Curator- C S Venkiteswaran

This film package is dedicated to the memory of PK Nair, the great cinephile. Cinephilia alludes to a passionate engagement with cinema that is at once intensely personal and at the same time shared and expressed in diverse ways. Each one of us has some intimate memory or personal anecdote that is linked with a particular film or a scene.It could be a moment, certain glances, gestures, or a dialogue that still haunt us, pursuing us through the thick and thin of time, growing and  Maturing with us. The term ‘Cinephilia’ can be defined as‘the universal phenomenon that the film experience evokes particular sensations of intense pleasure resulting in a strongly felt connection with the cinema, often described as a relation of love. Cinephiles worldwide continue to be captured and enraptured by the magic of moving images. They cherish personal moments of discovery and joy, develop affectionate rituals and celebrate their love in specialized communities.’ – Marijke de vak, Malte Hagner.

Cinephilia has its own regional and older versions in other art forms too; for instance, ‘kali-bhranthu’ or ‘kali-kambam’is a usage in Malayalam that denotes intense passion for kathakali, a classical performance art form of Kerala. The aficionados stricken with this, need not necessarily be ‘experts’ on the nuances and technicalities of the art, but are in constant and irrepressible awe of the art, that enchants and attracts them endlessly towards it. There is even a story about one of these kathakali-mad rasikas, who attends all the performances sitting in the front row, confessing to the fact that what draws him to the stage is the burnt smell of the lamp once it is put off at the end of the show!

Cinephilia too has similar and even weirder stories to tell: for instance, who, as a child, hasn’t stolen money at least once, to buy a movie ticket? Who among us hasn’t lied to one’s parents or wardens, or hasn’t evaded the eyes and ears of the teachers or guardians, to sneak out for a film? Who among ourselves hasn’t imagined him/herself as a movie star, while combing one’s hair, puffing a cigarette, riding a bike or flaunting a dress, or even while making a proposal of love or to express one’s grief? It is by watching cinema that we learned to love and quarrel, fight and make up, exhort and plead. For, cinema taught us not only to dream but also to desire; it is in a way the private life in each one of us in the form of a public art. According to Zizek, ‘cinema is the ultimate pervert art, it doesn’t give you what you desire, it tells you how to desire’.

Cinephilia: An Eye on Cinema

Las cinéphilas

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María Alvarez / Argentina / Spanish / 74 mins / 2017

Las Cinéphilas is about a few retired women who go to the movies every day. For them films are not a mere form of entertainment, but also a safe and recurring event and space in the days that go by; it is a place where they can ease their loneliness and forget the passage of time. Like a drop of water fiction touches upon their lives, imprinting on their memory.

The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema

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Sophie Fiennes / UK, Austria, Netherlands / English / 150 mins / 2006

The Pervert’s Guide to Cinemaconstructed in three partstakes the viewer on an exhilarating ride through some of the greatest movies ever made. Serving as presenter and guide is the charismatic Slavoj Zizek, the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst. With his engaging and passionate approach to thinking, Zizek delves into the hidden language of cinema, uncovering what movies can tell us about ourselves.

16mm: Memories, Movement and a Machine

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K R Manoj / India / 40 mins /2008

The film tries to trace back the trajectory of film society movement in Kerala and its relationship with a machine, the 16mm film projector. Now abandoned as an obsolete piece of technology, 16mm projection was the soul and source of the movement at the time and still burrs on in the minds of a generation of cineastes. The film is a journey through the images that try to capture the enigma of the cultural interface produced by a post independent cultural movement.

Rangabhoomi

rangabhoomi
Kamal Swaroop / India / Hindi / 80 mins / 2013

Rangabhoomi follows the film maker as he attempts to trace the contours of Dada Saheb Phalke’s life in Varanasi, where Phalke withdrew – disillusioned with the world of cinema and decided to take up theatre. During his life in Varanasi, Phalke wrote a semi-autobiographical play titled Rangabhoomi, which forms the core of this cinematic exploration. Set in the visually thrilling landscapes of the old town of Varanasi, the film intertwines the personal engagement of Kamal Swaroop with the story of Phalke’s journey and the play, deploying a vibrant palette of sounds, sights and characters in a surrealist juxtaposition.

I am Micro

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Shumona Goel / Shai Heredia / India / 15 mins / 2010

Shot in the passages of an abandoned optics factory and centred on the activities of a low budget film crew, I Am Micro is an experimental essay about filmmaking, the medium of film and the spirit of making independent cinema.

Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque/Le fantôme d’Henri Langlois

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Jacques Richard / France / French / 210 mins/ 2014

This documentary explores the life of Henri Langlois, the first film archivist, who dedicated his life to collecting movies from all over the world and preserving them for future generations. Archival footage and interviews with colleagues, friends and family tell the story of how Langlois’ celluloid passion lead him to hide scores of films during the Nazi occupation of France in World War II, and how he helped establish a cinematic museum and theatre that has influenced countless filmmaker.