A tête-à-tête with Rajat Kapoor: Mumbai Local

Meet Ryan. Ryan, who lives in the early 1920s, is a student of dramatics from Mumbai and is in love with the art form. Ryan has a thesis to submit on the ‘Impact Of Drama On Contemporary Times’. For this Ryan has go through humongous number of books in the library. Ryan is obviously stressed and worried.  

Now place Ryan in the 2014. ‘Got an assignment to submit? No problem, what’s the internet for?’ This is Ryan’s attitude in today’s time.
However everyone knows that Ryan of the 1920’s would’ve done a far better job than, the Ryan of 2014, simply because he had his basics right unlike the Ryan of 2014, who has tons of knowledge, albeit superficial.
 
To cut a long story short, we know we’ve messed up. We have tons of information at our fingertips, but does that mean that the quality of art has anyway improved in recent times? You know what the answer is. It’s a big NO. 
 
They say that ‘art is a reflection of life’. But the quality of art in mediums like cinema and Theatre is failing miserably. Sure, it’s commercial and sure it’s making crores of moolah (films i.e.) but what’s the point? The damage has been done, and now it’s time to mend it and make things right.
 
Mumbai Local is an art initiative — by Junoon, founded by Sanjna Kapoor and Sameera Iyengar. With this, they take baby steps to make right what has gone right in the world of not just arts but sciences as well. 
 

 
Last Friday was a special day for a lot of young and eager minds huddled together in a cozy audio-visual room in Somaiya College, Vidyavihar. Everyone present looked visibly excited about what was to unfold before them.
 
The session opened with Rajat Kapoor of the Raghu Romeo fame, sharing his knowledge about the nuances of cinema as art. He spoke about his experiences as a young commerce graduate from Delhi who had a keen interest in cinema and films from an early age. Having been involved with Alliance Française, he was exposed to French cinema and world cinema as well. He knew what he had to do and he began his journey into films with his first baby, a short film, Tarana, for which he was awarded the National Award. Raghu Romeo, his first feature film venture bombed at the Box Office but earned a lot of critical acclaim abroad. His second film Mixed Doubles did fairly well at the Box Office. The talk was followed with a screening and a minor discussion on the treatment of long shots in films like 8 and 1/2 (Federico Fellini), Good Fellas (Martin Scorcese, Touch of Evil (Orson Welles), A Band Apart (Jean Luc Godard) and Red Psalm (Miklós Jancsó). 
 
This was followed by a full-fledged discussion on films and film-making.  The audience present bombarded Kapoor with several questions that were related to his work, cinema and film-making in general. While some of them wanted to better understand his journey, other prospective film-makers wanted some serious advice on how to go about making a film and the practicality of taking up a vocation like film-making as a full time career. Kapoor replied to all questions with utmost humility and clarity. The intimate setting of the session gave the audience a chance to enter Kapoor’s world, which is very vital.
 
The session ended on a good note with Kapoor revealing that Mumbai Local’s next will be a Photography special. The event was a great success. This initiative has genuine approach and will surely reap fruits in the future. Here’s to a world that will be succulent with art, that we will be proud of. Cheers to Junoon and cheers to Mumbai Local. This is one is for keeps. 

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