The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Cinema

Cinema, the original grand narrative which has tried to replace reality itself as a reference frame, is misguidedly celebrating that it has survived all these years. We hold this celebration to be a mistake. We believe a mourning is more in order. Mourning how over the years it has slid down from its pedestal of spectacular magic to becoming a random image on a fifteen inch screen that fills time between advertisements. Mourning how at one time it was actually a living manifestations of the urge to create a life-like fabric, with bends, folds, ruptures, tears and mirror-work. In the act of playing God, very quickly what happened was a break down of the shamanic aura to a material logic of what propels it, the wisdom of awe broke down to the very base conversation about the mechanisms and techniques. So when video offered a fraudulent image as an alternative, cinema got distracted for a moment. Cinema started talking about method, viewing experience and technical quality. Cinema should have remembered that people still go to spas, temples, churches and still crave for a little bit of insulation as long as it is coupled with mystery, sour suspense and emotion. The cinema theatre could have grown up from a popcorn restaurant to so many other things.

But now we have a television at a home and a television in a darkened room. We have home theatres at all because cinema theatres are nothing more. Even commercial jets offer a more adventurous experience. I go to the toilet on a plane and I flush the toilet and I know I am flying through air.

Cinema is deeply wedded to the idea of continuous narrative, an illusion of space, time and emotion. Where does this come from? How did anyone ever think of a storybook which one could stare at and go home with a complete dream running in the head. Insomniacs to this day watch movies all night long, because it is an experience so close to sleeping. Even wet dreams are possible. Cinema is sleep. Cinema is dream-time.

To lovers, embedded deep within the love moment, this will remind them of something else. It will remind of love itself. When you stare at another person and track the fluctuations in their gestures across temporal landscapes, you are experiencing cinema. The first war known to humankind started when she said to him, "You are my cinema."

But how do you experience this when you are sitting by yourself on a dry rock in the middle of what was once a river? Only lovers have the automatic, continuous supply of cinema. Other folk, the cynics, the religious, the traders, the romantic, have no way to ever know this person-propelled-cinema experience.

And the world of cinema, the world of cameras, lights, actors and simulated sex was made to mimic the world of lovers for others. What shall we call the others, we don't know. The desire to copy this world is an unfulfilled desire. Unfulfilled in perpetuity. Vestigial. And this leads us back to the source of the desire. It lives in the heart of yearning. The same organ in the body of our emotion that years for love, yearns for cinema. When you are looking into the eyes of your beholder you don't need to watch a movie.

The need to watch a movie arises in the moments that you are disoriented, lost, joyless, dry, opaque, idle, wasted or nonchalant. And no movie ever made has been able to address that itch. They try to substitute the cemetery of dry as a bone hearts with lush green fields of evergreen emotions. But the replacement only lasts till the movie lasts, the landscapes are reset after that. And because you can't rent an apartment in the middle of the limelight, can't be the movie star's next-door neighbour cinema is peddling biscuits to the dead baby. Just peddling biscuits to the dead baby.

Formalism

If you have a problem with content, can you get way with working on other parameters of presence? The thing with presence is that each parameter is important. You cannot get away with working on form or context in isolation. Content is always accessible, whether or not the form of an entity allows such an access to happen or not. Formalism is about paying isolated attention to the form hoping for it to convey everything. But should it convey anything at all? Form conveys only that which it…

The cut

The cut is the first wound. Footage being a continuous record of reality has no breakage. It can be like memory, narrating a continuous stream of experience. When the desire to construct is born, the cut is born. The cut is the cement. Aesthetics and arrangement was born out of the need to hide the cut. When the cut is placed on a timeline, suddenly fiction is born. Each cut video gets a duration, from a mass of footage it becomes a clip. A clip has to be put in a sequence of progression and…

Remakes

Why do some films need to be remade? Why do they lose their lustre after a point? Is there something left unsaid in stories told only once. Does this unsaid story float in the air like an orphan story, a story with no parent, no saving grace? Do stories become themselves only when they are told many many times over. We want to propose a cinema that does not have any diversity on the storytelling front. There should be only one story told over and over again. If you want to demonstrate your…

Film time

Film time is a fiction that pretends to be a reality. It is a lie. Within the guise of film language, film time tries to tell the story of the reality of the world. History is recorded in cinematic narratives and when historians speak, reams of celluloid is vomited out. The birth of cinema is locked into the time that story-telling was born. There was a definitive birth of storytelling. The search was on from the time language was born for a short-hand, for a way to compress the long-hand of…

Dialog

Dialog is always only partially heard. Besides the fragments that get spoken, there are volumes that volleyed in the head. The dialog in the head is more interesting, more fractious, more dangerous even. Because in that you will find the unfiltered, raw response to the madness around you. When you listen to yourself speak, you think that is the story that gets out and that is the story that matters. There is no crime in thought, no risk in letting idle fantasising becoming provocative and…

Screens

Screens are the surface of cinema. There is no escaping screens when the moment is one that celebrates the becoming of each surface into a screen and recklessly performs this transformation wherever it can. The original screen which has been copied everywhere was the retinal screen. This retinal screen cannot be copied easily because it performs such a different function. It's function is not to become a projection apparatus, dumb and receptive in itself. It is an intelligent organ that…

People-propelled cinema

This idea involves looking at human bodies as cinematic narrative machines. We talk about cinema for sure but we talk about people-propelled cinema. We talk about a continuous human channel, self-aware of its inherent responsibilities to deliver a continuous stream of experience. People have called this transmission different things at different times. People have called this love, synthesis and romance. But there should be only one name for this, and that singular name is cinema. When the…

Entertainment

To enter or attain a better frame within which to see the world and find it enjoyable is the objective of entertainment. To startle the other out of the stasis of living their life is the immediate desire. When we undertake the responsibility to entertain you to fulfil the contract between us, we do a good job. We do such a good job that never again do you go to the fake entertainment portals of the city. The portals are fake because they have a very temporary effect. You stay entertained only…

Viewership

When you watch a film you are walking into a puddle of wet mud. Like participating in cross-talk, cinema has the firepower to ignite many cross-polarities and trigger an explosion. Which web of connections has the potential to lead to a tumbleweed of explosions? When do you escape the safe area? All thoughts are only partially thought. You never have the time to follow a trail of thought all the way to achieve a closure. So your head is full of these live exposed webs of wires. Also you have no…