The Friday List: From a documentary film festival to a thrilling murder mystery, your weekly calendar of virtual events

·8-min read

The second year of the pandemic witnessed a rather harsh wave of COVID-19 that had us staying home once again to curb the spread of the virus. Now, as the number of cases decline once again, we have steadily emerged out of lockdown norms but the need to protect ourselves and to avoid becoming carriers has led to most people remaining indoors, making our collective leisure time a largely virtual experience. So, even as we are easing out of the more stringent restrictions, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment continues to be moderated digitally, through the screen.

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences €" performances, talks, tours, screenings €" to mark on your weekly calendar. On this week's #FridayList: a virtual reading of Maya Angelou's poems, a lecture on Kashmir's sacred architecture and Netflix's anthology series that pays tribute to the master filmmaker, Satyajit Ray.

€" Attend a book launch

In its next session of First Edition, an online series celebrating new books, Jaipur Literature Festival will be launching the work, >The Rain€"Maiden and the Bear€"Man by Easterine Kire. A collection of short stories, this book weaves together reality and fantasy to bring forth oral narratives from the north-eastern state of Nagaland. Kire explores the spiritual and natural world of the state through folktales that paint an enriching portrait of the local Naga communities. At the book launch, the author will be in conversation with editor Preeti Gill, and together they will dive into these multilayered tales and the essence and spirit of Nagaland's folklore.

To know more and attend the launch, click here.

When: 25 June (7 pm)

€" Talks and panel discussions

In the lecture Syncretic Traditions in Sacred Architecture of Kashmir brought forth by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, speaker Saleem Beg will be taking the attendees through a tour of Kashmir's buildings and structures which are a testament to the blending of diverse cultures and beliefs prevalent in the state. The architecture in this region speaks volumes about the traditions and faiths of the locals that historically coexisted and have retained the essence of this unity. Beg, who has for decades been engaged in the preservation and promotion of tourism and cultural heritage will shed light on multiple design aspects of Kashmir, bringing with him years of knowledge and conservation experience that is sure to make for a stimulating and enriching session.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 25 June (5.30 pm)

Aesthetic of Decolonisation is a discussion brought about by the Bangalore International Centre in which art historian Sanjukta Sunderason and academic Priyamvada Gopal will be exploring the former's work Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India's Long Decolonisation. In this book, Sunderason unpacks the entanglement of art with histories of war, famine and mass politics during the years of late colonial and post-colonial India. The author elaborates on her concept of 'partisan aesthetics' in her book to identify ways in which art became political in the 1940s. Using archives, largely unknown or dispersed, she brings home the idea of art and aesthetics as foundational to socialist affiliations during India's decolonisation.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 29 June (6.30 pm)

€" A virtual documentary

Lights Camera Music: A Documentary Film Festival is a virtual screening of works that highlight the journeys of some of the most prolific musicians and composers of our times. Brought about by AVID Learning, this Friday, the film festival will be showcasing Leaving Home: The Life and Music of Indian Ocean, directed by Jaideep Varma. The winner of the National Film Award in the best arts/cultural film category, this full length documentary feature is the first of its kind in the history of Indian cinema to have had a national theatrical release. The film explores the iconic works of the Delhi-based folk and fusion rock band, Indian Ocean, that has been making music since the last 16 years.

Where: AVID Learning's YouTube channel

When: 25 June to 2 July

€" Workshops

A new workshop for young adults is designed to share with them the importance of sound in narrating stories. Conducted by art-based educators Shruti Sridharan and Sananda Mukhopadhyaya, the workshop will spread over two Saturdays and guide the participants through an audio-story making exercise where they can write and design the sound for a short story using those resources available to them in their immediate environment. Organised by Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the two-part workshop, >The Sounds of Stories, will enable children to identify different kinds of sounds and their impact on storytelling.

(This workshop is designed for children between ages 12 to 15 and is a paid event.)

To know more and register, click here.

