Movies which leave lasting memories: Vikramaditya Motwane curates seven films for MUBI

Finding good cinema is a bit of a treasure hunt, says filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane who has mapped the way with a specially curated list of seven hand-picked gems for streaming platform MUBI.While the global film streaming service known for its vast library of world cinema of different eras has great films to offer, the Udaan and Lootera director said he wanted to highlight films that may escape cinema lovers otherwise.If a movie says something beyond yeah, it was good, its a movie you would recommend and talk passionately about.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 06-12-2021 15:43 IST | Created: 06-12-2021 15:43 IST
Movies which leave lasting memories: Vikramaditya Motwane curates seven films for MUBI
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Finding good cinema is a bit of a treasure hunt, says filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane who has mapped the way with a specially curated list of seven hand-picked ''gems'' for streaming platform MUBI.

While the global film streaming service known for its vast library of world cinema of different eras has great films to offer, the “Udaan” and “Lootera” director said he wanted to highlight films that may escape cinema lovers otherwise.

''If a movie says something beyond 'yeah, it was good', it's a movie you would recommend and talk passionately about. So every movie that I have selected is something that not only would be highly recommended but also something that leaves you with a lasting memory or a lasting taste that's longer than the two hours you spent watching it,'' Motwane told PTI in a Zoom interview from Mumbai.

The carefully chosen selection of seven films are Raj Kapoor's ''Awaara'', Satyajit Ray's ''Mahapurush'', Christian Petzold's ''Transit'', Sameh Zoabi's ''Tel Aviv on Fire'', Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass-directed ''Baghead'', Sergei Loznitsa's ''State Funeral'' and Archana Phadke's ''About Love''.

The director's curation became available on MUBI from Monday, coincidentally also his 45th birthday. Movie watching has changed a lot over the years, but there is still a mental barrier of expecting something in one's comfort zone, the filmmaker said.

''I still love to go a watch a commercial film but I think that movies are about opening our eyes to stories, to people, to cultures and history from around the world. And that's very valuable.'' Motwane, who could be spotted in the line trying to get the ticket of his favourite films during the MAMI film festival, said he was careful about not making the obvious choice of well-loved movies -- be it the 'Colors' trilogy, ''Fight Club'' or the Agnes Varda films available on the platform.

''I wanted to go a little deeper and find those little gems that people have either not seen or they don't know exist. I have also gone a bit into time and selected something from 1950 all the way to 2020. So there's Raj Kapoor's 'Awara', which is like the oldest film and then there's ''About Love'' which released in 2020.'' While technology has made world cinema more accessible, people still have a fear of subtitles and what they think constitutes ''art cinema'', he said.

''It took all of us so much time to get over that fear ourselves when we were growing and watching movies. When you were a teenager and heard about Satyajit Ray and thought, 'Oh my God, these are Bengali films' but then you realised there's nothing like that. The guy's an incredible filmmaker and made some of the most entertaining films in the world.

''And the same is true for Kurosawa (Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa), (Alfred) Hitchcock, Billy Wilder. They're these tremendous filmmakers making incredible movies. It's just about trying to break that barrier down…” Recalling his own early days of discovering movies, Motwane said there was a sense of joy in finding out about a film society screening of Kurosawa's ''Seven Samurai''. They would make a mad dash for that 10 o' clock show only to discover that the projection was upside down or it was a really bad print, he recalled.

“Sometimes finding good cinema is still a bit of a treasure hunt for the average person,” Motwane said For him, Anurag Kashyap was his library.

“You had to go to his home to find the movie to watch or find the pirated version in the market and borrow it from friends' hard drive or download it from all those sites.'' Asked about his earliest cinema memory, the director said he grew up idolising Amitabh Bachchan's films such as ''Sholay'', ''Amar Akbar Anthony'', ''Don'', ''Coolie'' and ''Mard''. This later expanded to include ''Star Wars'', ''Die Hard'' and ''Terminator''.

''I think 'Back to the Future' is my go-to film. That sort of opened my eyes to films coming from Hollywood... In the mid-90s, once DVDs became available, real cinema watching started after that. They were our film schools.

''DVD changed my life as far as movies are concerned because you started going back in time to discover Hitchcock, (Ingmar) Bergman, (Federico) Fellini, (Martin) Scorsese and Woody Allen.'' This was also the time when he was introduced to filmmakers from the 90s, including Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Danny Boyle, and Christopher Nolan.

''Watching 'Fight Club' for the first time blew my mind, watching 'Trainspotting' blew my mind. That's been my major film influence. Filmmakers that are the masters today, when they made their first, second and third films, those were my greatest influences. He's (Fincher) probably my favourite modern filmmaker.'' According to Svetlana Naudiyal, director of content, MUBI, Motwane's curation is as diverse as his style of filmmaking.

''His selection of films bring alive his experimental style of filmmaking, one that is unique yet relatable to a diverse set of viewers. As a platform that has consistently worked towards bringing great cinema to India, the introduction of our curator model is a step ahead in providing unique cinematic experiences; one that is built on our promise of human curation and genuine love for cinema.” PTI BK MIN MIN

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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