Looking for love at the Berlinale

February 21, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/the-berlinale-and-searching-for-love-amongst-the-golden-bear-winners-down-the-years-6125141.html/ Hah! Got you with that title, didn’t I? It’s basically the earlier idea I had for a Valentine’s Day-themed column, which is to go down the list of Golden Bear winners and see if there are any honest-to-goodness love stories in there. Yes, one title instantly springs […]

‘Dev’, aka why screenwriting should be consistent

February 20, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/dev-karthi-screenwriting-rajath-ravishankar/ It’s not surprising that the new Karthi starrer has been roundly panned. It’s another film with a great idea and not-great writing. Dev (Karthi) is a man who likes adventure. Like many things in this thoroughly underwhelming film, we know this because — apart from the […]

Interview: Chezhiyan, the director of ‘To Let’

February 20, 2019

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Director Chezhiyan, whose film To Let releases this Thursday, talks about the difference between art and commercial cinema, the works of Balu Mahendra and the films that inspired him. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

She Says She Says: “Oru Adaar Love” – Does it live up to the hype?

February 18, 2019

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Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 10 – A superb melodrama woven around China’s one-child policy

February 18, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-review-so-long-my-son-baradwaj-rangan Plus loneliness in Brazil, angst in Russia, dreams in China, zombies in Austria. Wang Xiaoshuai’s So Long, My Son is a masterclass on how a melodramatic story need not necessarily make for a melodramatic film. Consider the hyper-hysterical building blocks of this sweeping narrative: the death […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 9 – The provocative, thrilling ‘Synonyms’

February 16, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-review-baradwaj-rangan-synonyms/ Plus, games with death, Catherine Deneuve’s latest, and cult films by Bette Gordon and Derek Jarman. Yoav (Tom Mercier) moves from Israel to France, finds a place to stay, and when he steps out after a bath, he finds his clothes have been stolen. After a […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 8 – A devastating “pray the gay away” drama

February 15, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-review-jayro-bustamante-temblores-ruchir-joshi-baradwaj-rangan/ Plus, Kolkata tales, movie-watching in Sudan, and eroto-religious sci-fi. The festival brochure has this to say about Jayro Bustamante’s Temblores: “Pablo falls in love with Francisco and leaves his devout evangelical family in Guatemala City.” That’s not quite true. We don’t see where and when and […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with these “love letters” from one filmmaker to another

February 14, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/on-valentines-day-filmmakers-love-letters-to-each-other-from-wes-anderson-on-ray-to-del-toro-on-hitchcock-6079151.html This Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate love differently. Not with a list of films about love. Not with a list of great love scenes. Not with a list of great love stories between stars. So what then? Oftentimes, when a director achieves something great, he/she inspires envy, but […]

“Photograph”… A romance that’s a little too low-key, but with winsome little touches

February 14, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-ritesh-batra-photograph-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Hindi film music plays a supporting character in Ritesh Batra’s Photograph, which is a tentative love story (if it can be called that). This music fills the air around Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui; the character’s name, of course, is no accident). He’s a photographer. He […]

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 7 – A powerful drama about a man who mistakenly says “talaq, talaq, talaq”

February 13, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-Mehmet-Akif-Buyukatalay-Oray-Mr-Jones-review/ Plus, Denis Côté’s ‘Ghost Town Anthology’, and walking out of ‘Mr. Jones’. Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay’s Oray opens with a long monologue from a man (Zejhun Demirov) who says he was a captive until he found Islam. Whom is he talking to? We don’t see. The camera […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

Gully Boy At Berlin: An Oral History

February 12, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-gully-boy-an-oral-history-baradwaj-rangan/ The premiere was near. Everyone was in a rush: producer Ritesh Sidhwani, director Zoya Akhtar, and stars Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt. Here’s an attempt to capture the stream-of-consciousness of the interview sessions. ZOYA: The films I’ve done so far, I know those worlds. When I […]

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 6 – The art and life of Pauline Kael

February 12, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-the-art-and-life-of-pauline-kael-review-udita-bhargava-dust-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Plus, Udita Bhargava’s ‘Dust’, an abstract movie-painting about the Maoist struggle. One of the films I was looking forward to the most was Rob Garver’s What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael. The documentary features names like Sarah Jessica Parker, Quentin Tarantino and David O. […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

My Favourite Film Decade – Bollywood in the 1980s

February 12, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/favourite-films-of-a-decade/baradwaj-rangan-80s-top-films/ One of the aspects of pop-culture that really, I mean really, gets to me is how unshakeable an opinion becomes. I call it the Curse of Perceived Wisdom. Here’s an example. Mahesh Bhatt once said, in some magazine, that the most erotic scene in Indian cinema […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi, Personal

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 5 – “For non-mainstream films, it’s essential to think about international distribution and exhibition”

February 12, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-dar-gai-interview-non-mainstream-films-international-distribution-exhibition/ Filmmaker and Whistling Woods teacher Dar Gai, who’s at the Berlinale Co-production market, talks about co-productions. From February 9-13, 600 international producers and financiers will  explore new partnerships at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. This year, Megha Ramaswamy’s Reshma Shera is at the Official Project Selection (which […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

Viewer’s Voice: Mohammed Sabbit (Dulquer Salmaan fan)

February 11, 2019

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FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 4 – Francois Ozon shines a ‘spotlight’ on the Church and paedophilia

February 11, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-review-francois-ozon-baradwaj-rangan/ Plus, a defiantly anti-narrative Mongolian drama that harks back to the heady days of “art cinema”. It’s June 2014. We are in the very classy home of Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud), a devout man, a caring husband, and a loving father of five. When the family goes […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

“Gully Boy”… A softer than expected, but hugely entertaining and beautifully made street-rapper story

February 10, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/gully-boy-movie-review-berlin-film-festival-2019-ranveer-singh-zoya-akhtar-baradwaj-rangan/ Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy acknowledges its inspirations right on top: “This film is a shout-out to the original gully boys, Naezy and DIVINE.” Naezy’s life was briefly chronicled in Disha Noyonika Rindani’s documentary Bombay 70, where the rapper explains that his given name, Naved, […]

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 3 – “These primitive tales are often progressive in nature”

February 9, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-only-indian-director-rang-mahal-short-film-competition-section-interview/ A conversation with Prantik Basu, whose ‘Rang Mahal’, based on Santhali folklore, is the only Indian film in competition at the Berlinale. The only Indian film in competition at the Berlinale is Rang Mahal (Palace of Colour), directed by Prantik Basu. It’s part of the Berlinale […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 2 – The ‘Gully Boy’ press screening, plus 40 years of Panorama

February 8, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2019-gully-boy-press-screening-40-years-of-panorama-baradwaj-rangan/ No, not the review. But it was very different to watch a very musical movie with a very sedate festival audience. While waiting for the press screening of Gully Boy, I glanced at the press notes: “Bollywood meets hip-hop in Zoya Akhtar’s colourful but socially critical […]

Posted in: Film Festivals

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 1 – Before Zoya Akhtar and Rima Das, these Indians were at the Berlinale (yup, Ram Gopal Varma’s in the list)

February 7, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-indians-at-berlinale-before-zoya-akhtar-rima-das/ Mainstream ventures like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Paruthiveeran, Dil Se. Art-house classics by Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen. And Shah Rukh Khan seems really popular. In a review dated May 15, 1977, India Today characterised Shyam Benegal’s Manthan as “a valid contribution in sociological terms”. True […]