This is the parallel cinema quiz I did at the group Quizcraft. Here I am trying to pay tribute to the Indian parallel cinema movement by moving beyond mere financial considerations. As there are only 10 questions, I have failed to cover all the luminaries of this genre but will try to do the same in the future. Have a look at the questions, the answers have also been provided at the bottom.
Indian Parallel Cinema Quiz:
1. A once made a film B based on a short story by C. The same story was later directed by D in a more glitzy manner with bigger stars and the film was called E. D was also an actor in his younger days was known for his common man acts. Identify all.
3.Set in a decrepit Mumbai slum, this film comes with characters like an attractive widower, her teenaged children and her suitors (one of whom duffers from syphilis, one of the rare depictions of STD in Hindi cinema). True to the ideals of parallel cinema of its times, it is as gritty and realistic as it can be. It was the first and last feature length film of the director as his life was tragically cut short by an accident. It fittingly stars two of the biggest “parallel” stars of those times. So, just name the film.
4.One of the earliest instances of using an inanimate object as a character, this film is the first theatrical release of its director. Noted critic once Jonathan Rosenbaum had once drew parallels to Jacques Tati’s Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot. Full with symbolism and wry humor, this 1958 release still remains one of the lesser known works of this maestro. Name it.
5. Name the lady here…she dint do any of those “parallel” films herself…but there exists a connect somehow…
7. Largely overlooked at the time of its release, this film has gone on to receive cult status over time. This late 80’s film portraying life in a fictional small town in India came out of near oblivion couple of years ago, when an equally rebellious new age director accepted its influence on his latest release. Identify this film. (It might look vague but I would refrain from naming anyone here as it would be a giveaway…or probably it already is!)
Indian Parallel Cinema Quiz Answers:
1. A= Mani Kaul, B=Duvidha, C=Vijaydan Dvetha. D= Amol Palekar, E=Paheli
2. The connect is Byomkesh Bakshi.
Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, the creator, Basu Chatterjee who made the cult serial and Ray who made Chriakhana with Uttam Kumar as Byomkesh
3. Chakra by Rabindra Dharmaraj. One of the lesser known ones of its genre but I was blown away by it. Stars Smita Patil & Naseeruddin Shah among others
4. Ajantrik by Ritwik Ghatak that depicts a man and his relationship with his beloved Taxi, a 1920 model Chevrolet which is in dilapidated condition but is his only companion nevertheless.
5. Hansa Wadkar, a popular actress of Hindi and Marathi films in the 30’s & 40’s & was know to be ahead of her time which also lead to problems in her personal life. Shyam Benegal & Smita Patil brought her back to life through their film Bhumika which is actually the parallel cinema connection in this case.
6. Neecha Nagar, is the connect. Maxim Gorky, Chetan Anand & Cannes film Festival. It is on of the first Indian films to gain international recognition, after it shared the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (Best Film) award at the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946. It was based on a Hindi story, Neecha Nagar, written by Hayatulla Ansari, which in turn was inspired by Maxim Gorky’s “Lower Depths”.
7. Om Dar Badar by Kamal Swaroop. A certain scene is supposed to have inspired the picturization of Emosanal Atyachar.
8. Movies adopted from Mahashweta Devi’s novels…Sanghursh, Rudaali, Hazar CHurashi Ki Maa…
9. Now everyone has got Ray here…but as I said, it was an exhaustive list. The exact connect is the Original Screenplays or Stories by Ray. Kanchenjunga & Nayak are his only proper original screenplays. Sonar Kella, Hirak Rajar Deshe, Jaibaba Felunath & Agantuk are based on his own stories or novels. All his other works are based on noted literary works by other authors such as Rabindranath, Bibhutibhushan, SUnil Gangopadhyay, Sankar, Premchand etc.
*But I have realized now that Shakha Proshakha is another film that is originally written by him. The ray foundation site says “Only six screenplays of these feature length films were entirely original”…but then it names seven films, which confused me…u can follow the link & see for urself…
10. Jane Bhi Do Yaaron, Kundan Shah, Weekend at Bernie’s which is believed to have been inspired by the same & Blow up which has been referenced in the film.