Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Chaos Moksha

Yeah, its that time in the year when all of IIMA enjoys the festivities. The 4 day long cult fest Chaos Moksha is gonna be be held.
Yup lots big names gonna be performing, Strings, jal ...
and many many more events. Some online games and quizzes
so why dont you check out the website itself?

more about Drishya

Article about drishya and its founder members Chiranjeeb Mukherjee and Sunetro bannerjee in ahmedabad times today
Film buffs on a mission

A film appreciation and research club aims to make people understand that there is life beyond Bollywood with the help of cinema masterpieces like Pather Panchali, Apur Sansar....

“Cinema is not an art which films life, it is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, cinema gives to life and takes from it,” French filmmaker Jeun Luc Godard once said. Ever wondered what movies can do to you beyond entertainment? For Sunetro Banerjee, Chiranjib Mukherjee and a bunch of others, it is a medium through which they want to make a difference to the society. They are members of Drishya, a Kolkata based ‘film appreciation and research group’, that boasts of a collection of classics made by filmmakers like Luis Bunuel, Rikwik Ghatak, Aparna Sen and Ingmar Bergman. “Our primary motive is to make people understand that there is life beyond Bollywood. Cinema is a very strong medium, and masterpieces can make a big difference,” says Sunetro Banerjee, a student of film studies. Drishya was formed by a bunch of ‘movie buffs’ three years back when they realised that people living in slums of West Bengal would love to watch pure Bengali films. “We started screening movies like Pather Panchali, Apur Sansar, Meghe Dhaka Tara, The Bicycle Thief — with which the villages would easily relate to. Initially, we were very sceptical about whether the villagers will come for the screening. But they used to come in big numbers. We used to have interactive sessions with them after the screenings which made us understand their perspective,” says Banerjee. Gradually Drishya moved to bigger cities. “The problem is people are not aware that such classics are being made. And even if they are, these are not easily available on DVDs,” says Banerjee. Drishya has screened movies in the slums of Dharavi, in temples, police stations, colleges and in corporate houses across India. “We feel great when people react to the films. Once we screened The Bicycle Thief for some constables. After watching the film they were really touched and realised that sometimes circumstances lead people to commit crimes. Once, after watching a film, the slum kids of Dharavi were in tears. This is our mission. We don’t want to initiate a revolt. We just want to use the medium of cinema to raise some social issue,” he says. The group is currently in Ahmedabad for a few days and will be screening films at IIM. And they are also hoping that some well connected and generous film buffs, help them out in their mission.
(Here you see chiranjeeb on left and Sunetro on the right in this picture)

36 Chowringhee Lane

Another movie seen in the Film Fest Anachronism presented by Drishya:

I saw '36 Chowringhee Lane' a bilingual (Bengali and English) movie directed by Aparna Sen. (For her debut feature, Aparna won the Best Director award at the Indian National Film Awards. It also won the Grand Prix (the Golden Eagle) at the Manila International Film Festival.). A nice movie about an aging Anglo Indian spinster, and how her lonely life is transformed when she meets a young couple who use her house as a rendezvous point.

It touches on issues such as the lonely old people who do not have any family members living with them, to the plight of the anglo indians (and similarly Parsis), who were in held powerful positions within the government and the private sector due to their knowledge of English and higher levels of education, but with the average indian (and even the lower castes and tribals) getting more educated, how these people from the old order are slwoly but steadily getting replaced by indians in all positions. Thus leading to emigration of anglo indians to other english speaking and christian countires such as australia and canada (in search of greener pastures)
Another aspect that is well covered is the plight of people in the old age homes in india, how these people are left to die once they are old enough and no one even cares about them.

Similarly is the fate of the protagonist, Miss Violet Stoneham (Played by Shashi Kapoors late wife Jennifer Kendal), that once she is old and lonely, not only is she demoted in the school where she is a teacher, (where she si asked to teach grammar to girls in primary school instead of Shakespeare in the senior classes), but also how the couple whom she allows to spend time in her apartment (which lends name to the movie), conviniently ignore her as soo nas they get married and thus showing us how materialistic society has become.

