Time Is Another Name Of Love

Love is about memories and rememberence. Love is also about knowing Saba - the 'suchness of things'. Time is the medium where Saba is recorded. Yet, at the same time, Saba is the 'imprint of time' on things and beings. When one truly gets over the fear of time, then he/she can say that "I am in Love" or "I am alive". Love is the true unconditional existence.

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Location: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

I believe in Love

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cinema is The art of ‘NOW’

[My comment on Shri. Mani Kaul’s presentation http://www.cinemadebate.org/Site-1/VIDEO-1.html ]

If the visual is dead, then the eye also is dead. I must say that even the idea of time can only be conceived/understood through the EYE. I don't think that Mani Kaul is really saying what the debate heading says - 'Visual is dead!'...He is, arguing against ascribing an 'intention' to an image, and not against image itself. Well all Zen art deals with 'NOW’ / ‘TIME'. Our own Upanishads and philosophy also speak about the truth of NOW - "The greatest disease of mind is to see time divided into past, present future."

In that sense Cinema makes us experience the ‘adwaitha of time' or for that matter ‘adwaitha’ itself. I have always considered the short film ‘Cosmic Zoom’ as the best commentary on Adwaitha philosophy. Cosmic Zoom so wonderfully makes us experience the interconnected of Universe from the microscopic level to the cosmic level. It is no wonder that when the great quantum physicist Dr. George Sudharshan gave a lecture on time – “Does Time Move Forward?” [Schrödinger Memorial Lecture, New Delhi organized by Austrian Embassy], he was constantly referring to cinema.

After the first screening of Lumiere Brother’s films in Paris a critic wrote, “Death is no more an absolute truth”. For the first time mankind was able to negate the tyranny of time. Because cinema like a Haiku poem is the art of NOW and not an art of ‘duration’ as Mani Kaul argues. 'passage of time' is anti-zen. Zen only talks about 'SABA', the imprint of time. Like the texture and shape of a stone in the river seen now.

When Basho is talking about ‘An old pond’, ‘frog jumping’ and ‘plop’, he is not describing an event happened in duration, but the event in NOW. As the great Malayalam writer Vaikom Muhammad Basheer once said - “one plus one is a little big One”, Basho is describing a ‘now plus now plus now as a little big NOW’. Precisely this is the true quality of cinema.

In cinema we are constantly experiencing the phenomena of time in a constant resonance of ‘Now’. In that sense we can argue that the purest cinema is the ‘single shot’ films of Lumiere Brothers. The idea of a shot after a shot creating a 'juxtaposition' in the viewer's mind or the idea shots in duration is also a kind of ‘visualization’, which is the other side of the coin that Mani Kaul wants to negate. Probably another example of pure Lumiere like cinema is films of Charlie Chaplin!

By the way Dr. George Sudharshan ended the lecture stating that "time does not have arrow of direction". And answering to the last question from the audience he said, "time is the quality of God". Of course this was a hypothetical discussion on Time.

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