Light Industry at Princeton: Playback, Geeta Dutt
October 26, 2017 · 7:00 pm—9:00 pm · James Stewart Film Theater
Office of the Provost
Because of the unique predominance of the musical in South Asian popular cinema, some of its biggest movie stars never appear on screen. Famous in their own right, unseen playback singers, via dubbing, provide the lilting voices that are heard when characters break into song. For tonight’s program, modeled after the playback singer compilations that have become a staple of Bollywood home video, Light Industry presents a diverse selection of musical sequences spanning Geeta Dutt’s filmography, from her earliest hits recorded as teenager Geeta Roy, through her work in her husband’s canonical films of the 1950s like Pyaasa, Khaagaz Ke Phool and Mr. & Mrs. 55, to the last songs she recorded, for Basu Battacharya’s 1971 Godard-influenced social portrait Anubhav. Culled from numerous sources of varying legitimacy, the clips range widely in provenance and visual texture, calling to mind the numerous bodies through which Dutt’s voice transmigrated.
For ten years Light Industry has been one of the leading venues for alternative film and electronic art in New York. This fall Light Industry presents at Princeton a selection of highlights from their first decade. The series is curated by Thomas Beard, a founder and director of Light Industry, and organized by Devin Fore (German).