Editor's Note: This transcript was automatically transcribed, so mistakes are inevitable. You can contribute by proofreading the transcript or highlighting the mistakes. Sign up to be amongst the first contributors.
This is the epilogue of your experience. Foom is clearly a sophisticated art, possibly the most important art of the 20th century with a rather complex history of theory and practice, writes James Minako in his book How to Read a Film. So far in our podcast, The Artists, we have had filmmakers, writers, critics, programmers from some of the top film festivals, musicians, thinkers defining their combinatorial skills. We admit a physical lab have been striving to expand the realm of our broadcast, which in turn gives a wider canvas to the understanding of our experiences.
And also we have tied up with Epilog Media, the Broadcasting Network, so you can find us on the website, epilog media, slash the artists. And of course, you can continue to listen to us on the platforms that you choose from Apple podcast or Spotify to go on to Google podcast. Everything is mentioned in the description and of course, you can reach us on the WhatsApp number and our melody. I'm such a fan. I'm looking forward to a wonderful journey ahead with all of you.
And we are talking about how funky the father of Indian cinema, who in 1913 Major Raja Harishchandra, the first Full-length feature film coming out of India, doesn't fall. He was he was a polymath. He was a genius. He he was full of ideas. He was so passionate. And he was he was like a sponge who loved art and absorbed it. In fact, he went and joined Jaja School of Arts and later he went to Maharajah Seijiro University Baroda, which is a very prestigious art institute.
I've got some friends coming out from there. The amount of passion and the kind of qualities he had just reminds me of DaVinci. That's how I became proficient in architecture and in modeling. He was experimenting with photography, with processing, with printing. There is this little anecdote that's going on on the Net about his photography business during those times that he wanted to expand his business. But the camera was something very new for people around the time, and people thought that camera sucked up people's energy and reduce the lifespan, which is why a lot of people were apprehensive and coming into the camera, including the Maharajah of Baroda around that time.
I don't know how far the story is true, but it's a prominent story and it's just in India. And I'm not sure if if if people felt the same about the camera in other parts of the world.
And his next fact comes almost as a surprise when I'm actually doing my research on it and almost coming full circle when it's mentioned that doesn't fall in very 1911 when I was little small theater and saw this film Life of Christ, which was made in nineteen eighty six by Eliscu bloodshed, and he came out of the theatre and he decided that he wanted to make films because he got so fascinated with filmmaking. So. So you see where this is coming from.
So in 1895 I look at blusher, watches the the those clips by Lumière brothers and she decided that she's going to make films and she goes around and she starts making films. And that travels to India 1911, where the stuff you watch is Holtham The Life of Christ. And he decides that he's going to be a film maker, which is like, oh, my God, look at the interconnectedness of our existence. So the US gets obsessed with making films and he starts watching films four to five hours every night.
And the point is that, of course, did not have a DVD or he was not on an auditory platform at that point. So he must be having all the sort of arrangements, all the equipments where he could watch those films and he would be having all those films that were getting made at that point. All the all the all the films of the silent era. So watching all those films of four to five hours every night, the story goes that he almost lost his eyesight because he started developing cataract.
And it was only with the timely intervention of all the doctors that they were able to save his eyesight. But his obsession with filmmaking continued, and he decided to mortgage his assets to go to London to understand the technical knowledge of making films. So by the time he came back to India in 1912, he founded his first film company. So all this time, just remember, he never had money. He always managed to arrange money from somewhere the gauging by asking, by taking a loan from somewhere.
So he was like taking a full on chance on his passion of making films. So being the ingenious. Gaza, thank you, was he started building things grounds up, in fact, he thought his entire family filmmaking. In fact, I got this little piece from the side, Livestream Dotcom about his wife, Sarasvati, by who at that point was hardly 20 years old. But due to the lack of resources and technology, not only was she the film financier, but also the editor, the developer and a kind of production manager.
So from raising her two kids and cooking single handedly for the entire film unit of 60 to 70 people, she also helped in the film shoots. For instance, she would hold white bedsheets for hours in hot afternoons as light reflectors and under her husband's guidance, which is that some funky Saraswathi by also mixed food and developing chemicals and perforated roll film sheets at night in candlelight. And in those days, hols had to be punched in film reels and the two hundred millimeter reel would take up to four hours of work.
So I just thought that while this was this was one of the most profound informations I read about, about him, there is this another anecdote on how he raised money for his film. He made a small film, a wonderful seed sprouting, which I believe must have been a timelapse shot at that point. And he showed that film to his financiers and managed to get a loan to make his first film. So when finally doesn't Folgate decide that he's going to go on with the film and the finances were in place, the problem arose with who's going to play the female lead because at that point there were no female actors.
In fact, theatre and films were not considered a profession for women. So men played the part of female roles. And I don't know if this just happened in India or if this was also a phenomenon in any other part of the world, but definitely in India. And he spotted this this boy who was working as a waiter in a restaurant, and his name was A.R. Luke. And he he said that he could perhaps play the female lead, which is the wife of Raja Chunder.
So he got him on the set. So, A.R., look, at that point, became this famous male guy, the male actor who could play the female leads, and he also doubled up as a cinematographer. So just like today's independent filmmaking spirit, that's a fact. Did most of the work. He was the writer. He was the director. He was the editor. He did most of the production work at times. He would also do parts of makeup and other activities that were at that time not available.
So the film regenerations almost took will do it six months and twenty seven days for shooting fullerenes.
Raja has got tremendous response in India and that in fact it continued making films. There's one other very interesting incident about his other film. The Burning of Language was an episode that was from Ramayana, the the the epic. And if you're not an Indian, you should just Google and check out a buddy of mine. I'm sure a lot of people know about it. And the episode is called Long Codon, where he finished the film and it was screened on seventeenth of September 1917.
And the same actor who played the wife of transliterations in this case, and this one played a double role. He played the male and he played the female. And the film was screened at the West End Cinema Bombay. And the shows were held from seven a.m. to 3am. And it's almost sounds like a film festival. People have lined up and pushing each other to watch the film and it collected thirty two thousand rupees, which was like a mammoth amount around that time in ten days.
And I'm talking about nineteen, seventeen hundred and three years ago that sci fi directed almost twenty five films, the last one in nineteen thirty seven Gongaware Tron, which was made at a cost of two like fifty thousand rupees at that time. It was the only sound film that he ever made and he passed away in nineteen forty four. So I hope this little bit about the safak inspires you and pushes you to go out there and make your own film and be a polymath.
Raja Harishchandra is there on YouTube. You can go and watch it. A film that is made on him by Operational Goshi, which is how recent Jauncey factory on his life was India's Oscar submission. Two thousand and nine. Try and get hold of that as well and watch it. So I hope you enjoy this little snack. So on the cell phone, the father of Indian cinema who laid the foundation for Indian cinema, especially our known Indian listeners who are actually hearing this name for the first time.
So that's what folks in the coming episode we are going to be talking about, the pendulum which won the BRISKI in Berlin into 017. We're going we talk to the makers of the film. So do watch the film before you actually hear the episode, because it talks about the details in the film, which you might not enjoy unless you watch the film. And the film is available on movie world and the film is also there on Amazon, if I'm not wrong.
Have a great weekend, folks. Take care of yourself and take care of who else you can take care of and have fun.