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Conservation as an art gaining emphasis in Hollywood to preserve history

December 8, 2009 2:14:14 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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While in our country vital elements of our cultural bearing expressed through the medium of cinema are withering away on a daily basis in the National Film Development Corporation's office in Pune, and no initiative is being taken to ameliorate the situation, Hollywood has indeed woken up in a big way to begin the process of preservation of these vital telltale signs of the socio-cultural oeuvre.

The quest for preservation is being led by Martin Scorsese, arguably one of the biggest names in Hollywood as he is credited with making films like CASINO, THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, GODFELLAS, RAGING BULLS, LAST TEMPTATION OF THE CHRIST, THE COLOR OF MONEY etc. Most of his cinematic exposition has been in association with Robert De Nero in one form or the other.

The realization has dawned in Hollywood that film making is a form of art and it represents an era gone by that needs to be preserved for the sake of evolution and research. Owing to the efforts led by the likes of Martin Scorsese, Hollywood has been able to preserve rare gems like, THE RED SHOE, NANOOK OF THE NORTH and first animation film ADVENTURES OF SINDABAD.

The films that were made in the past used Silver nitrate as the medium which withers away with the passage of time. As most of the films of the past are lying dumped in the boxes the Silver nitrate effect powders away the reels into dust.

Conservation of the films from the past is indeed a tedious process as each frame has to be digitally photographed and then processed again using the modern devices of technology. Lots of care is also required to initiate the process of conservation which a Hollywood may be inclined to invest in, but it still seems to be a utopian notion as far as Hindi films are concerned.

However the success of HARISHCHANDRACHI FACTORY, which is India's entry into Oscars, should be an eye opener. It indeed should be as it is a pointer to the fact that the effort to give a new lease of life to the cinematic oeuvre that defines the journey of Indian cinema has indeed been recognized.

May be a director of the caliber of Martin Scorsese is needed for Hindi cinema? The moment has indeed arrived when somebody has to take the initiative. It is not a question of belling the cat, but it is more of pay back time for the medium of culture which is the topmost biding element for all the citizens of the country.

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