From Homemade to C U Soon, the coronavirus pandemic has spawned some ingenious films and new styles of storytelling from across the world.
- Last Updated: October 1, 2020, 7:00 PM IST
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The coronavirus lockdown has pushed human imagination and creativity to an unprecedented corner. Artists across the world are struggling to cope with the new restrictions of a post-COVID world. And one of the biggest impacts of the pandemic can be seen in the realm of performing arts including filmmaking and acting.
But nothing has ever stopped artists from creating art and it seems filmmakers are slowly starting to adapt.
On Wednesday, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma released the trailer of his new film which has been shot entirely during the lockdown. All the film and television shootings were suspended from mid-March to avoid the spread of the virus.
Varma took to Twitter to unveil the trailer of the film, which he said is based on the pandemic. The film is directed by Agasthya Manju with Varma attached as a producer.
While taking a dig at other celebrities, Varma announced on social media that while others were busy filling social media posts with random activities during quarantine, Varma was busy shooting a film – and in complete compliance with social distancing norms.
But Varma wasn’t the only one. Several filmmakers and artists around the world have used the coronavirus lockdown to create some interesting and potent films, shorts and series that have managed not only to adapt to the changing face of cinema but also reflect deeply reflect the anxious times we live in.
Here are three films/series that were shot during the lockdown that you should definitely try out, in case you were wondering how filmmaking looks post-COVID.
Homemade is an Italian-Chilean quarantine anthology series produced by Netflix that hit the platform in June. The series is made of short films created by filmmakers and directors from across the world. Each story focuses on human aspects of the pandemic and how the lockdown has impacted people across the world, especially children. While some stories tickle the funny bone, others leave moving last impressions. Shot mostly indoors or using drones and pre-existing footage, each short film explores new techniques, styles and storytelling tropes that were previously undefined.
Latest in the fresh genre of tech-horror films, The Host makes the transition to a post-COVID tech horror film shot entirely in lockown. Directed by the extremely talented Sundance and Berlinale alumnus Rob Savage, The Host depicts a bunch of friends who decided to participate in a “digital” seance on a Zoom call, only to find out that evil spirits love the internet just as much as we do. The brilliantly shot film used the limitations of lockdown and turns it around using bare-minimum technology to create an extremely savvy, smart, and genuinely scary film. A must watch for horror fans.
3. C U Soon
This one comes from a closer home. Created in just the span of 22 days by Malayalam director Mahesh Narayanan, C U Soon was one of the first lockdown films released in India after the government announced a total lockdown on March 25, 2020. A thriller made in the digital age, the film has almost entirely been shot using an iPhone inside six apartments and fully uses the limitations of the lockdown to its advantage while offering a gripping plot and a peek into relationships in the modern age. The film released on Amazon Prime.
4. Strasbourg 1518
This surreal, confrontational TV short made by ‘Under the Skin’ director Jonathan Glazer for BBC is a one-of-a-kind experience. Based on a mysterious “dance epidemic”, known in history as the “Dancing Plague” broke out in 1518 in Strasbourg and areas of present-day France. It apparently started when a woman in Strasbourg took to the streets one day and began to dance. As many as 50 to 400 people reportedly danced for days on end, causing physicians to term it a disease. Set and choreographed to Mico Levu’s high-intensity electronic music, Glazer’s adaption brings to formidable life the anxieties and fears of isolation as well as the underlying menace of the pandemic.