Thursday, 27 December 2007

VAIBHAV'S WORLD! Baatein with Vaibhav Kumaresh at 5 pm

(Click to embiggen!)
"BOYZ!  (and girlz...)  Aaz zaade-paanch baje dekhiye...  BAATEIN with VAIBHAV JI!"  -Simpoo Sir


Vaibhav Kumaresh, the mad genius who created Simpoo, Amaron, Birthday
Bhoot, Chulbuli and many other wacky cartoons (including the cartoon
Ishaan in Taare Zameen Par) is currently in NID taking his annual
Claymation workshop.

NID Film Club would like to invite you to a Baatein session with Vaibhav
in the auditorium at 5 pm today (before the Thursday film screening).

Don't miss it!

(Poster by Rohit Iyer -

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Central do Brasil

Central Station (Portuguese: Central do Brasil) is an Academy
Award-nominated 1998 drama film set in Brazil. It tells the story of a
young boy's friendship with a middle-aged woman. The movie was adapted by
Marcos Bernstein and João Emanuel Carneiro from a story by Walter Salles
and it was directed by Salles. The film was an international co-production
between Brazil and France.

Dora (Montenegro) is a former school teacher. Now a bitter old woman, she
works at Rio de Janeiro's Central Station, writing letters for illiterate
customers in exchange for money. She hates her customers, calling them
"trash," and often does not mail the letters she writes, just putting them
in a drawer, or even tearing them apart.
Josué is a 9-year-old boy who has never met his father. His mother is
sending letters to his father through Dora. When she dies in a dramatic
accident at the station, Dora takes Josué on a trip to the north-east of
the country to find his father. They become great friends, despite the
great age difference between them. Later, after Josué convinces her to do
so, Dora mails the letters she has written.

About the director:
Walter Moreira Salles Jr. (born April 12, 1956, Rio de Janeiro) is a
Brazilian filmmaker and film producer of international prominence. In
2003, Salles was voted one of the 40 Best Directors in the World by The
Guardian. His biggest international success has been Diarios de
Motocicleta (2004; English title: The Motorcycle Diaries), about the life
of young Ernesto Guevara, who later became known as Che Guevara. It was
Salles's first foray as director of a film in a language other than his
native Portuguese (Spanish, in this case) and quickly became a box-office
hit in Latin America and Europe.


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Cafe Lumiere: A Review

A beautiful review of Cafe Lumiere by Ayswarya.S (PG 2nd yr, AFD)

'Café Lumière'

A tribute to ozu and his projections of the modern man in the metropolis, half a century later, by hou.

The challenge is to potray a coffee house culture in the teaist’s tradition. The meditation of Japanese teaism on the twirling hurriedness of instant coffee, between catching trains, which doodle madly inside the Japanese islands, scattering people to their destinations in doped circles. The outcome is melancholically beautiful.

From the restless silence of suppressed words inside the petit cozy home to the numbing silence of the colossal frictional murmurs of the city outside, the camera remains the most silent of them all; observing with the ripple-less, clear silence of zen. It refuses to comment or judge, following the wisdom of ozu.

The sounds of the film, are just reminders of the silence. Doors opening, trains halting, recorded voices, announcements, traffic, all accentuated against the gentle notes of jiang wenye(hope the spelling is correct) occasionally, flowing like an unnoticed secret stream, beneath the roads and houses stacked above the ground precariously; like a ghost of ozu’s era, lingering behind with nostalgia.

The magic of the film is that the thematic silence is not oppressive, but meditative. The intertwined silences of the self, family and the city is orchestrated into a melancholic symphony of silences.

Unfortunately, I missed the opening few scenes of the film. So I’m not aware of any references regarding ‘lumiere’ in the film, if any. But the film must also be a tribute to the lumiere brothers. The association of the sheer spectacle of people pouring from inside the orifices of trains, like ants, droning around the city like flies, is strikingly similar.

People of all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of tasks and purposes, living n number of stories, parading the roads just like yoko and her train-loving friend. The city comes alive as one big living, sighing organism, in the railroads full of mechanical monsters at their service. Where people become parts of a whole. Like blood cells pumped through the vessels. Coming and going in circles.

From the black, white and greys of ozu’s standard 55mm lens and academic ratio, the times have changed to hou’s super saturated, burned, flat tele images. But the quiet, unobtrusive observation of life as it is, the unforced restraint of the slender narrative, seems as if time itself is revealing itself. Time becomes the teller of its tale. Also the basic fascination for the moving image, the free-flowing dynamism of fully peopled frames, the precursor of cinema, comes back to haunt the screen. Café lumiere is indeed a trip in time across the changing time-scapes.


Animation Film Design
2nd yr PG

18th October 2007

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Baatein with Junuka

"Right now I have in front of me a large paper full of words, arrows, circles and more than everything, a list of vast issues regarding people, their livelihood,environment, and so many loopholes in the processes…"

Beginning with her diploma project, Junuka has worked with small communities inremote areas. Starting from the Dungra Bheels in Southern Gujarat and most recentlywith the Nicobarese community in the Nicobar Islands where she spent almost twoyears. Her work is not only inclusive of film-making , but also writing, painting,photography and the beginnings of cultural studies.

Junuka Deshpande joined NID in 2000. She graduated in 2005 from the Undergraduation programme, specialising in Film and Video Communication. She is cuurently based inPune.

Her blog can be viewed at

Thanks akhila, for the louwely poster and the writeup. :D
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Cafe Lumiere

He is Hou

Hou is from china

Houever 'Café Lumière' is set in japan(nothing to do with case you somehow have an odd feeling that it is)…

The plot may be almost non-existent, but who cares when a film is both this serenelybeautiful and quietly insightful. Cafe Lumiere (2003) was commissioned bythe Japanese studio Shochiku, which asked Hou to create an homage to itsmost famous house director, Yasujiro Ozu, in celebration of the centennialof his birth. So Café Lumière’s first shot — in Ozu’s Academy ratio ratherthan the widescreen of the rest of the film — is the old colour ShochikuMount Fuji logo. And what of the story itself? Japanese pop star Yo Hitoto plays Yoko, a young woman who is visiting her father andstepmother in Tokyo. She returns from Taiwan with news that she is pregnant by herformer Taiwanese student, but she has no plans to get married. Of course, herparents want the best for her, but they can't quite communicate with Yoko(especially her father), nor can she express herself very well to them. Yoko isfriends with Hajime (Tadanobu Asano), the owner of a secondhand bookstore that shefrequents on occasion. Hajime is a serious train buff and spends his free timerecording the sounds of trains. The two seem to share a connection.

The strengthsof Café Lumière are: the subtle, underplayed narrative style; the way Hou generatesthe meaning of his Tokyo story visually rather than through dialogue; the slightlydistanced perspective that enhances the delicate beauty of the film. Certainly, itshares certain stylistic tropes and themes familiar from the great director’s work – the low placed camera; the static shots; familial relationshipsbetween the generations – yet in the end, the differences between Hou’s and Ozu’sfilm worlds are as great as their similarities. But if these two great directors aretraveling along separate though parallel lines, this journey with Hou is nothingless than a magnificent one.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Of the ten films that Hsiao-hsien Hou directed between 1980 and1989, seven received best film or best director awards from prestigiousinternational films festivals in Venice, Berlin, Hawaii, and the Festival of theThree Continents in Nantes. In a 1988 worldwide critics' poll, Hou was championedas "one of the three directors most crucial to the future of cinema." His emotionally charged work is replete with highly nostalgic images and beautifulcompositions; their power lies in his total identification with the past and thefate of families who suffered through difficult times in rural Taiwan in the 1950sand 1960s which saw the beginning of Western-style industrialization andurbanization. The normal frustrations of growing up were aggravated by thesecomplicated changes, and Hou's films are intimate expressions of those experiences.In a poetic yet relaxed style, they reflect a deep sympathy & profound humanism.

