This friday there was a Cinema City discussion at the Mumbai International Film Festival. While Madhu and I did our usual introductions to the project and they way it affected our disciplines; Pushpa showed the Phantom Lady 2 project; and Mukul, Sonal, Shikha and i did readings from the two books; Nicole and Mukul spoke for the first time on a CC panel- and they were both super. In Nicole’s presentation the city became the bruised and battered body of Ranu from Shyamal’s ‘I am the very beautiful’ which is flirting with the gaze of all of us who watch it, all of us who try to hold it down by trying to understand it. it says i am but i am also not and will never be what you want me to be- but i will still give you what you want. the city as a bar dancer, shapeshifting chimera- seductive inspire of or rather because of the eroticism of her imperfection.
Mukul on the others hand drew a history of the phallic, delayering the iconography of the city through the way in which the images have been determined by the technology that produced it- and how those have been recirculated in different ways forming the collective memory of the city.