Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Graceful screen-theatre personality Sanjna Kapoor!


- Manoj Kulkarni

Golden Jubilee Birthday of graceful screen & theatre personality and co-founder of 'Junoon'..Ms. Sanjna Kapoor just happened!

Pretty Sanjna Kapoor with mother-artist Jennifer Kendal!

Daughter of famous artists Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal..pretty gorgeous Sanjna Kapoor had a love for acting and her first step was on theatre..naturally their 'Prithvi Theatre'!

In 1983 she made her screen debut in father Shashi Kapoor produced & Aparna Sen directed film '36 Chowringhee Lane' in which she played young Violet Stoneham..the main character which greatly portraited by her mother Jennifer Kapoor. Later she also appeared in their home production 'Utsav' (1984)..And then she played lead role in Ketan Mehta's film 'Hero Hiralal' (1988) in which she was film actress only!
Pretty gorgeous Sanjna Kapoor in film 'Hero Hiralal' (1988).

After that she acted in few offbeat films..like Mira Nair's critically acclaimed 'Salaam Bombay' (1988) in which she did a role of foreign reporter..And then in A. K. Bir's 'Aranyaka' (1994) which I remember saw in our 'IFFI', 1995 held at Mumbai!
Beautiful Sanjna Kapoor in show!

Meanwhile she shifted to theatre with which she so much attached. In 1991 she played the role of wife in the theatre adaptation of 'Rashomon' (famous film of Japanese master Akira Kurosawa) which was based on the Broadway play by Fay & Michael Kanin! She also hosted the 'Amul India Show' on television for more than three years..and her appearance on small screen was very beautiful!
With father-actor Shashi Kapoor theatre activist  Sanjna Kapoor!

During 1993 to 2012 she looked after their family's 'Prithvi Theatre' Mumbai. Then she launched her own theatre company 'Junoon' (name of Shashi Kapoorji produced film) which organise theatre workshops for children..And came to know that it would work with travelling groups staging plays at smaller venues across India..This recollect her maternal grandparents' 'Shakespeareana' kind devoted work towards theatre!
Sanjna Kapoor in programme!

I wish all the very Best to her!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]

Sunday, 26 November 2017



Assamese legendary Actor who worked in both genre popular & social films..Biju Phukan passed away at the age of 70!
Assam's first thriller 'Dr. Bezbarua' (1969).

He made his screen debut in Assamese first thriller 'Dr. Bezbarua' (1969) which began commercial cinema there! Then 'Baruar Songshar' (1970) & 'Aranya' (1971) established him as hero!

Suhasini Mulay & Biju Phukan in Jahnu Barua's 'Aparoopa' (1982).
Remembered his different performances in two notable films..one in renowned Assamese filmmaker Jahnu Barua's first film 'Aparoopa' (1982)..and second in legendary Assamese writer-director Dr. Bhabendra Nath Saikia's classic film 'Agnisnaan' (1985)..Both the films won Best Regional Film National Awards!

He acted in eighty films and last was 'Dur' (2016)..a title proved it!

A Homage!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]
Beautiful Setsuko Hara!


Symbol of the golden age of Japanese cinema beautiful actress Setsuko Hara left the world two years back!

Setsuko Hara in 'Late Spring' (1949).
Best known for her performances in renowned filmmaker Yasujir┼Ź Ozu's films like 'Late Spring' (1949) and 'Tokyo Story' (1953). Hara had already appeared in 67 films before working with him!

She also acted in Japanese master Akira Kurosawa's films like 'No regrets for our Youth' (1946).

Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara & Chishu Ryu in 'Tokyo Story' (1953).
Still remember her great performance in Ozu's masterpiece 'Tokyo Story'..in which she played a widow whose husband was killed in war & her devotion towards her in-laws who insist that she should remarry! Touched the heart!!

A Homage!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]

Wednesday, 22 November 2017



Today is Birthday of graceful Iranian actress, writer & producer-director..Azar Faramarzi!

Studied acting & graduated in film-tv direction..Azar Faramarzi played supportive & lead roles in television serials and films!..And in 2010 she made her first documentary 'Holly' on the historical places & festivals of India!
Actress & Filmmaker Azar Faramarzi's films!
In 2011 she made short fiction 'Loneliness' in which she acted also. This film was about a woman unhappy with her married life! I saw it in the 'Asian Film Festival' at Pune..and first time met her! After that she has been making films mostly with social genre!

Her second short fiction was 'Orange Dressed Man' (2012) about reality of life! Then she made second documentary on athletic Iranian girl..'The Snowy Way' (2015) which I saw!
Actress-Filmmaker Azar Faramarzi & I.!

