Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chitra on Let's Go For Broke


A lifetime ago, Manoshi Chitra Neogy made a movie that hardly anyone saw, that quickly disappeared and was forgotten by nearly everyone. As regular readers know, I found what may be the only remaining 35MM print of the picture, Christa Helm's LET'S GO FOR BROKE, and, through the courtesy of original producer Stuart Duncan, secured a DVD copy (thanks CBS!) under the agreement that I do not copy or distribute it in any way. I did, however, feel that Chitra--who didn't even realize that the film had ever had a final edit!--should get to see it. Recently, I mailed her my precious copy of LET'S GO FOR BROKE and she was able to revisit a time and place from deep in her own past. Imagine seeing yourself 35 years after the fact dealing with people and situations you barely remembered and yet, like everything we do, helped define the person you are today.
I asked Chitra to jot down a few lines of her memories after she saw her performance as the evil villainess in this would-be crime/spy movie spoof. Herewith, her comments:

COMMENTS ON GO FOR BROKE…….
WHEN STEVEN THOMPSON SENT ME AN E MAIL ASKING IF I WAS THE CHITRA NEOGY IN A FILM CALLED GO FOR BROKE I WAS BOTH TAKEN ABACK AND SHOCKED. AFTER COMPLETING THE FILM AND MANY FAILED ATTEMPTS AT FINDING OUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED, THE WHOLE VERY STRANGE EXPERIENCE JUST FADED AWAY. THE ONE THING I OFTEN REGRETTED WAS THAT I HAD NEVER SEEN THE FINAL PRINT AND HAD JUST WATCHED SOME DAILIES WHILE SHOOTING. WHILE FILMING, I WAS ASKED TO HELP COACH CHRISTA HELM AS SHE WAS APPARENTLY NOT WILLING TO LISTEN TO A HIRED COACH. I TRIED. I ALSO IMPROVISED MUCH OF THE DIALOGUE SPOKEN BY ME AS THE WRITTEN SCRIPT GIVEN TO ME WAS QUITE VACUOUS.

WATCHING THE FILM I HAVE TO SAY THAT IT WAS MUCH WORSE THAN I HAD EXPECTED. KNOWING WHILE IN THE PROCESS THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE A SORT OF FUN EXPERIENCE, I HAD NO IDEA HOW BAD THE FINAL PROJECT WOULD BE. I FEEL THAT A LOT COULD HAVE BEEN BOTH SAVED AND IMPROVED IN THE EDITING PROCESS. WATCHING MY OWN PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVELY WAS NOT EASY AS IT WAS SO WEAVED INTO THE BANALITY OF THE REST. I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS AN UNDERLYING THEME WHICH IF EXECUTED WITH SOME KIND OF DEPTH AND VISION MAY HAVE MADE AN INTERESTING FILM.

I DO NOT CRITIQUE FILM WITH A HEAVY HAND AS CINEMA--TRUE CINEMA--TO ME IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL MEDIUMS OF EXPRESSION, BUT HERE I UNFORTUNATELY HAVE NO CHOICE.

1 comment:

Lisa_mynx said...

after all this time and effort you have put into the whole thing, it's sucks that the movie turns out to not be good...