ARTS TRIBUNE Friday, March 10, 2000, Chandigarh, India
 

Bonanza of Rappeneau films
By Sonoo Singh
For all film buffs of the city who wait for the annual treat of delightful French films (with English subtitles) brought here by the Embassy of France in India and the Alliance Francaise, this year the film festival will present a “Tribute and Carte Blanche to French director Jean-Paul Rappeneau”. Beginning today at Kiran Cinema, Chandigarh, the week-long festival will show a complete retrospective of his six films and another set of six French classics selected by Rappeneau himself.

A brush with fresh talent
By Arvind Katyal
I want to guide the budding generation and hone their skills in art”, says Sanjay, a young and renowned artist who hails from Bhiwani (Haryana). The 27-year-old art teacher at Golden Public School, Lalru (Punjab), has the distinction of making more than two lakh drawings and about 700 paintings till date.

SIGHT & SOUND
by Amita Malik
Wonderful golden oldies
I shall, after weeks, consign the ugly face of Prasar Bharati News Channel to the depths, where it rightly belongs, to pursue its suicide course, its wanton destruction of the best professional values in broadcasting for its own sordid ends and its selfish power games. Luckily, there are still some pleasures left to TV viewing mercifully, some recent revivals, or extensions of established series, have allowed one to take one’s mind off the ugly goings on in DD News.

Lata’s last live show in Calcutta likely
THE last live performance by Lata Mangeshkar will probably be held in Calcutta towards the end of this year if efforts of music giant Gramophone Company of India Limited (GCIL) succeed.


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Bonanza of Rappeneau films
By Sonoo Singh

For all film buffs of the city who wait for the annual treat of delightful French films (with English subtitles) brought here by the Embassy of France in India and the Alliance Francaise, this year the film festival will present a “Tribute and Carte Blanche to French director Jean-Paul Rappeneau”. Beginning today at Kiran Cinema, Chandigarh, the week-long festival will show a complete retrospective of his six films and another set of six French classics selected by Rappeneau himself.

Says Dominique Paini, director, Cinematheque Francaise: “Rappeneau stands apart in French cinema, combining public acclaim and critical esteem, professional know-how and elegant exigency, and the desire for happy endings and a lyrical adventure”.

Today the festival will commence with his highly acclaimed film “Cyrano de Bergerac” that has France’s Amitabh Bachchan, Gerard Depardieu (known for his bear-like physique) playing a long-nosed man in old France who wins the heart of a beauty with his “killer” love letters.

The evening of the inaugural day is dedicated to the world of fantasy, in which one of the greatest classics of cinema, “The Beauty and the Beast” directed by Jean Cocteau will be shown. This is one of the films through which Rappeneau says he discovered cinema. Plunging the viewer into a dreamlike world of exquisite delicacy, the black-and-white. “The Beauty and the Beast” lovingly tells the oft-heard story of a kindly beast and the unselfish love of a beautiful woman.

The other films directed by Rappeneau to be included in the festival are: “The Horseman on the Roof”, “The Savage”, “Life in a Castle”, The Married Couple-Year II” and “Burning with Enthusiasm”.

All those hung-up about images of mountain vistas, green meadows, charming French villages and high-perched castles will certainly enjoy “The Horseman on the Roof”, a 125-minute film set in the early 18th century. The film, which has been set in southern France, is about a renegade on the run from advancing Austrian troops. He finds shelter given to him by the beautiful wife of a French Marquis. But for those who are stirred by the very presence of gorgeous-looking women on screen, “Burning with Enthusiasm” starring the smashing Isabelle Adjani and “Life in a Castle” starring another French beauty Catherine Deneuve will be a sure hit.

An action film by Rappeneau, “The Savage” is an out-and-out entertainment movie that captures the verve of a professional killer who takes on the cops and the cons and anyone foolish enough to stand in his way, with nothing else but his all-women army!

The other greats who have been included in this year’s film festival include Max Ophuls, Louis Malle and Jean Renoir.

Renoir’s “A Day in the Country” tells this fantastic story of how a man takes his wife and daughter to the country for the day, and how there each of them falls prey to seduction — the older woman eagerly and the younger girl shyly! Based on a short story of Guy de Maupassant, the critics have called this film “an original” in which “Renoir has equalled Maupassant”.