She was a jury member at 'Asian (Third Eye) Film Festival', Mumbai in 2010 & 2014!

Her new two short films 'Unknown' and 'Destiny' also got international recognition!

Salgirah Mubarak Azar!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]

Tuesday, 21 November 2017



- Manoj Kulkarni


When heard renowned Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi's new (made in India) 'Beyond The Clouds' will be the inaugural film of this '48th International Film Festival of India' at Goa..I remembered watching his films in our film festivals..especially in 'IFFI' at New Delhi in 2000 first time saw his film 'The Color of Paradise' which touched the hearts!

Majid Majidi directing with camera!
Majid Majidi started acting on stage at his teenage and studied acting in the 'Institute of Dramatic Arts' at Tehran! After the 'Iranian Revolution' in 1979 he entered in acting & making films. First he made documentary & short films like 'Explosion' (1981) & 'Hoodaj' (1984). Then he also acted in films like 'Boycott' (1985) made by renowned Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf!  
Bahare Seddiqi & Amir Farrokh in 'Children of Heaven' (1997).
When he started making feature films he mostly focused on the life of children & teenagers. His directorial debut 'Baduk' (1992) took the issue of child slavery. Then 'Pedar' (1996) was on how teenage boy refuses step father!..And came his famous 'Children of Heaven' (1997) which shows emotions of children for their parents through an adventure of small brother & sister. This film was nominated for 'Oscar's Best Foreign Language Film'!

'Rang-e-Khoda' ('The Colour of Paradise'/1999).
In 1999 his more touchy film with most sensitive issue..'Rang-e-Khoda' ('The Colour of Paradise') came..which I saw in 'IFFI'! This revolves around a blind boy and his shamed father who thinks his son a burden..and what he does is tragedy! Climax was heavy to receive..I still remember the reactions of our filmmakers like Aparna Sen who could not even leave the seat after watching this film in the 'Siri Fort' auditorium, Delhi!
Zahra Bahrami in 'Baran' (2001).

Then his 'Baran' (2001) was like our romantic Indian movie! Actually film's focus was on Afghan refugees in Iran; but Majidi wrote romantic script for it..in which he handled teenage love story on the backdrop of that social issue. In this there were less dialogues and more focus was on characters movements & faces..Hossein Abedini & Zahra Bahrami portrayed their characters nicely in it! This film won various awards like Best Film & Director in '19th Fajr International Film Festival' and 'Grand Prix' in 'Montreal World Film Festival'!..And this film released in our India like popular bollywood movie!

'The Willow Tree' (2005).

After this he handled human issues in different conditions of life. In 'The Willow Tree' (2005) he showed the changing life of blind man after regain his vision. And his 'The Song of Sparrows' (2008) focused the struggle for employment! This critically acclaimed film also won international awards like..Reza Naji won Best Actor Silver Bear in 'Berlin International Film Festival'! Meanwhile he made important documentaries like 'Peace, Love and Friendship' (2007) which itself says the philosophical content in it!
Reza Naji in 'The Song of Sparrows' (2008).

Majidi's new (made in India) film 'Beyond the Clouds'!
Now he showed his recent film 'Beyond the Clouds' in this '48th IFFI'. This is like his debut in our Indian cinema! He wrote & directed this film which is on love & human relationship. Indian artists Ishaan Khatter & Malavika Mohanan are in the lead and A. R. Rahman composed the music for this film..which is in three languages English, Tamil & Hindi!

I remembered meeting him in our film festival!
Best wishes Mr. Majidi!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]

    Monday, 20 November 2017


    Our India's Manushi Chhillar won this year's 'Miss World' Beauty Contest!
    This victory came after 17 years to India!

    Now this is the sixth time that 'Miss World Crown' came to India. Before this Priyanka Chopra (2000), Yukta Mukhi (1999), Diana Haydon (1997), Aishwarya Rai (1994) & long back first was Reita Faria (1966) won it!..Except first all became actresses!!
    Miss World Crown' winner our 5 Indian beauties..
    first was Reita Faria (1966) then after many years Aishwarya Rai (1994), 
    Diana Haydon (1997), Yukta Mukhi (1999) & Priyanka Chopra (2000).

    Manushi, age 20 is a fine & performing artist who got training in Indian classical dance!
    Her 'Miss World' winning answer was..
    "Mother deserves highest respect!"

    Proud of you Manushi!!

    - Manoj Kulkarni
    ['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]

    Friday, 17 November 2017



    Today 17th November..Birthday of American actor, screenwriter, director, producer and founder of 'World Cinema Foundation' Martin Charles Scorsese!

