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Old wine: An ode to the film technicians

Thomas ‘tom’ Koshy went to Fun Republic to watch couple of old films, as old as he was and came out an enlightened man after his rendezvous with an enormous amount of underrated talent.

A young and skinny Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Baswani (fresh from their NSD days) sing ‘hum honge kamiyaab ek din’. I can see cracks on the film reel and the gentle sound of the reel rolling in the projector.

People find it difficult to remain seated, I can’t close my mouth… I’m trying to breathe… I can’t. Neither can the other 200 people seated in side the theater. We are howling with laughter and the ‘cheerharan’ scene is underway. I don’t remember when was the last time I laughed till I was reduced to nothing. One of the most hilarious, meaningful and hard-hitting satires modern India has ever produced. People told me that to see it for the first time on silver screen is pure luck. No movie today can match up to the humour. I’m watching Jaane Bhi do Yaaron (1984) by Kundan Shah. (Priyadarshan take lessons from this one!!)

When the screening ended Ravi Baswani, Pankaj Kapoor, Satish Shah, Neena Gupta and Kundan Shah along with a host of other FTIIans stood and applauded the crew who got their premier standing ovation 23 yrs after their movie released.

My rocker, long haired colleague with whom I had come with is still on the floor. “Ohhhhhhhhhh hahahah, it’s so… ohhhuhuhuh… huhuh uhuhaaaaaaaaaah…

Niranjan, manager (Fun Republic announces, “This is a moment of glory… today we celebrate films of a very special, talented and
disciplinary person… the editor, Renu Saluja.

Behind the Scenes
A film editor is a person who practices film editing by assembling separate takes into a coherent film. In making a film the editors play a dynamic and creative role.

There was a time during the Oscars when the crew were the first people to be credited, followed by the actors and finally the director. With the onset of commercialisation the procedure got manipulated in favour of the actors.

The cinematogapher/ director of photography gives you beautiful, picturesque, breathtaking frames of locales (Kal ho na ho, Swades, Lagaan, Asoka, Roja, Black); the sound recordist gives you amazing sound (Lagaan, Black), and finally the editor’s juxtaposing of frames gives you the desired impact (Company, Sarkar). The talents of all these people combine together to give you the ultimate cinematic experience.

From 16th-18th June 2006 GRAFTII (the alumni body of FTII) teamed up with Fun Republic to organise a three day film festival to salute the path breaking Film Editor and FTII graduate Renu Saluja. The first woman Editor and one of the best the country has ever seen, Renu finally got the limelight she deserved. The festival kicked off with a documentary on Renu (Remembering Renu) featuring the many people from the industry who love and respect her work, followed by the comic classic ‘Jaane bhi do yaaron’.

Another of the films screened included Split Wide Open (1999) directed by Dev Benegal, pretty hard hitting and well edited. Most of us would call these movies Arty but they were no less entertaining than stuff dished out today. Look closer and you’ll see beauty in each and every frame. Whether it’s Om Puri‘s character of a policeman who deconstructs into alchoholism in Ardh Satya (1983) by Govind Nihalani; an old man’s relationship with the court of law in Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho (1984) by Saeed Mirza or a slumdwelling driver whose only escape from reality is movie star Madhuri Dixit, in Dharavi (1991) by Sudhir Mishra.

The film festival actually made me question ‘who and what are we promoting in this country in the name of talented people. Who are the idols? How hard have they worked to earn star status?’

It was a trip watching these old movies in a theatre. The festival was a homely affair, no big time paparazzi, no shallow celebrities, good cinema and friendly FTIIans and a warm cuppa-coffee- a priceless experience I took back home.

My only grievance being WHAT IS WITH THE 10:30 AM SCHEDULE OF STARTING A FILM FESTIVAL ON A FRIDAY MORNING?. DON’T THEY WANT PEOPLE TO WATCH THEIR MOVIES ?

Anyways, kudos to the organisers for a cool festival which was not just about good cinema but recognising valuable and genuine talent.

My encounters with…
Pankaj Kapoor:
Hello sir, I write for..
Yes, right, hi and
thank you.

Satish Shah: shook his head

Ravi Baswani: You like my new pony tail? And my Hulk Hogan moustache? Oh watching yourself on the silver screen is no big deal now at least after 23 years it feels good nonetheless. It’s a great film.”

Kundan Shah:
A half toothless smile.

At FTII, Editing, is a three Year Post Graduate Diploma, with 12 seats available (1 seat reserved).

FTII is well-equipped with the most up-to-date equipment. Students initially work with the low-end equipment and gradually get to use the advanced equipment through demonstrations and individual practicals. Says a current student, “Faculty is so-so but in terms of facilities we are no less than London Film School or UCLA.” For more details log on to www.ftiindia.com

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