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Studying Indian Cinema$
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Omar Ahmed

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733681

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733681.001.0001

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Poetic Fatalism

Poetic Fatalism

Kaagaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers, 1959, Dir. Guru Dutt)

Chapter:
(p.51) Chapter Three: Poetic Fatalism
Source:
Studying Indian Cinema
Author(s):

Omar Ahmed

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906733681.003.0004

This chapter evaluates Guru Dutt's Kaagaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers, 1959). A hymn to the golden age of the studio system, actor/director Guru Dutt's greatest achievement was dismissed on its initial release. One of the first Indian films to be shot in cinemascope, the melancholic story of an alcoholic film-maker (Guru Dutt) and the actress he discovers (Waheeda Rehman) makes for a poetic critique of the film-making process. The chapter focuses on the director's status as one of Indian cinema's pre-eminent auteurs, thematic dimensions, and ground-breaking technical aspects. It also looks at the role of lyricist Kaifi Azmi, gender representations, and the unmistakable brand of poetic fatalism that has come to define much of Dutt's cinema.

Keywords:   Guru Dutt, Kaagaz Ke Phool, studio system, Indian films, cinemascope, film-making process, Indian cinema, Kaifi Azmi, gender representations, poetic fatalism

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