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Tag: Homage

The Enigma of Arrival: Uttam Kumar Profile – Part 1

Published @ Critical Collective
In 1951, a cartoon – Bengal’s Hero  appeared in the satirical periodical Achalpotro. The cartoon showed a waddling baby with the face of a struggling actor, who was seen holding within his embrace the neck of his much-older beloved, and uttering, with saccharine smugness,  ‘Dear, do you love me?’ The baby’s face was that of Uttam Kumar, about 25 at that time. In 1951, Uttam was working as a clerk at a Calcutta Port office and was moonlighting as a…

Uttam Kumar and intimations of immortality

Published @ The Hindu
Poster of Satyajit Ray’s Nayak In 1971, Satyajit Ray took his turn in defining what he means by a star. “A star is a person on the screen who continues to be expressive and interesting even after he or she has stopped doing anything.” This was as fair and ingenious a definition as any. But how long is that ‘even after’, one might want to ask. This is because the star in question is none other than Uttam Kumar, for…

A gentleman for all seasons

Published @ St Xavier’s College Calcutta Magazine
St Xavier’s College. Pic courtesy, college website. Twenty years ago, I am sure, we lived in a better world. Provocations to planetary violence were limited, the earth was cooler, technological vigilantism that we have come to have made a natural disposition of being human was absent. In short, it was a naïve, innocent and doubtlessly a friendlier planet. In the vast continuum of history, twenty years is nothing, not even a speck. But it seems that modern history has so…

A schizophrenic’s guide to Mumbai

Published @ The Bengal Post
Just as when you thought that Vikram Chandra’s Love and Longing in Bombay, Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City and Gregory Roberts’ Shantaram had, between the covers of their voluminous homage to the megapolis, had cracked open the city, comes Gyan Prakash’s Mumbai Fables, one more splendid and unputdownable ode to the city. But does this quartet close Mumbai to the hack-and-the-schlock writer forever? Hope not. Because Mumbai will always be open to multiple interpretations; because in the post-industrial, post-urban, post-Cold War and post-factum modernity of the 21st…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: City, Homage, Travel | Read More

The legend and his smile lives on…

Published @ Bengal Post
Posters of Uttam Kumar films from the collection of Mr Parimal Ray. 24th July, marked permanently in the crowded annals of Kolkata as a day when its greatest screen actor breathed his last, is also a day of reckoning for the Bengali film industry. Uttam Kumar died at 53, leaving behind an army of admirers, a whole industry that was bent in a bow and entire demography that froze on its humble legs, unable to believe that he could die,…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Homage, Uttam Kumar | Read More

Lonely traveller on the middle road

Published @ Hindustan Times
Poster of Tapan Sinha’s Kabuliwala, 1961. Tapan Sinha has been just happy making movies all his life, remaining more attentive to his childlike imagination and his attachment to literature rather than to laurels and recognition, both here and abroad. The Dadasaheb Phalke award given to him this week is just one more in his crown, and that too a belated one. In the mid-1950s, middle-of-the-road cinema was largely unheard in the catalogue of Indian cinema. The “art cinema” movement was…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Homage | Read More

Going back to Ray

Published @ Daily News & Analysis
Satyajit Ray, by Nemai Ghosh. Image under copyright. The idea of commercially re-releasing three of Satyajit Ray’s films by Sony Pictures is an inspired idea. Ray remains, despite Bollywood’s repeated efforts to ‘showcase’ itself in respectable film venues like Cannes and Venice — the most enduring icon of Indian cinema. The release, thankfully, does not include the umpteenth rerun of his Apu Trilogy, for which he is feted the world over. The films being screened were made between 1968 and 1970…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Homage | Read More