Tuesday, February 16, 2010

[screenings] Rituals of a Soul Gypsy

“Perhaps my childhood has not vanished after all. It is true I have virtually not a single memory from that time, but perhaps my memory is only out of sight, like the watercourses in the desert. It has survived by disappearing from the surface and still runs in the depths, where I am headed.”

- Sven Lindqvist, Desert Divers

The terminally romantic take up permanent residence within the city of Vertigo. Life for them is all about standing in the cold gothic alleys in long black coats trying to get a cool cigarette lit against the wind. But few, the weary, women and men who have made a difficult peace with the chaos and absence of regular logic, they move on. The quest is the same, it is they who have been transformed. One is still in search of key of the ineffable mystery which once drew them to the city but in time the romanticism that once buffeted and even damned them has given away and over so many encounters, scars, broken bottles, torn paper, piled up ashtrays- the wreckage of the romantics- has tired them down to the bones. They now have to stock up and bear the fragility and the weight of being human. The land beyond where they now seek to venture is no place for their flesh. They stand in queues, check their bodies in at an abandoned locker room and venture out. No tokens are given. A meaningless ritual abolished long back before anyone can even remember.

Bangalore Film Society invites you to the outer limits in the company of three masters who have boldly gone where few have gone before. This coming weekend we’re dealing exclusively in the abstracts and settling for nothing less than the sublime. Proudly Presenting ‘Rituals of a Soul Gypsy’, three films, three masters, three days.

And there was light.

Friday 19th February, 2010 Time: 6.30pm

Heart of Glass (1976/94min) Dir: Werner Herzog

If one is looking to explore the great beyond; madman, eccentric impresario, auteur-par-excellence and all time BFS favorite Werner Herzog would seem to be a most reasonable choice for a guide. ‘Heart of Glass’ marks a critical departure (to be read as ‘a descent into further madness’) in the master’s film-making and has now gone down in cinema history as nothing less than canonical. The events in the movie take place in a tiny Bavarian village which is gripped by a kind of collective insanity when the man who runs the local glassworks dies without revealing the secret of the ‘Ruby Glass’. In a typical Herzogian scheme, the actors who performed in the front of the camera were first subjected to Hypnosis and a constant trance-like state was induced. The rest was taken care of by Herzog regulars, the sublime work of cinematographer Jorg Schmidt Reitwein and the haunting score by Krautrock band Popol Vuh.

Saturday 20th February, 2010 Time: 6.30pm

The Passenger (1975/120min) Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

A.K.A ‘Profession: Reporter’, this swooningly soulful and masterfully superior work by the great Antonioni has by the fate that befalls to some of the greatest films, not gathered as much traction and attention as it most rightfully deserves. An existential chronicle of a reporter who finds a dead body in a hotel room in Saharan Africa and switches identities and cruises around exotic Europe, it is dense as any film wrought in the master’s gaze but as compared to the more popular ‘Blow-Up’, what moves ‘The Passenger’ in the realm of the sublime is its soul and what a beautiful gloriously weary soul to behold! The film stars the legendary Jack Nicholson at his most poignant, recalling not the wild wolf rebel as he is popular but his more quieter, gentler, deeper roles like the disaffected Robert Dupea in ‘Five Easy Pieces’. Joining him is Maria Schneider and she is made of dreams. Nominated for Palm D’Or, Cannes 75’.

Sunday 21st February 2010 Time: 6.30pm

Gandahar (1988/83min) Dir: Rene Laloux

At BFS we disapprove of ‘Avatar’. The only thing it ever came and did was raise our ticket prices to new levels of obnoxiousness. (Rs. 300/- deposit?) Good cinema it was not and to make a good case of it we’re proud to screen our first Rene Laloux, an institution in animated film and a surrealist master. A simple tale of a blue-colored harmonious tribe invaded and colonized by a technocratic society, the Lalouxian image is at once familiar and whimsically bizarre. ‘Gandahar’ was the director’s final film and after several years of lying bowdlerized in a Hollywood vault is finally out on DVD and the beauty and imagination supreme can once again be glimpsed in full pristine glory, proving once again that sublimity can sometimes be real kidstuff.

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


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1 comment:

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