American audience will soon get a glimpse of legendary Indian filmmaker Raj Kapoor's repertoire of cult cinema, with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) here exhibiting eight films by the showman including 'Awara' and 'Bobby'.
The exhibition, titled 'Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema' will run from January 6 through January 16. It will showcase Kapoor's eight legendary films, presented in newly struck 35mm prints, offering an "introduction to one of the most ravishing and influential periods of world cinema."
"Largely unknown in North America except to millions of fans of South Asian descent actor, director, and mogul Raj Kapoor is revered not only in India but throughout the former Soviet world, the Middle East and beyond for the films he made during the golden age of Indian cinema," MoMA said.
The exhibition will open with Kapoor's 'Awaara', followed by 'Barsaat', 'Boot Polish', 'Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai', 'Shree 420', 'Meera Nam Joker' and 'Bobby'. The exhibition is being curated by artistic director of TIFF Bell Lightbox Noah Cowan, who also wrote the introductory text and film descriptions for the exhibition.
MoMA also said that Kapoor took the latent romanticism of pre-war Indian commercial cinema and made it frank, intense, and personal, creating a new idiom for the expression of emotion that had little place in traditional Indian literature and drama.
Quoting film critic Elliot Stein, MoMA said, "Kapoor's singular and gargantuan talent subsumes a variety of influences and affinities (Charles) Chaplin, Frank Capra, Orson Welles with even a touch of Russ Meyer apparent in the later work.
"At times, his oeuvre recalls the work of a 19th-century European literary giant whose sympathy for the underdog, protean activity, inexhaustible energy and penchant for excess earned him fame and a national reputation as early in life as Kapoor. Yes, Raj Kapoor is to a degree the Victor Hugo of Indian cinema."