Mani Kaul

5

“…Sucha Singh, tomorrow is Gurpurb. Tomorrow I’ll bring you kadha prasad (halwa)…”

“Yes, yes…”

The bus left. Balo was engulfed in the dust from its wheels. When the dust cleared, she wiped her eyes with the edge of her scarf and looked on at the red light of the bus until it disappeared from her sight.

[by Mohan Rakesh]

उसकी रोटी
Uski Roti (1969)

5

Mani’s ability to take you into various zones of time is one of his greatest qualities and is rare even in great film-makers. He devoted several years of his life to the study of dhrupad. The slow-moving alaap that opens a dhrupad has something primeval about it. At the end of his film on dhrupad Mani moved his camera over the cityscape of Bombay at 120 frames per second, slowing time down to one-fifths of its normal flow. As the camera glides over the city, in a never before seen slow speed and gradually goes out of focus, it takes the viewer into an experience that is near mystical. It is an experience of a universe that is gradually dissolving before your eyes to return to a state that is nirgun and nirakar, without attributes and without shape.

Arun Khopkar, “A Partial View: Il Miglior Fabbro; A tribute to Mani Kaul, the film-maker, who died on 6 July” (Economic & Political Weekly / August 27, 2011)

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Mani Kaul on Guru Dutt. (via Surbhi)