|My father with Nirupa Roy in a song sequence from Ma Beta|
Friday, 4 July 2014
Sunday, 1 June 2014
Way back in the old days of black-white cinema and even during the early days of colour films, the directors were truly the captain of their ships. They took an active interest in every aspect of film-making, naturally therefore no song or dance sequence or fight sequence was filmed in the absence of the director. During the eighties things began to change. I learnt that the directors handed over the reins to the dance director for the song and dance sequences and the action directors for the fight sequence. I was surprised to learn that the directors did not bother to be present on the sets or the location. Not surprisingly therefore, while the song and dance sequences blended with the film’s narrative in the past, later on and even today, the songs appear from nowhere and look more like music videos. The dance sequences remind me of aerobic exercises.
|My father in a song sequence in 'Shama'|
How I miss the dance sequences of my childhood. Back in my childhood I heard names like Lachhu Maharaj, Gopi Krishna, Sachin Shankar, all of whom were legends to whom filmmakers turned when they wanted a choreographer. While most of the choreographers were accomplished and respected classical dancers, there was Sachin Shankar a cousin of sitar maestro Pt. Ravi Shankar who had trained under the legendary Uday Shankar (Ravi Shankar’s elder brother). Shankar’s area of expertise was dance ballets and dance dramas. His shows ran to packed houses.
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
|Photo by Kamal Bose|
Like I mentioned in my last post there were a few film personalities I wanted to interview, Kamal Bose was one of them. He was one of the leading cinematographers of the industry. He had won five Filmfare Awards - Bandini (1963), Anokhi Raat (1969), Khamoshi (1970), Dastak (1971) and Dharmatama (1975).
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
My father was not the first choice of the film’s makers. The film was first offered to Ashok Kumar, he turned it down, why? I have no clue. Then they approached Abhi Bhattacharya, he turned it down because he did not like playing a father, finally they offered the role to my father.
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
This was a real long break, I am sorry, I was away attending to some work.
Bimal Roy was my father’s favourite director, he revered him, however, besides Roy, there were some other directors with whom my father enjoyed working and Hrishikesh Mukherjee topped that list.
Those days Mukherjee was acknowledged as the industry’s best editor. He used his editorial skills to great effect while directing his films. My father used to say, “Hrishida edits the film in his mind while directing a film”. He was at ease both with comedy and serious films. While I surreptitiously wiped my tears after watching Aashirwaad, Satyakam and Anand, I found myself in splits while watching Chupke Chupke. Usually when I see the Hindi remakes of Bengali originals, I usually prefer the originals, but as far as Chupke Chupke was concerned I loved Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s version, the Bengali version was absolutely tame in comparison.
Despite being an ace technician he did not resort to any gimmickry to draw attention to his ability, he indicated his brilliance through his precise editing, unobtrusive camera placement and beautiful shot compositions. His focus was the film’s story, therefore the audience was able to identify with the characters and participate in their joys and sorrows. I had the opportunity of interviewing Hrishikesh Mukherjee for the
|Screen August 14, 1992|
Friday, 27 December 2013
Before I go into my post I would like to apologize to those who follow my blog, despite my long breaks. Last time a technical error on my part led to some confusion as a result of which some of you may have missed my last post. So here is a link to MyFather’s Colour Films – Part 2
When my father passed away, he was in the best phase of his career. Given the fact that he drew a salary from Bimal Roy Productions, my father did not have to
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Before I begin my post I would like to clarify something. Those of you who have been regular followers of this blog may have noticed that I have been posting clips directly from You Tube. I recently discovered an interesting tool Tube Chop (www.tubechop.com). Usually when we want to draw attention to something particular in a You Tube video, we usually have to specify the exact point at which it comes in, with Tube Chop, all you have to do is just chop off that portion and share it with everyone. Since, I usually discover all these things a little late in the day, I thought all my readers were already aware of this website. Much to my surprise however, from the feedback that I got from some of my friends and readers, I realized that they thought that I had embedded the entire film and as they did not have the time, they did not bother to watch the videos. You will find plenty of clips in this post, so please do not be under the impression that I have
embedded the entire film from You Tube, I have just chopped off the relevant portions from my father’s films.
Sujit Kumar, my father, Kamini Kaushal, Jeetendra and Babita