wiki:Pramthesh Chandra Barua

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Pramathesh Chandra Barua (1903-51)

Major, still undervalued Bengali-Hindi director of Assamese origin, and one of the first major movie stars in India. Born into aristocratic family as the big game-hunting son of the Maharajah of Gauripur. Promising amateur sportsman and art-lover. Graduated from élite Presidency College, Calcutta (1924). Visited Europe and saw films (esp. René Clair and Lubitsch). Entered film as actor in silents; shareholder in Dhiren Ganguly’s British Dominion Films (1928). Spent a few months at Elstree to learn film-making and started Barua Pics in Calcutta (1929), producing e.g. Debaki Bose’s Aparadhi (1931) and Nishir Dak (1932). Joined Chittaranjan Das’ Swarajya Party (1928) which represented Hindu zamindar interests after the Hindu-Muslim riots of 1926. Prominent member of Assam Legislative Assembly (1928-36) when his Party piloted the anti-tenant and anti-Muslim Tenancy Act (1928) through Bengal Legislative Council. Joined New Theatres (1932-39), freelanced thereafter. His Zindagi? was remade in Bengali (1943). Making melancholic love stories set amid a nihilistically portrayed aristocracy, he evolved a unique melodramatic style, drawing from the literary traditions against which Kallol defined itself. The static stories and the mask-like actorial postures are counterpointed by the most mobile subjective camera in the Indian cinema of his time, the visual excess of his sweeping pans announcing 1986: Antony Mor Naam. the landscapes of later Bengal School painting. Wrote and starred in his productions, but remembered best for his Bengali version of Devdas (Saigal starred in the Hindi one), remade by Bimal Roy in 1955, and for Mukti. Died in Calcutta, leaving his last feature unfinished.

Filmography: 1931: Aparadhi*; 1932: Bhagya Lakshmi* (all St); Bengal 1983; 1934: Rooplekha/ Mohabbat Ki Kasauti; 1935: Abasheshe*; Devdas; 1936: Grihadah/Manzil?; Maya; 1937: Mukti; 1938: Adhikar; 1939: Rajat Jayanti; 1940: Shapmukti; Zindagi; 1941: Mayer Pran; Uttarayan; 1942: Shesh Uttar/Jawab?; 1943: Chandar Kalanka/Rani?; 1944: Subah Shyam; 1945: Amiri; 1946: Pehchan; 1949: Iran Ki Ek Raat; 1953: Maya Kanan.