Chao Center for Asian Studies' Titles3 Festival of Experimental Films from India: Featured Shorts directed by Ashish Avikunthak

Courtesy photo

This screening includes four shorts directed by Ashish Avikunthak.

Vakratunda Swaha, made over the course of 12 years, begins as a requiem to a friend who passed away and ends as a contemplation on death and ritual. Using the footage of the late artist Girish Dahiwale (1974-1998) filmed in 1997 as the kernel, the film is a meditative exploration on the place of dying and resurrection in modern times.

Kalighat Fetish attempts to negotiate with the duality that is associated with the ceremonial veneration of the Mother Goddess Kali, the presiding deity of Calcutta. It delves into the subliminal layers of consciousness, underlying the ritual of Kali worship. The film ruminates on the nuanced transsexuality that is prevalent in the ceremonial performance of male devotees crossdressing as Kali, in an act of obsessive devotion.

In End Note, three women reminisce about their times at school and rekindle and affirm old friendships. They share a strange secret about each other that is never made know to the viewer. The film is a cinematic interpretation of Samuel Beckett's 1967 dramaticule Come and Go.

Dancing Othello explores the moment of imaginative intersection of two 17th century classical artistic tradition: Shakespearean tragedy and the South Indian dance form Kathakali. The film gives birth to a hybrid performance merging the epitome of English literature and the quintessence of Indian art. Situated in an ambivalent dramatic space, the Shakespearean English, as a symbol of a colonial language, collapses into the classical form of an orthodox dance genre.



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