Saturday, 5 July 2014

Back in my studio thinking….

Every time I start to believe that popular Indian cinema is getting it's act together (pun unintended), I find I am blown away (again pun untended!) by the mindless violence that attempts to hold together story-lines that are ludicrously stupid and which lack any semblance of plausibility,  to validate 90 minutes of one's life given to it's attention.

Ok I saw Ek Villain….and Ok that was a dumb thing to do….! But hang on, why am I wrong in expecting to be entertained or kept engaged when going for something off the cuff and not relying on a Rajeev Masand to accredit  it for me. The idea is to be able to spontaneously go out and  find entertainment that does just that….entertain! Instead I came back home feeling  taxed and exhausted by what was meant to uplift my energies and be a relaxing  time away from work.

I am rather boggled quite honestly at how financiers can put out money (even if to launder it!) on projects that are so terribly stupid. To use Suhail Seth's favourite  word…are they all "dolts"! There are so many great pilot projects waiting to be funded in the arts and entertainment sector but what do the honey-pots-of-money do…. quite literally, they blow it up (pun intended this time!) on sheer nonsense. And then of course unsuspecting idiots like me go and get phasao-ed into sitting through drivel and giving our money towards supporting fatuous rubbish! What is interesting is that the purse strings of those who are funding such garbage don't always loosen up to fund things that  desperately need our collective endeavours of support to remain sustainable for their creative survival.

Perhaps stalwarts and activists within the film and theatre fraternity in India could invest in making a dynamic centre in Mumbai that supports the revival  of different traditional crafts related to areas like embroidery, jewellery making, toys, furniture etc. which could also become a  location of sourcing for film makers for costumes and set details. It is also time to fund a museum devoted to the memorabilia of film history that is of international standard. Osian founded by Neville Tulli have amassed wonderful collection of film memorabilia  but I don't see it being made accessible to the public at all except via auctions and a few exhibitions sporadically.

I love the craft museum in Delhi but wish that it's shop could be revamped (and dusted!) and a central government endeavour initiated to also reinvent the  Cottage Industries outlets that were my parents favourite haunts when I was a child; and where perhaps I learnt so much from those hours of poking around all the beautiful objects and textiles and pressing my nose up against the glass cabinets of jewellery to keep myself occupied, whilst my parents shopped in earnest.

Today with retro ideas making an appearance as a space of reclamation of "old becoming gold" again, I see many things of the past doing a pop-up through the creative remix-culture of today - but somehow always lacking in the finer detailing of finesse and hand work that displayed true experience in the case of the originals from yesteryear. The trade mark of the earlier days of art and craft items was the authorship of the hand that ruled supreme in executing skill and magic.  I have an exquisite pair of gold earrings that were completely hand crafted  by my little silversmith from the Sardar bazaar in Fatehgunj, where many moons ago it cost me five thousand rupees and a hole in my bank account!!! But today he has closed shop and been ousted out by the machine work that people clamour for, leaving his skills unwanted and dying out.

I wish the old and the new phrased its existence better by our support and articulation of its need,  so that we could ensure a better space for aesthetics to be a common place scenario within life, for all.

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