Theatre plays, festivals and films
Theatre Plays, Festivals and Films. It is that time of the year when Jagran Film Festival is in the news and this time the festival theme is ‘Cinema...
It is that time of the year when Jagran Film Festival is in the news and this time the festival theme is ‘Cinema of the Uprising’-films that show the strife and struggles of human beings
Nandita Das introduced the concept of Theatre Film with her new play ‘Between The Lines’ and yesterday I watched a documentary on a dancer introduced as Theate Play by Vikalp. Conceived and shot by Sumantra Ghoshal ‘Unseen Sequences’ is a journey of a dancer Malavika Sarukkai - an artist rooted in tradition but with a uniquely contemporary sensibility - one of India’s most profound classical arts, Bharatanatyam, is being re-interpreted, renewed and invigorated. The film is not simply about Malavika Sarukkai; it deliberates the valuable connections and departures that the artist makes from a hallowed and often, unforgiving tradition. Today, even as she impresses her footprint on the world stage as a celebrated Bharatanatyam dancer, Malavika finds herself making increasingly personal choices about how she wishes to lead that life.
Ghosal has made over 750 commercials, produced and directed a three and half-hour documentary on the tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, a shorter version ‘The Speaking Hand’ toured internationally to great acclaim. In 2002 Sumantra and his partner, Ram Madhvani, co-produced India’s first commercially released digital film ‘Let’s Talk’, Ghosh was the cameraman on the film and in 2005 he shot the documentary on Amitabh Bachchan – ‘The Everlasting Light’. He produced/directed a series of six films celebrating various artists for the Indian Foundation for the Arts followed by a second series in 2011. ‘Those Ten Weeks’ produced, directed and shot by him as a prelude to his latest work ‘The Unseen Sequence’ which was completed after two years of extensive filming and is a documentary exploring Bharatanatyam through the art of Malavika Sarukkai.
The old guards had said that a time will come when lines will dissolve between all performing art and the time has come. Rupesh Tillu an MFA in Physical Comedy from The National School of Dramatic Arts has always believed in experimentation and innovation. After a bachelor’s degree in commerce and economics from Mumbai University, Tulli rose to fame at the Stockholm Fringe Festival 2012, followed by a Special Jury Award- Best of Prague Fringe Festival 2013. Now back to India his home ground, he is here to experiment in theatre with Shakespeare’s works. ‘The tragedy of Madbeth’ a story of one man, one throne, one crown, is one hilariously tragic experience where three witches meet with Beth and Banquo and together they narrate a story. Inspired by Shakespeare's classic ‘Macbeth’ the play dissolves space between the observer and the performer. The performance is a combination of slapstick, acrobatics, mime, songs and improvisations and most important only 75 minutes in duration. Says Rupesh “When I worked hard, people wanted me to work harder, now I just play and they pay me.”
Experiments have multiplied in Gujarati theatre too. ‘Haji Ek Varta’ penned by five renowned writers and exploring marital relationships display myriad emotions. Some laced with light-hearted banter, some reflective and poignant and some reliving the innocence of friendship before the world became polluted and divided by narrow domestic walls of communal riots and other discriminations. The five stories traveling the tapestry of marriage are written by Jyotinder Dave, Bakul Tripathi, Saroj Pathak and Moti Prakash. Conceived and directed by Abhinay Banker it is an Aarambh Arts Academy Presentation. Scenes from a marriage are always interesting and when performed up close all the more.
It is that time of the year when Jagran Film Festival is in the news and this time the festival theme is ‘Cinema of the Uprising’ so films that show the strife and struggles of human beings, social groups feature in the calendar and the short listed films include ‘Beatriz’s War’ set inEast Timor directed by Luigi Acquisto Bety Reis traces the oppression and struggle of women from East Timor against colonisation of their region by Indonesia besides ‘Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’ by Shyam Benegal and ‘Varma Pazhassi Raja’ Malyalam film about a Hindu king who fought against the British in the 18th century. It is interesting how Jagran Film Festival remains unique in the way it connects with audiences across the country.
Producer Sajid Nadiadwala has roped in writer-director duo Sajid-Farhad writers of ‘Golmaal’, ‘Housefull-2’, ‘Ready’, ‘Bol Bachchan’, ‘Chennai Express’ to don the director’s cap for ‘Its Entertainment’ that will star Akshay Kumar with the beautiful Tamannaah in the lead. The only change in the ‘Housefull 3’ will be that it will star Abhishek Bachchan instead of Ritesh Deshmukh and this is interesting because the two were last seen together in ‘Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya’, 2002.
- Bhawana Somaaya / Tweets @bhawanasomaaya