The bold and the (slightly) bitter-ful
‘MAMI goes Bold’ said the headline of a local daily a week back, suggesting that the films shown this time would be more daring, vicious or even steamy. The article passed off as just another report, perhaps a warning to some. But what we’ve been watching at the ongoing festival is quite brutal and intimate.
Antichrist, Give Me Your Hand, Women Without Men, Rwanda: The Day God Walked Away, Ajami and many more that have been screened in the past two days either have a series of sex scenes or extreme violent visuals. Not that they were not needed, but it’s not something you would watch in an everyday movie.
For the screening of Antichrist and Kinatay the entire hall was packed, including the aisles and the floor. Though this has been a rewarding experience in broadening our vision towards world cinema, the only issue it creates is the fact that after being exposed to such films, most get desensitised and the simpler films go unnoticed.
Craft in Film Making
This was chosen as the subject for the open forum on the second day of the festival. The fact that today, technology is driving the aesthetic sense of filmmakers was well made. Especially in a country like India, where there is a boom in digital cinema, the race to try out new techniques often compromises the story requirements.
Moderated by Amit Khanna, trustee of the MAMI Board, the forum had a panel of speakers formed by film critic Saibal Chatterjee and director Abhishek Kapoor amongst several other prominent names. Saibal was vocal about the fact that he finds the films made by graduates the most engaging because they have no pressure of success or limitations from the buyer.
However, in the industry we see movies released amidst such glitz that everything else is overshadowed.
The audience too shared similar views and the discussion ended on the note that even with changing times, craft will evolve, but as always, it is a story that has to be told with a camera.
On the day
Mumbai Film Fest on its third day seemed to me like a bonus offering. As usual, the venue was swarming with movie buffs and the who’s who of the film world. I got to watch “Tatarak” (Sweet Rush).
I also got to attend the press conference for Applause. Paprika Steen the actress, director Martin Zandvliet and the screenwriter Anders August answered the inquisitive queries of journalists and film lovers. In the course of time, I had the opportunity to encounter Tariq Tapa, the director of the movie Zero Bridge. He talked about his experiences and shared his thoughts on filmmaking.
Amol Palekar though a busy man always spares time for his audience. He projected a whole new idea of open-minded understanding of cinema.
My day ended with a simple but meaningful movie, Huaco. On my way back home, I had a pile of memories to keep.