Most of us saw Lipstick Under My Burkha at last year’s Mumbai Film Festival (MFF). Since then, the film has been doing the fest rounds and winning accolades internationally. On home ground though, it has been the exactly opposite scene. Battle with CBFC went for long, and then the task to find a proper release and distribution partner. Ekta Kapoor came on-board and gave the much needed boost to make it look visible. The film is finally in theatres this friday.

Here’s our recco post on the film, written by Raj Kumari. It was written last year after the MFF screening.

No Male Rescuers

Lipstick Under My Burkha (LUMB) was one of the best films I saw at MAMI 2016 – a bold & honest take on female sexuality. All four protagonists are females (how often that happens in India?) so it can be easily said that it is about female sexuality but I felt at the deepest level it is not. And I am so happy about it being not so.

But still it shows the different perceptions about female sexuality in four different stages of a women’s life through four characters Rehana Saeed (a college girl), Leela (a young lady of so-called marriageable age), Shireen Aslam (a middle-aged married women) and Usha Bua ji (an elderly woman).

The film explores their desires, fantasies, and struggle to own their heartbreaks with such honesty and poignant sensitivity that it’s impossible not to see your own secrets in them.

And even after crossing so many slippery alleys of this topic of female sexuality and repression when it becomes very easy (and even cathartic) to take sides by providing a rescuer for these characters, this film allows itself not to take such a decisive stand and sticks to its POV of just being a witness. The film doesn’t rescue them, it just lets them be. The focus remains tight on the process of suppression only, and hence the core of sexuality comes out blazingly clear.

And what is it?

Sexuality is never about body. And more primarily about male or female body. It can not be. As it involves both male and female energies, whatever be the outer form of the body, male or female or any other gender. Sexuality is about being free, being open, being whole in your presence which generally manifests as being with your own body. And of course, this openness and freedom can come through wearing what you like, smoking, being explicitly exposing or demanding sex openly (some of the tropes repeatedly used/reinforced in our films to show a ‘liberated’ woman). But being sexually liberated is further about understanding that these are just few symbols of freedom against respective symbols of suppression. They ALONE are NOT freedom. Yes, they do serve till some deeper grounds of being open with the self is found. And the film attempts to take us to that depth too.

(SPOILERS AHEAD) 

It defines the core of freedom in the scene where Bua-ji owns her desires, and her ownership of them in front of all who used to respect her. She didn’t feel any shame, grudge or pity. She showed courage to assemble all of her torn, broken, humiliated self in her arms and took shelter in her bedroom calmly and with the same ownership. There were male oppressors but there was no male rescuer in the film, and this itself says how deeply mature the intent of the film is. I loved the film a little extra for this one golden aspect.

And in the last scene, how beautifully it showed that such a place of courage becomes a platform for all such courageous hearts to identify with their struggle. A platform to make mistakes, comparing your struggles with others, and finally seeing the commonality of self ownership as the final rescue.
Do watch it. And let us know what you thought about the film.

Ritesh Batra’s new film, Our Souls at Night, will have its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival in an out-of-competition slot. The film stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Both the actors will also be honored with Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement at the 74th edition of the fest.

Based on the novel by Kent Haruf and adapted for screen by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, Our Souls At Night is set in Colorado, and begins when Addie Moore (Fonda) pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor Louis Waters (Redford). Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town, they’d been neighbors for decades but had little contact. Netflix is launching the film globally next year. (via Deadline)

The fest will run from Aug. 30 till Sept. 9, 2017

The Song of Scorpions directed by Anup Singh, starring Irrfan Khan and Golshifteh Farahani will have its world première at Locarno Film Festival. The festival is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

The Song of Scorpions is a story of twisted love, revenge and the redemptive power of a song. Nooran, carefree and defiantly independent, is a tribal woman learning the ancient art of healing from her grandmother, a revered scorpion-singer. When Aadam, a camel trader in the Rajasthan desert, hears her sing, he falls desperately in love. But even before they can get to know each other better, Nooran is poisoned by a brutal treachery that sets her on a perilous journey to avenge herself and find her song.

The Locarno Film Festival runs from Aug. 2-12, 2017.

The National Film Development Corporation officially announces Call for Entries for the 11th Year of Filmbazaar Co-Production Market.

The Co-Production Market presents a list of curated projects to the national and international film professionals attending Film Bazaar.

– The Market kicks off with Open Pitch where participants present their projects through Video Pitches to an audience of investors, producers and financiers.

– The four days of the market are earmarked for one on one meetings specially scheduled for each project.

