A riot of ecstatic imagery, performance, and set design, the only film by the visionary dancer and choreographer Uday Shankar is a revolutionary celebration of Indian dance in its myriad varieties and a utopian vision of cultural renewal. Unfolding as an epic film within a film, Kalpana tells the story of an ambitious dancer (Shankar) determined to open a cultural center devoted to breathing new life into India’s traditional artistic forms; meanwhile, the obvious adoration between him and his lead dancer (Shankar’s wife and collaborator, Amala Uday Shankar) arouses the jealousy of his enterprising companion (Lakshmi Kanta). Swirling surrealist dance spectacles—featuring dance masters and young performers, many of whom would become stars in their own right—are interwoven with anticolonial, anticapitalist commentary for a radical, proto-Bollywood milestone that is one of the most influential works in Indian cinema.
A celebration of revolutionary filmmaking.
Taking Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando: A Biography as its starting point, academic virtuoso turned filmmaker Paul B. Preciado has fashioned the documentary, Orlando: My Political Biography, as a personal essay, historical analysis, and social manifesto which premiered and took home four prizes at the 2023 Berlin Film Festival.
Paul B. Preciado