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