Over the years, the dedicated team has honed its skills for matching projects with the right delegates. Dedicated online and print catalogues consisting of all project details are available for Film Bazaar attendees interested in Co-Production Market projects. The market also conducts an orientation session to familiarize participants to Open Pitch as well as the working of the Co-Production Market and Film Bazaar.

– Full length fiction feature projects with South Asian themes are invited to apply.

– The Early Bird Deadline for submissions is July 5th, 2017.

– The Regular Deadline is August 7th 2017.

– The Extended Deadline is August 21st 2017.

– The Market will be held between 20 – 24th November, 2017 at Film Bazaar, Goa.

– Click www.filmbazaarindia.com for Application Forms and more details

– For further queries, write to: coproduction@filmbazaarindia.com

CPM Projects Over the Years:

 

Lipstick Under My Burkha (CPM 2013),  Newton, Amit Masurkar (CPM 2015), Mantra, Nicholas Khargaonkar, Song of the Scorpions (Anup Singh CPM 2013), Beyond the Known World (Pan Nalin, CPM 2012), Lady of the Lake, Manto, Court, Chauthi Koot, Titli, Liar’s Dice, Arunoday, Highway,Television, Chauranga, Qissa, LSD, Paltadacho Munis, That girl with Yellow Boots, Anurag Kashyap Deool, Karma, Shanghai, Miss Lovely, Mumbai Cha Raja, As the River Flows, Shor in the City, 28.

– Some of the people who have attended the Co Production Market at Film Bazaar are Chedomir Kolar [ Producer No Man’s Land], Mustofa Sarwar Farooki [Director Television], Michael Werner [Fortissimo Films ], Chris Paton [San Sebastian Film Festival], Christian Jeune [Cannes Film Festival], Kristen Niehuus [Medien Board, Berlin-Brandenburg] Remi Burah [Arte France Cinema], Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena, Manish Mundhra, Sooni Taraporewala, Sabiha Sumar [Director Khamosh Pani], Guneet Monga, Nandita Das, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal, Pablo Bertolini [Venice Film Festival], Charles Tesson [Cemaine de la Crtique Cannes Film Festival], Aviva Silver [NEA cinema, Belgium], Anup Singh [Director Quissa],Catherine Dussart [Producer Chautih Koot France], Ramesh Sippy, Kabir Khan, Sheeladitya Bora, Marco Muller, [Beijing Film Festival], Benjamin Illos [Director’s Fortnight, Cannes]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

किनारा में एक चीज़ तो कमाल की थी. जो कहावत है ना कि ’बाप का माल’,
तो बाप का माल बहुत चुराया मैंने” 

Pancham

Without any doubts, one can say that Sachin Dev Burman is one of the greatest music directors of all time. His musical creations are forever, but his most special creation was his son “Pancham”, yet another musical genius whose creations stood the test of time. Pancham was born on this day 78 years ago on June 27th 1939. Pancham’s destiny was given a definite path when Dada Burman took him along from Kolkata to Mumbai, despite reservations from Pancham’s mother & naani. Pancham began his music learning and soon started contributing to Dada’s music at an early age. Dada Burman used one of Pancham’s tune in ‘Funtoosh’ for the song “Ae meri topi palat ke aa“.

Pancham continued to be a big support to Dada Burman as an assistant music director, both officially and unofficially.  A lot of musical pieces from 60s and 70s of Dada Burman carry a significant and visible Pancham. Pyaasa‘s theme for Mala Sinha, the unforgettable Harmonica play in “Hai apna dil to awaara“, the title and dance music in Teen Deviyaan along with his harmonica, to name just a few.  One of the most significant achievement of Pancham’s career was that he could come out of the shadow of the very successful father and created his own independent space with his distinct style, sound, and thirst for innovation. Yet one can always find a lot of traces of Dada Burman’s music in Pancham’s composition in the later years. Pancham had made an honest confession about it in a radio show, admitting that he recycled/reused a lot of his father’s tunes. Much more than a father-son relationship,  it was a creative collaboration of two brilliant minds supplementing & complementing each other in the musical journey where each of them supported the cause of other.    Today we explore his “Baap Ka Maal” in this post. Join in.

1.  Kandibo na Fagun gele – SD Burman / Abke Na Saawan Barse – Kinara 

Dada Burman sang and composed the Bengali non-film song in earlier years of his career. Pancham reused the tune to create Abke na saawan barse in Kinara (1977)

 

 

2. Aami Chinu Eka – SD Burman / Khali Haath Shaam Aayi Hai – RD Burman

Once again Pancham took inspiration from one of the Dada Burman’s earlier works, to come up with beautiful Khaali haath shaam aayi hai in Ijaazat(1987). The influence is primarily in the opening part as Pancham gave the composition a new look, color and mood.

