Amar Kanwar: Such a Morning

  • Still from Such a Morning (2017). Directed by Amar Kanwar, digital video, color, 85 minutes. 

  • Still from Such a Morning (2017). Directed by Amar Kanwar, digital video, color, 85 minutes. 

Screening + Conversation

  1. Apr 19, 2019, 7 – 9 pm
Level B, Lecture Hall

“To cook slowly, on a slow flame, for a long time: sometimes that is a good way to be.”
– Amar Kanwar.  Such a Morning, directed by Amar Kanwar, India 2017, digital video, color, 85 minutes.  $12 special event tickets with Amar Kanwar in person.

Amar Kanwar (b. 1964) is a New Delhi-based filmmaker and artist whose work has powerfully mined the potential of a slower, drifting method of moving image to forge a politically charged and engaged mode of gently expanded cinema. Kanwar’s critically acclaimed yet fiercely debated Such a Morning hovers on the border between magical realist allegory and slow cinema trance film with an almost Calvino-like fable of a renowned mathematician impulsively abandoning his university post, without explanation, to hibernate in a train car abandoned deep in a lush forest. Studiously meditating on the darkness of his cabin as he carefully blocks out the stubborn sunlight, Kanwar’s obscure hero seeks an enigmatic form of solace, a passenger on a secret train of thought bound for an uncertain destination. The appearance, or apparition, of a woman indifferently guarding a house systematically pulled apart by workers offers a haunting bookend to the mathematician’s patient project, a form of deliberate waiting, or resistance, or surrender. Crafted with a cinematographic precision and remarkable attention to light and shadow, Such a Morning shimmers with fierce political allegory and obdurate mystery, inviting the viewer to sit and to wait, like the film’s characters, for an expected revelation. – Haden Guest

Amar Kanwar’s visit is co-presented with the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts with support from the Film Study Center, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute and the Asia Center, Harvard. Special thanks: Dan Byers, Daisy Nam—Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts; Lucien Castaing-Taylor—Film Study Center and the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.