Kolkata cinephiles recall Godard as dissenter, philosopher | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: One of the earliest reactions elicited by Godard’s death was a Facebook post by Mrinal Sen’s son, Kunal, in which he shared a photo of an interaction between his father and the French legend. “Remembering the first time I watched many of Godard films during a retrospective in Calcutta in the early seventies. They were difficult films for a very young man, but was mesmerized. Here’s a photo I have of him with my father,” Sen’s post read.
Explaining the background of the photograph, actor Dhritiman Chatterjee said, “If my memory serves correct, we saw Godard at a press conference in Berlin where we were promoting Sen’s film ‘Akaler Sandhane’. I remember that Mrinalda went up and spoke with him. I believe this photograph could be of that encounter. Seeing Godard was an amazing experience for me.”
Filmmaker Ashoke Viswanathan said the influence of Godard’s work moved far beyond merely the screen. “Godard has been a major dissenting voice in the cultural world. Rather than just a filmmaker, I see him as a philosopher who, through his examination of art, politics and philosophy, provided an antithesis of the hegemonic, aggrandizing, patriarchal influences in society.”
“When I first joined Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), one of the primary foundational courses in our curriculum was on Godard. This shows how much of a canon he is in film studies. His French New Wave has had the most profound and lasting impact across the world, including the parallel cinema movement in Bengal,” said cinematographer and SRFTI student Arnab Laha.
Outside of cinema, Godard signified a counter-culture that magnetised Kolkata’s youth to engage in a socio-political criticism of their own lived experiences.

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