Browsing All Posts filed under »Film Festivals«

Rotterdam 2021: The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet, A Corsican Summer, and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Suzanne Andler

February 6, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-the-dog-who-wouldnt-be-quiet-a-corsican-summer-and-charlotte-gainsbourg-in-suzanne-andler-baradwaj-rangan/ Charlotte Gainsbourg captures both the “First World Problem”-ness of her situation as well as the genuine quandary a married woman finds herself in. Spoilers ahead… In her acclaimed novel, Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf described a single day in the life of her titular protagonist. In his new movie, Suzanna Andler, Benoît Jacquot describes a […]

Rotterdam 2021: ‘Dear Comrades!’, Andrei Konchalovsky’s record of the Novocherkassk massacre

February 6, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/international-film-festival-of-rotterdam-in-dear-comrades-andrei-konchalovskys-record-of-the-novocherkassk-massacre-9276631.html The movie is based on a true story that happened on June 2nd, 1962, and kept secret until the Nineties. Culprits have never been convicted. Spoilers ahead… Andrei Konchalovsky has had one of the odder careers in world cinema. He began by writing a couple of Tarkovsky classics (Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev) in the […]

Rotterdam 2021: PS Vinothraj makes a stunning debut with Koozhangal (Pebbles), a father-son ‘road movie’

February 4, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/reviews/tamil-review/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-pebbles-koozhangal-tiger-competition-ps-vinothraj-makes-a-stunning-debut-with-a-father-son-road-movie-nayanthara-vignesh-shivan-baradwaj-rangan/ Despite the many tragedies in the scenario (both natural and man-made), the film doesn’t beg for our sympathies. Only at the very end do we feel a twinge. Spoilers ahead… Almost a year ago, director Ram called me to watch a movie by a new filmmaker. I went without expecting much, but what I […]

Rotterdam 2021: Talking automobiles in King Car, spreading HIV in Feast

February 4, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-talking-automobiles-in-king-car-spreading-hiv-in-feast-portugal-baradwaj-rangan/ Our ancestors tried to amplify the body’s ability by using a rock to split open a seed. The “tool”, therefore, was not just a rock – it was an extension of the body. Spoilers ahead… The Rotterdam Film Festival has a reputation for programming fascinating oddball fare, and Renata Pinheiro’s King Car (Portuguese) is […]

Rotterdam 2021: Reimagining Joseph Conrad in Lone Wolf, exploring motherhood in Aurora

February 3, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-reimagining-joseph-conrad-in-lone-wolf-australia-exploring-motherhood-in-aurora-costa-rica-tandav/ The fact that almost all the primary characters are seen through video footage becomes a distancing device, which is probably intentional. But it also makes it hard to invest in the stakes. Spoilers ahead… Jonathan Ogilvie’s Lone Wolf is based on The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. The outline is the same. The characters […]

Rotterdam 2021: Riders of Justice, with Mads Mikkelsen, is a philosophical revenge thriller

February 2, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/rotterdam-film-festival-2021-iffr-riders-of-justice-with-mads-mikkelsen-is-a-philosophical-revenge-thriller-baradwaj-rangan-denmark/ And yes, digital versions of film festivals are another reminder that all the ‘convenience’ in the world can’t make up for the theatrical experience. Spoilers ahead… Earlier this week, I was in conversation with Indranil Roychowdhury, who is doing the festival rounds with his Indo-Bangladeshi co-production, Mayar Jonjal (Debris of Desire). The film – […]

Alisha Tejpal’s Lata, at Sundance: “I want you to ask questions. I’m not interested in passive cinema”

January 30, 2021

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/sundance-film-festival-2021/sundance-film-festival-2021-india-lata-alisha-tejpal-mumbai-im-not-interested-in-passive-cinema-baradwaj-rangan/ The 22-minute short, which is in Competition, focuses on a domestic labourer in an upper-class home in Mumbai. Alisha Tejpal says, “My biggest question in Indian cinema across the decades, at least for me growing up in Mumbai, is the way domestic labour has been framed. How do I write a film about a domestic […]

Dea Kulumbegashvili’s Beginning, on mubi, studies a suffering woman with a static camera

January 29, 2021

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/dea-kulumbegashvilis-beginning-on-mubi-studies-a-suffering-woman-with-a-static-camera-9251421.html When we talk of single-take shots, we think back to “how did they do that?” marvels like Martin Scorsese’s nightclub-entry shot in Good Fellas. It’s different here. Spoilers ahead… Some films, like Blue is the Warmest Colour or The Brown Bunny, become notorious for sex scenes. Some films, like Irréversible, becoming controversial talking points […]

Sophia Loren transformed from glam star to great actor in Vittorio De Sica’s ‘Two Women’

November 15, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/sophia-loren-transformed-from-glam-star-to-great-actor-in-vittorio-de-sicas-two-women-9007801.html You could say the reason glamorous stars de-glam themselves is because, otherwise, nobody takes them seriously. It’s only when Sophia Loren plays a working mother that we sit up and say, “Oh wow, what a performance!” It’s Rome. It’s World War II. The film is Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women. Cesira (Sophia Loren) runs […]

Fernanda Valadez’s ‘Identifying Features’, playing at Dharamsala, is a poignant drama about would-be illegal migrants

