Nov 8, 2017

A film by Orson Welles
Based on Kafka's novel The Trial
1962/ France | West Germany | Italy / 119 minutes
12th Nov 2017/ 5.45 pm / Perks Mini Theater

A unique cinematic experience.

Orson Welles ("Citizen Kane"/"Touch of Evil") in a defensive manner has said that "The Trial' is the finest film I have ever made." This is a loose adaptation of the Franz Kafka novel, published posthumously in 1925. The Trial takes place in an unnamed hostile country. Anthony Perkins is an excellent choice to play the Jewish bureaucrat clerk Joseph K, a man arrested in his bare apartment early in the morning by two heavy-handed fascist-type of policeman and not told what crime he is charged with as he's brought to trial.

Filled with a sense of guilt, a constant twitch, a nervous manner of speaking and hiding his fear through repression of being exposed as some kind of sexual deviant, the bland but ambitious office clerk Joseph K  takes no comfort as he's defended by the tyrannical Advocate (Orson Welles), who offers him no reason to believe his case will be resolved in a positive way. Never told what he's charged with, the innocent man begins to doubt even his innocence, as he's mentally tortured by trying to recall what he might have done to deserve this fate.
Smartly filmed in vast dark empty spaces, cluttered interiors, war-torn exteriors, chilling lobbies and arcades, which are turned into Freudian dreamscapes of the unconscious.  The sinister inhuman/baroque/surreal look is the look everywhere in the film, including in Joseph K's office workplace (which can be compared to the horrors of a cold American workplace).


As the trial pushes on, K becomes involved with three sexually intriguing women -- Jeanne Moreau (his next door neighbor prostitute), Romy Schneider (mistress of the Advocate), and Elsa Martinelli (a cleaning lady in the law courts) -- who all serve as bitter reminders of how he has been persecuted all his life. 

The film is brilliantly lit on the dark side, much like a film noir, pouring over with critical thoughts about the individual, society, and art. Though not for all all tastes, those who stay with this one will be richly rewarded with a unique cinematic experience. Welles is a great filmmaker, who is an excellent guide into a Kafkaesque nightmare.    (Thanks to  Dennis Schwartz)


Orson Welles

Hollywood Rebel & Founding Member of The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers
Though little appreciated in his time, Orson Welles is today one of classic Hollywood's most acclaimed cinematic visionaries Always an outsider to the studio system which dominated filmmaking at the time however, Welles never condescended to play by Hollywood's rules and his arduous four-decade career was pocked with moments of brilliance, excess and waste.
George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an Academy Award-winning American director, writer, actor and producer for film, stage, radio and television. Welles first gained wide notoriety for his October 30, 1938, radio broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Adapted to sound like a contemporary news broadcast, it caused a number of listeners to panic. In 1941, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in Citizen Kane, often chosen in polls of film critics as the greatest film ever made. And in 1941, at 26, he achieved his greatest ambition through formation of his own Mercury Productions, Inc. The rest of his career was often obstructed by lack of funds, incompetent studio interference and other unfortunate occurrences, both during exile in Europe and brief returns to Hollywood. Despite these difficulties Othello won the 1952 Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at the Cannes Film Festival and Touch of Evil won the top prize at the Brussels World Fair, while Welles himself considered The Trial and Chimes at Midnight to be the best of his efforts.
Although Welles remained on the margins of the major studios as a director/producer, his large

r-than-life personality made him a bankable actor. In his later years he struggled against a Hollywood system that refused to finance his independent film projects, making a living largely through acting, commercials, and voice-over work. Welles received a 1975 American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement award, the third person to do so after John Ford and James Cagney. Critical appreciation for Welles has increased since his death. He is now widely acknowledged as one of the most important dramatic artists of the 20th century: in 2002 he was voted as the greatest film director of all time in the British Film Institute's poll of Top Ten Directors.


