The radical filmmaker, teacher at Berkeley and writer talks essentialism in identity politics and why her films are neither documentary nor fiction.
Trinh T. Minh-ha’s first film, Reassemblage (1982), is in some sense a work of ethnographic cinema. Shot in Senegal, it is filled with scenes of daily life, especially of village women.
Yet, from its very title, which summons the fragmentary and constructed, Reassemblage signals that it will be no conventional documentary. Disentangling sound from image, foregoing an authoritative voice-over and relinquishing the long takes of an observational style for a disjunctive montage aesthetic, Trinh overturns the conventions traditionally employed in anthropological filmmaking. Rather than a work of ethnographic cinema, Reassemblage is better understood as anti-ethnography – a film that reflexively dismantles the objectification and exoticization of otherness which mark the ethnographic and colonial projects alike.
In the films, installations and books she has produced in the years since Reassemblage, Trinh has continued in this spirit, deconstructing claims to identity, presence and authenticity, holding them to be the product of patriarchal and colonialist epistemologies. Whether in the re-enactments of Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) and the poetic theorizing of Woman Native Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism (1989), or in her more recent turn to exploring digitization and climate change, Trinh insists on dislodging the illusory purity of inherited categories to make way for the hybrid and in-between. Crucially, this cross-disciplinary practice is not one of simple negation: Trinh breaks down dominant languages in order to imagine other forms of relation and expression.
Her latest film, Forgetting Vietnam (2016), crosses the country of her birth from north to south, confronting changing imaging technologies and the ambivalence of modernization along the way. Through landscapes, history, folklore and popular songs, this essayistic travelogue commemorates both the passing of Trinh’s father and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. The work possesses a lyricism not present in Reassemblage, but Trinh’s words from the earlier film resonate in it even more strongly: ‘Reality is delicate.’
Filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s second venture A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh: Season’s Greetings will have world wide premiere on Zee 5 this winter.
After the success of Cakewalk, author turned director Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s second feature A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh: Season’s Greetings will have world wide premiere on Zee 5, India’s leading digital platform. The 47 minute Hindi feature marks the comeback of Bollywood star Celina Jaitly Haag post marriage and motherhood. The film also stars theatre thespian Lillette Dubey and debutant Azhar Khan in the lead. This film also marks the debut of Bollywood’s first transgender actor Shree Ghatak in a pivotal role. Continue reading Season’s Greetings of Ram Kamal Mukherjee to be premiered at Imagineindia
Tell us what inspired you to take that step into journalism. My father, Jaydeb Mukherjee was instrumental in guiding me. He realised that I liked writing, and…
Tell us what inspired you to take that step into journalism.
My father, Jaydeb Mukherjee was instrumental in guiding me. He realised that I liked writing, and I always preferred Shakespeare more than Newton in my school days! I guess the germ was already created; it needed the right soil to bloom. Continue reading Interview with Ram Kamal Mukherjee
He recently won the Leitz Cine Discovery Prize during Critic’s Week at Cannes. Meet the Changzhou-based filmmaker and VCA Master of Film and Television graduate Qiu Yang.
A woman gently presses her head against a bus window. The shifting neon lights from the street outside wash over her face, and somewhere in the city beyond, living or dead, is her daughter. Somewhere else in China, a young man is accused by the children of an elderly woman of pushing her on the street after taking her to a hospital, with devastating social implications for both families. On the other side of the world, a young woman leaves her stifling family life to go for a walk through a Melbourne street at night, but will never return. Continue reading An interview with filmmaker Qiu Yang
Precious takes the traditional story of a teenager dealing drugs to improve his lot in life and gives it new life. Taking in ideas of teenage pride alongside ideas of escape and entrapment, Precious is a bravura piece of work that is already the recipient of numerous awards, including Best Student Film at the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2018. Continue reading Irfan Avdic, director of Precious. Interview
Young Indian cinematographer Modhura Palit EICA (Eastern India Cinematographers Association), IWCC (Indian Women Cinematographers Collective) will receive the 2nd Angénieux “special encouragement” award on May 24th, 2019 during the “Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography” ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival. This recognition will allow Modhura the opportunity to use the most sophisticated Angénieux lenses on an upcoming project. She told us more about herself and her vision of cinematography.
Continue reading Interview to Modhura Palit
In October 1990, in Tokyo, while Kurosawa was still filming his penultimate film, Rhapsody in August (Hachi-gatsu no kyōshikyoku, 1991), writer and director met to discuss the differences between literary and cinematographic language, and the difficulties of the adaptation of the first to the second. On the occasion of the central topic of Rhapsody in August, they addressed the physical, spiritual and historical consequences of the Nagasaki nuclear bombing in 1945 and the reaction of the perpetrator, the United States: the establishment of a machinery of oblivion in Japan, under its auspices, in place of acceptance of his crime and publicly apologize; they also delved into the conditions of happiness, the limits of man, and, of course, the implications of this in art. It is a friendly duel between two of the sharpest and most passionate minds of his time, showing a deep concern to leave, through his work, a positive legacy for humanity. This is a part of the interview. Continue reading Interview of G.García Márquez to Akira Kurosawa
By Amitava Nag
May has a very special connotation in the Bengali psyche. It is in this very month when two of Bengal’s brightest stars of the cultural sky were born – Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray. It is on a rainy day in the end of the same month two years back when Bengal lost its most versatile film-maker of contemporary times. It was a romantic rainy day in 2013 unlike the sweltering summer this year and I was driving to my office when the news of Rituparno Ghosh’s untimely death hit me quite hard, like many others. Two years later and the initial shock evaporated by now what does Rituparno Ghosh’s cinema mean to me? Continue reading Rituparno Ghosh – The ‘Enfant Terrible’ of Indian Cinema
Written by Shoma A. Chatterji
To make a short film stripped of stars, technical razzmatazz, much of a story, and even dialogue, would be a challenge for any filmmaker. Manoj Michigan, who has been making feature films in Bengali with strikingly out-of-the-box subjects has just made I Reborn, a 20-minute film that explains the cycle of life through a warm story of a young Dom whose name we do not come to know. Continue reading Interview with Manoj Michigan
The indian director Buddhadeb Dasgupta will recieve the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 18th edition of Imagineindia International Film Festival Madrid.
Here is an interview to the director by the critic and writer Amitava Nag for The Hindu :
I need my solitude. I need to be with myself: filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Buddhadeb Dasgupta, who will complete four decades in filmmaking, chooses to stay outside the mainstream.
Continue reading Interview to Buddhadeb Dasgupta (Amitava Nag)