The Vintage Era or the Golden period of Indian Cinema

There is a lot about the Indian cinema that is unheard about

Soon after India gained independence a new cinema was born, also known as the Modern Cinema that was deeply influenced by India’s anti-colonial struggle and the Independence movement. The late 1940s to 1960s, referred to as the Golden Era of Indian Cinema by the film historians saw some exceptional films with an extraordinary storyline, making it big internationally.

The rise of filmmaking
With the beginning of the 50s came the emergence of both commercial and parallel cinema giving industry great directors like Mehboob, Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, and Satyajit Ray changed the face of Indian cinema forever. Inspired and having witnessed a lot, their narrations emphasized social realism.

The early examples of the film include Dharti Ke Lal by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Neecha Nagar by Chetan Anand, Nagarik by Ritwik Ghatak, and Do Bigha Zamin by Bimal Roy, which laid the foundation for Indian New Wave.

There was also the rise of socio-political melodramas in the 50s like Raj Kapoor’s Awaara, Shree 420, Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Mehboob Khan’s Mother India – which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film – K. Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam and Devdas.

Parallel Cinema movement
It was Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy that won major prizes at all the major international film festivals, further establishing the Parallel Cinema movement. Pather Panchali, the first part of the trilogy, marked Ray’s entry into Indian cinema.

Ray also gave filmmakers cinematographer Subrata Mitra, who had a great influence on cinematography globally. One of his techniques bounce lighting, to recreate the effect of daylight on sets, was unique.

Commercial Cinema
During the 1960s, with Indira Gandhi’s intervention as the Information and Broadcasting Minister of India gave Indian cinema off-beat cinematic experiences. It was during this time that commercial Hindi cinema began thriving giving acclaimed films like Pyaasa, Kaagaz  KePhool, Awaara and Shree 420 narrating themes around the working-class urban life in India.

Mother India a remake of Mehboob Khan’s 1940 film Aurat went on to define the conventions of Hindi cinema for decades giving birth to a new genre of dacoit films. Followed by Ganga Jumna, whereas films like Madhumati popularised the theme of reincarnation.

The stars of the Golden Era
Dilip Kumar debuted in the 1940s was and is still considered as one of the biggest Indian movie stars. He is a pioneer of method acting in Indian cinema and has inspired countless Indian actors, including the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, Shah Rukh Khan, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

In fact, Neecha Nagar won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, opening gates for Indian films to compete for the Palme d’Or every year in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button