Have you ever imagined the iconic MGM logo with the head of a Royal Bengal tiger instead of a lion? If it tickles your imagination visit the Nandan compound in Kolkata for a glimpse. Significantly, this may be the first such adaptation that these logos have undergone. Directors point out that MGM has been around since 1924, Columbia Pictures since 1924 and Paramount Pictures since 1912 and there has been no documented evidence that their logos were adapted for local context in this manner.
The organisers of the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) have decided to pay tribute to Hollywood films by adapting the famous logos for Kolkata context. From the 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures to Columbia Pictures, hoardings of world famous production houses are adorning the premises of Nandan and also different parts of the city.
But there’s a slight difference. Instead of the lady in Columbia Pictures, you would find the Angel of Victory that’s on the top of the central dome of the Victoria Memorial in the hoardings. The mountains in Paramount Pictures have been changed to the iconic Howrah Bridge and the lion in MGM Studios has been replaced by our Royal Bengal Tiger.
“This year at KIFF our focus is Hollywood and hence we came up with all these designs. Also, as our chief minister always mentions, Holly-Bolly-Tolly should all be together. This is our tribute to Hollywood. Cinema has no geographical boundaries. The festival appreciates good films and every year we try to come up with interesting designs to attract the cinegoers. I am sure fans of Hollywood cinema would be in for a treat this year,” says director-actor Arindam Sil, also a member of the KIFF committee.
Seven Hollywood films namely DW Griffith’s silent epic drama film The Birth Of A Nation (1915), Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman’s silent comedy film The General (1926), Frank Capra’s political comedy Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939), Michael Curtiz’s romantic Casablanca (1942), William Wyler’s historical drama Ben-Hur (1959), Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ musical West Side Story (1961) and Francis Ford Coppola’s war film Apocalypse Now (1979) will be screened at KIFF, which starts from November 14.
Bengali filmmaker Aniket Chattopadhyay lauds the efforts of the organisers of KIFF on the ‘Hollywood inspired designs’. “I like the fact that KIFF is not restricted to one style. Since the theme and content of the festival change every year, I think the designs and logo should also change. If Spanish films become the central theme next year, I would want to see more new designs and hoardings,” says the Goraay Gondogol filmmaker.
Director Atanu Ghosh of Bengali film Abby Sen fame feels since the focus is on Hollywood movies this year at the film festival, the ‘modified hoardings’ will help in publicity. “These are good publicity gimmicks and will become talking points soon,” he says.