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

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…”

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… “Through a prism, differently”

Among the great pleasures of pop culture is the viewing of cinema through the skewed eyes of someone else. Bill Condon, the director of Gods and Monsters, Kinsey and Dreamgirls remembers his reaction to certain scenes in Bonnie and Clyde. “There was something about [the film] that I think I connected to at a very, very basic level… There’s a whole […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The rules of performance appraisal”

There’s a reason there’s been so much talk about Dhanush recently, and it’s not just that he’s had back-to-back releases. I know, I know, not another piece on Dhanush and Raanjhanaa and Maryan. But I feel compelled to put down some thoughts after a longtime reader, on my blog, wondered why I have discussed Dhanush’s […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A lover in another language”

Thoughts from re-watching a Hindi hit in Tamil, and the inevitable issue of (and issues with) dubbing. The first viewing of a film is so spent on who the people are and what they do and how the plot thickens and how it all ends that the little oddities escape our eyes, the details that […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Pictures for posterity”

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 home and the world”

Making the case that a certain kind of “good cinema” can be made without adhering to the aesthetic traditions of what’s traditionally accepted as “good cinema.” A few days ago, at a dinner conversation, I was asked: “How come there’s been no ‘world cinema’ from the Tamil film industry?” The person asking this question – […]