An inimitable assemblage of rare black and white stills of Indian film legends Satyajit Ray, Uttam Kumar and Nargis; vintage posters from celluloid classics like “Antony Firingee” and limited edition merchandise are upholding the spirit of Indian cinema at a five-day exhibition that began here on Wednesday.
Christened ‘Salaam Cinema’, the event showcases film stills and black and white photographs, many of which have never been put on public display before.
The exhibits include rare arresting stills of eminent film personalities like Dev Anand, Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Sharmila Tagore and Aparna Sen, besides those of music directors Hemanta Mukhopadhyay, R.D. Burman and evergreen singer Kishore Kumar.
Besides photographs, there is also a segment on vintage film posters from classics like Bimal Roy’s “Do Beegha Zamin” and Tapan Sinha’s “Atithi”, and “limited edition” film merchandise, the curators said.
Running from June 10-14 at the Chemould Art Gallery, “Salaam Cinema” is a joint initiative by Samik De from Art Inn and Sounak Chacraverti from Sensorium in an attempt to kindle the spirit of archiving among the youth of the country.
“This exhibition is an ode to the golden era of cinema, a lot of which has been consumed by time in the absence of proper archiving resources.
“The film archiving situation in our country is quite pathetic, except for a few individuals in Mumbai and Kolkata, who have been trying hard to save the invaluable film memorabilia. In a country like India, we still do not have a film museum,” curators De and Chacraverti said in a joint statement.
Many of the images have been sourced by the duo from veteran photographer Sukumar Roy and Sromona Chakraborty, daughter of Ruma Guha Thakurta.
The first venture to organise an ‘archival exhibition’ was by Chacraverti in 2008 with an exhibition titled ‘The World of Tapan Sinha’, followed by ‘Basu Chatterji: A Manzil of Memories’ in 2014.