Osian's acquire world's largest collection of lobby cards on H'woo

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (UNI) After procuring the world's largest collection on the Indian cinema's publicity material over the last few years, the next in the kitty of the Osian's Connoisseurs of arts is now a huge collection of lobby cards pertaining to early years of Hollywood, moving a step further to becoming the world's largest repositories of film memorabilia material.

The collection, consisting of 8462 vintage lobby cards of early Hollywood cinema, many of the films now lost irretrievably, and 5000 related items that were put together and painstakingly preserved by the late Hollywood screenwriter/filmmaker Leonard Schrader over 27 years will be housed at the Osianama, Osian's flagship arts and culture complex in Mumbai next year, chairman of the Osian's Neville Tuli said.

Leonard Schrader is a well-known film writer who has penned movies like ''The Yakuza'' , ''Mishima'' and ''The Kiss of the Spiderwoman''(the last two being shown at this year's Osian's-Cinefan) and was the brother of Paul Schrader. He also earned an Academy Award Nomination for his screenplay for ''The Kiss of the Spider Woman''.

Having studied writing with the likes of Nelson Algren, Richard Yates, Kurt Vonnegut and Jorge Luis Borges, he had an abiding interest in Japanese history and culture.

David Weisman, who has known and worked with Leonard Schrader for 28 years says, ''Few knew about the extent of the collection, although Leonard Shrader's propensity to acquire film memorabilia was a well-known fact. The collection was discovered in its full glory only after his death in 2006.'' Mr Neville Tuli, Founder Chairman, Osian's Connoisseurs of Art said, ''this is another important step in making India the knowledge center for the arts and cinema. Without acquiring such a collection, no great visual and textual library can be built for world-class research, attracting the finest scholars and creative minds to India.'' Indian audiences will now be able to feast their eyes on a carnival of colours, forms and figures that make up the liveliness of cinema in its early years. Beyond the beauty and creativity of design that went into the publicity material, many here will be introduced to the careers of some of the legends of early film, many of whom are little known in India today.

Almost every important personality of early Euro-American cinema is represented here making the Leonard Collection an invaluable trove of knowledge about the history of film of our times. The collection's real pleasure lies in re-discovering the frontiers of cinema's childhood established by figures who were once well known (even in India) but have now been forgotten due to selective historical memory.

''The collection promises to take us into a unique aesthetic and intellectual adventure with its mix of comedy, horror, action, suspense and romance in many shapes and forms and in many locations of the world. It promises a new engagement with the history of cinema in an unprecedented way, an engagement with the excitement that the medium has always brought into our lives and opened up our imaginations to the most fantastic futures,'' Mr Tuli said.

Interestingly, though the collection was sought after by a number of international museums, it is the Osian's that managed to acquire it.

''Even though a number of museums had approached us, we decided to give this collection to Neville Tuli as he was the only one with the vision to understood its importance and wanted to keep the entire collection together,'' Weisman said.

UNI AR ARB KN1610

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