Amrit Gangar is a Mumbai-based independent writer, raconteur, film theorist, curator and historian. He has written widely on cinema, popular...
Cinema of Prayoga: The Rigour of Austerity
What do quest, austerity and Indian notions of time and space, and have to do with experiment and film-making? In these times of great advances in technology, are we being ruled by technology, or are we letting technology liberate us?
In 2005, Amrit Gangar first introduced his concept of Cinema of Prayoga that attempts to reconfigure the generally accepted notion of the Experimental and the Avant-garde coming from the West. At its core, Cinema of Prayoga nurtures the essence of austerity and asceticism as an artistic praxis that resists the fears of the market and the money. In the process, the rigour of austerity becomes a pivotal artistic edge.
We are delighted to invite Amrit Gangar - writer, curator, historian - to Mumbai Local, to share with us his concept of Cinema of Prayoga. A concept that has been shared internationally and that has piqued the interest of film studies at centres across the world. A conversation with Amrit about creating artistic work is also a conversation about attitudes to life and living - for him, there is little difference between the two.
At this Mumbai local, we can look forward to an evening of film and philosophy, idealism and pragmatism. Brilliant scenes from the films of Dadasaheb Phalke, Ritwik Ghatak, Mani Kaul, Satyajit Ray, Robert Bresson and Jean-Luc Godard will be accompanied by anecdotes of innovation that form the inspirational ground for Amrit's ideas. And we will also get a glimpse into work created by the Cinema of Prayoga - examples of what is possible and what doors are being further opened.
We look forward to seeing you on Fri 18 August, 5:30 pm at Kitab Khana. And in keeping with the people-driven nature of Mumbai Local, we request you to please send this email on to at least 5 of your friends, so more of us may have the opportunity of such conversations.
@ MCubed Library, Bandra (W) - 1st Sat, 5 pm
@ Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla (E) - 2nd Sun, 5 pm
@ Kitab Khana, Fort - 3rd Fri, 5:30 pm
Amrit Gangar is a Mumbai-based independent writer, raconteur, film theorist, curator and historian. He has written widely on cinema, popular culture and the city and generally on aesthetics. He was Indian correspondent to Film International and ARTiT, published respectively from Tehran and Tokyo. He is a Consultant Curator for the National Museum of Indian Cinema being set up in Mumbai. He is a curator for the Kochi Biennale for its Artists' Cinema section.
From 1990 to 1996, he had curated retrospective programs for the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for Documentary, Short & Animation Films. He also curated film programs for Mumbai's Kala Ghoda Artfest for over four years from its inception in 1994. As Artistic Consultant he had worked as Artistic Consultant with Marina Abramovic on a dance-theatre project Total Masala Slammer directed by Michael Laub. It was produced by Hebbel Theatre, Berlin. He writes both in English and Gujarati languages. Two of his books have been awarded by the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi.
Cinema of Prayoga is a new theoretical concept that he has conceived and developed and has so far presented it at various venues in India and the world, including Tate Modern, London; Pompidour Centre, Paris; Students Centre, Zagreb; Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen; York University, Toronto; NCPA and Jnanapravaha in Mumbai; Santiniketan, etc. An edited book titled Cinema of Prayoga was published in London in 2006, at present he is engaged with writing an independent book on his filmosophical concept.