Thursday, 29 November 2018


Graceful Kannada Actress & Politician..Divya Spandana/Ramya!

Today is Birthday of Beautiful South Indian Actress & Congress Politician Divya Spandana..professionally known as Ramya!
Nice pose of Pretty gorgeous..Divya Spandana/Ramya!

Born in Bangalore..pretty Divya Spandana appeared on screen in 2003 with Kannada film 'Abhi' which was produced by (wife of legendary actor Rajkumar) Parvathamma Rajkumar who gave her screen name..Ramya! In this romantic film producer's son Puneeth Rajkumar was her hero.

Then she made her debut in Tamil cinema with commercial film 'Kuththu' (2004). After the success of such early films in both languages..Ramya gave three hit Kannada films with different genre in one year 2005.. Mahesh Babu directed action-drama 'Aakash', romantic comedy 'Gowramma' with Upendra and offbeat love film 'Amrithadhare' wrote by actor Ramesh Aravind!

Sunil Raoh and Pretty Ramya in Kannada film 'Excuse Me' (2003).
Soon she became 
one of the leading beautiful actresses of South Indian cinema. She played title role in Kannada remake of (old classic Hindi) film 'Julie' (2006) with Dino Morea! Then her romantic film with Sudeep 'Mussanjemaatu' (2008) was super hit & released overseas too! And she acted 
G. V. Menon's 
Tamil film 'Vaaranam Aayiram' (2008) won national award!

Dhyan and Pretty Ramya in Kannada film 'Amrithadhare' (2005).
With beauty her acting talent also got admiration. She won 'Udaya Award' and 'Filmfare Award' of Best Actress for her performances in Kannada films 'Amrithadhare' (2005) and 'Tananam Tananam' (2006) respectively. Then her nice performance in romantic movie with Srinagar Kitty 'Sanju Weds Geetha' (2011) was critically acclaimed. This box-office hit film also won 'Karnataka State Film Award'!

Beautiful Ramya in Kavitha Lankesh's 
Kannada film 'Tananam Tananam' (2006).
Like her mother (Ranjithaji a senior member of Congress)..
in 2012 Ramya entered in politics with joining 'Indian Youth Congress'. And in 2013 she became Member of Parliament from Mandya, Karnataka! In 2017 she has been appointed as the head 
of Congress' digital/social 
media team!

I remember nice meeting pretty Ramya and beautiful Kannada filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh after press conference of their film 'Tananam Tananam' in 'IFFI', Goa decade back!

Wishing her all the best in film career & politics!!

Happy Birthday Ms. Ramya!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Sunday, 25 November 2018


Legendary Kannada actor and politician...Ambareesh!

Veteran actor of Kannada cinema and politician M. H. Amarnath.. popularly known as Ambareesh passed away yesterday!

Ambareesh with actress-wife Sumalatha!
Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath was offered his first role in film 'Naagarahaavu' (1972) made by Puttanna Kanagal..'Chitra Bramha' of Kannada cinema. He got screen name Ambareesh here! Famous actor Vishnuvardhan was in the lead of it. This award winning film latter remade in Hindi by Kanagal as 'Zehreela Insaan' (1974) with Rishi Kapoor in the lead & Ambareesh was also there!

Ambareesh's  Angry Young Man in film 'Antha' (1981)
After doing such antagonist and supporting roles he soon earned the lead position in Kannada films..includes kanagal's last directorial 'Masanada Hoovu' (1984) which won multiple awards. With playing various roles in films he achieved 'matinee idol' status in popular culture of Karnataka!

In 1980s Ambareesh played Angry Young Man in several films in which includes Rajendra Singh Babu made political satire 'Antha'. He won Best Actor award for his character in it! This film also remade in Hindi as 'Meri Aawaz Suno' (1981) with Jeetendra in main role! After that with doing films 'Tony' (1982) & musical hit 'Lavina Udugore' (1987) he became Rebel Star of Kannada cinema!
Ambareesh in powerful character role!

Ambareesh acted with legendary Kannada actor Rajkumar only 'Odahuttidavaru' (1994) a romantic film made by S. K. Bhagavan and Dorairaj. 
He broke Rajkumar's record of hero in 206 playing lead in 208 films!

