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Ronita Torcato

A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai


experiencing Virtual Reality at NFDC Film Bazaar 2016

It's rather quiet on the fourth and final day of the NFDC FIlm Bazaar in Goa. One misses the throng, where have all the film-makers gone? OK Not all. Make that many. Goa's fabled beaches perhaps?

I revisited the VR lounge and spent the entire morning there experiencing all of the films I hadn't seen. (Yesterday,I'd watched only two : Chris Milk's The Evolution of  Verse and Daniel Askill's Take Flight, a collaboration between Within and The New York Times. Take Flight features a number of Hollywood stars in a series of tributes to the ultimate Hollywood magic trick.  I spotted my fave child actor Jacob Tremblay, Charlize Theron, Michael Fasssbender,,Rooney Mara.At least, I thought they were Mara and Fasssbender though I couldn't be sure because it was dark:-)) Lily Tomlin,Melissa McCarthy,Benicio del Toro,Jason Mitchell were floating around too but I really couldn't tell. Ah me.

Mr Milk's name figures in the credits of many of the films,which cover various genres: toons, docs, fiction. The NYT has also collaborated with Mr Milk and Zach Richter on Walking New York, to capture the birth of a new large scale street installation in the city.Renowned French artist JR (whose work has been shown in Mumbai by the Alliance Francaise and the Swiss Consulate) is famous for posting massive photos in urban environments in attempts to crwate a poetic awareness. JR was not present at his  Mumbai show, but in NYC, he looms larger than life - as do many other characters in the film thanks to VR's immersive experience ) as he tells New York's storied history as a city of immigrants. The monumental portrait was conceived as a civer for the NYTR's Walking New York issue.

All of the films were very good indeed but I had my favourites: Invasion is an interactive toon ( from the director of "Madagascar") about a pair of wee rabbits who save the planet from an alien invasion. Ethan Hawke narrates the story. The children in  Milk and Gabo Arora's  Clouds Over Sidra are adorable. The titular character is a 12 year old Syrian girl who guides viewers through her temporary home in a refugee camp in Jordan. The camp,Zatarri is home to 130,000 Syrian refugees fleeing violence and war. I liked Lucy walker's spontaneous, organic "A history of Cuban Dance" which reveals the broader history of that island nation  and Milk/Arora's Waves of Grace which tells the story of Decontee Davis, an Ebola survivor who uses her immunity ( and heartfelt prayer) to care for orphans in her Liberian village. Imraan Ismail's Valens Reef takes viewers to Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape and West Papuan coral reef scientist Ronald Mambrasar as he introduces his 8 year old son Valen and us with a deep sea dive to the underwater paradise teeming with marine life.

Yes I liked them all but the one I liked most was Milk's The Evolution of Verse which ends with an unborn baby, umbilical cord attached to its offscreen mother, which reaches out to touch the viewer. The physical transmutes into the deeply emotional.




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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai



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