Browsing All Posts filed under »Film Festivals«

Adil Hussain on bonsai and Bachchan and the art of acting, at the Dharamsala International Film Festival

November 25, 2019


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Plus, brief thoughts on ‘Birha’, ‘Oh That’s Bhanu’, ‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’, ‘For Sama’, and why close-ups are necessary. Spoilers ahead… At a film festival, everyone wants to see the next Parasite. I do, too. But that’s the kind of film that is going to be everywhere, at […]

‘The Piano Teacher’ may be the definitive movie of Isabelle Huppert, recipient of IFFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award

November 21, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: At Cannes, this year, I caught the new Ira Sachs film, Frankie. It has Isabelle Huppert in the titular role, and she opens the movie by taking her swimsuit top off at the pool of a resort and diving in. Her disapproving step-granddaughter (it’s  a complicated family […]

Kazuhiro Soda and his Ten Commandments of documentary-making, at Dharamsala International Film Festival

November 14, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: One of the masterclasses at this year’s Dharamsala International Film Festival was by the Japanese documentary filmmaker and author, Kazuhiro Soda. He broke through on the international festival circuit with his debut, Campaign (2007), which followed the election campaign — in Kawasaki, Japan — of a candidate […]

In Vinod Kamble’s ‘Kastoori’, a Dalit boy yearns to free himself of the smells that cling to him

November 13, 2019


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: At the Dharamsala International Film Festival, a powerful drama about a boy who cleans toilets and performs post-mortems in order to pay for school. Vinod Kamble’s Kastoori (Marathi) opens with an Indian-style toilet filled with shit. The screening at the Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF) was […]

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 […]

“Moothon”… Geetu Mohandas’s drama is bumpy and overstuffed, but with passages of great beauty and a superb Nivin Pauly

October 19, 2019


One part of me wished this ambitious film had stuck to one story in one timeline, but in a strange way, this in-between mood is what makes the events stand out. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: With her second feature, Moothon, Geetu Mohandas has moved from the […]

Readers Write In #100: Vindication of Cinephilia

October 1, 2019


(by Joydeep Bose) In her 1996 essay ‘The Decay of Cinema’, film theorist Susan Sontag mapped the birth and death of cinephilia — right from its heady days of the fervent film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1950s France (and, subsequently, among the magazines elsewhere in Europe and North America), to its “ignominious, irreversible […]

The sexually explicit ‘Extase’, starring Hedy Lamarr, and its continuing connection with the Venice Film Festival

September 12, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Extase (Ecstasy), the 1933 Czech film by Gustav Machatý, made news at the Venice Film Festival for many reasons. One, the film was the pre-opening night event of the festival. It was part of the Classics section, and was screened a day before the festival officially began, […]

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 […]

‘Ramayana was written thousands of years ago and we’re still trying to live that kind of life’

September 6, 2019


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Fresh off the screening of ‘Chola’ in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan opens up about the movie, which originated in the Suryanelli rape case. So Sanal, let’s start with this. What is your fascination with the Ramayana? I was surprised […]

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 […]

“After your mid-30s, politics and social issues become important”

September 4, 2019


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Gitanjali Rao and Deborah Sathe talk about ‘Bombay Rose’, and films from India that can work on the international stage. To o explain why she likes the path less taken, Gitanjali Rao brings up her “commie upbringing”, thanks to Konkani-Gujarati parents who ran off and got […]

“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 […]

“Bombay Rose”… Gitanjali Rao’s first animated feature is a lovely ode to the city, its rains, its films, its cats…

September 3, 2019


The animation is lovely. I’d say “spectacular”, but that’s too big, too technological-sounding a word, something you’d use for a Pixar movie, with its banks of gleaming computers. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: The Critics’ Week sidebar section of the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival […]

“Chola”… Sanal Kumar Sasidharan continues his study of oppression in a twisted, chilling retelling of the Ramayana

September 3, 2019


The film could be called the third installment in Sanal’s “oppression trilogy”. It is very much a companion piece to ‘Ozhivudivasathe Kali’ and ‘S Durga’. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: O nce upon a time, there was a prince. A wimpy prince. This is the fairy tale […]

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 […]