Wednesday 20 November 2019

Mediating among media - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Alongside the ongoing resplendant programme of Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), it is quite befitting to explore cinema's connection with theatre. There have been similar attempts earlier. One genre has been 'Filmed Theatre' capturing theatre perfromances on stage on the celluloid, without any frills or exaggeration. This criitc recalls a Filmed Theatre Festival at the Akashvani Theatre in Mumbai in the 1980s, when he had the privilege of witnessing an array of glitering drama - filmed faihtfully by the camera - in the company of the renowned actress Jennifer Kapoor. Another occasion can be discussion on the difference in acting modes between theatre and cinema. Considering that theatre is a 'live' medium where the dramatic action on stage evokes instant response from the viewers present, while cinema is a 'canned' medium waiting to be exposed to audiences much, much later, the dramatis personnae have to adjust their acting style in the presence of camera or otherwise. This does need clever adjustments which have given us brillaint theatre actors like Utpal Dutt, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Shah Rukh Khan's calibre, later as famous film stars. (KIFF, at the moment, is holding an interesting discussion session among actors and stars on the subject).

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