Tuesday, March 9, 2010

[screenings] But Beautiful

“His whistle died upon the stiff air of the room; he walked cautiously another step nearer the window with a sudden impression that she was beautiful. ...He watched her for several minutes.”

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and The Damned

“ Love is funny, or it's sad,
Or it's quiet, or it's mad.
It's a good thing, or it's bad,
But beautiful...”

- Jimmy Van Heusen, But Beautiful

Right about now, things are beginning to get real complicated. The distinguished Mr. Freud enquired only to pass, Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA, who yawns cosmic mysteries and truths about the infinite nature of things confirmed that it was beyond his genius, Einstein declared he’d rather pick his violin and we reached Plato’s room at the Hotel Acropolis only to find a sign- Do Not Disturb (Mē mou tous kyklous taratte )! Admittedly, the question was a bit vague to begin with, imported as it were from across many and various bar tables all across. The keen connoisseurs of the affairs of the heart seemed to be caught in eternal speculation without knowing a semblance of a question, let alone something of an answer. Consider, for example, and we propose- A x B. If A indicates a man and B a woman, what in the scheme of this is ‘x’ and why is everyone talking about ‘y’? The conversations amble through vistas- one conjuring up rain-soaked moody platforms of Hemingway where last, long goodbyes were being said, others invoking the quirk of Salinger’s heartbreaking muckle-mouths- the one that got away, another traversed F. Scott’s terrestrial distances of longing, and yet another launched into the snatches of warmth nestled under the sweaters, as Pynchon was apt to say. The design was pure Nabokov and the music was jazz. But the question remains, as it were. But beautiful.

This weekend, Bangalore Film Society proposes the same confounding question and promises that there is really, no answer. But we highly recommend you join the fun as we have none other than the eternal Jean-Luc Godard, new-auteur-on-the-scene Hong Sang-Soo and the original Mr. Howard Hawks playing their hearts out for three days over a single weekend. Proudly presenting on the 12th, 13th and 14th March, 2010- ‘But Beautiful’.

Friday 12th March, 2010 Time: 6.30pm
A Woman is A Woman (1961/85min) Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

If ever a film had all the delirium and whimsy and color of candy, it has to be maestro Jean-Luc Godard’s self-described paradox ‘a neo-realist musical’- ‘A Woman is A Woman’. Coming right after his cinemascape-altering debut ‘Breathless’, this techicolor spectacular not just confirmed Godard’s genius for sure but launched muse, collaborator and partner- the iconic Anna Karina as the goddess of the silver screen, a sensation like no other. A film running on sheer exuberance, comic absurdity and wit, a heartfelt tribute and enquiry into the Hollywood musicals of the Golden Era, ‘A Woman is a Woman’ tells the classic tale of a woman caught in between her lover and her best friend but like you’ve never seen it before. Winner of Best Actress and Special Jury Award at the Berlinale ’61, the film is an experience and an unforgettable one.

Saturday 13th March, 2010 Time: 6.30pm
Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors (2000/126min) Dir: Hong Sang-Soo

One of the most distinct voices of the Korean New Wave that swept that festivals and the art-houses from the early 2000s, Director Hong Sang-Soo was perhaps the most understated and therefore, under seen. His witty chronicles of neurotic urban lives however has increasingly found acceptance and he has finally graduated from a talent to be watched out for to a distinguished auteur. Increasingly compared to the likes of Hsiao-hsien Hou, Aki Karusmaki and Eric Rohmer and yet uniquely his own, Sang-Soo is definitely a class apart as can be seen from ‘Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors’, a tale of modern courtship and love and consequences. A Nine-part film in 2 parts and what that means has to be seen to be believed, ‘Virgin’ is the first Sang-Soo to be screened by BFS and we promise, more is to follow.

Sunday 14th March, 2010 Time: 6.30pm
Bringing Up Baby (1938/102min) Dir: Howard Hawks

And BFS makes good on its promises. Earlier this year, we had promised some Howard Hawks and here it is and it is right up there with the very best. ‘Bringing up Baby’ is a prime example of ‘the screwball comedy’. So we have esteemed archeologist David Huxley who is awaiting the delivery of the ‘intercostal clavicle’ that would complete the Brontosaurus skeleton he has spent his life assembling. He is also about to get married to certain uptight lil woman named Alice Swallow and charm the old Mrs. Random who has promised a million dollars to his museum. Trouble arrives in the form Susan Vance, a hard-headed woman if there was any and her pet leopard Baby that her brother Mark has sent over from Brazil. And then… it gets crazier, absurder, weirder, surreal, mad-cap and laugh-out-loud-funnier at a rate where it is almost impossible to keep pace. Snappy dialogue, Insane Slapstick, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, RKO Studios- this is Hollywood and Hawks at their finest moments.

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


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