Guru Dutt: A Tragedy in Three Acts
Guru Dutt is now named along with the masters of world cinema—like Orson Welles, Mizoguchi, Hitchcock, Jancso, Ophüls—for his innovative cinematic form and his deep humanism and compassion. In Guru Dutt: A Tragedy in Three Acts, renowned film-maker and scholar Arun Khopkar sheds new light on Dutt’s genius through a close examination of Dutt’s three best-known films—Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. With a nuanced eye, Khopkar explores the historical context which influenced Dutt’s deeply melancholic style while also analysing the intricacies of the medium—acting, lighting, music, editing, rhythm—that Dutt carefully deployed to create his masterpieces. Originally written in Marathi, this exquisite English translation paints a layered portrait of a troubled genius for whom art was not merely a thing of beauty but a vital part of living itself.
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The Spurning of Nature
Space Narrowed and Impoverished
Ruin on the Tide of Time
The Frame of Historic Time and the Decentring of the Image
Realism the Box Office and Going beyond Realism
The Reality of Dream Images
Melodrama and Tragedy
Images and Sound
Darkness Stalled Time Stilled
The Archetype and the Epic
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analysis archetype audience awareness Bahu’s becomes begins Bhootnath Bibi Aur Ghulam camera character Chhoti Bahu Christ coincidence commodity cinema conventions create creation dark depth of field Dev Anand dream Dutt Films Pvt Dutt’s epic experience expression face film-makers flashback Freud Geeta Bali Ghatak and Guru gives Gulabu Guru Dutt Films hero historical human images Indian individual instinct Jaane kya tune Jaba’s Kaagaz Ke Phool Kumar kya tune kahi light living look Majrooh Sultanpuri Mala Sinha man’s Meena Kumari melodrama mise-en-scène mother myth narrative nature O.P. Nayyar Pami Phool and Sahib Producer prostitute Pyaasa realism reality relationship Ritwik Ghatak romantic art romantic artist romanticism ruin Sahib Bibi Aur scene self-destruction sense sequence sexual shadow Shanti shot social society song space specific structural elements studio style Suresh Sinha symbol three films tradition tragedy tragic understand V.K. Murthy Vijay Vijay’s Waheeda Rehman Y.G. Chavan Cinematographer zamindar