Friday, 31 October 2014

Dealing with a Disorder

Recently i saw some amazing paintings by artist Lee Price. Every one of them made me think of myself when i was going through a terrible phase, dealing with an eating disorder which is perhaps the most common among adults. Price's paintings were all about women and food. I thought about my own relationship with food and thought of sketching some thoughts.

My problems became acute in the past couple of years. It is now under control but i know that like anybody who has ever gone through something like this i am susceptible to a relapse, any time.

There are a lot of reasons for Binge Eating Disorder. In my case i figure it was humiliation i faced as a child and teenager regarding my weight. I was not fat, not even overweight. But people somehow thought i needed to be size zero. In my late teens, i grew out of all of that and learnt that the obsession about weight was only a construct, a norm that existed only to be broken. From the age of seventeen i was never conscious of my body or anything about it. I was happy the way i looked and couldn't care less about what people thought of me. Even now i don't get happy if called beautiful or sad if called ugly. At the same time i make a point to tell people not to comment on my body when they do so. It is a practice that needs to be stopped. It has effects, i now know.

The harsh and cruel words that were hurled upon me as a child did have an effect. It did result in bizarre eating habits. Mind works in strange and mysterious ways, i realized. Food became a preoccupation and a nightmare. I stopped eating with people. Even now when things are under control i mostly eat when nobody is around. I get conscious when in a group and eating. I observe people when they are having food. I make people talk about food. I cook and feed others and not eat myself. Then i would have a private little secret eating spree, till i feel sick, pukish, unable to move. I would sometimes have purging sessions, sometimes take laxatives. I talk like a foodie, act like a foodie and even believe i am a foodie. May be i am one, but an erratic, despicable, unfaithful foodie who hates and loves food at the same time.

Rapid weight loss and gain cycle resulted in stretch marks. After i realized that my eating disorder was not my fault and that i had a genuine problem i flaunt them as a mark of my strength and ability to survive. They tell me, 'You have come past all this, you have come a long way'.

I hope to sketch more on this. It makes me happy.

2. Some Days Are Like That

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Short Film Trajectory #5 Of Hope

 Joel Coen said 'I can almost set my watch by how I’m going to feel at different stages of the process. It’s always identical, whether the movie ends up working or not. I think when you watch the dailies, the film that you shoot every day, you’re very excited by it and very optimistic about how it’s going to work. And when you see it the first time you put the film together, the roughest cut, is when you want to go home and open up your veins and get in a warm tub and just go away. And then it gradually, maybe, works its way back, somewhere toward that spot you were at before'.

I felt exactly the same. When i watched the first cut in my editor Aalayam's room, i felt like giving up the course and going back home. I felt all that i had learnt were all that i hadn't learnt. After seeking the opinion of professors i was suicidal. I really was. Things weren't rosy in the personal front either. Aalayam and i somehow emerged out of that together. We sought the opinion of a lot of people. I showed some of the cuts to some on line friends and asked what they thought. We kept on making changes and that just kept us going. In the end you could end up with a good film or a bad one but never the one you wanted to make.

During the edit

In fact this is a common mishap. That after principal photography (shoot) everything else that is done becomes an exercise only to save the original idea not to actually make it happen. That way more than being creative you are being a trouble shooter, salvaging the most passengers out of a sinking ship.
The same had happened during the making of my other short films. I thought things would be different now that i had become more serious and methodical in my approach to cinema. This was the project i had worked the most for. In the end it seemed as if it only made the disappointment greater. However it is out of thisdisappointment that a fresh urge for perfection sprouts in mind. You want to know how you can make cinema 'behave'.  How to get it right the next time and the very thought of a 'next time' is exhilerating.

It feels different now to look at the cuts and make decisions. For me it is now a passing phase. Make it the best in all ways possible and move on to the next disappointment spree. It will be better the next time because you will be making new mistakes.

Like Coen brothers added 'just keep repeating, it gets better'.

Short Film Trajectory #1 
Short Film Trajectory #2
Short Film Trajectory #3
Short Film Trajectory #4