In 1994 Ambareesh entered in Politics.. by joining 'Indian National Congress'. Then he became MLA and minister in Karnataka Government (2013 to 2016) 
of then Cheif Minister Siddaramaiah!

Ambareesh got many state awards for 
his acting. And honoured with Karnataka Government's Dr.Vishnuvardhan award!

A Homage!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
Two years over..veteran Journalist Dilip Padgaonkar left this world!

Still remember meeting him first..during our 'B.C.J.' Delhi 'Times of India' where he was an editor in 1988!

Before that he was a Paris Correspondent of 'TOI' and he also served in 'UNESCO' at Bangkok!

He was interested in Art & Cinema too!

Always had nice conversation during meetings in film festivals at 'NFAI', Pune!


- Manoj Kulkarni

Saturday, 24 November 2018


- Manoj Kulkarni

Ingmar Bergman..the master of Swedish cinema!!

Glad that this time our 'International Film Festival of India' ('IFFI') is paying tribute to (centenary celebrated) renowned Swedish filmmaker Ingmar special retrospective on his cinema!

Ingmar Bergman dreaming filmmaking!
While studying Art & Literature..Ernst Ingmar Bergman spent most of his time in theatre. He wrote number of plays & opera. In 1942 he got opportunity to direct his own script 'Caspar's Death'. This drama was seen by members of 'Svensk Filmindustri' and they offered Bergman a job in Script writing. Here he married choreographer & director Else Fisher!

In 1944 Bergman wrote the screenplay of Alf Sioberg directed film 'Torment'..for which he also worked as assistant director! After it's international success in 1946 he got a chance to direct his first film 'Crisis'. Same year he wrote & directed romantic film 'It Rains on Our Love'! Then his notable film 'Fangelse' ('Prison'/1949) was based on his won story!
Pretty Maj-Britt Nilsson & Birger Malmsten in Ingmar Bergman's  
romantic & my favourite film 'Summer Interlude' (1951).
In 1951 Bergman made a very sensitive romantic film 'Summer Interlude'..which is my his topmost favourite film & I wrote a lot about this! Based on Bergman's story 'Mari' which is about a ballerina recalls her first love thirteen years prior a brief summer vacation! Maj-Britt Nilsson & Birger Malmsten intensely played their romantic roles in this! Gunnar Fischer cinematographed this film and Oscar Rosander did editing. All they made this film impactful! I was moved when I watched this film in my 'Film Appreciation Course' (1989). 'That was a beginning of new & great epoch in Swedish cinema' as European cinema historians stated!
Scene from Ingmar Bergman's 'The Seventh Seal' (1957).

Bergman got international recognition with his film 'Smiles of a Summer Night' (1955). He wrote it's plot in which couples switch partners on a summer night which was bold that time! This was shown in the 'Cannes Film Festival' and won 'Best Poetic Humour'! 

In 1957 Bergman gave two complex films. One was 'The Seventh Seal' on his play 'Wood Painting'. It showed protagonist plays game of chess with Death who has come to take his life! Bergman's famous actor Max Von Sydow came in this film and did great job. This film won 'Jury Prize' at Cannes! Another was 'Wild Strawberries' in which old professor recalls his past. Legendary actor Victor Sjostrom gave his last screen performance as this sentimental old! Bergman used his flash back technique (which started from 'Summer Interlude') lyrically and his famous actress Bibi Andersson appeared in it nicely!
Pretty innocent Birgitta Pettersson & others in Ingmar Bergman's 
great film with social issue..'The Virgin Spring' (1960).

In 1960 Ingmar Bergman made film with strong social issue.. great 'The Virgin Spring'! I admire this film a lot and always written about it's contemporary value! This film was based on a 13th century Swedish ballad 'Tores dottrar i Wange' wrote by Ulla Isaksson who also wrote the screenplay. It's about a father's revenge of the rape & murder of his young daughter. Bergman's actor Max Von Sydow did this job powerfully and pretty Birgitta Pettersson portrayed innocent girl very sensitively! This film won 'Oscar's 'Best Foreign Language Film' award!
Ingrid Thulin & Gunnel Lindblom in Bergman's bold 'The Silence' (1963).

