Tuesday, July 21, 2009

[screenings] Strange Circus

“The song was about the lost towns of the north and a woman’s eyes. Before I went outside to throw up, I asked them whether the eyes were Casarea Tinajero’s. Belano and Lima looked at me and said that I was clearly a visceral realist already and that together we would change Latin American poetry. At six in the morning I took another pesero, this time by myself, which brought me to Colonia Landavista, where I live. Today I didn’t go to class. I spent the whole day in my room writing poems.”

- November 3, 1975 at the Encrucijada Veracruzana Bar, Roberto Bolano, The Savage Detectives

“In her time ol’ Grandma Adair was an institution in herself, this side of the river where the land is all swamp, men and women alike toil barefoot trying to get the damn land to spill yield that will carry them through the dry spell of winter and the air runs thick as syrup on moon-lit summer nights. Ever since Papa Adair took off on one of those sticky summer nights with the neighbor’s Swedish wife (“A veritable venus fly trap. I’m just happy to be rid of her,” said the neighbor Mr. Jones) never to be seen again, Grandma Adair after setting fire to all that remained of her erstwhile husband (clothes, photographs, boots, his collection of army funnybooks et al.) turned his garage into one of finest ‘moonshine’ whiskey breweries the state had ever seen. With a barrel of sweet molasses and some fruit concentrate, she brewed a brand of magic so full and potent that even the hardest man in town would not resist a shed tear, one that contained a time long gone when the world was carefree and innocent. Resident Frenchman Mr. Cinque remembers, ‘There was something of Miss Adair in those concoctions- raw, angry, sensual and full of a kind of longing.’ Then one day a black man carrying a guitar walks into her garage, introduced himself as,’ Lead Belly, Blues man’ and ordered a glass of her finest. Five glasses down he opened his guitar case pulled out the most beautiful, slick, wooden guitar in the world and began to play. “He played young love, stolen kisses, freight trains, cotton fields, of conmen and hustlers, of fog horns and loneliness, he played out a kind of life and it played out like the heavens had opened up over our little town,” said Grandma Adair, ‘I still remember that night. In towns like ours, the nights always seemed to howl. But that night was different. That night the town went dreamy and the breeze blew soft and tender. It was also the night when my brother Louie ‘Legs’ Adair became the first man to break out of the state penitentiary in a wheelchair. I asked him how he broke out but all he said was that he looked out the window and followed the music and the moonshine all the way home’.”

- Angie Adair, The Memoirs of Family X

In the words of Elvis Presley- we have rhythm and baby we have it all over us. This weekend, Bangalore Film Society in collaboration with PassionForCinema.com are proud to present ‘Strange Circus’- three days of that perfect collusion of time, space, music and cinema- a combination that is bonafide potent delirium. The greatest of artists as seen, remembered and captured by great film-makers. This time it’s, Be there or be……

Friday 24th July, 2009 Time: 6.30pm

Don’t Look Back (1967/96min) Dir: D.A. Pennebaker

D. A Pennebaker almost got there in 1967 and never has it happened ever since. Not even the great Scorsese or Todd Haynes could come any closer. No one could capture Bob Dylan’s mystical, mercurial personality on cinema ever but Pennebaker came the closest and in the process elevated the rockumentary to an art form. His fly-on-the-wall camera (Godard called him one of the greatest cinematographers ever) captures images, scenes and performances of Dylan and his posse that went down in history as seminal stuff. And somewhere among it all, is the truth about Bob Dylan.

Saturday 25th July, 2009 Time: 6.45pm

Leaving Home (2009/114min) Dir: Jaideep Verma

Indian Ocean is a phenomenon. That they’ve been together all these years and have always come up with music and performances that border on sheer ecstasy is a paean to their amazing and total dedication to the art. Director Jaideep Verma, who last year gave us the zanily great yet regrettably underrated cult flick ‘Hulla’ now chronicles the amazing story of four guys who have stuck together, made it together and have together come up with some of the greatest contemporary tunes. ‘Leaving Home’ features the band, the music and family, their collaborators and friends- an eclectic group featuring Prannoy Roy, Nandita Das, Anurag Kashyap among others. ‘Leaving Home’ is that rarest beast of Indian Filmmaking- a full feature length music documentary. And a great one at that.

Sunday 26th July, 2009 Time: 6.15pm

The Blues Brothers (1980/130min) Dir: John Landis

Ladies & Gentlemen, from Rock Island Island, Illinois introducing Elwood and ‘Joilet’ Jake Blues… the Blues Brothers. The Fabulous John Landis and his jiving crew put on a show that will have you tapping your feet until you can’t tap anymore. James ‘Soul Brother No.1’ Brown, John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and whole host of others team up with the Blues Brothers for one big bonanza… a blues carnival that will have laughing, singing, dancing all the way back home. After all- everybody needs somebody to love. A perennial BFS favorite. In the immortal words of Mr. T- we don’t screen the Blues Brothers, WE SCREAM THE BLUES BROTHERS.

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



(Members whose membership has expired are requested to kindly renew their membership.)

(Forever indebted to Jaideep Verma, Oz and Mr.T)




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