Amartya: Never wanted to bid such a realistic ‘adieu’ to Godard | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: Asked “What is your greatest ambition?” in Jean Luc Godard’s “Breathless”, Parvulesco the writer says: “To become immortal, and then die.”
Juxtapose that with the words of a lead character in “Adieu Godard”, who, when asked how he could meet a Frenchman like Godard, says “He will come to meet me!”. And we have cinema, at its surreal best.
Amartya Bhattacharya was promoting his Odia tribute film last Tuesday when news of the cinema maestro willfully breathing his last reached him.
“I was numb for some time because this coincidence was something no one could have imagined. My film is a dark comedy and tribute to Godard but I never intended to bid such a realistic ‘adieu’ to Godard,” Bhattacharyya told TOI.
But it’s a dark (or cinematic) coincidence that as the world bids adieu to the French genius, Bhattacharya’s 2021 film that won Best Picture at the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival’s Indian competitive category is getting to reach a wider audience with its national release.
The independent film had created a buzz with its release in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela earlier this month and ran to full house upon its release in Kolkata on Friday. Its trailer has been widely shared on social media, with Anurag Kashyap being one of its admirers.
Born and brought up in Kolkata, Bhattacharyya’s Odisha connection began with his posting as an engineer in Bhubaneswar in 2010. And with it began a different chapter in his life.
“My filmmaking started in Odisha. Before that, I used to write a lot, paint and act in amateur theatre,” says Bhattacharyya who has been making films in both Odia and Bengali.
“In Bhubaneswar I found the theatre culture at a nascent stage. Also, group rehearsals required in such productions were not possible after a full-time job in an MNC. It was also the time that DSRs were available in India, and I thought of changing to cinema.”
Bhattacharyya, who had learnt Odia by then, began by making short films and while he didn’t get much recognition in Bengal, the people of Odisha accepted his work despite the language barrier. His 2015 Bengali documentary, “Benares – the Unexplored Attachments” won him the silver lotus for best cinematography at the National Awards and in 2017, he won the National Award in editing for his Odia feature “Khyanikaa – The Lost Idea”.
Seeped in poetry and philosophy, Bhattacharyya’s films – in which he’s also the cinematographer and editor – usually caters to a niche audience, unlike “Adieu Godard”.
One of the highlights of the film is its French collaboration in the form of co-producer Vanessa Lien Bianchi. “As a curator, I selected “Runanubandha – the He without Him” for the Toulouse Indian Film Festival’s official competition in 2018. I appreciated Amartya’s introspective approach to storytelling and started following his work,” Bianchi said from France.
With its Mumbai release in offing, what better way could a cinephile find to bid farewell to the Godfather of French New Wave than “at 24 frames per second”.

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