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’Ĺ“uvres 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?