Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: English«

The women in waiting

January 30, 2016

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More Oscar-season talk. This week, about the actresses. I know people are going on about the lack of diversity at this year’s Oscars – as opposed to all those other years when people of colour hogged all the nominations, resulting in howls of protests from the whites – but the real scandal may be that […]

All signs point to Leo

January 23, 2016

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In the year of DiCaprio, some thoughts on acting and this year’s Oscar for Best Actor. One moment during this year’s Golden Globes left me misty-eyed. It was when an actor, long overlooked, took home a prize. Clearly, others in that glitzy hall felt the way I did, for they gave the actor a standing […]

On the watch

January 9, 2016

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Looking back at my vacation viewing, which included heavily intellectual entertainment like… um, ‘Downton Abbey’. What does a film critic watch while on vacation? I was surprised people even thought this was a question worth asking, but then someone explained why. With “normal” folks (a category I clearly do not belong to), holidays are a […]

Yesterday never dies

January 2, 2016

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Thoughts on the ‘Star Wars’ prequels, occasioned by the intergalactic success of the latest film in the franchise. The hate for the latter-day Star Wars movies understood I never have. That the force was beginning to weaken in George Lucas was evident right from The Return of the Jedi, whose Ewoks, those toy-store-ready furballs, hinted […]

Bonded to Bond

November 28, 2015

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Thoughts on and around the new 007 movie, reportedly the last one starring Daniel Craig. Is Spectre worth watching? On one level, absolutely. Consider the mind-boggling pre-credits sequence in which a building explodes and the aftershock prises loose a portion of a roof across the road, which angles downwards and comes to rest, rather nonchalantly, […]

A subtler magician

October 24, 2015

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The superb new Spielberg movie is a showcase for the superb new Spielberg. In a recent interview with deadline.com, Guillermo del Toro – whose entertaining throwback to Gothic horror, Crimson Peak, is in theatres now – spoke of his admiration for Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can. “It’s preternaturally nimble with such grace in […]

Bullets over Blandings

September 26, 2015

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In which I’m left wondering about the similarities (and differences) between Wodehouse and Woody Allen. You know those ‘Art of Fiction’ interviews in the Paris Review, where they talk at length with a writer? I stumbled upon one with PG Wodehouse recently, conducted when The Master was ninety-one and a half, and still working seven […]

On Cruise control

August 15, 2015

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Celebrating the “Mission: Impossible” films. And their star. Sometime last week, Shah Rukh Khan managed to combine, in a single tweet, escapist cinema, Victorian literature and what sounded like the motto of your local gym: “Ethan Hunt & James Bond in one film….that’s my Final Fantasy…then as Thomas Hardy wrote…. ‘I can pass away and […]

Pride, yes. But no prejudice, please.

July 25, 2015

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The closing-night film of this year’s Chennai International Queer Film Festival is about marginalised groups, but not in the way you expect. It’s probably best to hear the story from the man who wrote it. In a Guardian interview, screenwriter Stephen Beresford recalled a meeting with film producer David Livingstone in September 2010. Livingstone asked, […]

You’ll run out of adjectives raving about this one

May 23, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… You may have seen a lot of David Lean comparisons in the reviews for George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s not difficult to join the dots. The scope is epic. It all happens in a desert. Tremendous emphasis on visuals, with extraordinary use of screen space as well as 3D technology. Had […]

Crowd funding inititative for Orson Welles’ last film

May 8, 2015

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Got this via email. Now go do your good deed for the day. Hi Mr. Rangan, Without mincing words, I am writing this mail to you to seek the help of your name. A crowd funding Inititative has been started to finance the completion of Orson Welles’ last film “The Other Side Of the Wind”, his […]

“Broken Horses”… A wan remake of ‘Parinda’

April 15, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Broken Horses is about two brothers, Buddy (Chris Marquette) and Jakey (Anton Yelchin), and it opens with a note that this story is set 15 years ago. You could go back further – not just to Chopra’s Parinda, of which this is a loose remake, but to 1950s Hollywood, when […]

Shakespeare (plus Bollywood) Wallah

March 28, 2015

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Reflections on Shashi Kapoor, recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2014. I’m not getting into the whole “does he deserve it?” debate, but the news about the Phalke filled me with a vague kind of happiness. There’s always been something wholesome, something nice about Shashi Kapoor. You probably remember the Friends episode that was […]

Apples, oranges, and a lot of stale cheese

February 23, 2015

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If you want to know what was wrong with this year’s Oscar telecast, just Google up “2013 Tony Awards: Neil Patrick Harris Opening Number HD.” Now that is a show. There’s singing. There’s dancing. There’s acrobatics. He leaps through a hoop. And there’s magic – literal magic. Harris steps into a box on stage and […]

Berlin Diary: The heat is on

February 14, 2015

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Holmes is older. Mainstream sex becomes bolder. And Peter Greenaway blasts the cobwebs off biopic conventions. After a lot of earnest, well-intentioned, even well-made films, there was still the sense that there has been nothing yet that really shook you, shocked you. That probably explained the crowds at the screening of the new Peter Greenaway […]

Berlin Diary: Ice cream, cheesecake…

February 13, 2015

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All good things, including film festivals, must come to an end. Midway through the festival, I decided I hadn’t seen much Asian cinema. I missed Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak, thinking that I’ll get to see it back home anyway. (A friend who was at the screening said the response was rapturous.) The in-competition Chinese film Gone […]

Berlin Diary: Franco-philia

February 13, 2015

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When does James Franco sleep? That question isn’t likely to be answered soon, given the number of films he has at the Berlinale. James Franco spreads himself so thin that for every film he bombs out in, like Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, the law of averages practically guarantees something better somewhere else. We get […]

Berlin Diary: Red, white and blue

February 11, 2015

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Thoughts on the festival’s tribute to Technicolor films, mainly from Hollywood. It’s strange in this internet-booking era to find oneself queuing up for a film. It’s stranger still when the film isn’t new, or when it’s the kind that hardly anyone sees, save for committed (and, yes, should-be-committed) cinephiles. But long lines are a regular […]

Berlin Diary: Lost in translation

February 10, 2015

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On Terrence Malick’s new movie, which is very much in the vein of his recent work. Knight of Cups, Terrence Malick’s latest head-scratcher movie, starring Christian Bale, features an earthquake, a temperamental sibling, an emotional ex-wife (Cate Blanchett), several dalliances (including one with Freida Pinto, who sticks her toes into Bale’s mouth), a hold-up in […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Moses supposes…”

December 19, 2014

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Thoughts on ‘Exodus’, ‘The Ten Commandments’, Old Hollywood and New Hollywood. Just last week, I wrote about Gone With the Wind, and how, 75 years after its release, it remains the epitome of a certain style of filmmaking – the Old Hollywood Style, if you will. I was reminded of that style again while watching […]

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