Celebrating the classics of Asian cinema and beyond, Restored is a regular series showcasing Asian films that have been meticulously preserved and restored by different institutions from across the world. The platform revisits these classics in a new light and allows them to be appreciated by new generations of audiences.
An envelope-pushing dance film about a young dancer pursuing his dream of setting up an arts academy. This November, catch one of the enduring classics of Indian cinema restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project.
Original Title: कल्पना
Directed by: Uday Shankar
Runtime: 155 minutes
Language: Hindi with French and English subtitles
A writer’s personal memories become intertwined with the story he pitches to a film producer. The story revolves around Udayan, a young dancer, played by the director Uday Shankar himself, who relentlessly pursues his dream of setting up an arts academy. In his quest, Udayan’s affections are vied for by Uma, a childhood friend and dancer, and Kamini, a rich patron.
The only feature directed by legendary dancer Uday Shankar, Kalpana borrows from Shankar’s experiences of setting up his own dance academy in the Himalayas and his philosophies regarding reforms in art education. Dream sequences, inter-disciplinary performances and a rich commentary on the imaginations of a newly independent India are refracted through the prism of dance.
Restoration Notes from The Film Foundation
Kalpana was digitally restored in 2008 by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at Cineteca di Bologna /L’Immagine Ritrovata in association with the family of Uday Shankar, the National Film Archive of India and Dungarpur Films. Restoration funding was provided by the Doha Film Institute.
A combined dupe negative and a positive print were used but they were badly damaged and marked by lines, tears, dirt, dust, white marks and poor definition. The restoration required a considerable amount of physical and digital repair in order to recover the beauty of faces, movements, and costumes, and to reduce the aforementioned issues.
The original sound was digitally transferred from the combined dupe negative. Digital cleaning and background noise reduction was applied. The restoration has generated a new duplicate negative, and optical soundtrack negative for preservation as well as a complete back-up of all the files produced by the digital restoration.
About the Director
Uday Shankar (1900-1977) was one of the central figures in the history of dance in India, fusing Indian classical forms with techniques from the West. Born in Udaipur, Rajasthan, he moved to London to study painting at Royal College of Art. After his debut at Covent Garden alongside the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, he started his own dance troupe that toured Europe to wide acclaim. In 1938, he established the Uday Shankar India Cultural Centre in the Himalayas, where he assembled a group of artists including musicians, filmmakers and dancers. After the closure of the academy, Shankar started preparations on his one and only film, four years in the making, Kalpana (1948).
Saturday, 6 November 2021, 4pm
Sunday, 14 November 2021, 5pm
Saturday, 20 November 2021, 8pm
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