‘Back to the Beginning’ festival celebrates Big B@80

To mark the 80th birthday of megastar Amitabh Bachchan, an 18-city retrospective and exhibition called “Bachchan: Back to the Beginning” is being held from October 8 to 11.

Curated by Lucknow-born S.M.M. Ausaja, who is now termed as a “Bachchan scholar” in Bollywood and has the biggest collection of Bachchan memorabilia, the initiative has been formalised in collaboration with Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, founder of Film Heritage Foundation.

Ausaja had curated exhibitions earlier on Amitabh Bachchan to commemorate his 70th birthday (which he had organised for Jaya Bachchan) and his 75th birthday.

It took Ausaja almost a month to carefully curate the exhibition, ensuring that it would not have any of the displays that he had exhibited earlier.

Talking to IANS, Ausaja said, “The exhibition is focused on Amitabh Bachchan’s rise to stardom and hence it centres around 1970s and 80s. I have avoided the post-90s because there is easy access to information on that phase of his life. Everything is there on the internet. It is the 70s and 80s phase which is most interesting for today’s generation, to discover and appreciate.”

As is the speciality of Ausaja’s exhibitions, “Bachchan: Back to the Beginning” will also have some rarest of rare displays.

“One of the frames is the announcement that such an actor has arrived in the industry and has been signed by a few directors. This is perhaps the first image of his that came out in the press,” said Ausaja.

“This is pure research and it is extremely difficult to get such rare items. This newspaper scan records how the press announced the arrival of the actor,” he said.

The title “Bachchan: Back to the Beginning” aptly captures the essence of the retrospective which will screen 11 films of Bachchan released in the early part of his career including classics like “Kaala Patthar”, “Kaalia”, “Kabhi Kabhie”, “Amar Akbar Anthony”, “Namak Halaal”, “Abhimaan”, “Don”, “Satte Pe Satta”, “Mili”, “Chupke Chupke”, and “Deewar”.

The exhibition for “Bachchan: Back to the Beginning” will also have some rarest of rare displays.

The original “Shahenshah” jacket with the iron arm, sourced from Fantico, will be going on display. The mix of memorabilia will include rare LP record jackets, lobby cards and working stills, none of which can be found on the internet.

“There is a frame of silhouettes of the 7 Indians in Saat Hindustani. You have to figure out where is Amitabh among those 7 silhouettes. Normally you can see the actors in the posters but this one with silhouettes is very interesting,” said Ausaja.

The show stopper is a massive 7-feet cut out artwork of the knotted shirt Bachchan from “Deewar” by famous artist Shrikant Dhongade, which is bound to tower over the selfie seekers.

A 3D artwork on Bachchan’s films by award winning artist Shailesh Acharekar and artwork on “Deewar” by Mithul Biswas are among the other exhibits.

The “Bachchan: Back to the Beginning” festival will be screened in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Chandigarh, Kanpur, Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Raipur, Indore, and Surat.

20221009-105403

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