Friday, March 24, 2017

“The Art Works Are Fascinating”

Noted Bollywood film director Vidhu Vinod Chopra talks about his experiences in the Kochi Muziris Biennale, as well as his upcoming film

Photos: Vidhu Vinod Chopra with wife Anupama; Vidhu at the art installation by Orijit Sen

By Shevlin Sebastian

Bollywood director Vidhu Vinod Chopra breaks out into a smile as he looks into a telescope on a first floor sea-facing balcony at Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi. This is an installation work of the French artist Francois Mazabraud. “Nice, he says. His wife Anupama, a noted film critic, also breaks into a smile.

This is my first visit to the Biennale,” says Vidhu, who is clad casually in a blue T-shirt and cotton trousers. “I am obsessed with cinema, so coming here is a liberation for me. I am enjoying an art form which is outside of cinema. And the works I have seen so far have been fascinating. What adds to the charm is the beautiful ambience of Fort Kochi.”

Both Vidhu and Anupama are a playful couple. At the ‘Going Playces’ exhibition of artist Orijit Sen, they took up the challenge of placing pieces with magnet ends into the ‘From Punjab with love’ painting. “Wow, this is cool,” says Vidhu, as he places a piece in the correct slot. Later, both take up a similar challenge in the Charminar exhibit.

Meanwhile, on the career front, Vidhu is putting the finishing touches to his script of his next movie. The theme: the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, from the 1980s to the present time.

This theme is not a surprise. Vidhu was born and brought up in Srinagar. “Kashmir is very close to my heart,” he says. “The movie is going to be an epic.” The shooting will begin in September. And the locations will be in different parts of Kashmir.

When asked if it is safe, Vidhu says, “I go to Kashmir every year. It is as risky as anywhere else in the world. Maybe, because of terrorist attacks. Paris may be more risky now. Tell me which place is not risky today? That is the world we are living in now.”

He has not selected the cast, as yet. But he is hoping to release it sometime next year. “I don’t worry about the release date,” says the maker of hits like ‘1942: A Love Story’ and ‘Parineeta’. “The film will somehow make its way into the world.” 

(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)

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