Reflection through Re-creation

The Cinema Edition

This summer I decided to watch as many films as possible from my list of ‘movies to watch ASAP’. While I was doing that, I adopted a different way of watching films. Every time I come across a frame that I really like, I pause, take a screenshot and save it in a separate folder – just an attempt to preserve my favourite movie stills. However, recently, I realized that these stills are great reference material for painting and sketching.

While it does not seem like much, recreating these still frames is a way of reflecting on the themes, characters or essence of a particular film. While painting, I am naturally thinking about why I am drawn to this particular frame. This eventually leads to reflecting upon what that says about me as an audience and about the film itself.

Baran (2001)

This film is a simple yet layered love story. It is a steady back and forth between Baran’s innocence and subtlety and the numerous hurdles Lateef faces that are holding him back from expressing the unspoken words and feelings that their bond is built on.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

A warm, endless summer afternoon in Norther Italy – this encapsulates the essence of the film for me. Apart from the heartbreaking yet captivating and beautifully layered narrative, the relaxed pace and the pleasing aesthetic is the reason for re-watching this film endlessly.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

This movie that filled me with a strong longing for my own magical cove. This love story set in the summer of 1965 makes you want to spontaneously escape and live in this symmetrical and warm dreamworld created by Wes Anderson.

A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

Although watching this movie might seem like a taxing ordeal, the trepidation brewing through the 4 hours culminates with a mixture of gloom and shock. A story of violence, tender romance and growing up in the harsh yet fragile environment of Taiwan the early sixties – the intensity and the reality of the story grips you tightly.

Tampopo (1985)

A film about desires – Tampopo is about the innate human needs for appetite, intimacy and fulfilment. Alongside the main storyline of Tampopo and Goro working towards opening the best ramen shop, Itami keeps the audience intrigued with simultaneous narratives. It is many stories in one and in my opinion, possibly the best film about food.

Wild Strawberries (1957)

After being on my list for the longest time, I finally watched this Ingmar Bergman classic and I had to sketch Isak Borg. The film is particularly intense and heavy with the themes of nostalgia, loneliness and the fear of death. It is a dialogue regarding the meaning of existence conveyed through the story of an old man who has had an eventful life struggling through the emptiness of old age. The fear of failure and existential dread is something every individual goes through but may not notice or be aware of it because of the endless distractions we engage in throughout our short lives.

By Tanvi Sawant

Tanvi is a twenty year old student of film and business who makes a conscious effort to understand and appreciate the chaotic yet beautiful world we live in. She struggles to divide her limited time between academics, photography, art, exploring new places and a little (a lot of) day dreaming. You can find her on Instagram by the handle @tanvis2499.

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