If you have even a shred of conscience and feel that good cinema is possible in the country, read the following and sign up.
THE DELHI MANIFESTO
- Our cinema screen has become an ill-constructed, and conventional portal to a world we aspire of, rather than a mirror, which reflects us.
- Our emotions are guided by leitmotifs placed deftly, and religious beliefs exploited.
- Our spirit of inquiry has become dead and we have been reduced to mere receivers in the process.
- Cinema and television has replaced interaction with imposition of thought. Its thought. An artificial, fake and ill-created thought, a manifestation of our needs to escape ourselves.
- The medium has become a symbol of cheap entertainment, devoid of any examination of the form, and a victim of our collective need to create personalities, perfect alternate universes, and images of our aspiration.
- Our criticism has become trivial. Stories take precedent over the intrinsic qualities of the cinematic medium.
- Our film lovers are snobs, indulging in their wholehearted pseudo-intellectual diatribe, condemning the ignorant, and the ignorant have become so used to a cinema that’s meager that they are satiated with films from the West.
- Our parallel offerings remain strictly entrenched in the tradition of the mainstream, and hence, are versions of the same, rather than its replacements
We reject a system that encourages the above, despite its realization, and seek:-
- a) To incite discussion on the possibilities, limitations and viability of the application of the auteur theory as a critical prism.
- b) To use criticism and our theories to both champion and strive for innovation and cutting edge in form, form and content.
- c) To attempt a formulation of a pure love for cinema, a middle ground between the pseudo intellect of the snobs, and the ignorance of the unknowing, and attempt to mobilize their film loves to this new ground.
- d) To attempt a critical theory that moves beyond the supply of the story and the statistical rating points.
- e) To observe, notice, and champion upcoming films, filmmakers, and technicians, who remain obscured in the looming shadows of commerce and a faux parallel cinema.
- f) To champion cinema that creates dissonance, repulsion, interpretation, confusion and discussion rather than loud claps, whistles and scrupulous satisfaction
- g) To work towards a film love which adopts a middle ground, to reinstate the cinema director to his deserved position, to celebrate Indian cinema of the past and the present, to examine its potential, we propose ”The Delhi manifesto.”
– A Delhi Suburb, 1st Jan 2009