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The Inimitable Image: An Amit Dutta Retrospective

MUBI Special

“In our compartmentalized, super-specialized world, a mere glimpse into the workings of another discipline is a big step toward health, both economic and artistic.” -Amit Dutta

Born in Jammu in 1977, experimental filmmaker Amit Dutta is a unique cinematic voice in Indian cinema. Continually engaging with art, history, architecture, mythology, folk tales, literature, music, nature, and even chess, Dutta’s intriguing works can best be understood as exploring all that exists at the confluence of these diverse concerns.

Living far away from the conventional hubs of the film industry, Dutta has made the serene Kangra region of the Himalayas his home and source of inspiration. Over the years, his prolific and inimitable body of work has garnered admiration from film festivals-
like Venice and Rotterdam, to name a few—as well as cinephiles all over the world.

In keeping with his distinctive style of engaging with myriad forms of artistic expression, Dutta is also a published author exploring experimental fiction, non-fiction, and autobiographical writing. An effortless extension of his film practice, his books also seem to have an impact on his films. Dutta’s frequent use of text in his films work alongside his exceptional use of sound design, visual geometries, and the close attention he pays to nature, creating fascinating images which generate new meanings with each viewing. His deeply meditative films have an ability to create an interplay between time and space, giving viewers a feeling of existing in the past, present and future at the same time.

We are immensely delighted to present a retrospective of this phenomenal artist who has sublimely created his own distinct cinematic language.

Nainsukh

Amit Dutta India, 2010

We begin our focus on Indian experimental filmmaker Amit Dutta with a film often regarded as a critical juncture in his artistic practice. An ingenious depiction of the art and life of the 18th century eponymous Pahari painter, this meditative work unfurls like a multi-layered miniature painting.

Ramkhind

Amit Dutta India, 2001

Amit Dutta’s first feature-length work, Ramkhind spotlights his characteristic use of riveting sound design and keen eye for the environment. Shot at the beginning of the new millennium, this film beautifully captures the unchanged life and culture of a tribal village barely 100 km away from Mumbai.

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