Pursuing the history of Bollywood at its centenary is an interesting and enigmatic task. A novel online initiative for showcasing the evolution of Hindi cinema, starting from the release of the first indigenous production, Pundalik,' on May 18, 1912, unto the latest will go on stream soon.
Starting from May 18, indiavideo.org will present the pertinent details of an array of films that are being rated as the landmarks of Indian cinema. The fare, ‘100 years of Indian Cinema,' comprising 365 episodes of three to five minutes duration, will feature the history of one film each a day and conclude on May 18, 2013.
“This flashback on Bollywood is primarily aimed at presenting a comprehensive and unalloyed version of the history of the tinsel world and paying homage to the lesser-known architects of Indian cinema like Marathi director Ram Chandra Gopal Torney; N.G. Chitre, manager of the theatre, Coronation Cinematography in Bombay; and P.R. Tipnis a New Delhi-based distributor who played a pivotal role in the production of ‘Pundalik.' Dadasaheb Phalke and celebrities like V. Shantaram who were key to building Bollywood too have been commemorated, says M.R. Hari, who conceived the series.
The 60-minute film was the adaptation of a dance drama on the life of Saint Pundalik. Since it was released along with a Hollywood film, ‘A dead man's child,' the maiden venture did not get a censor certificate and went unnoticed. The laurels and honours for the first Indian film were thus naturally bestowed on Dadasaheb Phalke's ‘Raja Harischandra' released on May 3, 1913.
Than merely unfurling the insipid historical facts, the producer of the series have chosen to present it in the form a lively discussion between noted Kathak danseuse Pali Chandra and film historian Vijayakumar Balakrishnan. Phalke's association with J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai, his sojourn to London and the course of events which led to the making of ‘Raja Harischandra' have been presented vividly.
The visuals of Mangalwadi compound opposite to Naaz Cinema in Mumbai where the film was shot, the Dada Sahib Chowk in Dadar, and other details have all been woven into it.
A quaint copy of a song book of the musical, ‘Ayodhya Ki Raja' produced by Prabhat Film Company in 1932, footage of the alluring sets, miracle scenes, and flying figures which were an integral part of mythological films, have been included in the series.
An online initiative to trace the evolution of Indian cinema and pay homage to its lesser-known architects.