23 September 2020 05:54 PM

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SARAH AHMAD | 18 AUGUST, 2014

Lives, Camera, Action!

Camera, Action !


Interpreting people and the gallantly tired arms which carry pieces of scrap all across to shores of dust and sand, following, passing them by, interpreting stories, whistles of which leave air pressed with smoke and descending clouds of grey, half heard, unheard, incomplete.


Interpreting lives, without a roof, on cobbled, brick laid sidewalks, in ruffled up by- lanes; beside, below, floating, invisible ones.


As I walk down this rubble, there is a sudden pause of dew, drips of rain, pacing from the skies above, colourful hoardings parading through shop windows, antiques, brass, and half embellished racks of glass, broken, tilting pieces of nonchalant days.


Delhi is being interpreted through the sights and sounds of honking cars, trucks on signs- bold and those invisible scars, playful, friendly faces, passing by ruthless limited spaces, there is the presence of green and openness, but extensions of colour, georgette and silk, woven baskets and fallen masses, entwined in markets, flowing, stopping, gasping for a sigh.


On these streets and lanes of pleas are growing stories, slipping their way through, dropping in through paint brush lines, into dramas and theatre quotes.
Films and their narratives are often passages streaming into people’s lives; broken, spoken, brutal passages of struggle and strife, or comedic journeys laden with confusion and notes of sadness among humour roles.


Film and cine clubs are finding their way into everyday art spaces of city lives, inviting the urbane into arenas of glowing screens and sparkling journeys. They are bringing stories from the old and new, a past and future, lost and loud, creating avenues of involvement in Indian and World Cinema.


A film club like Cinedarbaar, based in New Delhi, promotes the idea of a Cinephile, along with involvement from Programmers and Strategists working in the sector of art and culture. It has the quality to involve and promote films, art, culture and education at the grassroots level, involving movie-goers into a constant dialogue and discussion over film festivals and meet ups.


The Kunzum Film Club at the Kunzum Travel Cafe located in Hauz Khas New Delhi, organises filmmaking workshops and film screenings. Films like ‘A Little Poland in India’, ‘Sikander’ and ‘Frozen’, a cinematic journey through Ladakh in black and white, and many more unique tales and fables have found their rightful screen space at this Travel Cafe.

Film clubs are constantly promoting the idea of World Cinema, bringing stories from exemplary directors like Akira Kurusawa, Jean-Luc Goddard, Abbas Kiarostami, Wong Kar-Wai and Pedro Almodavar, among many.

Pieces of art, often rare in commercial Indian cinematic experiences are finding their light through these smaller film clubs. Documentaries, experiences, short films and narratives, from countries such as Iran, Italy, Japan, Spain, China and Poland have found their way into cine clubs, often highlighting the path of a collective cinematic understanding.

The Habitat Film Club at the Indian Habitat Centre, opened its filmdom doors in the year 2000, keeping cine goers engaged in film festivals and interactive sessions with directors, producers and actors such as Shyam Benegal, Amol Palekar, Shabana Azmi, Nagesh Kukoonor, among many.

The Habitat Film Club has collaborated with many film societies, distributors and bodies thus by promoting the idea of diverse cinema. The month of August brings to the fore films from India and Pakistan, such as- Bol, Ramchand Pakistani, Khuda Ke Liye and Filmistaan.

The Mocha Film Club, which started about five years ago, spread its wings across various cities in India, screening foreign language and classic films, bringing together movie enthusiasts at a sheltered space. It also promotes the idea of short films, inviting amateur filmmakers to showcase their ideas through short narratives on screen.

Interpreting people, on screen and off it, bringing them together, interpreting society, gatherings and experiences, narrating freedom, of walking in and out, interpreting stories, in filmdom lands and scattered thoughts, film clubs are creating spaces for people who would like to enjoy just another film, or for those who would like to voice their thoughts and interpret the narratives.

Across the city, through lanes and streets of gravel, are spots of imagination, indoor spaces with glowing boxes, pressed against walls of white, and a few feet apart are chapters of consistently focussed perception; watching, following, interpreting.

Catch the Stage Adaptation Film Festival, by Cinedarbaar at the American Centre Auditorium, 24 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi from August 21st-23rd.

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