India’s New Wave at the Museum of the Moving Image

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Titli

Titli starring Shashank Arora

Lassi with Lavina’s Upcoming Events – Happy Cinema Sundays!

A Trio of New Wave Films from India 

The ritual of New Wave Indie films from India continues at the Museum of the Moving Image  and so keep the last Sunday of the month free for some must-sees.

The much talked about ‘Titli’ can be seen this Sunday on January 31.  This powerful debut film has won awards at scores of film festivals. It is written and directed by Kanu Behl and co-produced by Dibakar Banerjee Productions and Aditya Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films.  It certainly shows that a big banner and indie filmmakers can come together to make a critically acclaimed and commercially viable film.

Dhanak 

“I grew up in a typically patriarchal North Indian family, fighting the dominant presence of my father and the apparent tyranny of him forcing everything down my throat. I rebelled and tried to get out. Run away whenever possible… sometimes even getting close,” writes Kanu Behl in his director’s notes.

“The disappointments of aborted attempts aside, each time the desire got stronger. Until eventually, I managed to get to film school, where I decided to construct my own world from scratch. Deleting everything that I hated about my family and their way of life. I made my own rules. Swore to live by them. And setup the utopia. Intent on making things happen my way. The perfect way! However, slowly realization set in that the obsession to get rid of oppression had become so that I had almost imbibed it within myself completely. I was slowly, almost invisibly, becoming what I had hated. In totally different, yet scarily similar ways, I had started behaving like an oppressor towards people who were close to me in my life.

That is what Titli is about. That family is who you are. That roots cannot be dug out. That freedom is not escape. And what the protagonist does when he sets face with this realization. Because I would like to believe that there is a way back, however treacherous, towards home and true ʻfreedomʼ.”

Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi

Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi in Titli

Dibakar Banerjee who has several strong films to his credit, from Khosla Ka Ghosla to Love, Sex Aur Dhoka, notes, “As a producer, I’m interested in giving birth to a film that’s difficult to give birth to, because it’s the difficult child that does something which history remembers.

It’s very tough to survive in the commercial or semi-commercial context in the Indian film industry by making films that are dissenting in nature. But that’s what I want to do – to make films that rebel, which shake up, provoke and turn a very hard light into the dark spaces of our society. Titli meets that criterion quite well. Titli has raw & searing honesty – something deeply truthful that caught me instantly.”

For more details on Titli, check out:  India’s New Wave

Krrish Chhabria and Hetal Gada in Dhanak

Krrish Chhabria and Hetal Gada in Dhanak

 Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak

Also coming up is another buzz films, Dhanak (Rainbow) by Nagesh Kukunoor on February 28, 2 pm. This wonderful modern-day fable won the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for the best feature-length film at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. Check out this heartwarming trailer to see how this winning film draws and engages you.

Kirumi – Anurcharan Murugaiyan

Kirumi (Virus) directed by Anucharan Marugaiyan. Screening at Museum of the Moving Image as part of "India's New Wave" in March 2016. Image courtesy of JPR Films.

Kirumi (Virus) directed by Anucharan Marugaiyan. Screening at Museum of the Moving Image as part of “India’s New Wave” in March 2016. Image courtesy of JPR Films.

Kirumi (Virus) on March 20, 4.30 pm  is directed by Anucharan Murugaiyan and is in Tamil with English subtitles. First-time director Murugaiyan delivers a riveting, white-knuckle thriller from a script co-written with rising-star Tamil filmmaker M. Manikandan (The Crow’s Egg). Their collaboration is a fine example of Tamil cinema’s recent emergence as a force on the world stage.

Happy Cinema Sundays!

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Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

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