Tuesday, 20 March 2018


- Manoj Kulkarni

Veteran legendary Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littin.

When saw Chilean new film 'A Fantastic Woman' won this '90th Oscar's 'Best Foreign Language Film' award..I remembered Chilean legendary filmmaker Miguel Littin who is a pioneer of New Latin American Cinema!..He is 75 years old now!
Chilean filmmaker Miguel Littin directing!

Novelist & Screenwriter Miguel Ernesto Littin Cucumides directed his first film 'El Chacal de Nahueltoro' (1969) on the real story (of exploited & alcoholic farmer) which he wrote. This revolutionary Chilean film got international recognition and became the landmark of New Latin American Cinema!
Littin's revolutionary Chilean film 'El Chacal de Nahueltoro' (1969).

Then Miguel Littin was exiled in Mexico after Augusto Pinochet the dictator of Chile came to power! That time depicting the situation his film 'The Promised Land' (1973) was screened in international film festivals like Cannes and Moscow! Then he made several films in Mexico..like 'Oscar' nominated 'Letters from Marusia' (1976) based on a miners strike in Chile!
Littin's documentary 'Actas De Marusia' (1985).

Then Littin went to Nicaragua and directed Spanish film 'Alsino and the Condor' (1982) which won the Golden Prize at the '13th Moscow International Film Festival'. In 1984 he moved to Spain and decided to make a documentary on the condition of the Chile under the Pinochet regime..and 'Acta General de Chile' (1986) came out! On this 'Nobel' winner Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marques wrote the book 'Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littin'!
Miguel Littin's film 'La Ultima Luna' (2005).

After that he returned to Chile and made films like 'Los naufragos' (1994) and 'Tierra del Fuego' (2000) on group of political prisoners! Apart from making films..during 1992-94 & 1996-2000 he was the Mayor of his home town Palmilla!
Chilean legendary filmmaker Miguel Littin!

I still remember interacting with Miguel Littin in our 'International Film Festival of India', 1997 held at Trivandrum!

All the best with good health..Mr. Littin!

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


Playback Singer Krishna Kalle!
Three years over..Playback Singer Krishna Kalle left this world!

She became famous in Marathi films playback singing with 'Kela Ishara Jata Jata' for which she sung lavanis! After that she also sung all kind of songs including classical too!

With Marathi she also sung for Hindi films with the leading male playback singers of that time!
Krishna Kalle also sung classical.!

Maharashtra Government honoured her with.. 'Lata Mangeshkar Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar'!

Still remember her beautiful songs like.. "Parikathetil Rajkumara.." and "God gojiri.."

Homage to her!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune]


Suraiyya with Gregory Peck!
Here are two rare love stories of Beautiful Singer-Actress of our Indian cinema.. Suraiyya!

Dev Anand & Suraiyy's on screen love!
First was with Hollywood star..Gregory Peck whom Suraiyya admired a lot. And he paid a surprise visit to her!

Second was with..Dev Anand who was in love with Suraiyya! They both acted in films 'Vidya' (1948), 'Jeet' (1949), 'Afsar' (1950) & 'Sanam' (1951). As old media mentioned he used to enact Gregory Peck's mannerism to please her!

But their love story was unsuccessful..like Suraiyya sung 'Mirza Ghalib's nazm...
"yeh na thī hamārī qismat ki visāl-e-yār hotā.."
Suraiyy & Dev Anand's off screen love!

[Long back I wrote about them in my series of article about 'Hit Pairs on Indian Screen'!]

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune]

Saturday, 17 March 2018


- Manoj Kulkarni

Pretty gorgeous & talented actress..Alia Bhatt!

Bollywood's young & beautiful actress..Alia Bhatt just celebrated her silver jubilee birthday!
Child artist Alia in 'Sangharsh' (1999).

Daughter of Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and Actress Soni Razdan...cute gorgeous Alia appeared on screen in 1999 as child artist in thriller 'Sangharsh'. Tanuja Chandra directed in this film she played younger (junior) Preity Zinta!
Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt & Varun Dhawan!

