Wednesday, September 23, 2009
[screenings] The Year of the Swine
“F-f-first they told me to lose the stutter, now they tell me I'm not funny anymore! It's a pain in the butt being p-p-politically correct."
- Porky Pig, Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
“Whether it was the violent sharp shock of the ambulance siren outside the thin milky glass windows or the gentle rustle of the nurse’s sandals on the terracotta tiles which woke him up, he couldn’t really know but as he sublimated from the amorphous to flesh and blood between dream and dawn he saw a plump silhouette dressed in white, balanced on high heels leaving the whiteness of his room into the dark corridor beyond the door and heard the last circular strains of the music of the siren snake beyond the glass further outside the reach of his ear. Coming together in half-lucid wakefulness, he felt the bed-prison contraption of hard foam and steel chains within which he had been trapped for the last nine days pull and anchor his body and soul back into rigid stasis. He moaned the end of his dreams and freedom as the dreaded word ‘quarantine’ rose in his head and the walls seemed to close in blinding him in a blaze of sedate white. ‘Is there an end to this?’ He prayed for the apocalypse to end his misery when his memory got better of the dry white room and drifted into the liquid sphere of memory and beauty. ‘There she lies’. He turned his head as far as it could go and from the corner of his eye, he saw her, trapped and tied just like he was. From all the angle he could achieve he could see only her glorious sculpted feet. The word ‘chrysanthemums’ rose in his head. His heart went into ache and longing. And just then, as if he made an unwarranted indiscretion, he was reminded of the roving camera eye that stared at them from the walls. They were always watching, always listening, making sure in a manner most clinical that there would be no inkling of a disturbance. All the unseen eyes, the walls, the white, the emptiness- all descended upon him with cold wrath. ‘Damn them. To hell with them.’ He closed his eyes and with all the soul he had, gently folded his toes at her in the greatest of hope. He looked back at her. The beautiful feet lay quiet and still in the big empty white room. ‘What a fool I am? What was I thinking?’ And then, it moved. She moved. Ever so slightly, ever so slowly, each toe on her marble feet began to curl and bloom. And he was reminded of Yeats. ‘With the earth and the sky and the water/ remade, like a casket of gold/ For my dreams of your image that blossoms/ a rose in the deeps of my heart.’
- Margaux Rollin, Like a 30th Century Man
The dreaded Swine flu is very much the forgotten news of yesterday but at Bangalore Film Society we have developed an unhealthy obsession with the events that followed the outbreak and have formed a firm belief that it needs further contemplation and thought, if not as a comment on modern life then only to send it off with a blast. The fear and loathing thrown up by the epidemic was no mean spectacle and for a few weeks, the city and the world went about it’s business looking very much like something from Romero’s ‘The Crazies’. So bring out those masks and turn up for the weekend when BFS ever so proudly presents three days of reflection, celebration and the macabre in ‘The Year of the Swine’.
Friday 25th September, 2009 Time: 6.30pm
Dead Ringers (116min/Canada) Dir: David Cronenberg
The very fact that the apocalyptic filmography of David Cronenberg, one of the greatest directors of our time, acquires increasing importance and seems uncannily prophetic does not bode well for our times. ‘Dead Ringers’, regarded by many as the very best of Cronenberg’s strange and brilliant visions, chronicles a bizarre true tale of two identical twin brothers and their obsession with a disturbed woman. A tale of addiction, love, madness, identity and a meditation on the frailty of the human body in times like the one we live in, ‘Dead Ringers’ swept the Critics Association Awards before being typically and unfairly side-lined at the Oscars and features a great performance by thespian Jeremy Irons as the brothers Mantle.
Saturday 26th September, 2009 Time: 6.15pm
The Kingdom Pt-1 (140min/Denmark) Dir: Lars Von Trier
Enfant terrible, egoist, mad man, amateur, prankster, auteur- the films of Lars Von Trier have always had critics and spectators sitting on the fences, fuelling raging unending bouts of dialogue and debate. Never one to heed the sign over the red button that says ‘Do Not Push’, Mr. Von Trier is the ace rabble rouser and we at BFS have conceded to let his eccentric film-making take over our programming and for the first time in our three decades of existence, we’re proud to present an acclaimed television mini-series in two parts, over two days. Von Trier’s ‘The Kingdom’ premiered in 1994 in Denmark and became a television event like never before, acquiring acclaim and a fevered following across the globe. A satirical, farcical, macabre story set within the confines of The Kingdom Hospital- a site of strange happenings, Mr. Von Trier can be found in all his magnificently crazed element.
Sunday 27th September, 2009 Time: 6.15pm
The Kingdom Pt- 2 (93min/Denmark) Dir: Lars Von Trier
What is the secret of the ambulance? Will the evil doctor Dr. Helmer get his due? Will the spirits that roam the confines of the Kingdom Hospital be put to rest? Is there redemption in store for the doctors and inmates? Will there be a consensus on the mad Mr. Von Trier? Watch and find out. Part 2 of The Kingdom. The Grand Finale.
Th-th-th-that's all, folks!
Venue: Ashirvad, 30, St. Mark's Road cross, Op. State Bank of India
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.)
(Indebted in no small measure to the very evil Madame L.)