When: 26 June and 3 July (10 am to 12 pm)

€" Solve a murder mystery

The new murder mystery brought about by Murdered for Money is about a crime that occurs at Thornbury Manor, the home of Maltravers. It is 1929 and all is not right at this family mansion where lies and treachery dominate the lives of its residents and finally culminate in a ghastly death. Jump to the present day, where a reality TV show, Isolated Crimes, reviews the evidence of historical crimes and digs into the case of Thorbury Manor. In >Sudden Death at Thornbury Manor, investigate what happened on the fateful night in 1929, and along with Inspector Corner watch video footages of the events and unravel clues to find out who was behind the dreadful crimes.

(This is a paid event, the proceeds of which will be directed towards The Blue Cross Animal Shelter.)

To know more and register, click here.

When: 25 June

€" Attend a virtual opera

Catch a stream of Puccini's opera >La Bohème, brought about by The Royal Opera House, one of the first performances to be staged live following a long hiatus induced by the coronavirus pandemic. The opera, set in the Paris of 1830s tells the story of a poor seamstress and her artist friends, casting a spotlight on what is known as the Bohemian life, a rather unconventional way of living full of music, art and literary pursuits. Created by Richard Jones for the opera house, this recital filled with passion, heartbreak and the bonds of friendship evokes simultaneously the poverty of the Bohemian attic home of the seamstress and the grandeur of Paris' shopping arcades on Christmas Eve.

To know more and view the stream, click here.

When: 25 June

€" Virtual poetry reading

Attend an online poetry reading session set up by the group Wild Surmise which will celebrate the works of noted poet Maya Angelou, including her poems like, On The Pulse of Morning which was recited at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. Organised by the literary and cultural centre RAAH, the poems featured in this session will evoke the illustrious career of this remarkable poet drawing from the work, Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry. The session will call to mind the spirited and healing nature of the poet's words that continue to inspire generations and honour the writer's works and life.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 27 June (4 pm)

€" Streaming this week

Coming up on Netflix this week is the anthology series, >Ray, adapted from the works of the remarkable filmmaker and author Satyajit Ray. The four stories featuring Kay Kay Menon, Harshvardhan Kapoor, Manoj Bajpayee, Gajraj Rao and Radhika Madan among others, explore the sheer range of Ray's writing, from satire to psychological thrillers to mysteries that take dark, unexpected turns. Each of the four adaptations, Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa, Forget Me Not, Bahrupiya and Spotlight, bring the short stories of this prolific writer to life that filled with varied moods and tones and alarming twists and turns leaving a viewer hooked to the story long after it has ended.

When: 25 June

Where: Netflix

A new documentary dropping on Amazon Prime Video will mark 25 years of the singer and songwriter Mary J Blige's 1994 album, My Life. Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth, the documentary will make use of archival footage and recent interviews to create a map of how the album came to be. >Mary J Blige's: My Life will also feature the artist performing the album in its entirety for the first time while opening up on her experiences of growing up in the projects, her dark childhood and the hardships she faced throughout her career in music. Scheduled to release as part of the African American Music Appreciation Month, the documentary promises to be a glimpse into the life of a well-known music icon, making it a must-watch for music aficionados.

When: 25 June

Where: Amazon Prime Video

Arriving on Netflix this Friday is the animated film >America: The Motion Picture, voiced by Channing Tatum, Bobby Moynihan, Andy Samberg and Judy Greer among others. Directed by Matt Thompson, the film is a rather tongue-in-cheek take on the American Revolution in which a chainsaw-wielding George Washington teams up with Sam Adams on a mission to take down the British forces. Battling it out against the Red Coats, Washington and his group of revolutionaries find themselves in the midst of incredible adventures as they secure America's freedom.

When: 25 June

Where: Netflix

The second season of the animated sitcom >Central Park will drop on Apple TV+ this Friday bringing back the Tillerman-Hunter family living in the Edendale Castle who try to prevent a greedy socialite and developer from buying the beautiful park and turning it into shopping malls and condos. For the ten-episode second season, Owen Tillerman, the manager of the park and his wife Paige return with their daughter Molly and son Cole as well as a healthy dose of love, laughter and learning in an endearing series with some great music. Season two of Central Park promises to be just as heart-warming and entertaining as the first, making it perfect for a weekend binge.

When: 25 June

Where: Apple TV+

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