Tuesday, 31 October 2017


 - Manoj Kulkarni

Hollywood's most famous beautiful actress..'Pretty Woman' fame favourite Julia Roberts celebrated her 50th birthday!

Daughter of artists parents..pretty gorgeous Julia Fiona Roberts began her career with modelling while learning acting!

Pretty gorgeous Julia Roberts in film 'Mystic Pizza' (1988).
In 1987 she appeared on screen in a small role with brother Eric in 'Blood Red'..But her big film debut was in 'Satisfaction' (1988) as a band member with Liam Neeson!

Meanwhile in 1987 she appeared on television's small screen too..in a role of rape victim in the episode of 'The Survivor'! Her first critically acclaimed performance was in film 'Mystic Pizza' (1988). And for her role in 'Steel Magnolias' (1989) she got 'Golden Globe Award'! 

Julia Roberts in & as 'Pretty Woman' (1990).
Julia Roberts & Liam Neeson in 'Michael Collins' (1996).

Julia Roberts became worldwide famous with her title role in & as 'Pretty Woman' (1990). Garry Marshall directed in this (Cinderella/Pygmalionesque kind) romantic film handsome Richard Gere was her hero. With gorgeous look & stunning performance in this commercially superhit movie she won the hearts of audiences..And she won her second 'Golden Globe Award' as 'Motion Picture Best Actress in Musical or Comedy'! It's title soundtrack "Oh, Pretty Woman.." sung by Roy Orbison got huge popularity and Julia's superb appearance on it touched the romantic hearts!!

After this her role in Joseph Ruben's psychological thriller 'Sleeping with the Enemy' (1991) was complex; but she performed brilliantly! Then she did very few films in next five years like 'Hook', 'Dying Young' & novel based 'The Pelican Brief' (1993). And during 1996 appeared in TV's famous show 'Friends' with Matthew Perry! Same year she again acted with Liam Neeson in historical biopic 'Michael Collins'..I remember this was the opening film in our 'International Film Festival of India', 1997 held at Trivandrum!
'Runaway Bride' (1999)..Julia Roberts, director Garry Marshall & Richard Gere!
Susan Sarandon & Julia Roberts in 'Stepmom' (1998).

Then she nicely acted romantic comedy films 'My Best Friend's Wedding' (1997) and with Richard Gere 'Runaway Bride' (1999) were hit! Contrast from these roles She did challenging characters in two films..kind 'Stepmom' (1998) with Susan Sarandon..And title role of real-life environmental activist 'Erin Brockovich' (2000)..For this she won 'Best Actress Oscar' award!

Julia Roberts in & as 'Erin Brockovich' (2000).
By that time from highest paid actress..she entered in the list of 'Most influential women in show business'. And in 2001 she starred in the film of which title is very much suitable to her..'America's Sweethearts'! Then this beauty was cast in 'Mona Lisa Smile' (2003) for which she got big admiration! Apart from this she first time appeared in the music album 'Dreamgirl'!
Julia Roberts with her 'Best Actress Oscar'!

Meanwhile Julia Roberts started production company 'Red Om Films' with her sister Lisa Roberts Gillan..And during 2004 & 2008 produced first four films of 'American Girl' series.

In 2006 she provided her voice acting for two animation films 'The Ant Bully' and 'Charlotte Web'! Same time she made her Broadway debut as Nan in a revival of Richard Greenberg's play 'Three Days of Rain' opposite Bradley Cooper!

Meryl Streep & Julia Roberts in 'August: Osage Country'!
Her film 'Fireflies in the Garden' (2008) was shown in 'Berlin International Film Festival' & released allover Europe! In 2010 she acted in romantic 'Valentine's Day' and 'Eat Pray Love' (2010) film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir! Then in 2011 she starred in 'Larry Crowne' with Tom Hanks who also directed this film!

