It’s been a big week at Film Companion. On Monday, we posted our Actors’ Adda, in which we spoke to 8 actors who made our 100 Performances of the Decade list. The actors featured came from four different Indian film industries – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. They were diverse in terms of films, choices, acting styles and opinions. They exchanged notes on acting, the responsibility of an actor, their craft and social media. At one point, I asked if they could take advice on acting from any Indian actor, dead or alive, who it would be. Manoj Bajpayee named Naseeruddin Shah, Marlon Brando and then turned to Vijay Sethupathi and said: I also want to spend time with him. To which, Vijay replied, “Now I feel shy.” That was one of my favourite moments.
At the time of writing this, we have almost 4 million views and over 20,000 comments. Many of them ask why a specific actor or industry is not represented. Where, many people asked, is Fahadh Faasil? I really wanted him there and I chased him for weeks. He tried to make it. But he had a shoot that couldn’t be moved. In any case, this group was only a fraction of the performances the list celebrates. It would be impossible for us to include too many more – the conversation and shoot would become unwieldy. Believe me when I say, the team was stretched to the limit. This shoot was the most ambitious thing we’ve done at FC and there were many lessons learned!
This week, we also covered Film Bazaar and the International Film Festival of India in Goa. One of the things I love about festivals is that you get to meet so many people. I did sessions with MOMA curator Josh Siegel, Oscar-nominated French actor Isabelle Huppert, the husband-wife duo of John Bailey and Carol Littleton (he’s a famed cinematographer and ex-president of the Oscar Academy and she is the Oscar-nominated editor of E.T: The Extra Terrestrial) and Japanese director Takashi Miike. Miike is the god of extreme cinema. He has put images in my head that I wish I could unsee – in one of his most famous films, Audition, a young woman traps and then tortures a lonely widower. At one point, she is sticking needles underneath his eyes – how can you forget that visual? In person though, Miike is smiling and polite. He has 103 credits on IMDB and has been making movies since 1991. When I asked him what he most looks forward to now, he said, ‘a calm life.’
I can’t wait to see how that translates on film.