Raj Kapoor was one of the first Hindi directors to receive wide recognition and acclaim outside of his Indian homeland and among the first to compete for the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival with his 1951 film Awaara. An actor and mogul as well as a director, Kapoor is also synonymous with the rise of Bollywood. He is revered not only in India but also throughout the former Soviet world, the Middle East, and beyond for the films he made during the Golden Age of Indian cinema. Beginning his career acting in his father Prithviraj’s famed theater company and then in small film roles starting in 1935, Kapoor founded RK Films in 1948 and made his debut as producer, director, and star with the hit film Aag (Fire), in which he starred for the first time with his onscreen muse Nargis. Deriving his screen persona from the smirk and swagger of Clark Gable, the heightened emotions and showmanship of Gene Kelly, and most significantly Charlie Chaplin’s underdog heroism and sense of pathos, Kapoor rapidly became the biggest superstar in Indian cinema. Meanwhile, his stylistic innovations and meticulous craftsmanship as a director helped set the template for the Bollywood film as it is today. Awaara (The Vagabond) was a global sensation. Only twenty-six at the time of production, Kapoor commands the screen as the film’s title character, a charming vagrant unaware of his high-class roots. It marks the first appearance of Kapoor’s iconic tramp alter ego—a sly street urchin who stands in for India’s downtrodden—and boasts a twelve-minute surrealist dream sequence of staggering proportions.
Bing Theater | New 35mm print available thanks to Raj Kapoor and The Golden Age of Indian Cinema, curated by Noah Cowan, Artistic Director, TIFF Bell Lightbox, and organized by TIFF, IIFA, and RK Films with the support of the Government of Ontario. | FAQs
$10 for the general public, $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID | Tickets available Thursday, November 17 at 5 pm
$5 for Film Independent, LACMA Film Club, and New York Times Film Club members | Pre-sale tickets available Thursday, November 10 at 5 pm | Members of these groups will be required to show proof of membership when retrieving their tickets | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.