Showing posts with label Art Films.New wave cinema. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Films.New wave cinema. Show all posts

Saturday, 1 February 2020

50 Years of A memorable film DASTAK

Released in 1970, Dastak is a celluloid adaptation of the Urdu play by Rajendra Singh Bedi, Naql-e-Makani  he penned during his All India Radio stint in pre-Independence Lahore and chronicles a blameless married couple’s humiliation and horror over ugly prejudices.
The film is known for its performances by its leading cast, Sanjeev Kumar, and the newcomer, Rehana Sultan, and for its memorable songs by Madan Mohan. A MUST WATCH film.
The film was known for its unusual storyline set in a red light area. A newlywed couple, Hamid (Sanjeev Kumar) and Salma (Rehana Sultan), unwittingly rent a flat, and thus begins their daily turmoil at the knocks (dastak) on their door. The previous occupant was Shamshad Begum (Shakeela), a famous Mujrewali (nautch girl).

 The music of Dastak stood out for its allegiance to the classical traditions of raga-based melodies by its music director Madan Mohan, who managed to get from Lata Mangeshkar, ostensibly her best performance as a playback singer.
 Madan Mohan won his first National Film Award for it and the lyrics of Majrooh Sultanpuri. Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the famous film director-turned-editor of this black-and-white film and won a Filmfare Award, his second after Madhumati in 1958.
Song of Dastak 1970

Song of Dastak 1970

Song of Dastak 1970

Song of Dastak 1970

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Shabana Azmi - An Actress Par Excellence

Shabana Azmi (born 18 September 1950) made her big-screen debut with Shyam Benegal’s first film Ankur in 1974. With this film started a trend of Art Cinema or Parallel Cinema in Bollywood. The film went on to become a major critical success, and Shabana Azmi won her first National Film Award for Best Actress for this film. The very next film of her was Dev Anand's Ishk Ishk Ishk in which she had a small role but in the next year in 1975 she appeared in Nishant which was again an Art film, her acting was appreciated in this film.
Since then she appeared in both commercial cinema as well as Art cinema. She has acted in more than one hundred Hindi films. Real-life portrayals continued in almost all of her movies. Shyam Benegal's Nishant (1975), Junoon (1978), Susman (1986), and Antarnaad (1992); Satyajit Ray's Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players)Mrinal Sen's KhandharGenesisEk Din Achanak; Saeed Mirza's Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai; Sai Paranjpye's Sparsh and DishaGautam Ghose's PaarAparna Sen's Picnic and SatiMahesh Bhatt's Arth; and Vinay Shukla's Godmother are some of her notable films. 
Shabana Azmi ruled Indian 'Parallel Cinema' for 30-yearsShe hit her peak during the ’80s, wowing the audience with memorable performances in Sparsh (1980), Arth (1982), Masoom (1983) and Mandi (1983), playing difficult characters with consummate ease.
She has been a committed social activist, active in supporting child survival and fighting AIDS and injustice in real life Azmi has voiced her opinion on a variety of issues. Initially, her activism drew skepticism and was dubbed by some as a publicity gimmick. However, she proved her critics wrong and used her celebrity status to emerge as a high-profile social activist.
 Since 1989, she has been a member of the National Integration Council headed by the Prime Minister of India; a member of National AIDS Commission (of India); and was nominated (in 1997) as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament. In 1998, the United Nations Population Fund appointed her as its Goodwill Ambassador for India.
 In appreciation of Shabana Azmi's life and works, the President of India gave her a nominated (unelected) membership of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.
She is the daughter of great poet Kaifi Azmi and married to Javed Akhtar who is also a great name in Bollywood.
Some of the songs from Shabana's Films
Song of Fakira 1976

