Tapan Sinha had been an epitome of cinematic excellence – artistic and entertaining and that is why he could reach to his audience with élan which at times even the towering Satyajit Ray could not. Sinha’s films have almost always made brisk business as compared to the trinity of Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen.
Sensorium in association with Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts organized a 3-day-long poster-cum-photograph exhibition on eminent Bengali film-maker Tapan Sinha recently from Nov 21st till 23rd in Kolkata.
Titled ‘Aaponjon’ the exhibition celebrated the 90th birth anniversary of the legendary film-maker. The name ‘Aaponjon’ was inspired by Sinha’s intriguing 1968 film with the same name. Interestingly the film was made in the turbulent backdrop of the late ‘60s where a widow finds out how her relatives exploit and betray her and eventually she finds her ‘own’ in a group of social outlaws. This is of immense misfortune that 5 years since his demise, Tapan Sinha has been largely forgotten by the people of his ‘own’ city – the section of educated, middle-class Bengali for whom he made films and because of whom he never thought of leaving the city in want of monetary gains elsewhere. Sounak Chacraverti of Sensorium gets special credit due to this – he brought back memories of a master whom we have all chose to forget. A point to note that the first exhibition on Sinha was done by Sounak himself way back in 2008 at the ICCR, Kolkata and followed it up with one in Pune FTII. The recent one is a cut down version of their seniors but with welcome additions of a few new photographs as well.
Tapan Sinha had been an epitome of cinematic excellence – artistic and entertaining and that is why he could reach to his audience with élan which at times even the towering Satyajit Ray could not. Sinha’s films have almost always made brisk business as compared to the trinity of Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen. In parallel quite a few of Sinha’s films have been acclaimed, discussed and awarded in National and International film festivals of repute – Sinha won 19 national film awards in various categories apart from being conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2006.
However with the prevalence of film criticism as a practice in the country, Sinha probably was out of favour with the critics in comparison with either a Ray or a Ghatak or even Sen. From cinematic yardsticks he may be short of these masters without much doubt but his simplistic story telling yet conveying deeper conscience through his narrative has always gone on well with the educated film audience. This aspect of his versatility was acknowledged by Goutam Ghose, film-maker who inaugurated the exhibition on Nov 21st. Ghose continued that probably no other director has taken up subjects so varied and so unrelated. The inauguration was marked by reminiscences of actors, producers of Sinha’s films and a small note of appreciation from Amitabh Bachcan which read – “Tapan Sinha is a true lover of art, truth and beauty, the finesse and depth of which have been successfully portrayed in his work. He is a ‘maestro’ in the world of ‘cinema’ ”.
The photographs exhibited were clicked by Sukumar Roy, a long-time associate of Sinha who followed the director and captured him in different moods and poses. The photographs mostly find Sinha in his work either alone or with his actors. They however don’t hold Sinha in extreme candid situations like Nemai Ghosh’s lens used to find Satyajit Ray. It may also prove that Sinha was even more a reserved person than Ray whose towering stoic exterior is otherwise a shield to get to the master’s inner self. The posters exhibited the evolution of the same – since the 1950s and till at least Atanka (1986) almost all the posters were hand drawn by artists, the same of Wheel Chair (1994) used digital printing.
— Learning&Creativity (@LearnNCreate) December 2, 2014
To make the exhibition meaningful and alluring Sounak spread it out with care. On 22nd Nov in the exhibition venue there was a musical program with songs used in Tapan Sinha’s films which were written and composed by Sinha himself. Sung by Uma Bose, Jhinuk Gupta and Arjun Riju Roy they could provide a glimpse of the talent Sinha had even as a lyricist and music composer – his deep roots in Bengali culture and his immense understanding of Tagore’s songs being exemplified in these creations. The following day there was screening of the documentary Padatik – The Strider by Eastern India Cinematographers’ Association which showcased the multi-faceted genius of Tapan Sinha.
In the inaugural ceremony Tapan Sinha’s son Anindya Sinha very poignantly mentioned that the task of preserving a father’s achievements, laurels and repertoire is a son’s job essentially which he didn’t do but Sounak did. Not only Anindya Sinha but the entire film fraternity and film lovers of Tapan Sinha’s films are indebted to Sounak for curating this priceless exhibition.
More to read
An interview with Tapan Sinha published in 4 parts
Never Have I Made the Same Kind of Film: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-I)
I’d Never Allow My Mind To Gather The Moss Of Stagnation: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-II)
I Cherish A Thrill For Adventure: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-III)
I Am A Worshipper Of All Things Beautiful: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-IV)
We are editorially independent, not funded, supported or influenced by investors or agencies. We try to keep our content easily readable in an undisturbed interface, not swamped by advertisements and pop-ups. Our mission is to provide a platform you can call your own creative outlet and everyone from renowned authors and critics to budding bloggers, artists, teen writers and kids love to build their own space here and share with the world.
When readers like you contribute, big or small, it goes directly into funding our initiative. Your support helps us to keep striving towards making our content better. And yes, we need to build on this year after year. Support LnC-Silhouette with a little amount - and it only takes a minute. Thank you
Got a poem, story, musing or painting you would like to share with the world? Send your creative writings and expressions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning and Creativity publishes articles, stories, poems, reviews, and other literary works, artworks, photographs and other publishable material contributed by writers, artists and photographers as a friendly gesture. The opinions shared by the writers, artists and photographers are their personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Learning and Creativity emagazine. Images used in the posts (not including those from Learning and Creativity's own photo archives) have been procured from the contributors themselves, public forums, social networking sites, publicity releases, Morguefile free photo archives and Creative Commons. Please inform us if any of the images used here are copyrighted, we will pull those images down.