When I had caught the cinema bug around half a decade back, I started exploring films from directors around the world. Some left me in a state of awe and others clueless. Just at the beginning of this journey into the fascinating world of cinema-watching, I happened to attend a film appreciation course conducted by a certain Oorvazi Irani of whom I had no idea of. But her impressive blog convinced me to take the course and I have always patted myself for that decision. The course and my correspondence with her since then has not only helped me appreciate the finer nuances of the movies but has also played a major role in shaping my taste in cinema.
The film appreciation course I had the privilege to attend, has not only helped me appreciate the finer nuances of the medium but also played a major role in shaping my taste in films. Oorvazi’s first feature film, The Path of Zarathustra, which is slated to release next week (4th September) explores the humanistic aspect in Zoroastrianism, a subject close to her heart, being a Parsi herself.
Though I have not had the opportunity to watch the film, the promos bear an unmistakable stamp of the artistic side of Oorvazi Irani. The French New Wave was a term that I first heard in her appreciation course. She spoke very passionately about the Auteur theory, and was a great believer in the idea that a filmmaker should use the tools of the cinema medium as a pen to put his/her point across. This belief was quite evident in her first short film ‘Mamaiji’ (Grandmother) as well. A documentary of sorts on her grandmother who was born in Iran but spent much of her adult life in India. It is a fascinating and elegant portrait of Moti (Morvarid) Nadirshah Roowalla that eschews realism for a surrealistic take, with a lot of thought put into every aspect of the filmmaking process. It certainly marked Oorvazi Irani as a director with a lot of promise and a unique stylistic sensibility.
Now, I for one, could not miss the impression of Oorvazi in every frame of the trailer of The Path Of Zarathustra. Apart from the fact that she indeed plays the lead role in the film, the pristine imagery and detailed production design has her name written all over it. Also, those who know her will vouch for the fact the she is greatly intrigued by her native Parsi community and their roots and way of life. ‘Mamaiji’ too was a portrait of a decidedly Zoroastrian woman. Despite being a short film, it certainly did not lack in depth and touched upon spirituality, religion, nostalgia among others, without coming across as cluttered at any point. The Path of Zarathustra, too, holds a similar kind of promise with the mild similarity in theme and style.
An artist is able to connect with her audience only when she explores a subject close to her heart, through her own personal expression, which the promos of The Path of Zarathustra definitely assure me of. This assurance of an honest and solid piece of art, coupled with the admiration for Oorvazi Irani as a film educationalist, I certainly cannot wait to watch the film and only hope that it is received with wide acclaim.