Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Foreign«

The question of race permeates every pore of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s magnificent German melodrama, ‘Ali: Fear Eats the Soul’

June 6, 2020

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The older generation will slowly pass on and equality will (hopefully) simply be something we take for granted, not something to be “grappled with”. But then, Twitter and Whatsapp tell us otherwise. An inter-racial romance seems apt to talk about in these #GeorgeFloyd times, especially when race colours every aspect of the “romance” in question. […]

The Cannes 2020 lineup is here, and Wes Anderson is the sole“star director”

June 4, 2020

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High-profile directors matter at film festivals, because here, they are the real stars. Because they have oeuvres we already know, and the excitement is about ‘what next’! The first foreign film I watched on a big screen — that is, apart from  the rare ones Doordarshan used to screen at night — is Federico Fellini’s […]

Santosh Sivan’s Masterclass, Journey Of Light: On Thuppakki, Iruvar, Dil Se, Roja

June 1, 2020

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Ten takeaways from Canon India Digital’s webinar, where the cinematographer and filmmaker took questions and explained his art, his philosophy. 1. As a child, you remember photographs. In my case, it was a very scary photograph — a black-and-white picture in my ancestral home in Kerala. These structures are generally dark, with a shaft of […]

The late Michel Piccoli in the role of his lifetime, as an artist in Jacques Rivette’s ‘La Belle Noiseuse’

May 28, 2020

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It’s not about the product. It’s about the process. If you romanticise art, this film is a kid-in-a-candy store experience. The French actor Michel Piccoli died on May 12, and when I looked at his filmography — filled with great works like Godard’s Contempt and Buñuel’s Belle de Jour — one film stood out. It’s […]

Alexander Zolotukhin’s ‘A Russian Youth’, set during WWI and now on mubi, is a perfect contrast to Sam Mendes’ ‘1917’

May 21, 2020

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The most fascinating aspect of this “war movie” is the parallel narrative set in the present day, where a conductor is rehearsing with his orchestra. After a century of cinema, when nearly every genre has been twisted in every possible direction, it’s inevitable that filmmakers seek refuge in experiments. If the “World War I movie” […]

Interview: Vetri Maaran (by Dinesh Karthik and Basu Shanker)

May 20, 2020

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Readers Write In #183: That other kind of confusing: A psychological perspective on Bergman’s Persona (1966)

May 19, 2020

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(by Piyush Pratik) It’s sort of confusing when you are bamboozled by a Tarkovsky film – his obscurity is well-known anyway, and his imagist approach to filmmaking obliterates any attempt to make plain sense. It’s another kind of confusing when you see Sayat Nova – you have to have some background information in order to […]

Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’ versus the Steven Soderbergh version, plus a diss about Kubrick

May 14, 2020

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Solaris is a planet capable of reaching into the recesses of your mind, the places where you’ve tucked away your most painful memories. In the case of the protagonist, these memories are of his wife… One of my favourite disses in cinema history is Andrei Tarkovsky calling 2001: A Space Odyssey a “comic book”. It […]

Through the story of a poet, Jean Cocteau’s ‘Orpheus’ transcends biological death to ponder on artistic death

May 9, 2020

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Death takes many forms in Orpheus… A plagiarism charge is as good as death. It can kill a career… Another facet of Death is present in Orpheus’ marriage… Death is still in the air, and in this column. Last time, I spoke about Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After Life, where the recently deceased are asked to choose […]

After a week of grief, remembering Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘After Life’, which promises a happy eternity

May 4, 2020

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Imagine spending all of eternity with the memory of eating ice-cream with your closest friends from school, or the memory of your spouse’s ecstatic face when you proposed. At a time we are surrounded by mortal fear (and we’ve just lost two of our most beloved actors), it’s perhaps natural that the mind drifts towards […]

Like ‘Parasite’ and ‘Get Out’ and ‘The Platform’, the Brazilian quasi-Western ‘Bacurau’ uses genre constructs for social commentary