 

3. Sujata Title Music – SD Burman / Aapke Kamre Me Koi Rehta Hai – RD Burman

An interesting and experimental makeover to what originally was a popular Rabindra Sangeet (Ore jhawr nemey aaye) which Dada Burman used in Sujata’s title music, and later Pancham reworked it to create the musical extravaganza as ‘Aapke Kamre me koi rehta hai‘ in Yaadon ki Baraat (1973). He has also used the tune to create a beautiful romantic number a few years earlier in a Bengali film Rajkumari (1970).

 

4. Hai ki jey kori – SD Burman / Tune O Rangeele – RD Burman

Pancham used the basic structure of the Mukhda and reworked the “Piya Piya” hook to come up with another melody in Kudrat (1983) for Tune o rangeele.

 

5. Katha kao dao saara – SD Burman / Ummeed Hogi Koi – RD Burman

Dada Burman’s version (which was not composed by him but Subol Dasgupta, as informed by Aniruddha Bhattacharjee) has minimalism in folk ambiance, while Pancham gives it a modern color for the brilliant non-film collaboration “Dil Padosi Hai” (1987). Both excel in their respective versions.  Two melancholic beauties derived from one composition.

 

6. Kuhu kuhu koyaliya – SD Burman / Kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya – RD Burman

Dada Burman sang this popular Nazrulgeeti in early part of his career. Pancham reworked it with Gulzar for the unreleased DevDas (1975). Dada Burman’s version carry the earthy/rustic feel of Jaggery, while Pancham version had the sweet flow of finished honey with the voice of Lata Mangeshkar.

 

7. Nitol paye rinik jhink – SD Burman / Jab bhi koi kangana – RD Burman

Dada Burman’s popular composition which also has traces of Rabindra Sangeet in the interlude was reused by Pancham in Shaukeen (1982).

 

 

8. Aami Soite pari – SD Burman / Kya bura hai kya bhala – RD Burman

A beautiful Karta composition again with minimal use of instrument just with the use of Sarangi & Tabla. Pancham  gave his version a modern qawwali treatment for unreleased Libaas. His second ever & last song with Lata in duets.

 

 

9. Madhu brindabone dole raadha – SD Burman / Meethe Bol bole – RD Burman

A semi classical gem by Dada Burman. Beta Burman reused it in Kinara (1977) with a lot of improvisation in treatment

 

10. Rongila rongila rongila re – SD Burman / Kuchh na kaho opening – RD Burman

The soul song of Dada Burman, a song which marked the beginning of Dada Burman’s musical journey, and Pancham used the core hook beautifully in his legendary comeback score of 1942 – A Love Story, as if he was given his last Tribute to his father & their collaboration.

 

And finally, here it is – Pancham’s confession on “Baap Ka Maal” -Hear from the Horse’s mouth.

 

 

 

Video  —  Posted: June 27, 2017 by sargamkesaathi in bollywood, cinema, music
Tags: , , ,

NasbandiEmergency was imposed on India on this day 42 years ago, on June 25, 1975, and it lasted for about 21 months. During the emergency, Kishore Kumar was banned by Ministry of I&B on All India Radio & Doordarshan for his non-participation in one of the major public events organised by the people in power then.

When Emergency was finally revoked in 1977, India opted to form a new Government, the country saw a big turn around and supported Janta Party coalition.  With Janta Party in power, Kishore Kumar sang a protest song for the film Nasbandi (1978) and scored an interesting musical revenge.  The film was produced & directed by IS Johar.

The film version of the song was censored and curtailed for a stanza featuring names of some politicians.  The antagonistic lyrics were penned by Indeevar and the song was composed by Kalyanji-Anandji.   An unusual musical documentation of an important event in modern history.

