Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Bengali«

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


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: 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 […]

Baradwaj Rangan, let’s talk about bias!

June 14, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Because it’s impossible to have a proper conversation on Twitter, I imagine a chat with critics of my ‘Kaala’ review and argue why form is important and why ‘Mani Ratnam’ isn’t a bad word. There may be spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen ‘Kaala’. So you’re […]

Caught at Cannes: Aneek Chaudhuri’s film is silent about rape

May 10, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: With no dialogues and only music and images, ‘White’ – which will be screened on 11 May, in Marché du Film (Film Market) – is a unique take on a universal subject. “Have you ever been blindfolded?” Aneek Chaudhuri asks, when I wonder about the title […]

The contentious nature of the National Awards

April 14, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Musings on the country’s most prestigious film awards – and this is not about whether X deserved to win over Y. Another year. Another set of arguments over the National Awards. For instance: Did Sridevi deserve Best Actress? Indeed, under normal circumstances, would her performance in […]

Tamil cinema, English thoughts

January 25, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: In which I make a case that there needs to be more writing about non-Hindi cinema in English, if this cinema is to break through ghettos. I interviewed two authors at this year’s edition of the The Hindu’s Lit for Life. One of them was a […]

Communities of cinema

November 26, 2016


Thoughts on a book on India’s film society movements, with a guest appearance by Jawaharlal Nehru. When was the first official film society movement started in India? Where? And why? If the answers intrigue you – 1940; Bombay; to expose budding Indian documentary filmmakers to the best documentaries in the world, so they could make […]

Movies, memories and everything in between

September 24, 2016


Watching old films on the big screen is a form of travelling through time. Why don’t we have revival theatres? The US has them. Among the coming attractions at the Texas Theatre in Dallas is a screening of The Fly, to commemorate its 30th anniversary. The point isn’t that the film can be seen on […]

The games city people play

July 16, 2016


The recent Malayalam drama ‘Ozhivudivasathe Kali’ is the latest in a line of films that involve game-playing in the wilderness. I caught Ozhivudivasathe Kali (An Off-day Game), Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s acclaimed Malayalam drama, when it was released in Chennai last week. The story is set during an election day, a dry day, and it’s about […]

Mad visuals and melodrama

January 16, 2016


Brief notes from the 13th Chennai International Film Festival. Where are the great images? I kept asking this question during this year’s edition of the Chennai International Film Festival, usually a December fixture in the city’s cultural calendar but postponed a month due to the floods. When I say “great images,” I’m not talking about […]

Common men, uncommon stories

August 15, 2015


On the eve of the release of ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’, Baradwaj Rangan traces the journey of our biopics, which are no longer just about larger-than-life achievers. It all began in 1959, when a landless Bihari from the Musahar community, a scheduled caste that traditionally made a living as rat catchers, decided to make […]

A daylong duet

August 8, 2015


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 […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “All the world’s a screen…”

September 12, 2014


In light of the upcoming ‘Haider’, a look at a 60-year-old Hindi version of ‘Hamlet’. Plus, ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan and Uttam Kumar as Othello. When we think of non-Western (and non-Vishal Bhardwaj) adaptations of Shakespeare, the mind settles, instantly, on Kursosawa. Throne of Blood. Ran. But a quick Google search reveals some fascinating Indian productions. A […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Sex… and the city-based thriller”

November 1, 2013


On seeking out, um, interesting films at the Mumbai Film Festival. And how the Bengali film industry seems to have managed a viable middle-of-the-road cinema. The most interesting film I saw at the Mumbai Film Festival was Srijit Mukherji’s Baishe Srabon. I didn’t expect it to be the most interesting film. That slot, I thought, […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “And the Oscar doesn’t go to…”

September 27, 2013


Some thoughts on cricket and baseball and the movies we send out for Best Foreign Film consideration. So the powers that be chose The Good Road over The Lunchbox, and Twitter exploded. I thought, first, that this was an overreaction. (Then again, what’s Twitter for if not overreacting?) After all, isn’t this the same system […]

Masters of different mediums

April 3, 2012


The essay that inaugurates Filming Fiction: Tagore, Premchand, and Ray (edited by M Asaduddin and Anuradha Ghosh) makes a persuasive case for the existence of this anthology, which, at first glance, presents itself as simply yet another book on Satyajit Ray. In a disquisition titled His Films, Their Stories (whose name, of course, looks back […]

Films & Feni: The Big Bong

December 2, 2009


THE BIG BONG DEC 2, 2009 – THE PHRASE “FILMED PLAY” HAS, by now, entered the lexicon of moviemaking as an embarrassing pejorative, an indication that declamatory acting and theatrical mise en scène has been foisted upon us in the name of cinema. But the Brazilian director, Daniel Filho, in his thrillingly dramatic Tempos de […]

Films & Feni: Window to the World

December 1, 2009


WINDOW TO THE WORLD DEC 1, 2009 – IT’S PERHAPS TOO FACILE TO LABEL Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Janala (Window) as, well, a window to the world – but it is, at some level, a porthole to musings about the fluid nature of relationships, the value of the selfless deed in a selfish universe, and above all, […]

Films & Feni: Oscar Ahoy!

November 30, 2009


OSCAR AHOY NOV 30, 2009 – CAN A FILM BE COMMERCIAL, incorporating songs (wonderfully tuned by Shantanu Moitra) and ingratiating product plugs, and yet not too commercial, wanting to embrace a wide audience but not at the cost of losing its soul along the way? Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s beautifully bittersweet Antaheen somehow finds that magical […]

Films & Feni: India Unplugged

November 29, 2009


INDIA UNPLUGGED NOV 29, 2009 – WHAT, OUTSIDE OF THE UNIVERSE OF Monty Python, is the Meaning of Life? Is it the sight of a woman retching out the contents of her stomach as her male companion launches, casually, into the opening bars of O sole mio? Is it Hitler popping out, like a jack-in-the-box, […]

Films & Feni: Star Gazing

November 28, 2009


STAR GAZING NOV 28, 2009 – A FILM FESTIVAL ISN’T EXACTLY THE PLACE you’d trawl for stars, so it was a refreshing change-of-pace to slip into Manoel de Oliveira’s I’m Going Home – part of a retrospective-tribute to the great (and apparently ageless) director — and lock eyes with Michel Piccoli, John Malkovich and, especially, […]