The lockdown has given us all a lot of time to catch up on movies, shows, reading, poetry, and discover new artists. We asked a few film artists about the best discovery they made during this time.
Kareena Kapoor Khan (actress)
Jaideep Ahlawat in Paatal Lok. I found that performance so real. In every scene I thought I was there with him, like I was in the show. It was a surreal experience. I think he’s a brilliant actor.
Chaitanya Tamhane (director)
Luckily, just before the lockdown, I bought a PS4. For me the discovery of narrative driven video games has been the biggest one in the lockdown. I’ve played some AMAZING games that are not just about action or killing people mindlessly. That’s been my biggest discovery. For me, it’s the new frontier of storytelling.
Ishaan Khatter (actor)
There have been plenty of lockdown discoveries and rediscoveries. I’ve been rewatching a lot of films and series that have influenced me. I’m currently watching the first season of Euphoria, and I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s explosive and just brilliantly conceived. At the same time it’s extremely disturbing and moving.
Vivek Gomber (actor, producer)
I have given myself the gift of meditation again in lockdown. That has been very liberating.
Tanaji Dasgupta (producer)
Generally, I don’t get to read a big novel. One that I read in this lockdown, and I absolutely loved, is called Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. It’s a beautiful book and I would highly recommend it. It’s just a beautiful epic saga of a Korean immigrant family going to Japan, over 3 or 4 generations. It reminds me of my own grandmothers and family – they’re all from Bangladesh and came to Calcutta at some point.
Shimit Amin (director)
I’ve only been watching old movies. Halfway through the lockdown I ended up watching I Was A Male War Bride by Howard Hawks, again, after years, and I realised how amazing that movie is. If you forgive some of the elements that are time sensitive, I think it’s fantastic. It’s fun and entertaining.
Alankrita Shrivastava (writer-director)
I’ve read a lot of books through the entire pandemic. But there’s one book that I discovered and read, called Kim Ji-young, Born 1982, which is a South Korean book about a woman’s life in South Korea. I found so much resonance with it. It was actually banned in South Korea for being too feminist. But when you read the book, it’s so simple – it’s just about the everyday misogyny and sexism that exists. It really spoke to me. It’s also been made into a film, but I haven’t seen it.
Dhruv Sehgal (writer, actor)
My lockdown discoveries have been vlogs. One Indian vlogger I’ve followed everyday for the last three months is Saurabh Joshi. He’s this guy from Haryana and I think his channel is so beautiful. It’s the story of him and his family and knowingly and unknowingly he captures these everyday moments which are so beautifully cinematic. The day he hit 500k subscribers, along with his neighbours and brothers, he went on his terrace and he said to the camera ‘hey guys we’re about to dance. Please don’t judge us because we’re just so happy’. It was just like watching great cinema. And he’s not trying to be clever, it’s just him capturing life and it’s amazing.
Hussain Dalal (screenwriter, actor)
The Boys on Amazon Prime is my favourite show right now !! It’s so amazingly relevant and it’s my kind of storytelling where you call society’s hypocrisy. Boys is immensely entertaining and yet so insightful about people struggling with everyday life. The social commentary is just so precise and strong. I judge a show by how many times I have to stop it to slow clap or pause to let a scene sink in. With Boys I found myself doing this at least three times every episode.
Gulshan Devaiah (actor)
I’ve got a few. There’s YouTube channel Veritasium. It’s science made fun and interesting. There’s also Lydian Nadhaswaram, a music prodigy on YouTube. Most recent YouTube discovery is Bedo’s Leatherworks. It’s this guy’s awesome craftmanship with leather and it’s also so relaxing and just feels like a buddy talking to you.