Cinema drives men and women crazy, and actors are even more seducing. In India, we have seen how Rajesh Khanna enthralled an entire nation. We have seen that with Aishwarya Rai, with Shammi Kapoor… It is, therefore, not unusual that the man or woman on the street would just love to possess the clothes an actor wore or the jewels he or she treasured. Sometimes, it gets down to under garments.
Kylie Minogue’s panty, which she wore in a 2012 calendar photo-shoot, fetched a whopping $ 8000 in an auction by Christies. Taking a cue from this – perhaps – Neville Tuli, the Founder-Chairman of the ongoing Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival in New Delhi, is planning a gala auction of movie memorabilia this evening (Tuesday, July 31) at the capital’s Hotel Imperial.
This will be the first major such event in India since a decade when Osian’s landmark auction ‘The Historical Mela – ABC: Art, Book and Cinema’ pioneered the market-building process for film memorabilia in India.
For the Tuesday’s auction, several cinema families have given vintage movie artefacts, and these have come from the private collections of legends like Shammi Kapoor. Rare posters, costumes, lobby cards and the last unreleased song of Kishore Kumar (sung three days before he died) will go under the hammer. Those who will come bidding will have a mindboggling range of goodies to choose from: Kapoor’s famous scarf from Junglee (1961), sweater from Andaz (1971), Shehnai from his last film appearance in Rockstar (2011) and favourite personal Mont Blanc fountain pens.
Also, set to be auctioned are an album of 45 signed black and white stills by Dev Anand, costumes worn by Sanjeev Kumar and Amjad Khan from Shatranj ke Khilari, posters designed by Satyajit Ray in the 1960s, the turquoise ring set in silver worn by Farooq Sheikh in Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan and a cricket bat signed by Aamir Khan and the team from Lagaan. Also on the auction table will be some rare photos mounted on lobby cards and show cards from Aan, Mother India, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Leader, Humraaz, Zanjeer, Aan Milo Sajna and others.
Tuli, who has spearheaded all these projects, comments “It is sad that in a country which is so passionate about cinema and where movie stars are larger than life, the market for vintage Indian cinema publicity material and memorabilia is at such infancy compared to, say, the market for Hollywood memorabilia. This reflects the lack of not just a cinematic culture, but a lack of financial clout in the global context. It must change. The Indian film fraternity must start respecting its history, the work of its peers, the art of its publicity material. These need to be preserved. In harnessing these issues lies the development of a world class cinematic culture. I hope this auction inspires our collectors and the movie fraternity to value its cinematic heritage more effectively.”
Not an easy task though, in a country which has scant regard for history and heritage.