Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cinema, Salutes, and Drama

Late arrivals, early premieres and impromptu acting sprinkled with jalapeno lemonade and spicy brownies cooled the sweating brow and pleased the sweet tooth on a hot Thursday evening. The third iteration of Chili, Art, and creative expression tantalized our taste for community and continued the tradition to cultivate the artist within us all.

Laura Thies, a filmmaker who studied at the New School, kicked off the evening with her discussion on love-lost and faith misplaced. Her short film 'Angle of Vision' took us through a higher power's struggle with punishment and reward ultimately culminating into a story of self-discovery. The discussion of her vision brought about by a three year exodus into the world of cinematography, torn ligaments, and New York City film-making challenges allowed her to share unique insights to cinema production.

Before Laura had completed showing her film, Shajan had been inspired to share a tale of personal friendship and brotherhood. His short poem 'A song for Michael' allowed Shajan to recount his friendship with his comrade who is currently deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. A short discussion into the efficacy of warfare and current military engagement followed, allowing a more nuanced understanding into the psyche of service members and the struggle that the American warrior may undergo.

Building off of Shajan's poem, Sahadev Poudel continued the tradition of the creative atmosphere, especially given his identification with playback theatre. Sahadev's background in theater and radio has led him to use improvisational theater as a way to give "voice to the voiceless." He facilitated a two-part play in which Prita Lal, Rushil Shakya, and Laura Thies reenacted the farewell between Shajan and Michael, as well as the still-to-come reunion between the dear friends. As mentioned in the discussion of the act, playback theater provided a way to experience another dimension of Shajan's story that goes beyond what simple words can tell, incorporating laughter, musical instruments, and a participatory energy that touched all.

Luna Ranjit, who hosted the salon along with her partner Rushil Shakya, brought the creative chili energy to the kitchen as she prepared an array of spicy Nepali fare that titillated the palate.

1 comment:

  1. I read the blog. The group sounds like a fun crowd. I like the theme of allowing everyone to connect with their artistic side. I've must have read the poem a dozen times now. How did the impromptu play turn out?  You know brother, I can say that time here has only solidified my trust in God and in the talents he has blessed me with.  Many times now I feel as if I'm wasting my time here.  The current state of affairs has nothing to do with Iraqis but more to do with a power struggle for the region.  I interact with Iraqis everyday and many of them are tired of the war.  I'm surely tired of it.  Every project I begin here makes me feel good about the work I'm doing, but sad in that I'm sure an Iraqi is not leading the project.  The wealth this nation is enormous, its natural resources are plentiful.  My gosh its the fertile crescent for heavens sake.  These people don't need liberators they need a chance.  I pray that is what we are fighting to give them.