Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Arbhaat short film club: 4th session

On the fourth screening of Arbhaat, the theme was Rebel. Instead of putting in the program as I usually do, I will stick to the films I loved the most.

India, 2009
Director: Vinoo Choliparambil
Length: 24 minutes

Vitthal is angry.

His grandfather has passed away, and being the eldest grandson, he has been forced to shave his head. His anger is the focal point of the film. The reactions, those of Vitthal and the rest of the characters, stem from this rage. A delightful film that will first leave you numb, then sympathetic, but angry. You want to admonish Vitthal for his thoughtlessness, but you know that he is suffering. You want to protect him from the world, but you know that it would be wrong. You want to wrap him up in cotton wool and expose him to harsh realities of the world. This conflict regarding the main character drives the movie effectively. We have been Vitthal - petulant, hurting, sad and lonely, even in the crowds.

Arbhaat Short Film club: 3rd session

Arbhaat Short Film club had its third screening on 27th June.

I was initially hesitant to go - the sky was leaden, overcast and torrential downpour seemed imminent. The weather, however cooperated and I found myself in the NFAI auditorium at 6:30.
The theme of this session was 'cityscapes'. I have often thought that cities have personalities.

First was a set of 3 movies, black and white and shot in the years, 1956, 1958 and 1959 respectively.

Warsaw '56
Poland, 1956
Director: Jerzy Bossak, Jaroslaw Brzozowski
Length: 7 minutes

I loved this film. Truly. There is a poignancy in the narration and the images of the film that I cannot forget. After the bombing in Warsaw, Poland, buildings are still in ruins. But people continue to inhabit these dangerous places, making it their own. A mother is happy because her child cannot yet walk - a small topple can be dangerous here. The building has precipices, treacherous ledges. The women resort to tying their children to the bed with a string if they are busy. A child escapes and wanders through the building, the string trailing behind her. I think I will forever remember that image - the end of the string being dragged over rubble, the soft patter of young feet and the dangerous stillness of the building.

A day without the sun
Poland, 1959
Length: 19 minutes

Urban reality, loneliness.

India, 2010
Director: Umesh Kulkarni
Length: 12:42 minutes

Umesh Kulkarni always manages to touch my heart. In all his films, I find a part of myself, and I hate him for showing it to me and pity myself. Vilay is a story of two individuals - a grandson and his grandmother, who is slowly dying. As she deteriorates, their ancestral home is being dismantled.

This is a movie about change. About death and dying. About things that have been lost. About the holes in our hearts.

I remembered my grandmother, who would also dress in a shirt and a loose skirt to hobble around the house. I remembered the house we left behind - a modern garden flat, but my memories of it, are quite the same as that of the boy and his house.

India, 2012
Director: Bharat Pawar
Length: 5 minutes

An unusual take on a mundane object - the local.