Sunday January 26, 2020

Guru Dutt classic ‘Pyaasa’ selected for Venice Film Festival

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Mumbai: The legendary Guru Dutt’s immortal classic “Pyaasa” is the only Indian movie restored by an Indian company that will premiere in the competition sector of the upcoming 72nd Venice Film Festival, a top official said here on Wednesday.

A team of 45 experts of Ultra Media & Entertainment Pvt. Ltd worked round-the-clock for over four months to restore the movie to its original quality and make it ready for a global audience.

“Pyaasa” will now compete with 20 other restored classic movies from all over the world for the prestigious ‘Venice Classics Award’ for Best Restored Film, said Ultra Media & Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.’ CEO, Sushilkumar Agrawal.

The 1957 black-and-white cult movie, starring Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha, with Rehman, Johny Walker, Mehmood and Tun Tun, will be screened on September 11 and 12 at the Sala Volpi Auditorium in Venice, during the festival scheduled between Sep. 02-12.

“Ultra Media & Entertainment, who are the negative rights owners of ‘Pyaasaa’, have restored this film completely for the grand occasion with an objective of preserving and presenting it in its original quality to the global audience. It is one of the rarest gems of Indian cinema,” Agrawal told a media outlet.

The most challenging part after acquiring the rights was sourcing the authentic material to complete the preservation. After lot of efforts, the company managed to recover the original camera negatives of “Pyaasa” at an archive in India, but many parts in it were either damaged or lost, he explained.

Undeterred, the company used as many parts as possible from the original Camera Negative and a few parts were used from 35mm prints.

A new digital transfer was created in 2K resolution on the ARRISCAN film scanner, an in-house technology of the company which helped in applying a multidisciplinary, data-centric approach to the entire film’s restoration process.

Once the complete film was digitally transferred, came the most challenging part of restoration in which thousands of instances of dirt, lines, scratches, splices, warps, jitters and green patches were manually removed frame by frame.

The in-house talented professionals used a specialized film content mending and defect removal mechanism in their repair process, carefully selecting the best way to restore the priceless classic to its original quality.

Out of the many classics restored by the company, “Pyaasa” always had pride of special place and the restored version has already created a significant buzz with distribution inquiries pouring in from all over the world, Agrawal added.

Buoyed by this, the company is planning a major theatrical re-release of “Pyaasa” after the competitive screening in Venice next month.

Besides the two screenings at the festival venue, Ultra Media & Entertainment plans to promote and market it during the fest, and expects a huge demand from international distributors, sales agents, ancillary content aggregators and exhibitors for the restored version.

Produced and directed by the late Guru Dutt, “Pyaasa” is a beautiful lament of an unemployed young man who tried to carve a niche for himself as a poet in society after he is disowned by his family, but encounters rejection at every step.

Penned by Abrar Alvi and cinematographed by the veteran V. K. Murthy, the movie has music by S. D. Burman, lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi and several masterpieces rendered by Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar.

Some of its haunting numbers include: “Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai,’ “Jaane kya tune kahi” and “Jaane wo kaise log the…’

Besides “Pyaasa”, the company has restored other classics like “Dil Tera Deewana”, “Chori Chori”, “Half Ticket”, “Paigham” and “Insaniyat”.

(IANS)

 

Next Story

Everything About Off-Beat Cinema: The Newfangled Trend in Bollywood

Here, Let us know answers of some Frequently asked questions about Off-Beat Cinema

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Cinema
Off-Beat Cinema represents Non-Derivative films, something which the audience has never seen before. Off-Beat Films have Stories which are unique in their own sense, Stories which are less thought and talked about.

By Kashish Rai

 “Cinema in India is like brushing your teeth in the morning, you can’t escape it..”- Shah Rukh Khan 

We all are so much fascinated by movies. Like books, movies have this tendency to take us in a different world. For a long time, we observed likewise familiar stories and scripts in Bollywood Films- Hero romancing a beautiful Heroine, dancing amidst alluring and fantasizing locations or maybe giving the villian a major and dreadful defeat in the end with power-packed action! It has been so because majority of audience in India love Masala films, action films, comedy films and thriller films, But surprisingly, this is not the scenario now.

