Monday, June 26, 2017

Cine Montage - My very first movie screening

Cine Montage Society, Nagpur : Screening of Fellini's '8 1/2' 
Hazy images of my boyhood engulfed my mind as I walk the dusty open premises of Dinanath High School located in Dhantoli, Nagpur. After all, I was one of its students and the place might have changed in its exterior, but the vibe hit me hard with nostalgia. It becomes clear at the very first sight of the building that the high school has got a rich cultural past and a booming present.

I had been contemplating over a thought of meeting like-minded people with whom I could share my love of films. That’s when while browsing the internet a week ago, I came across some articles regarding the revival of an age old film society – Cine Montage. Interestingly, it was run by the people behind Dinanath Jr. College – My high school ! I wasted no time and got in touch with them straight away. Mr. Vijay, who assisted me with membership form and requirements, appeared to me a familiar face I had lost contact with.

Dinanath Jr. College and High School. Pic Courtesy - Justdial
As I stand before the corridor which leads to Audio-Video Hall, a membership form, 2 passport size photographs and Rs. 1250 /- in cash, my excitement of entering a new world sees no boundaries. I submit the membership form to Mr. Vijay and enter the air-conditioned AV hall.

I see around thirty-forty odd people in their 40s-50s gathered. Everyone seems to be excited about today’s screening. People were chattering and sharing experiences regarding prior films. Mr. Jaishankar, who had been managing the film society since its inception, shared his understanding of cinema and the way one should strive to understand it.

Poster Art for 8 1/2 - My first film screening with Cine Montage
The movie for the day is – ‘8 ½’ by Fellini. About the movie, all I can say is that it was very tough to comprehend even for seasoned viewers. I think I would need to re-watch it for at least 3-4 times to suck some sap out of it. It is a complex depiction of a distressed filmmaker’s journey. Easily comes under top 10 films ever made across the globe cutting the boundaries of time and geography.

Protagonist 'Guido' enacted by Marcello Mastroianni during a shot.
It was a great experience all in all. Although I didn’t strike any conversation with my fellows on this very first day, I am sure it shall happen gradually. This is one thing I will be anticipating with interest every Sunday.