Monday, January 24, 2011

Inside the studios

Remember those distant times when your family ventures out on an evening after a celebration, to the nearest studio for having a photo session? The good news is that people still do that, if you can believe this wonderful documentary "City of Photos" directed by Nishtha Jain...!

The crew ventures into 'the friendly, neighborhood'  studios of Kolkatta and Ahmedabad, to see what goes on there. On one side they are in a struggle to survive from the digitalization of the medium, and on other they are using digital photography to  the most for keeping the limited patrons loyal. The movie tries to take a look into the psychology of capturing a fleeting moment of the face on a frame. The  bizarre background choices patrons choose, the need to look like a star, to be beautiful for a prospective marriage, camera shows it all. The most peculiar observation is the fetish shown by people to take pictures with calamities as the background- a train wreck, a cyclone or even twin tower explosion. The changing trends in props used in studios is also dealed. A starking contrast is made over the photographs of destructions and joyous celebrations taken by same photographers. This witty, and same time heart tugging documentary is definitely worth one hour of your life. 

And just for record, I watched this latest Malayalam movie starring Dileep and directed by Shafi, "Marikkuntoru Kunjadu" (Mary had a little lamb). The only reason this one is a bit better than Dileep's last movie that I watched, "Pappi Appacha", is Biju Menon's act. He looms above all others portraying a role that he has never attempted before. Otherwise movie is a washout. Situations from all Dileep's previous movies are rehashed and remixed, with very less comedy situations, and what turns up is a boring watch. Laughs are too far in between, heroine is just lame, co-actors wasted and Dileep is loud and repetitive. 


  1. The studio culture is prominent even in these days! A few months back, I visited one of the small studio operated in my neighborhood in Bengaluru. They feature many pictures where patrons pose like Telugu superstars. :)

    As for Dileep's new movie, there are many reviews which praises Biju Menon. I think it is time he got recognized. So far, he has not been given any role of substance after the disastrous "Shivam".

  2. hmmm well its amzing how this is still going on, because i still feel that they did a better job , here in uk there is a latest trend of getting fotos done in black and white Rather then digital etc ..

    and i can still rmemeber when ever there was a FAIR near our village the line to take a snap with Dharmendra or other actors and the sitting on red sports car etc :)


  3. Previously a visit to the studio by the newly wed couple was a must but now it is rare because the marriage photographer takes care of all .