Kaal Abhirati (1989)

 ●  Bengali ● 2 hrs

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Experimental feature debut by a young FTII graduate. The opening shot sets the tone, holding for nearly 10’ a static frame with an outstretched palm and occasional passers-by seen through a door in the distance. The film has four main characters, an artist-hero, his girlfriend, a garrulous and cynical avuncular figure (played by Badal Sircar), and a sound technician who records their conversation (and sometimes represents the film-maker). The occasional stretches of dialogue between the man and woman in a partially constructed building and in the zoo, or the rowdy drunken conversation in a bar, serves to heighten the surreal effects arrived at with immense Kali figures on Calcutta’s streets, clouds of smoke and ghostly figures wandering through cavernous 19th C. mansions. At the end of the film, in a dawn shot, the hero sets his works of art afire, and joins the other characters in a Dionysian dance. The highly theatrical film depends mainly on a rigorous symmetry of volumes and long duration shots that are either static or move in a slow track. Remarkably, the main set, the city of Calcutta, is physically drained of all human presence other than the actual actors. The presence of Badal Sircar, one of Bengal’s best-known playwrights (Evam Indrajeet) and proponent of a Grotowskian ‘Third Theatre’ concept, serves partially to contextualise the theatrical origins of the language.

Cast: Badal Sircar, Rajavati Sircar

Crew: Amitabh Chakraborty (Director), Shashikant Anantachari (Director of Photography), Prasun Mitra (Music Director)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 01 Jan 1989 (India)

Bengali Name: কাল অভিরাটি

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24 fps
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