Biopic Film Festival (24th – 26th July 2014) - A Cine experience at American Center Auditorium

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

Biopics - A Cine experience, Poster, The Embassy of United States of America, American Center, Cinedarbaar, 24th – 26th July 2014
"Biopics - A Cine experience" Poster
A great opportunity is just around the corner for the cineastes in Delhi and surrounding areas. The Embassy of the United States of America in collaboration with Cinedarbaar is organizing a cinematic feast—‘Biopics - A Cine experience’—for the diehard enthusiasts of world cinema from 24th – 26th July at the American Center Auditorium, 24, Kasturba Gandi Marg, New Delhi - 110001. During the course of the three-day-long film festival as many as six specially curated biopics would be screened viz. Ed Wood (1994), Lenny (1974), Auto Focus (2002), I'm Not There. (2007), The Insider (2007), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). And, the best part is that the entry to the festival is free but is on a first come, first served basis. All you need to have is a copy of the festival poster. You can either carry a digital copy of the poster in your smartphone or a printout of the same. Also you would need a valid photo ID card to enter the American Center.

It is widely believed that motion picture is the most effective means of communication ever devised, for the message reaches everywhere and to everyone. A biographical motion picture—abbreviated as biopic—is a film that depicts the life of an actual person or people in a somewhat dramatic fashion. Such films present the life of an important person or a historical figure and are usually eponymous i.e. named after the central character. The history of biopics can be traced back to the earliest days of the silent era with films like Georges Méliès’ Jeanne D’Arc (1899), Cecil DeMille’s Joan the Woman (1916), D. W. Griffith’s Judith of Bethulia (1914), Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927), Lloyd Ingraham’s Jesse James (1927), and Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Biopics usually try to capture the events like war, political or social conditions surrounding the central character's entire life as he/she meteorically rises to fame and glory or slowly fades into oblivion.

Unlike Bollywood, "Biopics" are a tried and tested formula in the West. As a matter of fact, it’s considered to be one of the most bankable genres of all. More often than not, an already existing biography or an autobiography of the personality concerned serves as the source material for the biopic. But, as oppose to the popular notion, making a biopic is far from being a cinch. The director and the screenwriters usually have their work cut out for them. After all, it’s no kid’s play to emphatically depict larger-than-life personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Adolf Hitler, Howard Hughes, Truman Capote, Queen Elizabeth, Bob Dylan, Mark Zuckerberg, Grace Kelly, etc. on the celluloid and simultaneously satisfy all the sections of the audience. And, sometimes, when the central figure is as controversial as someone like J. Edgar, Julian Assange, Freddie Mercury, or Jordon Belfort, it becomes next to impossible for the makers to present a somewhat balanced perspective, and the biopic invariably ends up garnering flak from both the critics and the fans (of the biopic's subject) alike. But, the toughest job by far is that of the actor (or the actress) who has to play the eponymous character. It’s a classic case of make or break for the performer. If somehow he succeeds in getting into the skin of the character, he is set to grow in stature, considerably. If, however, he fails to strike the right cords, it can most definitely cast a severe blow to his acting career.

Coming back to the Biopic Film Festival, please bear in mind that the movie screening will be followed by the interactive sessions with eminent film scholars who would be sharing their knowledge and thoughts about the films on display at the festival as well as the ‘Biopic’ genre at large. The audience members can also win exciting prizes by answering fun quiz questions based on the movies. Once again I would like to reiterate that the entry to the festival is free and is open for general public, strictly on a first come, first served basis.

Festival Schedule

1.     July 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Ed Wood (1994) by Tim Burton, 127 Min

Ed Wood (1994), Directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp, A Still from the movie

Genre: Biography – Comedy - Drama

The mostly true story of the legendary director of awful movies and his strange group of friends and actors

2.     July 25, 2014, 3:30 pm

Lenny (1974) by Bob Fosse, 111 Min

Lenny (1974), Directed by Bob Fosse, A Still from the movie

Genre: Biography – Comedy - Drama

The story of acerbic 1960s comic Lenny Bruce, whose groundbreaking, no-holds-barred style and social commentary was often deemed by the Establishment as too obscene for the public

3.     July 25, 2014, 6:15 pm

Auto Focus (2002) by Paul Schrader, 105 Min

Auto Focus (2002), Directed by Paul Schrader, A Still from the movie

Genre: Biography – Comedy - Drama

A story about "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane and his friendship with John Carpenter

4.     July 26, 2014, 12:00 pm

I'm not there (2007) by Todd Haynes, 135 Min

I'm not there (2007), Directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, A Still from the movie

Genre: Biography – Drama - Music

Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where six characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work

5.     July 26, 2014, 3:00 pm

     The Insider (1999) by Michael Mann, 157 Min

The Insider (1999), Directed by Michael Mann, starring Russel Crowe, Al Pacino,  A Still from the movie

Genre: Biography – Drama –Thriller

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

6.     July 26, 2014, 6:30 pm

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) by Martin Scorsese, 180 Min

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, A Still from the movie

Genre: Biography – Comedy - Crime

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government

Readers, please feel free to ask your queries by leaving your comments. We will be happy to respond to them at the earliest possible!

- Murtaza Ali


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