Saturday, January 24, 2009

If We Lost Oscar It Would Be Even Better-Amitabh Bachchan

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan on Friday said the Oscar awards should not be considered as the “ultimate recognition” for artists, although he was glad that those working behind the scenes were finally getting their due credit.

“You people have taken the Oscar as the best recognition and award,” Bachchan said when asked if there was dearth of good Indian movies as very few had managed to get into an Oscar race.

“They are great in their place and we are so in our place. It is not that Oscar awards are the ultimate recognition,” he told an audience during the release of the book “Bachchanalia” at the Jaipur Literature Festival here.

“Oscar has its own place…we do not disrespect it…. If they wish to give us an Oscar they can do it…if not, it would be even better,” he said.

India cinema has always stood first, stands first, is the best, Oscar has its own place,” Bachchan said at the interaction.

However, he added he was happy that the artists who were working behind the scenes were finally getting their due recognition, also emphasizing the nomination of sound director Rasool Pookutty for an Oscar was also important, besides that of Rahman and Gulzar.

“It is encouraging when we see that the media, which conducts the film award ceremonies in India has started recognizing the worth of background artists. Rasool, a sound engineer from India being nominated for the Oscar awards is definitely wonderful news and makes me terribly happy for him,” Bachchan said.

“Moreover, I hope that Rahman, who has already done India immensely proud brings back a second Oscar to the country,” he said, a day after Indians bagged six Oscar nominations

The 66-year-old legendary actor also chose to clarify his remarks over Danny Boyle`s film Slumdog Millionaire that bagged 10 Oscar nominations.

Bachchan said he believed the film was an artist`s creative presentation and everyone had the right of expression. He clarified he had not in his blog said the film was negative in depicting the poverty of India.

“The words (criticizing the film) were not mine. In fact, in my blog I had analyzed some comments on the film put on my blog by the readers. I have since then spoken to both Anil Kapoor and Danny Boyle and clarified my position,” Bachchan said.

On why he did not attend a nomination function despite an invite from Anil Kapoor, he said he was busy and conveyed his good wishes and congratulations to entire team of Slumdog Millionaire.

Asked whether Indian movies were fulfilling the aspirations of viewers and reviewers abroad, Bachchan said he was very happy as Indian films were catering to amount 2.5 billion people. “Look at cinema from the beginning, 50-70 years ago, it was not well respected…no one wanted to join the film line then, now Indian cinema has grown tremendously, enveloped all of us.

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