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LUX Artists' Moving Image Archives, UK

Supported by

Rattis Books and Close-Up Film Center are pleased to present the first European retrospective of the Indian artist-filmmaker Govindan Aravindan (1935-91) in London. This programme offers a rare opportunity to discover six of his most important works known for their “distinctive look, sparse naturalism, silences and long shots with darker shades of grey in black & white films.* Almost quarter of a century since his demise, he largely remains a little known figure outside India compared to his peers like Mani Kaul and Kumar Shahani.

Aravindan was cartoonist, a satirist, a painter, music composer, a thespian theater director apart from being a filmmaker. He worked as caricaturist for the Mathrubhoomi journal (1961-79), drawing the cartoon series Small Man and Big World, chronicling the adventures of Ramu, its corruptible proletarian hero, and Guruji and later did a feature for the Kala Kaumudi journal, called A Bird’s Eye View


He believed and worked for a free cinema which is receptive to influence from other forms of art. He was closely linked to influential literary figures of his time and nourished a keen interest in other art forms such as murals and dancing. Like Oscar Fischinger, he belonged to a select group of artists in the history of Cinema whose practice could boast of such vivid dimensionality. Aravindan's cinema is marked by a religiosity that is free of the moral force that resides at the heart of Robert Bresson's films or of the ethical-spiritual values that inform the cinema of Manoel de Oliveira. Instead Aravindan's religiosity is concerned with the mythical, anthropological and environmental derived from the fabled structure of Hindu and Buddhist philosophical traditions. 

Film Programmes 

Close-Up Film Centre, London
NFAI, India

First Screening 

01 Goodbye in the Mirror
Storm De Hirsch | 1964 | 80 min | B/W | 16mm

Close-Up Film Centre, London 

Friday 16 September 2016 at 8pm

Sold Out


Launching our Film Programmes, introducing programmer Arindam Sen, Rattis Books in collaboration with Close-Up Film Center, London are delighted to present Storm De Hirsch's rarely screened 'Goodbye in the Mirror' on a beautiful 16mm print, "A dramatic feature shot on location in Rome. Centred around the adventures and illusions of three girls living abroad, the film explores their restlessness and personal involvements in assuming the role of woman as hunter"​...read more

First European Retrospective

02 Mythical Poetry: The Cinema of Govindan Aravindan

Close-Up Film Centre, London 

February 3 -24 , 2017