Tonight at 9pm sees another extravaganza in Trafalgar Square: a classic silent Indian film that has been digitally restored by the BFI National Archive is being shown on a giant inflatable screen. Prapancha Pash (A Throw of Dice) will be accompanied by a score that was specially written by Nitin Sawhney (an acclaimed British Asian songwriter) and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
The event follows on from the recent season of India Now events. After tonight’s premiere (only a stone’s throw away from the normal London premiere location of Leicester Square), the film will then be released on digital-enabled cinemas across the UK—with a soundtrack rather than an orchestra (though I don’t see Belfast’s QTF on the list yet).
IMDB describes the film as a story of
"two rival kings addicted to gambling, Ranjit and the evil Sohan, also vie for the same woman, Sunita, Kanwa the hermit’s daughter. Ranjit loses his kingdom and his love and becomes Sohan’s slave through a crooked game of dice."
It also provides some background trivia ...
"The production used over 10,000 extras, 1,000 horses and 50 elephants provided by the royal houses of Jaipur, Udaipur and Mysore."
Last night, there were still rigging out Trafalgar Square, inflating the screen, focussing the screen (with the high def image thrown all the way from the steps in front of the National Gallery).