Monday, January 07, 2013

A great collection of film photos - the Nemai Ghosh Archive

Movie-lovers in Delhi, do try to go for the Delhi Art Gallery’s excellent exhibition (January 8-28) of Nemai Ghosh’s film-related photographs, many of them taken on the sets of Satyajit Ray’s movies from Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (1968) to Agantuk (1991). This is the culmination of a vast restoration project involving thousands of images - especially vital for a country that has a poor record of cinematic archiving and preservation. 

I wrote an essay on Ghosh and Ray for the exhibition catalogue, which means I got to see most of the photos in Jpeg form a few months ago (you can see some of them here) – but seeing them at the exhibition promises to be a much richer experience. Below are just two of my (many) favourites, these from the Shatranj ke Khiladi set: Amjad Khan, one of our most photogenic and regal actors, as the melancholy Wajid Ali Shah, trapped in history’s coil:

And two more photos I like: Smita Patil with camera on the set of Sadgati; and Jaya Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachchan early during their courtship, circa 1973:

[Details about the exhibition here]


  1. What a sweet picture of the Bachchans!

  2. I know! He looks almost...human. Btw, I went for the inauguration of the exhibition today, and the photos look even better than I'd imagined. Mesmerising stuff.

  3. The Smita Patil & Bachchan photos cry out for a caption contest.

  4. Theres a pic of the couple standing on a tall building in Calcutta from where they can see the much of the city. this is one of my favourite shots. Movie - Pratidwandi, I guess. Sad, I am in Bangalore and cant go there and see

  5. Hi Jai! There's a picture of Smita's i'd like to buy. sadly i don't live in Delhi and don't know how to get in touch with the curator. don't even know if it's still available. can you help? Drop me a mail. D