Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Retrospective

I had heard of him and there was always an intent to watch the films he had made (at least some of them) . That intent became slightly stronger after Ingmar Bergman's death last year. Not being much of a movie buff otherwise, it was rather difficult translating intent into action. This month, a Bergman retrospective began its journey to 6 cities in India; Delhi and Kolkata have been done, today is the last day at Chennai. Bangalore is next, followed by Pune and Mumbai. As usual, I got around to it fairly late; missed the first 5 days, managed to go last evening and have all intentions of going today also.

In some ways it was a slight disappointment; not the picture itself, but the whole retrospective bit. I'd imagined there would be some material about Bergman, the reason why the selection is representative of the man's work and maybe some talk about the film itself. It was however, a quick in-and-out show; fill up a form, take the pass, watch movie, return home. There were about 70 people who had turned up to watch Sommaren med Monika last evening. It was good to see people turning up to watch a film that was made 55 years ago; many of them seemed to be serious students of cinema and were bunching up together after the screening, probably discussing the nuances of the movie. It is possible that the timing of the show - 9.30 pm - didn't allow for more organized pre- or post-screening activities.

The South Indian Film Chamber Hall, where the Retrospective is being held, has given over the prime time slot of 6.30 pm to hosting a Brazilian Film Festival. I wonder if that is being handled any differently, but really don't have the inclination to sit through a screening to find out!

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