Showing posts from November, 2008

Cinema/Television in India- a story of images

"It's another picture of a victim." Of course it is! And there will be another, and another, and another…and soon it will be forgotten(1) I should have done something else…… Done something else, other than going on screaming, While struggling on in this terrifying s o c i e t y , I should have done something else. Day after day I watched a tiny hope Going into something like a huge pair of jaws Carrying around with me, in this widespread famine, The shame of having stayed alive… I should have done something. –Raghuvir Sahay; translated by Dr. Binyak Sen(2) The 1982 Asian Games brought a conscious shift in the way we looked at our surrounding and reflected a sense of spirit towards communal living. The transmission of television shifted from black and white to color and in a single day of its inception it changed the course of our own history and subconsciously marked an impression for generations. The first telecast on September 15th, 1959 did not change the perce

The Secret of The Grain

There is the film we see. The film we retell, talk about. Then the film we critique, the film we analyse. These come afterwards. But there is also the film we accompany.” The Film We Accompany, Raymond Bellour A family lunch gathering in Abdellatif Kechiche’s The Secret of the Grain reminded me of my joint family, and how every meal we shared was like a celebration: where ideas collided, views were exchanged and conversation of everyday objects and desires unified with social drama and politics. The essence of the movie ‘ The Secret of the Grain’ is the same- a story about a family, a story about a desire and a story about an individual hoping to bring meaning to his life. Slimane (Habib Boufares) is a Tunisian immigrant living in France; he is forced out of his job and decides to fulfill his dream of converting a dilapidated boat into a family restaurant taking the ‘secret’ recipe by his ex-wife — a fish couscous — and embarking on the journey with the help of his mistress’s da

Cinema and eco-system.

(an essay on filmmaking and ethics in society) Saumyananda Sahi PART ONE: ON BELONGING A film is like an eco-system: it works best when all its parts are in a balanced relationship. It is not as mechanical as a clock, which also has parts in relationship that when oiled and moved work together to show the time. The difference is that an eco-system has parts that are both autonomous to some degree (i.e. free) as well as dependent on one another (for food, reproduction and in the case of humans, meaning). It is possible for guppies to over-breed as well as for human beings to kill off a whole species of birds and making them extinct, though the eco-system as a whole continually struggles to maintain the balance. The creation of a film, I am going to argue, is like a sub-system of this larger eco-system in which we all exist, and has parts and relationships contained within its context. One of these parts, and a very important one, is the audience. Unless a film is seen, it is noth

Fashion: The Cinema of Haute Torture

Supriya Suri Once the thesis(film) by Madhur Bhandarkar is out, you know the controversies will be there for his authenticity in exploring the industry, and presenting before us the reality about them. His films are based on a great amount of research, which we all are yet to see being presented in a cinematic way. The research so widely advertised about his movie does not come across in a ways that could be attributed to cinema; its ontological values, and not just interviews, observation, research and his thesis put across the screen that, I believe, could be better suited for a some other medium, but definitely not cinema. More than understanding the topic, the content, the story, that apparently in our country marks the distinction between other oeuvres and the greatness of a filmmaker. It's the exploration of the form that is something requires immediate attention. Because there is a need to explore its dimension, since cinema is not just about content, or form alone, but

African Cinema: Nigeria in the Lens

Emem Ema/Femi Odugbemi The Nigerian film industry has been in existence since the 30s and experienced vibrancy and wide appeal especially in the 70s which had film makers like the Late Herbert Ogunde and Ade 'Love' Afolayan produce films on 35mm. The resurgence of movies led to the growth of community cinema settings all over Nigeria with people thronging into large halls in every major city on weekends or most evenings to see what was new in the cinema, an avenue to get away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The late 70s and the 80s witnessed the boom of television, where all men were permitted to have their own personal sets at home and then video. It was a thing of pride and most people preferred watching movies on TV either at their neighbors or theirs as opposed to making a pilgrimage to the grim cinemas. They could now watch their favorite soaps and programmes on TV. In Northern Nigeria, they were introduced to Bollywood were films like the "Burnin