India

Mani Kaul – Before My Eyes (1988)

Quote:
This is the film that left the strongest impression on me. I have been lucky to engage it 3 times on 35mm.

Mani Kaul’s films create a sensory construct around their use of a selection of sounds to create a specific sensorial effect and images to create volume instead of (as in Hollywood) their denotative element of space. His films usually attempt to create an aesthetic where language is used beyond its denotative aspect, into its suggestive and rhythmic tonalities based on Anandvardhan’s 4th century text Dhwanyaloka about haiku like poetry forms and the aesthetic of suggestion they create known as ‘Dhwani’ which means ‘suggestive sound.’ Read More »

Aparna Sen – 15 Park Avenue (2005)

The narrative pivots around the relationship of two sisters, older sister Anjali (Shabana
Azmi) is a successful professor with a powerful personality. She is the anchoring rock for
her family and carer for her sister Meethi whose progression into schizophrenia has been
speeded up by traumatic experiences. Anjali has always dominated the life of her attractive
younger sister, and jealously warded off Meethi’s handsome fiancé Jojo (Rahul Bose) with
fear of Meethi’s impending illness. Years later when Meethi and Anjali are on holiday in the
Hills there is a chance meeting with Jojo, now with his new wife and children. He is
shocked to discover that Meethi does not now recognize him, but lives in a world visited by
an imaginary husband and children of her own. Read More »

Mani Kaul – Mati Manas AKA The Mind of Clay (1985)

Quote:
In a poetic hour and a half, director Mani Kaul looks at the ancient art of making pottery from a wide variety of perspectives. Pots are shown in many settings, including a museum where a young child is mesmerized by the ceramics that ancient ancestors created from clay. The tradition continues and so does its magic, as potters are shown deftly working a lump of wet clay and fashioning it moment by moment into a slowly emerging shape. Kaul blends in myth and fables as well as the beauty of the art itself to create an inspiring look at a humble, everyday object. Read More »

Mani Kaul – Siddeshwari (1990)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Summary from The Hindu:
On paper, Siddheshwari, like so many films commissioned by the Films Division, is a cine-profile, of the Hindustani singer Siddheshwari Devi. However, Kaul turns the genre inside out, and amalgamates literary, theatrical, musical and cinematic forms together to construct an experience of music, instead of simply presenting biographical details or passively documenting the singer’s artistry. The sprawling film blends multiple timelines, realities and geographies to sketch a unique portrait of the artist. Read More »

Mani Kaul – Nazar AKA The Gaze (1990)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

SYNOPSIS
From the back of the case:
After his wife’s death, the husband recalls their first meeting and marriage. She was much younger than him. She used to pawn some things to an antique shop to make a little money. The husband is increasingly intrigued by her mindset. As things develop, he finds out that she was an orphan living with two aunts. The film explores their complex life in a manner unusual for Indian cinema. Read More »

K.M. Madhusudhanan – Bioscope (2008)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

SYNOPSIS
From the back of the case:
The film Bioscope is set in the second decade of the 20th century. The film unfolds in the backdrop of cinema making its appearance in Kerala.

The protagonist Diwakaran’s new journey begins with his acquisition of a bioscope from the Frenchman DuPont, who organizes bioscope shows on the coasts of Tamil Nadu. He returns home and starts conducting bioscope shows in his village. The villagers welcome the new images with innocence. Yet, some suspect that the bioscope box has ghosts of the British hidden in it. Read More »

Govindan Aravindan – Oridathu AKA And Then There Was a Village (1986)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
Set in a remote part of Travancore-Cochin, Oridathu tells the story of a village where electricity arrives for the first time. The villagers find this modern innovation as a threat to their natural way of life, accustomed to more earthy resources of energy. The film depicts the narrow mindedness and hypocrisies of village lives with humour. The film reaches a conclusion that life is better without electricity and also condemns cinema as a legitimate means of expression. Read More »