In 2012 Alia Bhatt got lead role in Karan Johar's college love triangle film 'Student of the year' with Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra! This film became hit and won awards..With this Alia became rising star of romantic cinema!

Alia Bhatt in 'Highway' (2014).
Then she worked in Karan Johar produced romantic comedies with different regional flavours like..Abhishek Varman directed '2 States' (2014) with Arjun Kapoor and Shashank Khaitan made 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania' (2014) & 'Badrinath Ki Dulhania' (2017)..both with Varun Dhawan! By this time she established herself as an actress of commercially successful films!
Alia Bhatt in 'Udta Punjab' (2016) & 'Best Actress Filmfare' for it!

Singer Alia Bhatt!
Apart from this her emotional intense performances in contemporary films 'Highway' (2014) & 'Udta Punjab' (2016) and coming-of-age film 'Dear Zindagi' (2016) got critical acclaim..And she won 'Best Actress' awards of 'Filmfare'!

She has also good voice of singing and she sung 6 songs for her starrer films..which includes famous "Samjhawan.."
Hit pair Varun Dhawan-Alia Bhatt in Badrinath Ki Dulhania' (2017).

With several awards..she appeared in 'Forbes India's Celebrity 100' list based on the popularity!

All the best to her!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
   [Pune, India]

Thursday, 15 March 2018


Smita Patil and G. Aravindan during he directed 'Chidambaram's (1985) shooting!
Great Actress of Marathi Parallel Cinema..Smita Patil and Doyen of Malayalam Parallel Cinema..Filmmaker G. Aravindan..during he directed film 'Chidambaram's (1985) shooting!.Both are not in this world!
Smita Patil in 'Chidambaram' (1985).

This National Award & five Kerala State Film Awards winner film dealt with theme guilt and redemption and explores relations between men & women!

Today is Death Anniversary of G. Aravindan..so remembered this!

Filmmaker G. Aravindan with Camera!
Humble Homage!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune]


- Manoj Kulkarni

Zubeida & Master Vithal in 'Imperial Movietone's Ardeshir Irani's 'Alam Ara' (1931).

Ardeshir Irani recording sound of 'Alam Ara' (1931).
The first Indian talkie film made by 'Imperial Movietone's Ardeshir Irani 'ALAM ARA' released on 14th March, 1931 at 'Majestic Cinema' Mumbai..and now it completed 87 years!
Prithviraj Kapoor & Jillo in 'Alam Ara' (1931).

Khan Bahadur Ardeshir Irani was one of the most important pioneers of our Indian Cinema! Earlier he directed 8 silent films..mostly mythological ('Veer Abhimanyu'/1922) and historical ('Shahjehan/1924). 

In 1931 he made our India's first talkie film 'Alam Ara'! For this he handled the sound recording by using the Tanar Sound system. It was shot with the Tanar single-system camera which recorded sound directly on to the film!

'Alam Ara' was a love story between a prince & a gypsy girl, which was based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David and Munshi Zapper in Urdu!
Master Vithal & Zubeida in romantic scene of 'Alam Ara' (1931).

It cinematographed by Wilford Deming & Adi M. Irani and edited by Ezra Mir!..And the lead artists in our first talkie were Master Vithal, Zubeida, Jilloo, Sushila & Prithviraj Kapoor!
Wazir Mohammed Khan singing in 'Alam Ara' (1931).

It had music by Ferozshah M. Mistri & B. Irani...and total 7 songs were there..from which "De de khuda ke naam.." was the first song of Indian cinema..which was sung by Wazir Mohammed Khan who played fakir in it! Artists Zubeida & Jilloo also sung!

This our first talkie was successful and its music was hit! Unfortunately the film has long been lost and not available but I have seen the documentary made on 'Alam Ara' in the programme 'Celebrating 75 years of Indian Talkie' held at Mumbai decade ago!
Ardeshir Irani checking print of 'Alam Ara' (1931).

And glad to note that..the inaugural special issue of my film magazine 'Chitrasrushti' was on '75 Years of World Talkie' published in 2002!

