Archive for the ‘3 Graces’ Category

Sankalp, the Smithsonian and the magic jigsaw puzzle

The installation that we are creating at the museum is called “Sankalp”. There are many interpretations of the word, and my interpretation, the one that I am using on the brochure is :
“Sankalp is the seed of Intention. Subtle but firm, it is a resolve deep in consciousness.
Artistic expression lies beyond thought. Beyond the Ego. It lies in calling upon creative forces of the universe through deep seated intention. And then letting go of intention. For expression is not permanent. It cannot be enclosed in time/space. Like a Crystal it is ever changing with continuing possibilities and potential. Each moment brings different possibilities and potential.
There are no beginnings and no ends. Expression is fluid and eternal.”
The installation is possible only because of the co authorship of my brilliant architect friend David Adjaye, who has just won the contract for one of the most prestigious architectural design of today : the new Smithsonian Museum for the African American Arts………


Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol: Whats common amongst them ?

and Helmet Newton, Marc Chagal, Brian Eno, Alexandra McQueen ? They have all done installations or sculpture/art pieces for the Swarovski museum in Wattens near Innsbruck in Austria. It is now the second most visited place in all of Austria. And now I have been asked to do an intstallation there. It is not only an honour, but also promises to be a very humbling experience. The installation is based on a short film called “Paasage” (which used to be called 3 Graces) that I just completed, and which I wrote about when I went to film in Argentina. Swarovski funded that film.
I am doing this in collaboration with my good friend David Adjaye, who is one of the most innovative and celebrated young modern architects in the world. Pray for me, that through humility I may access a universal creativity that would allow me to do something worthy of being there.

The NY ‘Indie’ approach to film and Deepak Chopra. NYC musings

Whenever I come to NYC the first couple of days are a little strange. I do not feel like being alone and constantly ask my assistants or others to come and have breakfast or to just hang out. But in a couple of days I become quite independent and begin to get used to the streets and cafe’s of NY. I rediscover myself as fundamentally a street person again.
Of course NY to me is hugely associated with one of my best friend Deepak Chopra, who unfortunately is away promoting his new book on Jesus. I miss the hours of walking around drinking coffee exploring ideas on consciousness – and whether we truly exist and who we really are. All on the streets of NY as all of life (and many beautiful women) pass us by. And of course he invites me to his radio show where I become his co host ! Imagine speaking about consciousness to the world with Deepak Chopra. Life can be such fun sometimes.
Deepak is also the most productive man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. he just does not stop doing things. he makes me feel completely useless as he writes book after book, does lectures all over the world, runs his Alliance for New Humanity, teaches, trains and beyond all that he still retains time to be compassionate, kind and loving to strangers. Still makes time for his family. Ask him and he will tell you that it is because he has seen life as play and he does things without looking for any reward. I truly love this man.
I am here to edit and do the post on the short film I shot called 3 Graces in Beunos Aires. My editor is Jacob Craycroft who also cut the short I did for the series called ‘New York I love you” Jacob has a different approach to film which I could best describe as the ‘NY Indie approach’ to film. It is quite distinct than the ‘Hollywood’ approach and I must say that this being my second film based out of NY, I prefer the Indie approach as it is far more edgy and exploratory cinema than the ‘Hollywood’ approach. And it permeates through all skills like scripting, producing, production design and photography. I think I am going to enjoy this process very much even though we work with much lower budgets here. maybe that is why we can be more exploratory and edgy.
Will write more about NYC and how the edit is going. Right now we are still finding the film. There are so many stages of making a film and at each stage you are finding new meanings and and new point of view. But nothing is more exciting a process as editing in finding new meanings in your film, provided the editor and you are willing to evolve together. For film is the one art that is so collaborative that compassion, love and the art of communicating with other human beings is a gift that one tries to acquire.

Dancing on the streets of Beunos Aires with Julia Stiles, Haley Bennett and Lily Cole

Sometimes filming can finish too soon. In the short time I have been in Buenos Aires, I have fallen in love with the city and it’s people. Yes it does remind me of home, but the poverty and the congestion is nowhere as intense as in Mumbai, and the city is actually rather beautiful with its wide streets and beautiful parks. But it’s really at night that the city comes alive, where life spills over into the streets of Buenos Aires. And into the Tango bars too.
This is the first time I have had a night shoot where the crew had their Ipods on and could not help dancing while they were working. This was a very happy crew ! Of course it helps that I have 3 very beautiful young women in the film too that got into the groove too. Julia Stiles (Bourne Identity), Haley Bennett (Music and Lyrics) and Lily Cole (one of the world’s biggest models) play one of the three Graces each.
This is the 2nd short film I have shot in the last few months and I must say I enjoy the experience. A short film does not have to conform to three act structure of a feature length film, and so can be much closer to personal artistic expression through film. I really enjoy that and for me this is a great exploration into pushing the boundaries of the art of film. In fact my approach to both the films have been that they do not HAVE to be about something in particular, nor do they have to tell a very specific story. My approach has been to explore the potential of the film and I work with the Actors, the Production Designer and the Director of Photography in discovering what the film is about as we make it. Rather like a painter who discovers his painting as he paints it.

Tango in Buenos Aires .

First time I have been to this beautiful city. Here getting ready to shoot a short film. This is a picture I took getting high on Tequilla shots in a local Tango bar. It’s quite fascinating. First came the people that want to learn the Tango. A few tourists but quite a few Argentinians too. They got together in a group with two instructors and then all begin to dance ! Some compeltely new, but surprisingly many already quite adept at the dance. Teaching others.
Why do they dance ?