Mani Kaul – Satah Se Uthata Aadmi aka Arising From The Surface (1980)

Kaul’s film addresses the writings of Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh (1917-79), one of the main representatives of the Nai Kavita (New Poetry) movement in Hindi. Muktibodh also wrote several short stories, one of which provides the film with its title, and critical essays. The film integrates episodes from Muktibodh’s writings with material from other source, including a reinvented neo-realism derived from Muktibodh’s literary settings. The narrative is constructed around 3 characters. Ramesh (Gopi) iis one who speaks and enacts Muktibodh’s writings, functioning as the first-person voice of the text; his two friends, , Madhav (Jha) and Keshav (Raina), are Ramesh’s antagonists and interlocuters esp. in the debates about modernity. Kaul gradually minimizes the fictional settings until, in the remarkably shot sequences of the factory, the audience is directly confronted with the written text itself. Kaul had begun his studies of Dhrupad music, the classical North Indian music known mainly for its extreme austerity, and derived a number of cinematic styles from this musical idiom which have continuously influenced his films since, e.g. the continuously mobile camera, the use of changing light patterns and the importance of improvisation.

1.37GB | 1h 46mn | 720×544 | avi


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  1. I’d appreciate a re-up of this and Kaul’s short film Yatrik (The Passenger) if possible.

    These films of Mani Kaul’s possess a stately, classical beauty. They are grounded in deep, traditional culture, and Kaul tries to reinvent cinema as a craftsman would – aiming for timelessness and elegance through simplicity.

    It’s great to find these cultured pearls amidst the smut, trash and lunacy of Cinema of the World. I mean, I *love* that stuff, but a glutton needs a soul-cleansing every now and again 😉

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