What happens when you gather a line-up of established authors who don't write professionally about cinema and ask them for personal essays about a cherished film or film-related experience?
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The anthology will be out in a month or so, but here's a quick summary of what the pieces are about:
- How do you "read" a film, how do actors recapture the immediacy of their feelings when they dub for a scene months after the original shoot ...and other questions that movie buffs ask themselves ("Jellyfish" - Manjula Padmanabhan)
- A tongue-in-cheek analysis of a cult Punjabi film as a Bible for foot-fetishists ("The Foot-Worshipper's Guide to Watching Maula Jatt" - Musharraf Ali Farooqi)
- On dreamlike vistas, from Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jr to a surreal chase scene featuring Kader Khan and Vinod Mehra ("Perchance to Dream" - Rajorshi Chakraborti)
- How the Bihari actor Manoj Bajpai passed himself off as a native in an archetypal Mumbai movie ("Writing my own Satya" - Amitava Kumar)
- From watching Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire to reading Michael Cunningham’s ‘White Angel’ - how does the language of film differ from the language of prose? ("Two Languages in Conversation" - Kamila Shamsie)
- On the tumultuous romance between a man and his car in Ritwik Ghatak's Ajantrik ("Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai" - Sumana Roy)
- Why a middle-aged male author performed a Helen dance in drag after a public reading in Brooklyn (Manil Suri's "My Life as a Cabaret Dancer", which you can read here)
- Secret agents, suave detectives, fake ghosts ... on Hindi film noir and thrillers from the 1950s and 60s ("Villains and Vamps and All Things Camp" - Madhulika Liddle)
- What the silences in the Kaurismaki brothers' movies reveal about Finland and its people, and why an Indian writer should be so interested ("Going Kaurismaki" - Anjum Hasan)
- When you're starved for moviegoing experience, a Charlie Sheen thriller can be "the greatest movie ever made by man" ("Terminal Case" - Sidin Vadukut)
- On why being scared is a good thing ("Monsters I Have Known", by yours truly)
- A novelist recalls her time publishing a gossip-driven film magazine in the 1970s, steeped in "a Film Lok parallel to Indra Lok" ("Super Days" - Namita Gokhale)
- A writer who worked for the British Board of Film Classification on the occasional need for - and her ambivalence about - censorship ("The Final Cut" - Jaishree Misra)
And here's the video of the Popcorn Essays session at the Jaipur lit-fest, where four of these writers read from their pieces.
Updates to follow as the release date draws near.
Really looking forward!ReplyDelete
Will it have 'subtextual analysis'?
KAURISMAKI RULES. THE END. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEReplyDelete
Diptakirti: of course - as you know very well, I insist on it. Just wait till you read Rajorshi on the surreal undertones of the "Pre-Credit Backstory-Compression" that was often to be found in Hindi movies of the 1980s!ReplyDelete
what is the price and who is publishing it?ReplyDelete
super-excited about this!!ReplyDelete
Amit: Tranquebar - you can see it on the cover. The price written there is Rs 350, but not sure if that's been finalised.ReplyDelete
Great to see more books on cinema. :)ReplyDelete
"Pre-Credit Backstory-Compression" - this is luscious!ReplyDelete
BTW, have already bought the book!
The price is 312, as it says on Flipkart.ReplyDelete
Looking forward to the book :)
How about a kindle version?ReplyDelete
Any chance of a Kindle version?ReplyDelete