India | 1948 | 160 minutes | Uday Shankar

An unsung gem upon its 1948 release, this black-and-white Indian ballet stars writer/director Uday Shankar (brother of Ravi Shankar) as a dance academy proprietor torn between two women. Stunning restoration by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata.

May 27, 2013
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
2:30 PM Date has passed
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One of the treasures of Indian cinema, this 1948 masterpiece returns to movie screens newly restored by the World Cinema Foundation. The only film made by the legendary dancer and choreographer Uday Shankar (older brother of the late musician, Ravi), who spent five years on this film as its writer, director, choreographer, and star, Kalpana sets up its dazzling blend of reality and imagination from the start, as a screenwriter attempts to interest a film producer in his project. The described story, roughly following Shankar's own struggles to found an academy, is envisioned as a dance; more than 80 whirl through the film, from narrative interludes to nightmarish fantasy sequences. Though this was the first film from the country to feature a dancer as its protagonist, don't expect just another diverting spectacle in the Bollywood tradition that followed. Made at a time that Shankar's own professional fortunes were ebbing, Kalpana emerges as a stirring call for artists to operate free from commercial constraints, and its inventive mix of fiction, autobiography, surrealism, and dance is one-of-a-kind, as unique today as it was 65 years ago.

Director Biography
As both a performer and choreographer, Uday Shankar (older brother of the late musician, Ravi) was one of the pillars of Indian dance, an innovative assimilator of not only India’s wide range of traditional, classical, and folk forms, but of Western techniques as well. In a career that spanned from the 1920s to his death in 1977, he founded many schools and received several of his country’s highest honors.

Sponsored in part by Delta Air Lines

Director: Uday Shankar
Principal Cast: Uday Shankar, Lakshmi Kanta, Usha Kiran, Amala Shankar
Country: India
Year: 1948
Running Time: 160 minutes
Producer: Uday Shankar
Screenplay: Uday Shankar, Amritlal Nagar
Cinematographers: K. Ramnoth
Editors: N.K. Gopal
Music: Traditional Indian Music
Website: http://www.worldcinemafoundation.org/films/kalpana
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: Hindi
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
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