Julia Roberts & Jennifer Aniston in 'Mother's Day' (2016).
And in 2013 she played one of the on screen daughters of veteran actress Meryl Streep's character in film 'August: Osage Country'..She got much admiration for this with awards nominations! In 2014 she narrated TV show 'Women in Hollywood'! Same year she was the voice of 'Mother Nature' in a short film for 'Conservation International' intended to raise awareness about climate change!

Last year she acted in Garry Marshall's film 'Mother's Day' and this year she announced acting first time in TV serial 'Today will be different' for HBO!

She also worked for UNICEF and other charitable organisations. She also supports Gucci's 'Chime For Change' a campaign for female empowerment!

'PEOPLE' magazine fifth time honoured Julia Roberts as 'World's Most Beautiful Woman'!

Best Wishes Ms. Julia Roberts .!!

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

Monday, 30 October 2017


Poster of film 'Shakespearewallah'.

Again saw 'Merchant Ivory Production's classic film 'Shakespeare Wallah' (1965) which completed fifty years!
It's about a travelling of Shakespearean theatre family with English actors to perform in our India! Inspired from the life of Kendal family & their 'Shakespeareana Company'..the story & screenplay of this film wrote by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala! Geoffrey Kendal himself acted with family members Laura Liddell, Jennifer Kendal & Felicity Kendal in it..with Madhur Jaffrey, Utpal Dutt & Shashi Kapoor!
Ismail Merchant, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala & James Ivory!

 Produced by Ismail Merchant and directed by James Ivory..this film cinematographed by Subrata Mitra & edited by Amit Bose!..And renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray composed the music of it!

Meaningful scene from film 'Shakespearewallah' (1965).

The focus of this film is on the struggle of theatre & it's devoted artists for survival in rising of cinema! On that backdrop I noticed it's important scene..in which arrival of film star in theatre catched the attraction of audience..which disturbed the artist on stage..and after the play he expressed the feeling in makeup room.."That's the victory of motion picture over theatre!" But in one scene theatre director said "Indian audience..are the most wonderful audience in the world!"..after the reactions on 'Romeo & Juliet' play! 
Close-ups of Shashi Kapoor & Felicity Kendal in 'Shakespearewallah'!
 Ray's genius cinematographer Subratada took the outdoor long shots & indoor artists close-ups in it very superbly...Especially beautiful Felicity Kendal & Shashi Kapoor's close-ups he took in the mirror!

Madhur Jaffrey in 'Shakespearewallah'!
Overall the combination of theatre & film culture in it is effective! Critically acclaimed this film's actress Madhur Jaffrey won award in '15th Berlin International Film Festival'!. This picture is still contemporary to think about the future of theatre!!

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

Sunday, 29 October 2017



- Manoj Kulkarni

One of the first filmmakers of our Indian sub-continent..Hiralal Sen's 100th death anniversary just happened! 

Hiralal Sen born in Bagjuri village in Manikganj near Dhaka..now the capital of Bangladesh! From zamindar (landlord) family he studied in Calcutta..where in 1898 he saw a film troup en route to Paris and 'The Flower of Persia' at Star Theatre!

Basically photographer Hiralal Sen made his first film 'A Dancing Scene' with that inspiration & borrowed Stevenson's camera! Then he bought an Urban Bioscope and with the assistance of his brother Motilal Sen filmed some Bengali plays and classical dances..And in 1901 screened at Calcutta!

They formed 'Royal Bioscope Company' and during 1901 to 1904 made many such films of Classic Theatre..in which includes 'Bhramar', 'Hariraj' & 'Buddhadev'! In that he made 'Alibaba and the Forty Thieves' which can be consider as India's first feature film!

Hiralal Sen also credited for India's first Advertising film like 'Jabakusum Hair Oil' and News reel like importantly documenting 
the 'Anti-Partition Demonstration' and Swadeshi Movement' at Town Hall, Calcutta on 22nd September, 1905. This also considered as India's first Political & Swadeshi film too!

He died on 26th October, 1917 and tragedy was all his films destroyed in fire before his death same year!

