Dilip Kumar and Marlon Brando to meet at Osianama’s The Two Thespians

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The Two Thespians Exhibition Booklet1 copyMUMBAI, November 28: 1949 saw the opening of the iconic art-deco Liberty Cinema with Mehboob Khan’s Andaaz with Dilip-Raj-Nargis. Sixty six years later, the same historic venue brings together Dilip Kumar and Marlon Brando to finally come face to face with The Two Thespians – a Film Festival and Exhibition of rare film memorabilia and personal items once owned by Marlon Brando, now part of the Osian’s Archive and Library Collection at Osianama at Liberty from December 1 to December 10, and the festival will be inaugurated by Saira Banu at 6 p.m. on December 1, followed by Mughal-e-Azam as the Opening Film at 8 p.m., said a press release by Osianama.

Mughal-e-Azam, 1960
Mughal-e-Azam, 1960

It said, the Osian’s Archive and Library Collection, built by Neville Tuli over the past fifteen years, includes original art and publicity material from every film of Dilip Kumar’s fifty year plus legendary cinematic career. The Exhibition will showcase some of the finest art, photography, design from films such as Andaaz, Aan, Sunghursh, Yahudi, Azaad, Deedar, Gunga Jamuna, Ram Aur Shyam, Kranti and others, revealing that unique Indian cinematic hoarding aesthetic. One highlight will be the magnificent full set of Mughal-E-Azam’s unsurpassed publicity art, with the timeless black and white photographic stills and montages.

Saira Banu said, “It gives me immense pride and happiness to know that Osianama is holding a series of events to pay tributes to the many facets of my husband Dilip Kumar’s personality and his peerless contribution to the evolution and refinement of histrionics in Indian cinema. Osianama has aptly juxtaposed him with Marlon Brando as both have been hailed by cinema students and historians as method actors… However, Dilip Sahab is a gifted natural actor. In his own way, he worked on a method of acting at a time when screen acting and filmmaking itself were in a formative stage, searching for a muse who could guide and inspire. He therefore has never agreed with those who referred to his acting and method acting because he believes that acting is all about not acting. When you review the multitude of images that flash before your eyes as you recall the variety of iconic characters he brought to life on the screen, you will recognize his definition of acting clearly.”

On the Waterfront-Sur Les Quais 1954vvv
On the Waterfront (Sur Les Quais), 1954

The Marlon Brando Collection as part of the Osian’s Archives is equally vast and unique with many photographs, posters, artifacts, personal letters, most not having been publicly displayed before in India, from films such as On The Waterfront, Viva Zapata, One-Eyed Jacks, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, along with Marlon Brando’s personal notes on the script for Mutiny on the Bounty which was a major turning point in his career, signaling  the major fall from grace until his rise once again with The Godfather. Rare Letters exchanged between Marlon Brando and Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Francis Ford Coppola, Vivien Leigh, and many others will also be on display, all purchased from the Auction of Marlon Brando’s Personal Collection in New York, 2005, said the press release.

It said, the force behind Osianama and the Osian’s Group, Neville Tuli concluded that “both Dilip Kumar and Marlon Brando are contemporaries, having never met, but sharing so much, though so different, equally brilliant – the two most iconic and respected creative actors of the two largest film industries in the world. Marlon Brando, the cultural icon who lived life totally on his terms to such extremes with so many ups and downs, epitomizing the true anarchic creative mayhem that such energy implies at times. Dilip Kumar’s vast cinematic journey has made him a deep part of India’s cultural heritage, loved and respected equally across generations. It is time he receives his international respect and stature which India has clearly bestowed upon him.”

The Festival is also timed such that the closing ceremony on December 10 brings in Dilip Kumar’s birthday on December 11, said the press release.

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