Tuesday, December 16, 2008
[screenings] Love, Peace & Cinema
‘Who then shall call thy conduct into question? who blame thee for thy visionary hours, or denounce those occupations as a wasting away of life, which were but the overflowing of thine everlasting energies?’
- Edgar Alan Poe, The Visionary or the Assignation
‘Oh yes, the cinema’
- Director Gus Van Sant exults when asked what ‘phase of his career’ he had entered with his latest film ‘Milk’
It may not mean anything but you could do worse. Much worse.
366 days and it seems, one extra second. 2008. The year dawns to a close. The best of it will be acknowledged. The worst of it will be remembered. Tag it with a catchphrase and enter it into an encyclopedia. Annus Horribilis. The New Great Depression. Fear and Loathing in a Globalized World. And of course, dd.mm.yy is the format followed to remember and streamline the great human tragedies. 2008 will be dissected, probed, analyzed through every prism- political, economic, religious & fashion-and-accessories. Future trends are spotted. The necessity for immediate war/invasion/plunder is debated. Stocks vs Mutual Funds. Nuclear vs Hydroelectric vs the Great Indian Tiger. And of course, khadi is in.
Bangalore Film Society decides to call it a year by taking away all prisms for once. Atleast now, right now, as of now, enough of all that.
Bangalore Film Society would like to thank all of its members and well-wishers for standing together by us and is proud to present 3 modern classics in the year-end screenings- ‘Love, Peace & Cinema’.
Happy New Year
All films start at 6.15pm
December, 2008 Time: 6.15pm
Being There (130min/1979/Color) Dir: Hal Ashby
It’s been 30 years since this movie was released and 20 years this December 27th since director Hal Ashby left us all-too-early. Starting out as a editor for Norman Jewison classics like ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ and ‘The Cincinnati Kid’, Ashby made his debut with the acclaimed 70s-time-capsule ‘The Landlord’ before making his first classic- the brilliant ‘Harold & Maude’. Being There’ is Ashby’s 7th film and whether it is his greatest is a matter of debate, obvious in a filmography like his, but what remains is that it is a film like no other and we at the BFS are among its biggest fans. ‘Being There’ is a tale/a modern fable/a satire of a man who has never ventured outside his employer’s mansion since the day he was born. All that he has ever learnt, he has picked up from TV. When his employer’s death forces him into the outside world for the first time, his journey takes him from the streets of Washington DC straight into the corridors of power. Beautifully directed, featuring one of Peter Seller’s greatest ever performances, influencing the likes of contemporary masters Wes Anderson & Sofia Copolla, ‘Being There’ is sublime cinema.
Saturday 20th December, 2008 Time: 6.15pm
Silent Light (135min/2007/Color) Dir: Carlos Reygadas
With ‘Silent Light’, Mexican director Carlos Reygadas proved himself as one of the greatest artists working in contemporary cinema. Comparisons were drawn to the greatest of the greats- Tarkovsky, Dreyer, Bresson and Bergman. ‘Silent Light’ is the kind of film that one comes across but once in a decade. It is a searing beatific vision. Reygadas has set his film in the spare agrarian Mexican landscape that is home to the Mennonites, a secluded indigenous community who choose to follow a way of life untouched by the modern. Even to this day, they have never even seen a common appliance like the Television. Negotiating with the community and casting non-actors, Reygadas narrates the simple tale of a married farmer in an adulterous relationship which leads to a spiritual crisis and a disillusion with God. Humane, moving, poetic, ‘Silent Light’ is made of mysterious stuff that makes life itself. Winner of Jury Prize, Cannes 2007.
Sunday 21st December, 2008 Time: 6.15pm
Be Kind Rewind (105min/2008/Color) Dir: Michel Gondry
Suddenly this year, when so much of film writing is speculating over the ‘films of the coming depression’ and calling out for another ‘What a Wonderful Life’, what they failed to notice was that French whiz-kid and pop-maestro Michel Gondry had already been at it and the result was the joyous, Capra-esque, funny, tragic, beautiful ‘Be Kind Rewind’. Set in a dead-end small town with ghettos and junkyards and dying mama-papa establishments and toxic electric plants, Godry reinvents cinema escapism and magic for our day and age. In an effort to save a dying VHS rental shop two store-assistants Jerry (The GREAT GREAT Jack Black) and Mike pick up their camcorders and with some gauze, some tape, some cardboard, some of the craziest improv performances ever committed to the screen and a whole lotta contagious, infectious fun recreate Hollywood blockbusters in their own backyards and kitchens. Gondry not just critiques the modern that destroys the past and builds it back in cheap plastic, but places a faith in escapist cinema that has hardly been seen for some time- he believes it will bring us together.Hooray to that!
To Love, Peace & Cinema.
Venue: Ashirvad, 30, St. Mark's Road cross, Op. State Bank of India
Tel: 2549 2774/ 2549 3705
ADMISSION FOR FILMS FOR MEMBERS ONLY. NON-MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED TO ARRIVE 15 MINS EARLY AND REGISTER.
(Members whose membership has expired are requested to kindly renew their membership)