28 December 2009

INDIAN CINEMA on YOUTUBE

It is not easy tracking down films directed by New Indian Cinema film makers like Mrinal Sen and Mani Kaul but whilst using YouTube to watch Satyajit Ray's 'Kanchenjungha' I was pleased to discover that a range of hard to find and obscure films have been uploaded. The range of materials is quite vast and a lot of the films are available to watch in HQ with subtitles. The negative is that watching a film on YouTube is not really the ideal context or format in which to engage with this kind of cinema. Another problem is that many of these films are either taken down due to copyright infringement or have parts missing to them. In addition, the subtitles for a lot of these films are inconsistent and can be hard to follow due to poor translation. Here are a few of the films I have come across and I hope to keep posting regular links each week so I can build up some kind of comprehensive list of what is actually available on YouTube:

1. Ek Din Pratidin (A Day Like Any Other) - Dir. Mrinal Sen, 1979



2. Kharij (The Case Is Closed) - Dir. Mrinal Sen, 1982



3. Jukti Takko Aar Gappo (Reason, Debate and a Story) - Dir. Ritwik Ghatak, 1974



4. Ashani Sanket (Distant Thunder) - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1973



5. Pratiwandi (The Adversary) - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1972



6. Bhumika (The Role) - Dir. Shyam Benegal, 1977



7. Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (The Seventh Horse of the Sun) - Dir. Shyam Benegal, 1992



8. Elippathayam (The Rat Trap) - Dir. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 1981



9. Tarang (Wages and Profit) Dir. Kumar Shahani, 1984, NFDC



Shahani trained at The Film and Television Institute of India and was taught by Ritwik Ghatak. This film is available to watch for free at a video on demand website titled 'Jaman' - you have to register but it has a small library of hard to find NFDC funded films. Once again, the quality varies for many of the films.

10. Nazar (The Gaze) Dir. Mani Kaul, 1990, NFDC



Many of the following NFDC financed films are also available to watch for free and some for a small fee at the Jaman website:

http://www.jaman.com/collections/NFDC/

Ek Doctor Ki Maut (Death of a Doctor) - Dir. Tapan Sinha, 1990

Ghare-Baire (Home and the World) - Dir. Satyajit Ray, 1984

Dharavi (City of Dreams) - Dir. Sudhir Mishra, 1991

Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (Salim The Lame) - Dir. Saeed Akhtar Mirza, 1989

Yugant (What The Sea Said) - Dir. Aparna Sen, 1995

8 comments:

  1. You are a star Omar! What a great resource.

    Some of these are also available on reasonable quality DVD and I have got a couple on VHS tape. I could make make you copies? I'm trying to find a way to store viewable copies of the YouTube offerings, but I prefer to buy the DVD and pay the royalty if possible. The Rat Trap DVD from Second Sight is very good. But where there aren't DVDs these links are essential.

    Like Srikanth, I'm worrying about how I'll find the time to watch them all.

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  2. Omar, thank you so much for these discoveries!

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  3. Thanks Roy and Girish. Hope to keep adding to this list. It is encouraging to see that many of these uploaded films have not been taken down (yet) - some of these films are avaliable on DVD and have been released with extras and in restored prints. However, it is the work by directors like Mrinal Sen and Mani Kaul that I personally have struggled to find and watch. I just finished watching 'Calcutta 71' only to realise that it was not the full length version, it had around thirty minutes missing. It seems to me that a lot of the key films that emerged from the New Indian Cinema movement have simply disappeared - this is proven by the entries listed between the years 1969 and 1992 in the encyclopaedia of Indian cinema written by Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen; many of the films between this period are not accessible either on VHS, VCD or DVD. The internet, YouTube and specialist sites like Jaman have been able to bridge this gap for fans and academics.

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  4. Thanks Sriknath, I know it's a lot of cinema and long nights ahead of you.

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  5. Omar, you're indeed on the way to making a comprehensive list of movies available on Youtube, though I agree with you in that Youtube is hardly the place to appreciate a work of art. Nonetheless, something is better than nothing.

    And where getting hold movies by Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak & Tapan Sinha, as well as acclaimed contemporary directors like Rituparno Ghosh, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Aparna Sen et al are concerned, I beseech you to pay a small visit to Calcutta, like Roy did a few days back. But like Roy, do not forget to let me know of it. I'll see to it that you get hold of these movies and much more - enough to turn the book you're writing into an encyclopedia on Indian cinema :)

    Speaking of your book, how is it coming up? Any excerpts to share?

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  6. Hi

    have you read http://widescreenjournal.org/index.php/journal/index ,

    it may be of interest to you. Thanks for this listing of films! a very good resource.

    Tajender

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  7. Thanks Shubhajit. Wow, come to Calcutta, now that would be extensive research, I tell you. I want to desperately come and pay visit to Benegal and thank you very much for your offer of finding those DVDs. Well, one day I will make it there and I will let you know if I do make it. In regards to the book, I am making good progress - about to start a new chapter on 'Charulata' and Ray.

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  8. Hi Tajender, thanks for the link, looks like an interesting resource. I will check it out.

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