PYAASA (Eternal Thirst)
11:00 am, Saturday, November 17th, Castro Theater, San Francisco
Director: Guru Dutt
Country: India (1957)
Running Time: 146 mins, B&W, 35mm
Hindi with English subtitles
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Guru Dutt's 1957 classic Pyaasa , an emotionally charged indictment of the materialism of our times, is pure celluloid poetry - in the richly textured cinematography of V.K. Murthy, the stirring music of S.D. Burman, the incisive lyrics of Sahir Ludhianvi and the nuanced performances all around. Aspiring poet Vijay (Dutt) - spurned by both lover and family - finds his sole admirer in the gentle prostitute Gulabo, and receives recognition only when he is presumed dead.
Dutt's (1925-1964) sensitive thematic contents coupled with his technical innovations made his films the masterpieces they are. He had a unique knack of integrating songs into a film, using them as an extension of the dialogue; he used light and shade to bring a poetic, almost magical, effect to create romance; and he revolutionized the close up shot -- going for closer magnifications of characters than previously seen, almost as if probing for their internal feelings.
Selected filmography: Pyassa (1957), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) and Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam (1962).