The richness of black and white images is not the only aspect that one would miss these days. Those films, globally divided between European and American Films distinct with narrative style and surely the form that carries the story line. Characteristically, Those films were to question the linearity of the ‘story’. Those were ‘New waves’, ‘Avant-garde’ films breaking away from all the conventions/ grammars of film making, entering into a new connotation of the language through the newer idioms like—jump cuts, hand-held camera, rapid cut to sequence. Those were different texts, all together. Did the narrative style taking a completely strange look divide the audience/viewers? Perhaps, but that was not a-political always. Dividing American films from the films of Socialist block were more or less the thin line that appeared to be divided them among those friends. And, that was a world divided too, in those Cold-war days! And, Those were a time when ‘Neo-realism’ was a word spelled with dignity; distinguishing certain films from the others and when not shot mostly outdoor with a story-line picked up from the street did made a difference for the viewers. Those were ‘low-budget’ films too ever aspiring for a big commercial success but surely targeting acknowledgement in film festivals—held mostly abroad. Those films were separated from the ‘other’ as Those were ‘art-films’ so as the world, separated between the polar identities of the politics; those were the time when the word ‘capital’ was a dirty word. The bi-polar world has its own politics and its films—films to depict ‘bad’ in binary with ‘good’; ‘desirable’ in binary with ‘undesirable’.
These are films, coloured films, colours and the in between shades—the ‘bad’ is not as bad as ‘good’ is not as good as it seemed. So are the techniques—hand-held camera, fast editing, jump-cuts, natural light, non-linear narratives are no more monopoly of a class of films. These are film that attempts to find its viewer who are not categorised or separated. These are the film that attempts to attend as maximum audience as possible, smoothening the ideological edges that tend to divide them. Smoothening the sharp edge of ideological conviction is to include the differences within an idea of ‘pluralism’ well, are These films. Sharpened with technical edge, these are the films that blunts the prototypes—the Hero and Villains, the Heroine and the Vamp! These are the films that includes the villains, the vamps as well the Heroes and the Villains and the viewers who would agree to buy such comfort. After all, it is the ‘comfort’ that sells best and These are the author of films who engages themselves with serious research complete with its own methodology working out the comfort level of viewers, their attention span and even response to colour. These are the new-age techniques to which these films are busy with. If there is a story of market/populism there surely it is, for the narrative won’t risk to study the issue of conflict on which the story-line develops below the visual level and re-producing the myth of absolute goodness and badness. If this is populism, so is the politics of the time—a by-product of mass-culture; an agenda to delimit the border line between right and wrong, good and bad, so are These Films. Those film awards, arbitrators of global culture of ‘Good Film’ and ‘Bad Film’ being replaced by popular rating based rewarding of creative works legitimising these films is not an ‘vacuum’ for which those films are waiting but is setting up a standard by itself of this time.
How is this?
Does this categorisation is to celebrate the lament of “How Green was my Valley?”
May be not!
Such categorisation does not put all Those efforts in making contemporary films likeMaqbul, Phiraq, Gulal or Blue Umbrella or Those films that stands apart from such categorisation. These films inherits the tradition of Those films with finesse and maturity appears to stand in between the lines, thin by look but broad enough to carry the conviction, surely These films would never be mentioned again as Art-film in a time that is not modern again!