experimental film, India / Germany 2017, 29 mins, Hindi with English subtitles
dual film projection 35mm & DCP, 1:1.85, 24fps, colour, stereo
also available as DCP-only version
Somewhere in the rather dreary spheres of Mumbai's film industry, stuck between star-cult, superstition and the daily gridlock, Camera Threat explores the ambivalent, and sometimes paranoid relationship that this film city has with the moving image itself. Seated on a casting couch, two actors are getting trapped in their impromptu conversations on the unwanted side effects of a world that no longer bothers to tell facts from fiction. An expanded multi-genre film within the constraints of the so-called Masala Formula popularly known from Indian cinema.
Irgendwo in den eher trostlosen Sphären der Filmindustrie in Mumbai, umgeben von Starkult, Aberglaube und dem täglichen Verkehrskollaps, ergründet Camera Threat das ambivalente, oft auch paranoide Verhältnis dieser Filmmetropole mit dem bewegten Bild an sich. Abgesetzt auf einer Casting-Couch, verlieren sich zwei Schauspieler in ihren improvisierten Dialogen über eine Welt, in der die Grenzen zwischen Fakten und Fiktion schon längst nicht mehr zählen. Ein erweiterter Multi-Genre-Film unter Berücksichtigung der Regeln der sogenannten Masala-Formel, bekannt aus dem indischen Unterhaltungskino.
Review by Tanul Thakur in TheWire.in
starring: Mansi Multani, Pushpendra Singh & Girish Pardeshi
voices: Harish Bhimani & Shai Heredia
idea, edit, sound, direction: Bernd Lützeler
camera: Bernd Lützeler, Janantik Shukla, Shakir Shaikh & Shashank Peshawaria
music: Guido Möbius
audio mastering: Johannes Hampel
director's assistant: Swapnil B Sarnaik & Shashank Peshawaria
opticals & titles: Satish C Ajgaonkar
production management: Philip Widmann
with financial support from the
Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media - BKM
man: “Shooting in Mumbai is not allowed because of Camera Threat!”
me: “Excuse me Sir, what do you mean? What is »Camera Threat«?”
man: “Camera Threat is ... Camera Threat! It’s Camera Threat!”
Ever since I had borrowed my very first Hindi movie, coming on a worn out VHS tape, which had no subtitles and was full of drop-outs and sound glitches, I got fascinated by the inconsistency in space, time and genre in popular Indian cinema. This narrative form, also known as Masala Formula, prioritizes the spectacular over logic, by stringing multiple film genres together into one storyline. Love- or family dramas get interrupted by action sequences, romantic songs, comic sub-plots, melodrama and dance routines. I always wanted to experiment with this crude, but exciting film structure. In the end it took fifteen years until I realized, that during my travels to Mumbai so many materials, found footage and ideas had piled up, enough to become the source for a Masala experiment, where all those heterogeneous fragments of film and video would come together on screen.
During my previous film projects, I had worked on 16 and 35mm celluloid with local technicians and film labs in Mumbai. Now, for this new project, I decided to work with them again. But soon after we had started, I saw most of them running out of business, closing their doors forever, or even worse - still sitting in their studios day by day waiting for the phone to ring. With some of them, I was literally their last customer. So the worldwide digitization of the film industry had finally reached Mumbai and therefore, I made it part of my concept: Since I was already combining all sorts of analogue and digital formats, I expanded the concept of my Masala experiment: in the screening, analogue and digital images would be projected side by side, from a 35mm and a digital projector, and finally the two light cones would merge on screen.
Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, Germany 2017
Moscow International Experimental Film Festival, Russia 2017
EXIS Festival, Seoul, South Korea 2017
Curtas Vila do Conde - Experimental Competition, Portugal 2017
Films from the Indian Avant-Garde - Los Angeles Filmforum, USA 2017
Berlinale Spotlight at Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India 2017
Berlin International Film Festival - Forum Expanded, Germany 2017
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