Saturday, May 19, 2012

A befitting tribute to Bhupen Hazarika

Source : The Hindu , May 18 ,2012

A bonanza awaits cinema lovers at the Capital's good old Shakuntalam Theatre which was closed for regular screening on April 1. The India Trade Promotion Organisation will host a week-long retrospective of the late Assamese film-maker and musician Bhupen Hazarika at the venue beginning May 18.

As a special gesture, ITPO, which drew flak for closing the theatre which was screening films at affordable rates since 1981, has decided not to charge any money from film buffs for watching these five special films in which Bhupen Hazarika had composed music. Instead, film connoisseurs would have to pay only the entry ticket of Rs.20 to enter the exhibition ground.

“There would be no ticket to watch these films. However, movie enthusiasts would have to buy entry tickets that would be available at Gate No.4 of Pragati Maidan. They would also get free parking facility,” said an ITPO employee.

ITPO has decided to host the retrospective on Bhupen Hazarika because he was synonymous with melodious music and writing lyrics on communal amity and universal justice. “He was acclaimed not only in Assam but was popular across the country. He had produced music in not only his mother tongue but also in other languages including Hindi,” said the employee.

This will be the first screening at Shakuntalam Theatre after the ITPO decided to stop regular screening of commercial cinema at the theatre, which opened in 1981. It wants to use the venue to host business conferences and seminars.

The feature films in Hindi and Assamese (sub-titled in English) will be – Abdul Majid's directed Assamese film Chameli Memsaab on May 18, Kalpana Lajmi's Hindi flick Ek Pal on May 19 and May 24, Kalpana Lajmi's Hindi movie Rudali on May 20 and 23, Jahnu Barua's directed Assamese film Aparoopa on May 21 and Rakesh Ranjan Kumar's Hindi film Gandhi to Hitler , which was released last year, on May 22.

In the coming months, the ITPO will host a retrospective of Rabindranath Tagore whose year-long 150{+t}{+h}birth anniversary is being celebrated across the country. “Keeping in mind that elaborate programmes are being organised to remember this multi-faceted personality as a poet, writer, painter, musician and philosopher, we are keen to host a retrospective on Tagore. Unfortunately, we are not getting prints for his films. Therefore, we are coordinating with the West Bengal Government for procuring films based on his life and times.”

A retrospective of the legendary actor Dev Anand, who died recently, was also on the cards but could not materialise. “We could not get the nod from his son, who holds the copyright. We will continue to host such festivals in which award-winning films or movies made or featuring famous personalities would be screened.”

Organised by ITPO in collaboration with the Directorate of Film Festivals of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, the retrospective will have film screening daily at 6 p.m.