We had such an awesome time at the Roof Top Film Festival.
We watched four movies in all. And there were a few entertaining short films, including one called ‘Hi Dad’ made young local talent, Krishna and T.U.Dinesh. I hope the future editions of the festival features more short films by local filmmakers.
The choice of films for the first edition was made keeping in mind the nature of the audience and people who had registered. Most of them wanted to make films. So the focus was to screen films that were made by people with little or no experience, by people with little or no money.
Hard Candy (2005): I had recommended this film after having watched it, thanks my buddy Karthik who gave me the DVD. It’s such a brilliant independent film that manages to hold you by the balls with just two characters for about 100 minutes. Absolutely riveting stuff. The best part about the movie marathon was the discussion that followed these movies. It was such an enriching experience to see how different people perceived a film they had all seen together. I learnt a lot from these observations.
Blood Simple (1985): Sagaro managed to download this rare film exclusively for the movie marathon. I’m indeed grateful to him for that. The first thing that strikes you about Blood Simple is how the Coen Brothers first introduced the elements that we have now come to associate with them. Ordinary, real, small-town characters caught in the most absurd situations. You can also see that the Brothers’ obsession with kidnapping and adultery started right from the first film. Frances McDormand… Whoa! What an actress. And what a long way she’s come from Blood Simple to Fargo (1996) to The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001). All these three films incidentally are about a husband hiring/kidnapping/blackmailing his wife and how things go out of control.
Annie Hall (1977): I’ve been meaning to watch this for years now. Since I recently managed to buy my own copy, I brought it along to the movie marathon, just in case we needed a different genre. And after the first two thrillers, everybody wanted to watch something funny. So we figured we were going to go with the movie that made Woody Allen. I really wish I had seen this before I made That Four Letter Word. There’s a lot I could’ve learnt from this movie, especially the way he reminds people very often that it is a story. This movie demonstrates most efficient use of alienation techniques. The stuff text-books are made of. Also, this was a largely autobiographical movie. And so was mine. At least at the surface level.
As the discussion into how I, in my own way, had tried to differentiate between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy, and life and film, some of those in the audience wanted to watch That Four Letter Word (2007). Personally, I thought it was a very bad choice for a film at the crack of dawn. Let’s see how many survive, I said. I was quite surprised only five were out at the end of it. And most of these boys had already seen it at least once.
So then, since I had an audience, I showed them deleted scenes and exclusive glimpses of the first version of That Four Letter Word — something I hadn’t shown anyone apart from my cast and crew.
Sid has the most amazing rooftop with sea breeze providing the airconditioning. Ganesh, Hats off to you and the rest of the gang. We must do this more often.
P.S: Personally, I think you ought to keep the booze out of it lest it becomes an occasion to drink than watch films. Maybe you guys should keep in mind that you are not going to get too many women from this city attending a fest with strange boys drinking into the night. 🙂