Cruel Cinema: New Directions in Tamil Film
Oct 6-9, 2011 • Screening Room
There are signs aplenty of a new wave well underway in Tamil Nadu, India. These films are at a startling remove from the star antics and high-gloss productions characteristic of both mainstream Tamil cinema and the more pervasive Bombay cinema. “Cruel Cinema” offers a brief but unflinching introduction to these small-budget films, which sizzle with artisanal energy.
Curated by Lalitha Gopalan, Associate Professor in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin, and Anuj Vaidya, co-director of 3rd I Films, which hosts the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival.
Naan Kadavul (I am God)Oct 6, 2011 7:00pm
Oct 9, 2011 12:30pm
Director Bala has carved a name for himself by marching against all prevailing sensibilities in the Tamil film industry—his films speak of madness on the margins and the grotesque tragedy that accompanies it. Rudran, a fourteen-year-old boy, is abandoned by his father to grow up amidst the madmen and mendicants in the holy city of Varanasi. He falls in with a tantric sect and becomes an aghori—not just a holy man but a ganja-devouring god in the flesh, able to mete out divine justice. (2009, 150 min, 35mm)
SubramaniapuramOct 8, 2011 7:00pm
Oct 9, 2011 4:00pm
There is no mistaking the ambitions of this low-budget first film scripted, directed and acted by Sasikumar. The film was hailed for its careful mounting of a mise-en-scène set in the 1980s: longhaired men, wide-legged trousers and droopy collars. Stripped of the nostalgia associated with costume dramas, the film offers an unvarnished look at the friendships among five men living in the neighborhood of Subramaniapuram in Madurai. Political ambitions, murder and romance create an inexorable slide into betrayals and shifting alliances. (2008, 160 min, 35mm)
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National Endowment for the Arts