Salute to master of Indian Talkie..Irani sahab!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
  [Pune, India]

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


- Manoj Kulkarni

Maker of evergreen romantic musicals..Nasir Hussain!
Fifteen years over..our most favourite romantic filmmaker Nasir Hussain left this world! 

Screenwriter, Director & Producer Nasir Hussain was very famous for his formula of romantic musicals which are still evergreen!

He started his film career as screenwriter and wrote films like 'Anarkali' (1953), Munimji (1955) & 'Paying Guest (1957). Then he directed first film 'Tumsa Nahin Dekha'..which made Shammi Kapoor a star!
Aasha Parekh & Shammi Kapoor in 'Dil Deke Dekho' (1959).

In 1961 he formed his own 'Nasir Hussain Films' and became producer-director! Started with 'Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961) then 'Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon' (1963), 'Teesri Manzil' (1966), 'Pyar Ka Mausam (1969)..his 'Caravan' (1971) of romantic musicals made very successful journey!

Nasir Hussain & Asha Parekh on location of 'Caravan' (1971).
From 'Dil Deke Dekho' (1959) Nasir Hussain's heros changed (Shammi Kapoor, Dev Aanand, Joy Mukherjee & Jeetendra) but heroine.. Aasha Parekh was always there in those films!

Like Hasrat Jaipuri's song from his film 'Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961) on Shankar-Jaikishan's popular tune "Sau saal pahele mujhe tum se pyar tha, aaj bhi hai, aur kal bhi rahega." Nasir Hussain's films reflected the love with music! Mohammad Rafi's sweet voice was always there with singer Lata Mangeshkar!

From 'Teesari Manzil' lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri & music director R.D. Burman also became part of Nasir Hussain's hit musicals! Only two times Nasir Hussain changed his formula..For 'Baharon Ke Sapne' (1967) he took social subject and 'Yaadon Ki Baraat' (1973) came with lost & found!
Nasir Hussain, R.D.Burman & Majrooh Sultanpuri in music recording!

After few films like 'Hum Kisise Kam Naheen' (1977) & 'Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai' (1981) Nasir Hussain introduced his nephew (today's famous actor) Aamir Khan as hero in 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' (1988) and 'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander' (1992)..which were directed by his son Mansoor Khan!
Shashi Kapoor & Asha Parekh in 'Pyar Ka Mausam (1969).

As an admirer of Nasir Hussain's romantic musicals..I wrote a lot on him which published in newspapers and periodicals! Many years back there was one programme on 'Nasir Hussain's romantic musicals' which was presented on my script (in Hindi) at 'Zee TV'!

Dev Anand, Joy Mukerjee, O.P.Nayyar, Nasir Hussain & Shammi Kapoor!

Nasir Hussain's films still lingering in mind like the title song "Yaadon ki baarat nikali hai aaj.."

Homage to Nasir Hussain sahab!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Poster of Renoir's French film 'The River' (1951).




- Manoj Kulkarni

While watching news of our PM & French President visit to our holy river Ganga at Varanasi on TV..I remembered classic French film 'Le Fleuve' (The River/1951) which renowned French filmmaker Jean Renoir made in India at that pace!
Filmmaker Jean Renoir & writer Rumer Godden!

A coming of age philosophical kind this French film was a faithful dramatization of novel 'The River' wrote by Rumer Godden! With her Renoir wrote screenplay of this film and co-produced with Kenneth McEldowney!
French & Indian boys in scene of Renoir's film 'The River' (1951).

Renoir directed this film sensibly with the nice cinematography of his nephew Claude Renoir! This Technicolour film edited by George Gale. For this film Renoir used nonprofessional actors!

With foreign artists..Esmond Knight, Nora Swinburne & Arthur Shields..from here Suprova Mukerjee & Radha Burnier acted in 'The River'! This film was also in English & Bengali!
Jean Renoir shooting film 'The River' (1951) 
here with French & Indian cameramen!

Our pioneering cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta also worked for this film and music given by M. A. Partha Sarathy! Notable that our great filmmaker Satyajit Ray that time assisted Renoir in the direction of this film!