Salute to Sen brothers & their great work for our Cinema!
Humble Homage to Hiralal Senji!!

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

Saturday, 28 October 2017


Aditi Rao Hydari in film 'Wazir' (2016).

Today is birthday of beautiful & talented actress of our contemporary Indian Cinema..Aditi Rao Hydari! She is now 30+!
Aditi Rao Hydari in film 'Sringaram' (2007).

Classical Bharatanatyam dancer Aditi started her acting career in South-Indian films with Malayalam 'Prajapathi' (2006) with actors like Mammootty! But her real screen debut was classical dance based Tamil 'Sringaram' (2007) directed by Sharada Ramanathan. And her performance was critically acclaimed in this national award winning film!

Aditi Rao Hydari in 'Yeh Saali Zindagi' (2011).

After 'Delhi 6'..her role in Sudhir Mishra's Hindi film 'Yeh Saali Zindagi' (2011) gained her 'Screen' award! Then she starred in few blockbuster Bollywood movies like 'Rockstar' (2011) and 'London, Paris, New York' (2012) with Ali Jafar was nice! 
Aditi Rao Hydari in film 'London, Paris, New York' (2012).

She also performed stunning dance sequence in Marathi film 'Rama Madhav' (2014) directed by Mrinal Kulkarni! And last year her performances in Bijoy Nambiar's 'Wazir' with Farhan Akhtar & Amitabh Bachchan and in film 'Fitoor' are intensely superb!

Aditi Rao Hydari in Mrinal Kulkarni's 'Rama Madhav' (2014).
This year she acted film 'Bhoomi' released and her upcoming films are 'Aur Devdas' and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmavati' in which she is in supporting role!

I still remember nice meeting Aditi Rao Hydari in our 'International Film Festival of India' held at Goa..in which her film 'Sringaram' was in 'Indian Panorama'!
Aditi Rao Hydari in new film 'Padmavati'!

Wishing happy birthday to her!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune]

Friday, 27 October 2017


Veteran Indian Film Producer, Director & Screenwriter Ram Mukherjee passed away recently! Maker of classic films like 'Leader'..He was father of famous bollywood actress Rani Mukherjee!

One of the founders of 'Filmalaya Studios' in Mumbai..Ram Mukherjee directed first film 'Hum Hindustani' in 1960. Sashadhar Mukherjee produced in this film Sunil Dutt, Asha Parekh & Joy Mukherjee acted.
Then in 1964 he wrote & directed film 'Leader' in which acting king Dilip Kumar and Vyajayanthimala were in the lead. Both the films were with patriotic themes!

In 1969 he became producer with social film 'Sambandh'. Deb Mukherjee acted this film's song "Chal akela.." was inspired from Rabindranath Tagore's famous Bengali poem "Ekala chalo.." 

After romantic 'Ek Bar Mooskura Do' (1972) With Hindi he also made Bengali films like 'Raktalekha' (1992) & 'Tomar Rakte Amar Sohag' (1992).
In 1996 he introduced his pretty gorgeous daughter (now the famous actress) Rani Mukherjee to cinema..with he made Bengali film 'Biyer Phool' in which Prosenjit Chatterjee was her hero!

His wife Krishna Mukherjee also a playback singer and son Raja Mukherjee assisted him in few films before making acting debut in Bengali film 'Bidhatar Khela'(2007).

Humble Homage!!

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


Recently there was..72nd Birthday of our famous Bengali actress & renowned filmmaker Aparna Sen!
Aparna Sen in Ray's 'Samapti' (1961).
Soumitra Chatterjee & Aparna Sen in 'Akash Kusum' (1965).

Beautiful actress Aparna (Dasgupta) appeared on screen in 1961 with renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray's Bengali movie 'Teen Kanya'..Her tomboyish teenager Mrinmoyee in it's 'Samapti' was cute! Then from Mrinal Sen's 'Akash Kusum' (1965) to Ray's 'Aranyer Din Ratri' (1970) Aparna Sen established herself as a leading actress of Bengali Cinema..And acted with leading actors of that time like..with Uttam Kumar in 'Joy Jayanti' (1971) & with Soumitra Chatterjee in 'Basant Bilap' (1973).

