Forms and Design
One of Kaul’s very first short documentaries, expressing sorrow about the disappearance of traditional art forms with the advent of industrialized production processes. Co-scripted with painter Akbar Padamsee, the film features themes that would also show up in his later works.
“All my life I have tried to find different ways to do away with linear narrative. That is why I was interested in documentaries … In my own way I have tried to bring poetry, documentary and fiction together. We could call it non-linear narrative. I have a great disdain for the linear narrative that exists, even if it is complex, even if there are many characters, even if it has a large canvas …” (MK)
Mati Manas (Minds of Clay)
Mani Kaul was commissioned by the Festival of India in 1985 to make a film about the art of clay pottery in India. His response was to wander in a tourist bus (with his film crew of twenty persons) up and down North India looking at the lives and longings of ancient communities of potters. Museum curators complained that Mani Kaul had not stopped in to film their exquisite pieces of one sort or another; but Kaul was not interested in a catalogue of fine things. He wanted rather to discover the myths and states of mind out of which pots were made and to render these states of mind through his own shaping of the medium of cinema. “I wanted,” Mani Kaul says, “to know the anguish of the potter through my own anguish as a filmmaker.” (Satti Khanna)
Hindi with English subtitles