Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Festivals«

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “All the right moves”

March 21, 2014

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Inside a documentary about blind chess. Yes, that’s chess played by those who cannot see. The British filmmaker Ian McDonald was in Chennai a few weeks ago to present his film, Algorithms – “the first ever feature documentary on blind chess.” It lasts 96 minutes and it’s a revelation. It doesn’t quite tell you the story you […]

Seeking unity in diversity

January 29, 2014

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In a country as diverse as ours, how do we prevent the ghettoisation of the regional film industries? Subtitles could be a start… When an Elizabeth Taylor or a Paul Newman dies, all of America grieves. One reason, of course, is that these stars belonged to a time when we had to go to the movies, like […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A separation of audiences?”

October 25, 2013

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Movies for everyone versus movies for a few. Notes from the recently concluded Mumbai International Film Festival. Why do people laugh in the movies? The obvious answer is that they find something funny,  and mainstream cinema – even given that rarely do two people respond to a movie the same way – sometimes manages to […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “And the Oscar doesn’t go to…”

September 27, 2013

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Some thoughts on cricket and baseball and the movies we send out for Best Foreign Film consideration. So the powers that be chose The Good Road over The Lunchbox, and Twitter exploded. I thought, first, that this was an overreaction. (Then again, what’s Twitter for if not overreacting?) After all, isn’t this the same system […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Pictures for posterity”

April 26, 2013

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A fascinating new documentary throws the spotlight on an indefatigable preserver of Indian cinema. Who is PK Nair? The release of Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s Celluloid Man should answer this question for a general audience – at least, the audience that gets around to watching two-and-a-half hour documentaries. A word about the form, first. Thanks to […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The amour for art cinema”

December 28, 2012

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Why define “great movies” based on a cold and clinical foreign ideal of greatness, especially when so many foreign filmmakers are already making those kinds of great movies? One question I’m routinely asked when interviewed or at a casual dinner discussion is when our cinema will grow up, become more like “foreign cinema.” And by […]

Showcase: Cannes job

April 28, 2012

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Isn’t it strange that the directors competing for the Palme d’Or are always those of entrenched repute? Who makes the world’s best films, at least the ones fit enough to fight it out in the competition section of film festivals? If this year’s Cannes lineup is to be believed, it’s the same contenders. The festival […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A lavish spread of cinema”

December 23, 2011

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In the jam-packed schedules of film festivals, is it possible to savour the films you see? To some extent, yes. To some people in Chennai, this weekend portends nothing but sleep, blissful sleep that will not be interrupted by an alarm meant to drive them to a morning screening, followed by others in the afternoon […]

A world of cinema

December 11, 2011

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133 films from 53 countries. Plus, the Indian Panorama. Plus, Tamil films in competition. The 9th Chennai International Film Festival has it all. Long before a film festival prints its official bulletin – that thumb-thick catalogue with glossy pictures and synopses to help you decide which 11 a.m. screening is likely to prove most rewarding […]

Rossellini, Fellini and their sister Nalini

December 10, 2011

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On the eve of the 9th Chennai International Film Festival, Kamal Haasan explains why these events are important and how they’ve changed his life. Do you remember the first foreign film you saw? I consider even Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and the John Wayne movies as foreign films. That was probably the first […]