Studying the Masters



Understanding how the use of film language interlocks with the intention of the directors. This six-film program proposes to study a film each, of Ritwik Ghatak, Robert Bresson, Federico Fellini, Michael Cimino, Ang Lee and Frank Oz.

Tuesdays 6pm - 9pm (IST)

Course Fee: ₹4,237 + ₹763 GST

Indian Nationals - ₹8260 ₹5000
Others - $355 $214

Application Fee: ₹500 (Indian Nationals) | $10 (Others)


In this course we will attempt to understand the abiding concerns of six master directors as well as the filmic language they invented to best communicate these.

The first three directors are Federico Fellini, Robert Bresson and Ritwik Ghatak - and the films we will study are La Strada, Mouchette and Subernarekha.

FELLINI: I’m delighted when I come across an expressive face, however bizarre. I am, after all, a caricaturist … I enjoy telling stories with an inextricable mixture of sincerity and invention, as well as a desire to astound, to shamelessly confess and absolve myself, to be liked, to interest, to moralize, to be a prophet, witness, clown... to make people laugh and to move them. Are any other motives necessary?

BRESSON: “Not to shoot a film in order to illustrate a thesis, or to display men and women confined to their external aspect, but to discover the matter they are made of. To attain that "heart of the heart" which does not let itself be caught either by poetry, or by philosophy, or by drama.”

GHATAK: “All art in the last analysis is poetry. Poetry is the archetype of all creativity. Cinema at its best turns into poetry.”

Next, we will look at three masterworks by Ang Lee, Michael Cimino and Frank Oz.

Brokeback Mountain by Ang Lee portrays a tender, enduring, even painful love between two young men. In a time when a lethal homophobia was rampant, they needed to hide this love – sometimes even from themselves – testing the very limits of their sanity.

The Deerhunter by Michael Cimino centres around a group of working class, second generation Russian immigrants in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania, USA. It is a story told in segments, each one a detailed exploration, of the ties binding this dead end community, of the trauma war, of the impossibility of ever going back to the way it was.

Death at a funeral – directed by Frank Oz is a masterpiece of comedy with a rich subtext and high quality performances. We laugh out loud not just because of the perfect comic timing but also because we are reminded of our own self, deeper down.

Through guided, interactive conversations, students will learn to appreciate films at multiple levels, both in terms of their content and form.

Additional Details

This is an Online Course and will be conducted via Google Classroom and Google Meet

  1. Please note that the course is rigorous.
  2. Please ensure you have a laptop that works efficiently.
  3. Please make sure you have good internet connection / Wi-Fi connectivity and minimum 12 Mbps speed, minimum 8 GB internet pack per day.
Kuntal Bhogilal

Kuntal Bhogilal

Kuntal Bhogilal graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India in 1996 as a Director. He has been teaching film students extensively at Sophia College and also at Whistling Woods, Mumbai and has also taught at the School of Liberal Arts, NMIMS, Mumbai. Additionally he has designed and led numerous workshops centred around cinema and/or other arts forms for various institutions in Mumbai. Kuntal has had an abiding interest in music and has spent a number of years studying Dhrupad full time, under late Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar. He has been a Vipassana meditator and was responsible for documenting the teachings of Vipassana meditation as well as related activities for almost a decade. He has also been a student of ontology and is involved in transformational work.