Author Archives: storyinframes

’11 Weeks’ – the film shoot. Part-1

Srinagar greeted with a dry autumn and deserted streets. The tourists who thronged the markets and shikaras a few months back were missing. As a photographer I felt like the streets, the landscape too was barren, with a veneer of gritty yellowy dust all over compared to the lush greens three months back.

to read more click on the page – ’11 Weeks’ – the film shoot. Part-1

Cafe Leopold

cafeleopold1

Café Leopold

Leopold is where the mayhem seems to have started on the fateful night of 26th Nov. The terrorists fired indiscriminately before hurling a grenade in the popular joint frequented by westerners, the office crowd, and the youngsters.  The terrorists left the scene creating chaos and panic on the streets and dead bodies strewn around in the café.

No sooner had the carnage ended in Mumbai, Leopold was back in action. No alterations or changes were done in its otherwise simple décor or style – it opened just the same way as it was on the night of 26/11 with the embellishments of bullet marks on the wooden pillars & shattered glass panes.

When I arrived there in the evening around eight the café was almost packed.  I somehow managed to get hold of a table. Everything seemed normal. The crowd was mostly Indian; having beer after office. Initially I noticed nothing amiss. As I settled down and glanced around I noticed the bullet marks and the two round holes on the Café’s glass façade.

Everyone who was present there seemed to have just one resolve – get the fear out of their mind.  The place looked lively, contrary to what I expected before I stepped in. it was an encouraging sight because collectively we managed to defeat the purpose which the terrorists wanted – fear.

As I pulled my haversack aside to take my camera there were few curious glances. With the permission of the café staff I took few pictures. A group seated few tables away waved and called me over. I was wondering if something had irked them. They lifted the table cloth and showed me a small pit right under the table. I looked on – blank. ‘Grenade!’ one of them pointed. This is the spot where the grenade had exploded after being lobbed in. With a sense of defiantness they raised their beer mugs and drank. It was a moment of fearlessness – an antidote to the venom of terror. cafeleopold2

 

 

 

 

 

’11 weeks’ – divinity divided

Divinity divided

 

 

 

I am waiting for a divine intervention for an end to all the problems in J&K that has been raging on and off for last 60 years. Just two months back when I was on location reccee with my Director, things seemed hunky dory. There were so many tourists in the Valley that we had to wait for our turn at the famous Vaishnav dhaba near the Dal Lake. Pahalgam and Gulmarg were teeming with tourists queuing up at the ropeway to reach the snow clad mountains.  There was something festive this summer. Now, there is chaos abundant.

I am unable to shoot a film which promotes harmony and peace. What irony! I feel sad as a DoP; the director feels worse.  

Like mortal human beings we are just waiting for the people to get tired with their anger so that peace gets a chance again. Just wait.

audience remarks – R(EVOLUTION) 43rd KVIFF

Nelze jinak než vřele doporučit. Samotný film je velice pěkně zpracovnaý a hluboké myšlenky jsou prezentovány v kontextu nejtěžších životních zkoušek. Je to odvážný pohled na smysl života a existenci vesmíru. Po představení v malém sále jsme vedli diskuzi s režisérem která sama byla velice zajímavá a ještě podtrhla dojem z celého filmu. Navíc se s námi režisér podělil o několik zajímavostí kolem vzniku filmu a o knize, která má defakto hlavní roli ve filmu. Opravdu to stojí za to. Nenechte se odradit tím, že to je sekce nezávislých. Doporučuji!!!

Translation:

 

There is no other possibility than recommend warmly. Whole movie is very precisely shooted and the big thoughts are presented in context of the hardest situations in life. It is brave look at the sense of life and the existence of universe. After the screening in smlall projection room there was a discussion with the director which was verry interesting and enhanced the impression of the movie. The director also told us some interesting details about making the movie and about the book, which acctualy has the main role in this movie. It really worth it. Don’t be scared by the fact, that this movie is in the section of Independent movie makers. I really recommend it!!!

 

I can’t guarantee that the grammar of my translation is perfect, but I hope you’ll be able to see what I wanted to tell.

 

Bc. MArtin Šimek

Student of Informatics

Ostrov, Czech Republic