Wanted to share some photos as a tribute to K K Mahajan, the wonderful cinematographer who began his career in the late 1960s and shot a number of films for such directors as Mrinal Sen (including Bhuvan Shome and Ek Di Pratidin) and Basu Chatterjee (including the delightful Rajnigandha and Chhoti si Baat), and won four National Awards for his work. (Full filmography here.) I’ve been corresponding with K K’s wife Praba, who tells me he’s extremely unwell. She has shared a few old pictures from his work in the 1970s and kindly given me permission to put them up here. These are all from the shooting of Sen’s movies, and I like the impression they create (however true or not) of the rigours of filmmaking at a time when sophisticated technology was unavailable (look at some of these cameras!). Also, of course, the behind-the-scenes candour.
In the first pic, Mrinal Sen is on the left (which is as it should be, if you know anything about his work and his affiliations), with K K next to him.
Daredevilry in Calcutta: Spider-Man had nothing on this.
Not sure what Mr Sen is doing here; looks like a fake-snow set. Maybe Praba can elucidate.
This one is probably from Padatik, since that looks like Simi Garewal in the centre (I haven't seen the film).
And finally, this caricature of K K, drawn by cartoonist Mario Miranda. (Praba tells me K K is a fine gourmet cook; the dish he’s carrying here contains one of his specialties, mutton chops in milk.)[Click photos to enlarge]
P.S. More here from Uma.