Song of Amar Akbar Anthony 1977

Song of Parvarish 1977

Song of Swami 1977

Song of Thodi Si Bewafai 1980

Song of Arth 1982

Song of Masoom 1983

Monday, 18 March 2019

Shashi Kapoor - The Man who made many Meaningful Films not Money

Shashi Kapoor spent all his earnings from commercial potboilers in producing memorable films like “Junoon”, “Kalyug”, “Vijeta”  " Utsav" and  “36 Chowringhee Lane”. under his banner Filmvalas. All of these films were critically acclaimed but were commercially unsuccessful. The last film under this Banner was Ajooba starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor was a disaster.
Shashi Kapoor and his wife, Jennifer Kendal, wanted to make accessible arthouse films. They decided to start their own banner, The name was inspired by “Shakespeare Wallah", the title given to Shashi Kapoor’s father-law Geoffrey Kendal. The first film under their banner Film Valas was "Junoon" released in 1978. The film was directed by Shyam Benegal. The film is based on Ruskin Bond's fictional novella, A Flight of Pigeons, set around the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The film's soundtrack was composed by Vanraj Bhatia and cinematography by Govind Nihalani. The film was critically acclaimed and got many Awards. Won National Film Awards for Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography and Best Audiography. The film was an average in Box office. Junoon cost 34-odd lakh. It was a happy experience even though he didn’t make any money on it. Junoon eventually covered its investment. It would have even made a profit had he been a good businessman.
After Junoon came Kalyug and 36 Chowringhee Lane both released in 1981. Aparna (Sen) came to him with the story. He loved the script, and he wanted Shyam Benegal to direct it, but she said she was going to direct the film. That was a suicidal film—it was in English, made for between  18-24 lakh. (Its) cinematographer Ashok Mehta wasn’t cheap to work with. Vanraj Bhatia gave the music—whatever was state-of-the-art had to be used. He never compromised with the budget.
Kalyug was released on 24th July 1981. It was known as a modern-day version of the Indian epic Mahabharat, depicting an archetypal conflict between rival business houses. Kalyug went on to win the Filmfare Award for Best Film in 1982. The film was not a flop but recovered its cost.
Vijeta was the next film of this banner but Utsav was also planned simultaneously. Girish Karnad had written a great script. Shashi wanted Amitabh (Bachchan) to play the part he eventually played. But Amitabh couldn’t do the role. The movie got postponed because of dates. In January 81, Shashi went to Delhi for a film festival, where he met Dilbagh Singh, chief of air staff of the Indian Air Force. The Air Force was celebrating its golden jubilee. Dilbagh Singh said I will give you whatever you want to make a film promoting the Air Force. Govind (Nihalani) too wanted to do something on the Air Force. Vijeta happened overnight. The shooting started in April. The Air Force provided the facilities, but Shashi paid for the film. The film was once again an average earner. It got Filmfare award for Best Cinematographer, Best Editing and best sound recording.
Utsav released in 1984 started on a disastrous note. A set near Udupi in Karnataka was blown off in a cyclone. The income-tax department raided Rekha on the first day of the shoot. It cost 2 crore, though it was originally supposed to be about  1.2 crores. Utsav also had an English version, so there were two takes of everything. Shashi dubbed the film in London. His wife was in a hospital at the time (Jennifer Kendal was suffering from cancer, and died in London in 1984).
Shashi Kapoor was financially wiped out by Utsav. Instead of filling his coffers, it worked him into a completely negative zone. He was in debt, he now wanted to make a commercial film to wipe out his debts. He started Ajooba with Amitabh and Rishi Kapoor this time he directed the film. The film was made in Russian also. This film was produced in association with Gorky Film Studio in Moscow. There are several Russian stars whose speech is not in sync with Hindi dialogues. Supposedly Amitabh Bachchan worked in this film gratis, as a favour to his longtime collaborator and friend Shashi Kapoor. The film had a budget of ₹80 million, which was amongst the highest at the time.
In India, the film flopped at the box office, despite managing to do a net business of ₹45 million. Later, by selling the satellite rights Shashi Kapoor able to recover all his investment and subsequently it became an earner as of today. In contrast, the film was a financial success in the Soviet Union, where it was released in two parts. It was the last successful collaboration between the Indian and Soviet film industries.
Shashi Kapoor's son Kunal Kapoor said in an interview "Ajooba wasn’t and isn’t a good film. We didn’t let him make another one after that. We were so much in debt. Sanjna (Kunal Kapoor’s sister) was still a child. Karan (his brother) and I were supporting the house. I started making commercials. We are all bad businessmen. We are brilliant at spending money".
Song of Junoon 1978

Song of Kalyug 1981

Song of Vijeta 1982

Song of Utsav 1984

Song of Ajooba 1991

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Basu Chatterjee-The creator of classics like Rajnigandha,Chitchor and Chhoti Si Baat

 Before he became a Director, Basu Chatterjee worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for the famous weekly Tabloid, Blitz.He assisted Basu Bhattacharya on his film, ‘Teesri Kasam’ (1966).Sara Akash’ in 1969 was his first film as Director.He proved his worth with sweet romantic movies such as ‘Rajnigandha’ (1974), ‘Chhoti Si Baat’ (1976) and ‘Chitchor’ (1976). These films were huge success at the box office since they were light hearted, fun, romantic and the audience instantly connected with the characters depicted in the film.