Please find a trailer of the film at
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Wednesday, 10 October 2007

A Passage to India(1984)

dir: Sir David Lean

"...Passage, O soul, to India!
Eclaircise the myths Asiatic—the primitive fables.
Not you alone, proud truths of the world!
Nor you alone, ye facts of modern science!
But myths and fables of eld—Asia’s, Africa’s fables!..."

-Walt Whitman
'Passage to India', Leaves of Grass

Paying homage to Whitman's poem, the title of E.M Foster's novel 'A Passage to India' is the also the title of David Lean's entertaining however different in effect adaptation. The film and the novel especially differ in their contrasting endings.

A young english Lady, visiting her prospective fiance in India is allegedly raped by a warm and ingratiating native doctor who she meets in an effort to discover the 'real' India as opposed to what she found an appaling anglicised environment created by the racist and narrow minded British community who had no desire to comprehend the mysticism and wonders of the subcontinent.

Moderately sucessful at the box office this film received critical acclaim and won 2 Oscars among 11 nominations as well as many other prestigious awards.
Worth 163 minutes of your time the film is visually ravishing with wonderful vistas of spectacular scenery.
About the director:
Sir David Lean (1908-1991) He was born in Greater London. His parents were Quakersi.e members of 'the religious society of friends'. Lean started at the bottom, as a clapperboard assistant and went on to become a film director and producer. He's best remembered for big-screen epics such as Lawrence of Arabia, The BridgeCver River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage to India . Widely acclaimed andwinning the praise of directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, StanleyKubrick and George Lucas he directed only sixteen feature films, in a forty-yearcareer, yet many of these appear regularly in critics' and filmgoers' polls of thegreatest films of all time. His films, while being extremely popular with the generalpublic, are disliked by some critics who argued that they were simply visualspectacles with no depth.
Sir David Lean on the Ms. Quested character in A Passage to India
A musical tribute to Sir David Lean
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image--> wikipedia.


Well, this ought to have been done before the film was screened, but thanks to what iyer considers to be his idea of a joke, i got the invite to the blog late. :P (and not from him).

Anyway, Filmclub'07 's first screening this sem is(was)
NICKELODEON by Peter Bogdanovich.
Nickelodeons were movie theaters with an admission fee of one nickel.

It's easy, the cameraman tells him "These are the actors. This is the camera. Youtell me where to place it, and when you have enough you tell me 'cut.' Nicklodeonis a homage to the childhood days of motion pictures- Slapstick in style andpicaresque in form. Set in 1910, young attorney Leo Harrigan by chance meets amotion picture producer. Immediately he's invited to become a writer for him - thestart of a sensational career. Soon he's promoted to a director and shoots one silent movie after the other in the tiny desert village Cacamonga with a small crewof actors. But Leo has problems as well, such as being hopelessly smitten with hisleading lady, who chooses to reward his attentions by getting herself hitched toHarrigan's vulgar leading man, Buck Greenway who has been sent by the patent agencyto sabotage them.

About the director
Peter Bogdanovich was conceived in Europe but born in America.(haha yes, sounds funny doesn't it!) He originally was an actor in the 1950s. In the early 1960s he achieved notoriety for programming movies at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He was an obsessive cinema-goer,sometimes seeing up to 400 movies a year in his youth. Bogdanovich was influencedby the French critics of the 1950s who wrote for Cahiers du Cinema, especiallycritic-turned-director François Truffaut. Bogdanovich was offered the chance to direct The Godfather(1972), but he turned down producer Robert Evans, as did other directors, and only then did Evans hire Francis Ford Coppola. He also turned downchance to direct "Chinatown" (1974).

Here's a youtube link for a preview of the film--

Opinions, thoughts, reviews of the film are welcome. Mail us at (anyone! you dont have to be an nidian)

darn, i just realised..iyer u can still kick me out can't you? shite
image and info--> wikipedia, imdb

Saturday, 1 September 2007


Greetings everyone!

It seems this month shall be especially bountiful for all you film lovers out there! We begin September with a festival celebrating the filmmaker Jacques Demy. Those in the know may commence frothing at the mouth. Even better, there's another festival close on this one's heels (but more on that later). We wish to thank the Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad for making this possible. Please do them the courtesy of a visit:

JACQUES DEMY FILM FESTIVAL - 3rd to 8th September 2007.

3rd, Monday - Lola
4th, Tuesday - La Baie des Anges (Bay of the Angels)
5th, Wednesday - Les Parapluies de Cherbourg - (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)
6th, Thursday - Les Demoiselles de Rochefort - (The Young Ladies of Rochefort)
7th, Friday - Peau d'Âne - (Donkey Skin)
8th, Saturday - Jacquot de Nantes

Venue: The Auditorium

Jacques Demy was one of the big guns of the French New Wave. His style was distinct from those of his colleagues, who included Godard and Truffaut. For some reason, in this place his name does not have the "pull" characteristic for the others'. A peculiar situation, one which we hope to set to rights. After this you will have something to talk about, at those discussions.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

August 23rd - Jan Svankmajer's "ALICE"


This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, "One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter."

“One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?” thought Alice to herself.

“Of the mushroom,” said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.

A much loved tale from childhood, one best read unabridged when grown up; a story never satisfactorily adapted to celluloid or the like. Walt Disney’s effort (the 1951 version) is gallant, but discards a lot of the logic Lewis Carroll invested in the book. So too, for that matter, does Švankmajer’s version. It is certainly not a translation, as such, being more of an allusion to the original, and it frequently goes off on its own ‘trip’. The whimsical air is replaced here by a brooding feeling of unease, a feeling which, though it may bring our heroine down, nonetheless cannot hold her back in her determination.

About the Director: Jan Švankmajer (b. 1934) is an inventive Czech filmmaker and artist, best known for his animated work that frequently features stopmotion and ‘pixilation’. As a continuing adherent of his country’s Surrealist movement, he deals mostly with themes in a way that subverts conventional perception of reality. His films include the provocative FAUST (1994), and the shorts DIMENSIONS OF DIALOGUE (1982) and PICNIC WITH WEISSMANN(1968).

We wish to thank Jayakrishnan (GD) for the poster.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

August 21st - Miyazaki's "NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND"


Echoes of Frank Herbert's DUNE may be found here, together with pessimism about the future of modern society, and an abiding faith in the resilience of the human being. Adapting early portions from the director’s own "manga" (comic book) of the same name, this landmark animation film visualizes a future in which the Earth, ravished by her children, blankets herself in toxins – “the Seas of Decay”. Pitiful remnants of mighty civilisations struggle to hold on. The post-apocalypse is a great favourite in science fiction; to this crowded field Miyazaki brings a tale that more than holds its own, a tale full of life and complexity. Although not as technically proficient as his later work, it transfixes the viewer throughout.

About the director: Hayao Miyazaki (b. 1941) started out as a footsoldier, moving up the ladder as he honed his skills. His big break, LUPIN III: THE CASTLE OF CALISTRAGO (1979), put him in the orbital where he could make what he wanted to. He would go on to co-found Studio Ghibli (along with notables such as Isao Takahata) which would turn out such classics as MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO (1988) and SPIRITED AWAY (2001).