After this Bergman made a film..
'The Silence' (1963) with bold plot & scenes. He wrote it's screenplay 
in which two sisters with different perspectives came on the screen. That was his focus on the two sides of woman! Ingrid Thulin and Gunnel Lindblom played these characters brilliantly in it! That time modern critics appreciated this cinematic treatment and this won 'Best Film' at '1st Guldbagge Awards'! Then his film 'Persona' (1966) also revolves around two which one was nurse & another her patient. In this Bergman's favourite actresses Bibi Andersson & pretty Liv Ullmann acted superbly! In this his cinematic treatment went on psychological level!
Bergman with his favourite actresses..Bibi Andersson & Liv Ullmann 
during shooting of his film 'Persona' (1966).

Latter Bergman's brief but notable work found with some foreign countries' productions.. 
like American-West German drama film 'The Serpent's Egg' (1977). And then his famous.. 'Autumn Sonata' (1978) which 
was British-Norwegian drama film about celebrated classical pianist confronted by her neglected daughter. In this his most favourite Liv Ullmann acted with legendary beautiful actress Ingrid Bergman!

Legendary beautiful actress Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann 
in Ingmar Bergman's famous film 'Autumn Sonata' (1978).
In 1982 for some time he returned to his homeland and made film 'Fanny and Alexander' which was a period drama about two siblings & their large family! After that he wrote-directed several films and television specials too! At the age of 84 he directed last film 'Saraband' (2003) which was a sequel of Swedish television mini-series 'Scenes from a Marriage' which he directed earlier! In both the films Liv Ullmann was there!
Old Ingmar Bergman with camera!
In 2007 at the age of 89 Ingmar Bergman died on Faro Island where most of his films were set and filmed by him!

This is my Tribute to Bergman.. the master of Swedish cinema!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Monday, 19 November 2018


These are the rare photographs of..Former Prime Minister of our India.. Shrimati Indira Gandhi with famous personalities in the world of cinema!

(On Top) Shrimati Indira Gandhi with Indian film personalities (standing from left) Anil Dhavan, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Leena Chandavarkar, Feroz Khan, Sharmila Tagore, Saira Banu, Asha Bhosale, Rajendra Kumar, Dara Singh, Lata Mangeshkar, Prithviraj Kapoor, G. P. Sippy, B. R. Chopra, Kalyanaji (KA) & Ramanand Sagar..And (sitting main from left).. Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Anandji (KA).

(On Left) Shrimati Indira Gandhi with our great actress Nargis Dutt who was in Rajyasabha that time!

This is a Tribute to our former Prime Minister.. 
Shrimati Indira Gandhi on 101st Birth Anniversary!!

- Manoj Kulkarni


Former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi..Iron Lady of our India!

Today is 101st Birth Anniversary of our India's former Prime Minister..Shrimati Indira Gandhi..known as 'Iron Lady of our India'!

Young Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi!

Daughter of first Prime Minister of our India..Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru..Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was elected Congress President in 1959. Then in 1964 she was 
appointed as member of the Rajya Sabha..
And she became Information & Broadcasting Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shri. 
Lal Bahadur Shastri!
First & to date only female Prime Minister of India..Smt. Indira Gandhi!

In 1966 Shrimati Indira Gandhi became the first and to date the only female Prime Minister of our India! Then from 1966 to 1977 and 1980 to 1984  as Prime Minister she served dynamically! Her thoughts about strong secular India are still very relevant!
Shrimati Indira Gandhi & 'Hand'!

Her brilliant act for the creation of Bangladesh was highly admired!

In 1971 Shrimati Indira Gandhi was honoured with the highest civilian award 'Bharat Ratna'!
Shrimati Indira Gandhi speaking in rally!

In 1999 she was named 'Woman of the Millennium' in poll by BBC!

And in 2011 the 'Bangladesh Freedom Honour' was posthumously conferred on her!

I Salute this our great leader!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Saturday, 17 November 2018


Legendary Ad-filmmaker & Theatre artist.. Alyque Padamsee!

Legendary personality in the fields of Ad-film making & English Theatre.. Alyque Padamsee passed away today!

'Gandhi's (1982) filmmaker Richard Attenborough directing..
Alyque Padamsee for the role of Muhammad Ali Jinnah!
At the age of seven he started acting on theatre with play 'Merchant of Venice' by Shakespeare! 
Then he became director with drama 'Taming of Shrew'. His lavish stage productions includes 'Tuglaq' and 'Broken Images'.

