We have this paper called Film Studies this semester. The person who takes this paper is a great movie buff and has an amazing collection of world cinema. In one month, we have seen Satyajit Ray's Apu trilogy, DeSica's 'Umberto D', 'Citizen Kane' and this amazing documentary called 'Nanook of the North' which I will be talking about today.
This docu, directed by Robert Flaherty in 1922, is said to be the first docu ever made. It is a silent film about Nanook, an Eskimo. It shows the hard life they lead, their daily struggle for survival and the way they manage to be happy throughout everything.
Some facts: The docu shows how the Eskimo catch fish, how to make an igloo. Walrus spells fortune to them in a land as vast as England but inhabited by just 300 people. Rubbing noses is the way the Eskimo kiss. Every morning, they have to chew on their boots to soften them as sealskin gets very hard overnight. The Arctic snow is as dry as sand.
Now I dont know if all this holds true even today. The movie is amazing for the way it shows the life of the Eskimo with an exploratory approach. The desperation for food in such a beautiful barren, stark landscape is heart-renching. It had a lot of still photos in the end. A picture of Nanook in a warrior pose was especially good. Maybe I could get the DVD cover from my lecturer and scan it...
Nanook died of starvation just a year after the docu reached all corners of the globe.
K V Subbanna, a stalwart in Kannada theatre, passed away recently. In his memory, we are organising a film festival in the uni the coming week. We shall be screening world cinema, five in all.
Subbana, an agriculturist, set up Ninasam, a theatre institution, in Heggodu, a tiny hamlet in Shimoga in North Karnataka. He brought to the villagers the entire world. Ninasam has a one year diploma course in theatre. Every year, it conducts a 10 day workshop in culture appreciation where you will get to rub shoulders with the giants of the art world. This year it will be held between Oct 12 and 18, I think.