First Indian film museum opens in home of Bollywood

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The India’s first national film museum is spread across a stylish 19th-century bungalow and a modern five-story glass structure in south Mumbai. (AFP)
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The National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) is the country’s first museum showcasing the history of its film industry. (AFP)
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The museum costs 1.4 billion rupees (19.6 million USD). (AFP)
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The new museum traces the evolution of Indian cinema, in the home of Bollywood in Mumbai. (AFP)
Updated 30 January 2019

First Indian film museum opens in home of Bollywood

  • Movie-mad India today produces around 1,500 films a year, dwarfing even Hollywood’s output
  • The government-funded museum boasts stacks of memorabilia, recordings and film-making tools as well as interactive touch screens

MUMBAI: From silent black-and-white films to colorful blockbusters bursting with song and dance, the evolution of Indian cinema is traced by a new museum in the home of Bollywood.
Costing 1.4 billion rupees ($19.6 million), India’s first national film museum is spread across a stylish 19th-century bungalow and a modern five-story glass structure in south Mumbai.
“It showcases to the world outside what Indian cinema has achieved in its entirety over more than 100 years,” Amrit Gangar, a consulting curator on the project, told AFP.
Movie-mad India today produces around 1,500 films a year, dwarfing even Hollywood’s output.




It is located in South Mumbai. (AFP)


The government-funded National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) boasts stacks of memorabilia, recordings and film-making tools as well as interactive touch screens where visitors can watch clips from memorable movies.
Movie buffs can learn about India’s first full-length feature film, the 1913 Dadasaheb Phalke-directed “Raja Harishchandra,” and listen to recordings of K. L. Saigal, considered the first superstar of Hindi-language cinema.
They are also able to view hand-painted movie posters, including for internationally acclaimed director Satyajit Ray’s 1955 hit “Pather Panchali,” and click selfies beside a statue of Bollywood icon Raj Kapoor.
The museum takes visitors through “the journey of Indian cinema, from silent films to ‘talkies’ to the studio era to the new wave,” Prashant Pathrabe, director general of the Indian government’s film department, told AFP.
Bollywood is a nickname for the Hindi-language film industry that is based in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay.
The museum celebrates not just Bollywood but also the movies made in the various regions and languages across India.
“Films are made in about 25 different regional languages in India and all are included here so that the entire country, irrespective of which part you come from, can enjoy this museum,” said Pathrabe.
The museum also hosts replicas of the Mutoscope, the camera used by the Lumiere Brothers, and the Praxinoscope — a spinning cylindrical animation device invented in France in the 1870s.
The idea for the museum was first mooted in 2006 and it was due to open in 2014 when the exhibition rooms housed in the 6,000 square foot heritage building were declared ready.




Visitors can learn more about the first ever Bollywood movie at the museum. (AFP)


However the opening was delayed after the government decided to build the new wing, which includes a section exploring the impact independence hero Mahatma Gandhi had on cinema around the world, including on Charlie Chaplin.
“This is the first time I have seen such a huge museum about cinema,” said Maria Jones, who had traveled from her home in the southern India state of Kerala, to visit the museum.
“I’m really happy and excited to see the history of Indian cinema until now. The different cameras have been fascinating for me. The first cameras were really huge,” she told AFP.
The museum does contain some gaps though as many of India’s early films were never preserved while other artefacts have been damaged over the years.
For example, the last remaining print of India’s first “talkie,” the 1931 “Alam Ara” (The Light of the World), was destroyed in a fire in 2003.
Still, officials expect the museum to be a hit with fans.
“It’s an education in cinema,” said Pathrabe.


Different strokes: Saudi artist draws the line at cosmetic waste

Updated 15 December 2019

Different strokes: Saudi artist draws the line at cosmetic waste

  • 19-year-old student Aisha Javid Mir produces paintings that are both eye-catching and eco-friendly

JEDDAH: Using a technique all her own, one young Saudi artist is turning out artworks that not only light up a room — but also help save the planet. 

Instead of traditional oils, 19-year-old student Aisha Javid Mir uses discarded makeup and cosmetics to produce paintings that are both eye-catching and eco-friendly.

She describes the process as “beauty created out of beauty.”

Her project, Artientifique, has introduced the concept to a growing audience, drawing praise from around the Middle East and abroad.  

“The idea of using makeup to paint came to me when I was in my school,” Mir told Arab News. “One of my friends bought new cosmetics and changed her set, throwing the old cosmetics stock in the bin.” 

Mir set to work developing new painting techniques using waste cosmetics, inventing tools to help her paint.

“Makeup brushes wouldn’t work on canvas because they are designed for faces and makeup texture is different from traditional paint, so I had to think and work on it,” she said.

The idea of painting using old cosmetics sounds simpler than it was. “I worked for years to figure out how I could make a beautiful, durable, premium-quality paintings for art lovers by using waste,” she said.

“It shouldn’t ever look like it was created from trash.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Aisha Mir has no preferences in terms of makeup products or brands.

• ‘When I collect waste stock, it is a mix of broken, sticky and old things,’ she said.

While practicing Mir introduced the idea to friends in the Middle East, India and abroad, and shared her paintings on social media, gaining positive feedback.

She said waste and poor disposal of cosmetics pose a threat to the planet through harmful chemicals and micro-plastics, with hormone disruption, genetic mutation and possible extinction of marine species among the most pressing concerns.

“I was trying to spread awareness about the harm caused by waste cosmetics. I knew what I was doing was on a small scale, but when people applauded, I realized what I was doing was great and beneficial. It motivated me to work harder,” Mir said.

The painter has been interested in art ever since she was a toddler. “I don’t remember a single day I came home in a clean uniform,” she said.

Now word of Mir’s work is spreading. She was featured in this year’s Misk Global Forum and has also collaborated with Maitreya Art, one of India’s best-known galleries.

Artientifique is helping to raise environmental awareness by allowing art lovers to buy paintings and support the initiative.

Mir said that in future she hopes to collaborate with art galleries, conduct makeup painting exhibitions and work with cosmetics brands to “convert waste into something exclusive.”