The Taj Enlighten Film Society screened three films based on Charles Dickens' novels

Films are an extension of the literary experience. They suffuse the words and imagination of writers and poets with life and vibrancy, enabling even the unlettered to marvel at their creative genius.

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest novelists of the Victorian period and it's time to celebrate the genius' 200th birthday. The Taj Enlighten Film Society recently screened three films based on some of Dickens' most celebrated novels at the British Council in New Delhi. The aim is to intensify the Dickens' experience for both, those who know his work and those who don't.

First in line was, Great Expectations (1946) by Sir David Lean, narrating the famous pursuits of Philip Pirrip who is in love with Estella Havisham and in search of his secret benefactor. Great Expectations was followed by Edwin Marin's A Christmas Carol (1938), which remains an enduring legend of self-realisation and reformation. The comeuppance revealed by The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future awaits the avaricious Ebenezer Scrooge.

Finally, Roman Polanski's acclaimed 2005 film Oliver Twist was shown on the final day. The last film based on arguably Dickens's most well-known novel on ‘the boy who asked for more' starring Ben Kingsley as Fagin and Barney Clark as the eponymous hero was played to a packed and enthralled house.

The screening of Polanski's film was followed by a talk by Shampa Roy, Professor of English at Delhi University, on the variations between the novel and Polanski's celluloid version, for instance the absence of some of the characters like Rosemary. She also tried bringing to fore some of the moral dilemmas and premises which inundate Dickens' saga of a grim and gray Victorian London.

Also the society launched two DVDs of The Christmas Carol (1938) and Sir David Lean's Oliver Twist (1948), under its own banner.

The Taj Enlighten Film Society was started in 2007 in Mumbai, to bring some of the finest films from across the world for film lovers across India. The society since its inception spread beyond Mumbai to New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. The members of the society on payment of a nominal fee can enjoy one film per week in privately managed screenings. The society is also planning to hold a screening of the films nominated for the 2012 Oscars as ‘Oscar Fever' from the 25th February in collaboration with the American Center.

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012