Saturday, March 18, 2006

Film: Utsab ( Festival)


Last nite we sat up with friends to watch a Bengali movie called "Utsab" ( festival) directed by a young director called Rituparno Ghosh. On the right is a still of the actress Arpita Pal from the film. Here is a link to one of the film websites.
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Utsab

The movie depicts a complex family drama which slowly develops and unwinds during a major festival. It was a complex theme and I was struck with many issues about life which the movie pointed to. Many of my thoughts about the movie relatd to Buddhism which is finaly about life itself.


The first was the cyclic aspect of life and everything in nature. The movie starts with the depiction of a video shoot of the various members of the family. The actual video is shown only at the end and it was the depiction of a passed cycle. Some kind of circular portrayal of time. Yet its not the same as the original time. Something had changed inexorably for good or for bad. Again and again I was
reminded of Master Dogen and the Shobogenzo where he speaks of Uji or "being time". In the film I was struck with the last words "construction, deconstruction, construction, deconstruction......." which could be replaced very easily by "generation,death, regeneration, death.......". I was reminded of the Buddhas words "Sabbe Sankhara Anicca". Nothing is permanent but a constant flux of of the cycle of generation'life,death and regeneration. Everything decays, everything regenerates. Like every day flowers bloom in my garden everyday they fall.

The second issue which struck me was that our perceptions of life are inherently dependent on our being able to access only an instantaneous slice of time. In the film the complex family drama develops over time. Pain, grief, joy, anger, frustrations, hopelessness, pining, moods, making up, love and hate. The drama build up and reaches a climax and then slowly unwinds. Every individual is caught up in the net of their instantaneous times, instantaneous existence. Globaly in time the drama is most trivial as everything finaly resolves. Yet it is not the same. Somethings have changed irrevocably.

The third issue which occupied me was that life was essentialy a tapestry built out of what I have named "strands or strings of our individual times". They are continuously winding and unwinding to generate cyclicaly an infinite variety of

schemes constantly changing. This is what we call life. But it is so trivial from a
global temporal perspective. Completely unreal yet so strongly real in our individual perceptions.

2 Comments:

At 23:49, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 00:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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