"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

The Unknown GOLDEN ERA of HINDI CINEMA - As seen by few young boys. (A sad experience in the Centenary Festival of Delhi pointing towards the alarming need of \"Film Appreciation Courses\" in the country) - A submission by Bobby Sing

28 Apr, 2013 | Articles on Cinema

It was the event of Centenary Celebrations of 100 years of Indian Cinema at The Sri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi (April 2013), which got an overwhelming response from the enthusiastic lovers of Indian Films throughout the week beyond expectations. Interestingly, the festival also had few panel discussions scheduled on various topics featuring prominent film personalities such as Ekta Kapoor, Karan Johar, Sudhir Mishra, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Kiran Juneja Sippy, Dibaker Bannerjee and Luv Ranjan, which surprisingly got a fabulous response probably because of the known names & the stardom related to them. So at one end it was quite encouraging and great to see the young viewers coming in huge numbers to participate in these film discussions, but on the other it made me quite sad, hearing a small conversation between a young group of boys seated just behind me in the auditorium.

Now this conversation is being shared here with all friends, as it indeed draws our attention towards a serious issue related to the worth of our Indian Cinema & its maestros in the eyes of our new generation. More importantly, it points towards the way, our good old cinema is being seen today by the net-age, energetic youth and what exactly they have in mind about those Golden Years of films in our country and its precious gems………….!
The Auditorium had just finished with a lively panel discussion and the beautiful host announced the next two screening in the adjacent halls which were of Kamal Amrohi’s PAKEEZAH and Raj Kapoor’s JAAGTEY RAHO. But just after the announcements were made, I heard the voice of few boys sitting in the row behind, which simply left me stunned and immensely sad…………….! And they said,
Ist Voice – Ab Kon Si Picture Dikhayange Yaar?
IInd Voice – “PAKEEZAH”
Ist – Yeh Kaun Si Film Hai…………..Bahot Purani Hai Kya?
IInd – Arey Yaar Yeh Woh Hai Na…….Urdu Waali…….!
------ (Then Enters a third voice) ------
– Bhai Yeh Wohi Hai Jo Pehle Hoti Thi Na….…Sad, Depressing Picturen……Negative Feeling Waali!
Ist – Achha………Kaun Kaun Hai Ismey?
IInd – Ek Meena Kumari Hai…… Aur Hero Ki Mujhe Shakal Pata Hai……….…Naam Yaad Nahin Aa Raha!
Ist - Rehne De Yaar, Pakayega Kya…………...Doosri Kaun Si Hai?
IInd – Doosrey Audi Mein Hai “JAAGTEY RAHO”……..Raj Kapoor Ki!
Ist – Achha Wahi Jo Charlie Chaplin Ki Tarah Acting Karta Tha!
IIIrd – Arey Yeh Wohi Hai Yaar……..……Jo Pehle Gareebi Ke Upar Picturen Banti Thi Na..….., Jisme Woh Chowkidaar Type Hota Hai!
Ist – Ha Ha, Bhai Yeh “JAAGTEY RAHO”…………Sula To Nahin Degi Na!
IInd – “PAKEEZAH” Se To Theek Hi Hogi…….Chalo Wahi Dekhte Hain!
And saying that they all stood up and went to the Audi next door, leaving me truly stuck to my seat like a lifeless object with so many thoughts running in my head about the frightening image of our Golden Era of Hindi Cinema in the minds of today’s young brigade.
But giving it a second thought, I couldn’t really blame those boys for such disrespectful depiction of those classic films as they and millions of other ‘cinema loving’ young minds of the country are actually neither being informed nor taught about that Golden Era of Hindi Cinema anywhere around in the form it should have been ideally done. In other words, unless one seriously opts for a film-making related course or for a professional degree related with film-making in India, he/she largely remains unaware of all those Golden Classics which are nothing less than a text book material both as a source of entertainment as well as a means of teaching you the basis essence of life & its emotions.
As a result, what happens is that only the people involved or interested in film-making (which are few in numbers) are in turn aware of these precious gems of the past in real terms and the rest (majority of our younger population today) simply go on living on whatever is fed to them in the name of cinema and entertainment in the present times. And in case some real film enthusiast gets interested to know about that Golden Years from the internet, then at the most what is available to him is either IMDB or Wikipedia portal, which only gives you a complete professional account about the film & its reviews or some individual websites & blogs which feature their personal opinion of that valuable era or films lead by their own biased interests and likings.
100 Years of Indian Cinema at DelhiIn short, we don’t really have an official, authentic & unbiased informative source which can tell the youth about the rich historical heritage of our Indian Cinema and its celebrated maestros from all its regions. So in my opinion, either there has to be an easily doable short term course which can be opted by any (18+) lover of films without any other restrictions or at least a well planned, educative website should be there, which can make the younger and coming generations aware of all our Masters Of Indian Cinema and their immensely cherished gems of the gone eras collectively. And this needs to be done not only for Hindi Films but for all kinds of Regional Cinema being made in our country which at times has proved even more important than Hindi movies in front of the world audience evidently.
To be specific, a young energetic Indian film lover should no doubt know about all the past & current big shots of Hindi Films taking the legacy forward. But along with that he also needs to be informed about our other respected veterans & their cherished film-works from Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Malyalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Asaamese, Oriya & other regional languages cinema as a must.
Coming back to the point of ‘Short Knowledgeable Courses’ teaching you the art of watching and the actual worth of films made in the past, “Film & Television Institute of India” (FTIT) Pune, “National Film Archive of India” (NFAI) Pune, “Whistling Woods International” Mumbai and a few more reputed institutions have been conducting short “Film Appreciation Courses” on a regular basis with a considerable amount of fee, from the last few years. But these are being offered in only two or three major cities like some professional courses and not as a means to educate the youngsters of today’s progressive India about the medium of cinema as an art from.
To deal with the truth, these “Film Appreciation Courses” need to be conducted in every major town (other than the Metros too) for a very affordable fee, which in turn would enable the young minds of our country to know & compare that what was being made earlier and what’s being made now, forced and lead by the financial forces of the market, quite sadly.
Plus these “Film Appreciation Courses” need to enlighten every young film enthusiast of India in clear words that actually “Indian Cinema” is not a synonym to “Hindi Cinema or Bollywood” at all. In reality, the bitter truth lies behind the curtain that there have been many equally worth watching or even more important films been made in the past in the other regional parts of the country and the tradition is still continuing till date.
Hence before moving on to experience the World Cinema and its famous maestros, the youth today urgently has to be educated about our own Indian Cinema at first (including all regions) through these widely available “Film Appreciation Courses”. So that tomorrow they can respectfully remember or cherish Dada Saheb Phalke, Raj Kapoor, Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak or Adoor Gopalakrishnan rightly for what they have contributed to the world of cinema in real terms and not for anything less than that.

