Bitty Ruminations 90 – A Little Life

November 17, 2019

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I’ve not had a very good run with fiction of late.  I can’t read the really junky books anymore. Once in a while, I may pick up a Harold Robbins or something, just for a change — but I prefer slightly (but not too) highbrow fiction. It’s almost always fiction. I am not much of […]

Posted in: Bitty Ruminations, Books

Readers Write In #114: The Russian Revolution, Chapter 8 – An Unsavory Convergence

November 16, 2019

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(by G Waugh) Introduction, Preface, and Chapter 1 are here. Chapter 2 is here. Chapter 3 is here. Chapter 4 is here. Chapter 5 is here. Chapter 6 is here. Chapter 7 is here. One of the most important reasons for me writing this series has been my curiosity to find out why in the […]

“Sangathamizhan”… Vijay Sethupathi comes up with a major dud that makes you wonder what he saw in it

November 16, 2019

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The film is a disaster at every conceivable level. The ugliest aspect is the writing, which comes in two flavours: “painful” and “clichéd”. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/sangathamizhan-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-vijay-chander-vijay-sethupathi-nivetha-pethuraj-raashi-khanna Sometimes, I want to be a fly on the wall of Vijay Sethupathi’s mind. I want to be there […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Action”… Vishal and Sundar C deliver what the title promises in an enjoyably OTT thriller

November 15, 2019

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Like any self-respecting popcorn entertainer, there are OTT moments aplenty. Killer mehndi cones? Bring ’em on. But there’s always a little surprise around the corner. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/action-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-sundar-c-vishal-tamannaah-aishwarya-lekshmi-chaya-singh/ A little into the first half of Sundar C’s Action, a bomb blast wipes out a politician, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Kazuhiro Soda and his Ten Commandments of documentary-making, at Dharamsala International Film Festival

November 14, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/diff-2019-japanese-director-kazuhiro-soda-explains-his-ten-commandments-of-documentary-filmmaking-7643921.html/ One of the masterclasses at this year’s Dharamsala International Film Festival was by the Japanese documentary filmmaker and author, Kazuhiro Soda. He broke through on the international festival circuit with his debut, Campaign (2007), which followed the election campaign — in Kawasaki, Japan — of a candidate […]

Readers Write In #113: Why Babies Cry?

November 13, 2019

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(by Amit Joki) When I saw the first light of my life, I was bewildered. There were so many unknown people who were poking me, disturbing my cheeks, pulling my fingers and toes. It seemed to me these people had no jobs but to have a go at me. I was powerless. My tiny little […]

Readers Write In #112: The Russian Revolution, Chapter 7 – Half-Human and Half-Beast

November 13, 2019

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(by G Waugh) Introduction, Preface, and Chapter 1 are here. Chapter 2 is here. Chapter 3 is here. Chapter 4 is here. Chapter 5 is here. Chapter 6 is here. Nikita Khrushchev was the son of a poor peasant. He was not highly educated but was well known for his organising skills. His military achievements […]

Readers Write In #111: “Pal pal har pal” from Lage raho Munnabhai is The definitive Hindi film song

November 13, 2019

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(by Ankit Sinha) Cinema, plot and time, and why I think “Pal pal har pal” from Lage raho Munnabhai is The definitive Hindi film song “Pal pal..” is not just a great example of how to place film songs well in a narrative, but it can serve as the very image of the concept of […]

Readers Write In #110: Why sending action movies like War to China is a bad idea

November 13, 2019

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(by Alex John) The thought of War being sent to China kept ringing in the back of my head he whole time I watched it. Nothing has been announced yet, although the huge studio that backs the film and bucks that it rakes in domestically makes it safe to assume that War could be the […]

In Vinod Kamble’s ‘Kastoori’, a Dalit boy yearns to free himself of the smells that cling to him

November 13, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/vinod-kamble-kastoori-marathi-dharamsala-international-film-fest-baradwaj-rangan At the Dharamsala International Film Festival, a powerful drama about a boy who cleans toilets and performs post-mortems in order to pay for school. Vinod Kamble’s Kastoori (Marathi) opens with an Indian-style toilet filled with shit. The screening at the Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF) was […]

Posted in: Cinema: Marathi, Society

#AskBR – 60 years of Kamal-ism

November 12, 2019

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In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one… or talk about actors and directors… or take on a few YouTube comments… For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

“The Sky is Pink”… A tastefully made weepie that’s cheerier than the downbeat material would have you think

November 12, 2019

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The colour palette is the kind you’d find in a catalogue, among choices like “aqua” and “ecru”.) The director’s success is that all this “good taste” doesn’t come in the way of feeling for the characters. Spoilers ahead… Shonali Bose’s The Sky is Pink opens after the death of Aisha Chaudhary (played by Zaira Wasim), […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Kamal Haasan at 65: The forgotten phase

November 7, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kamal-haasan-65th-birthday-indian-film-actor-baradwaj-rangan/ The ‘Great Phase’ of the actor’s career, post ‘Pushpak’ and ‘Nayakan’, is well documented. But here’s a jumble of memories from the preceding phase, the early to mid-1980s, which had just as many misses as hits. All you kids doing the Ajith-versus-Vijay wars on Twitter, let […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Personal

The non-dramatic drama in Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Ida’ and what it means for a film style to be “transcendent”

November 7, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/pawel-pawlikowskis-ida-and-its-non-dramatic-drama-what-it-means-for-a-film-style-to-be-transcendental-7615861.html In last week’s column about Robert Bresson, I referred to Paul Schrader’s 1971 book, Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. It was republished in 2018, with a new introduction titled “Rethinking Transcendental Style”. A lot of what I quote here is from this introduction, and we […]

Interview: Shruti Haasan

November 6, 2019

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For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

FC Recco: ‘Chi La Sow’

November 5, 2019

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A weekly series where I recommend a film-based book, a foreign film or an Indian movie. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Telugu, FC Recco

Readers Write In #109: The Russian Revolution, Chapter 6 – Stalin’s Era Part Five

November 3, 2019

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(by G Waugh) Introduction, Preface, and Chapter 1 are here. Chapter 2 is here. Chapter 3 is here. Chapter 4 is here. Chapter 5 is here. The end of the Second World War and the massive victories achieved by the USSR had helped boost the prestige of the Union as well that of its ruler. […]

“Terminator: Dark Fate”… Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton try in vain to recreate the magic

November 1, 2019

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Watching this utterly generic film leads you to wonder why some franchises keep going on, without fatigue, while others, like the ‘Terminator’ films seem like empty cash-grab exercises. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/terminator-dark-fate-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-tim-miller-linda-hamilton-arnold-schwarzenegger/ In 1984, James Cameron made The Terminator and answered a number of pressing questions. […]

Posted in: Cinema: English

Getting into Robert Bresson through ‘Lancelot du Lac’, aka making it easier to enter art cinema

October 31, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/getting-into-robert-bresson-through-lancelot-du-lac-aka-making-it-easier-to-enter-art-cinema-7580311.html For three years now, I have been conducting the Young Critics Lab for the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, with Star, and one of the questions that comes from every batch is how to get into foreign cinema, especially the really arty kind. It’s not easy, because […]

How I learnt to stop shying and start selling…

October 30, 2019

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This post comes about because Tina, in the Saand Ki Aankh comments section, asked: Also – why do we now have a reviewer who re-tweets actors/technicians who say he ‘gets’ the movie? Out of curiosity – does this happen anywhere else? It is really a bit annoying – because frankly, from my (very humble) perspective […]

Posted in: Personal