Tuesday, November 18, 2014

South Asian International Film Festival Spotlight: X

I’m excited to cover a few selections for the second year in a row the South Asian International Film Festival, exhibiting films from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, which presents its eleventh year in New York City from November 17th-23th.

Many directors
Screening November 17 at 8pm

This audacious project is a fitting film to introduce this year’s SAIFF lineup as its Opening Night selection. This Indian film comes from eleven different filmmakers, all of whom tackled the same storyline but from their own vantage points and fitting their own genres. That makes for one very schizophrenic experience – alternately engaging and alienating, hard to latch on to but gripping when one of the film’s eleven chapters really works. Like any film made up of vignettes, some are stronger than others, and it’s those that focus on direct, one-on-one conversation, particularly a chapter with a mock job interview, that prove most memorable and effective. Its brave construction makes for a fragmented experience, one that does manage to traverse a wealth of genres and themes but not in any coherent manner. The film’s tagline reads “Is man meant to stick to one woman? Is film meant to conform to one genre?” Those questions may be answered both in the negative here, but it’s a response that hasn’t been fully worked out just yet.

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