Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: English«

A subtler magician

October 24, 2015


The superb new Spielberg movie is a showcase for the superb new Spielberg. In a recent interview with, 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A study in Scarlett”

December 12, 2014


Training an Indian-cinema lens on the still-awesome ‘Gone With the Wind’, which turns 75 on December 15. Leonard Maltin, in his video guide, had this to say about Gone With the Wind: “If not the greatest movie ever made, certainly one of the greatest examples of storytelling on film, maintaining interest for nearly four hours.” […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Time passages”

December 5, 2014


Now that awards season has begun in the US, some thoughts on the wonderful ‘Boyhood’, an Oscar frontrunner. In the Before movies, Richard Linklater’s signature trope (if you want to call it that) was the walk-and-talk. The couple kept walking, the couple kept talking. And at some point, I was reminded of how Woody Allen […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Time for a toon-up”

November 21, 2014


Thoughts on animated features, which aren’t just for kids, and ‘Big Hero 6’, which is. “But that’s an animated movie!” I hear some version of this when I say I’m going to watch… well, an animated movie. It’s surprising how, even today, so many people think that animated films are only for children – something […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The curious case of a buttoned-down movie”

November 14, 2014


Thoughts on the ho-hum film version of a book that I found a knockout (made by a director who’s usually a knockout). It’s hard to say why an eagerly anticipated movie – like David Fincher’s Gone Girl – doesn’t work for you. Part of the problem may be the eager anticipation itself. A book you […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The man who does too much”

November 7, 2014


Thoughts on a filmmaker who wants to be considered so deep, it must hurt to be him. Has there been another director who has laboured as much as Christopher Nolan to make simple, generic stories look impressively complex? In Memento (Nolan’s first biggish movie; it still holds up very well), a routine revenge saga was […]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,826 other followers