Featured in the March – May 2014 Vol. 2, Issue 1.

The Critic and Ship of Theseus
Amitava Nag

“By living the present I’m trying to understand the past…”
Interview with Nagraj Manjule

Sanjay R. Wadhwa

Beauty of Melancholy – The Films of Sachin Kundalkar
Vidyarthy Chatterjee

From the Essential to the Existential: Lubitsch’s Triumph of Ninotchka’s (Garbo’s) Faces
Darius Cooper

“Films live in a big space…”
Interview with Hartmut Bitomsky

Arshak M. A

Malegaon Ka Superman: Filmmaking in Malegaon as a Social Act; A Model for Socially Relevant Filmmaking.
Prashant Parvataneni, Sezel Lalwani

Kranti Amar Rahe
Amitava Nag

Sita Bibaha: A Milestone in Odia Cinema
Surya Deo

HOMAGE
Farouque Shaikh : Adieu Zulfi…
Nupur Basu

Suchitra Sen : An Enigma
Nupur Basu

Balu Mahendra : Light, shadows and the third phase of the moon..
K. Hariharan

Book Reviews:

Zohra Sehgal – Fatty
Author : Kiran Segal
Anurima Das

Uncloven Space: Mani Kaul in conversation with Udayen Vaipeyi Translated from the original in Hindi by Gurvinder Singh
Amrit Gangar

A Journey Tracing Phalke
Author : Kamal Swaroop
Ashish Avikunthak

Festival Report:

A Season of Film festivals in India (October 2013 – February 2014)
Sanjay R. Wadhwa

Advertisement Collaborations in this Issue

NEO Film School
Centre for Development of Imaging Technology
Asking We Walk
2nd DOK Leipzig Lake Festival
FD Zone
Signs Film Festival
Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication
Rolling Frames Short Film Summit
Department of Information, Karnataka Government
Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari, Film City
Ladakh International Film Festival
MOFILM

Excerpts

Beauty of Melancholy – The Films of Sachin Kundalkar

Vidyarthy Chatterjee

Sachin Kundalkar – filmmaker, playwright and novelist – was born in 1976 in Pune. He had his film training at Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and Le Femis, Paris. Restaurant, his debut film, runs to more than two hours but hardly seems so, thanks to a moving story well told, an array of actors handled with confidence and perceptive examination of more than one contemporary theme craving for attention. The film deals maturely with the conflict between tradition and modernity in present-day lives; the search for something meaningful in an effort to lessen a grievous loss; and, finally, the artist’s pride and joy in pursuing his or her art (in this case, culinary art) to as near perfection as possible. The nature of the scars in the personal lives of two strong-willed women and the role that the efficient running of their restaurant has in applying a balm on those scars, have been portrayed with more than ordinary competence.

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“Films live in a big space…”
Interview with Hartmut Bitomsky

Arshak M. A

Apart from making films you have also written about film theory and film history. It’s a very interesting approach, taking us back to Eisenstein. How did your interest in both these aspects develop?

I started to be interested in films and film making in the age of French new wave. And all these people like Truffaut, Goddard were also writing about films. They were all writing about films before they made their first films. I always felt like I am a writer before I ever felt myself as a filmmaker. I myself decided that I would try to pursue a career on both levels. When I left the film school I felt like, I don’t know anything about filmmaking, they didn’t teach me enough or they didn’t teach me anything. So now I have to do it myself. So I started a vast film study or whatever you call as theoretical study. At that time it was natural because for the first time there were theories on films and filmmaking, started with people like Christian Metz in the understanding of how film works. I kind of moved into this direction in order to become better or a knowledgeable filmmaker. The third thing is that once you leave the film school, immediately you don’t have a career as a filmmaker. It takes quite some time. Hence I started to do both, write and make films.

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Suchitra Sen : An Enigma

Nupur Basu

In the year 2000, on a trip to Bangladesh, I went on a ‘back to my roots’ odyssey to Pabna district, where my father’s family had lived in undivided Bengal. The landscape was full of memories not only of my father’s childhood and youth, but others who had come from that land. In Pabna town, my escort showed me the house where young Roma Dasgupta had lived with her family till 1947 – Roma Dasgupta who went on to become the Bengali screen goddess in her new avatar as Suchitra Sen. Good artists transcend boundaries. In the two and a half decade long career (1952-1978), Sen was loved not only in India but also in Bangladesh. Her biographer, Gopal Krishna Ray, recalled that, like Rabindranath Tagore, the people of Bangladesh also adored Suchitra Sen. “Right through the time she was in hospital, I was getting calls from people in Bangladesh enquiring after her health…they used to call her amago maiyya (our daughter)” said Sen’s biographer who has written the Bengali book titled Suchitrar Kotha (Suchitra’s story) published by Ananda Publishers into its 14th edition. After she passed away, calls flooded him from former East Bengal and urged that her body should be cremated in her hometown of Pabna.

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A Journey Tracing Phalke

Ashish Avikunthak

Tracing Phalke is the work of two idiosyncratic virtuosos of Indian cinema. First, obviously is Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, the subject of the book; second is Kamal Swaroop, the radical author. The book is a flabbergasting homage from one master to another. It is a conversation that Kamal Swaroop – the ebullient filmmaker of our times has with Dadasaheb Phalke – the undisputed, although rather reluctant progenitor of Indian cinema. Swaroop, the archivist, historian and filmmaker of the late capitalist, postcolonial, globalized India dives into the sinews of history to apprehend Phalke in his time – the pioneer film artist of colonial India struggling to produce a Swadeshi cinema. The book is the transcript of such an exchange. Kamal Swaroop, the filmmaker – historian unearths the life of D.G. Phalke and prods him to have a dialog about his life. The book is a textual artifact of this collaboration. It is a visual-transcript or a filmic-manuscript of the banter that two filmmakers have with each other.

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