 

 

 

kishore_gandhiteredeshme

Kishore da recording the song with Kalyanji-Anandji. IS Johar can be seen too
– Pic credits: Kaustubh Pingle

 

Full Lyrics :

जनता की आवाज़ है ये
सुन ले ओ बापू गांधी
ये कैसा हाहाकार देश मे
ये कैसी आग की आंधी

कहां गयी वो तेरी अहिंसा, कहां गया वो प्यार
गांधी तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार
बापू तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार

इक भारत में बन गये जलियांवाले बाग़ हज़ार
बापू तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

तूने जब आवाज़ लगाई, सारा हिंदुस्तान उठा
अंग्रेज़ों के दिल भी दहले, ऐसा इक तूफ़ान उठा
खुशी-खुशी तेरे कहने पर भारतवासी जेल गये
सीने पे गोली झेल गये, अपने प्राणों पर खेल गये
नाम पे तेरे लाखों जवां, दुनिया के सब सुख भूल गये
दुल्हन का घूंघट बिन खोले ही फांसी पर झूल गये
तू स्वराज ले आया, हम तो फिर भी रहे लाचार
गांधी तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार

आज़ादी की जंग लड़ा था क्या इसीलिये ये हिन्दुस्तां
अरे न्याय मांगने न्यायालय मे जा ना सके कोई इंसान
कितने ही निर्दोष यहां ’मीसा’ के अन्दर बन्द हुए
अंधे कुएं में कितने ही आज़ाद समंदर बंद हुए
इस्मत लूटा करते हैं जो बन कर लाज के पहरेदार
अपनी सत्ता रखने को जो छीने जनता के अधिकार
सौंप गया है ऐसे के हाथ मे देश की क्यों पतवार
गांधी तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

देखी कहीं कलमबन्दी, देखी कहीं ज़ुबांबन्दी
डर की हुकुमत हर दिल पर थी, सारा हिन्दुस्तां बन्दी
नसबन्दी के नाम पे जुल्म हुए वो दुखियो दीनों पर
लगता था लटका हो जैसे प्रजातन्त्र संगीनों पर
तुर्कमान वो आस्मां टूटा जहां ज़मीनों पर
चढ़ा दिये जब बुलडोज़र जब बेबस लोगों के सीनों पर
अपनो के हाथों ही अपनों पर गोली की बौछार
गांधी तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

सारे देश पर ज़ुल्मो-सितम के घोर अन्धेरे जब छाए
तब प्रकाश की किरणें लेकर जय प्रकाश आगे आए
विजय लक्ष्मी पंडित ने जनता का मनोबल बढ़ा दिया
राज नारायण ने नामुमकिन, मुमकिन करके दिखा दिया
मज़हब से कम नहीं मुल्क, बोले जामा मस्जिद के इमाम
प्रजातन्त्र को नव-जीवन देने आये जगजीवन राम
जॉर्ज फ़र्नांडिस तोड के आये इल्ज़ामों की जन्ज़ीरें
श्रीमोरारजी के आने से चमक उठी फिर तकदीरें
चरन सिंह और चन्द्रशेखर ने लोगों के दिलों को जीता
वापस ले आई जनता अपनी आज़ादी की सीता
अटलबिहारी, आडवानी, नाना ने किया उद्धार
गांधी तेरे नाम की अब होगी जय-जयकार

अरे जो भी हुकुमत ज़ुल्म करेगी उसकी होगी हार
जो भी हुकुमत ज़ुल्म करेगी उसकी होगी हार


फ़िल्म : नसबन्दी -1978
गायक : किशोर कुमार & कोरस
गीतकार : इंदीवर
संगीतकार : कल्याणजी-आनंद्जी

 

Video  —  Posted: June 25, 2017 by sargamkesaathi in bollywood, cinema, Event, Lyrics, music, video, Xclusive
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Abhishek Verma’s 12-minute long animated film Maacher Jhol (The Fish Curry) has won the “City Of Annecy” Award at the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival. The award was started last year and was set up to support new filmmakers or films from emerging film markets, collaborative films or films that offer unique perspectives on the world we live in or the state of animation. It was selected in the “Perspectives” section of the fest. It also bagged the best short film award at the 8th Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.

Here’s the fest synopsis of the film –

Lalit, 28, decides to come out to his parents. In order to reveal his sexuality, seeking acceptance, he cooks his father’s favourite fish curry. Will his dad love the delicious dish?

Click here to read an interview of the filmmaker. And here’s the film’s trailer –

 

 

 

 

The World of Shutu

It’s always difficult to write about a film when it comes back home with you as a very palpable emotion. The conflict is between whether to talk about the film (like a semi-review, talking about the great crew and cast, plot, motifs etc.) or the memories & insights it triggered. Since it’s a quick & short piece written in the middle of a very tight schedule, mainly to excite the reader enough to go and watch the film, I will stay somewhere in between – a bit clumsy but functional.

