Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tagore classics can make good films

Experts tell New Age
Tagore classics can make good filmsRabindranath Tagore wrote in a letter to Murari Bhaduri (theatre legend Sisir Kumar Bhaduri’s brother) in 1929 that cinema should ideally be a ‘flow of images’ that should not rely on the written word to communicate. This was even before India’s first talkie Alam Ara had been made.
Perhaps it is not common knowledge that Tagore in his lifetime had made a film titled Natir Puja in 1932 based on his dance drama bearing the same title. The students of Santiniketan performed in the film, which was shot by two static cameras.
Tagore, however, was not happy with the outcome, neither were those who watched the film in New Theatres.
This was, however, not the first film based on Tagore’s works. In 1923, Naresh Mitra made the silent film Manbhanjan based on Tagore’s short story with the same title. Since then, about 70 feature films including 50 films in Bangla have been adapted from Tagore’s works in the subcontinent.
Only four films- Abujh Bau, directed by Nargis Akhtar, Shasti and Shubha directed by Chashi Nazrul Islam and Kabuliwala directed by Kazi Hayat- have been made in Bangladesh.
‘Films based on works of Tagore are only a handful as the producers do not want to invest money to make classics. Moreover, there are not many talented filmmakers who can make such films,’ film critic Anupam Hayat told New Age.
‘Problem is not only here in Dhaka but also in the sub-continental film industries such as Bollywood and Tollywood. The number of films based on Tagore’s works has decreased drastically in the past four decades even in India,’ he added.
The filmmakers and critics in the country observe that Tagore’s impact on cinema as a medium goes beyond just the stories and songs that have over the years enriched films. Tagore’s literary creations, stories and songs pregnant with emotions and ideas have, of course, inspired filmmakers across the subcontinent.
The poet has also surfaced on a number of occasions in the domain of the pan-Indian Hindi-Urdu cinema, both as a source of stories and a songwriter. Tagore’s influence on cinema has been amazingly wide-ranging.
‘Tagore literature is a wonderful resource for films. Some of his narratives such as Chhinnapatra does not need a lot of work on screenplay to be adapt as a film. His songs are also good for playbacks in Hindi and Bangla films,’ he added.
In Tagore’s lifetime, legendary singer-composer Pankaj Mullick used Tagore songs as playback for the first time in 1937 in Pramathesh Barua’s film Mukti.
‘Tagore’s stories deal with complex human dilemmas and social issues and are often wrapped in layers of abstractions. They have, therefore, never been easy to adapt for the screen,’ filmmaker Murad said.
Yet Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and Rituparno Ghosh have successfully adapted Tagore’s novels and short stories for several of their films, besides frequently turning to his poetry to underscore emotions.
‘Satyajit Ray was perhaps the only filmmaker who could successfully translate Tagore into films. Ray used Tagore’s stories but his films had their own flow of language. He made changes where necessary, for which he was often criticised, keeping the central idea intact’, Murad said.
Going over film adaptation of literature, Murad said, ‘Literal and creative are the two ways to adapt. Needless to say, it takes a gifted filmmaker’s profound understanding of the literary work and the author’s life to be able to accomplish a creative adaptation.’
Bimal Roy’s neo-realist masterpiece Dui Bigha Zameen (1953) in Hindi was inspired by a Tagore poem, Dui Bigha Jomi.
In 1964, Satyajit Ray made one of his finest films, Charulata, based on Tagore’s Noshto Neer (A Wrecked House), following it up in 1987 with another film set in the same setting, Ghare Baire (Home and the World), inspired by a Tagore novel of the same name.
Kumar Shahani brought the novella Char Adhyay (Four Chapters) to the screen in 1977. Theatre director and filmmaker Suman Mukhopadhyay adapted another difficult Tagore novel, Chaturanga (A Quartet of Colours) in 2008.
Tagore’s appeal obviously hasn’t waned a bit in the new millennium. Rituparno Ghosh’s film, Noukadubi (Kashmakash in Hindi), was based on a Tagore novella. It was Ghosh’s follow-up to 2003’s Aishwarya Rai-starrer Chokher Bali, another adaptation of Tagore’s novel with the same title.
Produced by Subhash Ghai, the original version of Noukadubi, was opened only in Bengal. With the Hindi dub, complete with translations of two Tagore songs by veteran lyricist Gulzar, Noukadubi was played in theatres in the rest of India.
The past few years have seen a flurry of films that have drawn upon the Tagore treasure trove, including a 2010 Bengali comedy, Natobar Not Out, starring Raima Sen and debutant Bangladeshi actor Mustafa Prakash.
In 2008, documentary filmmaker Subhrajit Mitra made his maiden feature, Mon Amour: Shesher Kobita Revisited. Inspired by a Tagore lyrical novel, it was cast in the form of a contemporary drama.
Movie-goers believe that more films should be made on Tagore classics in the era when film industries in the world are suffering from shortage of good stories.

