Yesterday's Films for Tomorrow Hardcover – 2017
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Known as India's 'Celluloid Man', P. K. Nair (1933-2016) was a passionate film-lover and archivist who dedicated his entire life to saving the country's cinematic heritage. From the films of Phalke to the classics of the studio era, much of our film history would have been reduced to blank pages, but for his efforts. Here are Nair's evocative memories of movie-going in the 1940s, and working with Mehboob, the legendary director of Mother India, as well as a first-person account of how Phalke's Kaliya Mardan and several other lost films were salvaged. Opinion pieces present views on the need to preserve films and the threats posed by the digital age, while a section on Indian film history provides fascinating insights into the silent era. Other highlights include an illustrated survey of poster art, and Nair's 'notes in the dark': his essays on themes ranging from regional cinema to the use of song in Indian cinema and Devdas' many avatars, drawn from a lifetime of watching movies. Absorbing and informative, Yesterday's Films for Tomorrow is a book for everyone who loves cinema, and cares about its past and its future.
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This book is an amazing proof of his absolute dedication to the world of cinema especially its magic as movies.
It is nice to read Nair Sahab's view on various topics as diverse as old hindi films and shooting of malayalam films. Watching today's trash which cannot be called cinema, one remembers PK Nair with immense gratitude as a long time ago he had realized that most of these so called films were simply trashy fantasies made to fool innocent public. Lastly, the high cost of this book might deprive youngsters to buy this book.If only it were prized Rs 200, I'm sure many young people would've bought it.
Chronicling the diaries of the Late P.K. Nair – the archivist of the National Film Archives of India (NFAI), it details in both first and third person, the meaning of Cinema for Nair and, his travails in ensuring that the rich legacy of Indian cinema is retained. Not just Hindi movies, the book dwells at length on Nair’s interpretation of Telugu, Kannada and other regional films and brings out the diversity and breadth of Indian cinema.
Dwelling upon some of our greatest directors and film-makers, the book draws upon Nair’s comments upon the significance of songs and their lyrics, some visual effects and stories that had both a historical and social relevance. With tongue-in-cheek humour, Nair describes the ‘Devdas effect’ and how glimpses of the story can be seen in many films, after the release of the original (circa 1935 Bengali) until the late 1980’s.
A tribute to P.K.Nair, ‘Yesterday’s Films for Tomorrow’ is one of the finest, chronicling the Indian Film Industry and should have been published earlier, for Nair to have received the acclaim that is justly due to him. However, the Film Heritage Foundation of India under the able guidance of Shivendra Singh Dungarpur have done a stalwart job. Mr. Amitabh Bachchan with his literary background is the brand ambassador to the FHFI and released the book on 6th April, 2017 in Mumbai
This kind of book is very rare and must be read by all.