Cine Clubs A brief history of the cinema society journey from Paris to India
Paris in the roaring 20s is home for the lost generation. Intellectuals. Bohemians. Artists. They frequent the cafés, drink absinthe, and discuss art. Cinema at this time is in its infancy. So, it is only natural that some of them, such as film critic Louis Delluc and film theoretician Ricciotto Canudo, would decide to do more than just talk about this new and exciting young art. They are among the pioneers who form clubs that would screen films at cafés. Thus, the jazz age witnesses too the alpha of the film society movement. In India, the study of cinema as a socialist art arrives in the late 30s when film professionals in Mumbai get together regularly to watch and analyze foreign documentaries. The first feature film screenings in small gatherings are initiated a decade later, in Calcutta, by filmmaker Satyajit Ray, film critic/historian/maker Chidananda Dasgupta, et al. Close to half a century since that first Parisian screening, filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, et al, open the first cine club in Kerala. By the early 80s, the wandering bohemian filmmaker John Abraham has made Fort Cochin his home away from home. His circles of artist friends found Prachodana Film Society, here in this quaint heritage suburb, and the Cochin Film Society, uptown. The former would eventually fade away for quite a while before its revival by film critic/essayist Christopher Dalton The new avatar is rechristened as Cinema Society of India.