Our thanks to Jayakrishnan (GD) for the posters. :-)

Thursday, 16 August 2007

August 16th - Kundun Shah's "JAANE BHI DO YAARO"

Today we give you a film most relevant in the way that it touches on our lives. Sixty years down the line and some things are as yet unresolved, which is (in part) what makes this film so compelling a watch. Unsettling, isn’t it?

16th August 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium


Directed by Kundan Shah
Runtime: 2 hours 23 minutes

Two things that must be forming in people’s minds by now – first, that the Film Club has an inordinate fondness for Mumbai (the setting for three films now) and, second, that it has just as unexplainable a fondness for Naseeruddin Shah (once again within the semester). Well, folks, it just happened that way. We thought you all would like something light, so today’s story is just that. It is an excellent demonstration of the idea that comedy is merely horror served up differently, the horror in this case being the corruption to which ordinary people are exposed daily. We follow the adventures of two photographers as they try to earn a living, but are quickly sucked into a dangerous whirlpool of intrigue and murder involving some of the highest authorities in the city. The cast is perfect. Where else can you see an actor play a corpse so well that he almost outshines his colleagues, with all their histrionics?

About the director: Kundan Shah (b. 1947) is a notable filmmaker, mainstream yet innovative, especially with comedy. This film, his debut, is probably his high water mark, although he has subsequently made several first-rate pictures, including KABHI HAAN KABHI NAA (1993) and KYA KEHNA (2000), both featuring important early roles for their leads, Shahrukh Khan and Preity Zinta respectively.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

August 14th - Fritz Lang's "M"

One of the early talking pictures, the influence of this redoubtable work has been widespread. The director, despite this being his first attempt with sound, did not succumb to the then-usual tendency to have everyone talking nonstop. Instead, he played hide-and-seek, inventing several devices modern audiences now take for granted – and usually ignore; things such as off-screen music to indicate the presence of a character, to give one example. (Do read up on it.) All that aside, as a film, M is still as fresh and entertaining as it ever was. A proper thriller-comedy. With a murderer prowling the streets, and the police and the underworld falling over each other in an effort to nab him, the scene is set for high jinks and shenanigans of the sort we can all enjoy!

About the director: Fritz Lang (1890-1976) is one of the most well-known exponents of the German Expressionist style. His famous masterpiece, METROPOLIS (1927), remains a must-see for sci-fi buffs. It was soon followed by M. The restrictions imposed by the Nazi regime forced him to immigrate to the United States. His work there proved seminal in the formation of what we now call Film Noir, a distinct type of which there are many examples.

Trivia: Lang was the first choice to direct THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920), but he was busy at the time.

Schedule for August '07

Hi everyone!

The month is well into its second week, and here comes the schedule for August. That a few important personages have recently passed away is the reason for the disruption of our set mandate (which, if you remember, was the crisscrossing movement across the cinematic timeline). That will resume, eventually. However, as outgoing office bearers, we feel what every politician at the end of his/her tenure feels...

So, chuck the mandate! Rip up the upholstery! These three weeks are our take on the whole pardons and tax cuts thing.


Screening schedule for August '07:

14th August, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
M, dir: Fritz Lang

16th August, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
JAANE BHI DO YAARO, dir: Kundan Shah

21st August, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
NAUSICAÄ, dir: Hayao Miyazaki

23rd August, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
ALICE, dir: Jan Švankmajer

28th August, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
ANGOOR, dir: Sampooran Singh Gulzar

30th August, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
BICYCLE THIEVES, dir: Vittorio De Sica

Friday, 20 July 2007

July 20th, Friday - French Short Film Festival

Playground Shorts – on the 20th of July 2007

Direction: Didier Barcelo
Screenplay: Jean-Loup Seuret, Patrice Dumas, Didier Barcelo
Photo: Glinn Speeckaert
Editing: Aurelien Dupont
Music: Jean Dindinaud
Actors: Philippe Amaury Corbisier, Sarah Metzmacker
Production: Quad Productions

France - 2004 - Animation - 3 mn

The Pencils
A pretty little girl is in love with a little boy, but is she as charming and sweet with everybody else?


Direction: Georges Le Piouffle
Screenplay: Zoe Galeron, Georges Le Piouffle
Photo: William Waterlot
Actors: Serge Hazanavicius, Axelle Laffont, Bernard Haller, Benjamin Gabbey, Jules-Angelo Bigarnet
Production: Antiprod

France - 2004 - Fiction -16 mn

Ten-year-old Martin must take an alley he doesn't know to get to his new school. Mysterious Manitout signals to him from behind a dusty window. The old man can make Martin's satchel come to life. And what if everything left in the old man's hands could start to work? Thus a world somewhere between the imaginary and wishful comes to life for Martin.


Direction: Chloe Miller
Screenplay: Chloe Miller
Editing: Camille Maury
Music: Christophe Heral
Production: La Poudriere Ecole du Film d' Animation

France - 2004 - Animation - 4 mn

Fed-up of waiting, a princess takes over the situation


Direction: Marie-Louise Mendy
Screenplay: Marie-Louise Mendy
Photo: Laurent Rauty, Laurent Pauly
Editing: Ulrich Teiger
Music: Martin de Manneffe
Actors: Vogan Gomis, Manuelle Molinas, A"issa Maiga
Production: Killers Film

France - 2005 - Fiction - 10 mn

Safi, is a young woman from Africa, she goes to get her son at school. He looks at her face and hands closely as though he was seeing her for the first time. Strangely distant and depressed since this day, she slowly discovers the reason for his trouble: the difference of their skin colours.


Direction: Benoit Razy
Screenplay: Benoit Razy I Sylvie Plessy
Editing: Herve Guichard
Production: Les Films du Nord, FolPhoto Valence Production

France - 2005 - Animation - 14 mn

Céline's parents leave for a few days. The ten-year-old girl remains behind with her two brothers, watched over by Rosalie. During her parents' absence, an unusual number of meetings take place between Céline and Valentin, a young, unstable boy given to violent spells who lives in the same village. Their games and vastly different backgrounds create a mixture of mutual curiosity and fear between them.


Direction: Cedric Babouche
Screenplay: Cedric Babouche
Editing: Amandine Moulinet
Music: Thierry Malet
Production: Sacrebleu Productions

France - 2005 - Animation, 3D - 12 mn

Antoine, 8 years old, has lost his father in a plane crash. Unable to accept his death, he finally starts living again and accepts his loss through a metaphorical dream. And thus, he's able to grieve.


Direction: Thomas Wagner, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin, Aurelie Frechinos
Screenplay: Thomas Wagner, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin
Photo: Thomas Wagner, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin, Aurelie Frechinos
Editing: Aurelie Frechinos, Victor-Emmanuel Moulin, Thomas Wagner
Music: Poum T chack
Production: Supinfocom Aries Ventes internationales: Premium films

France - 2005 - Animation - 6 mn

Logic event in robots party language teapot and splat atmosphere.


Direction: Emilie Sengelin
Editing: Catherine Aladenise
Music: Christophe Heral
Production: La Poudriere. Ecole d' Animation

France - 2005 - Animation 20 - 4 mn

In a train, everyone is deep in their own thoughts. During an incident, their eyes meet, and their tongues are loosened in song.


