Posts Tagged ‘Amit Chaudhuri’

The Palaces of Memory – an announcement

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

I’m delighted to report that my new book, The Palaces of Memory, Tales from the Indian Coffee House will be published in September by Dewi Lewis. See here for details.

  pagelink 

How I learned to love Bollywood

Friday, July 26th, 2013

 

There’s a really interesting piece in the Guardian today by Amit Chaudhuri (the British media’s new go-to man for South Asian comment) about Bollywood – the catch-all term for Indian mainstream film. Chaudhuri relates his own personal journey back to an Indian past whilst watching classic Hindi cinema at university in Cambridge in the ’80s. It was a medium that he’d ignored partly because of his middle-class upbringing and partly because he’d grown up on Hollywood movies. Interestingly, as he says, “just as Bollywood seemed to become all gloss and syrup, there was another development.” This came in the form of Independent Hindi cinema. Movies like Maqbool and Omkara. It’s a shame for the outsider who doesn’t speak Hindi because it’s really tricky to find subtitled versions beyond the big blockbusters. I’m still trying to hunt down a version of the Gangs of Wasseypur that I can understand. For me, I remember sitting open mouthed the first time I saw some of the beautiful Satyajit Ray offerings in black and white that are pretty easy to find… but then also loving more modern ironic offerings like Quick Gun Murugan. In any case it will be interesting to see where ‘new’ Indian cinema will go in the next few years in a rapidly changing India.

I’ve never worked on a Bollywood movie (although I did shoot movie moghul Ronnie Screwvalla for the Sunday Times Magazine a few years ago – see here) but did photograph the rehearsals for The Merchants of Bollywood (again for the Sunday Times Magazine) in Mumbai a while back. As my own homage to Bollywood, here’s one of my favourite frames from the job…

 

Indian - Mumbai - Dancer Ashwini Iyer, 23, practices her routine at a rehearsal of the production of The Merchants of Bollywood in a studio in Mumbai, India

Indian – Mumbai – Dancer Ashwini Iyer, 23, practices her routine at a rehearsal of the production of The Merchants of Bollywood in a studio in Mumbai, India