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02. Good cinema around the corner, says Gulzar
     Express News Service, The Indian Express, Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 13th, 2002

The days of good cinema are round the corner and it is only a matter of time before better purposeful and meaningful cinema asserts itself, pushing aside films of the fast food variety, said poet lyricist Gulzar.

"We now see too many films of the fast food variety but things are definitely looking up. I was jobless for six years before Panditji (RV Pandit) gave me a job. After Maachis he has made four films. There are now producers who want to say something to the audience, rather than merely entertain. It is a good sign. Most importantly people have started to see better movies" he said, sounding a note of optimism.

"There are many artistes in formula films who are really talented. But somehow they are not convinced about the offbeat films which are being made. I wish meaningful cinema would inspire them," he said.

Asked why current art did not compare favorably with those produced in the early Independence days, Gulzar said that any work would only reflect the state of society. "Why, even present day society and politics do not have the conviction and excitement of early days. That is bound to reflect in the works of art too," the poet said.

RV Pandit who made Train to Pakistan, Nidaan, Jayate, and Darmiyaan after Maachis, was also present at Chit Chat session organized as part of Soorya Festival of Films and Theatre. He spoke about how strongly he felt about the Punjab problem and the circumstances which led to the making of Maachis.

While Nidaan, which is to be screened tomorrow, deals with the AIDS threat, Jayate is based on medical malpractice. Darmiyaan with Kiron Kher and Tabu in the lead, peeps into the stark world of eunuchs.

Rohini Hattangadi, who floored the audience yesterday with her performance in Aparajitha, the play directed by her husband Jayadev Hattangadi, said that it was unfortunate that the interest in theatre was waning. "There are not many committed freshers coming in," she said.

Aparajitha took six months to rehearse, Jayadev said. "I won't mention their names but there were a few actresses who shied away from doing their role. As for Rohini doing the play and constantly talking about for one hour and forty minutes, it is due to sheer training and professionalism," he added.

Shyamaprasad spent most of the time accepting praise for Agnisakshi which was screened earlier in the day. He also appealed to the audience not to compare the film with the literary work on which it is based.

"At least ten years ago, I wanted to make a film based on the novel. I have tried to be as close in spirit to the work which inspired me. I hope you do not compare the film with the novel. Film and literature are two entirely different media," Shyamaprasad said.

Agnisakshi was not a brilliant novel structurally, Shyamaprasad said. "But there are a lot of unique observations which appealed to me. That is why I made the film," he added.

Gulzar said that the dip in standards of Hindi film lyrics was because lyrics were not penned by professional poets. "Mostly the composer adds the words to the composition which is based on a particular rhythm. These people could at least do a little bit of learning. They can start by reading
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