Mumbai Film Festival: Day 7
By: Deepa Gahlot
Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos has arrived in India to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award being conferred by the Mumbai Film Festival. His film, The Dust of Time will bring the curtains down on the Festival tomorrow.|
Unfortunately, none of the films in the Angelopoulos retrospective are being screened at Fun Republic, but at the distant R Mall in Ghatkopar, where only the most devoted movie buff will go.
It was with some curiosity that one went in to see Eccentric-ities of a Blond Hair Girl. The film was not half as magical as its title, but what's amazing is that it has been directed by Manoel de Oliveira, who at 100 is the oldest filmmaker in the world. The Portuguese director turned 100 in December last year and was at work on this film his 46th feature (The oldest active Indian filmmaker is Mrinal Sen).
FranÃ§ois d'Artemare, the producer of Eccentricities, is quoted as having said in a UK paper, that "Oliveira's longevity was down to his work ethic, his lifelong physical vigour on a film shoot in April two years ago, he took daily swims in the Atlantic and a diet that still includes "a glass of red wine and vegetable soup every day, together with a lot of fish and a lot of ice cream... film-making is his life when he stops shooting, he's going to die. When I see him at his home, I always think that the next film will not work but then when he's back with the crew, or at a festival, he's perfect and full of energy." His film is about love, all the more reason to salute him. There is talk of a retrospective of his films at the International Film Festival of India in Goa later this year.
Closer to home
A pleasant surprise was Made In Pakistan by young Nasir Khan from across the border. His purpose in making the film was to present to the world another picture of Pakistan modern and politically aware, not backward and suppressed. The filmmaker, simply but effectively, follows four young Pakistanis during Musharraf's state of Emergency in 2007 a lawyer, an aspiring politician, a PR professional and a journalist the latter two are women. They speak the accent-less English of the well-educated, wear Western clothes and are willing to take a stand on what they believe is right. Maybe more such people need to have their voices heard.
Three Indian films screened yesterday got encouraging responses from viewers. Laxmikant Shetgoankar's Man Beyond the Bridge is India's entry in the International Competition of first films about a forest officer who gives shelter to a mad woman. Umesh Kulkarni had proved with Vihir (produced by AB Corp) that his Valu was not a fluke. Admi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniyan by Amit Dutta was also well received.
Reportedly, two of the best films of this festival Katalin Varga and Il Divo are scheduled for tonight, perversely at the same time slot. This has happened quite a few times earlier too the Wajda and the Chen Kaige films at the same time, the Costa Gavras and the Lars Von Trier clashing too. One has to toss a coin to decide...
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