Film chic

It will take you a little trouble to get through to Penelope Cruz. Prepare to manoeuvre yourself through dainty glass bowls,gingerly walk past hanging mirrors...

Written by Anushreemajumdar | Published: March 26, 2009 11:31 pm

Movie clubs in Delhi have put together a list of unusual titles and some thought provoking cinema to tide over this long summer

It will take you a little trouble to get through to Penelope Cruz. Prepare to manoeuvre yourself through dainty glass bowls,gingerly walk past hanging mirrors and step into a pebbled courtyard where Ms Cruz will be waiting for you to feast on her. Sip on wine and bite into snacks,but don’t eat too much,you wouldn’t want to be too full and ignore her,would you now? If this sounds like a great way to spend Saturday night next week,simply head to the Moon River Film Club,where Penelope and Radhika Gupta will be quite hospitable,if not happy to see you there.

Gupta,31,runs Moon River,a design store,and recently decided to start a film club in the city and with her insight into Delhi’s social circles,figured that serving wine and snacks couldn’t hurt as well. “The idea is to have a group of interesting people from different walks of life come together and watch a movie. From the Facebook activity post,its clear that screenings like these are catching on,” smiles Gupta who has converted a shaded courtyard inside the store into a cosy movie hall,with bookshelves and kitschy plastic chairs. The club already has 200 members and the easiest way to book a seat for the screening of Pedro Almodovar’s Volver next Saturday is by joining the mailing list. “We’re going to have film festivals based on specific directors and actors such as Wong kar-Wai,Billy Wilder and Cary Grant. Right now,we’ve just kicked off the Almodovar festival,” says Gupta.

This summer,surrender to cinema of all kinds,as the capital’s film clubs stir up a wide selection of films from obscure parts of the globe. Take your pick from world cinema at Moon River,short films at Mocha Film club and documentaries at the capital’s 10-year-old club,the Kriti Film Club. Set up by Kriti,a human rights organisation,the film club is an extension of their activities and unlike the other two clubs,they screen documentaries by filmmakers across India. “The idea is to get people to watch documentaries and understand human rights issues. We’d also like the mainstream audience to be able to interact with filmmakers and researchers about these issues,” says Aanchal Kapur,38,who started the film club a decade ago,with a little help from a 21” black and white TV which has now made way for a 27” flat screen TV. “Some filmmakers have been surprised that we don’t have a projector,but that hasn’t stopped them or the viewers,” she smiles. The club sources films directly from the filmmakers and even screen films for other organisations such as the American Center. There are no screening charges,but a membership fee for their book and film library is levied.

But if you’re looking for a movie-watching experience that spells fun and company,sign up with the Mocha Film Club. Although the club was conceived in 2007,it has not been as active as it’s Mumbai counterpart. But starting April,the guys who’re offering coffee and conversation have cinema on the menu as well. “We have always been about short films as well as world cinema. A place where one could watch intelligent,entertaining cinema in the comforts of a coffee house,” says Riyaaz Amlani,CEO,Mocha. The Club invites filmmakers to submit and screen their films and has a special focus on short films. The films are screened on a monthly basis and recently the club has been screening the Palador collection of World Cinema. A Mocha Film Club festival has been held in Mumbai and a Delhi edition is also in the pipeline,at their Defence Colony Market outlet. The long summer just got shorter.

Moon River Film Club: 41617103
Kriti Film Club: 26027845
Mocha Film Club: 46588445

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