Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pushing the boundaries

One is pushing the boundaries of form - in terms of your camera techniques, your way of telling a story, editing, acting etc...the treatment

but other is pushing the boundaries of what you are telling - in terms of saying things that have been unsaid or are difficult to say in a line or two or even in an essay- you cannot serialize your thoughts - you have to tell that in the form of a story so that the listener synthesizes that complex ambiguous thought from your story... and discovers an interesting facet about life...

isn't that what we should be pushing with all our films...

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

100 years of Indian cinema

I had the idea for this post in my mind for a long time but couldn't find time to write about it in Mumbai.

Here in a student town of Madison, spending time with PhD grads, and Silicon Valley enthusiasts - in the midst of a technology wave where "the young is eating up the old everyday", I thought my idea has reached a stage that I could verbalize it.

100 years is very less for any art form. We have art forms like painting and writing and designing that probably started at a time we were barely evolved as homo sapiens. These art forms have evolved, branched, transformed, travelled and have become an integral parts of our life. They have "matured". Has cinema matured in these 100 years -in India?
What is the benchmark for maturity ? When do we call an art form has matured, and are we getting there?

I felt one thing that sets moviemaking apart is that its main creators are concentrated in various film cities. It is not an everyman's art form.
 Ofcourse, movie making is logistically a larger effort than say painting or writing which can be an individual pursuit. Movie making is a team effort -  either a small team or a large team but generally it requires more than one person -  and is an expensive pursuit nonetheless. Making a good well-finished movie also requires training that is not integrated in out school cirriculam.
But we are not talking about costs or training right now, we are first talking about decentralization. Has it reached a stage where any person in a village who wants to make a movie can actually go ahead and make it? And what are the chances that the movie he makes can potentially move us emotionally as much as a movie made in mainstream?

I think digital revolution is one of the key things that will help movie-making ubiquitous and will bring about a plurality that is much needed for its maturity. Prob not just digital revolution but also including film making in curriculum the way drawing and painting is. Films or rather videos are now becoming integral part of our life with online educational courses, advertisements, farewell videos and even instruction kits using videos to illustrate a point. Therefore learning how to make a movie not just sensitizes people but also serves as a good skill set .

Our film content was probably more evolved in the 50s when the film as an art form was being discovered and people from all walks of life were entering it. Now, there is some sort of calcification of mindsets. Art thrives in exploring the unknown - trying out new things.  Its important to ensure we make money but why is it not important to ensure that we create beautiful original movies ?

That's why I feel that one thing that we should look out for is ensuring that more and more number of people can make movies bypassing traditional producers and traditional mindsets. More people will also comeup with smart and better ideas of tackling one of the biggest bottleneck of film business  - the distribution.

 It's hightime, like in silicon industry (which is also relatively young) for the young newer ways to start competing with older traditional ways. The day a film made by a newbee in nagpur competes equally strongly with Iron Man for our attention- I will celebrate the most !