    One of the most significant & influential filmmakers of all time...Martin Scorsese is recipient of many prestigious awards..like 'Oscar', 'Golden Globes', 'Bafta' & 'AFI's Life Achievement Award for great contribution to cinema!

    Best Wishes to this renowned film personality!!

    - Manoj Kulkarni
    ['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]


    Deepika Padukone in new film 'Padmavati's song "Ghoomar.."

    After Paro (Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan) & Chandramukhi (Madhuri DIxit-Nene) of his 'Devdas' (2002) and Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) & Mastani (Deepika Padukone) of his 'Bajirao Mastani' (2015) danced on same floor together "Bollywood's Innovative" filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali again took "Cinematic Liberty" for his upcoming 'Padmavati' also!
    Madhuri Dixit-Nene & Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan in 'Devdas' (2002).

    Beautiful Deepika Padukone portrayed title role as Rani Padmavati in this film and her dance in palace became controversy! So this her song-dance "Ghomar.." recollected Bhansali's 'Devdas's Paro-Chandramukhi's "Dola re.." and 'Bajirao Mastani's "Pinga.." chaos!

    Deepika Padukone & Priyanka Chopra in 'Bajirao Mastani' (2015).

    Any way Deepika superbly performed in this dance sequence on the song "Ghoomar.." nicely sung by Shreya Ghoshal!

    - Manoj Kulkarni
    ['Chitrasrushti', Pune]

    Thursday, 16 November 2017


      - Manoj Kulkarni

    Today is Death Anniversary of famous American Actor Clark Gable!

    William Clark Gable..started his acting career on stage and then in silent films.

    In sound film he first played villain in 'The Painted Desert' (1931)..and his appearance with powerful voice got acclaimed!

    Inspiring classic romantic film 'It Happened One Night' (1934).
    MGM's movie 'Red Dust' (1932) made him lovemaking hero! And with Frank Capra's evergreen hit 'It Happened One Night' (1934) he became star! With Best Picture..he also got Best Actor 'Oscar' award for it! 
    This film gave inspiration to our romantic Indian films 'Chori Chori' (1956) & 'Dil Hai Ke Manata Nahin' (1991) made on it!

    Then he became famous as Rhett Butler in the legendary historical romantic film 'Gone With The Wind' (1939)..which won 'Oscar'!
    Vivien Leigh & Clark Gable in 'Gone With The Wind' (1939).

    Then his notable films were 'Boom Town' (1940), 'Homecoming' (1948) and last 'The Misfits' (1961).

    Homage to great Gable!!

    - Manoj Kulkarni
    [Pune, India]


    Veteran actor of Urdu theatre & international cinema..Saeed Jaffrey's 2nd death anniversary just happened! 

    He acted in Indian and British films with different genre..among which includes John Huston's 'The Man who would be King' (1975), Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi' (1981), David Lean's 'A Passage to India' (1984) and our Satyajit Ray's 'Shatranj ke Khiladi' (1977).

    He also acted in Hindi films like..Sai Paranjapye's 'Chashme Buddoor' (1981), Raj Kapoor's 'Henna' (1991), Shekhar Kapoor's 'Masoom' (1983) & Yash Chopra's 'Mashal' (1984).

    Saeed Jaffrey & Sanjeev Kumar in 'Shatranj ke Khiladi'(1977).
    Still remember his nazakat in 'Masoom's song.."Huzoor is kadar bhi na itaraa ke chaliye.." and the way his Lucknavi umrao in 'Shatranj ke Khiladi' says while playing chess.."Chal mere pyade bismillah!"

    Aur is jahaan se chale gaye!!
    A Homage!!!

    - Manoj Kulkarni
    ['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]

    Tuesday, 14 November 2017


    - Manoj Kulkarni

    'Korean Foundation' organised '2nd Korean Film Festival' recently over at 'National Film Archive of India' in Pune. This two days short festival screened 6 films dealing with history, changing society & human values!

    Films in this festival mostly came with the backdrop of (South-North) Korean War..started with film 'Welcome to Dongmakgol' (2005) which was based on long-running stage play! But serious film in it was 'The Front Line' (2011) directed by Jang Hoon who focused on the 1953 ceasefire of the Korean War. The way soldiers live & their emotions during war portrayed in it..Last scene of this film in which two soldiers from two sides talks to each other..which ends with the comment "Why are we fighting!"..was with human touch. This film was South Korea's entry for 'Oscar's 'Best Foreign Language Film'!

