Vishnu Mathur

Vishnu Mathur – Pehla Adhyay AKA The First Chapter (1981)

The most obscure of the films to come out of the Indian New Wave, Pahla Adhyay is Vishnu Mathur’s only film. In the anti-expressionistic style of auteur Mani Kaul, the film is closer to Ozu than Bresson as one witnesses the same spaces being repeated as the alienation of the lead character, a student is played out in the background of the city of Bombay in the early ’80s. The film explicitly challenges Bollywood’s contemporary representations of the city, especially in the way it uses Dinesh Shakul’s minimalistic acting (modelling), emphasizing the actor as a body occupying a space instead of an expressionistic face. Read More »