The thick of it
- Spot-fixing: Chandila was in touch with four sets of bookies, says Delhi Police
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives, to hold talks with PM on boundary, water issues
- IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils crash to defeat, finish last
- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
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There are multiple conversational strands in the air and the two field questions, calls and chat pop-ups all at the same time. Proposals for organising a prominent film festival; plans for their latest exhibition called the 'Manga Cafe' at 13 BCD; a possible retrospective on Tarkovsky films; summer film camps; design, logistics, film curating, exhibitions; and gaming — all these constitute their daily parlance which they conduct with ease and confidence. Baffled, one has to stall them to ask how many of their four companies they worked for in a single day! Laughing, Rohit underlines that all their activities stem from a passion for cinema.
Indian Auteur, the online film journal, and CineDarbaar, the film collective came into being in 2009. Skipping the last few semesters, Rohit spent that time off from dreary college courses, writing 20-page letters to well-known film critics Jonathan Rosenbaum, Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu. He wrote at length on shots, treatment and form of the cinema (Godard, Bresson, Ozu) he loved and had discovered while still at school. When the critics began writing back, the idea of Indian Auteur took a definite shape. Since late last year, the journal has gone into a meditative silence, and Rohit reveals that his busy schedule is wholly to blame and not the lack of finances as one would naturally suspect. A summer revival is on the cards, he promises.
CineDarbaar is Supriya Suri's baby. Influenced by Cinematheque (Paris) and the Museum of Modern Art (New York), she wanted to define space in cinema and be a part of a new discourse. Drawing heavily from the film society movements of Godard and Ray, CineDarbaar became more than just a club screening foreign cinema. It organises exhibitions, screenings and discussions and takes film education to schools, to kids — an audience she loves talking to.
And then, from the film club to the film gallery 13 BCD, it was a short walk of natural progression for her. The cinema gallery opened its doors in February this year and has already held four exhibitions. The last one was a curious little experiment on the 'Japanese New Wave.' Five small monitors silently played long takes of the ' Wave' films without preambles, middles or any ends. Audiences, unsure of their response, became curious to know more and watch more. While the nakedness of the exhibition was surprising, the intention was clear — to evoke curiosity among audiences and to show new ways of looking at new cinema, even if it is in silence. 'Manga Cafe', their latest exhibition at the gallery in Hauz Khas, is another different take on a storytelling form.
And let's not talk about BandeApart, the invisible design firm that supplies all their other cinematic ventures with hard cash. They are not formally trained in design or architecture, show no signs of any online presence and yet the list of the projects Rohit and his 'band' have accumulated and accomplished over the last year run into 20 pages, single-spaced.
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