Panning Shots

Coming together over Bollywood’s blunders

01 November 2015
Dharmendra withstands an onslaught of kisses from Rajendra Kumar in Ayee Milan ki Bela.
Dharmendra withstands an onslaught of kisses from Rajendra Kumar in Ayee Milan ki Bela.

On a rainy evening in October, 700 people turned up at an auditorium in a quiet part of Bandra, Mumbai, for a screening of curiously chosen Hindi film clips. The screenwriter Kiran Kotrial, who had organised the show, took the stage at 8.30 to offer a word of advice to his viewers: “Please don’t behave yourselves. Let this evening be like a noon show of a Salman film at Gaiety.” Kotrial needn’t have bothered. The rain had not dampened the enthusiasm of the crowd—good-looking hipsters in wispy white dresses, television actors wearing static expressions, and Puneet Issar.

The event was called Timepass Talkies and featured a collection of technical gaffes, continuity glitches and funny moments, culled by Kotrial from Bollywood films. In one clip, a villain’s pet tiger lets out a bark instead of a roar. In another, a background dancer makes faces every time Shammi Kapoor passes her. In several sequences, a heroine’s hair interferes with an intimate moment, once it even snakes up a hero’s nostril.

This was the first time that Kotrial, who wrote the screenplays for films such as Bodyguard and Kambakkht Ishq, organised Timepass Talkies as a ticketed event. Prior to this, it was an invitation-only, underground affair, funded by Kotrial and his friends, who would rent out a small screening space to watch films that he had picked out. Over the last 11 years, they put together 14 such soirées, at first drawing friends and industry-wallahs, and later, other regular enthusiasts. Early on, the event was held every six months, but its frequency soon tapered to once a year. Over time, Kotrial’s cache of film material has grown, although a lot of the show remains the same.

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    Karanjeet Kaur is the former deputy editor of National Geographic Magazine (India). She writes on art, culture and travel, and has reported for Mint Lounge, Time Out, Yahoo! India, Art India and Mail Today in the past. She tweets as @kaju_katri. 

    Keywords: Bombay films Indian cinema Kiran Kotrial