MANI KAUL: When I made A Day’s Bread, I wanted to completely destroy any semblance of a realistic development, so that I could construct the film almost in the manner of a painter. In fact, I’ve been a painter and a musician. You could make a painting where the brush stroke is completely subservient to the figure, which is what the narrative is, in a film. But you can also make a painting stroke by stroke so that both the figure and the strokes are equal. I constructed A Day’s Bread shot by shot, in this second way, so that the “figure” of the narrative is almost not taking shape in realistic terms. All the cuts are delayed, thought there is a preempting of the generally even rhythm sometimes, when the film is a projection of the woman’s fantasies.
SEMINARIAN: When you were shooting A Day’s Bread, did you mentally picture those shots? Or did the specific shots come along as you rehearsed?
MAIN KAUL: With a A Day’s Bread, it was strange. I had a dream. In the dream, I saw a filmstrip lying on the floor, and on it I saw all the shots. So I had a very strong sense of what I was going to do.
—A Critical Cinema 3: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers
- I refuse to believe that the kind of Indie films we do here has no audience. For every kind of film i’m sure there is an audience, it’s a matter of tapping them right. Half the time there’s not even level playing if people don’t even know where these films are being shown or there is no ads, hoarding, no information about it where do they go and see it? I think in India the commerce and economics interferes so much with art that it kind of just takes over. So, even an independent filmmaker who’s kind of struggling and wanting to tell his/her own story gets bogged down and starts compromising almost right from the beginning. I mean countries which makes far few films like even say Romania, Taiwan, Iran, Egypt just small films, they’re making more beautiful, more honest films about their times and their people. And we feel that we make thousand films how is it possible we don’t get gems they should be coming out more often than we actually get. I think the government can play a very important role in not only making new content but whatever good quality content exists and how to bring it together then give it a larger exposure. - Nandita Das
- A successful independent film movement isn’t just important, it’s necessary. As a vanguard movement, indie films can break new ground and push the boundaries of cinema as an art form, something that commercial cinema usually cannot do.- Shyam Benegal (Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri Awardee)
- As we celebrate the 100 yr of Indian Cinema, we should realize that our films are nowhere on the world map. We need to make indie films that reflect our culture in a more accurate manner. The world needs to know that Indian cinema is about more than just a Son of Sardaar of Dabangg.- Resul Pookutty (Oscar winning sound designer)
- We’re constantly told that there’s no audience for indie cinema but from what I’ve experienced and learnt from my interactions with other filmmakers in the indie space, is that the biggest problem is that of exhibition. There are big films releasing, so you don’t even get theatre space for films that are made minus the studio system. You’re competing with 150-crore films, 200-crore films - indie films don’t have that kind of publicity budget. A film like Rituparno Ghosh’s Chitrangada, which is a beautiful film, nobody else in the country gets to see it, because we don’t have a distribution system where we can show these movies with English subtitles everywhere. And we’re talking about going cross-over to Europe? If we don’t watch each other’s films, how will it happen?- Onir (National Award Winner)
- India, I’m afraid, has many film lovers but few connoisseurs of cinema. So, when they find a favourite film they go all out to celebrate it and fail to distinguish between the film and its cinematic content. As a result, we lose the proper perspective and the context- Rituparno Ghosh (12 times National Award winner)
I will do my best to carry you when you need a lift
Comfort you when you’re sad
We all feel down now and then
But I’m here if you need me