The Seventh Walk
Film - Feature | September 7 | 7 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
In The Seventh Walk, Amit Dutta returns to northern Indias Kangra Valley, the lush mountain setting featured in his Nainsukh. As in the prior film, here Dutta considers the regions rich visual arts tradition through the oeuvre of a native artist, in this case the contemporary landscape painter Paramjit Singh. Deftly blending sound, image, and text, this subtly hypnotic film meditates upon the figure of Singh commingled with surreal tableaux inspired by the artists paintings. First glimpsed wandering the valleys dense woodlands, the painter is seen peering through the sun-dappled canopy; soon he spies a mysterious footprint and follows the forest path to the base of a gnarled old tree. There he sits in Buddha-like repose while Duttas protean camera conjures a series of arresting images: rocks defy gravity and levitate gently upwards; lichens and moss multiply in layered afterimages mimicking Singhs intricate brushstrokes; and a celestial maiden takes to the sky, bearing ambrosial milk to the artists darkened atelier. Dutta masterfully weaves these iconic passages together with Singhs painterly technique, merging the still and moving image into an impressionistic assemblage that pays homage to the legends, folk traditions, and artistry of this unique corner of India.
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