All Roads Lead To MAMI | Verve Magazine
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Screen + Sound + Stage
October 16, 2014

All Roads Lead To MAMI

Text by Nittal Chandarana

Crimson eyes, conjoint ID, schedule intact, the MAMI-ians stride purposefully from screen to screen

  • Imran Khan, MAMI 2014, Mumbai Film Festival, The Average MAMI Delegate Decoded
    Imran Khan at MAMI
  • MAMI 2014, Mumbai Film Festival, The Average MAMI Delegate Decoded, Clownwise, Klauni
    Wish-listed: Klauni
  • MAMI 2014, Mumbai Film Festival, The Average MAMI Delegate Decoded, Two Days, One Night
    A still from Two Days, One Night
  • Boyhood

It all began with the announcement of jeopardy in the world of cinephiles. Reliance backed out. MAMI 2014 was woe begone! Then came the whole ‘festival of the people, by the people’ movement, and after a few initial roadblocks, MAMI arrived bringing with it its Santa’s bag of movies. Verve naturally had to be a part of the hoopla, realising along the way that the festival has its own cult. We included people-watching in the gaps.

Ephemeral Elitism
You can distinguish a MAMI person by the air of seriousness and self-importance surrounding them, for, every delegate has willfully selected the path of global cinema for a whole week leaving aside the Khan market prevalent in other city theatres. Aptly seen when a not-so-gentlemanly gentleman stood up and hollered at a very confused Imran Khan (The Khan presence at the movies was marked, nonetheless) for delaying the screening of Two Days, One Night. It was merely on request that the star was there. The snooty audience member plain played the Quickman to a Conjurer who sweetly smiled his revenge. Another thing. Not since college have people so proudly hung an ID around their necks. MAMI pretty much is the ‘Xavier’s’ of film festivals whose eager students flaunt their pedigree with pride.

That raccoon is I
I’m going to digress a little and take you back to the seat reservations that opened at 12 am. Guess who’s spending sleepless nights? A MAMI maniac can always be spotted by her red-rimmed eyes and her irritable disposition acquired after staring at the film schedule too long. Much excitement, much dilemma and a serious need for Hermione’s time-turner. What else can you expect with five movies screened per day at ten different screens? The kid in a candy store moment never fizzles out.

Kicking and screaming
Also, if you haven’t seen anyone complain about the delays, lack of subtitles, queues, queue cutting, you ain’t seen nothing. Another delightful aspect – the polished kurta-jhola segment of society get into a catfight because, ‘How can they expect us to line up for a movie? I mean, it’s preposterous.’ So much malice in watching the Gandhian khadi embrace the ways of fiery leather. In fact, the screening of Richard Linklater’s masterpiece, Boyhood, (do watch!) was kicked off by a veritable crowd of about 500 delegates waiting to get in amid much pushing and shoving. Overheard: ‘Getting into a Virar local is easier!’

On Verve’s list
But we love it and readily get soaked in this parallel world for a week. Watching fantastic movies everyday is well worth the dark circles  and grogginess on display the next day. We sit and painstakingly reserve our seats for the next two days. On our wish list for today: Fever, Klauni and Buddha in a Traffic Jam. We look forward to another day at the movies.

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