The Dailies Issue 08

The Show Must Go On

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In its last hurrah on Day 7, MAMI has reserved some of its finest offerings for festival goers. First, there’s the closing film – Kenneth Longergan’s Manchester by the Sea – which will be shown in two screenings. The drama has received early buzz from Oscar watchers this year and features what some critics are calling Casey Affleck’s finest performance.

Also at PVR ICON, one of Indian cinema’s trendsetting filmmakers Karan Johar joins designer Prabal Gurung and international fashion boss Christian Louboutin at a panel to talk ‘Fashion in Film’.

Some of India Gold’s major entries are up on the marquee today. While the spirit of MAMI is always celebratory, let’s not forget that there is an international and Indian competition section. Winners of both categories will get their moment of glory during the closing ceremony (See page 2 for interviews with prominent jury members).

For our last edition, we have shone the spotlight on the competition nominees (See page 3) and on yesterday’s big talking point – Cary Fukunaga (see Page 4 for our interview with the filmmaker).

As much as the success of MAMI depends on its quality of content, organisation and other aspects, one factor remains crucial – you, the reader and avid patron of cinema. We hope this festival was enjoyable for you because without your passion, it wouldn’t continue to flourish and grow exponentially every year.

MAMI 2016 may be winding down but we don’t like to think of this as an end. Instead, it’s merely an interval in our continuing love affair with all things movies. See you again in 2017!

Remembering Bimal Roy

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The cinema of legendary filmmaker Bimal Roy was revisited in a panel discussion with topics ranging from his iconic films to his influence on contemporary films and filmmakers.

Nasreen Munni Kabeer:

Sometimes when I watch Do Bigha Zameen I feel like stopping the film, and giving the character 235 rupees to help him. Such is the power of Bimal Roy’s films.

Apurva Asrani:

His films were a brilliant lesson in editing.  He made his characters express without them having to speak. In a film like In Sujata, he has used motifs of trees, the storm  and water. You rarely get to see such things in today’s films.

My dad introduced me to Bimal Roy’s films. We watched Devdas, Do Bigha Zameen and some other films. But back then, I didn’t understand why should we be watching films where there is so much sadness in the society. Over time I started to discuss the relevance of his films. Bimal spoke about murderers, feudal system, caste system and all the evils of the society yet he did it in the most entertaining way. We can make serious films but the brilliance of his films was that they were accessible. They were truly mainstream. Characters were relatable and he worked with great choreography, music and acting. We have still not got rid of these evils in the society but the cinema has changed.

Jaya Bachchan:

The demands of today’s filmmakers are very different from that time. Back then they painted art. Today it’s all about business and numbers. People have forgotten subtlety.

In all his films including Do Bigha Zameen, the women characters look extremely dignified. Their demeanor, the way they looked and their body language was perfect. The characters never slouched and were always stoic.

One on One: Cary Fukunaga with Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Akhtar and Cary Fukunaga

Zoya Akhtar and Cary Fukunaga

You can bet a conversation between filmmakers Zoya Akhtar and Cary Fukunaga is going to be a treat. We bring you excerpts from an insightful talk, with more than a few laughs:

On True Detective being so well-received:

I didn’t really think about it that way. I’m still so surprised there are so many memes that came out about it! (audience laughs) I think I was lucky in the sense that, right after it came out, I left for West Africa to shoot Beasts of No Nation. So I wasn’t around when what my friends describe as the ‘frenzy around the show’ started. I think I was pretty lucky as well, that it was released at the right time of the year, and that it managed to get people talking about it.

Having adapted the Beasts of No Nation book to film himself, on things to look out for while adapting a novel into a screenplay:

Exterior locations with a lot of rain, those are the kind of projects I’m looking for, so if you guys know of any projects like that – please let me know! (Audience laughs)

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I read the book initially, to be honest. I was already working on a child soldier concept, but somehow, the book for me really managed to aggregate many of the intricacies surrounding the subject, and loosely describe the context of these ‘resource wars’. It was a simple, human story.To adapt a book to a movie, you first have to really like the book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. It has to be something that moves you, about either the story or the characters. If you’re adapting a book to a film, I guess you have to retain the essence while adding your own vision to it. Distillation is a very difficult process though, to eliminate some elements while retaining the original vision.

On his biggest fear as an artist, when talking about tough issues:

The kind of perspective you gain, or are aware of, is incredible. As a privileged white male, I never wanted to make the actors feel as though I was exoticism them. So it was important that I was not portraying a superior perspective in any way.

Two filmmakers he has been highly influenced by.

I hate to pick just two, but it would be Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.

On the one genre that interests him the least:

Reality television.