Showing posts with label Film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Film. Show all posts

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bhutanese Films and Theaters



Bhutanese takes pride in three names - religion, culture and traditional - and these are the ones which often come to the rescue of our identity and nationalism when any intellectual debate happens outside.

Being a proud real Bhutanese, I wanted my youth to absorb as much of Bhutanese in them, but as luck would have it, only a few of the youths now shows much interest in religion, culture and tradition.

However, I myself being a subservient son of Bhutan have its own perils. When I was a thirteen-year-old kid, I watched GasaLamay Singye with my friends. It was Bhutan’s first movie. To be or not, it was not about religion, culture or tradition, but human bonds- love triangle. There were little quarrels and fights, dishoom-dishoom and songs. The movie moved some of us to be like heroes and it entered inside our juvenile brains. It was no traditional-cultural film, I remember.

Today, when I look back at those days, a sense of nostalgia takes over. I can reflect flicks of that movie. It was in fact, the emerging of movie making in the country. I am not a Bhutanese movie buff now. I watched GasaLamay Singye as there was no TV at those times. Now, I am type of ‘Wood;’ just like many of us - Hollywood and Bollywood. I have watched about seven Bhutanese movies so far. And I find Bhutanese movies little un-Bhutanese, little tactless, amateurish, sluggish and predictable. All copycat. Bollywood from Hollywood, Hollywood from Bollywood, and other ‘woods’ and then to Bhutanwood or ‘Drukpawood.’ Our Drukpawood is the mixture-Masala of all Woods. Thinking it would become delicious Emadatshi. And thinking because of these testy Emadatshi, that our ‘Drukpawood’ could also match the international level, we copy. But otherwise it’s the commonly tasted ones. Our Dzongkha is becoming ‘Dzonglish.’ Anyway, let’s think over this; Fiji, a smaller country than Bhutan produces the world’s best movies.

Most of our Bhutanese movies do not depict the story of our rich history of our country- its rich historical background and traditional. We had so many Penlops, Deps, legends, myths, and folktales that could be made into very good films. For example, the legend of Ling Gesar Ghyap, Zhabdrung and his Dzongs, etc could be made into beautiful movies. But nowadays, we live in the floating world, so we see in the movies flashy cars, immaculate houses, decked up ladies in tatters, fancy mood lighting, all these fleshes and bones, and difficult to understand what and why are they portrayed.

Bhutanese movies are very much threaded in misery and weepy kind of life with little sparkling moments of joy that brings a smile to the viewer's face. The scene in which Phurba Thinley tries to behave like a woman gives little guffaws, or the westernised musical party where the kids gather, dance and sing an Nga Chelu Ga, Che NgaLu Ga or ting-a-ling-ling-song. Otherwise, there is no striking moment in the movie. The scene in where Singlam and Galam go to see their old ruined house and breaks apart, or cruel mother-in-law, Aum Lamo crouches the head of hero’s girlfriend and thrashes on the wall, or the scene of heroes running through sometimes in poverty and dejections (and it usually happens because of the lady he loves... gripping lives... and then, they understand each other-their heart, they become together and start a new life, which will be a success within a minute flicks). The films, most of the times tighten the knots showing brutal and faithless life, making audiences, especially Bhutanese women considering their life like film.

Films must excite, startle, thrill and shake viewers. It effects cannot be produced by a play which is lacking in conflict. The conflict in movie may be between human beings pulling in different directions, between a character and the environment in which he finds himself or the society of which he is a member. Movies must generally represent human sufferings, which raises pity and fear among audiences and make audiences to decide that the film is a great one in its tragic appeal. The misfortune of the film should be a simple and straight- forward, but sublime and universal in its penetrative appeal.

The good film as per my judgment should represent human suffering, have fear and pity, embellished language and have emotional/cathartic appeal, and of all, it should educate, entertain and inform. There are two views on the tragic vision of life. One is that man is the play- thing of inscrutable power called fate and another is that character is responsible for the tragic end. In Greek tragedies, tragic fate for the heroes is predetermined. Oedipus and Antigone become obstinate and tyrannical. Their tragedy is due to their over confidence in their respective attitudes.

Films though, portrayed antinomies of our lives, a majority our viewers take it as reality. Because of this, the films should touch various themes and issues, and, not only love failures that dominate most of our Bhutanese films, the films must represent history, contemporary Bhutanese society, roles, changing relationship and educate about the moral of faith and believing.

Movie makers cannot retell story of GasaLamay Singye again and again. Bhutan has rich, different and diverse history. We have so many untold stories. Our people are rich, each one of us have many things to share. Every stone, every tree, every valley, every hill, every mountain, every village has a story to tell. There is Galem and Singye in every hamlet, there is Amrish Puri, Phurba Thinley in every hamlet. There are unsung heroes. We are not short of story. But we are short of audience.

