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National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi is the leading Indian Art Gallery. We were quite lucky to have the chance to attend the exhibition “Project Cinema City” there. The exhibition was hosted to commemorate 100 years of Indian Cinema. It sought to enquire into the interfaces between the city of Mumbai and Cinema. The Exhibition excavated the forgotten marks that the cinema has left on the city by highlighting the transformation in cinema viewing and cinema production through 100 years in the city of Bombay/Mumbai.
It dully explained how the city itself contributed to the growth of this unique art form. By showcasing the exact history of Cinema via Pictures, Models & Posters with comedic flavor, the project sought to highlight that cinema & Mumbai were Twins. They had not only grown through the 20th Centaury but were joined into each other’s processes and development. In our visit we were showed three short movies. “Sin City” showed an old man who had the license to recycle film reels for further use as shirt collars.
“Dark Room” explained the increasing addiction of drugs in the city.
And lastly, “Anna Sound Please” showed how people used to borrow and steal money to watch movies at multiplexes and how the Cinema was home like to the people who worked there. From sprawling studios to small workshops, from aspiring actors to body doubles & from a city of luxury, wealth to shady slums, Mumbai has many different facts. All this contribute to enrich Hindi Cinema.
The City of Dreams even has special fake Jails, Temples & even Railway Stations with single running trains which are built/constructed/framed perfectly for normal shootings and different OSS’s (Over the Shoulder Shoots).
You only have to rent it, install the camera to start the work. The Exhibition also showcased 14 fabulous paintings by Atul Dodiya of Station signboards along the Mumbai Central Railway Line with portraits of popular Bollywood villains. Anant Joshi replicated the never sleeping city’s imaginations & desires by moving wooden objects in the shape of fire crackers (implying the bomb blasts/odd events which took place in the past). An old telephone was also displayed in the gallery in which you could hear ecordings of dialogues and songs which were specially put together for this project.
Another interesting spot at the exhibition was where one could sit on a cycle, which had a green chroma background to view their self image on a screen in front, with an exciting background which kept on changing as one pedaled the cycle plus the camera angles changed as well time to time. The production set of Networks, the bazaars; the streets of the city that hawks the footprints of the cinema were amazingly explained via little pictures and huge interesting Models and Pipeline set-ups.
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