This spring and summer, Museum of the Moving Image continues India’s New Wave, a monthly showcase for contemporary Indian films, with new and unreleased films from India that go beyond the Bollywood spectacle. The season opens on May 11, with the road movie Highway (Ek Selfie Aarpar), presented in partnership with the New York Indian Film Festival. A large ensemble cast and an experimental shooting style distinguish this latest effort by Kulkarni, who has led a Marathi film renaissance with deeply nuanced portraits of people from all roads of life.
In June, the series will feature another Marathi film, Killa, winner of the Crystal Bear at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival. This first feature from director Avinash Arun captures the natural rhythms of its lush seaside setting in a coming-of-age story centered on an eleven-year-old boy and his recently widowed mother.
July’s film, For the Love of a Man profiles three men in the southern Indian region of Tamil Nadu who idolize the Tamil superstar Rajnikanth. Directed by Rinku Kalsy, this stranger-than-fiction documentary captures the unique Indian take on star worship.
In August, the series features Waiting, a comedic drama starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin about two grieving people of different generations who forge a friendship, the second film from the London-based filmmaker Anu Menon; and in September, Island City, the debut feature from Ruchika Oberoi, a lively portmanteau film of three stories set in Mumbai.
The full schedule is included below and also posted online at movingimage.us/India. Tickets for Highway are $15, while tickets for the other films in the series are $12 ($9 for senior citizens and students / $7 for children 6–12 / free for members at the Film Lover and MoMI Kids Premium levels and above).
Major support for India’s New Wave has been provided by the Ford Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Consulate General of India in New York and Con Edison.
SCHEDULE FOR ‘INDIA’S NEW WAVE,’ MAY–SEPTEMBER 2016
Screenings take place at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, New York. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $12 ($9 seniors and students / $7 children 3–12) and free for Museum members at the Film Lover level and above. Advance tickets are available online at http://movingimage.us. Ticket purchase may be applied toward same-day admission to the Museum’s galleries.
Highway (Ek Selfie Aarpar)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 7:00 P.M.
Presented in collaboration with the New York Indian Film Festival
Dir. Umesh Kulkarni. 2015, 137 mins. DCP. In Marathi with English subtitles. With Mukta Barve, Sunil Barve, Tisca Chopra. This unconventional road movie is set entirely on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. A kaleidoscope of characters are in a hurry to reach their respective destinations, but a traffic jam causes their lives to intersect in unexpected ways. A large ensemble cast and an experimental shooting style distinguish this latest effort by Umesh Kulkarni, who has led a Marathi film renaissance with deeply nuanced portraits of people from all roads of life.
Tickets: $15 ($11.25 for Museum members at the Film Lover and MoMI Kids Premium levels and free for Silver Screen members and above.
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 4:30 P.M.
Dir. Avinash Arun. 2014, 107 mins. In Marathi with English subtitles. DCP. With Archit Deodhar, Amruta Subhash, Parth Bhalerao. Winner of the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, this wondrous coming-of-age tale follows an eleven-year-old boy (Deodhar) as he and his recently widowed mother (Subhash) adjust to a new life in a tropical village. Beautifully attuned to the natural rhythms of its lush seaside setting, the “outstanding first feature” from director-to-watch Avinash Arun is “the kind of quality film that knows no age borders” (The Hollywood Reporter).
For the Love of a Man
SUNDAY, JULY 10, 6:30 P.M.
Dir. Rinku Kalsy. 2015, 85 mins. In Tamil with English subtitles. DCP. This stranger-than-fiction documentary is a vivid look at celebrity worship in its most extreme form. It profiles three men from various walks of life whose near-religious devotion to Tamil superstar actor and icon Rajnikanth defines nearly every aspect of their lives. While for some, this all-consuming super-fandom has been a saving grace, for others it has driven them to the brink of ruin. For Western audiences not yet familiar with the cult of Rajnikanth, For the Love of a Man offers a colorful glimpse of a singular cultural phenomenon.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 6:30 P.M.
Dir. Anu Menon. 2015, 92 mins. In Hindi and English with English subtitles. DCP. With Naseeruddin Shah, Kalki Koechlin, Rajat Kapoor. Two strangers in duress are thrown together by fate in this tender, moving comedic drama. Tara (Kalki Koechlin) is a brash, vivacious young newlywed whose life changes in an instant when a car crash leaves her husband in a coma; Shiv (Naseeruddin Shah) is a reserved older professor whose wife has been brain dead for eight months. Each facing a heartrending personal crisis, these vastly different souls overcome generational differences to form an unlikely bond amidst the sterile hospital corridors. Driven by charismatic, multilayered performances from the two leads, Waiting tackles serious themes with irresistible warmth and wit.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 6:30 P.M.
Dir. Ruchika Oberoi. 2015, 110 mins. In Hindi with English subtitles. DCP. With Vinay Pathak, Amruta Subhash, Tannishtha Chatterjee. A panoramic vision of life in modern Mumbai unfolds through three alternately absurd, funny, and tragic vignettes in this offbeat portmanteau film. From the story of a humorless office worker venturing outside his cubicle for a mandatory day of forced fun to a portrait of an unhappy family drawn into a fantasy soap opera world, Island City explores issues like gender roles and urban alienation with insight, humor, and a touch of the surreal.