Many Bhutanese movies have said to have run in lost. The question now is: Why most Bhutanese movies run in lost? Why Bhutan is not successful with our Drukpawood? Why Bhutanese are not skilled with better movies production? What is lacking in our entertainment?

I think, we are not devoid of market or audience and people who like to watch, but we are devoid of the good places to be screened. Our villagers are hungry of Bhutanese movies.

Therefore, in order to reach Bhutanese movies for our hungry audience, we must have good distribution in place and good entertainment place especially halls or theaters. Good buildings with good sitting arrangement, good sound systems, etc.  It would also serve as meeting place for local people. Local people, because the good halls should be actually in every Gewog or if possible in every Chiwog. Building good theatre infrastructures and providing better and efficient facilities for the audience can profit movie makers and change the quality of movies.

In this way we can promote our own films/Drukpawood, and promote our own shows, etc, educating our own type of traditions. Not only that, we would be creating so many jobs opportunities in this industry. And at the same time generate lots of money. We would have less drugs users and crimes as a whole because it helps to engage them and give a second thought.

Our neighbor India has very strong and prosperous films industry because almost all-little towns have very good theaters.

Bhutan has not many good theaters; we have in Thimphu, Phuntsholing, Samdrup Jongkha and Gelephug. But these theaters are not really theaters, they are simple halls.  All these halls lack a good sound system, the technicalities of sound and such. And the size and cleanliness of halls could put them in grade-G.

I hope our government will look upon this matter and come up with good theaters. I am ready to contribute a small amount to build good theaters in our country.




Thursday, December 26, 2013

Movies Move Mind



A few weeks ago in Darla hall, I watched a Bhutanese movie called ‘Acho Kelden'.  The movie is about general family issues. A couple gets divorce and leaves their children in a village, and one of the reasons seem to be the lust for dollar, as Bhutanese always are. The story narrates about an infant survival with the help of animals. Overall, the story is quite unique compared to other Drukpawoods. But the sad thing about ‘Acho Kelden’ was the number of audience turned up. I looked back and counted only 16 heads sitting on the ramshackle benches. The hall was like a ruined - a ghastly one. There were few broken benches, dusty and grimy; it was in a horrible condition. Some of them had sat on the cement floor in a chilling cold weather.

After watching ‘Acho Kelden’ and the condition of the hall, scores of questions came in my mind like: Why do most Bhutanese movies run in lost? Why is Bhutan not successful with our Drukpawood? Why are Bhutanese not skilled with better movies production? What is lacking in our entertainment?

Bhutan has rich, different and diverse history. We have so many untold stories. Our people are rich, each one of us has many things to share. Every stone, every tree, every valley, every hill, every mountain, every village has a story to tell. There are Galem and Singye in every hamlet, there is Amrish Puri, Phurba Thinley in every hamlet, there are unsung heroes. We are not short of story. But we are short of audience.

I think, we are not devoid of market or audience and people who like to watch, but we are devoid of the good places to be screened. Back in my village in Pemagatshel, villagers are hungry of Bhutanese movies. I assured that this ‘Acho Kelden’ with the same amount of Nu. 50 would draw together more than a hundred watchers.

It is said that our culture and traditions get weaken slowly  because of media; entertainment medium like TV, live shows, films, talks, etc. These media have great impact to our society, not only the society changes in their ways of thinking, they also change lifestyle. Therefore, we must choose movies to be watched. And for that reason, BIMCA censors movies. On the other hand, entertainment medium are preserver and custodians of ones culture, traditions, and customs. Movies and documentaries are great source of knowledge; not only some of us imitate the best doers, but also believe at times. Therefore, in order to reach Bhutanese movies for our hungry audience, we must have good distribution in place and good entertainment place especially like halls or theaters. Good buildings with good stages, good sound systems, etc.  It would also serve as meeting place for local people. Local people, because the good halls should be actually in every Gewog or if possible in every Chiwog.

In this way we can promote our own films/Drukpawood, and promote our own shows, etc, educating our own type of traditions. Not only that, we would be creating so many jobs opportunities in this industry. And at the same time generate lots of money. We would have less drugs users and crimes as a whole because it helps to engage them and give a second thought.

Our neighbor, India has very strong and prosperous film industry because almost all - little towns have very good theaters.

Bhutan has not many good theaters; we have in Thimphu, Phuntsholing, Samdrup Jongkha and Gelephug. But these theaters are not really theaters, they are simple halls.  All these halls lack a good sound system, the technicalities of sound and such. And the size and cleanliness of halls could put them in grade-G.

I have been thinking about our live shows, singing contest like Druk Super Star, Bhutan Star, Talent Hunt, etc.  The reality shows have been simple but simply have no quality compared to many shows. The low quality of filming, the low quality of sound, the low presentation of participants and the drab background make the shows not that presentable for National Television.

