I know it’s a little late to post about Day 3. I took a little break before I could get myself to write about it. Anyway, let’s get on with this.
Moral policing in Cinema
Possibly the highlight of the three day event, which was well illustrated by the bulging crowd at the start of the session (and not so at the end of it). Kamal Haasan was there, taking jabs at anything and everything that bothers him, from the redundant CBFC because of social media, educated intelligence being an obstacle to cinema, the populist game of the Tamil Nadu state government by capping the movie tickets and the commercial cinema that has no interest in civic responsibility.
In his conversation with K. Hariharan, he remarked ‘Allegories are not present in (Tamil) cinema’ and that they use characters from life. And he has useful advice for a wannabe dictator — “Voices should be heard, not suppressed’. He clearly is not fond of the protectionist reaction, which he claims is ailing the industry.
The point of travelling
Travel writers Colin Thubron and William Dalrymple indulge themselves in the joys of travel writing and why it persists as long as it has. Colin was convinced travel is ‘one culture looking at another’ and this ignorance of the newcomer and their sharp eye towards minute details gives a vivid picture of the inhabitant, who most often takes these details for granted and wouldn’t have paid attention to it if not for the newcomer.
Colin was also wary of using humour as a tool in travel writing. While humour can be a very useful source of entertainment, it can be dangerous if not used properly and comes across as condescending to the host culture.
Thoughts on sex and female sexuality
I must say I am lucky to have been in this session and getting a wealth of information about female sexuality, which would have remained inaccessible if not for the generous session from Naomi Wolf. Thank you for that, Ms. Wolf!
She has great concerns about how the sexual revolution, which involved an unleashing of pornography and the abundant sexual discourse, has not greatly benefited female sexuality. Her discomfort with discussing sexual pleasure among other things only made the session realistic and engaging — instead of a more harmful robotic delivery of a very sensitive topic.
There was a question put up by one of the audience – What’s the point of all these new info if she can’t exercise her right?. I think the answer possibly comes from Kamal Haasan’s session, where he is adamant a sudden overdose of freedom (relaxed censorship in movie making) would only have a detrimental effect — similar to children in a confectionery. Putting it in context, granting sexual freedom to the Indian women completely would negatively impact the feminist movement. Instead, this process should be carefully crafted, especially since our society is very conservative.
And a quote to remember:
Pleasure empowers women. Psychologically, intellectually and politically.
The majestic tigers of India
Valmik Thapar was angry (and I am saying that in the nicest way possible). He was calling for a way to end the bureaucratic, incompetent mess that is our Government. From the outdated laws in the constitution to the absurdly useless Red Tape, he was very happy to be tearing at them.
His call for including the passionate stakeholders at various levels of decision making only makes sense – but of course, the Government wouldn’t just agree with things that make sense!
The Writing life (or the lack thereof)
It is always exciting to get a little snoop into the personal lives of others (much less celebrities). And here I am, hearing Jim Crace plays solitaire instead of getting on with his damn work!
More seriously, both Jim and Samantha Shannon feels this prerogative of being writers is a burden — occasional feeling of not deserving to be a writer. They grew into realization that reviews and reviewers should be given their own space and that everyone has different opinions and be acceptable of the fact that not everyone likes everyone else’s writing.
I was greatly delighted when Jim noted Writing a bad novel is hard enough. It put a pleasant smile on my face. 🙂
It’s a wrap
At the end of the day (forgive me for the cliché), I was longing for more. I didn’t want this event to end and yet it did. I wasn’t presenting a tearful departure but it was awfully close to that. Wishing to take part in Lit For Life next year!