Cinema

Ways of seeing

There is no statement that is not political: Girish Kasaravalli. File photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy  

Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC), Manipal hosted the first ever film fest in Manipal, e “Century of Indian Cinema:A Prelude”. The three day elaborate film fest witnessed as many as nine films from the Indian film industry in a variety of languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi and a bi-lingual film. The film fest was inaugurated by the National Award winning film director, Girish Kasaravalli. Excerpts from an interview with the director:

Being in cinema for so many years, what is your opinion about the “power of cinema”?

Well, according to me the power of cinema is fulfilled when a person is able to discover values for himself by watching the movie.

For example, the first film from independent India to attract major international critical attention was Satyajit Ray's “Pather Panchali” where he put forth his own style of lyrical realism. Basically the power of cinema is to make the thought visible.

What is your take on parallel cinema?

Parallel cinema doesn't hold a definition as such. It doesn't have an ideology or an image of its own. Neither does it have a manifesto. Parallel cinema portrays positive ideologies relating to different social issues and is definite and established.

Parallel cinema is definitely not dying. In fact, this year a Punjab and a Manipuri film won the best directional debut.

What do you think makes a good film maker?

Well, I can only compare a good film maker to good coffee. Although made to a finest scale, it produces different taste. Nothing in particular defines a good film maker. A good film maker would fuse content and form and makes it a different experience.

What according to you is a political film?

Political films are not necessarily those that are made about politics, but anything that subverts our perception. No one can make a politically free statement, which is naive or contradictory in nature. The movie “Bairi” is a classic example where institutionalisation of religion is portrayed.

What forms our perception by viewing it makes it a political or a non-political film.

Can you tell us about “Kurmavatara”, your latest film?

The movie is based on a story by the writer Kum Veerabhadrappa. It is about a government employee who is offered the chance to play Gandhi in a movie. Once he accepts the role, he starts reading up about Gandhi and begins to revisit his past, seeing it in a different light. However, he soon realises that it is finally the director's perception and regrets accepting the role. The story involves a tragic vision.

Who is your best critic?

(Laughs) Well all these years my friends and family do tell me how my movies are and they do give their inputs. Eventually, as I watch it myself, I see it critically and learn.

Which movie is closest to your heart?

Even today people tell me “Ghatashradha” is my best.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 4:43:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/ways-of-seeing/article3269180.ece

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