Alyque Padamsee was best known as 'Advertising Genius' who once headed famous company 'Lintas Bombay'! With outstanding creativity he built over 100 brands. He was voted in 'International Clio Hall of Fame' the Oscars of World Advertising!
Pop singer & actress Sharon Prabhakar with Alyque Padamsee!

He also acted in cinema..And in Richard Attenborough's 'Oscar' winner 'Gandhi' (1982) he portrayed the role of Muhammad Ali Jinnah!

In 2000 he was honoured with 'Padmashri' by our Government. And in 2012 he received 'Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Ratna'!

Many years ago in Pune I saw English play in which Alyque Padamsee performed with his third wife pop singer & actress Sharon Prabhakar. After the play we had nice interaction!

Homage to this genius!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Friday, 16 November 2018


Poster of classic Indian film 'Kalpana' (1948) made by Uday Shankar!

Just came to know that restored classic Indian film 'Kalpana' screened at '24th Kolkata International Film Festival'! Decade back it was screened in 'IFFI'! This was the first film which entirely shot as a dance ballet by Uday Shankar. 1948 made this movie now completed 70 years! I saw it during my 'Film Appreciation Course' in 1989 at 'FTII'!
Uday Shankar & wife Amla Shankar in 'Kalpana' (1948).

Indian classical dancer Uday Shankar was best known for creating a fusion through adapting European theatrical techniques to Indian classical dance! 'Kalpana' was the only film he made! As title suggest this was a fantasy of performing artist. It's about a young dancer's dream of setting up a dance academy..reflection of his desire! 
He wrote, produced & directed this film. For this K. Ramnoth did cinematography and N. K. Gopal did editing. Apart from this Vishnudas Shirali composed the music!

Padmini & other artists in fantasy scene of film 'Kalpana' (1948).

Uday Shankar himself played lead role with wife Amla Shankar in this film 'Kalpana' (1948).. 
on his unique choreography! With them that time teenager South Indian dancer Padmini first time appeared on screen..And Marathi actress Usha Kiran made her film debut with this! Zohra Sehgal was a part of it's dancing troupe. And most notable thing was (big name of Indian cinema) Guru Dutt assisted with the sets and direction in it!
Usha Kiran in film 'Kalpana' (1948).

This film shot at famous 'Gemini Studios' over five years and inspired it's legendary South Indian filmmaker S. S. Vasan to make Tamil movie 'Chandralekha' (1948) which became landmark with it's large drum dance sequences!

Digital restoration of this classic 'Kalpana' was taken place in 2009 at National Film Archive of India' in collaboration with France base 'Thomson Foundation'! 
After that in 2010 this film restored by the 'World Cinema Foundation'. And Mumbai base 'Film Heritage Foundation' curated this movie in celluloid format and screened in 'KIFF'!

Tribute to this landmark film & it's creator!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Thursday, 15 November 2018


Sania Mirza with 'Padma Bhushan'.
Today is birthday of our beautiful favourite Tennis Star..Sania Mirza! She is 34 now!

Topmost player Sania Mirza 'Time' magazine's list of '100 most influential people in the world'!
Tennis star Sania Mirza & filmstar Shahrukh Khan at book launch!

She received 'Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna' award!
And she honoured with 'Padma Bhushan'!

She launched autobiography 'Ace against Odds'!

Proud of you!!

Saalgirah Mubaarak!!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Wednesday, 14 November 2018


Rare photograph..
Silent cinema genius Charlie Chaplin meeting former Prime Ministers of our India..Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Shrimati 
Indira Gandhi! 

- Manoj Kulkarni
"Meri aawaaz suno..
Pyaar ka raag suno..
Maine ek phool jo..
Sine pe saja rakha tha..
Usake parade mei tumhe
Dil se laga rakha tha..
Tha juda sabase mere..
Ishq ka andaaz suno.."

It's a song from classic Hindi movie 'Naunihal' (1967) written by Kaifi Aazmi and in the music of Madan Mohan..sung by Mohommed Rafi!

Remembering this on today's birth anniversary of first Prime Minister of our India..

Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru sahab!


- Manoj Kulkarni

Monday, 12 November 2018


Remembering the classic satiric films..for wonderful cinematic comments on the world scenario!

