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Best of world cinema

Film buffs in Bhubaneswar were exposed to classics from world cinema.

THE NEWLY launched Film Society of Bhubaneswar made its bow by organising a three-day festival of world cinema. The six films screened at the IDCOL auditorium were "The Road Home" (China), "La Strada" (Italy), "Aguirre, The Wrath Of God" (Germany), "Vanaprastham" (Malayalam), "Blue" (Poland) and "In The Mood For Love" (Hong Kong). "Wo De Fu Qin Mu Qin" or "The Road Home", directed by Yimou Zhang, is a sweet film about a city man who returns to his native village on the death of his father. There he learns about his father's early life and the romance of his parents.

Considered by many to be Federico Fellini's most beautiful and powerful film, "La Strada" was the second film at the festival. Guilietta Masina's poignant performance as the childlike Gelsomina was the highlight of the film. The bubbly Gelsomina is a simpleton sold to the gruff, bullying circus strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn) as a servant and assistant. Treated no better than an animal, Gelsomina, nonetheless, falls in love with the brute Zampanò.

Lyrical masterpiece

Fellini paints his characters lovingly in all their frailties and failings. This lyrical masterpiece, winner of over 50 international awards, marked the emergence of the director's typical style. "Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes" has the astonishing Klaus Kinski play Don Lope de Aguirre, a brutal conquistador, who leads his soldiers into the Amazon jungle in an obsessive quest for gold. It is directed by Werner Herzog.

In "Vanaprastham" (The Last Dance), Karun returns to the traditions of dance and theatre that, way back in the 1930s, required rigorous training on the part of performers. The hero embarks on a life-long apprenticeship to master the Kerala art form of Kathakali.

The script of "Blue" revolves around the heroine Julie who loses her husband, Patrice, a renowned composer, and their young daughter, Anna, in a car accident.

She flies to forget, to cut herself off from past ties and begin a new life. How does she achieve her personal freedom? That is the riveting part of this Kieslowski classic. "In the Mood for Love" relates the story of Chow Mo Wan, a journalist, who moves into an apartment building occupied mainly by Shanghainese. A secretary, Su Li Zhen, also moves in at the same time. This happens when both their spouses are away.

When Chow finds out that both their spouses are having an affair, the two of them grow closer as they commiserate, finding more and more excuses to spend time with each other. A lovely film about relationships that stood out for Tony Leung's performance.

The film society's efforts, if regular, would go a long way in exposing the Bhubaneswar audience to the best in world cinema besides sensitising the cinema lovers in an atmosphere of film culture.

BIBHUTI MISHRA

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