be "recognition" is merely a product of the unconsciousness of the actors and director... (As MK said, even the second take may be better than the 40th).

And I so agree about the poverty of true images in modern media...
nitesh said…
@ DITTO, JAFB regarding the poverty of images in India. It's something we just can't ignore. Almost every aspect of our life is so damn identical. From the way television staging functioning to the transmission. If one show starts with a challenge everyone follows the format.

As for mainstream cinema...well the less we talk the better.

Just a sad fact that we witnessing that now video games, animation and even regional cinema is engulfed with the images of mainstream cinema or Bollywood in general.
Oh ya... Nowadays, CG has made us so numb to violence and "magic", that no one would recognize the real thing if they saw one. Sad,

To quote Monsters Inc. : "Kids these days are just tougher to scare." :D
Unknown said…
@ Anju

About your point (a

understand what you saying.....but when MK talks of elimination of direction doesn't mean the elimination of the director. Director is there to create the right kind of atmosphere for the magic to happen.

like abbas kiarostami said after making 10 in which he doesn't credit himself as a director. When asked his answer was the i can not say that i made this film, or i directed the film...but if i was not there this film would never have made.

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