TALK – RAJESH KHANNA
sat 8 oct | 15:00 – 16:00 | studio B, Filmhuis Den Haag
language: English | free entry
Gautam Chintamani (cinephile and author) will deliver a lecture on the life and work of Rajesh Khanna. The aim is to explore the period of India’s history in which Khanna became the first superstar with sensitive and humane films that dealt with social issues.
At a time when film stars were truly larger than life, Khanna was even more: the one for whom the term ‘superstar’ was coined. Born Jatin Khanna to middle-class parents, the actor was adopted by rich relatives who brought him up like a prince. By the time he won the Filmfare United Producers Combine Talent Hunt, he was already famous for being the struggler who drove an imported sports car.
With seventeen blockbuster hits in succession and mass adulation rarely seen before or since, the world was at Khanna’s feet. Everything he touched turned into gold. The hysteria he generated – women writing him letters in blood, marrying his photograph and donning white when he married Dimple Kapadia, people bringing sick children for his ‘healing’ touch after Haathi Mere Saathi – was unparalleled. Then, in a matter of months, it all changed. Khanna’s career hit a downward spiral as spectacular as his meteoric rise just three years after Aradhana (1969) and never really recovered.
Gautam Chintamani is a born cinephile and the author of Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna (HarperCollins, 2014). A popular columnist across many leading Indian publications Gautam is attuned to writing on all things cinema. Gautam’s book is the first full-length biography of the original superstar of Hindi cinema and garnered rave reviews besides going into the second edition within 8 weeks of its release. Hailing from a literary tradition that runs deep on both sides of his family, late poet laureate Arudra is his maternal grandfather and the liberal thinker Sir C.Y. Chintamani his paternal great-grandfather Gautam’s writing explores everything from world to Indian cinema and whatever exists in between.