Lights, Camera, Conversation… “ ‘Impure’ Tamilians? ”

The reviews for the Tamil film ‘Madras’ suggest that most English-language writers are divorced from a certain kind of reality. Pa Ranjith’s Madras is the work of a good, thoughtful filmmaker. It’s a supremely well-made film, but not especially well-written. The narrative superstructure is derivative, and Ranjith doesn’t do enough to make his film different. […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “All the world’s a screen…”

In light of the upcoming ‘Haider’, a look at a 60-year-old Hindi version of ‘Hamlet’. Plus, ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan and Uttam Kumar as Othello. When we think of non-Western (and non-Vishal Bhardwaj) adaptations of Shakespeare, the mind settles, instantly, on Kursosawa. Throne of Blood. Ran. But a quick Google search reveals some fascinating Indian productions. A […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Goliaths and Davids – 2”

On “Jigarthanda.” On the current state of Tamil cinema. On criticism, and why it’s important to not just praise a film because it’s… “different.” Last week, I wrote about how the very existence of a film like Jigarthanda in the current Tamil-cinema climate is a miracle – but while we should celebrate films like Jigarthanda, […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Goliaths and Davids”

On “Jigarthanda.” On the current state of Tamil cinema. On criticism, and why it’s important to not just praise a film because it’s… “different.” Sometime last month, in the sify.com coverage of an interaction that had something to do with the teaser of the Suriya film Anjaan, the star was thus quoted: “Expectation about every […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Pros and cons”

Why is Hollywood crap so much more watchable than the crap we make? The answer: professionalism. About the time the first Transformers movie was released, if you’d asked me what I thought of Optimus Prime, I’d have thought you were referring to a mathematical variable. A few movies in, I was slightly more clued in. […]

Aural fixation

Baradwaj Rangan spends an afternoon discussing sound with the team of ‘Jigarthanda’, which uses Dolby Atmos technology. Before we go any further, we need to listen to a Creation story, the Dolby version. In the beginning, man created the screen and the sights. And then he said, Let there be sound. And there was, at […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Four decades later, a flashback”

Singeetam Srinivasa Rao remembers ‘Dikkatra Parvathi’, his first film in Tamil, based on Rajaji’s story. Singeetam Srinivasa Rao’s first film was in Telugu, a 1972 comedy named Neeti Nijayiti. It flopped. For his second film, he wanted to do something different. “At that time, there was this big art-cinema movement,” he told me last week. […]