On a concluding note, If you ask me to sum up in one line that “Why I am emphasizing so much to make this “Film Appreciation Courses” available everywhere in the country for the young & crazy Indian movie buffs?...................Then I would prefer to give the answer in the words of Pritish Nandy (a renowned journalist, producer and social activist), as said by him in the documentary called “Baavra Mann”, in which he says,
The problem in Cinema today is that, nobody wants to be GREAT,
but they all want to be RICH!”
And as I see it, the line says it all……………., simply all……that can be said!
Bobby Sing

Tags : The Unknown GOLDEN ERA of HINDI CINEMA, Sad Expereince at Indian Cinema Centenary Festival in Delhi, Need for Film Appreciation Courses in India for all kind of regional cinema. Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Indian Cinema and its maestros.
28 Apr 2013 / Comments ( 4 )

Hi Bobby,
As I myself am a movie buff, it would have been shocking for me too if I was in your place. But instead you should try to see it from the viewpoint of any common movie goer. For him films aren\'t a work of art, it is simply a getaway from his monotonous and tiring everyday life. By the time Friday evening comes he is completely exhausted and he doesn\'t care as to which film he is going to watch , what is the message of the film etc. He just wants to go out and have a good time with his family. His life is full of problems he doesn\'t want to again watch misery on the screen. He wants to see the hero beating up 20 goons and romancing beautiful ladies because all this he himself cannot do in reality.