Louis Malle’s entry to the French film festival this year is through his celebrated “Will-o-the-Wisp”. Many will in fact remember his much-talked about brilliant suspense-thriller “The Elevator to the Gallows”, which was screened here last year. The black and white “Will-o...” based on a novel by the same name, has been termed as one of Malle’s greatest cinematic venture, in terms of his interpretation of the protagonist and the way the director has set a highly disturbing tone to the otherwise severely chilling story.

For those having a taste of drama in films, Max Ophuls’ “Madame de...”, revolving around the shallow lifestyles of the those wanting a “good time”, will not only serve as a 100-minute engaging pastime but will also showcase the extraordinary charms of a poetic era of black and white films.

Also being screened are the following films: Jacques Becker’s “Rue de L’Estrapade”, which is all about love and about having fun in love, and Claude Autant-Lara’s “Douce”, which is about a 17-year-old girl named Douce living with her father and grandmother.

The screening of all these 12 films, which presents not only the best of Rappeneau, but also the discerning eye of this film lover who has managed to collect six all-time classics of French cinema, is being done in collaboration with the Alliance Francaise Network.
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A brush with fresh talent
By Arvind Katyal

I want to guide the budding generation and hone their skills in art”, says Sanjay, a young and renowned artist who hails from Bhiwani (Haryana).

The 27-year-old art teacher at Golden Public School, Lalru (Punjab), has the distinction of making more than two lakh drawings and about 700 paintings till date. Coming from a business family with no background and interest in paintings, Sanjay’s journey into the art world began from his school days. After plus two he was told to try a course in art. As a result he landed at the Government College of Art, Sector 10 Chandigarh, where the vistas of the new era start for him.

He finished a four-year course in Bachelor in Fine Arts (Painting) course from the said college in 1995. Later, he cleared a masters course in painting from Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, and UGC examination in painting in 1999.

Sanjay who specialises in acrylics and pigments on the canvas, has a rich haul of awards, the latest being All-India Art Biennial Award by Lalit Kala Academy, Jaipur, presented to him on March 3 for his work “Lakir Dhare”. This painting signifies the varying moods in an individual’s mind — juvenile, spirited, optimistic and across the line of demarcation — which is pessimistic, subdued, submissive state of mind. His another work “Art Svar Se” is also being appreciated in the national circuit.

He has superb control over the brushes and strokes which help in transforming energy on the canvas. One interesting part is that Sanjay has never put his signature on his paintings like others do. He says that his work will speak for itself and at present he is not in favour of commercialising his works. Sanjay’s paintings come as a breath of fresh talent which generally holds the viewer’s attention.

His first solo show was held in 1995 after passing BFA when Punjab Lalit Kala Academy sponsored it at Punjab Kala Bhavan, Chandigarh. It was followed by another such show at Art ‘n’ Soul, New Delhi, and then in December 1999 at the Gallery of Government College of Art, Chandigarh, sponsored the show at the college itself.

His collections have also been exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, RLKK, Lucknow, Rashtriya Bal Bhavan, New Delhi, Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi, J&K Art Culture and Language Academy, Jammu, Vaish Maha Trust, Bhiwani, and also the Government College of Art, Chandigarh, along with private collections in India, the USA and Mauritius. He has also done group shows in Jaipur, Delhi, Ambala and Amritsar.

The awards list too is long: All-India Drawing exhibition, Rajasthan Lalit Kala Academy, Regional Art Exhibition, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy, Kalam Festival-JMI, New Delhi, 50 Years of Art Independence of India, AIFACS, New Delhi, in 1997, Research Grant Fellowship by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, and a host of others.

About the creative works done by children and how they can be guided in the right direction, Sanjay says they should be given a free hand the moment they start colouring at the age of three or so. This will help in developing their natural talent. But he feels sad that there is a dearth of good art teachers in Indian schools and colleges.

