Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Vignettes (from Osian)

A very quick update (since I am missing one whole movie to allow myself this post) from the ongoing Osian film festival in Delhi:

- Jabberwock has said a lot about the furore surrounding cell-phones, and how impossible it is to watch a movie in peace without the familiar, conforting beeping object snug in your pocket/bag.

It is amusing, nevertheless, to witness the irrational lengths to which people go, in order not to be parted from their cell-phones.

Some are sneaking in cell-phones, by tucking them into their crotches (NOW you know the whole obsession with smaller and smaller instruments, eh?). It's easier for women, with their skirts, sarees and loose salwars.
Some guys tuck their phone inside shoes!
Women try to conceal the phone amongst so many assorted objects in their tiny purses - lippers, mascara, compact, perfume, hankies, pens, whatnot - that a small phone can easily escape undetected (I tried; I got caught).

However, as security checks go, it is most disconcerting to be frisked the way we are being frisked. The big ladies in green salwar-kurtas, manning the gates, don't even feel me up properly. One of them, in fact, just pokes at my insignificant bosom... each time! (What she's looking for, I don't know... for now, I'm too amused to protest.)

- I have, however, been permanently scarred by the Watermelon movie. (I don't remember the Chinese title, but it was called something like 'Wayward Cloud' in English) They should issue a warning about films like this - and I'm NOT a prude - because I will never again be able to eat watermelons without wanting to puke.

I am SICK of filmmakers who seem to be playing out their own ewww fantasies on celluloid and subjecting the rest of the world to this bullshit they call 'radical art'.
Radical art, my radical ***! Apparently the filmmaker said he wanted to elicit a 'reaction'. Well, he got a reaction out of me - I walked out within minutes. (But really, they should issue a warning before such films. I am convinced that the fare on offer at Capitol, outside VT station in Bombay, is more tastefully put together.)

- You MUST watch Saurabh Shukla's Aye Dil (translated very badly into English as 'My Heart Goes Sha-la-la'). It is worth attending a festival for. It was worth suffering the watermelons for, even that.
It made me laugh hard, it made me cry softly, it made me nod my head in gentle empathy with EVERY single character in the movie. And you know what? It even made me wish I'd paid to watch it!

The film has Rajat Kapoor in the lead, the same guy who made the touchingly funny Raghu Romeo, with Saurabh Shukla playing a significant part in it. These two guys are both brilliant actors and, as I now know, good filmmakers. I didn't get a chance to blow them any kisses, but when I do, I will.

- The other watchable films I've managed to catch, so far, are 'The Best Times', an Egyptian-Arab film by Hala Khalil, and Shanghai Dreams, which had to have been good anyway, having been honoured at Cannes and all. Go watch, if you get the chance...

- Cafe Lumiere was my biggest disappointment.
It's all very well to say that to have a plot is to use people and to use people is to misuse people, I'd still like a story to be told when I'm giving you two and a half hours of my time, unless you're going to pay me... to watch nothing happen and nothing unfold and nothing proceed and nothing recede.
If you have nothing to say, you might as well not say it.
When filmmakers don't have a real story, they might as well spare us a numb backside.


Suhail said...

(*Annie still angry..?? good :D *)
All security checks are like that..feeling up stranger's genitals.

did you get my other mail?

Jabberwock said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jabberwock said...

Felt more or less the same way about Cafe Lumiere. Didn't completely hate it - there were a couple of 15-minute stretches when it cast a languid floating-on-a-bed-of-clouds spell on me (you know, there is something to be said about the sheer experience of watching one of these films where almost nothing happens). Having said that, it had me looking at my watch after I exited the hall, and thinking "1 hour 45 minutes of my life. Gone. Irretrievably. When Kingdom Comes, will I be able to say I spent my time well?"

(Also, I was a little annoyed about this being a "tribute" to Ozu, whose films are slightly more narrative-driven.)

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about cell phones, my 16 yo son's phone (My son is 16 years old not the phone!!!)went in for repair over a week ago & it has taken longer than expected, still hasn't got it back yet. Being without it is driving him absolutely NUTS. I think he'd rather go without food for that time period.

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