I hope our government will look upon this matter and come up with good theaters. I am ready to contribute a small amount to build good theaters in our country.

And I hope live shows will improve the quality of broadcasting and I also hope industry come up with different types of shows, like drama, skit, comedy show, etc.  Singing contests like Druk Star, Talent Hunt are good way of making money (unethical money!!!) without quality participants/singers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hollywood <>+=-?<>Bollywood and then to Drukpawood


Bhutanese takes pride in three names - religion, culture and traditional -- and these are the ones which often come to the rescue of our identity and nationalism when in any intellectual debate outside.

Being a proud real Bhutanese, I wanted my youth to absorb as much of Bhutanese in them, but as luck would have it, none of the youths now shows much interest in religion, culture and tradition.

However, I myself being a subservient son of Bhutan have its own perils. When I was a thirteen-year-old kid, I watched GasaLamay SenGi with my friends. It was Bhutans first movie. To be or not, it was not about religion, culture or tradition, but human bonds- love triangle. There were little fights, dishoom-dishoom and songs. The movie moved some of us to be like heroes and it entered inside our juvenile brains. It was no traditional-cultural film, I remember.

Today, when I look back at those days, a sense of nostalgia takes over. I can reflect flicks of that movie. It was in fact, the emerging of movie making in the country. I am not a Bhutanese movie buff now. I watched GasaLamay SenGi as there was no TV at those times. Now, I am type of Wood; Hollywood and Bollywood. I have watched about seven Bhutanese movies so far. Therefore, I find Bhutanese movies little un-Bhutanese, little tactless, amateurish, sluggish and predictable. All copycat. Bollywood from Hollywood, Hollywood from Bollywood, and others woods and then to Drukpawood. Our Drukpawood is the mixture Masala of all Woods. And thinking it would become delicious Emadatshi. And thinking because of these testy Emadatshi, that our Drukpawood could also match the international level, we copy. But otherwise it’s the commonly tasted ones. Our Dzongkha is becoming Dzonglish. Anyway, let’s think over this; Fiji, a smaller country than Bhutan produces the worlds best movies.

Most of our Bhutanese movies do not depict the story of our rich history of our country- its rich historical background and traditional. We had so many Penlops, Deps, legends, myths, and folktales that could be made into very good films. For example, the legend of Ling Gesar Ghyap, Zhabdrung and his Dzongs, etc could be made into beautiful movies. But nowadays, yes, nowadays, we live in the floating world, so we see in the movies flashy cars, immaculate houses, decked up ladies in tatters, fancy mood lighting, all these fleshes and bones, and difficult to understand what and why are they portrayed.

Some film directors look like rocky rock. See Tshering Wangyels girly hairs and the blackest spec. whatever he maybe, people love his directions and his films.


Photo credit: Facebook (TW)

Bhutanese movies are very much threaded in misery and weepy kind of life with little sparkling moments of joy that brings a smile to the viewer's face. The scene in which Phurba Thinley tries to behave like a woman gives little guffaws, or the westernised musical party where the kids gather, dance and sing an Nga Chelu Ga, Che NgaLu Ga or ting-a-ling-ling-song. Otherwise, there is no striking moment in the movie. The scene in where Singlam and Galam go to see their old ruined house and breaks apart, or cruel mother-in-law, Aum Lamo crouches the head of heros girlfriend and thrashes on the wall, or the scene of heroes running through sometimes in poverty and dejections (and it usually happens because of the lady he loves... gripping lives... and then, they understand each other-their heart, they become together and start a new life, which will be a success within a minute flicks). The films, most of the times tighten the knots showing brutal and faithless life, making audiences, especially Bhutanese women considering their life like film.

Films must excite, startle, thrill and shake viewers. It effects cannot be produced by a play which is lacking in conflict. The conflict in movie may be between human beings pulling in different directions, between a character and the environment in which he finds himself or the society of which he is a member. Movies must generally represent human sufferings, which raises pity and fear among audiences and make audiences to decide that the film is a great one in its tragic appeal. The misfortune of the film should be a simple and straight- forward, but sublime and universal in its penetrative appeal.

The good film as per my judgment should represent human suffering, have fear and pity, embellished language and have emotional/cathartic appeal, and of all, it should educate, entertain and inform. There are two views on the tragic vision of life. One is that man is the play- thing of inscrutable power called fate and another is that character is responsible for the tragic end. In Greek tragedies, tragic fate for the heroes is predetermined. Oedipus and Antigone become obstinate and tyrannical. Their tragedy is due to their over confidence in their respective attitudes.

Films though, portrayed antinomies of our lives, a majority our viewers take it as reality. Because of this, the films should touch various themes and issues, and, not only love failures that dominate most of our Bhutanese films, the films must represent history, contemporary Bhutanese society, roles, changing relationship and educate about the moral of faith and believing.