Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: English«

Sam Mendes’s ‘1917’, Hitchcock, long takes and why a technical achievement isn’t the same as a truly immersive movie

January 22, 2020


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: The more you try to convince me that something is really happening on screen – through, say, the single take – the more I am convinced that it is “unreal”. Because the craft is too obvious. Spoilers ahead… I mean no disrespect to Sam Mendes when […]

Readers Write In #132: Why I believe Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is better than Heath Ledger’s

January 19, 2020


(by Alex John) This has been one of the closest contests in the history of cinema on who played the same character better than the other. I mean, there have been countless remakes of different films in world cinema, and several takes on the dreaded comic villain Joker himself, but Heath Ledger raised the bar […]

Readers Write In #131: A fun premise and great songs hold up a predictable romance in ‘Yesterday’

January 15, 2020


(by Aparna Namboodiripad (who writes here as tonks) When I was thirteen years old, a friend handed me a cassette that belonged to her older sister. It was the Sergeant Pepper album by the Beatles. That was my first introduction to the band. When I went home and listened to the album, song after mesmerising […]

Readers Write In #128: Ricky Gervais’ monologue was the ultimate charade of authenticity

January 10, 2020


(by Madan Mohan) Going to lead this with what may seem like a non-sequitur. In 1979, heavy metal band Judas Priest released a live album (that is, pulled from a concert) called Unleashed In The East. It’s one of the most coveted releases of the band with the live versions in some cases surpassing those […]

‘V1 – Murder Case’, ‘Parasite’, ‘Knives Out’… Our message movies versus their message movies

January 8, 2020


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: All I’m saying is don’t make a movie in order to deliver a message. Make the message – even if it is explicit – an organic part of your movie. Spoilers ahead… In Pavel Navageethan’s V1 – Murder Case, a young woman is murdered in the […]

Lulu Wang’s Golden Globe-nominated ‘The Farewell’ will ring many bells for those of us trapped between two cultures

January 4, 2020


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: In Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet, a Caucasian/Chinese gay couple in Manhattan pretends to be straight for the benefit of the parents of the Chinese man, who are visiting. Lulu Wang’s The Farewell is a sort of spiritual successor, and it travels in the other direction of […]

Readers Write In #122: The Irishman – Scorsese returns to familiar territory and expands it in a startling fashion

December 19, 2019


(by N Madhusudhan) (Spoilers ahead) It’s fascinating to witness the gradual mellow down that the genre and the men who defined the genre go through. A film geek’s theoretical exercise would be to look at the film as a reflection of the painful final years of the characters from Goodfellas and Casino (which I certainly […]

‘Queen of Hearts’, Denmark’s Oscar submission that played at IFFI, is a cold take on incest and shattered lives

December 5, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Like Section 375, Queen of Hearts – which played at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), and is the Danish submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar – toys with a provocative question: What if a man is the victim? Anne (Trine Dyrholm) is the most […]

Adil Hussain on bonsai and Bachchan and the art of acting, at the Dharamsala International Film Festival

November 25, 2019


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Plus, brief thoughts on ‘Birha’, ‘Oh That’s Bhanu’, ‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’, ‘For Sama’, and why close-ups are necessary. Spoilers ahead… At a film festival, everyone wants to see the next Parasite. I do, too. But that’s the kind of film that is going to be everywhere, at […]

Kazuhiro Soda and his Ten Commandments of documentary-making, at Dharamsala International Film Festival

November 14, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: One of the masterclasses at this year’s Dharamsala International Film Festival was by the Japanese documentary filmmaker and author, Kazuhiro Soda. He broke through on the international festival circuit with his debut, Campaign (2007), which followed the election campaign — in Kawasaki, Japan — of a candidate […]

The non-dramatic drama in Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Ida’ and what it means for a film style to be “transcendent”

November 7, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: In last week’s column about Robert Bresson, I referred to Paul Schrader’s 1971 book, Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. It was republished in 2018, with a new introduction titled “Rethinking Transcendental Style”. A lot of what I quote here is from this introduction, and we […]

“Terminator: Dark Fate”… Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton try in vain to recreate the magic

November 1, 2019


Watching this utterly generic film leads you to wonder why some franchises keep going on, without fatigue, while others, like the ‘Terminator’ films seem like empty cash-grab exercises. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: In 1984, James Cameron made The Terminator and answered a number of pressing questions. […]

Getting into Robert Bresson through ‘Lancelot du Lac’, aka making it easier to enter art cinema

October 31, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: For three years now, I have been conducting the Young Critics Lab for the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, with Star, and one of the questions that comes from every batch is how to get into foreign cinema, especially the really arty kind. It’s not easy, because […]

Readers Write In #105: Dear Coppola, Marvel movies are not despicable, but are mediocrities we can’t do away with

October 27, 2019


(by Alex John) “Some films are slices of cake. Mine are slices of cake” Hitchcock once famously said. He was elucidating the fact that even his classics were of the most elementary fashion, cheerfully pulpy and crowd pleasing. Have we seen any film that is subtly dumber that North by northwest? Hitchcock knew inducing too […]

Knowing the plot can help you enjoy and experience a movie in a far richer way

October 24, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Oliver Laxe is at the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star, with O Que Arde (Fire Will Come). The Spanish drama premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year, and it won the Jury Prize. This is exactly how the film was […]

Ingmar Bergman, Ang Lee, Hany Abu-Assad and the challenges of working in languages other than your own

October 17, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The last film by the Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad — Head of the Jury, International Competition at Jio MAMI 21st Film Festival with Star — was The Mountain Between Us, where a surgeon and a journalist battle it out in the wilderness after a plane crash. Despite […]

John Woo’s ‘The Killer’, ‘War’ and why ‘masala’ cinema can be taken as seriously as any other ‘genre’

October 10, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: War is turning out to be a huge hit. Given the stars – Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff – and the popcorn-friendly genre, it’s probably not that unexpected a phenomenon. But this also happens to be a very well-written film (the screenplay is by Siddharth Anand, the director, […]

Readers Write In #102: The Inside Shift: From Super-heroes to super-human

October 5, 2019


(by Adhithya K R) “What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that treats him like trash?” You get a Joker backstory. I couldn’t help but marvel at how Joaquin Phoenix took one of the most love-to-hate, disturbing supervillains of all time and turned him into such a human […]

Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’, and how we react differently to physical and emotional violence

October 3, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Park Chan-wook likes his violence. In one of the most memorable scenes in Oldboy, a man cuts off his tongue. He’s asking another man for forgiveness. “I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll do anything. I beg you… If you want me to be your dog, I will.” […]

Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson in a lackluster adaptation of JM Coetzee’s ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’

September 8, 2019


Plus, three Afghan women dealing with pregnancy, into a killer’s mind, and the super-entertaining closing film of the festival. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: Ciro Guerra’s Waiting for the Barbarians (English, Mongolian), based on JM Coetzee’s novel (he wrote the screenplay, too), is a prime slab of […]