Actually after looking at the movie i think, why do people want immortality, when u see the kind of pain old agae is. (actually why would anyone want immortality when one is at a loss how to spend a lazy sunday afternoon)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Happenings in the Dorm

Last few days have been a bit boring, not much happening in my life at IIM Ahmedabad. Well i've added the links of a few blogs that i read, and not to mention wikipedia, which helps me spend a lot of time.

whereas the other dormies are also bored and ismply killing time till the placements occur.
The favourite time pass is definitely carrom. (Which Nippo is mastering and challenging all and sundry) Here in the picture you see Ram about to strike as John (his partner) and the opponents Nippo and Bela as well as the onlooker BaLLLma® watch on. These carrom matches not only display the general lack of talent amongst IIMA students, but the conversation on the board also confirms the fact that they lack anything called as sense of humour. (Myself included)
Right now D16 first floor is becoming a procastinators paradise, with D17ers (Ram, John and even Suchitra) coming in to play with us.

The other pass time as with any indian is watchign cricket matches. The current series with pakistan being a bore with dead pitches and high scoring draws notwithstanding, here you can see the fachhas cheering for india while watching cricket.

Now as my stay in IIMA draws to a close, I wish to put up a lot of snaps and write about WIMWI and my Dormitory in general.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Films as an art form

Ahhh, term six in IIM Ahmedabad. Unlike the first year (and especially term 1 and 3) where you are over loaded with work, this term has lot of time for relaxation, and pursuing other passtimes.
Yeah so besides playing carrom, lazing around and general chit chat, we also watch movies. Though most of the movies are of the 'masala' variety, of late ive come across a few good meaningful movies, and the credit goes to the MAD (Movie A Day) club secretary Gavaskar Gadalla (aka Gava on campus)
On the server inour campus i saw a couple of Stanley Kubrick Movies, Dr. Strangelove and Clockwork Orange, of which the latter one definitely made an impression on me.
The idea of conditioning the human behaviour to avoid crime and behave well, making them behave like machines running on clockwork precision and the pitfalls of the same is a revolutionary concept.

But coming to the point, Gava has organized a film festival 'Anachronism' with help of the agency Dhrishya. Drishya is run by two gentlemen (Chiranjeeb and Sunetro) from Calcutta, who have promoted film as an art form and literature by showing some international classic movies to not only college students but also to slum children and corporates. They really promote meaningful cinema (unlike the Yash Chopra and Barjatya movies who simply have too much drama)

Though I missed the first movie, the second day there was the screening of A bout de Souffle (Breathless) a movie by Jean du Godard, which is regarded as a revolutionary film for its film making techniques, and the movie which i saw today was simply a classic. It was an Iranian movie, "Bacheha-Ye Aseman" (Children of Heaven) by Majid Majidi.
As Chiranjeeb explained before the movie screening that in monarchies and stictly religious countries like Iran where there is extreme censorship by the state, the film makers usually choose non controversial topics for their films, and this movie as the title suggests is about children. It deals around the life of a brother and sister and how much importance is there for a simple pair of shoes.
It not only describes the life of poor working class people in Teheran (which i strongly belive would be the situation in India as well) but aslo subtly comments on the political situation and the divide between the haves and the have-nots on the society.
The movie highlights the joys experienced by children over siple things, and even a pair of sneakers, which to most of us seems so trivial, makes a world of a difference to these siblings.
this Film was nominated for the best foriegn film for the Oscar awards in 1998, but unfortunately lost out to Roberto Begnini's 'Life is Beautiful' (In my honest opinion this movie is just as great if not more)

Now i also look forward to a film by Satyajit Ray and another one by Aparna Sen.
Frankly speakign i had never thought film as a part of literature, considering it more as a form of popular entertainment (given the kind of cinema is churned out in india)

Hopefully i shall have enough motivation to blog about the other movies as well, till then i hope all of you might get an opportunity to see this movie.

Note: All links provided are in wikipedia, where hopefully you might be able to read more and form your own opinions.