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Indian Cinema Series 2006
February 1, 8
March 1, 15, 29
April 5, 19
May 3

February 1
Shri 420Shri 420 (Gentleman Cheat)
Raju (Raj Kapoor)  a small town orphan goes to the great metropolis of Bombay  with grand dreams of making it. His ideals and principles are soon tested, compromised, and eventually crushed by the harsh realities of the city. He falls in love with Vidya (Nargis), a poor school teacher with a paralyzed father but is seduced by the worldly Maya (Nadira) and persuaded by a club owner who offers him a partnership in his under-handed dealings and numerous scams to cheat the gullible. Tightly constructed with brilliant music, the film can be compared to Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936), and is an indictment against crass materialism. (Raj Kapoor/1955/177 minutes/Hindi with English subtitles)
Wednesday, February 1, 7:00 p.m., Wang Center Theater

February 8
Paper FlowersKagaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers)
This film looks at the tawdry movie industry and the people within it who are "like flowers of paper, beautiful to behold but artificial nevertheless and without fragrance." Guru Dutt plays the genius filmmaker Suresh who is shunned by his elitist wife, his daughter Pami (Baby Naaz), and family because his profession has no social status. He becomes successful in discovering the radiant  Shanti (Waheeda Rehman), but is forced to leave her when Pami his daughter tries to reunite her parents.  As Shanti’s star rises, Suresh is lost without her, and slides downhill in torment. This melancholic masterpiece is India’s first cinemascopic film that boasts of breathtaking cinematography and memorable scenes of wrenching melodrama. (Guru Dutt/1959/153 minutes/Hindi with English subtitles)
Wednesday, February 8, 7:00 p.m., Wang Theater

March 1
Mughal E AzimMughal-E-Azam (The Great Moghul)
Set in the 16th century, the film brings to spectacular life the beloved tale of the doomed love affair between the Mughal Crown Prince Saleem (Dilip Kumar) and the mesmerizing, ill-fated court dancer Anarkali (Madhubala), whose fervor and intensity perpetrate a war between the Prince and his father the great Mughal Emperor Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor), and threatens to bring an empire to its knees. Opulent and grandiose, this film is one of India’s top ten’s best as well as the costliest. Blending historical fact with popular legend, the tumultuous conflict between passionate love and duty to empire unfolds in grand operatic style. (K. Asif/1960/198 minutes/Urdu with English subtitles)
Wednesday, March 1, 7:00 p.m., Wang Theater

March 15
AradhanaAradhana (Worship)
Dashing pilot Arun (Rajesh Khanna) ardently romances the doe-eyed  Vandana (Sharmila Tagore). They become intimate, and together conceive a child. Unfortunately, Arun is killed before their wedding leaving Vandana to re-locate to hide her shame. She places her baby boy in an orphanage, and is then adopted by another family (who grows up to be Suraj, also played by Rajesh Khanna). Vandana manages to get a job as a servant in this family and through a series of more sacrifices finds her self confessing for a crime she did not commit. This female-centered film is graced with Sharmila Tagore’s memorable performance as she suffocates under patriarchal morality while Rajesh Khanna was catapulted to superstardom. Its lilting romantic duets are popular even today. (Shakti Samanta/1969/169 minutes/Hindi with English subtitles)
Wednesday, March 15 , 7:00 p m , Wang Theater

March 29
Purab aur PachhimPurab Aur Pachhim (East And West)
Full-blooded nationalist Bharat (Manoj Kumar) goes to London for college and falls in love with a completely westernized  blonde, mini-skirted, smoking and drinking Preeti (Saira Banu). Cultures clash and tension builds when the ambivalence for India and the West collide. Pleasure abounds when Bharat and Preeti negotiate their tricky multicultural affair. This wildly excessive film exaggerates the hedonistic excesses of the corrupt West, and the persevering strength of Indian national identity as it reveals a complex multi-generational story. (Manoj Kumar/1970/175 minutes/Hindi with English subtitles).
Wednesday, March 29,  7:00 p.m., Wang Theater

April 5
ZanjeerZanjeer (Chains)
A very serious and intense police inspector (Amitabh Bachchan) is haunted by the murder of his parents which he witnessed as  a young child. When he is suspended from duty for his excessive and unconventional crime-fighting methods, he tracks down the killer of his family years ago with the help of a street-wise knife sharpening gypsy girl (Jaya Bhaduri), and a loyal Pathan (Pran). This action-packed revenge story, launched Amitabh Bhachan with his driven intensity and impeccable dialogue delivery as the quintessential angry young man and as the undisputed king of popular Hindi cinema. (Prakash Mehra/1973/145 minutes/Hindi with English subtitles)
Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 p.m., Wang Theater

April 19
KannathilKannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek)
A little girl's search for the biological mother who had abandoned her is brought out poignantly in this unabashed rhapsody of domestic bliss. Mani Ratnam yet again proves that he is at his best when tackling complex personal relationships within the backdrop of violent political strife. Amudha (P.S. Keerthana), adopted by Thiru (Madhavan) and Indira (Simran) and growing up with the couples’ two sons, is blissfully unaware of her parentage, till the couple decide to inform her of it on her ninth birthday. At first shocked into disbelief, Amudha then expresses her determination to search out for her biological mother. The search takes the family to strife-torn Sri Lanka, where Amudha comes face-to-face with the sordid reality of terror. A riveting story, lush cinematography, well-defined complex characters and the pulsating music of A.R.Rahman are signature elements of Mani Ratnam’s opus. (Mani Ratnam/2002/123 minutes/Tamil with English subtitles)
Wednesday, April 19, 7:00 p.m., Wang Theater

May 3
PaheliPaheli (The Riddle)
Based on the tale by Rajasthani writer Vijayadan Detha, this film retells the story of how a ghost (Shahrukh Khan) seduces, loves and lives with the virgin bride (Rani Mukherjee) of a merchant (also played by Shahrukh Khan) who has gone off for a five year business stint. When she is pregnant at last, her real husband, surprised by the news, hurries home. The merchant husband and the villagers are confronted with two identical men–what a dilemma! Witty, visually seductive and tantalizingly ambiguous, the film is a feast of gorgeous Rajasthani locations and costumes, sumptuous song and dance sequences,  and the wisecracks of a pair of opinionated marionettes. (Amol Palekar/2005/150 minutes/Hindi with English subtitles)
Wednesday, May 3, 7:00 p m , Wang Theater


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