Sep 13, 2017

17th Sept'2017; ANTARJALI YATRA - The Voyage Beyond A film by Goutam Ghose


ANTARJALI YATRA - The Voyage Beyond

 A film by Goutam Ghose
1989/ Bengal/ 140 min
17th Sept / 5.45pm/ Perks Mini Theater

Antarjali Yatra is a stunning and beautifully picturised drama happening around the cremation ground of a Bengali village on the muddy banks of the river Ganga. It traces the journey of a young maiden who, to save the graces of the family, was married off to an extremely old man on his deathbed, and how, she finds a company in a 'dom' - a man responsible for cremating at the burning ghats. 
She is expected to practice the ancient Hindu ritual known as SATI in which the widow throws herself on the burning funeral pyre of her late husband.  Wife who commits Sati was worshiped as a goddess during those days. Antarjali Yatra is set in the Bengal of 19th century, times of great social turbulence and breaking up of old traditions. 
In this remarkable film nothing happens as you expect and things go berserk. From the beginning , a painted eye on a boat moored near the burial ground watches the  absurd drama unfolding on that river bank.  There are three main characters- the young bride, the dying old man  and  the cremator of that ghat. Shatrugan Sinha gives his stellar performance as the drunk untouchable cremator  entrusted with the last cremation rites who is against the practice of Sati. 
The film is rife with long shots, and the cinematography is mesmerizing - the frames sometimes bring out the bare truth along the muddy banks of Ganga, and sometimes they have this brooding, lingering feel.  Director Gautam Ghose is also the cinematographer and music director of this film. Film is  based on a novel, Mahayatra by by Kamal Kumar Mazumdar. 

Goutam Ghose

Goutam Ghose was born on 24th July,-1950 in Kolkata. He did his primary education from the St. John Diocesan School and later joined Cathedral Missionary Boys for higher studies.He made his directional debut with his biopic film New Earth in 1973. Later, he made his cinema debut from the film MaaBhoomi in 1979. His Film Paar with Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi was based on the Bengali story Paathi. He made his acting debut from the film Grihajuddha in 1982 and later he acted in a Gayak in 1987, BaisheSrabon in 2011, Ekla Akash in 2012, Chotushkone in 2014.
He was among the few whose films were awarded Best Cinematography, Best Direction and Best Screenplay awards at the National Film Awards ceremony. Including the awards and citations received for Antanjali Yatra , he has won 16 National Awards and many international awards like the Silver Balloon Award, the Nantes Film Festival, the UNESCO Award, the Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Prix-Golden Semurg at Tashkent,[4] the Fipresci Awards and Red Cross Award.

Aug 8, 2017

13th Aug 2017 ; Alfred Hitchcock's REBECCA


13th August, Sunday - Hitchcock's birthday
A film by Alfred Hitchcock
Based on Daphne Du Maurier's celebrated novel
1940/ USA/ 130 minutes
5.45 pm / Perks Mini Theater

The story begins in Monte Carlo, where a young woman (Joan Fontaine) is making her living as the paid companion of a rich American lady. While the lady is abed with the flu, the young woman meets and is captivated by a gentleman from Cornwall, Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier). He's brooding and handsome and she falls madly in love with him and he apparently with her. 

 Their whirlwind romance leads to a marriage and he brings her home as "the second Mrs. de Winter." This is not the first time Maxim has been married. His previous wife, Rebecca, died in a boating accident several years ago and her death is said to have broken him. 

 The new Mrs. de Winter does not find it easy going being the mistress of Manderlay, her husband's vast estate. Meanwhile, the memory of Rebecca, palpable as a specter, haunts the mansion. Rebecca falls neatly into the three-act pattern that defines many classic Hollywood stories. The first portion is a simple love story. It is told with tenderness and feeling and illustrates that if Hitchcock had wanted to, he could have been a great director of big Hollywood romances. 

The second act, which encompasses the second Mrs. de Winter's uneasy relationship with Manderlay and its servants, her "battle" with Rebecca, and Maxim's revelation of the truth, is more typically Hitchcockian than the rest of the movie. The director uses camera angles, editing, and music to emphasize the lead character's claustrophobia as it escalates to near-hysteria. Finally, the third section is part police procedural and part drama as the movie accelerates to its logical conclusion.

