Monday April 22, 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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‘Asterix’ French Bestseller Comics, Now Available For Hindi Readers

"We talk of warfare, historical hostilities, cultural chauvinism. The comic has strategies, cultural superiority and talking down to the Germanic tribes or Romans. This kind of a comic has a universal resonance.

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"There are so many cultural references. You have to find equivalent Hindi words, terminology, proverbs, jokes, songs. There is Latin used as well," Gupta, who also translated 'The Adventures of Tintin', said. Pixabay

By: Siddhi Jain

Launched in 1959, the French comic classic ‘Asterix’ boasts having sold an unmatched 370 million copies in more than 100 languages. After capturing the global comics market, the series is now available for Hindi readers – after five years of painstaking translation.

The Hindi translation of the first four albums of the ‘Asterix’ series was released here on Thursday by French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler, who called the comics’ total of 33 albums “a monument of French pop culture” and “opportunity to learn not French, but about the French (people).”

The series follows the adventures of a group of Gallic villagers as they resist Roman occupation in 50 BCE. It was originally written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo.

Published by Om Books International, the “albums”, as they are called, were co-translated by Dipa Chaudhuri and Puneet Gupta beginning from 2014. Sharing that translating each album took at least 6-8 months, the task was “not merely a word-to-word translation”.

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Besides finding the right word, we had to find the right length, because there were speech bubbles.  Pixaba

“There are so many cultural references. You have to find equivalent Hindi words, terminology, proverbs, jokes, songs. There is Latin used as well,” Gupta, who also translated ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, said.

Explained his French-speaking co-translator Chaudhuri: “There was a huge translator’s block when we started. It wasn’t just any translation. These were graphic novels and the graphic form imposes a lot of restrictions as to how you can translate.

“Besides finding the right word, we had to find the right length, because there were speech bubbles. The Hindi script practically is much longer than the French. There are matras on the top, side and bottom, whereas in French they are only on top. We couldn’t be waffling with the translation,” Chaudhuri added.

What the translators also has to be mindful of is that each language has its own aural space and one size does not fit all.

“While you’d hit a person with a ‘Paff’ in French, it’ll be ‘Bang’ in English and ‘Thak’ in Hindi,” Gupta expalined, adding that they identified a 100 sounds in four of the 33 albums.

The French equivalent of the India’s iconic ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ comics or ‘Amar Chitra Katha’, ‘Asterix’ is a journey into French mindsets and is widely translated and adapted into animated films, video games, live action films, and even theme parks.

The translators shared an interesting anecdote while preparing the Hindi comic.

“They’ve used the (military) terms decurion and centurion. We couldn’t have used ‘major’ or ‘colonel’. So we had to come up with ‘dashpati’ and ‘shatpati’ for commanders of 10 and 100 soldiers,” Gupta said.

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The series follows the adventures of a group of Gallic villagers as they resist Roman occupation in 50 BCE. It was originally written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. Pixabay

“We called up people in the armed forces and asked them how they’d say this.”

Asked if they came across similarities between the Indo-French cultures, Chaudhari said that while there are culturally distinct experiences, human experiences remain the same.

“We talk of warfare, historical hostilities, cultural chauvinism. The comic has strategies, cultural superiority and talking down to the Germanic tribes or Romans. This kind of a comic has a universal resonance.

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Added Gupta: “Human emotions of fear, hatred, faith, satire and greed transcend time and culture. All these emotions are depicted here and one can correlate.”

The translation rights were acquired by publisher Ajay Mago from the French Hachette Livre after over 5 years of negotiations.

The first four albums are priced at Rs 295 and are available online at Amazon and Flipkart, as also offline. (IANS)