-With New Age input

Related News

Zainul Abedin’s 109th birth anniv today

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Today is the 109th anniversary of the birth of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. On the occasion, different organisations and admirers will pay tribute to Zainul Abedin placing floral wreaths on his grave on the Dhaka University premises in the morning. Zainul is best known for his sketches of the Bengal famine of ... Read more

Manik Bandopadhyay’s death anniversary today

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Today is the 67th anniversary of the death of Bengali novelist and short story writer Manik Bandopadhyay. Born on May 19, 1908 to Harikar Bandopadhyay and Niroda Devi in Dumka, a small town in Santal Parganas district in the state of Bihar, British India, Manik Bandopadhyay was the fifth of the ... Read more

Qayyum Chowdhury ’s death anniversary today

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Today is the ninth anniversary of the death of acclaimed artist Qayyum Chowdhury. Born on March 9, 1932 in Feni, Qayyum Chowdhury’s works delve deep into folk, rustic life and traditions. Fish, flowers, women, birds and greenery are recurring objects on his canvas. He graduated from the Government Institute of Arts ... Read more

‘Quarantine’ exhibition by artist Mahbubur Rahman begins today

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com The opening ceremony of the exhibition comprising multi-dimensional artworks of artist Mahbubur Rahman will be held today at 5 pm. The exhibit titled, “Quarantine”, has been organised at the Kamrul Hasan Exhibition (level 1) of Bengal Shilpalay in Dhanmondi. Professor Bulbul Osman, women and human rights activist Khushi Kabir and artist ... Read more

SM Sultan’s 29th death anniversary today

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Today is the 29th anniversary of the death of renowned artist SM Sultan. Different organisations, including Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, SM Sultan Foundation and Narail district administration will pay tribute to SM Sultan organising daylong programmes at different venues in Narail’s Sultan Smriti Sangrahasala, Shishu Swarga and Zila Shilpakala Academy. Born on ... Read more

‘Tasher Desh’ staged at Scholastica school

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com With immense zeal and fervour, Scholastica Senior Campus, Mirpur staged the splendid play ‘Tasher Desh’, a masterpiece by the revered poet Rabindranath Tagore. The school’s STM hall served as the majestic environment for this two-day annual drama festival, culminating on a Friday. The talented students, members of the esteemed drama, music, ... Read more

Poet Asad Chowdhury passes away

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Noted poet Asad Chowdhury died of old-age complications while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Toronto, Canada on Thursday. He was 80. The poet ‘died at 3:03am Canada time’ and ‘at 1:03pm Bangladesh time’, the poet’s son-in-law Nadim Iqbal posted on facebook Thursday afternoon. The poet died at the Lakeridge Health ... Read more

Shilpakala inaugurates nationwide puppet festival

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com A twelve day long puppetry festival titled “Gonojagoron er Putul Natya Utshob” inaugurated on Friday. Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has organised the nationwide festival . According to BSA, puppetry is one of the most effective means of folk education. Through its presentation and stylistic approach over the ages, puppetry has played a ... Read more

SD Burman’s birth anniversary today

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Today is the 117th anniversary of the birth of legendary singer and music director Sachin Dev Burman. SD Burman, born in 1906 in Cumilla, composed playbacks for over 100 films. Leading singers of the Indian subcontinent like Lata Mangeskhar, Mohammad Rafi, Geeta Dutta, Manna Dey, Asha Bosle, Mukesh and Talat Mahmud ... Read more

