in dhobi ghat i was taken in by a nostalgia for the city as it is- spectacular, lonely, gorgeous. where strangers meet and fall in love and ghosts haunt apartment buildings. its unashemdly in love with the city and the characters are all warm and gentle. prateik babbar is terrific and so is his love interest. aamir khan acts too hard and the video diaries are a little tiresome and predictable. but thaose are small niggles when some of the images stay with you long after the film. the jia zhangke like images of construction activities above the inner city or the marine drive opening sequence or that climactic rush through saat rasta.
trinh t minh ha's 'naked space- living is round' also makes for some unforgettable images. an architecture without architects journey through the homes of rural africa- phenomenology of dwelling is woven with myth and metaphor. men women wombs. entering and leaving and light and shadow play as the everyday life of a tribe is connected to universal cycles through geometry and structure. the circle. the round. the voice over that played with self reflexive ruminations about looking and voyeurism was intercut with information and some philosophical rambling.
the 'hatim tai' of 1956 is a fable about a fairy who turns into stone over a sultans lustful touch. hatim tai must solve 7 riddles to set her free. each test along his journey is story within a story. characters include a animal/human princess, bodyless heads of women hanging from a tree and many more. its great fun non stop and the special effects and set design are fantastic.
for a nostalgia trip into my childhood nothing worked better than chitchor which i remember half watching when i was in school. it is relentlessly feel-good, sweetened characters and storyline with music that i will always remember. most of the film takes place in a verandah- appropriate for a film about the encounter between the city engineer and the village belle.