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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Great Movie Poster!

For once I really wish the film really lives upto to the promise of the poster. Pulp-Retro-Hindi Cinema. Nothing like it.




Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Native Telugu Cinema Movement - ' Maa Voollo Osari Em Jarigindante..'

A couple of nights ago, I happened to catch a screening of a Telugu film at the Film Chamber theater.
I'll come to that in a minute..

Its obvious by now that independent cinema has a very limited distribution market in Andhra Pradesh.
My definition of 'Independent Telugu Cinema' is: cinema which is self produced, made on very tight budgets and schedules, may or may not have commercial elements and therefore is at the mercy of the distribution market to be picked up for a proper theatrical release. There are more poetic and creative connotations to Independent Cinema... but I think this is a realistic definition.

I've admired and envied the 'parallel' cinema movement in Tamil Nadu. One might also call it a sub-culture, native or new wave Tamil Cinema. These films have been received well by critics and audiences alike. They've also gone onto win National and International awards.

I've wondered, like I'm sure most of you have, will there ever be a 'New Wave Telugu Cinema Movement'? When will it happen? Will the market and the audiences allow it? Is there room at all for it?
In time we'll see, I suppose. But lets not argue that it legitimately exists even. I guess its upto us to make that happen.

Meanwhile...
We did have a legitimate 'sub-culture'/native movement in the few 'Angrez' type films. I thought it was the beginning of a new wave of sorts, but it seems to be diminishing fast. But this got me thinking. If a bunch of guys in Old City were making their very own genre films, crime/comedy, Hyderabadi-Biryani-Nawabi style. What is stopping our folk from other parts of the state?

Forget 'new wave'. A legitimate 'sub-culture' or native cinema movement is welcome and the need of the hour. Authentic, traditional, even commercial, but drenched in the nativity of the land, region and people it comes from. These need to be seen, these need to be theatrically distributed.

One such, charming, un-assuming, sweet, native, funny and really twisted little film is the one I saw a couple of nights ago. 'Maa Voollo Osari Em Jarigindante..'
Written, Produced and Directed by Chandrashekar aka Chendu.You'll hear more of him in the future, I can guarantee that.

Starring absolute amateurs, shot over a few days, on an unbelievable budget and 50 rolls of Kodak stock. This is a true 'sub-culture' Telugu film. Or wait, is 'native' the right word?

At this point some clarity on the word 'sub-culture' and 'native' is important.
The dictionary defines subculture as:  
1. (Sociology) a subdivision of a national culture or an enclave within it with a distinct integrated network of behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes.
and 'native' as
1.(adj)Originating, growing, or produced in a certain place or region; indigenous: 

In the case of ' Maa Voollo Osari Em Jarigindante..' probably native is the right term. Its a film which will remind of you the classic Pedda Vamsi films but without the sheen and without the glamor.

Its been a while since we've seen someone get that absolutely right. Chendu gets it 'bang-on' target.
The film tethers on being Malegoan like (http://bitURL.net/Malegoan) but straightens up to be a truly native and genuine effort.
I'm very confident this film will do well at the box office, if it finds the right kind of distribution, publicity and marketing. Setting the right expectations for the audiences might be crucial. You can see, I'm having a very hard time categorizing it efficiently.

But in a time, where commercial mainstream cinema, while entertaining has become increasingly predictable, 
' Maa Voollo Osari Em Jarigindante..' came as a breath of fresh air for me. And this effort needs to be encouraged and supported. My friends and I are trying to do our bit.. we hope for the best. Meanwhile,

Here's to Chendu and his team. Three cheers mate! You've made an honest, genuine and truly native film.

As I sign off and you look at poster designs; a word of advice: This is a film which must not be judged by its cover-literally. It shouldn't be judged by some of its un-assumed cheesiness. It shouldn't be judged by the amateur acting.
Trust me.. Beneath it all is a very twisted plot and extremely entertaining dialogs and characters.
What more does anyone need?