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The Courtesans Of Bombay (1983)

The Courtesans of Bombay DVD

(DVD includes short film 'Street Musicians of Bombay')

Ismail Merchant


Itemcode: 1000003451
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The Courtesans Of Bombay (1983)

Country: United Kingdom

Language: English

Year: 1983

Color/BW: COLOR

Category: Documentary, Short Film

Genre: Drama, Mature, Musical


Description

Intriguing, colorful and revealing, THE COURTESANS OF BOMBAY is Merchant Ivory's docu-drama about Pavan Pool, the enclosed area where the city's singing and dancing courtesans ply their trade.

It presents a portrait of a unique location both exotic and tawdry: crammed tenements housing thousands of men playing up to the camera as they seek out forbidden pleasures - and the courtesans themselves, who appear more as entertainers than sex workers. It shows how young girls are groomed in the arts of singing, dancing and, by inference, seduction.

Yet THE COURTESANS OF BOMBAY is neither sensationalist nor prurient, and is as much about a tradition with a special place in Indian society. That tradition is the entertainment of paying customers - always men - by songstresses and dancers who perform in the classical Hindustani styles of the ancient 'nautch' girls: India's version of the Japanese geisha.

Featuring SAEED JAFFREY (My Beautiful Laundrette, Coronation Street) and ZOHRA SEGAL (Bend It Like Beckham, The Mystic Masseur).



Cast: Saeed Jaffery, Zohra Sehgal, Kareem Samar, The Performers And The People Of Pavan Pool

Director: Ismail Merchant


Street Musicians Of Bombay (1994)

Country: United Kingdom

Language: English, Hindi

Year: 1994

Color/BW: COLOR

Category: Documentary, Short Film

Genre: Musical


Description

Richard Robbins's film documentary, Street Musicians of Bombay, came about as the result of an incident that occurred while he was staying at the Taj Mahal hotel in the cosmopolitan center of Bombay. He woke one morning to hear singing in the street below; going to the window, he saw two street musicians, a leper couple, singing a duet of almost unearthly beauty. Fascinated, he conceived the idea of making a documentary about Bombay's street performers of various kinds, but chiefly musicians (vocal and instrumental) who live by meager handouts. In a larger sense, the film would document the street life of the city. He began shooting scenes in 1986, returned in 1991-92 to shoot others, and finished work in 1993. Filming in the heart of Bombay presented special problems for the sound recordist since traffic was dense and noisy, many vehicles having no mufflers or exhaust systems. Usually Robbins took the performers he selected to a quieter neighborhood, but there, too, shooting could be stressful; hearing that a movie was being made, people would put down whatever they were doing and come in great numbers to watch. Sometimes these crowds became part of the film, as spectators watching the performers in the street, who often interacted with them.



Director: Richard Robbins

Music Director: Richard Robbins, Ustad Sultan Khan

Voice: Trevor Nichols, Rosemary Martin


Format: DVD

Label: Excel Home Videos

Catalog No: MIP1010

DVD Region: All Region

No Of Disks: 1

Certification: U/A

Runtime: 70 minutes

Video: PAL

Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Features

DVD includes short film Street Musicians of Bombay by Richard Robbins