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Garam Masala (6), 1972

Garam Masala (Hot Mixed Spice), 1972

showcard, c. 1972, color lab, 50 X 60 cm (19.6 X 23.6 inches)
tinted and untinted gelatin silver prints on coloured paperon board, with screen-printed lettering
set of 8 showcards (what is a showcard?)

Garam Masala stars Mehmood, an immensely popular comedian who acted in nearly 300 films during his thirty year career.  Mehmood’s rise from humble beginnings to the ‘Comedy King’ saw his comic palette range from the truly witty to the coarsely physical. Blending humour with sensitivity, Mehmood traversed the spectrum of the comedic genre, hit after hit.

"This film offers many types of plot lines, settings, music, and dancing, and emphasizes entertainment and spectacle — the classic masala film. The brightly coloured cards show a range of emotion by featuring the faces and poses of characters separated from the scenes in the film from which they were taken. In the film, a lusty womanizer, army Captain Kishore, wants a gypsy dancer for himself and is ready to kill anyone who tries to get in his way. But his plans are foiled when the woman kills herself, leaving behind an injured father, who is the leader of the gypsies, and a younger sister. The younger sister swears to avenge her sister’s death. Becoming an expert in weapons and fist-fighting, she assumes the guise of a masked male and calls herself “Garam Masala,” giving a twist to the 'hot spice" that now terrorizes Captain Kishore and his army.

The film Garam Masala (1972) was produced by C. Mohan of Balaji Arts and directed by Aspi Irani. Music by R. D. Burman. Colour (Eastmancolor), Hindi, starring Aruna Irani, Mehmood and Jeevan."

--Additional text by Dr. Deepali Dewan and Alexandra McCarter, based on Deepali Dewan, ed. Bollywood Cinema Showcards: Indian Film Art from the 1950s to the 1980s. Showcards from The Hartwick Collection. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2011. Copyright of and reproduced here with the generous permission of the Royal Ontario Museum.


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