Monday, July 4, 2011

Notes towards a film about India

Pasolini, 1969, 33m

This is a film about a film about or set in India which never got made. Pasolini was in the process of formulating a plot as well as exploring with his camera. He starts by asking a variety of people whether they would be willing to offer their bodies to feed a starving tiger. Sadhus, rivers, eagles hovering, faces, autorickshas, the Indian parliament. Pasolini indifferently roves over the images which one imagines a tourist to associate with this land.

Once upon a time there was a Maharaja, who, after India became independent, decides to give up his palace and luxury to fend for himself as a commoner. The family falls into ill days, and the film concludes with a cremation, presumably of the scion.

The movie includes some interviews, with farmers, industrial workers, people on the street, news paper editors, eliciting dull responses to dull questions.

The film has nothing to recommend it except the director's name and the short running time. It is no surprise it never got made, which attests to his sound judgement. It is a relic and a curio.

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