Dibakar Banerjee: Discovering “good” international cinema through a search for porn!

We at TCRC are always looking for fabulous written material on films and their makers, and it is during one such search that we found Jai Arjun Singh‘s absolutely delightful piece on Dibakar Banerjee, the director of films such as “Khosla Ka Ghosla,” “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye,” “Love, Sex Aur Dhokha” and “Shanghai.” All too often, we find directors giving interviews about their latest film and such interviews invariably end up including a couple of stock questions about the process of writing and making films. But Jai Arjun’s story for The Caravan magazine focuses entirely on Dibakar Banerjee – the man, his influences and his creative process. Discursive and detailed, the piece builds a fascinating, multi-dimensional picture of the filmmaker who has made some truly path-breaking yet commercially successful films. Sample this:

For the young Dibakar, “getting his hands dirty” meant being part of a street-smart lifestyle that was far removed from the cliché of the armchair intellectual. And that early life is inseparable from what he is today. Even “good” international cinema came into his personal orbit through what was an adolescent’s rite of passage: at age 17, he and four friends rented what they thought would be a porn film called Confessions of a Taxi Driver to watch in a darkened room in Jhandewalan—and ended up with Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver instead. “We closed the drapes, waited for the obligatory hardcore moment but nothing happened—and by the end, here were five guys from a typical Karol Bagh setting, riveted by what they were seeing.”

Love Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD)  |  Hindi  |  2010

Love Sex Aur Dhokha (LSD) | Hindi | 2010

Truth be told, this profile of Dibakar Banerjee is easily one of the best (and longest) pieces of writing about a filmmaker that we’ve come across in the recent past (click on the image above to read the full story). We at TCRC would like to doff our hats in salute to both filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee and writer Jai Arjun Singh.

Happy b’day, Charlie Chaplin!

Wear a shabby suit,
And a bowler hat.
Swing a cane,
And sport a toothbrush ‘stache.
Turn into Chaplin, 
for he was a comic genius.
He taught us how to laugh,
and made the business of comedy, serious.” 

Comedy king Charlie Chaplin was born this very day back in 1889. He may have passed away in 1977. But he lives on through his movies, which have spread joy and cheer while making us reflect on the vagaries of life.

One of the best tributes to Chaplin that we at TCRC are aware of is the permanent show titled “Charlie Chaplin – The Great Londoner” that has been set up for him at the London Film Museum (click image below to know more).

“Charlie Chaplin – The Great Londoner” | London Film Museum

Also, our favorite Chaplin film has got to be “The Kid.” Incidentally, The Kid has been preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Here’s wishing the comic genius a very happy b’day!

Alfred Hitchcock on editing

OpenCulture (click here to read their take on it) linked us to this seven-minute master class on editing by Alfred Hitchcock. Watch, learn & enjoy.