Bollywood has raised the bar apart from such films so high that now people don’t expect a ‘Raj’ to have a ‘Simran’ in every movie, or a Thakur to kill a Gabbar! People expect something new, which has given rise to “Off-Beat Cinema” in Trend. Earlier, Off-Beat cinema didn’t interest the audience. Such films had to face disappointment on the box office and didn’t recieved much revenue and foot-fall, but now directors chase Off-Beat stories because of their Newness and quality content.

Now Let us know answers of some Frequently asked questions about Off-Beat Cinema.

  • What are Off-Beat Movies?

 Off-Beat Films are Non-Derivative films, something which the audience has never seen before. They have Stories which are unique in their own sense, Stories which are less thought and talked about. Off-Beat Films provide new experience to the users, They are presented in a manner which the audience is not familiar watching. However, Off-Beat Films may not appeal to the masses, but they can make a ginormous impact on certain sections of society.

  • Why are New and Aspiring Directors inclined towards Making Off-Beat Movies?

Predominantly, there have been so many films in Bollywood that have followed a certain prototype, based on staggering homogeneous movies of the past. The audience in contemporary scenario gets more or less pretty much worn-out with those films because of the same storyline which is quite predictable as well, but Off-Beat films take the audience along with them to the places that no other film has taken them before. Such films Interest the audience, mainly youth.

Cinema
Bollywood has raised the bar apart from conventional films so high that now people don’t expect a ‘Raj’ to have a ‘Simran’ in every movie, or a Thakur to kill a Gabbar! People expect something new, which has given rise to “Off-Beat Cinema” in Trend. Pixabay
  • Which are some popular Off-Beat Films that Filmmakers in Bollywood have bought for the audience so far?

 There are many Bollywood films which fall in line-: A Wednesday!, Black Friday, I am Kalam, Dev D, The Lunchbox, Hindi Meduim, Iqbal, Swades, Gangs of Wasseypur, Omkara and the list goes on. Typically, these movies have not been made with an intention of getting blockbuster success, however some Off-Beat films have gained mainstream success in Bollywood.

  • Is every actor and actress suitable for performing roles in Off-Beat Movies?

 Only few actors and actresses are proved to be a suitable match for Off-Beat scripts. Filmmakers generally prefer actors with powerful screen presence and ability to emote Off-Beat roles apart from glitz and glamour. Few actors and actresses have had arduous success in such films, among them highly notable ones are Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ayushmann Khurrana and Richa Chadha. As there are unconventional Movie Genres and scripts in Off-Beat Cinema, actors like them can contribute to the success of such films with relative ease and insightful role-plays.

  • How has Off-Beat Films Helped Indian Filmmakers to think Out of the Box for making Films?

 India is a Nation that thrives on cinema. How the masses consume content has changed significantly because of the newly emerging perspectives and ideas, especially among the Youth. Now with the introduction of Off-Beat content, the filmmakers have got more interested in bringing out these fresh perspectives, content and creative Aesthetic on screen that force people to look at things which only existed among the society and were never brought up. The stereotypical formula started getting vanished and a space started getting free for more creative freedom to be used by the Filmmakers.

Off-Beat Cinema takes the audience along with it to the places that no other film has taken them before. Off-Beat Films Interest the audience, mainly youth. Pixabay

Cinema being the ultimate pervert art didn’t gave us something to desire, but it Indeed made us capable of thinking- How to Desire!

ALSO READ: Republic Day 2020: Here’s What it Means to TV Actors

 There’s still a long way to go for Bollywood in terms of more content oriented Off-Beat Films. It is well understood that the Indian Film Industry is the largest in the world. The Power for making unconventional, unusual, quirky and idiosyncratic films vests in the hands of only Indian Filmmakers, which people tend to see more in near future.