History of touring tent talkies

History of touring tent talkies

History of touring tent talkies

 One a researcher and the other a photographer, their findings and photographs were shown in an hour long presentation in the City recently.

The duo have been studying and photographing the Tambu Cinemas, that travel along with the religious jatras in Maharashtra for over a year. This project focuses on a unique system of film projection and reception of the Tambu Talkies or the tent cinemas. Shirley started out the project by recording the oral narratives of Tambu cinema owners and distributors and Amit documented the current state of the touring tent talkies. “The talkies focus on screening Tamil and Hindi films from the 80s that are popular with the people. They do screen some of the Bollywood hits as well,” Shirley told Metrolife.  
   Sharing his experience, Amit recalls a picture he took of an old, rugged, modified ambassador car. “It only had a half torn poster of a woman, perhaps an actress, with Karz written on it. This was the scene on a starry lit night and I couldn’t resist the temptation to capture the scene,” he observes and adds, “I shot on a tripod for the first time,” Amit says. He also recalls that he enjoyed photographing portraits of people — both young and old. “It’s the expression, the wonder in their eyes and their undying spirit that excited me the most,” says Amit.

While some in the audience dubbed the screening as “insightful”, some others called it “amateurish and juvenile”. A well-known artist walked out half way through the presentation.

“I grew up watching movies in tents and this documentary would be apt as an academic interest and definitely not for an audio-visual presentation,” said the artist who didn’t want his name to be quoted. Aarthi Menon, a socialite loved the presentation. She says, “With multiplexes mushrooming by the day, this documentary reiterates the importance of such tent cinemas.” 

Krishnaswamy A, a hospitality consultant said the presentation brought forth art and culture from an era gone by. “I have been to the tents and cherish vivid memories of the same. It was a good presentation but it could have been shortened a little,”  he observed.
DHNS

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