Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Foreign«

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 […]

Communities of cinema

November 26, 2016


Thoughts on a book on India’s film society movements, with a guest appearance by Jawaharlal Nehru. When was the first official film society movement started in India? Where? And why? If the answers intrigue you – 1940; Bombay; to expose budding Indian documentary filmmakers to the best documentaries in the world, so they could make […]

West side stories

November 5, 2016


At the Jio MAMI film festival with vampiric mermaids, touchingly liberal Indians, a donkey laden with symbolism, an unusual gay pairing, a rape fantasy, and a sparklingly restored version of ‘Teesri Manzil’. This year’s Mumbai Film Festival played out differently. Usually, I flip through the catalogue and say, “I have to see this film. And […]

Moving images, moving words

July 8, 2016


A tribute to Abbas Kiarostami in his own words, and words from his cinema. Abbas Kiarostami, the hugely acclaimed and influential Iranian writer-director who passed away this week, was, at heart, a poet. In his contribution to a Guardian series in which photographers talked about their favourite works, he said, “It’s said that in the […]

Stalking point

April 23, 2016


While celebrating ‘Fan’, let’s not forget Kamal Haasan’s ‘Uttama Villain’. Or the fact that these films can be made only in India. Watching Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan, I kept recalling Kamal Haasan’s Uttama Villain. Both films are not just about the characters these actors play (within the movie) but also about who these actors are […]

Berlin Diary: Local colour, universal stories

February 21, 2016


‘Goat’. ‘Little Men’. Ghana’s ‘Thevar Magan’. Plus, a great sight gag about Gérard Depardieu’s weight. The puzzling thing while watching Andrew Neel’s Goat – which is being advertised as a “frightening image of reality on American campuses” (hazing, in other words; or as we call it, ragging) – is that Brad (Ben Schnetzer) gets into […]

Berlin Diary: Sketches of pain

February 20, 2016


Mapplethorpe. Miles Davis.And an eight-hour epic from Lav Diaz. A photograph about a man in a polyester suit sounds innocent enough until you see what’s peeking out of the suit. And then it becomes a question not just about evaluating art but also your own response to it. Are you intrigued? Offended? Physically sickened? Turned […]