Born on 10th Jan 1930 at Ajmer started his career as an illustrator and cartoonist with the weekly tabloid Blitz published in Bombay.He worked there for 18 years.It was Basu Bhattacharya who brought him to film Industry.After assisting him in Teesri Kasam he assisted Govind Saraiya for 1968 film Saraswatichandra.After independently directing he directed Rajshri's Piya Ka Ghar in 1972.The film was an average at Box office.Us Paar in 1974 was his next directorial film starring Maushumi  Chatterjee and Vinod Mehra.
He became a successful Director after Rajnigandha in 1974.His films  Chhoti Si Baat (1975), Chitchor (1976), Khatta Meetha(1978) ,  Baton Baton Mein(1979) Man Pasand(1980), Shaukeen(1982) and Chameli Ki Shadi (1986) were successful. He has also directed many Bengali films such as Hothat BrishtiHochcheta Ki and Hothat Shei Din.He also directed the TV Series Byomkesh Bakshi and the popular Rajani (TV series) for Doordarshan.
Some of the Popular Songs from Basu Chatterjee
Song from Piya Ka Ghar 1972

Song from Rajnigandha 1974

Song from Chhoti Si Baat 1975

Song from Chitchor 1976

Song from Priyatama 1978

Song from Khatta Meetha 1978

Song from Baton Baton Mein 1979

Song from Manzil 1979

Song from Manpasand 1980

Friday, 22 December 2017

The New Wave Cinema or Parallel Cinema of Bollywood

Mrinal Sen is considered to be a pioneer of the new genre called ‘ New wave’ Cinema . In the late 60s soon after the release of his BHUVAN SHOME (1969)with the success of the film this genre took the birth in Hindi Cinema.Some critics are of the view that Shyam Benegal’s ANKUR (1974) was the real path – breaker and that Benegal was the pioneer of the New Wave genre.

Both Mrinal Sen and Shyam Benegal inspired many young film makers of the 1970s and 1980s, particularly graduates of the FTII, Pune . There were admirers and detractors for the new cinema.There is no doubt that these movies opened a new chapter in the history of movies in India. A totally new generation of film makers emerged. They used new techniques and evolved a new cinematic language, which was sometimes called idiosyncratic.
Without imitating the techniques of commercially successful movies which are usually mixtures of rapid action , maudlin drama , violence , erotic dancing and singing a parallel cinema also flourished side by side.

Many of these movies were not ‘ hits’ at the box office but they earned the respect and admiration of National and International film – makers and critics . Big names include Govind Nihalani , Ketan Mehta , Mani Kaul , Kumar Shahni , Sayeed Mirza , Adoor Gopalkrishnan , G. Aravindan , John Abraham , Nirad Mahapatra and Girish Kasaravalli . All of them pioneered a new path in film making. All their films differed from the ones generally ‘manufactured’ in the ‘masala’ or ‘ fixed formula’ mould . Since these movies were not produced fixed formula’ mold .
Scene from Chhoti Si Baat

In the 1970s, there was also the parallel cinema, with directors like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee and Gulzar and later, Sai Paranjpye. Their films had songs and dances and sentiment and appealed to the middle class.Their films were commercially successful.By the mid 70s Action films making big success for few years this type of cinema struggled
Today with the emergence of Multiplexes this type of cinema got a new life.Young directors like Nagesh Kukunoor (Hyderabad Blues, Bollywood Calling and Iqbal), Sudhir Mishra ( Hzaron Khawaishen Aisi ) and Anurag Kashyap (Black Friday) have been able to make a mark thanks to the multiplex phenomenon . Small low budget films like Being Cyrus, Mixed Doubles, Joggers Park and other feature films were released in such theatres..
 Subjects like Constipation(Piku),Homosexuality, old age (Being Cyrus), HIV-Aids (My Brother Nikhil), live-in-relationships (Salaam-Namaste), communication with the physically and mentally challenged (Black, Iqbal ) sperm donation(Vickey Donor) are now very well accepted.We can see many more films on new subjects.
Song from Nishant

Song from Manthan

Song from Bhumika 1977

Song from Bazaar 1982

Song from Arth 1983