We all have been Shutu at some point of time in our lives. I know I have been, for many years. Bullied, ridiculed, misunderstood, misfit and still trying to smile lest I should be seen as ‘sissy’. Fitting into this world of men is a constant struggle for men even. It’s a game whose rules we laid on our own and still laid them so tough that now we are having a hard time catching up. Why did we do this to ourselves? Why we continue to do this – trying to check items off a laundry list to pretend that we have grown up (from a male perspective only)? Why do we want to grow up? Due to social pressure or survival mechanism – like preys turning into predator?

Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut A Death In The Gunj takes one to such places – beautiful and uncomfortable – places where innocent nostalgia meets the darkest memories. Set in 1979, it’s about a Bengali family with a severe Raj-era hangover on a quaint holiday in Bihar’s (now Jharkhand’s) McCluskieganj – a place with an equally severe Raj-era hangover. The family has many people and egos, a bunch of well-adjusted, seemingly non-threatening abnormals. And the family has Shutu (Vikrant Massey in a role of a lifetime) – the younger brother broadly seen as a silent-introvert type. The constant clash between the two worlds – one inhabited by the family with its bikes & muttons & drinks & pranks & love-games, and another in which Shutu sits by the window sketching frogs in an old diary – scrapes the paints off both of them. The delicate locking mechanism that had kept them together starts wearing off and the moment of truth, or whatever the grown-up version of that is, comes closer and closer.

The only bridge between the two worlds is Shutu’s teenaged niece Tani – already bored of the games adults play & constantly fascinated by Shutu’s scientific-poetic lonely view of the world. It’s not a coincidence that the bridge is a female ‘cos this is a film deeply aware of its gender politics (and at a couple of places, class politics too). Men behave like boys-behaving-like-men, women behave like women-seen-through-men’s-eyes, as two conflicted souls (Shutu and Tani) clutch at straws while drowning in the waters of such rigid definitions.

As a fat teenaged kid in the 90s, I loved watching cricket and I wasn’t bad at playing it too but nobody would select me in the team. My fatness and my academic bent (the tag of “padhaaku”) were a liability nobody was willing to carry. Even if selected in the team (the last to be picked), I’d not get a chance to bat or bowl. So I’d put all my efforts into fielding well. I’d kill myself to get that throw from the boundary right.

But still, just to show I am cool with this treatment, I would offer to play the umpire. That way, I’d get to be on the field at least, get to hold the ball at the end of every over (just for a few seconds before I toss it to the next bowler), and be treated with respect by both the teams. I’d apply myself to the task & be the most unbiased, observant umpire. Sometimes, I’d get to play a few balls or bowl an over – and I believe that became possible only because of the bridges I made as an umpire. But in the process, I lost something precious too. I lost my courage to openly cry in public. I lost my feminine side, or at least suppressed it for the longest time, to fit into this world of men.

And that’s why, when in one scene Shutu is the last to be picked for a game of kabaddi, his state of mind was so relatable that I felt like crying. I did not, yet again.

Varun Grover

*********************

For those looking for a quick list of reasons to watch (and watch you MUST):

  1. Konkona Sen Sharma’s assured, sensitive debut as a Director. Ace!
  2. Konkona Sen Sharma’s screenplay co-written with Disha Rindani (based on a short story by Mukul Sharma) is full of delightful dialogue & an eerie sense of impending doom.
  3. Rich texture and detailing. Made on a small budget but NEVER looks like it. Sirsha Ray (DOP) and Sidhharth Sirohi (Production Design) bring their A-game to the table.
  4. McCluskieganj’s wild charm has been captured so ethereally that you can smell the air, touch the greenery.
  5. The film has four languages (English, Hindi, Bangla, and Chhota Nagpuri) and all spoken with a natural effortlessness rare to find in Indian cinema.
  6. The brilliant original score and music by Sagar Desai (disclosure: I worked with him in ‘Ankhon Dekhi’) elevates and layers the film with great precision.
  7. One of the best ensemble casts in recent memory – Ranvir Shorey, Kalki  Koechlin, Tilottama Shome, Gulshan Devaiah, Jim Sarbh, Arya Sharma, Tanuja, and Om Puri (one of his last roles and what a delight he is!).
  8. Such well-etched and distinct characters – right from Ranvir Shorey’s Vikram to Kalki’s Mimi to Tilottama’s Bonnie to Gulshan Devaiah’s Nandu – constantly chattering, surprising and layering the film with their brilliant mannerisms.
  9. Vikrant Massey got the kind of role actors crave for and he hits it out of the park. Shutu is beautiful and heartbreaking.
  10. Every department has delivered and the best thing is – the sum is way greater than the parts. Do not miss this film.