Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: English«

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 […]

Meryl Streep stars in Steven Soderbergh’s slight, but very entertaining ‘The Laundromat’

September 7, 2019


Plus, two gay-themed stories, an animated erotic drama, and a Portuguese intergenerational saga that wants to be ‘Giant’. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: There were two films whose subject matter looked intimidating, especially a few days (and several films) into the festival. Adults in the Room, by […]

Martin Scorsese’s underappreciated ‘New York, New York’ is back in a gorgeous big-screen restoration

September 5, 2019


Plus, wartime atrocities in ‘The Painted Bird’. And ‘Babyteeth’, a cancer dramedy. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: Among the secret pleasures of a film festival is the opportunity to catch a restored version of a famous film, maybe even a classic, you’ve never seen on the big […]

Restored films by Luis Buñuel, Dennis Hopper and Jacques Tourneur in Venice Classics

September 5, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The Classics section at the Venice Film Festival aims to present “a selection of the finest recent restorations of classic films, and documentaries about cinema or individual authors of yesteryear or today.” One of the first films I caught in this section was a restored version of […]

“Joker”… A superb Joaquin Phoenix anchors an okayish origin story of Batman’s nemesis

September 3, 2019


If Jack Nicholson went after campy flamboyance and Heath Ledger reached for mythical resonance, Phoenix’s interpretation of the character is attuned to psychological realism. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: By now, we know that no comic-book figure can be allowed to just be. The pop two-dimensionality of […]

“Ad Astra”… Brad Pitt is terrific in a space saga with less-than-terrific writing

September 3, 2019


The film harks back to a more solemn tradition of space cinema. It’s what space sounded like before George Lucas invented the lightsabre and the Stormtrooper. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: The Venice Film Festival seems to have a thing for brooding space melodramas where blasting off […]

FC @ Venice 2019 – Full coverage

August 29, 2019


Read the coverage at Film Companion (links below)… 1: BOMBAY ROSE 2: AD ASTRA 3: JOKER 4: Roman Polanski’s J’ACCUSE, plus VERDICT 5: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s CHOLA 6. EMA / MADRE / SOLE 7. Interview with GITANJALI RAO and DEBORAH SATHE 8. Martin Scorsese’s NEW YORK, NEW YORK, […]

Tsai Ming-Liang’s enigmatic ‘Vive L’Amour’, which won the Golden Lion at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, turns 25

August 29, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Tsai Ming-Liang likes watermelons. In The Wayward Cloud (2005), which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the fruit is used in a sex scene. In Vive L’Amour (1994), its appearance is far more benign, at least at first. A young salesman named Hsiao-kang buys […]

#AskBR – Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

August 27, 2019


In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one… or talk about actors and directors… or take on a few YouTube comments… For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

The 50th anniversary of Z, by Costa-Gavras, who receives the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award at Venice

August 22, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Z, directed by Costa-Gavras, is a French procedural-thriller based on Greek events – but let’s first look at the American connection. When the film was released in 1969, President Nixon’s resignation was still a few years away – but what Federal Times Editor Jill Aitoro wrote, after […]

The reverse chronology in Gaspar Noé’s ‘Irreversible’, which gets an Out of Competition screening at Venice 2019

August 16, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Talking about Memento (2000) in a Creative Screenwriting interview, Christopher Nolan said that he and his brother Jonathan (who came up with the story) felt that the most interesting approach was to tell the story from the first person point of view, putting the audience right in […]