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Interview (PG*)

Other Modernisms, Other Futures

A still from Interview

An opening edit, bringing together two shots so that a cannon appears to be firing on a statue of the former Viceroy of India, sets the tone for this formally and politically radical film.

The story is a simple but engaging one. A family friend promises our ambitious, personable young protagonist a job with a prestigious foreign firm. All he needs to do is turn up to the interview in a Western-style suit. When the big day arrives, a strike at the dry cleaners throws everything into chaos.

Director Mrinal Sen was co-author, in 1968, of a manifesto calling for a break with the existing Indian commercial and art cinema. He and a generation of young filmmakers responded with a slew of socially relevant, politically committed and formally experimental films drawing on local and international influences. Interview is exemplary of this new Parallel Cinema: an analysis and deconstruction of neo-colonialism, deploying a plethora of avant-garde devices (freeze-frames, jump cuts, direct-to-camera address).

Tagged with: Cinema Other Modernisms

India 1971 Dir Mrinal Sen 101 min Digital presentation

With thanks to Kunal Sen.

Film provided by National Film Archive of India.

Logo of the National Film Archive of India

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