Against the odds, in a land of miracles a cooking situation like no other; from the people for the people, blessed by hand and human touch.
The mighty city of Kolkata seen from dawn to dusk through the constant kitchens of the pavements that provide fuel for millions on the move. An extreme and intense situation that spawns some of the most delicious, nutritious and cheapest food anywhere.
Undiluted by voice over or presenter the story is told by street characters, the bewildering visuals and the original sound track.
At times inspiring at times confusing, as is in the city but ultimately beautiful, uplifting and a moving meditation to making the most of not very much.
This is not a short cut, it’s the real thing.
WATCH THE SHORT VERSION OF THE FILM
You think you are in control but actually have no choose…and a few months after a dream you walk out on the streets of kolkata and press the red button.
7 years later and as many trips to the city, you have been introduced to the potential and possibilities of satisfying of our greatest need with a new way of cooking that does not rely kitchens and gadgets but that of hand and human touch and the making the most out of not very much.
There also is a beautiful film in the bag of the story of Kolkata from dawn to dusk told through the street foods, by the people who make it and by the people who eat it.
It is hard to imagine anywhere with such a vibrant eating situations as you find on the the pavements and parks of the mighty city. Some of the most delicious, nutritious and cheapest food on the planet performed in front of your eyes in a beautiful ballet of sharpened steel, spinning hands and swirling pans.
It was filmed on a semi pro camcorder- a sony pdx10, edited in final cut pro on a laptop.
Originally i made it for a pilot for a TV series of "street food around the world" but soon you realise the narrow format and crippling lack of creativity of the food net works so you go it alone and do it for yourself.
You live in caravans, on sofas and spare beds and eventually a Bolleywood pimped white van that can turn into a chat stall. You leave behind a social life and take to the street corners, festivals and any where that will have your jhal muri trolly.
The book got written on a hotel room bed in a intense couple of weeks of dealing with 100% humidity, the learning of a new software, pruner communication issues and general cabin fever.
Toward the end of the project you ask Larry Lush to help with the music because you so need some help and he is the only card in the pack but as luck will have it the card is the joker.
Brought up in a "cabaret" bar in union street Plymouth and all you know of him before is he can hold a tight groove and has a flamboyant dress sense but what you find out is that he is a multi doer and the composer of beautiful music.
He came to Kolkata for three weeks and landed in the deep end and rode the bed bugs, the fever and the stomach issues in the slip stream of my fried chaos.
He wrote a blue print for most of the music on his key board and laptop and by pure luck at the last minute i had and introduction to rohan dasgupta, a brilliant and charming young sitar player and two days before we left he came to a borrowed property in the rural areas with the also brilliant sandpit ghost and with complete generosity of their spirit and talents the three of them nailed the sound track in a day and half.
One mike, one modem, one laptop- mainly one takes. One of rohans tunes and couple done on the spot and the rest from larry's blu prints.
they did not play to the film they just new what time of the day it would be and what food would be in the section. When we put the music into the timeline the music fitted almost to the second.
We recorded late into the night and early the next day we headed back to Kolkata and dropped the boys off to go to separate gigs and we had just enough time to go to the tailors, bathe, get drunk and make it to the airport for the flight home.
We were blessed.
Two tunes were from other artist.
Shine your light is by mark capoche- a blazing positive force and maker of deep dub music and Dweller in Peace by Bhakta, a sanyasan i met in Wilsons creek, Australia just before i stared to film. He makes music that crossed the digital with the divine in ways i never heard before.
50 pages of top quality paper with over 200 beautiful colour photographs. Its a unique guide to all the street food that you will find in Kolkata, with price indiciations, medicinal properties and how the snacks and dishes fit into the eating scheme of things. Available for the first time outside the city where it was written and published in a very limited run.
Price £5 plus £1 P&P (UK)
STREET FOOD KOLKATA DVD FEATURE
The mighty city of Kolkata seen from dawn to dusk thought the constant kitchens of the pavements the provide fuel for millions and cheepest food anywhere.
Undiluted by voice-over or presenter the story is told by the street characters, the bewildering visuals and the original sound track.
At times inspiring, at times confusing, as is the city, but ultimately beautiful, uplifting and a moving meditation to making the most of not very much.
Tis is not a short cut, it's the real thing.
From the people for the people and blessed by hand and human touch.
5 Short films from Kolkata not included in the main feature.