November 7, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/fernanda-valadezs-identifying-features-playing-at-dharamshala-is-a-poignant-drama-about-would-be-illegal-migrants-8988861.html This is neither about the issue (would-be illegal immigrants) nor the mystery (what happened to the protagonist’s son who tried to cross over from Mexico to the US?). It’s more about a mother… When you think of illegal (would-be) immigrants crossing over, you think of barbed-wire fences, helicopters throwing spotlights on the ground, difficult […]

Jan Komasa’s ‘Corpus Christi’, playing at Dharamsala, makes you think about faith and prayer, sinners and saints

October 31, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/jan-komasas-corpus-christi-playing-at-dharamshala-makes-you-think-about-faith-and-prayer-sinners-and-saints-8969671.html There is no point in praying mechanically. There is no point in attending church just to get it done with. You don’t even have to be in church to be with God. If you want to step out and play football, God will follow you. In Christian terms, Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) is a sinner. […]

Isamu Hirabayashi’s ‘Shell and Joint’, playing at Dharamsala, is a fascinatingly eccentric dissertation on life, death, shit, sex…

October 24, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/isamu-hirabayashis-shell-and-joint-playing-at-dharamsala-is-a-fascinating-look-at-life-and-death-8943961.html What is the shape or condition of life? And conversely, of death? Maybe death is the more natural and common condition, while life is a short trip that ends with death. What if suicide doesn’t arise from the desire to not live anymore? What if the impulse to kill oneself isn’t something existential, but […]

Don Palathara’s ‘Shavam’, ‘Vith’ and ‘1956, Central Travancore’ are observational tracts filled with gorgeous “human landscapes”

October 13, 2020

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/features/malayalam-features/malayalam-movies-don-palathara-moscow-international-film-festival-shavam-vith-and-1956-central-travancore-are-observational-tracts-filled-with-gorgeous-human-landscapes-baradwaj-rangan/ ‘1956, Central Travancore’ (2019) premiered on October 5, at the Moscow International Film Festival. It is about the power of stories and storytelling The Malayalam director Don Palathara has made three films: Shavam (2015), Vith (2017), and 1956, Central Travancore (2019), which premiered on October 5, at the Moscow International Film Festival. All these […]

Venice Film Festival 2020 Ameen Nayfeh’s ‘200 Meters’ is a potent dramatisation of what the Wall does to Israelis and Palestinians

September 12, 2020

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The Palestinian protagonist won’t get himself an Israeli ID. It’s like how some NRIs won’t get themselves an American passport because they still want to feel “Indian”. It seems like a very ordinary scene out of the very ordinary life of a very ordinary family. Mustafa (Ali Suliman) is fooling around with his wife, Salwa […]

Venice Film Festival 2020: Rodrigo Sepulveda’s Chilean drama, ‘My Tender Matador’, is about a young revolutionary and an ageing homosexual

September 11, 2020

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I would have liked to know the source of Carlos’s feelings for Queen, whatever they were. But how can we hope to define something that he himself hasn’t fully grasped? A film festival is a place to discover great films, yes, but sometimes, even a not-bad (i.e. decidedly un-great) film can prove worthwhile. On the […]

Sushma Khadepaun’s Anita: The first Gujarati film to play at the Venice Film Festival

September 11, 2020

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A conversation with the director, a Columbia University alum, whose short film is a contender in the Orrizonti (Horizons) Short Films Section. Anita is a 17-minute short about a visiting NRI couple, specifically the wife after whom the film takes its title. She’s gotten herself an internship. She’s thrilled. She thinks it’s the start of […]

Venice Classics 2020: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s ‘The Last Supper’ is a political allegory painted in explicitly religious shades

September 5, 2020

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Religion makes “slaves” of us. We are asked to silently accept suffering because “God has willed it that way,” and the more we suffer, the greater the chances of being rewarded with a place in heaven. By the time you read this, the Venice Film Festival will be underway, though not the Classics section, which […]

Chaitanya Tamhane, after the premiere of The Disciple at the Venice Film Festival: “Every film is a new battle”

September 5, 2020

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“A part of the film is about a musician going through an existential crisis about his art. Cinema, too, is going through this crisis, even though it’s a much younger art.” It’s the day after the premiere of The Disciple at the Venice Film Festival. How is Chaitanya Tamhane feeling? “Good,” he says over the […]

A review of Ivan Ayr’s sturdy, lyrical character study, Meel Patthar (Milestone), which premiered at the Venice Film Festival

September 4, 2020

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This moving tale of a trucker paints a portrait of an ecosystem where everything and everyone appears to be a metaphor for disuse, neglect, ageing. Spoilers ahead… Based on his two deeply empathetic features so far — both of which debuted in the Orrizonti (Horizons) section of the Venice Film Festival — Ivan Ayr likes […]

Venice Classics 2020: Jean-Pierre Melville’s ‘The Red Circle’ is a heist thriller with poetry between the lines

August 29, 2020

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When we think of a “heist movie”, we think of carefully made plans, careful preparations. But here, things come together… by chance. Quentin Tarantino’s love for French New Wave cinema, especially the crime dramas, is well-documented. He said directors like Jean-Pierre Melville (whose Le Samourai was discussed in an earlier column) took inspiration from the […]