A Big B book explores his 150-odd films in Technicolor
Youve grown up with Big B and it pains you to see the advertisements for a range of thingamajigs. Whatever happened to Babu Moshai,Anthony Gonsalves? Why is Vijay,inspector or otherwise,trying to sell you cement? If youve had enough of that,take heart and get yourself a copy of Bachchanalia: Forty Years of the Amitabh Legend by Bhawana Somaaya,brought out by Osians Publishing and Design House. The book is dedicated to the life and work of Amitabh Bachchan,arguably one of the greatest personalities of Indian cinema,but the reason this book is touted as a collectors item is because of the documentation of Bachchans filmography through movie posters and other memorabilia.
Formerly the editor of Screen,Somaaya had already written a book on Bachchan in 1997,Amitabh Bachchan: The Legend,that captured the off-screen persona of the actor,from childhood to stardom. Bachchanalia is completely different in treatment. Firstly,it is a documentation of his work through conversations with him,but also through popular art such as film posters. Actors in the West have their work documented in various ways. Why cant we do the same? asks Somaaya,who had originally completed the book for a 2001 release but that did not come to pass. The book remained forgotten till she resigned from Screen in 2007 and returned to complete the manuscript.
Bachchan completed 40 years in the industry in 2008 and Somaaya feels the time is now right. And when Osians stepped into the picture,it only got bigger and better,she feels. Its a visual homage to Bachchan. Osians archives have the largest collection of Bachchan posters and other memorabilia,one just had to use it, says Somaaya.
The book captures the publicity art of his films,designed to convey the energy and the raw power of his varied roles,ranging from country bumpkin to honest policeman to sophisticated villain,luring them into the movie hall for three dramatic,emotionally exhaustive hours. Somaaya and Osians Design House team have curated the images with a brief synopsis of the films. There will be a short,analytical section on the roles Bachchan has played in his career to give the reader an idea of the spectrum of social roles he has successfully conveyed on the screen, says Somaaya. Also there will be trivia and snippets about significant events or incidents during the shooting of his films. Ab tumhaare paas Bachchan hai.