My father who has watched all the classics of the golden era, even he thinks this way that one should leave his head at home and clap heartily when the hero beats up the villain . It relieves stress. Thats that.

As to why those boys you talked about were present in that film festival I dont know. They should be watching Himmatwala in some theater. Suits them. Film appreciation courses dont make any sense to me . One should watch what one likes to watch.

Bobby Sing

Hi Govind,
I completely understand your point and support it from one angle.

But my submission here is that its not only about this group of boys. Its actually about all those movie buffs of today who are willing & ready to know more about Indian Cinema in particular and please note that I am referring to only the age group of 18 to 30 who were born in the late 80s or early 90s, when the film industry in India was going through its worst phase till the early years of the new millenium.

Now even if they are receptive enough to know more about the kind of cinema we used to make, there is no official place, course or website which can tell them about anything in details. And for those kind of eager students such courses are needed.

Moreover, thats exactly the reason why these reputed government and private institutions are running these "Film Appreciation Courses" from years. And these courses are not for film-makers or film-making people actually, but these are for the people who love films and want to know more about them.

But its really a pity that in our part of the world, Cinema is just mere escapism and a means of entertainment along with munching popcorns, peanuts or samosas...That is the reason why it has reached this stage as we dont treat it equavalent to the other arts such as Writing, Painting or Music. And thats exactly the reason we are making very few meaningful films because people actually are not willing to see them........They are too much tensed and too much occupied with their own tensions that they dont want to think.

And that the REAL PROBLEM OF OUR SYSTEM............We are made to stop thinking, enjoy for a while and then return to our routine jobs without any change.............!

And thats exactly what Pritish Nandy was pointing out in his statement mentioned in the article.
And thats exactly the reason, why writers, poets, painters, classical music exponents and thinkers are fast becoming A RARITY in our country.
Because actually we dont want to think or become Great..........we all from the inside wish to become just RICH and thats all.

Still I am there with all the HOPE in the world.........as there is darkness only when the light is on the way.



I completely agree with you here. When I was introduced to olden cinema through Guide , Awara , Shree 420, Naya Daur and Padosan (my favorite oldies) it completely blew me off. Amazing films. But when I shared this with my friends they said " You have gone crazy and should have been born 50 yrs before". Without watching these films and commenting on them is incorrect.

Of the three boys you talked about who went to watch JAGTEY RAHO, the first one must have dozed off the 3 hrs and second one must have left the screen at interval. But the last one finding the film interesting and enjoyable must have tried to get and watch more of those Raj Kapoor classics.

So the idea is to introduce these films and make then available to all. Each one having different tastes may like it or not. But first they have to give it a try. Further they want to watch more or not is their choice. First two boys didnt lose anything but the last one found something new (oops old) to discover.

Also its important to respect everyone choice of films. I didn\'t ridicule my freinds when they went to watch Himmatwala. If watching it they get joy they should definitely go ahead.

Bobby, do you have any facebook page where can get the updates without having to visit this website ?

Bobby Sing

Yes, actually that exactly is the point that its our duty to atleast introduce them to these films and their makers as its should be done respectfully and then let them decide whether they want to see more of them or not.

We all have our own personal likings and preferences and the fact needs to be respected no doubt.
But in absence of any proper introduction to that era, its valuable creations and genius directors, the new generation is bound to make their own kind of opinion of it which might restirct them to watch those gem of films ever in their entire life.

And that would be a real crime in the creative sense.
In other words its just like teaching HISTORY to the kids. Like we teach them the history of our Religions, Existence and Nations......We also got to teach them our History of Literature, Art and Cinema, which will in turn surely enhance their individual lives for sure.

Lastly, I do have my facebook id as www.facebook.com/bobbytalkscinema  and you are more than welcome to join me there for all the updates and other discussions.


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