Direction: Xavier de Choudens
Screenplay: Xavier de Choudens, Pascale Monforte
Photo: Gordon Spooner
Editing: Sophie Reine
Music: Franck Louise
Actors: Jean Senejoux, Guillaume Denaiffe, Faygal Zeghadi, Franck Bruneau, Silong, Hakim Djaziri, Olivier Gueritee
Production: Agat Films & Cie

France - 2005 - Fiction - 10 mn

A group of boys, aged from 12 to 23, is at a station waiting for the last train. One of them, Sacha, contemplates the heavens and speculates about how the planets move within the universe.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

French Short Film Festival

The Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad, in concert with the Film Club, brings you a six-day package of short films, from the 20th to 25th of July '07. The venue is, as always, the Auditorium. The timing each day will be 7:00 p.m. Francophiles rejoice! The rest of us can look forward to a real treat. See you all there, and be careful to grab your seats well in advance - these screenings typically pack the Audi.

A reproduction of the mandate we received:

As part of its policy of promoting French cinema around the world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has regularly proposed programmes of short films.

In 2006, it wished to bring together three of the main actors in the area of support and promotion for short films – the Agence du Court Métrage, the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival and UniFrance in order to offer a selection of forty or so recent short films (made in 2004 or 2005).

The richness and diversity of production in terms of both form and subject, revelatory as it is of the vitality of cinematographic creativity in France, have at times made selection extremely difficult, and led us to define four main focuses:
-Young audiences: the "Playground Shorts" programme
-The weird and fantastic: the "Strange Shorts" programme
-The feminine: the "Elles" programme
-A selection from the 2006 Clermont Ferrand Festival: the "Clermont-Ferrand 2006" programme
-"World Shorts" programme; collected short films from around the world

In addition, we wanted a fifth focus for our selection to illustrate the second priority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where cinema is concerned -the promotion of films from the South: this is the "World Shorts" programme.

We wish you a happy "Voyages en courts" journey into the world of short films!

The Subdirectorate for French Language Promotion has partnered this operation in order to offer two programmes to teachers of French as a foreign language: the first is intended for pupils from age 7 learning French, "Playground Shorts", and the second is for a teenage audience, "Strange Shorts". This special film selection has been arrived at with the help of CAVILAM and will be accompanied by a teacher's booklet supplemented by information on ways of reading the screen image provided in conjunction with the French Agence du court métrage.

Nothing would give us greater pleasure than for teachers and students to enjoy discovering these short films in the classroom and then watching them on the big screen!

This programme is available on NTSC DVD all zones.

English, Spanish, Brazilian and French subtitles.

Chintan Pandya
Administrator / Cultural Coordinator Alliance Française d' Ahmedabad
Opp. Gujarat College, Shahid Vir Kinariwala Marg, Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad -380 006 Ph: 2656 0271, 2640 1551

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

July 19th - Wong Kar-wai's "IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE"

A man. A woman. Both away from their marriages and their homes. Both lonely. Both with the feeling that their respective spouses are cheating on them, and this feeling, in a weird but understandable way, brings them together. Just how far will this misbegotten “friendship” go? The awkwardness of the whole thing is accentuated by having two otherwise good people in morally unsound positions. You may notice editing tricks the director has used to distort the perception of time. (Or not. You shall sense their effect all the same.) A beautiful film, one that makes us face the ambiguities of life, the grey areas through which we must sometimes tread.

About the director: Wong Kar-wai (b. 1958) is a Hong Kong-based filmmaker, now a regular on the art house circuit. His stylized, elegant films rarely make it big at the box office, an exception being AS TEARS GO BY (1988). IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE follows DAYS OF BEING WILD (1991) and precedes 2046 (2004) in a trilogy of sorts. He has had to work within a sometimes intrusive system, and had to shift the locations for this film when confronted with the whims of officialdom. His work has been honoured, most notably at Cannes (for HAPPY TOGETHER (1997), Best Director).

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

July 17th - Sergei Eisenstein's "OCTOBER"

Flush from the success of THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, Eisenstein undertook to refine and develop his ideas of film language, in particular of what he called “Intellectual Montage”. This form of editing put together shots of things without obvious relation so as to foster comparisons between them. Emotional, abstracted, multilayered, this film is a torrent, a roaring onslaught from start to finish that bewildered Soviet audiences and brought crashing censure from the government. Originally commissioned to commemorate the Revolution, a revolution of the collective, it became a conduit for the personal visions of a powerful filmmaker. As you watch this, certain things may be beyond your knowing, as with any film rooted in the events of the distant past. A great film, in any case.

About the director: Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) can hardly be overestimated in terms of his influence on early cinema. Not only did he make some of the best films the world has seen, but his was a probing intellect of the highest echelon. His film theories touch on every facet of existence, filling the pages of his many books. One such, EISENSTEIN ON DISNEY (1986), posthumously published, has a priceless photograph of the man shaking hands with Mickey Mouse (!) and reams of incisive thought. The KMC has a copy – go see it. His oeuvre includes THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (1925) and IVAN THE TERRIBLE (Part 1, 1944).

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

July 12th - Sai Paranjape's "KATHA"

12th July 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

KATHA (1983)

Directed by Sai Paranjape
Runtime: 2 hours 21 minutes

Set in the chawls of Mumbai, KATHA is a well-crafted, straightforward tale about two men, who could not be more different, and the woman they are after. Rajaram (Naseeruddin Shah) is a simple man always ready to do a good turn; his friend, Bashu (Farookh Shaikh) is prone to bluster and has a roving eye. Trouble begins when the object of Rajaram’s affection (Deepti Naval) gets swayed by Bashu’s charms. All in all a very warm, human film, with a focus on character development. For those not familiar with life in the chawl, this is a good socio-cultural vehicle – the ‘neighbours’ of the characters are actual localites, and are far more than extras or set-dressing. They lend an authentic touch to this picture.

About the director: Sai Paranjape (b. 1938) has always advocated the importance of a good story. She ought to know, having written her first book when only eight years old. Her career properly began with AIR, and then theatre, TV and films. Success in a cut-throat, predominantly masculine industry attests to her abilities. The middle class has long been subject and audience with this director, but she retains her versatility.

Monday, 9 July 2007

July 10th - Robert Wiene's "THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI"

Another Tuesday, and yet another step forwards in time and sophistication. The film we bring you is a classic in all senses of the word, bringing together sublime artistry and plain good storytelling in a seamless presentation. An excellent introduction to the German Expressionist school of filmmaking, a style which was lost to its native country, its chief exponents having fled to foreign lands before the rising Nazis. The film is fairly polished in its approach, using such things as the story-within-a-story and psychological metaphors. All commonplaces in literature, but fairly novel for motion pictures at the time. The name this school shares with the famous art movement is no accident. They are interlinked, both in philosophy and appearance. A mad tale, of a mad mystic who goes around killing people by using a man who is under his control. And just where does the madness truly lie? Watch this; if nothing else, it shows what you can do even within a limited budget.

About the director: Robert Wiene (1873-1938) started out the industry as a screenplay writer, having tried stage acting and law previously. It was with this film and CRIME AND PUNISHMENT - RASKOLNIKOW (1923) that he would make a lasting impression on German cinema, and by extension, the world. As with his colleagues, he felt compelled to abandon Germany in the 1930s. His short career abroad was cut short by his death in Paris. His legacy, though, lives on.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

An Interview with Marziyeh Meshkini

Here is a link of an interview with the director of The Day I Became a Woman- Marziyeh Meshkini.

Do post your comments on the film!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Thursday Screening - THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN

This Thursday we bring you a film that expresses the female view of life in a society that usually stifles this perspective. A telling insight into how things are with the “other” other. The film is spare in its treatment, the austerity, characteristic of Iranian cinema, befitting the subject matter. There are three parts, each depicting one of three different people (presumably contemporaries) at different stages of life. So you have a young girl, whose story directly connects to the film’s title; a young wife, the one you see on this poster; and a wheelchair-bound old woman giving vent to her fancies. These episodes, tenuously bound by shared themes, give the viewer sufficient space to wonder and think. What is left unsaid and is hidden away beckons to us from the shadows.

