MAMI Wrap Up – Day 4
So much to see, So little time!
Apart from the business of watching movies, MAMI also brings together key stakeholders of cinema to reflect on decades gone by and the developments to come. This year’s Movie Mela is the perfect occasion for this.
Day 1, which was yesterday, gave us a joyful cast reunion of the beloved 1992 film Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, a remembrance of Teesri Manzil, a closer look at Baahubali and a conversation with the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil team (see event summaries inside).
From the past, we turn towards the future. Day 2 includes a session, featuring Shakun Batra and Anand Gandhi among others, about the potentially far-reaching impact of Virtual Reality tech on movie-making.
At PVR ICON, there is a daylong programme ‘PLAY’, focussing on artistic expression in the digital age. Two panel discussions will deal with the recent profusion of youth-centred web series and whether the medium can sustain itself in the long-term (See interview with Nikhil Taneja about ‘PLAY’ on Page 2).
Elsewhere, leading Hindi film directors will take you into their process during another panel, while in a separate event, Shahid Kapoor will open up about his acting method.
All this, of course, shouldn’t distract from the on-screen attractions today. Top choices: Graduation by Cristian Mungiu, Studio Ghibli’s The Red Turtle and The Insignificant Man, chronicling the rise of Arvind Kejriwal.
So much to see and so little time. Make the most of it!
Screening of OUCH
Neeraj Pandey’s quirky short film Ouch, which screened at the Movie Mela, is a black comedy about a man who takes relationships for granted.
Manoj Bajpayee who features in the short spoke about his experience, “It was a great experience to work in the short film format again. It felt like a theater performance.”
Actor Pooja Chopra who was nervous about the audience’s reaction added, “It’s a very relevant film. Hopefully everyone will relate to it.”
The audience surely enjoyed it as the auditorium echoed with laughter.
Inclusive Screening for persons with visual impairment
Point of View, a non-profit organisation, conducted a special screening of Milind Dhaimade’s You Are My Sunday, which was easily one of the best enjoyed screenings of MAMI this year.
As an inclusive screening for persons with visual impairment, Point of View created a compelling narration running throughout the film, which added a lot of details and background information describing what was happening on-screen, ultimately enhancing the movie-going experience for every viewer in the theatre.
“The idea is to explain to people how visually impaired people can also enjoy the magic of cinema equally, and to really normalise the experience,” a representative of Point of View explained. “It was tricky sometimes, to be able to capture the moment in just a few words, and to give everyone a real feel of the film, without over-explaining.”
The narration was created in just three days, which is hard to believe given the special experience they created.
Director Milind Dhaimade’s words after the screening had the theatre erupting in thunderous applause, “We are delighted and amazed at the response we’ve received today, and I’ll make sure that every film that I make in the future is similarly inclusive.”
Man with a movie camera and the Vitaliy Tkachuk Quartet
The classic film Man with a Movie Camera flagged off The New Medium section at MAMI. The screening was accompanied by a live music performance by the famous Vitaliy Tkachuk Quartet. The 1929 film from Russia, directed by Dziga Vertov, is otherwise a silent film. But the musicians added both diagetic and non diagetic sounds giving cinephiles a glimpse into the importance of sound in cinema.
Man with a Movie Camera has 18000 shots, so one can only imagine the detail required to play live music with it. Vitaliy Tkachuk was on the guitar, Egor Gavrilenko handled the bass, Alex Fantaev was the drummer while Michael Balog played the Saxophone.
Talking about the choice of music for the event, Tkachuk said, “We love Indian music a lot. But this was an important event for us and we wanted to play our own music here”.
The performance ended with a standing ovation from the crowd.