Berlin Diary 10: Dark lives. Low-key sci-fi. India of the 1920s.

February 25, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-diary-10-dark-lives-low-key-sci-fi-india-1920s/amp/ IIt’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie as still as Thomas Stuber’s In den Gängen (In the Aisles), which tells the affecting story of Christian (Franz Rogowski), the new employee in a wholesale supermarket someplace in contemporary East Germany. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Devi… Sridevi…

February 25, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/sridevi-kapoor-death-obituary/amp/ A Madras boy remembers the actress, the star who could do everything every kind of director wanted her to do. G rowing up in the seventies and eighties, in Madras, meant you grew up with Sridevi. Actors and actresses, those days, made a ton of movies […]

Berlin Diary 9: Two women. More women. And life in the Arctic.

February 24, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-diary-two-women-women-life-arctic/amp/ Ramón Salazar’s La enfermedad del domingo (Sunday’s Illness) is the story of two women, one absurdly privileged, the other a sort of castaway. Their introduction scenes are telling. Chiara (Bárbara Lennie) is seen in a forest, making her way to a strangely shaped tree, right out […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Berlin Diary 8: A focus on the refugee crisis. Searching for intimacy. Gael García Bernal’s heist-and-aftermath drama.

February 23, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-a-focus-on-the-refugee-crisis-searching-for-intimacy-gael-garcia-bernals-heist-and-aftermath-drama/amp/ Two years ago, Gianfranco Rosi’s refugee documentary, Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare), won the Golden Bear. This year, Swiss director Markus Imhoof premiered his refugee documentary, Eldorado, in the Competition section. In terms of the bigger picture, I must say I preferred Fire at Sea, but there’s […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Berlin Diary 7: Teen trauma. Steven Soderbergh’s stalker thriller. And time passages.

February 22, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2018-teen-trauma-steven-soderberghs-stalker-thriller-time-passages/amp/ The French drama, Prénom: Mathieu (First Name: Mathieu), lasts just 63 minutes, and it packs an awful lot in. Awful being the key word. Maxime Gorbatchevsky plays 17-year-old Mathieu, who, at the beginning of the film, is raped by a serial offender. The resulting story could be […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Berlin Diary 6: Gus Van Sant’s latest. Serial killings in Teheran. A super-sweet superhero story.

February 21, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2018-gus-van-sant-baradwaj-rangan/amp/ In Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Gus Van Sant tells one of his patented stories about a troubled soul who finds a mentor and sorts his shit out: call this Good Wheel Hunting. Joaquin Phoenix plays (the real-life) John Callahan, an alcoholic who […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Interview: Gautham Vasudev Menon, on the writing of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

February 20, 2018

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The latest in our series called ‘One Film, One Facet,” where we speak to ONE person responsible for ONE facet of ONE film. Here’s Gautham Vasudev Menon, talking about the writing in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya. Gautham Vasudev Menon, the director of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa takes us through his process of writing the film. Sharing some exclusive insights […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

Berlin Diary 5: The end of a romance. The beginnings of a transformation.

February 20, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2018-baradwaj-rangan-2/amp/ The most remarkable aspect of Avel Petersén and Måns Månsson’s  The Real Estate (discussed in yesterday’s diary) is the heroine. Léonore Ekstrand plays a 68-year-old, which is the actress’s age in real life. It isn’t just that she is unafraid to play her age. She’s unafraid to […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Berlin Diary 4: Motherhood. Swedish real estate. And a thriller on a computer screen.

