Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Foreign«

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

May 21, 2020


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


(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


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


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


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


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


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


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


(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


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


(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


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


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


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


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: 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 […]

Tsai Ming-Liang’s ‘Days’, ‘Dry Wind’, and Mohammad Rasoulof’s ‘There Is No Evil’

February 29, 2020


An entrancing slow-burn drama about loneliness, a provocative gay triangle, a rock-solid update on the executioner’s dilemma… Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: What does “slow cinema” — a term often associated with Tsai Ming-Liang — give you that a 3x speeded-up version doesn’t? Take the opening scene […]

Hong Sangsoo’s ‘The Woman Who Ran’, old gay love in ‘Suk Suk’, and Javier Bardem in ‘The Roads Not Taken’

February 28, 2020


A trascendental talkathon, a senior-citizen take on ‘Brokeback Mountain’, the festival’s biggest bummer… Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: Hong Sangsoo’s new film opens with the image of chicken pecking at grains. A little later, we get a snatch of conversation between two women, neither of whom has […]

Willem Dafoe’s ‘Siberia’, gay-cleansing in ‘Welcome to Chechnya’, and ‘My Little Sister’

February 27, 2020


The festival’s WTF-iest drama, a classy weepie about a woman on the verge, and a wrenching documentary about Chechnya’s anti-gay situation. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: One talking fish per film festival, you’d think, would be plenty — and I got one in Matteo Garrone’s Pinochhio. Imagine […]

‘Cruel Tale of Bushido’, 1963 Golden Bear winner and part of Berlinale Classics, debunks the samurai mythos

February 27, 2020


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The 70th anniversary of the Berlin Film Festival coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Tokyo Film Distribution Company, now known as Toei. It is one of Japan’s Big Four film studios, the others being Shochiku, Kadokawa and Toho. (The latter is better known as the home […]