Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star introduces a programme this year called The New Medium. This section will feature the best in innovative filmmaking by scouring the living history of cinema – from its inception to the contemporary moment. The New Medium is formulated and programmed by artist, Shaina Anand who is co-founder of the artist studio CAMP, and the Indian Cinema Foundation. These films will be screened throughout the festival, between 20th to 27th October, 2016.
The New Medium will bring together works that have shaped and transcended the language of cinema in both form and content. Powerful and relevant at the time they were made, they remain transformative as experiences. These movies challenge the preconceptions of standard methods of filmmaking.
Speaking about The New Medium, curator and artist Shaina Anand said, “This programme is not just about experimental avant-garde cinema. The moving image has a very short historical life. Its only 125 years old and its form and language is far from exhausted. Some of the films we present here are canons. Others are cult classics, known only in small circles. Here you will find assemblage, agitprop, a film about a film, an essay film, a reenactment, a faux documentary, a music video, a science fiction fantasy, a TV- series, a collectively-authored film, a pure formal interactive experience, and even one of the longest films ever made! The New Medium invites the audience to experience first-hand these remarkable trajectories from the chronicles of cinema.”
The New Medium opens with the restored version of Dziga Vertov’s audacious Man with the Movie Camera that was made in 1929. In 2014, Sight and Sound Magazine named it as the greatest documentary of all time. The film will be accompanied by a live score performed by the Vitaly Tkachuk Quartet joining us from Ukraine. Amongst the 14 titles that will screen throughout the festival is Uday Shankars fantastical dance film, Kalpana (1948) restored by the World Cinema Foundation, Mani Kaul’s unseen mini-series Ahamaq (Idiot), and an iconic work of expanded cinema – the two-screen “Light Music” (1975) by Lis Rhodes that will be installed inside the cinema hall.
Jio MAMI with Star, Festival Chairperson, Kiran Rao said, “We are truly excited to present this new section – my personal favourite section! -which showcases some of the more bold and seminal experiments in filmmaking. I hope film lovers will take this opportunity to experience works like the newly restored Man with a Movie Camera accompanied by live music, and Lav Diaz’ Evolution of a Filipino Family, among others.”
The 14 movies that will be featured as part of The New Medium are:
Man with A Movie Camera| Directed by Dziga Vertov (RUSSIA 1929) | Accompanied by live music from the Vitaly Tkachuk Quartet
“It made explicit and poetic the astonishing gift the cinema made possible, of arranging what we see, ordering it, imposing a rhythm and language on it, and transcending it.”- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 2009.
“The greatest documentary of all time!” – 2014 Sight and Sound critics poll.
The film has been restored by the Eye Film Institute and Lobster Films. It will be presented in the festival with a live score.
The Vitaly Tkachuk Quartet premiered the soundtrack in 2010 at the Mute Nights Festival for silent film that takes place in Odessa, Ukraine. The soundtrack is written by Vitaly Tkachuk, a guitarist and composer from Odessa, Ukraine. From Kiev we have Alex Fantaev a drummer and percussionist, Egor Gavrilenko on bass and Michael Balog is a saxophone player and composer from Lviv.
Kalpana| Directed by Uday Shankar (INDIA 1948)
For a first (and only) film by a dancer who also plays the lead role, Kalpana shows an amazing grasp of cinematic form. Uday Shankar’s accurate compositions and use of movement within them are breathtakingly original. Here dance is not a mere addition to the other attractions of the film but it is integrated into the very fabric of what is almost a new cinematic form.
Preceding the music video genre by 20 years, and made mostly with still photographs, it is a visceral and haunting document of racism and police brutality in the United States.
Seven of French cinemas greats come together to collectively author this film. Passionately critical and self-critical, and as bold in form as it is in rhetoric, the film is a milestone in political documentary and in the French cinema.
A parasitical film. A cult classic. Christopher Lee lends his features to another vampire, General Franco, hoping to hasten his end in this political fable.
Science fiction, blaxploitation, cosmic free-jazz and radical race politics combine when the legendary Jazz musician Sun Ra returns to earth in his music-powered space ship to battle for the future of the black race and offer an ‘alter-destiny’ to those who would join him.
With a simple narrative that unravels in a direct yet poetic manner, ‘Chhatrabhang’ explores the caste dynamics of a drought stricken village in rural India.
The space between the two screens turns the beams into airy sculptural forms consisting of light, shadow and smoke, which encourages the viewer to move around the room. This in turns destroys conventional film watching codes and turns the film into a collective practice where the audience is expected to intervene into the work and thus, become the performer.
Lis Rhodes ‘Light Music’ can be described but only in order to be experienced. We present this iconic work of expanded cinema inside the cinema as part of The New Mediums programming.
Agraaharathil Kazhuthai| Directed by John Abraham (INDIA 1977)
Made as a satire on the Brahminical bigotry and superstition, the surreal narrative style makes excellent use of repetitions for comic effect.
Evolution of a Filipiono Family| Directed by Lav Diaz (PHILIPINES 2004)
A special film and an especially long film. Watch the first independent film of the prolific and mutl-award winning Pillipino auteur Lav Diaz. Ten years in the making, and just as long. Follows the adventures of a family against the backdrop of the social and political developments in Marcos regime’s state of siege in the Philippines between 1971-1987.
Mani Kaul explores Dostoevsky’s novel faithfully following the original plot transposed into a scathing depiction of a feudal elite, largely bypassed by history, located in Bombay and Goa. The unedited mini-series presented back to back as a four-hour film.
- Piyush Shah: Cinematographer, alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India
- Vikram Joglekar: Sound artist, musician, alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India
- Meeta Vasisht: Actor, alumna of National School of Drama
- Lalitha Krishna: Editor of all of Kaul’s films in the middle period, beginning with Before My Eyes, and including The Cloud Door, Nazar, Siddheshwari and Ahamaq.
- Ashish Rajadhyaksha: Film theorist and historian
- D. Wood: multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and educator
Ming of Harlem| Directed by Philip Warnell (UK 2014)
The film explores the relations between Antoine (a US citizen), Ming (400-pound Bengal tiger), and Al (a 7-foot long American alligator) and the high-rise dwelling they shared, presenting portraits of each of them as embedded in ethically fraught community and political concerns, accompanied by philosopher and collaborator Jean-Luc Nancy’s responses to their inter-species rapport in poetic form.
Godard’s Experimental 3-D film plays with the conventions of stereo vision using custom made DIY rigs.
Tracing the evolution of video game graphics, the series continues the late filmmaker’s long-standing investigation into the rise of calculable, actionable images possessing a relationship to reality very different than that of the cinema before them.
For more information on Jio MAMI 18thMumbai Film Festival with Star scheduled to be held from 20th October- 27th October 2016, do visit the official website, Twitter handle, Facebook Page, Instagram and YouTube as follows:
YouTube: Mumbai Film Festival