Mrinal Sen 1923-2018 | Movies

Veteran filmmaker Mrinal Sen passes away at 95

Film director Mrinal Sen.

Film director Mrinal Sen.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

The auteur, who has won multiple National Film awards, was known for his artistic depiction of social reality.

Mrinal Sen, one of the towering figures of Indian cinema, passed away on Sunday at his south Kolkata residence. He was suffering from ailments related to old age. He was 95.

According to the filmmaker’s family physician, the body will be kept at a mortuary in the city till his son Kunal Sen returns from abroad. The last rites are likely to be performed on January 2.

The last of the triumvirate of legendary filmmakers that included Satyajit Ray and Ritwick Ghatak, Mrinal Sen was the recipient of various national and international awards, including the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2003.

Legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who worked in four of his films, described Mrinal Sen’s death as the “fall of a titan” and said that he was the last of the directors to usher in the golden era in Bengali cinema.

Mrinal Sen was heavily influenced by parallel cinema and introduced a new kind of film-making with his unusual camera movement, non-linear narrative, discontinuities and freeze frames — something that Indian cinema had never witnessed before him.

In his career spanning across seven decades, Mrinal Sen created 34 works to his credit, which included 27 feature films, four short films and five documentaries. His first film was Raat Bhore (in 1956) and last was Aamar Bhuvan (in 2002).

Madhuja Mukherjee, Head of the Department of Film Studies at Jadavpur University, said that Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome ushered in a new wave of film-making in India. He was instantly recognised as a major film-maker nationally and internationally. “Bhuvan Shome introduced new set of possibilities in terms of narrative, characterisation, shot-taking, editing, and sound. This was also a shift from Mrinal Sen’s own style and experimentation that preceded it,” Ms. Mukherjee said.

Born May 14, 1923 in Faridpur in Bangladesh, Mrinal Sen left for Kolkata to study Physics. His interest in cinema started after he stumbled on a book on film aesthetics — Film as Art by Rudolf Arnhiem.

Simply ‘Amitabh’

As tributes started pouring from different quarters after Mrinal Sen demise, Amitabh Bachchan recollected that the first voice over he did for a film was in Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome.

A couple of years after the release of his last film Aamar Bhuvan, Mrinal Sen asked students of a Film Studies class at a college in Kolkata to look at the credits of Bhuvan Shome and find out who had given the voice-over. Mr. Sen pointed out that the name was simply ‘Amitabh’ — just a young man who approached him for work. “I remember paying him ₹300 at that time for his work,” he had said.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 10:27:21 PM |

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