Talking Films: Conversations on Hindi Cinema with Javed Akhtar

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Oxford University Press, Dec 24, 2002 - Performing Arts - 150 pages
Poet, lyricist and screenplay writer, Javed Akhtar is that rare individual celebrated in the diverse worlds of popular cinema and of literature and letters. Zanjeer, Deewaar and Sholay, with screenplays written by him in partnership with Salim Khan, are milestones in the history of Indian cinema. Javed Akhtar's book of poetry, Tarkash, published both in Urdu and Hindi, has enjoyed enormous critical as well as commercial success. The songs he has written for the Hindi screen have also been trendsetters, and today Javed Akhtar is among the most respected names in the Indian film industry.

Here, Nasreen Munni Kabir talks with this hugely creative writer about his early influences, his relationship with his parents, his life and work in films where he began as a clapper boy in the mid-sixties, and his successful partnership with Salim Khan.

An original thinker, Javed Akhtar turns his analytical gaze to the conventions of Hindi cinema, its songs and its stories. He is illuminating about many aspects of screenplay, dialogue writing and lyric writing, bringing alive his understanding of these creative forms with his descriptions of the way well-known film dialogue and famous songs canme to be written. Akhtar speaks with clarity and honesty about his development as a poet and his growth as a politically-aware person.

Sparkling with Akhtar's wit, intelligence and skill as a raconteur, this well-illustrated book will appeal to everyone interested in cinema and the arts.

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About the author (2002)

Nasreen Munni Kabir took her MA in film studies in Paris. She works as an independent television producer/director in London, and has directed several documentaries on Hindi cinema including the series Movie Mahal, for Channel 4 Television, UK. She is the author of Guru Dutt: A Life in Cinema(OUP, 1996).

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