Hugh Hudson is a happy man. Content with having made only 10 feature films in his career spanning 30-odd years, he says, “I like doing new things. I’m not a journeyman director. I’m not a man for hire. I don’t make films for other people.”
His film, Chariots Of Fire, won multiple Academy Awards in 1981. And recalling how he never imagined it to become a classic, he adds, “It was a small and cheap film. We thought it would be a local film, a bit like the films made in India are, a film that doesn’t go anywhere.”
Hudson arrived in India on Wednesday for the 13th Mumbai Film Festival organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images. Starting today, the fest will screen over 200 films under various categories till October 20.
As the jury president of the international competition section, he will watch three films a day for the next one week. “I’m looking forward to watching the Korean film Murderer. I like their cinema, I wish Indian cinema would become like that,” he says, before further explaining, “Indian films don’t come to England. But Korean films do, even though theirs is a small country and India is large. It’s time you get your act together and write good international-style films." Recalling movies like Lagaan (2001) and Water (2005) as the few that stood out, he feels it’s the ‘singing and the dancing’ that takes away from Bollywood's story telling. He says, “I usually see that every time I switch on the Indian channel. And that’s no good.”
The filmmaker’s most-recent work is a documentary he has made on the brain. Inspired by his wife, who suffered from an aneurysm misdiagnosed by American doctors, Hudson decided to shoot her recovery. He says, “My wife nearly died. That’s when I thought we should record this and make a film. It’s human, there are medical and neurological issues in it. It's a film made for charity.”