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For a moment, it felt as if one had ridden a time machine into a bygone era.

The English Academy of St. Xavier’s College, a literary society steered by the college’s English department, celebrated its annual programme Literaria 2012 on Wednesday by putting up a host of colourful events showcasing the evolution of English literature.

The first event on stage was Act I of George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man, which opened to loud cheers and left the audience in splits.

Next was a unique fashion show titled Flow, which depicted various stages of English literature through costumes and props. Right from the Anglo-Saxon period to the modern day, Flow portrayed how fashion evolved among the English elite down the ages.

“We wanted to show the gradual evolution towards modernity. We could not think of a better way than to put forward the changes in the fashion scene as that is where the change was the most clearly visible,” said Shreya Mittra, a third-year student and also secretary of the English Academy.

The theme for the annual programme this year was ‘Make it New.’

“We wished to show the transition from chaos to cosmos, in literature as well as in other fields of art, such as music and fashion,” Shreya added.

Before the stage events, a number of activities were held, like debate, quiz, poster painting and photography competition. These saw participation from several city colleges, including Presidency University and Jadavpur University.

The day-long event was concluded with a musical performance by former students of St. Xavier’s College, who belted out hit numbers from the 1960s and ’70s.

Students of the media science department of Techno India recently organised their annual programme, Curtain Raiser. Held on September 29 at the institute’s Sector V campus, the topic in the spotlight was ‘Director vs Actor: Who calls the shot?’

Before the debate, the audience was taken on a celluloid

journey through the decades, from golden oldies like Sonar Kella, the Goopy-Bagha films and Pather Panchali to recent ones like Autograph, Bhooter Bhobishyot and Bicycle Kick.

The day started with Swagatalaxmi Dasgupta singing a Sanskrit shloka. Later directors Shyamal Sengupta, Aniket Chattopadhyay, Judhajit Sarkar, Debasish Sen Sharma and actors Sumit Samaddar and Sourav Banerjee engaged in a friendly war of words on who was more important — the person behind the camera or the one in front of it.

Most of the arguments, however, came down to one point: a movie can only be successful if both the actor and the director give it their best. “Just like it’s difficult to say whether the hen came first or the egg, it is equally difficult to say who calls the shots, director or actor,” laughed Aniket.

“It’s only a good relationship between actor and director that can give birth to a well-appreciated movie,” added Sumit.

But Judhajit and Debasish had a different take. “Like songs, background music and props, the actor is just an element that the director uses in his movie. We give too much importance to actors. Director plays an overwhelming role in a film. He is the cook who decides what ingredient should go in,” said Judhajit, who is directing Naseeruddin Shah in his next, Khashi Kotha.