Saturday, February 28, 2009


Now this comes before Danny Boyle tried to show the poverty stricken India in Slumdog Millionaire. My friend Chelsea had sent me this link more than a year ago and I thought these pictures were some of the most beautiful ones I had ever seen. Considering my love for cinema, I just couldn't take my eyes of some of them. Jonathan Torgovnik obviously a foreigner has captured some of India's present day yet to be eventually forgotten cinema marvels with elan. It's pretty amazing how so much of this beauty is in front of one's eyes yet we cannot see them. Torgovnik has captured the simplest thing like buying the orange movie ticket and made it more than wonderful or the classic village touring cinemas. Just check out these beauties and go gaga!!

You can find the rest of the pictures on the following link.

These images and text are all extracts from the book Bollywood Dreams and are subject to copyright.

Near the tent small metal ticket booths are set up. A young boy purchases a 10Rs. ($0.25) ticket to his first film ever. in the village of Palli.

An Usher displays 12rs. ($0.25) tickets collected at the 80 year old "Imperial" cinema one of the oldest in Mumbai (Bombay),

The front row of New Shirin Cinema in Mumbai (Bombay), while the film is projected. The cinema is divided to sections and ticket price. The people which sit in the front rows are considered the biggest fans.

The interior of the tuck with two projectors mounted on the floor, projecting the film through a hole in the back wall of the truck. The films are projected all night, and the projectionists take turns in sleeping between shows.

A food stall near Alfred cinema, Mumbai (Bombay).

Artists at "Mohan Arts" studio, in front of their freshly painted "cut outs" which will be placed out side movie theaters in Chennai. The cut out can be up to 60' high. The cost for these larger than life hand painted advertisements is still cheaper to produce than printed ones. In south India, particularly in Madras and Hydrabad, the hand painted film advertisements are still more common than printed ones. In Bombay the hand painted banners hardly exists today.

Film projector operators at the "Padmam" theater projection room, Chennai (Madras). Cinema-goers became accustomed to dim projection, poor focus and quavering sound. Things are now changing for the better.

Beside the main hero and heroine, other characters carry the narrative in Indian films. These roles, whether father or friend, are played by a number of actors known as 'character' actors. Razak Khan is known to play a gangster side-kick. on the set of "Dil Ke Aas Paas" (nearest to the hart) in "Filmaliya" studios Mumbai.

In the court yard of " Roopam" cinema in Chennai (Madras). A boy stretching his hand, trying to touch the lips of a painted larger than life image of his favorite actress film star.

Amar Touring Cinema camped in the village of Palli, with Kisan the projector operator sitting on the truck.

Young kids pounce on cars stuck at traffic lights in Mumbai (Bombay), and thrust glossy gossip film magazines at them. Stardust and Filmfare are two of the local film monthlies, reporting gossip on who’s secretly seeing whom, which star is furious with which, etc.

Actresses Madooh and Urmila embrace, and a film crew man blocking the light from the camera by hand holding a black cloth. As labor is very cheap in India, this film crew worker is acting as a human 'flag' for blocking the light, where in western productions a stand would be used.

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