O Lover of Life: Experimental Narrative From India | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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O Lover of Life: Experimental Narrative From India

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Pooja Kaul's videos are among the most original I've seen. They can be frustratingly elusive at first, but over time their gentle elisions and off-center framing suggest that the most important aspects of human experience are intangible feelings not reducible to imagery.

Lover of Life (2003, in Hindi with subtitles) depicts a tentative romance between neighbors with silhouettes of the characters, often isolated from one another. Seemingly, the affair is never consummated: a voice on the sound track sings, "Come, darling, come," but the woman is shown walking past the man. In their closest encounter he shows her some miniature paintings, an interlude that suggests a spiritual rather than corporeal connection. Kaul's Winter Trail (2002), about "India's first modern painter," the half-Hungarian Amrita Sher-Gil, is similarly oblique, offering only glimpses of her art. Kaul will attend the screening. Also showing: Vipin Vijay's The Razor's Edge (2002). 71 min. Gene Siskel Film Center.

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