Indian Auteur

‘What is the point of a dream that is not unattainable? If it’s attainable, is it even a dream still?’

A vacation has been imposed upon Indian Auteur; and this is no time for a vacation. Like Robert Frost’s traveler being compelled to make a detour which he undertakes in his sleepy stupor, we have become victims of our circumstance. Due to some technical and design issues, the website's content has not been updated. We are working on making the interface and experience for our readers more enjoyable.

In a recent interview with trade analyst Komal Nahta, setup to make it seem like a serious discussion on his film Housefull’s grand success, director Sajid Khan took the opportunity presented to him by the commercial vindication of his film to ridicule each new filmmaker who tries to attempt a personal film because well, apparently, they do not know how to make films for the audience and he does. The point he states, and overstates is that he is a man deserving of his position as a film director because he knows his ‘audience’, loves his ‘audience’, and is aware of what his ‘audience’ wants. The irony, ofcourse, is lost on him; because through his consistent emphasis on an imaginary collective and its homogenous taste – ‘what the audience wants’ – he essentially talks in the language of the marketing executive who chooses to refuse attention to the individual, and the complexity of individual taste, instead choosing to generalize a set of pre-determined qualities to a large group of people, thus, essentially deeming them undeserving of their status as individuals and worthy of existence only when in a collective – thus, the oft-thrown around terms – market, mass, target audience etc.

Therefore, when someone like Sajid Khan talks of his awareness of what the audience wants, he is essentially denying them status as individuals perfectly capable of individual choices, instead choosing to refer to them as a single whole – that such kind of contempt for the audience is now pandered as ‘love’ for the audience is a sign of the times we live in. Even as Alfred Hitchcock, one of the greatest commercial successes talked lovingly about his audiences, he talked about their attributes as human beings – their fears, their vulnerabilities, their anxieties – and never as contributors to the revenue of his latest film. Sajid Khan is either smarter than we think, and is aware of the irony resident within his device of disguising his sheer contempt of his audience and their lack of taste as his love for them; or he is just the prototype of everything that is so miserably wrong with our cinema. We prefer the latter. Actually, we are not that sure.

It wouldn’t be an ancient fool’s dream, thus, to demand of every rational quarter of the modern Indian media spectrum to rally against Bollywood’s consistent disdain for its audience – of how its gaze is always turned at the rumour of the murder, and not the murder itself. But even as we make the demand, the onus lies on us. We really don’t need this vacation when each second means we lose another inch of our territory. We apologize to the loyal section of our readers for this break.

We will be back, very soon.

- Indian AuteurTm

ABOUT: Indian Autuer is an independent film initiative that is run with the help of few like minded cinephiles in New Delhi. Indian Auteur is independently funded with no donation or advertisement to its credit in the last one year.

Note: The Indian Auteur team in the last two months has successfully helped out in the Alfred Hitchcock Retrospective in New Delhi/ And the Summer Film Camp for Children, New Delhi

PIC:- Into the Wild.


Sharanya said…

I just found this post, while trawling for cached memories of Indian Auteur. Looking forward to it being back!

I'm writing also, with a query regarding access to its archives: I'm doing a paper on Mani Kaul, and would be so grateful to have access to his essays that Indian Auteur has published. Is there a way to make this happen? I feel like work would be very incomplete if I don't reference such an important contribution on writings on Kaul! If you want more contact details, I'm at sharanya1089 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Hope to hear from you soon!


Popular posts from this blog

Satyajit Ray, 'What's wrong with Indian Films?

Narrative Style of Satyajit Ray- in context Godard, Eisenstein and others.

Kumar Shahani- a portrait