Some movies just never go out of style. The more you watch them, the more you love them. We give you the ul­ti­mate filmi check­list

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - Front Page - By Dibakar Ban­er­jee

ADirec­tors don’t de­cide; the box-of­fice cer­tainly can’t. But sev­eral fac­tors, in­clud­ing you, con­trib­ute, says the maker of Khosla Ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Love, Sex Aur Dhokha

SA Blade Run­ner (1982) cul­ter, I could sur­prise Ri­d­ley Scott about the num­ber of ex­tras in the chase scene, a film he made decades be­fore au­to­mated cash dis­pensers like Ex­o­dus (2014). And Mr Scott could sur­prise me with graphic de­tails about how, upon re­lease, the film sank and tread box-of­fice bilge wa­ter till wor­ship­pers all over the world brought up the idol from the depths and built a tem­ple of cult­dom around it. By now, more film­mak­ers have copied the look, the premise, the mu­sic, and ev­ery­thing else in it than peo­ple who saw it upon re­lease. So are cult films like up­per-class cheese that no one likes till told to do so by cooler, richer, bet­ter­look­ing or fa­mous peo­ple? Then what about Twi­light (2008)? Or Frozen (2013)? Cults the mo­ment they were un­leashed at un­sus­pect­ing par­ents of teenagers and tod­dlers. Imag­ine screen­ing par­ties with straw­berry cake where five-year-olds go zom­bielike even when see­ing it for the thir­ti­eth time? Par­ents can clock in a fight, mar­ried sex, a nap or a Skype chat with the client, dead sure they fin­ish what they started. And what about so many dif­fer- ent cults wor­ship­ping so many dif­fer­ent films? Can’t we have one cult flick for all? Like the Prime Min­is­ter is for all bankers? And what de­fines that one cult film? Or any cult film? Upon re­flec­tion, I have found wis­dom. Here it is, num­ber wise.

1. The great cult film rule is: my cult is the best and I spit on yours. What the 17-year-old Twi­light­head will think of the grey­ing Blue

Vel­vet (1986) junkie is best not put in print. What the Jaane Bhi do

Yaaro (1983) lov­ing dad will say about Frozen will be called very bad par­ent­ing. For a cult film to be so, it should unite enough ad­her­ents that dis­miss an­other cult film. It’s a bit like or­gan­ised reli­gion. In­tol­er­ance helps.

2. All cult films should have only enough ad­her­ents. More than that and the film be­comes popular. That’s for the crit­ics.

3. The film must not have been seen by a large num­ber of peo­ple so the cul­ter can a) feel su­pe­rior, b) con­vert an in­no­cent af­ter a rev­er­en­tial screen­ing and then feel su­pe­rior, and c) tweet, blog, FB, write an ar­ti­cle and feel very su­pe­rior. (I’ve been try­ing to con­vert the world to Massey Sahib (1985), and In Which An­nie Gives it Those Ones (1989) for decades. Now I sound per­ma­nently su­pe­rior.)

4. A true cult film should stand up to 40 view­ings per cul­ter in the first three years of cult­dom. (My count on Martin Scors­ese’s Rag­ing Bull, 1980).

5. It should con­tain se­cretly re­vis­ited and re­dis­cussed scenes like Kitu Gid­wani’s se­duc­tion in Ke­tan Mehta’s Holi (1985) (very cult and in­no­cent) or the grenade launcher and un­der­pants scene in Go­mor­rah (2008) (elec­tric).

6. A cult film can never be made so. Cul­ters should dis­cover them later. The films I made think­ing they would bust the block on Fri­day, did not. They were seen much later in smelly hos­tel rooms, as il­le­gal down­loads and TV re­runs enough times for me to be recog­nised at air­ports - (by very few cul­ters). Or­son Welles thought he had a home run with Cit­i­zen Kane (1941) till the film was shut down, and him os­tracised enough to never re­cover fully for the rest of his long ca­reer. While a direc­tor want­ing to make a cult film will make a pre­ten­tious one, be­ware.

7. All cult films have one thing cul­ters can spot miles away: The direc­tor wants to connect with you and no­body else, and usu­ally pays a price for it. Ask Cro­nen­berg, Shekhar Ka­pur, Noe, Sam Fuller, Ghatak, Kashyap, Gar­rone, Pradip Kishen et al. Ac­tu­ally don’t. They ei­ther would have changed pro­fes­sions or will be dead or busy hus­tling money for their next block­buster.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.