DO NOT FORGET ME: Film Studios

When I went back to Kolkata in 2013 a few years after photographing the cinema halls there, it was evident to trace the footsteps of film backwards from the cinema hall to film studio. The old filmmaking gear were stored in corners of the shooting floors and in dark rooms shrouded under blankets. When this equipment was uncovered, I sensed the spirit of experimentation and whim of the 60s and 70s. It is this spirit that I pursued while photographing these machines of optics and sound. 

At Technician’s Studio founded by the legendary cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta, the sound editing table was where Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali and Ghatak’s films were laced with sound. The wrapped up chair at Image India was called Manik da’s chair and the camera he shot on was forever known as that camera. These tools that at one time rendered the imaginary visible are now mnemonic devices which spark off anecdotes and recollections piecing together the oral history of making of cinema.

The title of this exhibition, Do Not Forget Me is drawn from Cinema Stories, where the author Alexander Kluge talks about a German actor’s desire to be loved and remembered forever in spite of the ephemeral nature of the fast paced medium of cinema.

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