Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 73: Wed Mar 16

Interview (Sen, 1971): Barbican Cinema, 6.15pm

This film is part of the ‘Other Modernisms’ season at the Barbican. Full details here.

New Yorker review:
The distinction between political and aesthetic audacity is obliterated in the Indian director Mrinal Sen’s 1971 drama Interview. It’s a Kolkata-based variation on “Bicycle Thieves,” about a young man named Ranju (Ranjit Mallick), who, for a job interview with a British firm, has only a few hours to get hold of a Western-style suit. During a scene in which Ranju is travelling by streetcar, the movie shows Mallick being recognized by a fellow-passenger, and Sen has the actor address the camera and explain how he came to be cast in the film (the director also depicts himself at work, camera in hand). This breaking of the fourth wall is part of Sen’s personal truth-in-media campaign: Ranju’s frantic dashes through the city are filled with the print ads, billboards, store displays, and movie posters that he sees, which Sen presents as a crucial form of political mind control and a prime target of any future revolution.
Richard Brody

Here (and above) is an extract.

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