Uttam Kumar & Aparna Sen in 'Joy Jayanti' (1971).

She also acted in English films like Merchant-Ivory's 'Bombay Talkie' (1970). Then in 1977 she acted in Hindi movies like 'Iman Dharam' with Amitabh Bachchan & Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Kotwal Saab' with Shatrughna Sinha! 

She got critical acclaim for her performances in films like 'Indira' (1984) and Mrinal Sen's 'Ek Din Achanak' (1989) & 'Mahaprithibi' (1991).

Collage of Aparna Sen directed films!
Aparna Sen shooting the film!

In 1981 Aparna Sen became director with Shashi Kapoor's (Jennifer Kendal acted) film '36 Chowringhee Lane' & won national award! Then with strong social 'Sati' (1989), 'Paromitar Ek Din' (2000) to 'The Japanese Wife' & 'Iti Mrinalini' (2010)..she got international recognition!

I remember first interacting with Aparna Sen during my 'B.C.J. in 1987..that time she directed & Rakhee acted 'Paroma' screened in the film society, Pune..After that in our 'International Film Festival of India' at New Delhi in 1996..She acted & Rituparno Ghosh directed film 'Unishe April' was in it's 'Indian Panorama'! Then during she directed films like 'Mr. & Mrs. Iyer' (2001) & '15 Park Avenue' (2005) shows in film festivals..always had nice meetings & conversations! Her interview published in my film magazine 'Chitrasrushti's special issue! 
Aparna Sen with father Chidanand Dasgupta!
Aparna Sen with daughter-actress Konkana Sen-Sharma!

I also remember meeting her father (late) film critic & historian Chidanand Dasgupta in film societies event at Pune! And also met her daughter actress Konkana Sen Sharma in 'IFFI'. Both acted 'Titli' (2002) was notable!

She won eight 'BFJA' awards, three National Awards and nine international film festivals awards!..And in 1987 she was awarded the 'Padma Shri'!!

Best wishes to this..one of the favourite actress-filmmakers!!

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

Pioneering film in social realism on Indian screen..Chetan Anand's 'Neecha Nagar' (1946) completed 70 years!
Writer K. A. Abbas!

It was inspired from Soviet/Russian great writer Maxim Gorky's play 'The Lower Depths'! Before this in 1936 renowned French filmmaker Jean Renoir made the film on that play with same name!..And in 1957 Japanese master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa also made the film with same title!

Class Conflict scene from film 'Neecha Nagar'!

'India Pictures' Rashid Anwar produced Hindi movie 'Neecha Nagar' (1946) was the directorial debut of (Dev Anand's elder brother) Chetan Anand. It took the expressionist look of slum on the backdrop of rich & poor class conflict! It's written by K. A. Abbas & Hayatullah Ansari. And realistic cinematographed by Bidyapati Ghosh & edited by N. R. Chauhan.
Romanticism of film 'Neecha Nagar'!

Chetan Anand's wife Uma Anand acted in it with Rafiq Anwar, Rafi Peer, Zohra Sehgal and Kamini Kaushal who made her screen debut! And Pandit Ravi Shankar also first time composed the music for this film! Vishwamitra Adil & Manmohan Anand's songs were in it..like "Utho ki hamko waqt ne pukara hai.."

The montage of thirst & water sequence in it can not forget! Noted that director's name appeared in it as..'Film Creation: Chetan Anand'!!
Montage of thirst from 'Neecha Nagar'!
 'Neecha Nagar' won Best Film 'Grand Prix' award at the first 'Cannes Film Festival'!


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

Thursday, 26 October 2017


Foreign based Indian Filmmaker Mira Nair..now 60.!

