(VOD) Double Bill:
Noon Day Dispensary (2014) +
Tales From Planet Kolkata (1993)

  • April 26, 2021 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM | Monday
  • Oldham Theatre


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Rent Double Bill:Noon Day Dispensary (2014) +Tales From Planet Kolkata (1993) from 26 April to 9 May 2021 here.

Noon Day Dispensary (2014)

Directed by: Priya Sen
Runtime: 27 minutes
Country: India
Language: Hindi, English with English subtitles
Rating: PG


Full Synopsis

Noon Day Dispensary, a film that runs in a single shot, was filmed in 2014, at the government run free dispensary at Savda-Ghevra Resettlement Colony in Delhi, established in 2006, as part of a fellowship exploring urban resettlement and the ways in which a place settles. 

The film produces the ‘unsettling gaze’, as a possible cinematic gesture to respond to the systematic neglect of institutions within an anxious and burdened state. Through the ‘performance’ of the filmmaker and her frame, it also bears witness to a moment in the transition between being illegal occupants of the city, to being legally resettled, and the range of negotiations and subjectivities that accompany this shift.


Tales from Planet Kolkata (1993)

Directed by: Ruchir Joshi
Runtime: 38 minutes
Country: India
Language: Bengali, English, Hindi, with English subtitles
Rating: PG13 (Some Coarse Language)


Full Synopsis

Part fiction, part spoof, part essay, part documentary, the film weaves together disparate strands: a critique of western media’s construction, from the 1960s to the 1990s, of Kolkata as ‘the black hole’ and ‘the worst place in the world’; an ‘elegy’ to Deepak Majumdar, one of Kolkata’s great intellectual mavericks, a teacher and friend to Joshi and many others, who died while the film was being made; and the images and song of a patua – a traditional Bengali scroll-painter. Starting with a variation on the opening of Apocalypse Now, moving through the performance-interpretations of the scroll-painter, the filmmaker himself, and an African-American video-artist from New York, the film asks questions about one’s sense of place and belonging, about the links between memory and image, and about the permanence and transience of this thing we call ‘culture.’

While referring to the reconstruction of Kolkata in the Hollywood production of City of Joy, (the film based on Dominique Lapierre’s bestseller) or weaving a fantasy about getting Jack Nicholson to act as Majumdar in a film on the latter’s life, the film asks: can ‘the worst place in the world’ be anywhere else but in your eyes and your heart?

Restoration Note

The digital restoration of Tales From Planet Kolkata took place in 2017 and 2018 and was based on the 16mm original camera negative. For the digitisation of the soundtrack, different elements were compared, of which, a DVD offered the best quality.

The scan in 2K took place at Kornmanufaktur, the colour grading was then carried out at Concept AV, the digital image restoration by Screenshot and the sound processing by poleposition d.c. in Berlin. The digital restoration process was conducted in close collaboration with the director Ruchir Joshi.


Selected films from the programme will screen online from
12 April – 9 May 2021 on our Rewired platform. 

If you have any trouble renting the films, please contact us at ticketing@asianfilmarchive.org