About the director: Marzieh Meshkini (b. 1969), a relative newcomer to the scene, studied at the Makhmalbaf Film Institute and then worked as an assistant-director to her husband, Mohsen Makhmalbaf. This was her debut feature.

Monday, 2 July 2007


An assorted mix of silent shorts have we for you. They could throw you for a loop, they might provoke or make you giggle, or they may leave you cold. You will never know if you stay away.

3rd July 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

AVANT GARDE FROM 1920s-30s. The name says it all. This is a package of short films that were once considered cutting edge. They may seem quaint now; stay with us.

UN CHIEN ANDALOU (1929). Directed by Luis Bunuel (and Salvador Dali). More people would have heard of Dali, we're willing to bet. Well, this film is not unlike the eccentric painter's famous works. In true Surrealist vein, the thing has no coherent plot whatsoever, jumping from situation to crazy situation. Dali himself makes an appearance - see if you can spot him. Deeply disturbing even for today's audiences, at its premiere Luis Bunuel reportedly had his pockets laden with stones, to defend himself should any outraged people assault him! Don't pelt us, please. A must watch.
and finally
A series of Lumiere Brothers shorts. An enterprising lot, true pioneers who did a lot to get the public involved in the moving image. A selection of their work. These, and others like them, might seem crude to our jaded modern selves. All the same, they deserve our respect.

Schedule for July '07

Hi everybody!

The first proper schedule for this semester, and the first implementation of our new agenda. Starting from now, we will sweep a hundred years of the motion picture in a pincer movement on both ends. On Tuesdays we go from the very beginning towards the future, and on Thursdays we start with the recent and then head backwards. Do see all of these. It should be quite a trip.

Screening schedule for July '07:

3rd July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
A selection of short silent films including:
AVANT GARDE FROM 1920s-30s, dir: various
UN CHIEN ANDALOU, dir: Luis Bunuel
and some Lumiere Brothers shorts.

5th July, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN, dir: Marzieh Meshkini

10th July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi

12th July, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
RUSSIAN ARK, dir: Alexander Sorukov

17th July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi

19th July, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, dir: Wong Kar-wai

24th July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
M, dir: Fritz Lang

26th July, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
SALAAM CINEMA, dir: Mohsen Makhmalbaf

31st July, Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi

Feel free to leave comments on the films you have seen. We would like to get you thinking, that we would. Talk, read up, watch.

And enjoy yourselves!

Monday, 2 April 2007

Too similar....?


Muppets Overtime

The End

Thursday, 29 March 2007

March 29th - Stanley Kubrick's "DR. STRANGELOVE"

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Those were the days, when the best that the brightest minds could come up with for keeping the peace was the M.A.D. doctrine. In the making of the film, Kubrick became steadily aware of the bizarre logic behind nuclear deterrence, bordering on the lunatic (and the reason why this is a comedy). Here you will see: (1) Peter Sellers as the U.S. President (2) Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove, and (3) Peter Sellers as a British officer. Quite a cast!

About the director: Stanley Kubrick (b. 1928, d. 1999), undoubtedly one of the shining lights in cinema, leaves little behind of the man himself. Many speak bitterly in his wake; others defend him stoutly; neutral opinions are uncommon. He has the anomalous status of mainstream/independent. He laboured long on his films, which include Lolita (1962), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and The Shining (1980).

All the best as you prepare for the juries. See you next Semester!

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

March 28th - Nishikant Kamat's "DOMBIVLI FAST"

Dombivli Fast (2005)

Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes

- Winner of the “Sant Tukaram Puraskar”, Pune International Film Festival, 2006
- Winner of the Jury Prize at the 4th Indian Film Festival, Los Angeles
- 4 stars, the New York Times

A remarkable film about an otherwise ordinary man who does something extraordinary. Madhav Apte, as a typical middle class Mumbaikar, faces corruption at every point in his life. He cracks in the end and goes on a rampage, cracking down on wrongdoers wherever he can find them. A tragic film, too, not because of how the story goes, but because of the context in which it is set. Sandeep Kulkarni gives a powerful performance as the lead character. The editing is sophisticated and evokes the busy feel of a city.

About the director: Nishikant Kamat started out with TV serials. He also wrote the screenplay for Neha Dupia’s Julie. This is his first outing as a movie director. He is presently molding Dombivli Fast into a Tamil version, Evano Oruvan, featuring the actor Madhavan and a Chennai setting.

Monday, 26 March 2007

March 27th - Robert Altman's "MASH"

MASH (1970)

The Auditorium at 6:15 p.m.
Runtime: 1 hour 51 minutes

Set in a U.S. military hospital during the Korean War, MASH is not so much a movie as a series of events featuring the hellion trio of Hawkeye, Trapper John and Duke. These guys are army doctors – they do great with the doctor bit, but with the army part... the less said the better! One cannot do everything, after all, not in a war. The battle zone does strange things to people. Even the officious types are a bit off, to the point of being buffoons. In the end it is all about how one copes. Gallows humor at its best.

About the director: Robert Altman (b. 1925, d. 2006) had an up-and-down career in the business. MASH was his major breakthrough, and he quickly followed it up with other [critical] successes. A slump, punctuated by Popeye (1980), dragged his banner in the dust, but he made a comeback with The Player (1992). He had a character-driven approach to making movies, frequently letting his actors improvise their pieces.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007


Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

Starring: Antonio Banderas

Yet another comedy this month. This film packs in two days and two nights into one-and-a-half hours of frantic activity, throwing together teetering egos and absurd circumstances in a cascading mess. Take a handful of young women and put them through this. They are never the same again. As may be guessed, the issues of love, melodrama and grotesque humor have a lot to do with the story. We are sure a lot of you are not too familiar with Spanish-language sitcoms. This movie is higher than the run of the mill. We thought that this movie would be most appropriate for the way things are on campus these days!

About the director: Pedro Almodóvar (b. 1951) is the most famous Spanish filmmaker at present. Known for his interest in the relationships between people, especially women, he successfully combines essential humanity and the culture-specific into works of sophistication. If you like this film, be sure to catch All About My Mother (1999), which is crazier by far.

Monday, 19 March 2007

March 20th - Fellini's "LA DOLCE VITA"

La Dolce Vita (1960)

Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée and Anita Ekberg.

It is no coincidence that the name of the lead character’s colleague, Paparazzo, is now used to denote an overly intrusive photographer. Though the setting is ‘60s Rome, the story still has relevance in our media-saturated age, dealing as it does with themes of cultural decadence, crass sensationalism and the loss of the self. It spans barely a chronological week, yet in that time the protagonist finds his life turned inside out. Marcello Mastroianni plays the lead as a reporter and is surrounded by an array of others, including Anita Ekberg as an actress. La Dolce Vita is widely considered to be the most famous European film of the 1960s.

About the Director: Federico Fellini (b. 1920, d. 1993) is a fixture on every collector’s wish list. Audi regulars will remember the recently screened 8½, but one example from his impressive body of work. La Dolce Vita marks the juncture between his earlier Neo-Realism [as with La Strada (1954)] and his later, ‘artier’ work [as with (1963)].

