The upcoming Mumbai Film Festival will screen four titles in its restored classics section this year. The festival, which is organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image and will be held from October 25 to November 1, will show restored versions of Shakespeare Wallah, the original Suspiria, Hyenas and Pixote.
James Ivory’s second feature Shakespeare Wallah (1965) is loosely based on the experiences of Geoffrey Kendal’s touring group Shakespeareana. The film stars Kendal, his wife Laura Liddell, and his daughters Felicity and Jennifer as fictionalised versions of themselves – British theatre professionals who travel through Indian cities performing William Shakespeare’s plays. Shashi Kapoor plays a movie star who is attracted to Felicity Kendal’s character, earning the disapproval of his co-star and girlfriend (Madhur Jaffrey.) The film was shot by Satyajit Ray’s regular collaborator Subrata Mitra and has a score by Ray.
The section includes Suspiria, not the 2018 remake by Luca Guadagnino but the original film from Italian horror maestro Dario Argento. The 1977 production follows the strange goings-on discovered by an American student at a dance academy in Germany.
Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety’s Hyenas (1992) is counted among African cinema’s contemporary classics. A woman who has been banished from her village for bearing a child out of wedlock returns to her economically distressed town with a proposal: she will help if the father of her child is killed.
Renowned Brazilian director Hector Babenco’s Pixtote (1980) is the film that inspired Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! (1988). Babenco’s film is a study of juvenile delinquency through the titular character and his friends, who commit all manner of crimes to survive.
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