The first and second days dailies

Dalies for those that are not familiar with film language are prints of some of the film exposed during the day. I had seen some of the dailies on DVD. But today I saw them projected on the big screen, and some of my spirits lifted..

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The first day

I walked out of Four Feathers scarred. I am still trying to work out what went wrong, and one day will write about it. But it led me to running away from saying yes to a film. So the first day of the shoot carried a great burden for me..

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To allow organic growth of the film.

In this film I really want to practice what I preach on my Website ! I want to learn to let go. Not direct as much as allow the film to grow. Like a gardener.

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Tittilating ?

Kellie asked me if “Elizabeth lives vicariously through Bess, and would that be tittilating. And who was the heroine of the film”. Kellie, the film is mainly about Elizabeth and her journey,

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Golden Age Diary

Given the level of interest in the Golden Age Diary, I am setting up a sub blog for that. If your scroll up to the top of the page, please click on where it says “Golden Age Diary’ next to ‘Press Articles’. Thanks everyone.

Two beautiful women on screen

I saw the first images of Golden Age on the big screen today. OK, so it was just the make up and costume tests. But hey, my breath was taken away by the beauty of the two women I saw on screen.

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Golden Age Diary

today is the first day of the shoots with Cate Blanchette who plays Elizabeth of course, and Abbie Cornish, who plays Bess, Elizabeth’s lady in waiting, who has an affair with Walter Raleigh.

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The Fruit Seller

In the bustling metropolises of today, the greatest sound you hear are the blaring horns and the noise of the traffic. But I remember when Delhi was a city full of the welcoming cries of the Street Sellers, the ”Wallah’s.

I remember very clearly the sound of the Sabzi walla. It went :

Sabzzzi le lo-o-o !!!

And then he would out the names of each of the vegetables he was carrying that day. And the shouts of Ande (eggs) wallah. Who had a particularily rough relationship with my mother. Especially in summer when a lot of the eggs had to be returned as they were ion the verge of hatching. I have always wondered why modern eggs – even the ‘Organically fed and free to roam and allowed to indulge in the natural behaviours’ ones never actually threaten to hatch. ┬áThere was even the “Gold wallah’, the ‘Sonhar’. that would remake your gold jewelry,. As went by proudly on his newly acquired bicycle shouting “Sonhar hai, Sone ka kaam karwa lo-o-o-o”.

We used to have the vegetable seller and the fruit seller, all come to the house, and my mother would sit and argue with them. Bargain with them fiercly, as would they. But in the process she knew where their families lived, what village they came from and how things were in the village. Bargaining was an act of great individuality for her, as well as a social intercourse.  The first time I took her to one of the emerging supermarkets in India, she hated it. She hated prices being fixed and stamped over the goods. She hated check out counters. She missed the social interaction with her Fruit Seller, her Sabzi Walla, her Ande Walla etc.

When my mother passd away, rather suddenly, I had been away from our family house for many many years. I went back and an went through all the rites, and stood by my greiving family, determined now to take charge and be a comfort to all, except myself. I was after all the son, and expected to be stoic.

Two days later there was a call of the Fruit Seller, and I walked out of the house. There was an old man with a whole basket of fruit, and he asked for my mother. I remember him being thin and with a great white moustache and sunburnt wrinkled skin. I told her she had died, and he sat under the tree. Sad and contemplative..

“She was a great lady” He said “and who are you ?”

“I am her Son” I said.

He beckoned me towards him. Put his hand on my shoulder, and told me so much about me. About all my mother’s dreams for me, of how much she had missed me when I was away in London.

And for the frst time since I heard the news of my Mother’s death I broke. I put my head on this complete strangers shoulder and sobbed my heart out as he comforted me.
My mother and the fruit seller. How much must they have got to know each other just through the act of bargaining over apples ?

Shekhar

Trying to listen to myself

Film making is so much now about fitting a square peg (a script) into a round hole (a schedule and a budget), that so much of my time on Golden Age gets taken up with production meetings, budget meetings, schedule meetings etc etc. Time now to shut my ears to the organizational noise and listen to myslelf. Get back in touch with myself.

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Freedom

I struggle with freedom,
I want to be free,
but have no idea what I want to be free of ?

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