Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Lifeschool? - Films

Watch Films to Explore the World

Pico Iyer, who is one of the world’s best travel writers and who writes for TIME Magazine. He spent many days of his youth at local cultural halls and learning centers in his city. Here he would watch many of the academy award nominated foreign films that would be screened at these places. Anurag Kashyap is an Indian director. As a youngster, he attended the Goa Film Festival where he saw over 55 films over the ten days of the festival. He then started making his own movies and now is one of Indian Cinema’s biggest directors.

Why I Love The Movies?

My father was a movie buff. Every Thursday we would go to the local theatre to watch a different film. This is where my love for movies started. I then started exploring the world of movies a little more.

I would buy CD’s and borrow movies from friends. I tried developing an interest for all kinds of films. There was so much to learn about the world through movies. People would travel to the farthest corners of the world and film fascinating stories. All I had to do was get a CD and enjoy the work of art from my home.

I mainly developed an interest in documentaries, adventure, science fiction and award winning movies of different genres. Most of the movies I saw were documentaries or biopics about the lives of people. But I started watching movies in almost all movie genres. I also took an introduction to films class in college and understood the history of cinema and how it has evolved over time.

Film Festivals

In Mumbai, in the month of September, there was a film festival being organized. It was a five day festival called the ‘Jagran Film Festival’. They would organize chapters of this festival at different states all over the country. It was a year long film festival. Regional Indian Films, World Cinema, Classics and Short Films were shown at this festival. It ran from 24th September to 29th September and I would go and watch movies there on most days of the festival.

I always believed a good movie can take you to a new world and make you think about things you have never thought about before. Some movies bring out emotions you have never felt before. On some days I would spend the whole day watching movies at the festival, while on other days, I would finish my work in the morning and spend the evening watching movies at the theatre. The movies were free of cost for the public, but you have to come well in advance to book your seat for it. In a city like Mumbai, where everyone is movie fan, even getting there early will not get you a seat. So I had to plan my days well in advance to ensure I got to see the right film at the right time at the festival.

Some of the movies I saw at the festival were:-
a) Panther Panchali – Satyajit Ray
b) Bombay Talkies
c)  Children’s Republic
d)  Five Short Films in different languages
e) Ship of Theseus

I would also attend movie screenings at college festivals and cultural festivals happening around the city of Mumbai.

How do you keep a record of the movies you watch?

  1. Make a ‘Film Challenge List’- How to do it below
  2. Physical Record - Take an A4 Size Sheet of Paper and draw three vertical lines down the sheet with enough spacing in between to write the names of the film.
  3. Phone Record – Title the list ‘Film Challenge List’ and as soon as you watch a film somewhere, note it down
  4. Digital Record – Give it the same title. Then type down all the movies you have noted down in your phone record. Use Evernote, and you will not have to type it all again, as when you take notes on your smartphone, it gets uploaded to your Evernote profile on the website.

Using Films to Learn

a) Check Film Award Lists – Start with the Academy Award List for Best Film and Best Documentary. You have a detailed list of all the movies that have won the award from the early 1900’s (nineteen hundred’s). I would go through the list, read the film description of winning and nominated movies and then borrow or get CD’s of the movies from friends or the local video library
b) Find Reliable and Renowned Movie Reviewers on the internet or in the papers
c)  Check online lists for top movies to watch in each genre.

Internet Movie Links

a) Go through the website openculture.org to find a list of all the movies available on the internet. Find a good video downloader for your computer, so you can download these movies from the online video channels and film archives and watch it on your time
b) Join your local video library – I have found lots of great movies at a reasonable cost here. I would rent at least one a week
c)  Netflix or Local Movie Provider – This will incur an additional cost, but is a recommended source incase you do not have access to a good internet connection or video library.

Some movies I love

a) Man on Wire
b) Searching for Sugar Man -
c)  Motorcycle Diaries

d) Great Debaters

Let us Learn Together 
Tweet @AbhishekShetty_

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