This film which was made 71 years ago got the Grand Prix at Cannes that year and I think it truly deserved it. The print I watched said that the version sent to Cannes had one song less and no dance sequences. I liked everything in the film and who the hell taught the filmmaker all that all those years ago?! Leaving a huge headspace in the scenes in which the residents of Neecha Nagar went to the rich man, building up the scene, portraying the rich man like a true capitalist, the use of abrupt cuts as a cinematic tool, all these. What display of craft! Need to see if the songs are available on youtube and cut and upload them if they are not. The fire torches assembling, the ape like sculpture in the rich man’s room which he resembles often, the painting in the room which comes to life after the man loses. That was simply brilliant. The eye starting to move in the painting and it coming to life. So so ahead of its time.
What a film! Won Grand Prix at Cannes. More than any of that, human emotions, depression, violence, everything in this film said the way it should be. As if the emotions were distilled, and the purest form of it was made into scenes and put together. The beginning of the film sets the tone. The long take in which we are told the work that has been done on the car. We immediately think of an accident, the car being a wreck that it had to be repaired so much. Then we think if the film is going to be about a fight that is going to happen with the garage person and the owner of the car, if the owner will not be able to pay the amount? But no, he pays it and starts riding. It’s all in one take and we see it all from maybe the backseat of the car. He stops the car at a signal and gets off. Walks away. The title of the film appears.
After that, the screenplay, minimal and sparse and like the emotions when a person is depressed. We get that the father is depressed right from the beginning. And Ale is shown at a beach first, in a swimsuit. That too, is a brilliant establishing shot. Please keep that in mind. Choose a defining space and action for an establishing shot. The man breaking down in the kitchen of the new house when he is unpacking the kitchen utensils. Reminded me of a scene in Cache by Haneke. The man is making a sandwich or something and breaks down. Yes, it is how it should be done.
What is the difference between this film and 13 Reasons Why? First one is of course that the girl does not die. She does not kill herself. Yes, a DVD is sent to the father by someone. I still believe that neither of the films can be called negative. Anyway this one is not related to 13 Reasons Why. Just thought of it because I watched it recently.
The way in which the man kills the boy, in the end. A long take again, going deeper and deeper into the sea, pushing the boy into water. We are hoping it doesn’t happen, yet it has happened and we know the man is thinking the same. The girl going back to the old house and settling there. The film has got it all right. In the last shot that I just mentioned, the whole colour and texture of the film changed in the shot, right after the boy is pushed. He does ride deeper into the sea, but when the blue deepens and the land disappears and the man is surrounded just by the sea, god, is that cinema, is that life!
Wow just looked up the Wikipedia page to read a line which said that the language of the film is said to have been influenced by Haneke. Who knows, may be I am getting somewhere with understanding films. Also learnt that Lucia is the name of the dead mother which reminds me of how the girl says that her mother is back at the place they moved from, when the ‘friends’ ask her about her mother. Like me once, talking about my father. Why is it so difficult for people to not ask questions. And that too personal questions. Why is it necessary to ask a fellow passenger where they are going. Really. Never understood this from childhood.
Watched it at a time when I myself was extremely depressed. I am glad I am being able to write about it at least.
[This one falls in the ‘banned’ list. The film was either denied certification or was banned by CBFC.] What a pathetic load of shit. This man who is called a professor who kills people. And a million other stories which are all shit. Why was this film made. That woman having sex with her boyfriend Teddy and the two killing him to take the lottery ticket, it was the most disgusting scene of all. What on earth is wrong with these people. And the way it began. The woman ‘confessing’ that she had had sex with a lot of people. In the most male fantasy way. Peeche se, aage se, I love sucking, the big cock, horrible. And what was with the bullock carts carrying satellites and the recording mode which came in the beginning in the wedding night scene and somewhere else. Why bother to even think of all these. Bullshit defines the film best.
Mahal – Wind Castle
Short film. Did not like it. I don’t think I like films which explore the place, treat the space as a character and leave the people and their story behind. Of course, the space is a character but it is so also because of the people and their stories inhabiting it. What good is it if you explore one without saying anything about the other? Reminded me of my playback project and made long for film student life. No. I am an independent filmmaker now and will be that alone from now on. There is no going back and it is a good thing. I have to get used to it.
