I probably enjoyed this edition more than any of you whoattended it. Well, the reason is the experience behind curating an edition.Done a lot of shows through the years but a movie curation, this is my first. The next few paragraphs will give you aninsight on my experience of being a curator. A little long so please bear withme.
So, I get to choose the genre I want to play here. The flipside is that as a curator you want the audience to enjoy the movies. So it tookme around 10 days from the last RTFF to decide the genre. One thing I was surewas I wanted to play comedy. Two reasons: One is that previous editions (Heist& Monster) weren’t light, so I wanted something light. Second is that peoplealways enjoy comedy so, it’s a safe bet. Then the dilemma of what comedy has tobe played - satire, black, farce, LOL, slapstick, college etc etc was tough tofigure out (I consulted many buddies at RTFF but ultimately it’s my call theysaid – they played safe? J). One evening I found Dr Strangelove in my hard disk and just started watchingit again. And it struck me – how many war comedies are there? Some research andI just could gather 30 odd ones. So I decidedto get ‘em all and check out. Now, I’m half minded that I’ll do this genre.
Set upon the task of watching all these movies, I can saythis is the best part of curating. As a film buff I watched 30 movies or morein less than 20 days. Now that is like giving a child a box full of chocolates withouthis mommy telling him “You can have just ONE!” I was that little kid here andwatched it with a craze like how the kid at times swallows the chocolatewrapper as well. And boy! What did I come across? Some fabulous movies, Ilaughed to myself so hard at times and forgot that I was doing this to decideon what to play for the RTFF night. And also I came across some dumb ones. Someof these film review websites shouldn’t call themselves that. They call “FullMetal Jacket” a war comedy and include non- war comedies in that listmisleading me. But yes, after the first few movies I was stuck to the idea ofdoing “War Comedies” as a genre. And from all I could gather from previousavatars of RTFF never had this one. So well RTFF is all about experimentationand I wanted to do just that.
Then came the task of organizing the event. Datefinalization, Venue ( @startupcentre
is so generous & @vijayanands
Vaazhge!), Registration, organizingmattresses, projector, sound systems and snacks. After finalizing the date andgiving a heads up on the registration, I opened registration one week prior ata very non peak hour. To be precise a Sunday afternoon at 1:30. Guess what happened?Within an hour of sending the links, registration crossed the cut off point of70 attendees! Whoa, it was like the community was waiting for this one singlething all morning. It was terrific. And that put a slight pressure on me. Boss,I was slightly taken aback. So I revisited movies to be extra careful. And finalized on 10 best ones I personallyliked.
That’s not all – we wanted the group to be more aware of thedetails of the movies we play. So I got myself to doing some research on them. Ilearnt so much that I wouldn’t even have thought to look upon if I wasn’t thecurator. I gathered some trivia to use to bring about conversations. So,finally 19th November arrived and I get everything in order whilst Iland up at The Startup Centre around 7. The projector and audio guy comes infirst to set up. But the mattress fellow who was supposed to come hasn’t turnedup and keeps saying “Saar, Im one the way”, “Saar, Tyre puncture”, “Saar, Itstarted long back”. It takes 9 o clock for them to deliver the mattresses. Tillthen few of us early ones whiled away time having the awesome sandwichesoutside Alsa Mall, kidding and laughing our lungs out with me calling up themattress fellow tensed up every few minutes. But he did came just when we plannedto start and the set up was done zap by the audiences who had turned by then.The bonhomie we share is fantastic, the fun and the laughs is something we lookforward to and the homely feel startup centre gives is well.. Homely! We get tomeet new people every month but all talk a single language – Cinema!
Screening starts with M.A.S.H but because of some technical issuesI switched to my personal favorite war comedy – The General
(1927)! The housewas roaring with laughter and personally I was so satisfied that I couldactually make an audience see a rare movie and the fact that they were lovingit. It’s a movie from the silent era and still captivates us till now. BusterKeaton is a genius!
Moving on we had Stripes
play, what I like to call a stonerwar comedy. It had the audiences in splits too. We then moved on too Good Morning, Vietnam
, adrama war comedy and the finale threw up fits of laughter that one man can onlydo – Woody Allen’s “Love and Death
”. A farce war comedy. Only he can plan tokill Napoleon, and maybe he did too!
But one important event I missed out, or let’s say saved thebest for the last. Our guest for the night was a path-breaking director – CS Amudhan
of Tamizh Padam
fame who is working on Rendavathu Padam
now. I was given thejob of curating the discussion with him as well. We threw in a lot questions tohim which Amudhan answered very frankly. He shared a lot of insights on hisfirst film and a lot of secrets. Sorry, we cannot tell you as this conversationis “For Your Ears Only” type one for the attendees. We were left laughing withhis sense of humor and spontaneous responses! Maybe one thing I can leak is when asked “Whatis the best thing in Tamil Cinema according to you?” He replied without battingan eyelid – “The dedication of the workers. A light man holds a light for sixhours at a stretch also, if need be. One cannot beat their dedication”. So trueand it was fun having him around. He did burn the house down as he promised.BTW the man blogs amazingly at à http://csamudhan.tumblr.com/
|Director CS Amudhan in conversation|
Ill close with some trivia from the night (some useless onestoo):
1. M.A.S.H is an abbreviation of Mobile ArmySurgical Hospital.
2. The river Bill Murray throws the keys of his cabinto in STRIPES is the same one: Muhammad Ali threw his Olympic Gold Medal aswell!
3. Chennai RTFF Twiiter and FB has 200+ followers within 3months
4. Good Morning, Vietnam was actually shot in Bangkok
5. Tamizh Padam was the first Tamizh Padam I watchedoutside Tamil Nadu
6. And finally, the most useless trivia – max mentionsI got on twitter in 12 hours was the RTFF night. Thanks for all the love.