Cinematheque III is a "cinematic quartet" comprising four short films: Prodigy, Smile, Life and Marriage.
Film-maker Arun Kuckreja has dedicated “Cinematheque III”, a festival of four of his films to be screened at India Habitat Centre here this Friday, to his heroine Bharti Wallace who made her debut in Smile but could not live to watch its premiere.
According to Arun, Bharti had been in the hotel business for the past 27 years. “There was something in her that made me offer her the film. Unfortunately, ten days before the screening we lost her. I have dedicated the festival to her. Life is joy, so why not death?”
Cinematheque III is a “cinematic quartet” comprising four short films: Prodigy, Smile, Life and Marriage.
Music is the common element in all four films. In fact, it was Arun's wife Vanita who suggested that he use Western classical musicians like Beethoven, Mozart and Bach to match Sachin Tendulkar's stroke for stroke. “But I selected the compositions. In Marriage, I have used shehnai of the late musician Ustad Bismillah Khan.”
The film-maker insists that all the films are different from each other. “I love novelty and originality. Most of my work in films and theatre is auto-biographical. Whenever I have something new and original to say, I choose the medium in which I want to indulge in -- be it literature, theatre or films. I lay stress on the autobiographical aspect because I want to know whether people experience things the way I do. The little element of autobiography in one's work makes one sustains oneself as a genuine and passionate film-maker,” he says.
For Arun, any film he directs is like a “whole life” whether it is of two minutes or over three hours. “I have personally directed over 20 nationally and internationally acclaimed films ranging from short to long ones.”
Prodigy is a tribute to cricket maestro and now Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar. But the film-maker has not shown “the God of cricket” but a Mumbai-based model Adhish Khanna who fitted the role. “One day, Adhish walked into my office requesting me for a role. There was something boyish and innocent about him like Tendulkar which made me sign him.”
The film could be a reference point for any young cricketer. “In his long and eventful career, Sachin has faced a battery of fast bowlers and scored well against them. He has had his share of injuries. For scoring his 100 international century he had to wait for long and could do so against Bangladesh.”
In Marriage, the film-maker has tried to explore whether the institution of marriage is valid any more or not. “I have used a quotation of George Bernard Shaw on this subject.”
Arun has used his collection of poems, which he describes as an anthology of love, in his film Life.