Documentary on those travelling in unreserved class. The team makes a train journey documentary starting from Bombay and covering a train map that covers entire India. Did not like it. The filmmaker should be absolutely absent from such films. What was the director doing giving his opinion on the Kashmiri who was on Pakistan’s side? Did not like the camera work either. Most of the time when I wanted to see the people’s faces, I was seeing them in profile. And all this shit about Tamil Nadu being about Rajanikant. The transgdender jokes and shit, yes, I know the excuse, he was only showing what had actually happened, but no. Every film has its tone and politics and this one’s is mockery when it comes to certain people interviewed in films. When I have enough money I want to make a similar one but travelling in women’s compartments throughout. Talking to women. It would be so nice. Anyone wants to produce?
Oh my god what brilliance. Talking about racism like that in a horror film. It was simply brilliant. This should be done with feminism. I should really do this. Why do I feel this way about every other brilliant idea and why is it that it is always someone else’s brilliant idea. Anyway, watched it in Kani’s apartment in Versova. They have such a beautiful house, the one next to the sea, you can see the sea, feel it and smell it over there and yet at night, after they went to sleep, right after the film, I was crying. Shit.
The racism that’s displayed in the film itself is brilliant. Starting from the police officer who asked for the license. And did you see the way in which the girl went on and on about how racist her parents were and her brother was and asked how they were different from the police officer. That’s exactly how the white person sounds when he/she gets all indignant about discrimination when they actually are fake. That was one moment in which I felt the film was brilliant. To show that. Only an oppressed person would understand how fake it sounded. Maybe I understood because I am a woman…The part where he goes up having seen many absurdities in the party or the birthday celebration or whatever, the moment when everyone goes silent. Oh my god. What a moment it was.
So many things that I liked beyond measure for its shear brilliance. You know the brilliance it takes to incorporate it into cinema through dialogues and actions and other such.
From the beginning it is clear that the family doesn’t like the man smoking. Later, the question is, do you smoke in front of my daughter. Yes. That is the point. Do you do this in front of my white daughter? Then I should surely get rid of this habit. Whether or not you want it, I will get rid of it.
Really liked the sound and music.
The part where the househelp becomes all polite and nice and apologetic as always and says that it was her mistake that the phone charger got disconnected. He says, it is just that I feel really afraid when I am around a lot of white people. And then her whole expression changes. What acting and what exact portrayal of the struggle within. She cries. She can’t control it but she says vehemently that it is not like that at all.
And white people always perpetrate hatred through black people. Like how the man who cuts logs turn around and says nasty things about his girlfriend. When whites speak though blacks, that’s how it is going to be.
The medical operation part and all that sucked.
The police person who is his best friend, I think played by the director, that character is also really nice. Help will only come from within.
God this should really be done with women, dalits, transgender people and everyone. This technique.
The female stand-up comedian who gets pregnant. The film is so funny and political and nice. The lead has performed really well. Some jokes just made me laugh a lot. Something which happens only when I watch mallu films, old ones. Ha ha.
Carlos Reygadas film that I watched because putul ma’am, madhavi and nishtha jain were talking about it. Hated it. What the fuck was that. There is nothing in the film worth liking. The one in which the man has a wife and a lot of children and has an affair with another woman. The wife dies and the other woman comes and cries and then the wife gets up from death and stuff. All that is fine but what the fuck was there in the film. Why did he make the film. Shit.
The one in which Shah Rukh Khan’s only job is to say that he works for All India Radio. So scared Mani Ratnam was, poor baby, to say that Kashmir wants azadi. Anyway, it is another example of how the guy does not give a shit even if the girl says that she does not want to be followed or pursued. The intriguing thing, however is that the ‘terrorist’ is not the only person who dies in the end. The hero also dies. Why are everyone’s dads in the film ex-army officers who died fighting!
Saturday, 8 July 2017
Films, July, 2017, Bombay
Dear Tarun Vijay, We heard that you called us ‘black’. We are very angry. We don’t know about the rest of the South Indians, but ...
At a great phase of life. A steady source of income. Closer to cinema than ever. In a strange land where I know no one and no one know...
I couldn't write Reflections [Ish renamed 'aftermath' to reflections. It still is what one felt before, during and after the t...