Street dogs will not be chained

Graphic novel and short film revisist radical Bengali writer Nabarun Bhattacharya’s apocalyptic book Lubdhak on the oppressed’s fight

Published: 30th August 2017 09:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2017 09:51 AM   |  A+A-

Nabarun Bhattacharya’s novel Lubdhak will be brought to life

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Sahitya Akademi Award winning author Nabarun Bhattacharya’s novel Lubdhak will be brought to life through a stop-motion animation film and a graphic novel in the city on August 31.

Three-time national award winning cinematographer and director Avik Mukhopadhyay along with Madhuja Mukherjee, associate professor at the Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata,  brought this project to life. Through the tales of street dogs of Kolkata,  Lubdhak examines the ability of the oppressed to organise, reject the oppressor, and render them powerless.

“In 2013 , we thought of making a stop motion film and a graphic novel and had a long discussion with the author also. In 2014, I started working with it, starting with the model making,” says Avik whose film credits include Aantohin, Bhalo Theko, Pathal Ghar, Raincoat, Last Lear and Bunty aur Babli.

At present the 50-year-old is making a short version of the film. Madhuja worked on the screenplay, the graphic novel and a part of sound design. The stop motion and graphic novel are two different facets of the novel, explains Avik of their project ‘Lubdhak – The Dog Star’.

“In terms of images and narrative these two adaptations take two different courses. However, the dark and sombre tone of the novel has been translated into black and white for both,” adds the FTII alumnus.

“While we followed the plot line for graphic novel, I have chosen certain expressions of Bhattacharya and his philosophy to develop images. For the film/ screenplay I worked on the events from the book,” says Madhuja.

The film and the graphic adaptation are in English, therefore, there are several recreations considering Bhattacharya’s writings are very locally rooted, even when they speak of international politics, says the graphic artist, writer, filmmaker and researcher.

The classical visual style of the film is in Avik’s imagination, she says, adding that the visual style of graphic novel is inspired by woodcuts.

Madhuja’s research interests span the Indian film industry, database building, technology, and archival
projects.

Avik formed the independent artists’ group ‘Eclectic Crew’, with eminent painters and filmmakers, to create experimental video art. He has also shot several hundred commercials. Their multiple artistic interpretations of Lubdhak  received a grant of Rs 4 lakh from India Foundation for the Arts, under the Arts Practice programme, with support from Technicolor India.

Avik and Madhuja will present their processes of writing the graphic novel, which serves as a script of the film, and making a short pilot of the film as part of Afterthoughts of the Novel at The Park on August 31.

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