Storytelling Through Fashion: A Video Essay Showcasing The Many Colours Of Kolkata - Homegrown

Storytelling Through Fashion: A Video Essay Showcasing The Many Colours Of Kolkata

Turn of the Screw, a film taking you through the lanes and bylanes of Kolkata is a fashion narrative shot by 145 East, a design collective based in the city. Inspired by the visual style of ‘Lost in Translation’ (a 2003 Hollywood romantic drama film directed by Sofia Coppola), this short film featuring eminent actor, Chitrangada Satarupa showcases 145 East’s new collection of gamcha clothing, which is a traditional fabric made in Bengal. By promoting the local fabric, the collective aims to extend employment opportunities to local weavers and artisans, thereby empowering and strengthening the community.

Speaking about the film made on their new collection, Rishabh Badoni, co-founder of 145 East says, “Over time, we decided to make it more of a visual essay to Kolkata that turned out to be Turn Of The Screw.

The film revolves majorly around Park Street, the entertainment hub of the city which is seen to be decked with lights especially during the Christmas Eve and in and around the New Year. Recounting a day in the life of a Kolkata citizen, it walks you through one of the most popular routes in South Kolkata tracing the sights and sounds of the city from Rabindra Sarovar Metro to the Park Street Metro Station. The scene suddenly shifts to an evening at Trincas, 17 Park Street, one of the last remaining establishments from yesteryear Kolkata and the nighlife hub of the city. We see snapshots from Usha Uthhup’s performances at Trincas from days gone by, side by side with its present-day splendour embodied in an uncanny interaction between a young couple on a rainy evening in the City of Joy.

Even though the name of the video narrative has been derived from that of a horror novella by Henry James, the film is not a direct rendition of the same. It has re-imagined the ambience set by the novel into a different context inspired by the aura of the city which had a raging nightlife in the 70s and 80s.

In talking about his inspiration for the video, Rishabh says, “Turn Of The Screw, when I did happen to read it many years ago, put into motion a sense of confusion and horror in close-knit, dense scenes. If you’re in a winter cabin by yourself, with nothing more than the moonlight and a lamp to read, your skin tightens as you turn every page cautiously. The film has nothing to do with that, except in its invitation to cautiously ‘turn’ over the rubbles of an almost forgotten city, to entice and excite the rush and roar of a once-bustling nightlife.”

He speaks of Calcutta as “a worn-out book in the dusty cupboard of an ancient library, full of stories, wisdom, images and voices” that only a few can really tap into. This video is just a cute way of saying that.

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