Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day for Night
A good friend from Hexaware once said, “Never let an Army man open his mouth about War or Army life and Arun about Cinema or MCC life. I’m saving you from a big trouble”. Well, dear friend, I can understand your feelings… but, it’s tuff for both me and my beloved companion (comparison) not to talk about our passion and identity. Well, Cinema was always been my love of life and MCC (Madras Christian College)…my life of love.
Having said this, you can imagine what could be the situation when MCC invite such a person for a Film Review and Talk on Cinema. Well, you are free to enquire with the victims of such a destiny…the young and energetic Film Club from MCC, REELITY BITES and the audience of the session. It happened last week…and from heart guys…you made my day. I was asked to review the French film “Day for Night” directed by celebrated filmmaker Francois Truffaut who triggered the French New Wave Movement in cinema. It was a moment of nostalgia and pride, for a very normal Heber Hall guy who used to envy ex-mccians, coming as guests for various events, during his college days. Thanks for Reelity Bites especially Alan and both the Sachins, faculties and students of Department of Communication, Department of Journalism and each and everyone who attended the was undoubtedly one the most beautiful moments I cherish for this life time.
I reached much early to the event time and kept roaming inside the campus reading the changes, tree by tree…plant by plant. Finally at the Selaiyur hall guest room I met, Alan and Sachin standing in a sad mood. With a tone of apology Sachin said “So sorry, we tried our best to campaign this.” As I walked into the room, I could see more empty seats and few dull faces. I said “Guys, I know you did your best. Neither wasn’t I expected a great crowd. Film is a very responsible affair and I am happy if I find at least one or two who genuinely feel it true. So let’s start…” But as the session went on, seats started filling in and after the event, Alan said “It was awesome, guess what, this time we had lot many people and a few ppl had to go back coz of lack of space.” Three Cheers to Truffaut.
He was called the “Gravedigger of French Film” for his brutal and unforgiving criticism of cinema and was banned from Cannes Film Fest in the year 1958. Ironically the same “Gravedigger” was recognized as the Best Director by the same Fest for his film “The 400 Blows” in 1959, accepting his grammar of cinema a new identity for the fantasy and reality captured on Silver Nitrate. Francois Truffaut’s article “A Certain Trends in French Cinema” published in the year 1954, Cahiers du Cinema magazine, still stand as the backbone of Auther Theory. (I never had a chance to read it)
Auther Theory says that a Director’s Film reflect that director’s personal vision, as if he or she were the primary “Auther” (Author). Another key element of Auther theory comes from Alexandre Astruc’s (French Film Critic and Filmmaker) notion of the camera-stylo or “camera pen” and the idea that directors should wield their camera like writers use their pens and they need not hindered by traditional storytelling. (courtsy Wikipedia).
“Day for Night”(1974, La Nuit Americaine in French ) is considered to be one of Truffaut’s greatest films. This film along with his “The 400 Blows”(1959) were listed among the top 100 best films of this century by Time magazine. Day for Night also won the 1974 BAFTA Award for best film and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. ‘Nuit Americane’or American Night is a technical process whereby sequences shot during the daytime are made to appear as if they are taking place at night.
As the director himself said - Many a times it’s not the story of film but the whole process of its making becomes the best experience of film. In “Day for Night”, Truffaut introduce us a film crew in the process of shooting a film called “Meet Pamila” (with lot of high expectations) and there goes lot of funny-crazy-wild moments in the process of fulfilling it. “Day for Night” starts with the first day of shoot and ends with the last day of it. We meet a lot of interesting characters from the Director of the film to the producer to the actors to the line controller’s wife, all speaking their own ethics. The film keep on ‘asking as well as thinking’ the question, whether or not movies are more important than life of those who make it.
Assistant girl says “I can DITCH a guy for film but not the film for a guy.”
Director says “Finally what is important is THE FILM.”
Producer says, “COMPROMISE with the pregnant secretary.”
Art Director says, “That task is not in my CALL SHEET.”
Insurance guy says, “Just FINISH it by this time”.
Etc etc….and…
Truffaut says “This is THE END of films like ‘Meet Pamila’. Lets shoot films on roads, streets…etc..etc"
As the film got over, I discovered an intelligent set of viewers open for discussion. Guys I really mean it, I was surprised to see you all staying back after the film to share your thoughts. Believe me, it is a difficult task even in a Film Fest to make the crowd glued to the seats after one and a half hour of film show for a fruitful discussion on the same. I was lucky to have a THINKING CROWD.I triggered the discussion with the comment “Now that was ‘Day for Night’, Guys...I guess in filmmaking we have solutions for everything but not in personal life. So what would you think is or life? ” The response was great, with some people supporting 'cinema' and some the 'life'...But in you all what I felt was....a set of responsible social beings.
Proud to see sensible-strong-intelligent MCCians who trusts the Art of cinema above loving the Art of cinema. Proud to see u admiring the PASSION of cinema than mere PROFESSION of cinema. And Three Cheers to Reelity Bites. Keep going. All the best.
Btwn thanks for that cute gift. I liked the logo of MCC on that.


sansmerci said...

OMG! u actually went to college for a guest lecture!!!!!!!! damn arun m F^*&^#) proud to b ur friend.. next time u go.. plz tell them ur my friend :D

and after readin this m jus dyin to see college .. the very thought of it bringing tears to my eyes.. MCC and my days amd friends from there are the freakin best ever of my life... no doubt bout it!

Cockroach said...

Hooy that wasn't a guest lecture n all. U can call it a Thought Sharing event. I enjoyed being in college talking the subject i love.

Yea, u r rite. It was too nostalgic. Especially when I went to my room in heber hall. Huh. That was my heaven. I don't feel that homely even at my own home.

Jeethu said...

Da why dont u mention my name and some of famous words that i told u ,,, mention somewhere in ur blog.did u forget our Josephs Degree College.Thats BADDDDDDD!!!!

Nee ennada cockroach aayathu.

Hard to believe that its been doin by our old ARUN BOSS

Cockroach said...

Hi buddy,

Good to c u afta long time. Yea, u r rite. I must ve written something abt u in my blog...Do u really mean it...he he ;). I have a book of stories abt u n Sri-Lakshmi boys hostel in Hyd...What u say?

Warm regards,