Thursday, April 25, 2024

Treasure-troves Await at DVD Stores

No Barrier
Treasure-troves Await at DVD Stores
Urban taste in movies is gradually evolving. Although Hollywood and Bollywood still control a large audience, films from other countries are grabbing a piece of the Dhaka audience. Iranian, Spanish, German and French movies, with English subtitles, can now be easily found at virtually all DVD stores. Since supply is an effect of demand, it is thus safe to say that such movies have indeed made an entrance into the Dhaka movie-watching scenario.
So what is it about these foreign movies that make them bearable to sit through with your eyes glued to the subtitles? What do they have to offer that cannot be found in the more mainstream movies? Why and where should one hunt out these rarities among the masses of DVDs in stores? Kashtan Habib, Associate Creative Director, Bitopi Advertising Ltd, and honest to goodness movie buff, has the answers.
“Every year thousands of movies are made around the world, and not all good movies are made in English, Hindi or Bangla,” says Kashtan. “Most of the good ‘cult’ movies are actually made in Europe and Latin America, and I can’t afford to miss them. Then there are the Iranian gems by maestros like Majid Majidi, the Chinese treasures by Wang Kar-wai and so many more….how can I let the language become a barrier?”
Kashtan Habib fits the profile as an urban audience keen on good cinema, regardless of where it’s from. DVD shop owners and attendants have identified people working in any artistic or creative line as the consumers of such movies. They are now better equipped and more intelligent with respect to the types and genres of these foreign movies, making it easier for this group of audience to quench their thirst for the exotic.
“It is both easy and difficult to find non-mainstream movies in Dhaka. The DVDs are widely available, extremely cheap, and the DVD shops have excellent choices; but the shopkeepers need to be more knowledgeable on the varieties of movies. Sometimes asking them about a not-so-recent movie is like asking a piece of furniture; you will get a blank look,” says Kashtan, “then there is the problem of proper categorisation. They often put horror movies in the comedy section and comedies in the drama section!”Kashtan Habib has also expressed concern over many of these movies ending up in the ‘Adult’ shelves. “The shopkeepers may be depriving us of a great classic or cult movie just because its cover shows some skin.”
Not all DVD stores in Dhaka are, however, yet well equipped enough in this regard. Our expert said, “The BEST place to find non-mainstream treasures, from the latest French noir to the silent 1920s, is Movie Plus. It has two stores — at the Rifles Square and Bashundhara City Mall. You can also browse the shops at Rifles Square and Bashundhara City; you never know what you might come across.”
Suggestions from Kashtan: “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” (South Korean, action); “Broken Embraces” (Spanish, dark romance, starring Penelope Cruz) and “The Fire Within” (French, drama). From here onwards, you can decide what your genre is and begin the journey into the world of boundless entertainment. Happy hunting!

 

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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