Monday, July 11, 2016

Project X

His first film, "Jangal Sagre Baeen Bhaye Kubade" ("जंगल सगरे बईन भए कुबड़े") (tr. Jungles All Beein' Hunchbacks, 92 min (Hindi, Urdu, Bhojpuri)) was reviewed glowingly in the influential Journal of the JNU Film Society, which described it as "... a debut so assured and accomplished, it's unnerving!". The impact of its slow tracking shots, lush visuals, its self aware, somewhat understated, idiosyncratic storytelling - a curious mix of high and low, academic and folk, self serious and comic - is as powerful today as it was when it first came out. It premiered at the Gorakhpur Film Festival, was screened at Lucknow Mahotsava (tr. Lucknow Big-Festival) and won Best Editing from the Kolkata Critics' Association.

According to some commentators, he did little filmmaking for the next several years, choosing instead, to publish some poetry and short stories in Hans (tr. Swan) and teaching philosophy at IIT Kanpur; and has not been heard of for the past five years (though see the survey in Srivastava et al. which allude to his writing (uncredited) in obscure, arthouse indies like "Bonga" ("बोंगा") (tr. Bonga) and "Antatogatvaa" ("अंततोगत्वा") (tr. In the End)).

And so, when Jenny argued in the Lucknow Film Quarterly that "Neti Neti" ("नेति नेति") (tr. Not this, not this, 81 min (Hindi), unreleased) was his second film and got a message some days later that not only was she right but there were several other unreleased works, she asked if she could arrange a meeting.

"I can't meet you", came back the message. "But I can send you some evidence."

1 comment:

Ninja Awesomeness said...

what evidence did he send