    Then film 'The Suspect' (2013) was spy thriller; but linked with the same (South-North) issue. Stuntman turned filmmaker Won Shin-Yun directed this film was like action-packed drama! After this 'Kundo: Age of the Rampant' (2014) recollected (Japanese) samurai kind film genre. Yoon Jong-bin directed this period action-drama set in mid-19th century & centered on a militia group who turn against an unjust nobility! Fighting action sequences with martial arts in it also recollected the special effects from 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' (2000) a film directed by Taiwanese renowned filmmaker Ang Lee!

    And there was one mainstream kind commercial film in it..'The Thieves' (2012). Contemporary filmmaker Choi Dong-hoon made in this fiction thriller two (Hong Kong & Korean) groups of thieves rises tension with their activities to steal the diamond! In this multi-starrer movie popular artists appeared..like Lee Jung-jae, Jun Ji-hyun & Kim Yoon-seok!

    This Korean Film Festival was short but well organised..in which officials from Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Mumbai..Consul Mr. KO Young-kun & Research Analyst Mr. Donguk Kim and Director of Culture & Education in Pune..Ms. Sunkyung Choo welcomed & looked after attendees warmly!

    Hope their next festival will be big (more days) with more films..and focus should be on contemporary social life of Korea!

    I wish all the best to them!!

    - Manoj Kulkarni
    ['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]
    Ratan Kumar & Baby Naaz in film 'Boot Polish' (1954).



    "Nanhe munne bachche..

    teri muthi mein kya hai..? 

    *Muthi mein hai takdeer hamari..

    hamne kismat ko bas mein kiya hai!"

    Vittorio De Sica's 'Shoe Shine' (1946).
    Great performances of child artists Ratan Kumar & Baby Naaz in 'Boot Polish' (1954) directed by Prakash Arora!

    'RK's this movie won 'Filmfare's 'Best Film'..and 'Best Cinematographer' award for Tara Dutt!..And Baby Naaz won special prize for Best Child Artist in 'Cannes Film Festival', 1955!

    Baby Naaz, Ratan Kumar & David in 'Boot Polish' (1954).

    This film inspired from Vittorio De Sica's 'Shoe Shine' (1946)..'Oscar' honoured pioneering film of Italian Neo-Realism!

    The picture of song "Nanhe munne.." still contemporary!

    - Manoj Kulkarni
    ['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]

    Monday, 13 November 2017


    - Manoj Kulkarni

    Pioneer of Italian Neo-realism Vittorio De Sica & his film 'Bicycle Thieves' (1948).

    Today is 43rd Death Anniversary of Italian Actor-Director..and Leading Pioneer of Neo-Realistic Cinema...Vittorio De Sica!

    Vittorio De Sica began his career as theatre actor in 1920. Then he founded his own company in 1933. While doing plays he worked with prominent directors like Luchino Visconti..leading pioneer of Italian Neo-realism!
    De Sica's 'Shoeshine' (1946).

    He entered cinema in 1940 and co-directed film 'Rose Scarlatte'. After this during 5 years he independently directed films like 'The Children Are Watching Us' (1944) and 'The Gate of Heaven' (1945).

    Writer Cesare Zavattini & Filmmaker Vittorio De Sica!

    Then he met writer Cesare Zavattini. And that was a important turning point in his film career. Zavattini wrote and De Sica directed great Neo-realistic films..In which first was Sciuscia' ('Shoeshine'/1946) focus on the life of slum children through the struggle of two shoeshine boys! Then came 'Ladri di biciclette' (1948) famous 'Bicycle Thieves'..which follows the story of a poor man & his little son..in search of his bicycle which stolen & he need for job!
    De Sica's Zavattini wrote 'Umberto D' (1952).

    Both the films received honorary 'Oscar' awards!..And influenced to the filmmakers in the world, like in our India..Bimal Roy's 'Do Bigha Zameen' (1953) was inspired from 'Bicycle Thieves'..And Raj Kapoor's Hindi film 'Boot Polish' (1954) was based on 'Shoeshine'!
    Sophia Loren acted De Sica's 'Two Women' (1961).

    After this De Sica made notable films like 'Umberto D' (1952) on unique story by Zavattini and 'Two Women' (1961) in which famous Italian actress Sophia Loren acted superbly & won 'Best Actress 'Oscar' award!

    De Sica's 'The Garden of the Finzi-Continis' (1970).

    De Sica's films 'Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' (1963) & 'The Garden of the Finzi-Continis' (1970) won Best Foreign language Films 'Oscar' Awards!

    His last film was 'The Voyage' (1974) which was based on the novel by Luigi Pirandello!

    I always admire Neo-realistic Cinema!
    Homage to this genius of it!!

    - Manoj Kulkarni
    ['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]