The Amateur’s Art #32 – The Beautiful Portrait

January 19, 2018

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See here for what this series is about. This is from Thulasidasan Jeewaratinam. His note: This isn’t the first time I’m premiering my short in your blog. If you remember, my short film, The Robbery (4th Amateur’s Art, I believe) also debuted on your blog. It’s been a year since and I happen to have […]

Readers Write In #31: Parvathy and the Mammookka trolls

January 19, 2018

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It all first began when a Malayalam actress was abducted and assaulted in her own car. Women in Malayalam cinema came together after this, and formed a group called Women in Cinema Collective (WCC). They began speaking out against a topic that was largely unspoken about until then : sexism in the Malayalam film industry. […]

Whose Plot Is It Anyway – “Pad Man”

January 19, 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: em>Pad Man For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

“Kaalakaandi”… A profanity-laced trip that’s hard to give an eff about

January 19, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Akshat Verma’s Kaalakaandi begins with a man, Rileen (Saif Ali Khan), who discovers he has stomach cancer. He’s stunned by the diagnosis, delivered to him by a doctor who gives one of the film’s many, many off performances. But Saif is fantastic. Rileen doesn’t smoke. He likes broccoli. “I’m a good person, you […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Mukkabaaz”… Love-story clichés and boxing-movie clichés, rousingly masala-fied and Kashyap-ised

January 18, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… W atching Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz is like watching Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat. Hearing the synopsis, one thinks: “Why is the director of Fandry wasting his time on such a boilerplate love story?” But the rewards are in the telling. The voice of a distinctive filmmaker is never more distinct than in a nothing story […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Interview: R Madhavan

January 18, 2018

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R Madhavan, star of the Amazon Prime original Breathe, talks about his 20-year-old career (his first major role, in the Kannada film Shanti Shanti Shanti, was in 1998). He laughs about being too “mature” for romantic roles, and discusses opting for quality over quantity, and his biggest reality check. He speaks about upcoming projects like […]

#AskBR – Thaanaa Serndha Koottam & Sketch

January 17, 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

From Ang Lee’s ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’ to ‘Amelie’: The pleasures of a well-crafted credits sequence

January 15, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/from-ang-lees-eat-drink-man-woman-to-amelie-the-pleasures-of-a-well-crafted-opening-credits-sequence-4303277.html When we think of title sequences, we recall the ones Saul Bass made for Hitchcock, or the ones in the Bond films, which I never tire of watching (the credits stretch of Skyfall is a favourite). But the opening isn’t just about fun or glamour. If done […]

The cartoonist returns

January 15, 2018

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Some more from Ramki Bellur — the first, a kind Pongal greeting, and the second, a collaboration with Sanjay NM.

Posted in: Personal

“Sketch”… A been-there-done-that story of a good-hearted thug

January 13, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/sketch-movie-review So what’s new in Vijay Chandar’s Sketch? The hero’s (Jeeva aka Sketch, played by Vikram) meant-to-be-kewl hand gesture, for one: it resembles how you’d show the number five, except that the ring finger is folded in. (Wait! Could that be a metaphor for his […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Thaanaa Serndha Koottam”… A mass-ified remake of ‘Special 26’ that’s quite entertaining

January 12, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/thaanaa-serndha-koottam-movie-review Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is a remake of Neeraj Pandey’s Special 26, which was about a group of con artists who conduct raids pretending to be CBI officials and saunter away with the loot. If you’ve seen the original, the question — given the general […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Word painter

January 11, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-20-years-of-thamarai-in-tamil-cinema This is Thamarai’s 20th year in the movies. The lyricist talks about her poetry, her personal life, her politics. Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor – “by the creator of Percy Jackson” – is the last book I expect to find in Thamarai’s living room, […]

Whose Plot Is It Anyway – “Thaanaa Serndha Koottam”

January 10, 2018

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

Interview: Jayasurya

January 9, 2018

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Straight out of the huge success of his biggest hit in his career so far – Aadu 2 which is still running to packed houses, Jayasurya talks about how the team arrived at a decision to make a sequel to a film which was a theatrical flop. In a career spanning more than 15 years, […]

“Eeda”… An impressively distinct take on the world’s most well-known romance

January 9, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/eeda-movie-review Eeda (Here) is being sold as an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but the most defining scenes have little to do with star-crossed lovers. Take the stretch where Kannur boy Anand (Shane Nigam), who now works in an insurance firm in Mysore, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

‘Goodfellas’, Béla Tarr, long takes and book adaptations

January 8, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/goodfellas-bela-tarr-long-takes-and-how-different-filmmakers-adapt-books-4292651.html Before the release of Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita (1962), author-turned-screenwriter Vladimir Nabokov said, “I have not yet seen the picture. It may turn out to be a lovely morning mist as perceived through mosquito netting, or it may turn out to be the swerves of a scenic drive […]

Readers Write In #30: Rant of an anti-national

January 5, 2018

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We have history books. Philosophical works. Research papers on culture, economy and religion and their impacts on society. Artistic works on the exploitation of the ruled by the ruler. Field workers who themselves have borne the brunt of excesses of our enemy. Dialecticians splitting their hairs to interpret the course of society. With all these […]

The Amateur’s Art #31 – Pin Sellathey (with English subs)

January 5, 2018

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See here for what this series is about. This is from commenter Amit Joki, his second short film. He calls it “a light take on the evil of stalking”.

#AskBR – Dhavani Kanavugal

January 5, 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

Happy new year

January 4, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-happy-new-year These are our pick of songs for the occasion from across south India. What are yours?? For the first column of 2018, I decided to do something simple: pick one song from Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam that celebrates the new year (or at least, contains […]