Sunday November 17, 2019

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)

 

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Anil Kapoor: I Need To Learn How To Go Easy On Myself

Actor Anil Kapoor says that he needs to learn to go easy on himself

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Actor Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor says that he has always been his worst critic. Wikimedia Commons.

After four decades in Bollywood, Anil Kapoor feels he needs to learn how to go easy on himself, and that is his biggest challenge. The actor says he has always been his worst critic.

Anil entered the industry with a small role in 1979 with Umesh Mehra’s “Hamare Tumhare”, and then went on to carve his niche by balancing his stature as a respectable actor and his popularity as a saleable star, with performances including “Woh 7 Din”, “1942: A Love Story”, “Mr. India”, “Tezaab”, “Ram Lakhan”, “Lamhe”, “Beta”, “Taal”, “Nayak: The Real Hero” and “Pukar”.

At 62, he has managed to keep himself relevant in the forever fickle world of Bollywood showbiz, and his fit and sprightly persona defies his age. Anil insists his constant struggle is to go easy on himself.

“I’ve always been hard on myself and I’m always my own worst critic. So my biggest challenge continues to learn to go easy on myself and to let go when I need to,” Anil told IANS.

He says his career goals continue to be the same as they were all those years ago, when he was starting out.

“Strangely enough, my goals haven’t changed much! I’m a simple man with a simple plan — to be better than I was yesterday. So that’s what I continue to strive towards,” said the actor.

Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor feels that Cinema is the most engaging way in which stories are told. Wikimedia Commons

If anything, he has managed to stay relevant by experimenting with his craft and subjects, as trends changed in Bollywood over the past 40 years.

There have been the international forays, too. He featured in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-wiing global blockbuster “Slumdog Millionaire”, and also worked in “24”, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Family Guy”.

His versatility is proved by the fact that he was equally at home in these international projects as he was in out-and-out Bollywood outings as “No Entry”, “Welcome”, “Race”, “Dil Dhadakne Do”, “Mubarakan”, “Fanney Khan”, “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga” and “Total Dhamaal”.

“I’ve always believed that change is the only constant. So, I have let life and opportunities change me along the way, in the most organic ways possible. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the passion I feel for my work,” said the actor, who recently became part of a panel discussion by Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films in Kolkata to decode “what makes films powerful”, as part of a six-city tour.

Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films brings stars together to talk about the power of cinema and the short film genre. The panel discussion in Kolkata was moderated by Anupama Chopra, and also included Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Vinay Pathak, Sheetal Menon, Bejoy Nambiar and Niranjan Iyengar.

“Cinema is perhaps the most engaging way in which stories are told and shared”, he said, adding: “And stories have always had the power to shape minds and lives.”

The actor points out that power comes with a sense of responsibility.

Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor along with ‘Shootout at Wadala’ cast at a promotional event. Wikimedia Commons

“Anyone in a position to influence minds and hearts has a responsibility towards the people they are reaching. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the right platform and a mouthpiece to communicate with the world, so when you do, it comes with the duty to be mindful of the message you’re sharing and affirming,” said the father of three.

Anil will be back on the big screen in Anees Bazmee’s “Pagalpanti”, with whom he has in the past worked in “No Entry”, “Welcome”, “No Problem”, “Welcome Back” and “Mubarakan”.

Also Read- Talent Is Gender Neutral: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

“Pagalpanti” also stars John Abraham, Arshad Warsi, Pulkit Samrat, Ileana D’Cruz, Kriti Kharbanda, Urvashi Rautela and Saurabh Shukla, and is slated to release on November 22.

The film is produced by Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar’s T-Series and Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak’s Panorama Studios and co-produced by Vinod Bhanushali, Shiv Chanana, Aditya Chowksey and Sanjeev Joshi. (Bollywood Country)