Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Marketplace art”

February 21, 2014

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Balu Mahendra’s demise is another reminder that a certain kind of “artistic” commercial film has vanished from our screens. In the tribute I wrote in this paper for Balu Mahendra, I’d contended that Moondram Pirai was the “apotheosis of his art,” and that didn’t go down well with some readers. They felt that this was […]

The natural

February 14, 2014

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Balu Mahendra, who died yesterday of cardiac arrest, was one of the handful of filmmakers who, in the 1970s, changed the face of Tamil cinema. He was also one of the handful who could be termed an auteur. Every film he made was distinctly his. Part of this was, of course, due to his roots […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Poems, with beats and a great tune…”

January 31, 2014

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Vairamuthu’s Padma Bhushan honour is a reminder (if any were needed) that the lyrics written for films are sometimes on par with the best poetry. We all read prose, some of us write prose, but when it comes to poetry, we excuse ourselves from the table, suddenly remembering something more important. I don’t think it’s […]

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 […]

The Tamil edition…

December 14, 2013

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When the book first came out, a lot of people asked me if there would be a Tamil translation. Thanks to Badri Seshadri and his team at Kizhakku Pathippagam, this is now a reality. Thanks to all, especially to the translator, Aravind Satchidanandam. Here’s a link about this translation from Badri Seshadri’s blog: http://www.badriseshadri.in/2013/12/blog-post_13.html And […]

Man of Steel

December 5, 2013

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An excerpt from my profile of Vikram for Caravan’s December issue. The full text will be available online soon at this link: IT WAS THE BEST NIGHT of Kenny’s life. It was the worst night of Kenny’s life. And it began on the pitch-black stage of the open-air auditorium at IIT-Madras. At first the audience […]

The paperback…

December 3, 2013

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Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Playing the market”

November 15, 2013

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In which we perform the duties of the devil’s advocate and look at why movies, most times, are the way they are. James Gray made his filmmaking debut with Little Odessa, and then he made four consecutive films with Joaquin Phoenix – The Yards, We Own the Night, Two Lovers, and The Immigrant, the last […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The metrosexualisation of muscle”

November 8, 2013

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Six-pack? Eight-pack? Or make it a round dozen – twelve-pack? How fit do we want our heroes to be? When Aamir Khan acquired a six-pack (or eight-pack or whatever) for Ghajini, it was still a novelty, It was the first time a serious actor, as opposed to, say, Salman Khan, took to such obsessive body-sculpting – and […]

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 […]