Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Foreign«

From Ang Lee’s ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’ to ‘Amelie’: The pleasures of a well-crafted credits sequence

January 15, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: When we think of title sequences, we recall the ones Saul Bass made for Hitchcock, or the ones in the Bond films, which I never tire of watching (the credits stretch of Skyfall is a favourite). But the opening isn’t just about fun or glamour. If done […]

‘Goodfellas’, Béla Tarr, long takes and book adaptations

January 8, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Before the release of Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita (1962), author-turned-screenwriter Vladimir Nabokov said, “I have not yet seen the picture. It may turn out to be a lovely morning mist as perceived through mosquito netting, or it may turn out to be the swerves of a scenic drive […]

‘The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg’, and the strangeness of subtitled songs

January 2, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Among the great pleasures of a musical are the lyrics, especially when styled in the old-school Broadway mould. Take C’est moi from Camelot, the magnificent adaptation of the Arthurian legends by Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music). The song is sung by Lancelot, […]

Quixote, Werner Herzog and impossible dreams

December 25, 2017


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: I’m the kind of person who waits for TV series to run their course over seasons and then binge-watch them, so don’t ask me why I’m talking about The Newsroom now. I just got done, and am still basking in that warm, soapboxy glow that you get […]

The curious case of Kurosawa vs. Leone

December 18, 2017


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (Bodyguard), set in the nineteenth century, opens with a shot of mountains looming in the distance. A man (Toshiro Mifune) enters from the right end of the frame. He takes a few steps till we see him clearly – only from the back, though, […]

The bare essentials of world cinema

December 12, 2017


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Since the purpose of this series is to show world cinema can be fun – or to put it differently, to sex up world cinema – we’ll begin with a couple of nude scenes. The most stunning nude scene of all, in my book (or should I […]

Cannes Diary 10 – A Mouse In A Maze, And A Wish List

June 6, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: The Safdie Brothers’ (Josh and Benny) Good Time is about a bank robbery gone horribly wrong — the chaos of life doing what it does to best laid plans. Robert Pattinson is excellent as Connie, whose motivations are never really explained — we only see how […]

Cannes Diary 9 – Fairy Tales And Fluttering Curtains

June 6, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: The screening of Nos Années Folles (Golden Years; French), by André Téchiné, started late, but the grumbling quietened when the reason was made known. The director and a few of his famous actors were making it to the theatre. What’s a half-hour when you’re seated three […]

Cannes Diary 8 – A Workshop, An Experiment, A Bit Of Interpretation

June 5, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: Lqaurent Cantet’s L’Atelier (The Workshop) is about, among other things, the word “granular.” Antoine (Matthieu Lucci) encounters it in a book written by Olivia (Marina Foïs), a famous Parisian novelist. He has enrolled in her summer writing workshop, where the aim is to craft a crime […]

Cannes Diary 7 – Clockwork Toys, Existential Thrillers

June 5, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: I couldn’t stop thinking about The Lobster days after watching it (that ending: did he? didn’t he?), so my response to Yorgos Lanthimos’ follow-up, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, may be the result of sky-high expectations – but I think the film really is a huge disappointment. […]

Cannes Diary 6 – Early Palme D’Or Buzz, Barbara And Elvis Presley

June 4, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: And the Palme D’Or goes to… At least on Sunday evening, the general consensus seemed to favour Michael Haneke’s Happy End. The other films in competition were certainly various shades of interesting (I especially liked what Bong Joon Ho’s Okja did in a “mainstream” space), but […]

Cannes Diary 5 – Godard, AIDS And Frail Fathers

June 4, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: Michel Hazanavicius may be the best cinematic mimic ever. The Artist was a pitch-perfect reproduction of the silent movie. In Redoubtable(French), he goes after Godard, and at least part of the film’s giddy pleasures is the reminder of what a po-mo prankster Godard was. The film […]

Cannes Diary 4 – A Superpower, A Transition, A Saffron Revolution

June 4, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: Kornel Mundruczo’s Jupiter’s Moon (Hungarian) is about a man who can fly. At least, he can levitate. By all rights, he shouldn’t be able to. This isn’t a question of physics but of biology. Aryan (Zsombor Jeger, who looks a lot like Gael García Bernal)  is a […]

Cannes Diary 3 – Timelines And Animal Rights, Faces And Places

June 3, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: The seventies means different things to different people. To some, it’s the nostalgia of the last gasp of a certain kind of artistic Hollywood movie (Altman, Coppola, Scorsese). To others, it’s the Spielbergian mainstream, which would take full flight in the coming decade — the suburbia, the […]

Cannes Diary 2 – A Family At War, Cultures At Peace

June 3, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev’s much-awaited follow-up to Leviathan, his international art-house hit, is one of those films that perfectly captures the essence of its title: Nelyubov (Loveless). The opening frames are of winter, barren trees frosted with ice. It’s chillier inside the house of Boris (Aleksey […]

Cannes Diary 1 – The Caste System, And Phantoms From The Past

June 3, 2017


Read the full text on Film Companion, here: On the first day of the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, I became a victim of what long-timers here jokingly call the caste system. It has to do with the colours of the badges. The most coveted colour is white. You get a white […]

L’Age d'(Palme d’)Or

May 14, 2017


If you got that headline (translation: if you are a film snob), you may be interested in my dispatches from Cannes during the next couple of weeks.  Will put up links here as they appear on Film Companion. Au Revoir les Enfants. (See, I did it again!) Dispatch 1: Dispatch 2: Dispatch 3: […]

The captain of the ship

February 11, 2017


Sensing the director’s touch, at the recently concluded Bengaluru International Film Festival. At a film festival, the brochure is invaluable. It gives you a plot synopsis of the films being screened. It gives you a note about the filmmaker. This not only helps in deciding whether you want to give this particular film a shot, […]

Notes on song-and-dance cinema

December 17, 2016


Musings on ‘La La Land’, a musical film that leaves us with thoughts about the musical genre. There’s a stunning stretch in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land – which I caught at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival, on a gorgeous big screen, in a theatre that looked like a la la land itself, with […]

Treats from the desert counter

December 16, 2016


Same, yet different. That became the inadvertent theme of a few films at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival. The films you watch at a festival are the result of a calculated exercise. I picked Certain Women because of the cast (Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Lily Gladstone). I picked Frantz because it was […]