A Minute With: India director Anurag Kashyap on "Bombay Talkies"

Wed May 1, 2013 4:25am EDT
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - As India celebrates 100 years of cinema, Anurag Kashyap is one of four leading filmmakers collaborating on a Bollywood project that shows what the movies have meant to them.

"Bombay Talkies", which opens in cinemas on Friday, also features the work of Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar. It will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival this month.

Kashyap's segment focuses on fan adoration for Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan whose house is often surrounded by crowds waiting for a glimpse of the 70-year-old actor.

Bachchan first became popular in the 1970s as the "angry young man" of Hindi cinema and has since appeared in more than 180 films, becoming one of the most influential actors in India.

Kashyap, known for films such as "Black Friday" about the 1993 Bombay bombings, "Gulaal", and recently "Gangs of Wasseypur", spoke to Reuters about "Bombay Talkies", his awkward relationship with Indian cinema's most famous actor, and why he wanted to tell this story.

Q: Is your film a tribute to Indian cinema?

A: Four filmmakers have made a film about what they think cinema is in their lives. My impact is about the impact of cinema when I was growing up in Benares and when I came here (Mumbai) and saw people standing outside Mr Bachchan's house. So it's about Indian cinema and (how) the stardom of certain heroes affects the north Indian middle-class boy. That was what Amitabh Bachchan did to them and that is what Salman Khan does to them now.

Q: How does this stardom affect these boys?   Continued...

India's movie director Anurag Kashyap poses during a photo call to present his latest movie "No Smoking" at the Rome International Film Festival October 24, 2007. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli