3 pm Jun 29, 2012
On 100 years of Indian cinema
Chat with authors Bhawana Somaaya, Jigna Kothari & Supriya Madangarli on their latest book ‘Mother Maiden Mistress: Women In Hindi Cinema, 1950-2010’ at 3 pm this friday.
21 questions answered
- What is your favourite part of the book? Asked by: Ravi
- Why did you pick a topic which has been spoken about so many times? Asked by: Pallavi
- What inspired you guys to write a book Bollywood Actresses over the years? Asked by: Nistha
- Bhawana Somaaya, Jigna Kothari & Supriya Madangarli i had a vague skeleton of the book in my mind and some pages of a different structure ready. i was working on 2 more books and casually mentioned to my friendShabana azmi. She said if you do a book on women it shuld be the best book.my co-authors and i produced the best.
- Can you please share the inspiration for your book? Asked by: Neel
- what is your next project? Asked by: Priyanka
- Could u briefly tel us what is the book about? Asked by: Anjali
- Can you guys tell me who is your favorite actress? Asked by: Sunil
- Bhawana Somaaya, Jigna Kothari & Supriya Madangarli Hi, this is supriya here answering. Favourite actress...hmmm tall order... in our book we look at women characters through six decades and so we ended up having a favourite actress every decade. I am not sure but I think Jigna's is Madhuri Dixit! As for me, so many of them, - Asha Parekh, I love her mischievous characters in the 60s; then there is Madhubala, love her pictures especially with Kishore Kumar. And Madhuri of course again, she is a fantastic actress. I wish she would come back. Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi - can anyone beat them! This would end up being another book :) so wrapping it up here.
- If you had to chose a particular era in Indian cinema as the best, which one would you choose? Asked by: Mallika Roy
- Bhawana Somaaya, Jigna Kothari & Supriya Madangarli Hi Mallika, Supriya here. Ummm I am a black and white fan so I really love the 40s and the 50s but if I were to choose then I would take the seventies. It was a tremendous period for Indian cinema. Especially with the new age cinema transforming the cinematic language - we had new directors and new films from Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Hindi. And these films brought in an alternative space, a different aesthetic and a radical new look at how films can be made and how stories could be told. These films also influenced the structure and narrative of commercial cinema in the years to come.
- how do you think cinema has changed over the years?? Asked by: Neha Punj
- Bhawana Somaaya, Jigna Kothari & Supriya Madangarli Hey Neha, Supriya here. Good question but requires a long answer. Let me attempt. Indian cinema has changed over the years... our book itself looks at those changes over six decades of post-independence India. The changes have happened in the way films are being thought about, being made - both in terms of stories-content and in form what with radical changes in technology especially digital technology. In the beginning say 30s till 50s cinema was basically about telling the story - more like a televised version of a play. Then in the 50s masters like Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor began to use the camera and lighting and shot composition to tell the story through the medium of cinema. They began a new language - the language of cinema. Then you had Satyajit Ray who rocked Indian cinema with his Pather Panchali... bringing in his own dialect of the cinematic language. By the seventies, there were two distinct forms of cinema - commercial mainstream cinema and the 'serious' art cinema each exploring the medium of cinema in their own way. In the 80s and 90s, Cinema grew more populist and geared to be only entertaining dropping the lessons learnt through the decades. But post-millenium again you see the development of different kinds of cinema, you have the anurag kashyap/dibakar banerjee kinds, you have the karan johar/yash raj films kind, you have Q aka Kaushik Mukherjee/Amitabh Chakraborthy kinds of experimental cinema.....
- How long did it take to write the book? How did you conduct the research? Asked by: Priyanka
- Bhawana Somaaya, Jigna Kothari & Supriya Madangarli It took more than three years. Research began with identifying films and seeing them, selecting them and watching them again and again. Once we were sure of the characters we want to talk about, we saw the films, again. Then we looked into the history and social context and connected the way the women characters were developed with them.
- I'm agree with you Supriya! My favourite is Madhuri ji and Shabana ji. My next question is have you tried to personally meet most actress to understand their characters better? Asked by: Sunil
- Bhawana, being a movie critic, do you think the quality of lead actresses has fallen over the years? Asked by: Nikhita Singh Le Bron
- I think you have done a brilliant job with the book. But how tough was it to collect all such information for this book on Heroines? Asked by: Samuel L Jackson
- Bhawana Somaaya, Jigna Kothari & Supriya Madangarli Thanks so much. Well, since it was about women characters, it was basically about watching their films over and over. Which we being film buffs loved. But if you are talking about our character sketches, then Bhawana met each of them personally and there were lot of intense interview sessions
- Have you purposely timed the release of your book in such a way that it coincides with 100 years of Indian cinema and hence drives up sales? Asked by: Pareenita Kaul
- Who do you think is the most prominent female character in Indian Cinema? Asked by: Neha Punj
- Have you only focused on only the good characters in indian cinema? or have you thrown light on the so-called 'vamps' and bad characters of our beloved Bollywood? Asked by: Mallika Roy
- How do you think the introduction of item numbers has changed the way cinema-goers view Indian actresses? Asked by: Sonu Aggarwal
- Bhawana Somaaya, Jigna Kothari & Supriya Madangarli hi Sonu good question! Item numbers have upped the star value of the actress since there is no character shaping involved. The item number is to lure the audience much like the free gifts you get on a product. in the earlier decade you had vamps who did item numbers but they also essayed a character in the movie. Today they are just added attraction
- which actress has inspired you the most? Asked by: Sanya
- Hi Madam, do you thinks the actresses do bad things in movies to get more money? Asked by: shilpa devi
- Which female actress is most similar to her onscreen characters in real life? Asked by: Abhishek
- Who is the main conceptualiser behind the beautiful cover of your book? Asked by: Roxy