Indian Directors- A Report Card.
On March 30th, 1955, Truffaut published in Art a tract entitled “The French Cinema short on Ambition,” wherein he suggested precise rating of the “89 French Directors of the day, whom he divided into five categories. I had just finished watching most, if not all, works of past and contemporary directors of Indian Cinema. This works range from the Avant Grade films of John Abrahm to Farah Khan pastiche 70s curry antidote, Om Shanti Om.
I, confess, I must have missed few noted Directors and a number of them from Telegu and Tamil Cinema- Since I’m yet to get familiar with a lot of film from South.. Yet, from whatever I have seen till date, which includes more than 500 Indian Films ranging across language and Directors from experimental to commercial. I decided to lay down the “Directors “according to the five broad categories laid by Truffaut.
The basic rule of thumb used to categorize this “Directors” was by looking at their body of work, their theme, constituency, personal stamp, mise-en-scene, honesty and Star Power. At the same time ,it was important to understand under what social and economic condition was the film made, this fact really helps in dividing an important line between truth and deceit.
Another important element in my classification was to understand whether this film represent or show anything about the era or milieu they were made. Can I relate it to anything I have seen in life or read in fiction? Does it belong complete to Cinema and if it does, What is the power of image? And how did the Director achieve it. Every film and its inherent theme could have a counterpart in World Cinema. So, I also looked ,and compared two films to understand where a Director lacks or shows a distinction from where the material could be copied or was it influenced. It also allowed me to put two pictures of the same theme and weigh it accordingly.
I was also interested in knowing and understanding under what economic condition and freedom did the “Director make this film” , was he backed by a studio to deliver the film or the money came from various Productions, each and every thing counts in determining who fits where.
I know their aren’t any hard and fast rules for finding objectivity as such, but all opinions are purely based on looking at the body of work from various angles as mentioned above. And I tried to bring out an accurate portrait where things stand today.
I suggest to all people who read the blog or post to send a feedback and suggestion so that we can really improve and create a certain discourse over the works and standing of “Directors” in Indian Cinema.
I have included few films along with the Directors name, due to my in -ability to understand HTML(As the blogger keeps giving an error) there will be a slight mis-match between the Director column and Films.
Agraharathil Kazhuthai, Cheriachante Krurakrithyangal.
Chidambaram, Kanchana Seetha, Pokkuveyil
The Apu Triology, Satranj ke Khiladi
Megha Daka Tara, Ajantrik, Subarnarekha
Pyaasa, Kagez Ke Phool.
Xagoroloi Bohu Door, Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai
Kasbha, Maya Darpan, Char Adhyay
Do Bigha Zameen, Madhumita, Bandini, Devdas
Uski Roti, Drupad, Idiot.
Nishant, Manthan, Bhumika, Ankur.
The Representatives of Quality
Ram Gopal Verma
Unishe April, Rain Coat, Choker Bali
36 Chowringee Lane, Mr& Mrs Iyer, 15 Park Avenue
Nayakan, Bombay, Dil Se
Black Friday, Paanch
Hazaaron Khwaishein Ais, Khoya, Khoya Chand.
Awaara, Mis 420, Mera Naam Joker, Aag
VamshaVruksha, "Tabbaliyu neenade magane"
Satya, Company, Sarkar, Bhoot
Neccha Nagar, Haqeeqat
Do Aankhein Barah Haath, Dr. Kotnis ki Amar Kahani
Aan, Mother India, Andaz
C ID, Who Kyun Thi?
Honest Commerical Film Directors
Rakeysh Om Mehra
J P Dutta
Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om
Amar Akbar Anthony, Mard, Coolie
Rang De Basanti
Traffic Signal, Chandini Bar, Page 3
Arth, Janam, Naam
Sholay, Shakit, Buniyaad
Waqt, Lamhe, Deewar
Dil Chaatha Hai, Don, Lakshya
Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Apke Hain Kaun
Gudie, Jhonny Mera Naam, Teesri Manzil
Krrish, Koyla, Koi Mil Gaya
Roti Kapda Aur Makan, Kranti
Laagan, Swades, Jodha Akbar
Dishonest Film Directors.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Yaadein, Kisna, Taal, Pardes, Karz.
Devdas, Black, Sawarriya
Semi- Ambitious Directors