REINVENTING THE CINEMA
1925 – 1976
In an age when film makers masquarade as reformers , it is only apt that one remembers the flag bearers of the REAL New Wave in Indian Cinema that had its inception in the early ’50s through the mid ’70s. A beacon of this New Wave was Ritwik Ghatak. The Anarchist. The Rebel. The quintessential Bengali Intellectual. The man who influenced a generation of film makers.
Ritwik Ghatak was born in Dhaka in East Bengal (now
In 1948, Ghatak wrote his first play Kalo sayar (The Dark Lake), and participated in a revival of the landmark play Nabanna. In 1951, Ghatak joined the Indian People's Theatre Association ( IPTA ). He wrote, directed and acted in plays and translated Bertolt Brecht and Gogol into Bengali. In 1957, he wrote and directed his last play Jwala (The Burning).
Ghatak entered film industry with Nemai Ghosh's Chinnamul (1950) as actor and assistant director. Chinnamul was followed two years later by Ghatak's first completed film Nagarik (1952), both major break-throughs for the Indian cinema. Ritwik Ghatak directed eight full-length films.
He taught at FTII, Pune , and his legacy lived on through the works of his illustrious students - Mani kaul, Kumar Sahani, Ketan Mehta and John Abraham.
THE TRILOGY OF GHATAK
The 3 films chosen for our retrospective are his best-known films, Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-Capped Star) (1960), Komal Gandhar (1961), and Subarnarekha (1962), a trilogy based in
Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960 ) Considered Ghatak’s masterpiece, this powerful and innovative melodrama revolves around a refugee family from East Bengal, victims of the Partition, who struggle for survival on the outskirts of
Runtime : 120 min / Bengali with English subtitles.
Komal Gandhar (1961) Said to be Ghatak’s favorite film, the quasi-autobiographical Komal Ghandar portrays the People’s Theater Movement of the late 1940s, agonizing over its jealousies and schisms as two rival groups seek to put on a joint production. The title comes from a Tagore poem in which a girl is compared with a particular melody and the melody, in turn, with
Runtime : 110 minBengali with English subtitles
In Subarnarekha, Ritwik Ghatak takes the stuff of melodrama and turns it into a piercing political cry. Set in
Runtime : 125 min / Bengali with English subtitles.Venue : Kasturi Srinivasan Auditorium - near
Time : 17 06 2007 , Sunday 9.45 am to 6.30 pm
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