Shilpakala Academy organizes exhibition of artist Ismail Chowdhury’s artwork

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy organized a solo painting exhibition of painter Ismail Chowdhury. Painter Ismail Chowdhury has participated in more than half a hundred solo and joint exhibitions in various countries including Bangladesh, Japan, USA, Italy, Nepal, and Bhutan, reads a press release. The elite and talented artists of the country have ... Read more

Feroza Begum’s 9th death anniv today

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Today is the ninth anniversary of the death of the legendary Nazrul Sangeet singer Feroza Begum. Feroza Begum was born on July 28, 1926 to Khan Bahadur Mohammad Ismail and Begum Kawakabonnessa. Drawn to music at an early age, Feroza Begum started her formal music education under the tutelage of Chitta ... Read more

Bhupen Hazarika’s birth anniv today

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Today is the 97th anniversary of the birth of eminent singer, lyricist and musician Bhupen Hazarika, who is still popular among music lovers in Bangladesh. He conquered the heart of thousands in Bangladesh rendering timeless songs, including Manush Manusher Janya, Ami Ek jajabar, Amra Korbo joy, Bistirna Duparer, Megh Thom Thom ... Read more

IUB organises musical evening to celebrate Rabindra-Nazrul Jayanti

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com A musical evening was organised at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) campus in Dhaka’s Bashundhara Residential Area on Thursday (27 July) to mark the birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Renowned singers Adity Mohsin and Bijon Chandra Mistry performed Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti respectively. IUB’s Kazi Nazrul ... Read more

Dhaka Theater to celebrate golden jubilee this year

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Marking the golden jubilee of one of the prolific theatre troupes of the country, Dhaka Theater will celebrate its 50 years on July 29. Established in 1973 by freedom fighter and noted cultural personality Nasir Uddin Yusuff, along with some brave freedom fighters, the troupe earned acclaim in both nationally and ... Read more

Sourav Chowdhury’s 5th solo exhibition underway at AFD

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com The 5th solo art exhibition of Sourav Chowdhury titled “Eternal Existence” has begun at Alliance Française de Dhaka. The inaugural ceremony of the exhibition was held on Friday, 21 July 2023 at 6 pm at La Galerie. Eminent artist Prof. Rafiqun Nabi, Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of France in Bangladesh, ... Read more

Ten Years After Rana Plaza show opens at Drik Gallery on Friday

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Ten Years After Rana Plaza, an immersive exhibition marking ten years of the Rana Plaza disaster through interdisciplinary works on the subject by Bangladeshi photographer and filmmaker, Ismail Ferdous, is set to begin on Friday (21 July) at Drik Gallery, Dhaka, said a press release. Following the tragic collapse of the ... Read more

Bangla Academy pays tribute to Dr Muhammad Shahidullah

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangla Academy paid tribute to educationist, writer, philologist and linguist Dr Muhammad Shahidullah organising a commemorative programme at its Syed Waliullah Conference Room on Tuesday. The academy organised the programme marking the 138th anniversary of the birth of Dr Muhammad Shahidullah, which was also streamed on the Facebook page of the ... Read more

25th National Fine Arts Exhibition 2023 ends July 15

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com The 5th National Fine Arts Exhibition-2023 is ongoing under the management of the fine arts department organised by Shilpakala Academy. The opening ceremony of the 25th National Fine Arts Exhibition was held on May 28th. The exhibition in which artists from all over the country have participated is coming to a ... Read more

Parents should encourage children pursue dance: discussants

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Discussants have said that children should be encouraged to pursue dance so that they can grow up healthy individuals. The made the remarks while speaking at a programme organised by dance organisation Nrittangan at the auditorium of National Music and Dance Centre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Wednesday. The organisation arranged ... Read more

Shilpakala stages ‘Hamlet’

Cultural Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy staged its acclaimed production titled Hamlet at the National Theatre Hall of the academy on Friday. The play, written by William Shakespeare, has been translated into Bangla by Syed Shamsul Haq. Thespian Ataur Rahman has directed the production. Set in Denmark, Hamlet depicts Prince Hamlet and his attempts ... Read more