Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Filmmaking is definitely not a one sided affair where only the director-crew-cast alone speak the ‘film’. In fact, the other end -Audience- plays the most significant role. Hence identifying them as an intelligent companion from the time a concept is conceived in mind is vital for realizing a meaningful movie. Audience are not fools anymore to accept anything and everything being spoon fed by filmmaker.
All of us had seen brilliantly done 2D and 3D animation films. That can be considered as the technical representation of 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional spaces. But what is a real 3 dimensional film considering filmmaking as an art form and a medium of communication? A film in which the director identifies his audience intelligent enough to imagine all that he has not visualized in his film can be considered as a 3 D film. Here the audience becomes a part of his film. They go back home with n number of questions in mind imagining their own solutions. The difference is that director is not feeding his intellectual partners with a solution. His film is more or less like an abstract art or an open book where he leaves the viewer with an opportunity to imagine a world beyond his film.
Recently I saw two outstanding films by a famous Malayalam film director. Both were unique in its theme and treatment and were well appreciated by the audience. They are undoubtedly the masterpiece of the Director. But at two places I could feel the film over-communicating with the audience. After a lot of emotional fight and fury between two lead characters the first film ends with the climax of their children playing together. With this the film already communicated the message. But for our disappoint director added a textual quote in the end saying “Thus they came close as the vision of future”, which faded the film to a 2D space leaving us nothing more to imagine or dream.
The theme of the second film was on an unexpected reunion of two childhood friends. The director successfully used lots of symbols of visual language that communicated the conflict in the hearts of leading pair. But as he used a few dialogues in the background as the thoughts of one of those characters the imagination of the viewer got blocked. This leaves us a question to answer - Do filmmakers still think that the audience is not yet matured to visualize a world beyond what is conveyed to them by the director.
At this point I would like to narrate the climax of the film “Children of the Heaven”, by Irani director Majid Majidi.
The film is about two children- Ali and his sister Zahra. In the starting we see Ali losing Zahra’s shoes by mistake and the siblings decide to keep the predicament a secret from their parents knowing that there is no money to buy a replacement pair. In the climax Ali enters a footrace in hopes of receiving the third prize of a new pair of sneakers. He accidentally places first and wins another prize instead.
The film ends with Ali coming back home with a gloomy face and bleeding feet. In the pain he slowly keeps the wounded feet in a tub of water. The director added a quick shot of their father's bicycle at the end of the movie shows what appears to be the pink shoes Zahra had been focusing on earlier, implying she got the shoes after all. The shoes are definitely tied to his bicycle and it is clear he has just bought these shoes for his children. Mean while the fishes in the water tub touches the feet of Ali as if they are kissing him. By not showing the father reaching home and happily distributing the shoes to children and by keeping the shot really poetical and vague with the close-up of Ali’s feet and the fishes, the director successfully leaves the audience in immense pleasure of imagining all those they wanted to visualize. Don’t you think this is an ideal way of communication?
Two hours of laugher and thrill and two minutes of talk about it hardly does anything to the IQ of a viewer. Like any other art form the prime objective of film is arguably entertainment, provided it is not bonded by the sleek wall of brainless entertainment. But this entertainment medium touches a higher lever when it gives the audience something to carry back home to dream and debate. As we all know only dream take you to a vision. By giving audience a situation and a reason for dreaming, director identifies himself as a responsible social being.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Film is the media that is capable of capturing all that is seen and experienced by its characters. Unlike text that requires a strong sense of imagination; visual media has the beauty of recreation and presentation of the same imagination. You can definitely argue that text provide you with a wider canvas of imagination while film cages you on a few forced set of frames and time that is purely the imagination of the creator. Well, I accept that fact. But the reach of the visuals and characters you see on screen have a greater impact on Human mind in comparison to his vague or vivid imagination. For example, today everybody sees Jesus Christ with a specific look in their prayers, which is purely the vision of an artist. If he wouldn’t have been done this task, we all might have had more scope of imagining him in different looks. In fact I remember, in my childhood, after watching the epic serial Mahabharatha by B. R. Chopra telecasted in India by national channel DD and UK by BBC, there were a lot many people who used to identify Sri Krishna by the look and smile of actor Nitish Bharadwaj.

……is a journey of two ends. One end speaks of “going forward” while the other says “leave behind.” The camera caught a man riding towards his living while his co-travelers were destined to leave their lives behind. Thus for him the way forward provides with the pleasure of a smooth ride of new hope where as for them it becomes a wild and wobbly journey towards the approaching disaster. Hardly have we seen in another person’s or objects point of view and this film is a deliberate attempt to design a point of view and pain. In this journey both the gain and the pain plays equal role.
The man of this journey is acted out neatly by my friend guide and companion, Rayson. The theme music of the film is also composed by him and I ‘m sure nobody would have identified the instrument he used for this task…an empty Pepsi bottle. Undoubtedly this music brought the theme of the film by creating the confusion whether it is a music piece or the sound created by a bird’s wing. Two of my very good friends Thomas and Anand joined me as my associates in fulfilling the task of shooting…and thus becoming a very encouraging and energetic team.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

One day cockroach was sleeping on his book and he over heard someone talking….It was a conversation between I and U.
I told U, “Let’s have a new start. Let’s meet once again in life. Let’s meet at an unidentified place, on an unplanned day and an unnoticed time as two unknown people. Let’s fall in love again. Let’s call it the "Love at first sight". Let’s walk past as if we didn’t notice each other and then turn around and get caught by each other…and then pass a nasty smile. Let’s meet again at the very next day and smile again. Let’s keep meeting again and again with the same smile. Let’s talk to each other and then walk together to all the known places as if they are still unknown. Let’s figure out what looks good on each other and the way we should take. Let’s have a candle light dinner at that lone restaurant beside the beech and let me put a ring on your finger and say that I loved you since the very first day I saw you. Let me give you a kiss and tell you all that you waited to hear.”
U continued, “Yea, then let’s get married, have kids and then grow older and more older. Then one crazy day, let’s realize the fact that you have changed a lot & I have changed a lot. Let’s discover that U and I are different. Let’s feel the difference that U is not straight like I……… Let’s feel that U can never stand like I…. U can never mean anything by itself like I”
I said, “U, I know that you are not straight like me. In fact I understood this the very first moment I met you. U may not mean anything by itself like 'I', but you mean a lot to me. I knew very well that no matter whether the entire world move away from me, you definitely stand by me.”
I continued, “I don’t know whether you have ever noticed that there are 11 letters dividing you from me. I identify them as the 11 months of the year and 12th is 'U' yourself. Each one is special in its own way. They are the need of time. We need the winter and the summer, we need the day and the night ...we need the rain and the ray. Let’s grow older. As long as I and U are connected by LOVE, we don’t need to worry. Let’s forget J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S and T. Let’s come close by Love. Don’t worry; there are a million writers like cockroach who are so jobless to do this job. Let me tell you this again, ‘I love U’.”

U said, “But, then if I still feel bad for not being straight like you……….I ?”

I replied, “No problem as long as I believe that U is my beauty. I am handsome only when I'm connected to you by love. We are not living on those old days when they said “I love You”…Today they actually realized that “I love U”. Take Mr. Cockroach itself; he had written “I love U” a million times… coz he don’t want 'I' to be lone… He want U to stand by me.”

U said, “Still………….if I feel the same at some sad moment…..?”

I replied, “Let’s have a new start. Let’s meet once again in life. Let’s meet at an unidentified place on an unplanned day and an unnoticed time as two unknown people. Let’s fall in love again. Let’s call it the "Love at first sight"….”