(On left) master of (satiric) silent cinema..Charlie Chaplin in his film 'Modern Times' (1936).

And (on right) picture of documentary filmmaker Bert Haanstra's 'Funfare' (1958).

These satiric films are still contemporary!

 - Manoj Kulkarni


Elizabeth Taylor in her lifetime role of 'Cleopatra'!

Legendary movie 'Cleopatra' (1963)..completed 55 years!

Director Joseph Mankiewicz with artists Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton!
Walter Wanger Produced this epic drama directed by Joseph Mankiewicz It was one of the most expensive films in history of cinema!

Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton in film 'Cleopatra' (1963).
Based on a novel 'The Life and times of Cleopatra' by Carlo Maria Franzero. For film screenplay adapted by Sidney Buchman Ranald Macdougall with director Mankiewicz!

This film was Cinematographed (in 70 mm) by 
Leon Shamroy & Edited by Dorothy Spencer. And it 
had Music by 
Alex North!

In the lead with Richard Burton...Cleopatra greatly portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor!

A Tribute!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Sunday, 11 November 2018


India's first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad!

Today is 130th Birth Anniversary of our India's first Education Minister.. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad!
Leaders of India's independence movement..
Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru & Maulana Azad!

Maulana Azad was one of the most important leaders of India's independence movement. As a Secular & Socialist..He prominently worked for the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity!

Important thing..Maulana Azad was committed to a united India till his last attempt!
Maulana Azad's book 'India Wins Freedom'!

Maulana Azad was one of the greatest Urdu writers and he wrote books like 'India Wins Freedom' & 'Ghubar-E-Khatir'!

We celebrate this 11th November as 'National Education Day'!

Humble Tribute to Maulana Azad sahab!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Saturday, 10 November 2018


Renowned Israeli filmmaker..Dan Wolman directing a shot!

Glad to know that this time our '49th International Film Festival of India' (IFFI) will focus on Israeli Cinema and honour veteran Israeli filmmaker.. Dan Wolman with 'Lifetime Achievement Award'!

Amos Gitai's Israeli film 'Kadosh' (1999).
Since 1948 Israel produces films mostly in Hebrew with the reflection of social scenario of that region! In Middle East most of the Israeli films nominated for 'Oscar's Best Foreign Language Film!

I have been watching good contemporary Israeli films since 'Circus Palestin' (1998) which was a political satire made by Israeli filmmaker Eyal Halfon! Then I remember renowned Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai's 'Kadosh' (1999) won Best Film Award in our 'IFFI' at Delhi! Then Gitai became festival filmmaker here..Few years back watched his experimental social film 'Ana Arabia' (2013) which was cinematographed in a single long take!

Renowned Israeli filmmaker..Dan Wolman!
Dan Wolman is a renowned Israeli filmmaker. After study in Cinema..
He started making films with Short 
'The Living' (1965) & Documentary 'Saffed' (1968). Then he started making feature films with 'The Dreamer' (1970) and also entered in Television dramas with 'The Story of Bash'! His film with sensitive theme..'Hide and Seek' (1980) won Israel's 'The Silver Rose' award!

Emotional picture of Dan Wolman's film 'Tied Hands' (2006).
Then his films screened in various international film festivals like Berlin, Venice & Cannes..and won awards! In 1992 for unique vision and innovative work..his film 'Silver Hugo' won award at 'Chicago International Film Festival'. In 1999 Dan Wolman won 'Lifetime Achievement Award' in Jerusalem International Film Festival'!
Dan Wolman's romantic 'An Israeli Love Story' (2016)

Remembered Wolman's sensible films saw here in film festival. One 'Tied Hands (2006) about complex relation between mother and her ailing son..And another 'Ben's Biography' (2007) unusual picture in which married woman tried to understand why friend book keeper can not be touched by anyone! His films covered a range from commercial youth comedy 'Lemon Popsical' to personal 'The Distance'!

In 2015 Dan Wolman received 'Arik Einstin Prize' for his achievements & contribution to Israeli cinema & culture! And in 2016 he got 'The Ophir Lifetime Achievement Award' from 'Israeli Film Academy'!

I remember nice meeting Mr. Dan Wolman..few years back in our film festival here!

Congratulation Mr. Wolman!..And all the best to entire Israeli film industry!!

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