Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Bengali«

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, […]

Films & Feni: The Man Who Loved Yngve, Not Yngwie

November 26, 2008


THE MAN WHO LOVED YNGVE, NOT YNGWIE NOV 27, 2008 – BEFORE THE SCREENING OF ANJAN DUTT’S Chaurasta: Crossroads of Love, Victor Banerjee warned the audience that his director marched to the beat of a distinctly different drummer inside his head (“he doesn’t care too much if you don’t understand his film”), and that we […]

Interview: Shaji Karun

April 23, 2006


‘MY STRENGTHS ARE THE VISUALS, NOT WORDS’ Shaji Karun’s first film was about a commoner. His forthcoming feature is about Raja Ravi Varma. The filmmaker talks about aspects of this interesting journey. APR 23, 2006 – TYPE IN WWW.SHAJI.INFO AND you’ll be greeted by the photograph you see in this story. If this isn’t a […]