Cinema has always been a close follower of technology. From implementation of newer color or sound technologies to computer generated graphics and 3D montages – cinema since its inception, has amazed audiences. Under such a setup, when filmmakers are continuously searching for newer techniques, we have recently witnessed a series of films which have instead, paid tribute to the classics and made their mark.
The two most celebrated films of the last year – The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011) and Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011) both fall into this category. Both speak of an era of film making. While Hugo speaks of the turbulent times when cinema was invented, The Artist goes a decade or two forward and shows the transition of silent films to talkies. While Hugo takes a step further and in its absolute glory, implements the best 3D filming can offer, The Artist, takes a step back and implements the timeless black and white techniques and does magic with old school style of film-making. Interestingly, both won 5 Academy awards.
Bollywood is not far behind. While India’s entry to 2009 Oscars was Harishchandrachi Factory (Paresh Mokashi, 2009), this year again India has nominated Barfi (Anurag Basu, 2011), which goes on to pay tribute to numerous slapstick comedies. From the golden hearted tramp Charlie Chaplin through the dancing sequences of Donald O’Connor to the hilarious chase scenes of Jackie Chan – Barfi has gone all the way celebrating numerous forgotten classics. While I continue to wonder if Barfi was the best choice India had for Oscars, I cannot help but appreciate that films like these are getting the attention they deserve.