Friday One Sheet: PARTY POSTER

Screen Anarchy

Friday One Sheet: PARTY POSTER

Rishi Chandna’s short film Party Poster, is about a particular Indian phenomenon where associations of all kinds, political, commercial, et cetera make these absurdly cluttered and colourful banners for events both big and small: A politician’s birthday, or in this case, a religious celebration to Ganesha, god of good luck and remover of obstacles. 

Of course, these posters are their own kind of litter, strapped to fences, trees, under business awnings. Everywhere. And they all look kind of the same (floating heads abound), a lot of text, far too much to read. All in the hopes that printing and hanging your own banners is a doorway to legitimacy. Locals might recognize you, post about you on social media, or someone higher on the food chain might ask to put you on their banner.

Here the small Bandra Laundrymen Association, in Mumbai, puts together their annual banner for the Lord Ganesha festival/party/worship. As the short film was shout around August 2020, COVID-19 was the subject on the tip of India’s tongue, and these working class guys are determined to squeeze in corona virus safety advice alongside Ganesha, and their floating heads of various size. And with no funding for the party or the advertisement. During the pandemic, things are tight in all aspects, particularly money. 

Chandna’s film keeps the satirical observational humour showcased in his tragicomic cautionary tale of rooster-ownership, Tungrus. Here he adds some impressive cinematography, mainly of the he tiny little working class neighbourhood; the men vigorously slapping wet laundry in open bathtubs and sewer drains. All of which is dwarfed by shiny white Condos (promising “Mask Free Living”). Sharp cuts to absurd situations, such as a man on horseback in the middle of the road sizing up the banner of hung precariously from a tree. 

And the poster itself for a film about designing, displaying, and discarding a poster? It is the perfect synthesis of the film. The phone-snapped head shots of the laundry men, as seen from the reverse point of view, as one of the men is hanging it over their insular, concrete blocked off work space. After the party is over and so much money spent, on something so transient (like hope) and now it is aesthetic, narcissistic, decoration or, like the previous years poster, it can keep rain from leaking through the roof. The tribute to the remover of obstacles, becomes its own kind of albatross. Rinse, repeat.

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ScreenAnarchy – Friday One Sheet: PARTY POSTER
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May 14, 2022

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