508

A daylong duet

Thoughts on a beautiful (and near-wordless) Bengali movie that won a couple of National Awards this year (Best First Film, Best Audiography). In the last week, approximately 1200 people have lost their jobs in West Bengal. In a state of fear, panic and rage, people are taking to the streets to rally and protest. The Chief Minister has formed a committee to investigate the unprecedented … Continue reading A daylong duet

Rate this:

The Bishop and the Beautiful

When I heard about the demise of Colleen McCullough a few days ago, I felt a twinge. Maybe “twinge” is too strong a word, but right now, I’m unable to think of an alternative. Maybe it’s easier to describe the emotion behind the word I’m groping for. Remember the boy who sat next to you in Class II, the boy you ate lunch with every … Continue reading The Bishop and the Beautiful

Rate this:

Names of south Indian noir films…

Sidharth Bhatia is doing some research on crime films, esp from the 1950s and 60s. He need the names of some really well known Noirish films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam from the time. I have sent him some names in Tamil, but do write in about anything you have in mind (either in this space or you could email him at sidharth01@gmail.com). Continue reading Names of south Indian noir films…

Rate this:

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Book love in the time of cinema”

On Márquez. On language. On books. On movies made from them. Such are the accelerated times we live in that I wondered, in a moment of panic, if this essay might be too late. It was spurred by the demise of Gabriel García Márquez on the afternoon of 17 April, a Thursday. But that was fifteen days ago. On Friday, as the news reached these … Continue reading Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Book love in the time of cinema”

Rate this:

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Memories of another day”

With film-based books, our enjoyment is twofold. We enjoy the memories in the book. And we enjoy our own memories that rise from these memories. In Nasreen Munni Kabir’s Conversations with Waheeda Rehman, the actress talks about a problem with a costume she had to wear for the Kahin pe nigahen song sequence in C.I.D. But before we get to that, let’s recall how memorably … Continue reading Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Memories of another day”

Rate this:

Happy 2014

Happy new year to all. Two things coming up in January. First, a discussion on censorship with Kamal Haasan and K Hariharan at the Hindu Lit for Life. Do come. It’s on January 13th, 10 AM at Sri Muthavenkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Chetpet. Second, an essay on “Subramaniyapuram” and its filmic forebears in a book about the film whose details can be found here. Continue reading Happy 2014

Rate this:

The Tamil edition…

When the book first came out, a lot of people asked me if there would be a Tamil translation. Thanks to Badri Seshadri and his team at Kizhakku Pathippagam, this is now a reality. Thanks to all, especially to the translator, Aravind Satchidanandam. Here’s a link about this translation from Badri Seshadri’s blog: http://www.badriseshadri.in/2013/12/blog-post_13.html And here’s the cover: Continue reading The Tamil edition…

Rate this:

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Snow worlds and survival strategies”

Thoughts on the two biggest pre-“Hobbit” Hollywood blockbusters of the season, both of which are playing at a theatre near you. I hadn’t heard of Suzanne Collins or her Hunger Games novels until the first film was released, and I watched it because I was asked to review it. Otherwise, I may have avoided it, the way I have managed to steer clear of the … Continue reading Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Snow worlds and survival strategies”

Rate this:

A world of words

The hills were alive with the sound of musings, says Baradwaj Rangan, on the recently concluded Mountain Echoes literary festival in Thimphu. Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Festival of Literature, Art and Culture, 2013, opened in Thimphu with a session that featured Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. She spoke about her childhood – but audiences expecting fond reminiscences of playing hide and … Continue reading A world of words

Rate this:

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Through a prism, differently”

Among the great pleasures of pop culture is the viewing of cinema through the skewed eyes of someone else. Bill Condon, the director of Gods and Monsters, Kinsey and Dreamgirls remembers his reaction to certain scenes in Bonnie and Clyde. “There was something about [the film] that I think I connected to at a very, very basic level… There’s a whole sexual tension there that I think was speaking to me … Continue reading Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Through a prism, differently”

Rate this:

Bitty Ruminations 76

So this morning, I get a fit, and it is brought on — I think — by my nearing the close of the book I am reading. As pleasurable as it is to notch up another scalp, the bibliophile’s answer to compulsive womanising, something happens when there are fewer and fewer pages to be turned. A giant (and hopefully invisible) question mark begins to hover … Continue reading Bitty Ruminations 76

Rate this:

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Hardboiled tweets”

Thanks to social media, the world has become an even more unfair place. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Every time a major release ends up being savaged on social media, there rises a question about the fairness of it all. The points made by the filmmakers and their PR people are these: “No one can tell you whether to like or dislike … Continue reading Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Hardboiled tweets”

Rate this:

The land of the unfree

With every passing controversy, we’re learning to redefine our rights. This is the story of two YouTube videos. The first one came up bare hours before I sat down to write this, and it featured an actor, a producer, a director announcing to a media gathering that he was now homeless in every sense. His new production, the one that had sucked up his life’s … Continue reading The land of the unfree

Rate this:

Bitty Ruminations 71

There are many canonical authors you’re meant to like, and you pick up one of their books as a means of putting a toe into their literary waters, but after 100 pages or so, you’re still waiting for that epiphany. Some of those with whose books I’ve had that epiphany are Thomas Hardy, Dostoevsky, Nabokov (yes, liking Lolita is a cliché, but, really, what’s not … Continue reading Bitty Ruminations 71

Rate this: