Roll it up! Celebrating the cinema of the last 75 years
It has been 75 years since India became independent. After reaching milestones in almost every aspect, the nation has made wonderful progress. And a significant part of that includes our films, some of which fantastically represent a nuanced view of Indian cinema. A selection of landmark films from each decade since independence, and in various languages, are screened at the ongoing festival titled 75 Years of Reel Magic – Looking Back with Nostalgia.
The films capture everything from the magical chemistry between Raj Kapoor and Nargis in Barsat (1949) or Paresh Mokashis’ Harishchandrachi factory (2010), which tells the story of where it all began with India’s first feature film, Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra. Using the original format of the 35mm print, these organized screenings are a delight for all the city’s film buffs.
The festival kicked off with an introductory note for the 35mm package, which was delivered by Ira Bhaskar, Professor of Film Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of Arts and Aesthetics. As the days passed, renowned film pundits including Smita Banerjee, Bijoy Philip, Abhija Ghosh and Anugyan Nag offered their views before each screening. “I am so excited to go to the screening of the cult film, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro,” says Ankan Radha Majumder, a master’s student in sociology at Dr BR Ambedkar University in Delhi. “I heard a lot about it from my parents and I plan to watch it this week with a friend of mine since I’ve never watched a 35mm film before. I started to learn the history of cinema and cinematography since I discovered this interesting event,” adds Majumder.
“When we decided to plan our August calendar and were looking for something special to celebrate 75 years of independence, we came up with this festival,” says Vidyun Singh, Creative Head of Programs at India Habitat Center ( IHC). She adds, “The world is moving forward and technology has changed the game in almost every segment of life today. But there was a time when 35mm films were a game-changer. We started our film screenings at Habitat with the 35mm projector, and we make sure to keep it running by showing a 35mm film every month. So this idea was perfect and we chose an iconic film for each of the seven decades in languages and cinemas that go beyond the Mumbai-centric center of Hindi cinema. To sum up, the latest film takes us back to the beginning of 35mm cinema, about Dada Saheb Phalke and his obsession and passion for cinema and the beginnings of 35mm cinema in India.
Catch it live
What: 75 Years of Reel Magic – Looking Back with Nostalgia
Where: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
Until: August 30
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Nearest metro station: JLN Stadium on the purple line
Author tweets @priyaanshie_
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