Thursday, 15 March 2007

March 15th - Martin Scorsese's "KUNDUN"

KUNDUN (1997)

Directed by Martin Scorsese
Runtime: 2 hours 15 minutes

DVD blurb: “Praised as one of the best films of the year, Kundun is a motion picture masterpiece directed by five-time Academy Award™-nominated director Martin Scorcese. It’s the incredible true story of one of the world’s most fascinating leaders – Tibet’s Dalai Lama – and his daring struggle to rule a nation at one of the most challenging times in its history. Powerfully told and set against a background of world politics – the film’s release created an international uproar! Featuring a striking, Oscar®-nominated score by renowned composer Philip Glass, this extraordinary Motion Picture has been greeted with both controversy and critical acclaim – experience it for yourself!”

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

March 8th - David Lynch's "BLUE VELVET"

Set in the small, quaint town of Lumberton, Blue Velvet begins with the protagonist (MacLachlan) discovering a severed human ear - which he takes to the police. He begins to investigate the matter himself, and discovers a seamy underworld within Lumberton, involving a bizarre homicidal kidnapper (Hopper), and a seductive, mysterious night-club singer on the verge of a breakdown (Rossellini).

Blue Velvet opened to great critical acclaim in 1986, and was a box office success, considering its limited release in theatres. The film has since become a cult classic, noted for its use of surrealism, dreamlike aura, neo-noir and examination of the dark-side of America, and has spawned several inferior imitations.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

March 6th - Woody Allen's "bananas"!!!

When bumbling product-tester Fielding Mellish (Allen) is jilted by his girlfriend, Nancy (Louise Lasser), he heads to the tiny republic of San Marcos for a vacation... only to become kidnapped by rebels! Once the band of rebels seize power, their leader goes crazy and they replace him with Mellish, thinking he can save the country. But when Mellish is nabbed by the FBI, he is put on trial for subversion and in a side-splitting courtroom showdown - including the most hilarious self-cross examination ever - Woody Allen proves beyond a doubt that he is not only our most gifted satirist... he's a master comic artist.

Woody Allen's second film as director, co-writer and star takes parody to the extreme with a brilliant send-up of everything from relationships to dictatorships. An early example of what Allen called his 'slapdash' approach to comedy, Bananas' broad, fast humour and rapid-fire witticisms form a dazzling kaleidoscope of inspired ingenuity and comic artistry.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Fourth Week, Feb '07

Hi you all,

This is the last week, the fourth of four sets each dedicated to a director. Werner Herzog brings up the rear in a steady onslaught. We think you shall enjoy these two films. To be honest, attendance has been distressingly low this past week, which may be due in part to factors of which we are not unaware. Still, remember that the Film Club is a valuable institution. It is something we will perhaps only fully appreciate when we leave NID, so make the most of it – and please show your support.

27th February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes
Directed by Werner Herzog

A film to make you think; this, one of Herzog’s earlier pieces, shows clearly his taste for the incredible, literally even. A hint of the bizarre, at times to the point of repulsiveness, is all-pervading, side-by-side with the stark, breathing, moist and warm humanity which even the black and white stock cannot obscure. A film to make you think: it may also throw you for a loop. Very insular is the world the dwarves inhabit. The story, which shows the progression of their rebellion against authority, is essentially one of implosion, of a society that does not transform but instead, crashes. An abbreviated Reign of Terror ensues as a matter of course. May this sort of thing never happen to us.

1st March 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes
Directed by Werner Herzog

Arguably Herzog’s most famous film - deservedly so - it has been screened a number of times here. It centres on the largely fictionalized exploits of a Spanish conquistador on a wild-goose chase for the mythical El-Dorado. Kurosawa had his Mifune. Likewise, Herzog had to deal with the gifted and nearly uncontrollable Klaus Kinski. The relationship was little short of magic. The title character strides, rages across the screen, fully living up to his moniker. In the midst of an overgrown jungle mad dreams play out in extravagant fashion, their death spasms swallowed up by vines and leaves. Watching this, one can scarcely believe it was made in the early 70s. It has the feel of a documentary – Herzog even calls it his best such.

About the director: Werner Herzog (b. 1942) hails from Germany. Internationally renowned, his extensive oeuvre includes THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER (1974) and FITZCARRALDO (1982). His movies with the aforementioned actor Klaus Kinski are a category in their own right, so catch some when you can. Herzog would appear to see the natural world as malicious, barbaric, to be held at bay by reason. Do you disagree? Go right ahead, but watch first.

With regards,
The Film Club.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Third Week, Feb '07

Hi you all,

In keeping with the month’s agenda, we have kept this week for Ritwik Ghatak, a director who ought to be better known. Even here in India, his audience is mostly limited to “serious” filmgoers, a level of renown far below what his name and achievements rightfully deserve. Whichever way you choose to approach these films, be it as an intellectual or as a casual viewer, the experience will be a rewarding one.

20th February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 2 hours
Directed by Ritwik Ghatak

An otherwise ordinary taxi-driver infected with a strange devotion to his ancient, clattering jalopy of an automobile - the basic premise of AJANTRIK. The title (the English title is either “The Unmechanical” or “Pathetic Fallacy”) informs us as to his sentiments, and those of his neighbours. For a Ghatak film it is quite accessible for most people. Its beauty lies in its simplicity of narrative, which is so effective that we feel for the stubborn protagonist in his childlike travails. Remember, this is Ghatak, so one can see it in any light; exactly which is up to you.

22nd February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 2 hours 14 minutes
Directed by Ritwik Ghatak

This is actually part of a trilogy set in Calcutta and dealing with the then-endemic refugee issue. KOMAL GANDHAR gradually scratches away at the petty superficialities of individual lives, to reveal a shared tragedy that the squabbling parties realize binds them in a way beyond common understanding. The theme of cultural schism is a preoccupation with Ghatak. It is thus fitting that he emplaces layer upon layer rich in cultural detail, particularly music, intricate raiment draped on a storyline at its most essential. The connotations may escape you at times, but the rest of the film makes up for this.

About the Director: Ritwik Ghatak (b. 1925, d. 1976) knew well enough the pain of separation. Born in Dhaka, now in Bangladesh, his family moved early to Calcutta; thereafter he would witness the human tides that came. Steeped in the ferment of the times, he imbued his stints in theatre, documentaries and fiction filmmaking with deep conviction and insight. JUKTI TAKKO AAR GAPPO (1974), his last feature, features the director as a dissipated intellectual on a journey across the land, revisiting an old dream.

With regards,
The Film Club.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Second Week, Feb '07

Hello everyone,

Three films to show this week, and a good, proper trilogy they are, too. Much respected and lauded, Kieslowski remains a must-see for people who consider themselves as being serious about the cinematic art form. Of course, even if you are just looking for a good time, do come on over - take the plunge. We would be failing in our duty if we did not show THREE COLOURS at least once this year. Each one can be profitably seen by itself, but we recommend that you see them all, as they are somewhat interconnected. The BLUE, WHITE and RED bands comprise the French national tricolour, from left to right, with each corresponding to the respective word in the motto:

“Liberté, égalité, fraternité.”

13th February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski

A moody, introspective sort of film, one of the best ever made. It deals with the story of a woman who faces crushing loss. The pain is so unbearable that she seeks refuge in oblivion, away from all connections to the past. The “Liberty” in this film goes beyond mere politics, instead manifesting itself in a more fundamental quest for an individual’s life. Look out for the symbolisms that permeate the film, especially with colour.