Basically theatre artist..Mira Nair started  film making in 1978. Through her documentaries like 'So far from India' (1982) she explored culture here..And she won award in 'American Film Festival'!

In 1983 she co-written & directed her first feature film 'Salaam Bombay' for which she used her documentary style to focus on street children. Critically acclaimed this film won 23 international awards including 'Camera D'or' & 'Prix du Public' at 'Cannes Film Festival' in 1988.
Then she made film 'Mississippi Masala' (1991) on the Uganda-born Indians displaced in Mississippi. This film won three awards in 'Venice Film Festival'. After directing four films in a decade she produced a movie 'Monsoon Wedding' (2001) which was near to new wave cinema & used handy camera to follow the happenings naturally! This film gained commercial success and  became the first female recipient of 'Golden Lion' award at 'Venice Film Festival'!

Some of her films are an adaptations of the literature..like 'Vanity Fair' (2004) which was on William Makepeace Thackeray's novel. This was opening film of our 'International Film Festival of India' when arrived at Goa in 2004! Then her second screen adaptation was 'Namesake' (2006) on Jhumpa Lahiri's 'Pulitzer award' winner novel. Then she did biopic 'Amelia' (2009). Then she directed socio-political thriller 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' (2012) on popular novel by Mohsin Hamid!

She also made short films in which notable is 'A Fork, a Spoon and a Knight' inspired from Nelson Mandela quote "Difficulties break some men; but make others!"

She is also doing work for society like..in 1998 she founded 'Salaam Balak Trust' for the welfare of street children in India..And to train young filmmakers in 2005 she set up 'Maisha Film Lab' in Kampala, Uganda!

She won many national & international awards. In 2007 she was awarded 'India Abroad Person'..And in 2012 she received 'Padma Bhushan' from our India!
I still remember the premier of her famous film 'Monsoon Wedding' in 'MAMI's Film Festival at Mumbai in 2001..And meeting Mira Nair and pretty gorgeous actress-singer Vasundhara Das who played lead role in it!

Best wishes to her!

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

Wednesday, 25 October 2017



Last year..(undivided) Pakistani film 'Jago Hua Savera' (1959) was screened at '69th Cannes Film Festival'; but dropped from 'MAMI's Film Festival at Mumbai!

Writer & Lyricist Faiz Ahmed Faiz!

Novelist Manik Bandopadhyay.

The special thing about this Urdu film is it's screenplay & lyrics written by legendary shayar Faiz Ahmed Faiz! The story of this was based on the Bengali novel by Manik Bandopadhyay!

This film focused on the daily life & struggle of fishermen in the village of Saitnol (near Dhaka) from that time East Pakistan! Artists Khan Ataur Rahman, Zurain Rakshi, Kazi Khaliq, Maina Latif & Tripti Mitra acted in it! 
Social scene of film 'Jago Hua Savera'!
Realistic scene of film 'Jago Hua Savera'!

As per the information..this film was like a co-production between two regions (now independent Pakistan and Bangladesh). It was 'East Pakistan Film Development Corporation's production & shooting of film was happened in (that time East Pakistan) Dhaka..now the capital of Bangladesh! And Lahore (West Pakistan) based A. J. Kardar directed this film! 
A. J. Kardar..Director of film 'Jago Hua Savera'!
Music director Timir Baran.

Notable thing was Indian composer Timir Baran provided the music to this film! In addition to this German born British-Greek Cameraman Walter Lassally cinematographed this film and edited by Ms. Binvovet!

Surprising that producer Nauman Taseer could not release this film in Pakistan..(because of it's Communist belief)..And did it's premier in London! This considered as Pakistan's pioneering neo-realistic film!
Cinematographer Walter Lassally!

Close-ups of female artists from film 'Jago Hua Savera'!

This film was selected as the Pakistan's entry for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' at the '32nd Academy Awards'! It won a Golden Medal in the '1st Moscow International Film Festival'! This film was also screened at the 'New York Film Festival' in 2008..to celebrate it's 50th anniversary!

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