This film got international recognition with awards in film festival like Venice!..And 'National Board of Review' (US) ranked this among Top Five Foreign Films of that year!

Tribute to 'The River'!!
Regards to Visit!!!

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


Irrfan Khan in Asif Kapadia directed film 'The Warrior' (2001) with which he became internationally famous! 
I remember this was in 'MAMI's film festival!

Regards to him for good health!!

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

Monday, 12 March 2018


- Manoj Kulkarni

T. R. Rajakumari with famous drum dance sequence of film 'Chandralekha' (1948).
'Gemini Studio's great filmmaker S. S. Vasan!

Known as Cecil B. De Mille of Indian Cinema Founder of 'Gemini Studios' great South Indian Filmmaker S. S. Vasan's mega film 'Chandralekha' completed 70 years!
Tamil historical adventure film 'Chandralekha' (1948).

One of the milestones in the history of our Indian Cinema..Tamil (costume drama) adventure film 'Chandralekha' (1948) was produced & directed by 'Gemini's great Vasan! It follows a story of two brothers fight over ruling their father's kingdom & marrying village dancer Chandralekha! Veppathur Kitto, Kothamangalam Subbu & K. J. Mahadevan wrote this film in which M. K. Radha, Ranjan & T. R. Rajakumari played the main roles!
Famous drum dance sequence of..S. S. Vasan's great film 'Chandralekha' (1948).

One of the most expensive films in the history of Indian cinema.. 'Chandralekha' took five years to complete. This film is famous for it's huge drum dance sequence which contributed in the climax! 
Vasan greatly arranged and filmed it! Kamal Ghosh & K. Ramnoth cinematographed this film and Chandru did editing. For this S. Rajeswara Rao & M. D. Parthasarathy composed the music!
Hindi version of film 'Chandralekha' (1948).

This popular film latter made in Hindi for which Agha Jani Kashmiri & Pandit Indra wrote the dialogues with some scripting. Film included re-shots scenes with some changes in artists! Vasan only directed this version and with the big success of this film South Indian cinema became prominent in throughout India!

I still remember this film & it's drum dance sequence..which first watched during our Film Appreciation Course in 1989 at FTII!

Salute to great Vasan sahab & 'Chandralekha'!!

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

Friday, 9 March 2018


- Manoj Kulkarni

Renowned Bangladeshi Filmmaker & Writer..Tanvir Mokammel!

Birthday of known renowned Bangladeshi Filmmaker & Writer Tanvir Mokammel just happened! He is 60 + now!

Filmmaker Tanvir Mokammel with camera!
Literature base & background of journalism..Tanvir Mokammel started making short film ('Hooliya'/1984) and documentary ('Smriti Ekattor'/1991)..This film won three national awards there and got international recognition! His films mostly depicted the plight occurred with the partition!
Film 'Nodir Naam Modhumati' (1995).

On the backdrop of Bangladesh Liberation War, 1971..he wrote & directed his first feature film in 1995 named 'Nodir Naam Modhumati'. Then in 1999 he made sensitive lyrical film 'Chitra Nodir Pare' on the survival of communities after the 1947 partition! This film won seven national awards including Best Film & Script! These two movies ranked second and third respectively in the list of Ten Best Bangladeshi Films!
Afsana Mimi and Toukir Ahmed 
in film 'Chitra Nodir Pare' (1999).

 Then he made films 'Lalsalu' (2001), 'Oie Jamuna' (2002), 'Swapnabhumi' (2007), Jibondhuli' (2014) and '1971' a mega-documentary on the liberation war of Bangladesh (2011)..which got admiration. He made six feature films and fifteen documentaries & short films.
Mokammel's Bangladeshi Documentary 'Seemantorekha' (2017).

His films screened in various film festivals in Europe..And in India also. I watched his nice film 'Chitra Nodir Pare' in our 'IFFI' and documentary '1971' in FTII, Pune!..And impressed by his sensible & strong cinematic work! We had nice conversation that time here!

Keen to watch his recent documentary 'Seemantorekha' on the partition of Bengal in 1947!

Best Wishes!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
 [Pune, India]