O Lover of Life: Experimental Narrative from India

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | March 4, 2004

Thursday, March 4, 2004, 8pm

rasikan-re-277

Ancient and contemporary arts of India are at the center of three startling video works by Indian makers, which blur reality and fiction with their experimental approach toward narrative. Presented by Monica Bhasin, graduate student in Film and Video at the School of the Art Institute. Oracles of Kerala state are the subjects of Kshurasya Dhara (The Razor’s Edge) (2002), a quasi-documentary by Vipin Vijay. Frenzied dances of the possessed, rock-art images, ribald songs, and ecstatic trances are cannily arranged to “make the viewer aware of the constructedness of documentary reality.”  Pooja Kaul’s Winter Trail (2002) follows two women in pursuit of an historical figure: Amrita Sher-Gil, one of India’s first modern painters, a half-Indian, half-Hungarian woman who died mysteriously at the age of  twenty-eight. Kaul’s Rasikan Re (O Lover of Life) (2002) merges narrative with musical structure: presenting the cautious attraction of two neighbors in an apartment block, Kaul sees the young woman, Madhu, as a morning raga, full of hope and expectancy; her older suitor, Kedar, is a night raga, austere but with the knowledge of sensuality (Monica Bhasin). 2002—2003, various directors, India, ca. 71 min, video.

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