We really have it made here in NYC”¦..one day Hrithik Roshan is walking the red carpet for the premiere of his latest release (more on that later), and another day Lincoln Center is launching yet another series of Indian films.
Yesterday, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, in partnership with the IAAC and the Indian Consulate, opened its eleven-day series entitled Social Dramas and Shimmering Spectacles: Muslim Cultures of Bombay Cinema. The series is co-curated by NYU professor and Indian film scholar Richard Allen together with Ira Bhaskar, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
The series is running through to May 27.
Here’s how the folks at Lincoln Center describe it: “Spanning films from the 1930s to the Present, the series features historical spectacles that celebrate the justice and tolerance of the Mughal imperium as an antidote to colonial rule; films of aching beauty that focus upon the figure of the courtesan, at once alluring, romantic and tragic; and stories of Muslim social life that dramatize the changing social roles of a society in transition.
Social Dramas and Shimmering Spectacles: Muslim Cultures of Bombay Cinema not only reveals the rich expressive idioms of Bombay Cinema, but also reflects the radical transformations in Indian Society of the past 80 years, from the resistance to colonial rule and the challenge to feudal customs and values posed by modernity, to the deep divisions between Hindu and Muslim wrought by the Partition, communalism, and social discrimination.
Directors Ashutosh Gowariker (Jodhaa Akhbar) and Khalid Mohamed (Fiza, Mammo) are scheduled to appear.
All films are being screened at the Walter Reader Theater and here’s a list of what’s on offer: Chaudhvin Ka Chand M. Sadiq, 1960, India; 169m
Warmly rendered in the tradition of the Muslim Social, a love triangle gets thornier with the lady veiled according to purdah practice.
Thu May 20: 6:30
Sat May 22: 12:00
Fiza Khalid Mohamed, 2000, India; 170m
Against the roiling backdrop of the 1993 Bombay riots, a Muslim youth gets caught up in a tragic spiral of violence and dead ends.
Sat May 22: 8:00
Thu May 27: 2:30
Garm Hawa M. S. Sathyu, 1973, India; 146m
The 1947 Partition leaves a middle-class Muslim family suddenly adrift in what used to be home, in this fascinating Indian New Wave drama.
Fri May 21: 7:15
Mon May 24: 1:30
Jodhaa Akbar Ashutosh Gowariker, 2008, India; 213m
Enlightened rule never looked so good as in this sixteenth-century love story between revered Emperor Akbar””and a radiant, feisty Rajput princess.
Wed May 19: 7:00
Mammo Shyam Benegal, 1994, India; 124m
Cast out from her husband’s home in Pakistan, the childless Mammo becomes a larger-than-life heroine in this flashback-narrated drama of Partition’s scars.
Sat May 22: 3:15
Tue May 25: 1:30
Mere Mehboob H. S. Rawail, 1963, India; 164m
In the blockbuster whose haunting theme song became famous, a chance university romance is charged with modernity’s conflicts with honor, tradition, and duty.
Sun May 23: 8:30
Wed May 26: 1:00
Mirza Ghalib Sohrab Modi, 1954, India; 145m
Renowned Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib is the last blazing light of a fading empire in this love-torn biopic. With his ghazals sung by actress-singer Suraiya.
Thu May 20: 3:30
Sun May 23: 5:45
Mughal-e-Azam K. Asif, 1960, India; 173m
In this extravaganza””a decade in the making””Akbar’s heir apparent falls for a serving girl. Featuring a thousand-mirror dance for the emperor’s favor!
Fri May 21: 1:00
Mon May 24: 7:00
Najma Mehboob Khan, 1943, India; 121m
The iconic romantic lead of the 1940s, Ashok Kumar, stars in this classic Muslim Social melodrama rendered in expressionist style.
Wed May 19: 4:15
Sun May 23: 3:15
Pakeezah Kamal Amrohi, 1972, India; 146m
One of the finest films of Indian cinema, this courtesan drama thrills with glorious saturated colors and the intensely inward performance of legendary tragedienne Meena Kumari.
Fri May 21: 4:30
Tue May 25: 9:45
Pukar Sohrab Modi, 1939, India; 165m
An early “spectacular historical” and a pre-Independence masterpiece: murder in the Mughal court challenges the emperor’s famed sense of justice.
Wed May 19: 1:00
Sun May 23: 12:00
Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro Saeed Akhtar Mirza, 1989, India; 111m
This ground-breaking naturalistic portrayal of a working-class family traces the pressures of being Muslim in contemporary Bombay.
Fri May 21: 10:00
Mon May 24: 4:45
Sardari Begum Shyam Benegal, 1996, India; 116m
The alluring charm of thumri song comes alive in this contemporary story of a Muslim singer who falls victim to communal skirmishes.
Sat May 22: 5:40
Tue May 25: 4:00
Umrao Jaan J.P. Dutta, 2006, India; 189m
Stunning Aishwarya Rai plays a Lucknow woman abducted to be a courtesan, in a film marked by lovely musical performances and tender pathos.
Tue May 25: 6:15