14th February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski

WHITE sets a different tone from the other two, in that it seems more morbid while yet being funny (in a twisted way). “Equality” here would seem to refer to, among other things, the misfortunes of life that put people of different stations on a similar level of misery. This is what happens, and is visible when the two protagonists get together to try and sort things out. Pessimistic? Not quite. Again, flashbacks and shared threads amongst the three movies are in evidence. The symbolism is always at play; WHITE makes you see it for what it is - now virginal, now stark. The colour thing is there too in the next film, RED.

15th February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 39 minutes
Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski

This winds up the trilogy in style. By all rights we should have put it for the 14th. Consider these: the colour red itself; the “Fraternity” (friendship/relationship) connection; the fact that a main character bears the name, Valentine. Fancy that! However, logistics issues made us do it this way. This film is all about the relations between people and the means they use to reach out to each other – or not. Quite appropriately, it depicts the forging of links between and among people of quite different ages and standing (shades of the previous films). The lonely old man must feel a sense of déjà vu when he eavesdrops on a young couple going through the sort of thing he faced at their age. A fitting end to the series.

About the director: Krzysztof Kieslowski (b. 1941, d. 1996) grew up in a Communist Poland. He started out in filmmaking with documentaries, but later decided to move on to fiction for reasons of personal integrity and in light of the restrictions he faced then. This phase saw him win plaudits for his haunting visions of people’s lives. His greatest achievements are regarded as among the best in the world. DEKALOG (THE DECALOGUE) (1988) is a collection of ten films that should not be missed.

Have a good time.

With regards,
The Film Club.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Schedule for Feb '07

Greetings to all,

Those of you who were champing at the bit these last two months should be happy to read the list of this month’s selection, we daresay. The rest may not have heard of one or more of the films (and/or the directors) to be shown this month. These are good movies, so be adventurous. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Screenings for the month of February:

6th Feb., Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
CLOSE-UP, dir: Abbas Kiarostami

8th Feb., Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES, dir: Abbas Kiarostami

13th to 15th Feb., 6:15 p.m., Audi
The THREE COLOURS trilogy, dir: Krzysztof Kieslowski
13th Tue., BLUE
14th Wed., WHITE
15th Thu., RED

20th Feb., Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
AJANTRIK, dir: Ritwik Ghatak

22nd Feb., Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
KOMAL GANDHAR, dir: Ritwik Ghatak

27th Feb., Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi

March 1st, Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
AGUIRRE, WRATH OF GOD, dir: Werner Herzog

You may have noticed that we are constantly adjusting our format. The amount of footfall Audi-side should make for an interesting study in preferences, which is what we are interested in, besides other things.

With regards,
The Film Club.

First Week, Feb '07

Hi to all of you,

This week is dedicated to the renowned Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami. While there could have been any number of combinations – his repertoire is, after all, very large – we think that this brace of films shows off his versatility fairly well. If you have not seen either, all the better!

6th February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

This helped Kiarostami increase his standing in no small way when he made it. To encapsulate the premise (and give away nothing), it deals with an underprivileged man who finds new purpose in impersonating none other than the famous Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Based on actual events, the main personalities reprise their real-life roles, ending up with a re-enactment that seems as if it were a newsreel. A fine window into the world of the Iranian people, shorn of artifice.

8th February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

A widely acclaimed film, this is NOT the final instalment in the “Koker Trilogy”, according to the director himself. One reason why we are not showing all three, but you should watch them anyway if you get the chance. This film is a study of people coming to terms with themselves and each other in a land recovering from a devastating earthquake. It explores the trappings of identity individuals weave around themselves, oftentimes to their own entrapment. More the regular fable than CLOSE-UP by way of treatment, it nonetheless ends in a much less conventional fashion.

About the director: Abbas Kiarostami (b. 1940) has had a long and varied career that has seen him achieve great things. The “Iranian New Wave” of the late ‘60s spawned a number of notables; Kiarostami was one such, first among equals. To understand him properly one should recognize just how intertwined he is with his culture. His early movies have distinctly poetic tones, and the sense of the self, the individual (not necessarily the director) is ever present. A strong minimalist leaning can be seen in, say, TASTE OF CHERRY (1997), which garnered much praise… and criticism. Some of his later films, such as TEN (2002), push the envelope as regards the docu-fiction interplay. An auteur, and an innovator. Any reading on this gem of an artist is necessarily intricate and, best of all, still an unfolding tale.

With regards,
The Film Club.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Special for 24th Jan '07

Hello everyone,

We have a special surprise for you on the 24th of this month. At 6:15 p.m. we are screening a documentary by a former NID student, Anirban Dutta Gupta. The film’s title is:

Made in 2005
Runs for about 90 minutes

In the months following the Tsunami that struck coastlines on the 26th of December 2004, a small team went to study the Onges, drawn by the curious fact that, out of all the teeming coastal populations, only this miniscule group had sensed imminent disaster and had thus survived. A remarkable tale; of a people in tune with their environment; of a feat of multi-tasking achieved by those who made the documentary. Anirban Dutta Gupta is credited as Co-director. The BBC bankrolled the enterprise.

Do come and see this.

With Regards,
The Film Club.

Fourth Week, Jan '07

Hi to all,

The past two weeks' screenings saw our brains in power-saving mode. These two films should see those synapses firing again. Not a prissy movie at all, is THE PILLOW BOOK, and one you shall always remember. 8½ rounds off the month as would a sparkling bookend.

23rd January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 6 minutes
Directed by Peter Greenaway

Part Chinese, part Japanese, our bold protagonist tries to find her way in a world, or, should we say, between worlds that have little place for those who thumb their noses at the way things are. The ravages of an indifferent world leave her caring for little besides self-gratification, and she gets into one situation after another. Ironically, this quest finds expression in attempted recapitulation of a ritual from an innocent past, when, as a child, her father would put writings of good fortune on her face. Come adulthood, and fond remembrance turns into fetish. One could draw all sorts of conclusions from the premise of this film. Let's see those reviews!

About the Director: Peter Greenaway (b. 1942) is a rather remarkable person. He began with studies in the Fine Arts; this informs his elaborate sense of cinematic composition. Now, even if you thought that this film was unsettling, try and get hold of his THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER (1989). There, civility and beastliness are locked in ceaseless struggle. Greenaway’s abilities do not end here – he has VJ-ed a show and written for the opera. His film 8½ WOMEN (1999) is in its name homage to Thursday's film by Fellini.

25th January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

8½ (1963)
Runtime: 1 hour 18 minutes
Directed by Federico Fellini

Possibly his most highly regarded film, 8½ deals with that faceless horror which all creative individuals must sometimes face - the "block". Suffering from this scourge? You would then know that an obvious way out would be to document your travails at the starting line. Fairly common and much abused. Fellini is, however, many notches above the rest of us, and his take ends up as a masterpiece. The lead character is a stand-in for Fellini; the film, besides showing a director twiddling his thumbs, delves into profound reflections on the birthing process and its attendant agonies, all the way back to conception. A must see film, because it is:

(a) one that you can talk about having seen afterwards, and
(b) relevant to your current situation.

About the Director: To show a film by Federico Fellini (b. 1920, d. 1993) is, quite simply, an honour. The roster of achievment is glittering; to merely name a few that won Academy Awards, we have LA STRADA (1954), LE NOTTI DE CABIRIA (1957) and LA DOLCE VITA (1960). The first two have sterling performances by Giulietta Masina (b. 1921, d. 1994), who also happened to be his wife. Fellini is known for his portrayals of common lives into which he inserts personal, off-kilter perspectives.

With regards,
The Film Club.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Third Week, Jan '07

Hello to all,

One slot is all we have this week for the Film Club. The festive atmosphere lingers on still, for the film on Thursday is full of exuberance. What is within may hit home when you realise that it is about people like us.