February 19, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2018-baradwaj-rangan/amp/ Inspired by AM Homes’s memoir, The Mistress’s Daughter, the Italian director Laura Bispuri has come up with Figlia mia (Daughter of Mine). It’s the story of a 10-year-old girl named Vittoria (Sara Casu), who strikes a rapport with her biological mother (Angelica, played by Alba Rohrwacher), […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

‘A Fantastic Woman’, and a fantastic close-up of the trans experience

February 19, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/oscar-2018-nominee-a-fantastic-woman-una-mujer-fantastica-is-a-riveting-close-up-of-the-trans-experience-4357511.html The Berlin Film Festival is underway and the Academy Awards are on March 4, so it’s a good time to talk about Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman), which won Best Screenplay at last year’s Berlinale and has been nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. The […]

Berlin Diary 3: Love on the rocks. A French non-thriller. And Kim Ki-duk’s new movie.

February 18, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2018-baradwaj-rangan-kim-ki-duk/amp/ The German woman ahead of me in the line (it was a public screening) said she liked to watch films that gave her a glimpse of other cultures. I don’t know if Henrika Kull’s Jibril qualifies exactly, given that it’s about Arabs settled in Germany, but then, one could […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Berlin Diary 2: Heiresses. An undistressed damsel. And family life.

February 17, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2018-baradwaj-rangan-report-2/amp/ The irony of a film’s title rarely hits as hard as it does in Marcelo Martinessi’s Las herederas (The Heiresses). In the opening scene, two women amble through a mansion, examining items for sale. (“These chairs…. Louis XV or XVI?”) Chela and her partner, Chiquita, are in debt, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Berlin Diary 1: A miss. And a Shankar movie set in Ireland

February 16, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/berlin-film-festival-2018-baradwaj-rangan-report/amp/ Every year, I tell myself to land up at the Berlin International Film Festival a day before the official opening day, because the press screenings of the opening film (Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, this year) happen in the morning, and the later screenings get sold out very quickly. The Berlinale […]

Posted in: Cinema: Foreign

Whose Plot Is It Anyway – “Naachiyaar”

February 16, 2018

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A weekly feature, where standup comedian Jagan takes a look at previews and trailers and predicts the story of a new film in his own inimitable way. This week: Naachiyaar For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Ten from the heart

February 14, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/baradwaj-rangans-love-song-list-ten-heart/ In which I use a hi-tech method (okay, not so much) to come up with a list of love songs for Valentine’s Day.. Being asked to make a list (of songs, of films) for an occasion is one of the more nerve-wracking aspects of pop-culture writing. […]

A hat-tip to love that cuts deeper than a Valentine’s Day card

February 14, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/blue-is-the-warmest-colour-talk-to-her-a-hat-tip-to-love-that-cuts-deeper-than-a-valentines-day-card-4350735.html Every year, on February 14, we get lists. Ten Most Romantic Films of All Time. And so forth. But love isn’t always roses. In many films, affairs of the heart are closer to cacti, and the people aren’t always destined for a happily-ever-after. I’m thinking of François […]

#AskBR – O Kadhal Kanmani

February 14, 2018

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A weekly feature, where I answer a few questions on the big release of the previous weekend. (Or, an older film, if the week has no big releases.) For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Posted in: #AskBR, Cinema: Tamil

“Padman”… Another patented Akshay Kumar “issue” movie, aka a broad, rousing crowd-pleaser

February 11, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… As someone who enjoys the gimmicky premises in R Balki’s films, I was surprised by the opening portions of Pad Man – the director plays it safe, and dead-straight. The story is based on the amazing life of Arunachalam Muruganantham (reincarnated here as Lakshmikant Chauhan, played by Akshay Kumar), who invented a way […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Interview: Manikandan

February 10, 2018

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Manikandan talks about his next film, Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer), and why Rajinikanth would be great for the lead role. He talks about how he uses realism as a tool, and how a director needs time to confirm his talents. He says you shouldn’t make issues too strong, and you shouldn’t have only entertainment, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

Readers Write In #34: Dancing to Bollywood’s tune

February 10, 2018

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The title is as literal as it gets and makes me a little unhappy for not coming up with a smarter heading.  But hey, as a first time writer I forgive myself. Growing up, dancing was an alien concept. Parties in our tiny Mumbai flats meant men drinking rum and whisky, women chatting and kids […]