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Celluloid On Art Paper

Celluloid On Art Paper
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The Genesis Of Gaja Gamini
By Maqbool Fida Husain
H2A Graphics International Rs 700; Pages 184
The expectations aroused by the film Gaja Gamini ended inevitably in disappointment. Yet few realised that it had more to do with art as cinema than what ‘arty’ cinema usually provides. The book delves into the making of Gaja Gamini accompanied with film stills and shots on the sets and an attached vcd.

At the outset, Husain himself reveals had he not made the film, he would have attempted a 100-ft-long painting. There is an interplay between time past and present and future. Also an uncanny sense of people transmogrifying as gods did, and the face-off between reality and illusion. Madhuri Dixit’s role, now as beatific Shakuntala, now as Prem Chand’s heroine or as Mona Lisa with her mysterious smile simultaneously seduces as it distances, for no woman is permanently real. As a tribute to womanhood surely nothing could have been more skilfully woven into the fabric of popular imagination. As Gaja Gamini walks out of the wall the movement of the present through art, popular cinema, street life and human relationships is vividly juxtaposed like a sulphuric painting.

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