BANGALORE: At the sixth edition of Art Park, an initiative to bring artists closer to people, on Sunday morning, filmmaker and theatre director M S Sathyu said Kannada cinema could benefit from a similar model.
"There is a huge gap between the filmmakers and the audiences. We don't interact with the people, so we don't know what the audience wants, what matters to them," he explained later.
Lauding Art Park for educating the public about art — a concept that the West is no stranger to — the theatre legend said that it should gather momentum to become a movement in all fields of art and bring about more interaction between the creator and the people. It could especially help Kannada cinema break away from the humdrum of remakes and the 'entertainment' formula, he said.
The cinema of the thirties and forties, had a magic to it, which is lost in today's films, he said. "Now it's all about special effects — take Bang Bang or Kick for example — and even a child can point that out to you," he added.
Could reviving films of the period, like his own acclaimed Garam Hawa has been, rekindle the magic? Perhaps.
Different kinds of theatre too don't survive, he rued, because most movements are started by individuals and die away with them. "Shambhu Mitra, Utpal Dutt or Habib Tanvir's theatre didn't go beyond them. We need more institutions like Vishwa Bharati set up by Tagore, Vallathol (Narayana Menon) started Kalamandalam in Kerala," he said as he sat for a couple of artists who were sketching portraits of him. "Mine's an easy face to draw, I have a lot of beard. Draw a lot of unruly hair, and you're done," he joked.
Sathyu drew a rough sketch of Chanakya, a character in his latest play Mudra Rakshas, to open in Delhi in December. A Sanskrit play, it's based on the events around the ascent of Chandragupta Maurya to power.
Very much the tireless octogenarian, he's also working on a feature film about music and dance in south, north and east India. "It's not a biopic, but it's based on the life of a musician," he said, declining with a smile to name the artiste.
Previous editions of the monthly gathering have seen renowned personalities from various fields like Madhu Nataraj, Arundhati Nag, Girish Karnad as chief guests.
Chairperson of Art Park S G Vasudev says that this way more than one art is brought closer to the people. "A couple of days ago, I was at the Rangoli Metro Art Centre and Vasanth Rao (general manager — Finance, BMRCL) told me, 'Utilise the spaces in all the metro stations,'" he said.
Vasudev has had requests to start similar initiatives in other neighbourhoods as well. "It's difficult for people to commute these days, so the artist community of each locality can organise these events there," he added.