The curious case of Kurosawa vs. Leone

December 18, 2017

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/yojimbo-a-fistful-of-dollars-and-the-curious-case-of-kurosawa-vs-leone-4263631.html Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (Bodyguard), set in the nineteenth century, opens with a shot of mountains looming in the distance. A man (Toshiro Mifune) enters from the right end of the frame. He takes a few steps till we see him clearly – only from the back, though, […]

The Amateur’s Art #30- The Cineaste (English)

December 17, 2017

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See here for what this series is about. Note from the filmmaker: Arjun Dinesh here, a 1st year grad student from AAT Media College, Chennai. I recently visited your blog and I saw that you were sharing some short films that you liked. I read the initial post and I didn’t know how you went about […]

Readers Write In #29: Borg-McEnroe movie explores the torment of obsessive perfectionism

December 15, 2017

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The new film on the Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe rivalry (new in India, released a few months earlier abroad), named baldly after their last names, has received a somewhat mixed if overall positive reception.  The common complaint seems to be that the film devotes too much time to Borg and too little to McEnroe.  One review […]

“Maayavan”… Producer CV Kumar debuts as director in a sci-fi tale that needed better… direction

December 14, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/maayavan-movie-review The year is 2037. The song on the radio — or whatever people are listening to then — is Keladi kanmani. This is the opening stretch of producer-turned-director CV Kumar’s Maayavan (Sorcerer), whose theme is immortality — and how fitting to begin with the […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

BOFTA Masterclass

December 14, 2017

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This is a recording of a Masterclass I was invited to do at BOFTA (Blue Ocean Film and Television Academy ). Copyright ©2017 Behindwoods.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Personal

Video Essay: Five iconic movies of ‘Victory’ Venkatesh

December 14, 2017

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A birthday special, celebrating the best movies of ​Venkatesh Daggubati. From the swashbuckling Bobbili Raja to Kshanakshanam and beyond. How does your list of favorites compare? For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

“Aruvi”… An ambitious, solidly written satire that takes an issue and does very unexpected things with it

December 14, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/aruvi-movie-review Who is Aruvi (Aditi Balan)? That’s what the interrogator (Mohammad Ali Baig), at the police station, wants to know. He sits opposite this twenty-something woman, staring at her bloody face, wondering if she’s a Naxal from Dantewada. The title of the film — also […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Readers Write In #28: A random note on KBC 9

December 13, 2017

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I bought-in a subscription to SLING only to watch ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ 9 primarily, and secondarily the India versus Australia matches. [Somehow, it is India facing Australia on Australian pitches boosts the adrenalin in me and not that highly vice-versa.] I am amazed by the vibrancy the show still generates after 17 years and with that same, French-bearded […]

The bare essentials of world cinema

December 12, 2017

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/from-bergmans-persona-to-godards-contempt-the-bare-essentials-of-world-cinema-4253079.html Since the purpose of this series is to show world cinema can be fun – or to put it differently, to sex up world cinema – we’ll begin with a couple of nude scenes. The most stunning nude scene of all, in my book (or should I […]

Introducing… Rajinikanth!

December 12, 2017

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-introducing-rajinikanth A look at the superstar’s hero-intro scenes from the time he was before a superstar. After IV Sasi’s demise, a lot has been written about the director’s work in Malayalam cinema – but he made a handful of Tamil films as well, and I thought I’d […]

Video Essay: Rajinikanth’s first hero-intro shot

December 12, 2017

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Rajinikanth made his entry with a dramatic scene in Aboorva Raagangal. But this was still not the mass, hero-entry shot we know from today’s masala cinema. So when did Thalaivar first get that kind of shot? (Clue: The year is 1980). For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

Shashi Kapoor: Five memorable movies

December 5, 2017

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/shashi-kapoor-five-memorable-moments Whittling down Kapoor’s career to a handful of films isn’t easy. Here’s a list that’s far from definitive but honours the memory of one of our most beloved stars. How strange it seems to remember that Shashi Kapoor was born Balbir Raj Kapoor. That’s too stentorian, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

A reliably unreliable narrator

November 23, 2017

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-a-reliably-unreliable-narrator A look back at a scene from Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s ‘Anantaram’, which turned thirty this year. About the genesis of Anantaram (Thereafter), Adoor Gopalakrishnan had this to say: “When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, she came back from the hospital and told me this story […]

From a reader…

November 22, 2017

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Thanks, again, Ramki Bellur, for this.

Posted in: Personal

Interview: Hema Rukmani, the producer of Mersal

November 22, 2017

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The latest episode in our series called ‘One Film, One Facet,” where we speak to ONE person responsible for ONE facet of ONE  film. This time, the film is Mersal, and the facet is production. Hema Rukmani, the producer of Mersal, explains what a producer does. How the company (Thenandal Studios Limited) makes decisions about […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

The Amateur’s Art #29 – Anil (Tamil)

November 18, 2017

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See here for what this series is about. Note from the filmmaker: We have tried Graphic Novel style for a Tamizh drama. Director: Bipin Ragu Actors: Aravinth Sundar and Smrithi Parameswar 

“Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru”… This intense, well-researched cop thriller is a parts-greater-than-whole experience

November 17, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/theeran-adhigaaram-ondru-movie-review The thing to note about DSP Theeran (Karthi), the protagonist of H Vinoth’s Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru (Theeran – Chapter One), is that he’s a realistic cop — at least to the extent that a big-budget Tamil film, with a big hero, will allow for realism. […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Interview: Milind Rau, the director of Aval / Gruham / The House Next Door

November 17, 2017

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The latest episode in our series called ‘One Film, One Facet,” where we speak to ONE person responsible for ONE facet of ONE  film. This time, the film is Aval / Gruham / The House Next Door, and the facet is direction. Milind Rau, the director of Aval, Gruham, The House Next Door, talks about […]

Star struck

November 16, 2017

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/amp/southern-lights-star-struck Should star ratings (terrible as they are) be absolute or relative? Let’s discuss. After I finished writing the review of Villain, a little more than a week ago, I felt a twinge of conscience. It was time for me to give the star rating, the most […]

The World of Apu

November 11, 2017

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Anu Srini and Ram Chander met through this site, and… no, that is not where this story is going. They’ve started an online film magazine for lovers of cinema. In their words, “We hope to create an inclusive and diverse space for cinema across borders and languages. It’ll have articles, short stories, poems and all […]

Posted in: Cinema