Sunday, January 9, 2011

Alliance Française de Bombay to hold Film Festival “Cannes in Mumbai” from tomorrow...

A fine selection of Indian films that have participated at the Cannes festival in France over the past few years will be showcased in Mumbai for your viewing pleasure! To top it off, it will be a wonderful opportunity for all to meet with the directors and actors of the critically acclaimed films all week long and to hear their take on their vision and experiences at CannesThe selected feature films and short films imbued with originality have been acclaimed both nationally and internationally. They add a distinctive edge to the vibrant spectrum of Indian Cinema that is imperative to experience. The round table discussion to held at the end of the week is very much awaited as talented figures in the world of Indian Cinema will converge to discuss  cinema - Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Sudhir Mishra to name a few.

To be held at Alliance Française auditorium, Mumbai from 10th January 2011 each dat at 6:30 pm, the festival will culminate on 14th January. The repertoire includes movies like A Very Very Silent Film by Manish Jha, Udaan by Vikramaditya Motwane, Tetris by Anirban Datta, Salaam Bombay! by Mira Nair, Khoj by Tridib Poddar, Chinese Whispers by Raka Dutta, Piravi by Shaji N Karun, Printed Rainbow by Gitanjali Rao, Dosar by Rituparno Ghosh and Marana Simhasanam by Murali Nair. It’s a wonderful opportunity to not only see the acclaimed films, but also to meet the directors and partake in the joys of these cinematic achievements. A great beginning to the year for Indian Cinema indeed!

Some good films to watch out for: 

Dosar (2006 / Bengali)
Rituparno Ghosh’s “Dosar” revolves around Kaushik (Prasenjit Chatterjee) and Kaberi (Konkona Sen Sharma), a happy couple until a car accident takes away Mita, Kaushik’s mistress, and leaves Kaushik injured and grieving. Mita, the mother of a little boy and living with her husband, was Kaushik’s colleague. This revelation leaves Kaberi shattered. Kaushik successfully moves on with life leaving Mita behind and tries his best to repair the severely wounded relationship with his wife. Another couple in the film, Brinda (Pallavi Chatterjee) and Bobby (Parambrata Chatterjee), are also engaged in an extramarital relation. While Bobby is a bachelor, Brinda, quite older than Bobby, is unhappily married. They and Kaberi do group theatre together. Brinda-Bobby comes to a crossroads when Brinda becomes pregnant and Bobby is not sure whether the child is his or Brinda’s husband’s. However, he does not turn back and stands by Brinda in sorting out her issues. Kaberi often threatens divorce but ultimately is overpowered by the wife in her and cannot resist fulfilling her duties towards her husband at the time of crisis. On the other hand, Kaushik is also caught in his own predicament. The physical and mental trauma caused by the accident is portrayed with great skill and subtlety by Prosenjit. He has to not only come to terms with the loss of a loved one but is faced with the daunting task of winning back his wife's trust.

Salaam Bombay (1988 / Hindi)
Mira Nair’s much acclaimed flm “Salaam Bombay” is the story of Krishna who, fed up of being continuously bullied by his elder brother, sets fire to his brother's motor-bike. Angered, his mom takes him to Apollo Circus and asks him to earn Rs. 500/- and then come back home. He finds employment with the circus but one day the Circus packs up and leaves. Alone, with nowhere to turn to, and unable to find the Rs. 500/- to repay his mother, he decides to travel to the nearest big city – Mumbai (Bombay). Upon his arrival in Mumbai (Bombay), he is robbed of all his meager possessions. He follows the thieves, and befriends them. He ends up in Mumbai (Bombay)'s notorious red-light area of Falkland Road near Grant Road Railway Station. One of the thieves, Chillum, also a drug pusher and addict, helps Krishna get a job at a tea stall "Grant Road Tea Stall". Krishna gets a new name "Chai Pau", and learns to live with it. His goal is to get the Rs.500/- and return home to his mother. Krishna soon finds out that saving money with his surroundings and the people near him is next to impossible. To make matters worse, he has a crush on a young prostitute, Sola Saal. He sets fire to her room and attempts to elope with her but in vain. This gets him a severe beating, and he also loses his job. He works odd jobs to feed himself, and look after Chillum, who cannot live without his drugs. He and his pals also rob an elderly Parsi man of his belongings by breaking into his house in broad daylight. One night while returning home, he and several of his friends are apprehended by the police, and taken to a juvenile home. But this detention was not to last very long as Krishna escapes and goes back to his world - the world of drug-pushers, pimps, prostitutes, and nurture his dream of someday going back to his mother. Good performances by Nana Patekar, Anita Kanwar and Raghuvir Yadav.

Khoj (In Search) (2001 / Bengali / 26 mins)
Khoj starts with a man who goes looking for his friend who disappeared ten years ago. Only his mother survives alone in the house. In this search the protagonist travels through a spectrum of life - he meets people, he meets mountains, rivers. What exactly happens with him, what metamorphosis goes within him, which is what you can experience through the visual storytelling.

Chinese Whispers (2007)
In our daily life, we might come across certain characters we don´t know. Despite not knowing these characters, they become a part of the larger mise-en-scene of life. This film is about two such characters. A man and a woman. In an urban space, they have only met as strangers, and till the end they remain so, as they grow steadily towards alienation from their surroundings. They share the same space, that is the city, but they have their own set of problems to deal with. Coming closer and closer to their own crisis, they start growing comfortable in their respective existence. Wonderful scintillating performances by Momm Bhattacharya, Sudip Sengupta, Trina Nileena Banerjee and Yuvraj Dheer.

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