There is no telling what this Hindi film parodist has up his sleeve with a live, futuristic "neo-benshi" sendup of Manoj Kumar's 1970 classic Purab aur Paschim entitled Aur Paschim: Transvestites in Space, Helen in Bad Girl with a Heart of Gold and a conversation about his upcoming film Forest Tales.
What is neo-benshi?
The neo-benshi performance is a reworking of the traditional Japanese benshi, where an individual would provide the voices for all the characters in a silent film. In the neo-benshi, writers/peformers pick a film or a scene from a film of their choice, strip it of its soundtrack, reimagine and rewrite the narrative, and perform the script live over the projected image. Anuj Vaidya explores the limits of this form with 3 pieces that stretch the boundaries of the neo-benshi tradition.
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Aur Paschim: Transvestites in Space, is a reworking of the Manoj Kumar classic Purab aur Paschim, where the patriotic narrative is morphed into a queer, high-camp, science fiction fantasy about a pod of sterilized male transvestites, the Aur Paschim, who are sent off to the moon to shop and smoke, in order save the ailing economy of Earth.
Bad Girl with a Heart of Gold, finds the artist in conversation with his own film of the same name – an experimental narrative that weaves many of Hindi film icon Helen's signature roles together to pose the question: Can Helen escape her perpetual death by Hindi cinema?
Forest Tales is a loose interpretation of the neo-benshi form using text and image to put a queer, eco-feminist, steam-punk spin on the ancient Ramayana. In a distant future (that is also the past), Sita, Ram and Lakshman set out on their 14 years of exile. They arrive at the forest by night, and when morning comes Sita is confronted with a forest devastated by pharmaceutical waste. She wanders into the forest to seek out her mother, who eventually comes to her in the guise of a frog. Sita and the frog have a conversation.
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Join us on Thursday 15 March, 2012
At 6:30 pm
At Open Space, B-301, Kanchanjunga Building,
Kanchan Lane, Off Law College Rd,