Tuesday, March 17, 2009

[screenings]Baby It's You

"Always I wanted to see Catherine."

- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“Before I fell in love with cinema itself, I fell in love with the women in cinema. It was almost as if through my obsession with these flickering divas of the silver screen that I unknowing and teenaged and repressed by all things puritanical, discovered purely by primordial instinct the beauty, the transgression, the sheer power of the cinematic medium. Countless explanations can be provided as to why an art so blatantly manufactured can move us to our very souls but what can explain a boy on the cusp of adulthood spending whole days and nights etching those glorious, celestial names ‘Madhuri’, ‘Sridevi’, ‘Urmila’ on reams and reams of paper in every font his mind can imagine, like he had bet his life on it. Even then, in my adolescent mind, I knew that this addiction to the cinema, which I would hear later as called ‘cinephilia’, was one of extremes- happiness or anguish, delight or misery. I would come across many luminous creatures of the screen- Moreau, Huppert, Dietrich, Garbo, Monroe, Farrow, Delpy, Argento who would haunt not only my thoughts and dreams but I would hopelessly try to find them in the women I meet in elevators, malls, dentist’s waiting rooms, bookstores, cafes. It is a habit that has bought me only pain and misery. But of the wide spectrum of pain and meaninglessness of the world, this is by far, the finest.

Coquettish, courageous, sensuous, witty, suicidal, psychopathic… these women will always be mine. Always and never.”

- The Cinephile Tapes

Bangalore Film Society calls it one for the ladies and presents a weekend of three great films by masters Eric Rohmer, Mike Leigh and Quentin Tarantino as they obsess over and finally, pay tribute to the eternal muse, the goddess, the feminine. From 20th to 22nd March, 2009, BFS presents ‘Baby It’s You’.

Friday 20th March, 2009 Time: 6.30pm

An Autumn Tale (107min/1998/France) Dir: Eric Rohmer

All through his long and distinguished career, New Wave veteran Eric Rohmer has with uncanny subtlety etched some of the most complex and memorable heroines in the history of cinema- Suzanne, Pauline, Maud, Chloe. In ‘An Autumn Tale’ heralded by critics and fans as a late-career masterpiece, the French auteur reunites with two of his frequent collaborators, actresses Marie Reviere and Beatrice Romand each of whom put in delightful performances as a pair of childhood friends, one a widowed winegrower and the other a happily married bookshop owner. When the married woman decides to choose her friend a suitable companion through a lonely hearts ad, Rohmer with trademark delicacy chronicles the bittersweet human comedy. ‘An Autumn Tale’ was suitably awarded for the Best Original Screenplay at Venice Film Fest 98’ and in 2000, for Best Foreign Film by the National Society for Film Critics, USA.

Saturday 21st March, 2009 Time: 6.30pm

Happy-Go-Lucky (118min/2008/UK) Dir: Mike Leigh

When Director Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky premiered at the 2008 Berlinale, it caused much confusion among critics and audiences alike. The director, renowned for his dark, uncompromising bruisers like Naked and All or Nothing, had served up a seemingly lightweight, slice-of-life dramedy about a carefree, generally cheerful 30year old elementary school teacher named ‘Poppy’ as she goes through life without any major turning points or conflicts. It was only later, almost in retrospect that the courage and resilience of the film and its eponymous title character acquired perspective and depth. In these times of gloom and irony, Mike Leigh had made a film that dared to defy it all- an unironic, unsentimental, uncontrived and glorious paean to the pursuit of happiness and life itself. Lead actress Sally Hawkins won the Silver Bear and the Golden Globe, the film swept the National Society of Film Critics, USA awards and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for the Academy Awards 2009.

Sunday 22nd March, 2009 Time: 6.30pm

Death Proof (114min/2007/USA) Dir: Quentin Tarantino

“A girl and a gun,” said Godard when asked about the fundamentals of making a movie. Tarantino replaces the gun with a classic muscle car and revs up the engine for the ultimate crash-bang-and-splatter-a-go-go Grindhouse experience. Borrowing the basic template from countless B-grade revenge fantasies that fuelled his adolescent video-store cinephile fantasies Tarantino drafts the absolute tribute not just to ‘B’ cinema but to the brave, courageous and frequently voluptuous women that populated its warped, seamy scapes. Tarantino‘s masterstroke is that he not just lovingly restores the dignity of a forgotten often undermined yet hugely influential sub-genre (Scorsese, Demme are among those who owe a debt) but in the kind of film where woman plays mostly screaming victims, he plays out a terrific, triumphant role-reversal. Amazing performances, chewable dialogue, spectacular stunts, jaw dropping car chases- all set to the cool vibes of a superior soundtrack. Its one helluva ride. 500% Tarantino. Nominated for the Palm D’Or, Cannes 2007.

Venue: Ashirvad, 30, St. Mark's Road cross, Op. State Bank of India



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