Hitchcock shows superb technical control and attends to his trademark motifs, from monstrous mother figures to the fetishisation of clothing (strong foreshadowings of ‘Vertigo’). The reason Rebecca still grips lies in the fact that we can all see ourselves in Fontaine's role: everyone plunged into a new and unfamiliar milieu has felt her uncertainty and fear that they are the wrong person, in the wrong place. Rebecca marks the most decisive single step both in Hitchcock’s career. This is Hitchcock's first movie after he moved to America from England. The experience opened whole new vistas of thematic and emotional expression, stimulating Hitchcock’s professional ambition and expanding his artistic aspirations. The result exhibits that the director is capable of a range few would credit him with. With Rebecca, he illustrates an aptitude for crafting not only psychological terror but drama and romance. (Source : Internet )



He was known to his audiences as the 'Master of Suspense' and what Hitchcock mastered was not only the art of making films but also the task of taming his own raging imagination. Director of such works as Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and The 39 steps, Hitchcock told his stories through intelligent plots witty dialogue and a spoonful of mystery and murder. In doing so, he inspired a new generation of filmmakers and revolutionized the thriller genre, making him a legend around the world. Hitchcock was eccentric, demanding, inventive, impassioned and he had a great sense of British humor.
Hitchcock had his first shot of being the director of a film in 1923 when he was to direct the film "The Number 13", though the production was stopped. Hitchcock didn't give up then. He directed a film called "The Pleasure Garden" in 1925, a British/German production, which was very popular. In 1926, Hitchcock made his first notable film, "The Lodger". In the same year on the 2nd of December, Hitchcock married Alma Reville. They had one child called Patricia Hitchcock (born 7th July 1928).

His success followed when he made a number of films in Britain such as "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) and Jamaica Inn (1939), some of them which also made him famous in the USA. David O. Selznick, an American producer at the time, got in touch with Hitchcock and the Hitchcock family moved to the USA to direct an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (1940). It was when Saboteur (1942) was made, that films companies began to call his films after him; such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy. He retired soon after making Family Plot (1976). In late 1979, Hitchcock was knighted, making him Sir Alfred Hitchcock. On the 29th April 1980, 9:17AM, he died peacefully in his sleep.

Jul 12, 2017

16th July 2017 - GRADUATION


A Film by Cristian Mungiu
2016, Romania, 123 minutes
16th July, 5.45 pm , Perks Mini Theater

A fascinating and fastidiously complex study of one man’s moral choices at a crucial juncture in his life, Cristian Mungiu’s “Graduation” is a thoroughgoing masterpiece which offers proof that Romania’s cinematic upsurge remains the most vital and important national film movement of the current century.  
Mungiu’s protagonist this time is a doctor named Romeo Aldea, who is about to turn 50, which means that he’s reached a certain mid-point in life: young enough to have an aged mother needing his attention, old enough to have a daughter about to graduate from high school. Other signs of mid-life’s challenges: he’s got a wife who’s as romantically alienated from him as he is from her and a mistress who’s threatening to end things if he doesn’t leave the wife for her. Of these four women, it’s the daughter, Eliza, who becomes the film’s dramatic crux as the story begins.
Romeo  tries to take measures into his own hands when he starts to fear his daughter won’t score the high grades she needs on her final exams. Believing that a scholarship to a British university is the girl’s best chance to flee the corruption and despair of their own country, he finds himself becoming what he hates most – someone who tries to game a corrupt system. But this is not a man who suddenly finds his worldviews compromised; rather, he fancies himself an idealist, above deceit and graft. 
Mungiu’s characters are never really clean, however. The system around them sucks, but they’re part of that system, too. In Graduation, that realization slowly sneaks up on you. The film pulls you into the characters’ competing webs of lies, but it never loses sight of their self-justifications. The people of “Graduation” are all very believable, both persuasively Romanian and recognizable to anyone in the middle-class West. Which is to say that Mungiu shows us lives that reflect certain looming social forces but that also are too messy and individual to add up to neat moral lessons. (Source:Internet )

Cristian Mungiu

Cristian Mungiu was born in Iași, in 1968. After studying English Literature at university, he worked as a teacher and journalist for the written press, radio and television. He then attended the Film and Theatre Academy in Bucharest and first feature film, Occident, premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight in 2002 and was a triumph back in Romania. In 2007, his second film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was awarded the Palme d’or. The film received and won several international distinctions.or. He returned to Cannes in 2009 as a writer-producer-co-director with the collective film Tales from the Golden Age and as a writer-director in 2012 with Beyond the Hills – double awarded for Best Screenplay and Best Actresses. He was a member of the Jury headed by Steven Spielberg at the 66th Festival de Cannes (2013). Graduation – his fifth film presented in Cannes – won the award for Best Director in 2016. -