New Delhi: The vocabulary and grammar of Russian films have a lot to offer and Indian filmmakers can learn from these, from storytelling to cinematography, according to noted actor Victor Banerjee has said.
Banerjee, who last portrayed poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in the Indo-Argentine co-production “Thinking of Him”, will be part of the Russian leg of the Indo-Russia friendship motor rally that is slated to begin later this month.
“I have always admired the Russian cinema, their incisive storytelling, sharp camera work and brilliant acting in them. Indian filmmakers can learn a lot from it,” the 71-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
He recalled the great Russian filmmakers like Sergei Eisenstein, whose “Battleship Potemkin” (1925) and Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” (1972), “Mirror” (1975) and “Stalker” (1979) are still considered classics.
“I am drawn more towards Russian films owing to their compelling camera work, because of my own inclination towards cinematography,” he said.
Incidentally, Indian films, especially Raj Kapoor-starrers of the 50s like “Awara” and “Shri 420” became immensely popular in Russia and even their famous numbers are played at various public places.
“Journey Beyond Three Seas” (“Pardesi” in Hindi), a 1957 Indian-Soviet popular film, was jointly directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Vasili Pronin, starring Oleg Strizhenov and Nargis.
The Kolkata-born actor, who has films like “Bow Barracks Forever”, Satyajit Ray’s classics such as “Ghare Baire” and “A Passage of India” under his belt, says he is excited to be part of the motoring expedition that marks 70 years of diplomatic ties between India and Russia.
The Indian leg of friendship motor car rally had ended last month in Delhi after completing a journey of nearly 9,000 km spanning 23 cities, starting from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh. Banerjee had taken part in it from Rishikesh to Delhi.
Ambassador of Russia to India Nikolay Rishatovich Kudashev had received all the participants at the Embassy here on its culmination.
Banerjee said this motor rally would also be a sort of a cultural sojourn for him.
“I want visit the State Hermitage (a museum of art and culture in St Petersburg). As an actor I look forward to that too,” he said.
An acclaimed actor, Banerjee has acted in Bengali, Hindi and several international productions and counts “Bow Barracks Forever”, which portrays the “beauty and cultural decay” of Calcutta through the eyes of the Anglo-Indian community, as one of his favourite films.
On portraying Tagore in “Thinking of Him”, he says, it was a big challenge but “I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
“I had to recites pages and pages of Tagore’s poetry, get into the mannerism, from his style of walking to gesturing, it was an exciting project,” he said.
Helmed by Pablo Cesar, the 2017 film explores Tagore’s relationship with Argentinian feminist, writer and activist Victoria Ocampo, and it was the closing film at the 48th International Film Festival of India in Goa last year.
Banerjee, who is known to slip into the skin of his character on screen, expressed his reservation over “armchair film critics who spout on social media at the drop of a hat”.
“Everybody is a film critic today, just like everybody who has a DSLR or a mobile phone is a photographer today. But, a saturation point will come some day,” he said.
New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) The vocabulary and grammar of Russian films have a lot to offer and Indian filmmakers can learn from these, from storytelling to cinematography, according to noted actor Victor Banerjee has said.
“Everybody is a film critic today, just like everybody who has a DSLR or a mobile phone is a photographer today. But, a saturation point will come some day,” he said. (PTI)
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