When asked about his financial sources, Sanjay discloses that his friend Satbir Singh helps him in most of the cases, otherwise his main sponsors remain his parents. He says he is glad that awareness in this field is on the rise, with people visiting exhibitions to appreciate the works of an artist for whom it is a great morale booster.Top

 

Sight and Sound
by Amita Malik
Wonderful golden oldies

I shall, after weeks, consign the ugly face of Prasar Bharati News Channel to the depths, where it rightly belongs, to pursue its suicide course, its wanton destruction of the best professional values in broadcasting for its own sordid ends and its selfish power games. Luckily, there are still some pleasures left to TV viewing mercifully, some recent revivals, or extensions of established series, have allowed one to take one’s mind off the ugly goings on in DD News.

First, ‘‘Udaan’’, for its credible, very well directed and acted small screen professionalism. Kavita Choudhury’s sister is a police officer, which explains how she has caught the nuances of a young IPS officer’s career, especially problems faced by a woman, with such authenticity. I think it was Juhi Sinha, an IAS officer’s wife herself, who captured in the same way the trials as well as the job satisfaction of an IAS officer posted in the districts and provided a genuine insight into the lives of our administrators and police officers. It is good to revive these serials from time to time, on different channels with different viewerships. I think they should be specially screened for IAS and IPS recruits and middle-of-career officers to remind them of the values they should cherish and the integrity which is expected of them. Many of them, later in their careers, seem to forget them only too easily because of self-interest and political pressures, and the threats they can face from politicians, local goondas as well as the media, all of which are real.

I am also watching with interest Mike Pandey’s Earth Matters. The Pandey brothers, Ishwar and Mike, first-rate short film-makers with national and international successes to their name, have stuck doggedly to films concerning the environment sometimes with shattering effect. I particularly liked Mike Pandey’s programme on the destruction of The Ridge in Delhi, which concerns us all. This, coupled with the publication by heritage, Eicher and the rest, of the list of Delhi’s neglected historical monuments, ought to stir the consciences of the average Delhiite who too often forgets his responsibilities.

Also TNT at night and Sony, between them, are providing a steady feed of golden oldies in the way of films which provide endless viewing pleasure. What a joy, watching that old Hitchcock classic, “North-West”, with Cary Grant in a literal cliff-hanger, scrambling up the nose of Jefferson, to save his lady love from the murderous assault of villain James Mason. I am also not ashamed to confess that I have watched “Gol Maal” twice in two months for the sheer joy of watching peppery Utpal Dutt and cunning Amol Palekar at their innocent game of oneupmanship. When DD’s novice anchors become unbearable, it does one no harm to watch “CID Files” (even if Perry Mason influenced), Anita Kanwar as Inspector K.C. and “Bhanwar”, all professionally scripted, directed and acted. Also of absorbing interest is the BBC series. “How Buildings Learn”, presented with formidable background knowledge and charm by Stewart Brand. It is about buildings old and new and how sometimes you can convert an old baran into an internet palace or build your own house with your own hands.

DD NEWS CHANNEL UP-DATE: Even if he is his ‘‘langotia yaar’’ off-screen, which is unlikely, surely Nalin Kohli should not address editor Chandan Mitra familiarly as Chandan. And he certainly asked the 64,000 dollar question of a startled Pakistani journalist: “Do you expect Mr Nawaz Sharif to be released?”.. Ms. Mita Chaudhuri, promoted from Hindi to English headlines, spoke in kitty-party English spiced with such gems as Ko-ah-lee-shun for coalition and batman for batsman. But Ms. Deepak Sandhu’s very own wunderkind, Mandeep Kaur surpassed them all, speeding her nasal way through every sentence while swallowing consonants with reckless abandon. Here are some collectors’ items from this super star. Deeturrence for deterrence, by turns voll-kanno and vole-kayno for volcano, valable time for valuable time, Uzz=ruddin for Azharuddin, strung-gull for struggle and best of all, ars of flying for hours of flying. All in one bulletin. The selection committee must have slept through it all.
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Lata’s last live show in Calcutta likely

THE last live performance by Lata Mangeshkar will probably be held in Calcutta towards the end of this year if efforts of music giant Gramophone Company of India Limited (GCIL) succeed.

Disclosing this, GCIL Vice-Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said they were trying to persuade the Nightingale of India to give her last live performance in Calcutta since she was going to stop giving such performances very soon.

The HMV, he said, was also working on a “truly exceptional” bhajan album by Lata which should also be out in the market in the later half of this year. — PTI



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