An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Sanjay Leela Bhansali to Direct a French Opera in 2008

My favorite contemporary Indian movie director – Sanjay Leela Bhansali – is to direct a French opera next year.

I like Bhansali for his visual excellence in the movies and the thoroughness of his direction. Every shot is a photographer’s (and artist’s) delight! Not even one shot in his movie lacks aesthetic appeal… not one! All his movies – Khamoshi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, and Black have been excellent for their subject, substance and implementation. He is definitely, in my view, one of the best in the world and legendary in Bollywood terms! That he is so young distracts from the scale of his achievements!

“It’s an honour,” Bhansali told the Times of India newspaper.

“It’s a very exhilarating and exciting prospect to use my operatic vision on stage.”

There was no immediate comment from the Paris-based theatre.

The filmmaker will join the likes of Yimou Zhang, director of “House of Flying Daggers”, and film director and actor Woody Allen who have also been invited by the theatre to produce operas, the paper said.

Bhansali is one of Bollywood’s most sought after directors after three of his four films, including “Black” — an adaptation of Helen Keller’s life made in 2005 — became hits.

He took his time to agree to directing an opera, the newspaper reported, because he wanted to be sure about the move as stage production was a completely different discipline.

“I’m already very nervous. It’s a very lavish production, involving a huge cast and production values,” the young director said.

The story of the as yet untitled opera is an old literary work by a French author of the 1920s. The newspaper did not name the writer.

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