18th January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

FAME (1980)
Runtime: 2 hours 14 minutes
Directed by Alan Parker

This follows the experiences of students at a school for the performing arts in New York, all the way from auditions and through the four years of study to graduation day. More than training for a future trade, it is the process of growing-up, of transformation of the self, which is the main concern of this movie. As a coming-of-age piece, it does a fine job. Fragments of joy and sorrow commingle with the grindstone of daily instruction. An ever-present worry is that manifest potential may prove to be a will-o-the-wisp. Now that is something we can relate to. And it does this in a very accessible way.

About the Director: Alan Parker (b. 1944) is a notable British filmmaker with several hits under his arm, including EVITA (1996) and PINK FLOYD THE WALL (1982), the latter which you will remember having seen last semester. Thursday’s very musical screening is different in that it ends on a relatively happier note than some of his other offerings.

With regards,
The Film Club.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007


This blog needs to be out in the sun, basking in winter's warmth! It is quite boring, just a simple archive. It is time we release it.


Here are some interesting links on the web .Do visit them...and also contribute to this list!

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Second Week, Jan '07

Hi to you all!

This week is all about entertainment. Not to imply, however, that we at the Film Club have lost it and have become purveyors of kitsch, no. We like to show the good stuff, if heavy, sometimes, and we are not averse to slipping in a little fun edgeways. But we would qualify that word: fun. It certainly is so, for us. For the protagonists of these two movies, the right to savour life is hard earned.

9th January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 54 minutes
Directed by David Lean

“Please Sir, I want some more.”

The gruel served to these waifs, so typical of the London of the Early Industrial Age, was of such poor nutritive value as to merely keep them alive. Human rights were mostly observed in the breach, the right to a second helping an unknown concept. David Lean takes Charles Dickens’ famous story and brings to life the feel of an entire era. His adaptation succeeds to a great extent, especially in characterization, where the personalities one encounters are perfectly cast. Look out for Alec Guinness’ performance in this one.

About the director: David Lean (b. 1908, d. 1991) has directed so many masterpieces of the mainstream that one does not know quite where to begin. They include LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965). If you have not seen any of these movies, make it a point to do so.

11th January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 48 minutes
Directed by Elia Kazan

A sterling performance by Marlon Brando, as the lead character in this seminal film, that is not to be missed; all the more so because the director, Kazan, is making a statement about himself and his motivations. The movie depicts the inner workings of gangs within the communities living along the Manhattan and Brooklyn shorelines. One can appreciate this movie as just that, and find it rewarding, while those who look further may see it as commentary on larger issues, such as plagued the times that once were. Which is more important: loyalty to your immediate community… or to something higher?

About the director: Elia Kazan (b. 1909, d. 2003) started with theatre, where he soon made a name for himself. His transition to the motion picture was even more remarkable. His making of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) hearkens back to his theatrical interpretation of the same. As you may have seen on TV, his appearance on Oscar night, 1999, reflects the bitter schism that still haunts American society half-a-century after the anti-Communist witch hunt. ON THE WATERFRONT seems to be an oblique attempt at explaining his position. Hear him out, and remember.

With regards,
The Film Club.

Friday, 5 January 2007

Schedule for Jan '07

Hello everybody,

The first screening week of the year 2007 is done. We have seen enthusiasm for both films; a fairly auspicious beginning, as one might put it. A newborn year, and a month that continues with the pattern that began in December, which is to say, an assortment, as opposed to a theme. We plan to change course in February, the details of which we will make known later. Our apologies for this late schedule.

Screenings for the month of January:

2nd Jan., Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
BAMBI MEETS GODZILLA, dir: Marv Newland, and
THE BEATLES: A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, dir: Richard Lester

4th Jan., Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
EDIPO RE (OEDIPUS REX), dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini

9th Jan., Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
OLIVER TWIST, dir: David Lean

11th Jan., Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
ON THE WATERFRONT, dir: Elia Kazan

(Note: Tuesday the 16th has been allotted to a screening related to the Pongal festivities.)

18th Jan., Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
FAME, dir: Alan Parker

23rd Jan., Tuesday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
THE PILLOW BOOK, dir: Peter Greenaway

25th Jan., Thursday, 6:15 p.m., Audi
8½, dir: Federico Fellini

We hope that this month the Auditorium shall have you all, or most of you, as regular patrons. As has been mentioned before, January’s schedule provides ‘tasters’ of work by various filmmakers, in the hope of sparking individual interest. (Hors d’œuvres courtesy the Film Club; main course courtesy the KMC.) It is always useful to have feedback, especially in person, with students commenting on some aspect or the other. If you see any one of us three members, please feel free to tell us what you think.

With regards,
The Film Club.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

First Week, Jan '07

Happy New Year, Everyone!

We hope you all had a good time in the year past. Whatever the case may be, we’re sure that most of you will have lived it up at the changing of the guard. In recognition of the spirit of revelry, we thought it appropriate to send up A HARD DAY’S NIGHT as our first screening of the year. Hopefully, by Thursday those bloodshot eyes would have recovered, and feet would have glided back to the ground.

2nd January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 2 minutes
Directed by Marv Newland

The telling of this oh-so-short short would be longer than its actual duration! Take our word for it: it’s good.

Followed by

Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
Directed by Richard Lester

It’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night
I should be sleeping like a log

An honest, cheeky look at the lives of the boys from Liverpool, changed forever to a cloistered existence within the trappings of near-godhood. The Fab Four look on with bemusement, tinged with a bit of chagrin, at the wave of mass adulation they have recently been subjected to – and will have to endure for years. Behind the glitter, they had to keep up with hectic schedules, grueling studio sessions, and struggle with their identities. Shot in B&W, this movie pioneered cutting the visuals to match the beat of the music, a trait still present in contemporary music videos. Despite the limited budget, it stands as a decent movie by itself. Just imagine. Your parents and ours were shaking their legs to these tunes, so watch this movie, if for nothing else.

About the director: Richard Lester (b. 1939) worked with the Beatles in the 60s, making, in addition to the above movie, HELP (1965). His biggest box-office hits were THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1973) and THE FOUR MUSKETEERS (1974).

4th January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini

“You will kill your father and make love to your mother!” – prophesy of the Oracle (or words to that effect).

The sentiment against incest is deeply rooted in our consciousnesses, a taboo so strong it is spoken of in whispers even today, a sin put almost on par with cannibalism. So too, is patricide, the killing of one’s own father. The title character commits both, though not at first aware of the fact. Based on the famous Greek tragedy, this cinematic interpretation stays faithful to the original story, but Pasolini brings his inimitable touch to it. A sensuous delight worthy of kings. His visuals are highly textured and throb with life. Somehow this film evokes the feel of an ancient period far better than modern CG-assisted historical epics; perhaps it’s all the rough edges, very earthy. It never seeks to be fully authentic, though – e.g. the names on the way-markers are engraved in Roman, not Greek script, and the soldiers’ accoutrements seem too cumbersome to be practical (but one could look into this). Those familiar with Pasolini will instantly recognise trademarks, such as the imprecise lip-sync and the untutored acting.

About the Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini (b. 1922, d. 1975) remains a controversial figure even now. Incredibly gifted, he had a view of the world that was fierce and personal, and had the courage to express it. He offended many powerful people along the way, as his brutal murder attests. The fact remains, however, that he was no pornographer. Just a man who loved life and believed in the inherent sacredness of all things.

With regards,
The Film Club.

P.S. The Mess Party was good, wasn’t it?