April 24, 2020

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These films aren’t structured like “message movies”. They use very traditional genre constructs (on the surface ‘Bacurau’ is a Western) for social commentary. There’s a killer on the loose. He has cohorts. Gun in hand, he begins to talk to them. “So right after my divorce, I kinda lost my mind, y’know? One day, I […]

The gay-themed Israeli drama ‘15 Years’ has bypassed the theatrical window, but that’s not necessarily bad news

April 16, 2020

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The gayness is incidental. This could just as well be a hetero couple, with one of them wanting children and the other resisting parenthood. There were many films set for a theatrical release, and which are now going directly to the streaming space. In a Forbes article that came with a rather dramatic title, ‘Movie […]

Revisiting Euripides’ Greek tragedy Medea through the lens of Lars von Trier, Pasolini and Sholay

April 9, 2020

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That’s what Medea wants Jason to discover: the feeling of losing your children when you are still alive, a feeling that will intensify as you grow older, lonelier. Being alone with your loved ones is awesome — until it isn’t. And many of us, I’m sure, are finally beginning to understand what the Jack Nicholson […]

Readers Write In #153: Why Korean cinema is closer to the 20th century Hollywood than today’s Hollywood

April 5, 2020

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(by Alex John) It was my naive day dream that Indian cinema will set the globe on fire, and my close-to-reality expectation that Japanese cinema would, particularly after the global hits like ‘Your name’. But now, as we all know, it is Korean* cinema that is all set to do this. The surge in popularity […]

‘Red Beard’, the last Kurosawa-Mifune collaboration, is a film for these times, because it’s about healing and hope

April 3, 2020

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When Kurosawa asked Márquez if he had seen ‘Red Beard’, the writer replied, “I have seen it six times in 20 years and I talked about it to my children almost every day until they were able to see it…” Could there be a better time to talk about Red Beard? It was the great […]

Readers Write In #152: The maddening need for closure

March 30, 2020

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(by Adhithya K R) Sometimes we want to know what could happen. Sometimes we want to know what happens next. When a friend recommended Spoorloos to me, he narrated a scene from the movie to me. A man stands at the edge of a building and thinks whether he should jump or not. Any sane […]

Vittorio De Sica’s Italian classic Shoeshine shows rare instance when children slip into adulthood too soon

March 26, 2020

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Though there is a “story” and a “screenplay” that’s been worked out, these scaffoldings of “narrative cinema” are near-invisible. The protagonists don’t seem guided by a screenwriter so much as destiny. I’ve always wondered about the title of Vittorio De Sica’s Shoeshine (1946). Yes, it is about two boys who earn a living by shining […]

Kim Ki-duk’s animal (and human) torture in provocative films like ‘Moebius’ and ‘Pietà”

March 20, 2020

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Why does Medea kill her children? Why does the mother in ‘Moebius’ castrate her son? It is fascinating to ponder on these situations through the medium of cinema, which offers us the safety of distance… In the small pool of filmmakers known for being provocative, Kim Ki-duk is the oddest of ducks. I first encountered […]

The fascinating ‘Stella Dallas’ was screened as part of the King Vidor retrospective at the Berlinale

March 12, 2020

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The beauty of this film lies in how marvellously grey Stella is. Just as you pin her down as one thing, she shows another (unexpected) side. In Stella Dallas (1937), Barbra Stanwyck plays the titular character, the daughter of a millworker who wants more from life. As the film opens — the year is 1919 […]

Fellini’s ‘The Swindle’, part of Berlinale Classics, brings to fore the filmmaker’s deeply Catholic concerns

March 5, 2020

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/federico-fellinis-the-swindle-part-of-berlinale-classics-brings-to-fore-the-filmmakers-deeply-catholic-concerns-8115351.html One of the odder casting decisions in film history is Broderick Crawford in Federico Fellini’s Il bidone (The Swindle). How does one explain the presence of this blustery American, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in All the King’s Men (1949), playing an Italian in […]