Saturday, September 10, 2005

Movies, Films, World Cinema...The Whole Deal!!

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.


Karthik L G said...

wow, i guess the movie was in black n white. is the moviemaker irish.. cos i remember in school we had a story written my a guy called liam o flaherty.. tht story was abt a small guy who doesent know the difference between celcius and faraniet and thinks he's gonna die when the doc tells him he is running a tem pf 102 F [ the guy has learnt in school tht 36 is the normal temp ]... half knowledge is always dangerous..tht was wht he wanted to convey

the docu abt the eskimos .. it'l definitely have a lotta info and some heart wrenching scenes too..i bet

giants of the art world - then definitely arundathi nag.. do chk out her performance in the latest kannada mega mega blockbuster jogi

San Nakji said...

I had heard bad things about the movie. I am not exactly sure what was wrong, it was so long ago. Misrepresentation of Inuit or something like that? Anyway, since you quite liked it, maybe I should give it another go.
The film festival sounds interesting. If I happen to be in the neighbourhood.... ;-)

Deepa Bhasthi said...

yes Karthik we had that story in school too. it was a different guy though. this is robert flaherty, often hailed as the father of documentary filmaking.
do you like theatre? you must have gone to ranga shankara. is jogi good?

there was some controversy about the movie san nakji. the best part is that it is not like the docus of today, you know, sort of detached and facts only. this actually touches you. try it. the list of films has been finalised for the festival. we will be showing ray's pather panchali, desica's umberto.d., chaplin's great dictator, kurosowa's ran and godard's breathless. seen any of these?

San Nakji said...

I've only seen Ran, which is great.I only really watch Asian films outside of Hollywood movies...

The Humanity Critic said...

great post