Real meaning of classics lost in age of selfies: Amol Palekar

In the age of trends like selfies and social networking that are a rage among the youth, words like "genius" and "classics" are being used so rampantly and easily that the real meaning of classics has been lost, veteran actor-filmmaker Amol Palekar said here Thursday.

Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar

The "Chitchor" and "Gol Maal" actor said the meaning of classics needs to be reassessed in the current scenario.

"We tend to have lost the real meaning of classics. We use these words so rampantly and so easily. Let us not use these terms so very easily because we really want to re-check, re-assess and understand the meaning, see if the meaning applies to it today," Palekar said at a discussion during the ongoing 20th Kolkata International Film Fest.

Palekar is a member of the jury at the KIFF for the competitive segment on films by women directors.

Debating on what defines a classic, Palekar said one must consider the ways of expression used by youngsters.

As examples, he cited selfies as being "contrary to the whole process of creativity" as these forms of expressions mostly revolve around one person.

"As I am trying to understand the language, the idiom today...selfies etc., I find it is more or less about 'my dialogue with myself'. I am not at all trying to communicate with the third entity called audience. It is basically 'I am very happy talking about myself'."

"This is contrary to the whole process of creativity that we understood. I am not saying that as a criticism," pointed out Palekar.

According to the "Paheli" maker, people usually jump to Shakespeare and Charlie Chaplin when talking about classics. This stops the process of analysing what makes a classic relevant in modern times.

"How do we define a classic? The moment we talk of classics, in literature we jump to Shakespeare, in cinema we jump to Charlie Chaplin. These were geniuses."

"The disadvantage in doing that is, instead of checking the content or what really makes a classic and a classic that is relevant today, and trying to analyse that... we have risked stopping the discussion or stopping the process of re-checking," Palekar explained.

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