Browsing All Posts filed under »Firstpost Column«

On World Poetry Day, remembering the friendship between Pablo Neruda and a postman

March 21, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Ardiente paciencia (Burning Patience), by the Chilean writer Antonio Skármeta, was published in 1985. The story, set in Chile, imagined a fictional friendship between Pablo Neruda and a shy postman named Mario. The #poetryRocks conceit was as Romantic as it gets. The entire village (fisherfolk, mostly) is […]

As Xavier Dolan completes 10 years in cinema, a look at ‘Tom at the Farm’

March 15, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: In 2009, I Killed My Mother, a Canadian drama by a first-time filmmaker, premiered in the Director’s Fortnight programme of the Cannes Film Festival. It won three awards. Typically, this wouldn’t be major news — first films win awards all the time. But the director, Xavier Dolan, […]

For Women’s Day, an obvious “women’s film” versus a not-so-obvious one

March 7, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The very term “women’s film” is a problematic one, though it has its uses. American film critic Molly Haskell wrote in her classic book From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies, “A film that focuses on male relationships is not pejoratively dubbed a […]

Discovering the Israeli filmmaker whose ‘Synonyms’ won the Golden Bear at Berlinale

February 28, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Nadav Lapid announced himself on the world stage with Policeman (2011). This was his first feature, and the plot suggests a genre piece. Yaron (Yiftach Klein) is part of an anti-terrorism commando unit. There’s a cocky macho-ness about him. His wife is about to deliver their first […]

Looking for love at the Berlinale

February 21, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Hah! Got you with that title, didn’t I? It’s basically the earlier idea I had for a Valentine’s Day-themed column, which is to go down the list of Golden Bear winners and see if there are any honest-to-goodness love stories in there. Yes, one title instantly springs […]

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with these “love letters” from one filmmaker to another

February 14, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: This Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate love differently. Not with a list of films about love. Not with a list of great love scenes. Not with a list of great love stories between stars. So what then? Oftentimes, when a director achieves something great, he/she inspires envy, but […]

Bergman’s movie-watching, François Ozon, and Charlotte Rampling, recipient of the Honorary Golden Bear at the Berlinale

February 7, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: How did Ingmar Bergman watch movies? In the theatres, like everyone else? Apparently not, according to one of the chapters in Ingmar Bergman: Interviews, by the Swedish film critic Jan Aghed. He writes that the governing board of the Swedish Film Institute, the equivalent of the French […]

Celebrating Berlinale Jury President Juliette Binoche, and ‘The Widow of Saint-Pierre’, one of her more mainstream movies

January 31, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: After Cate Blanchett was named President of the Jury at Cannes last year, another acclaimed actress, Juliette Binoche, is the President of the Jury at this year’s Berlinale. There are many reasons these picks make sense. These are extraordinarily talented actresses. Given the range of filmmakers they […]

The Classics section of the Berlinale finds a place for James Cameron as well as Carl Dreyer

January 24, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Many of us consider Terminator 2: Judgement Day a classic, but it’s heartening to know the Berlin Film Festival thinks so, too. The digitally restored 2K DCP version (in 3D) of the James Cameron blockbuster was world-premiered at the 2017 edition of the festival, whose film-history programme […]

As ‘Dogtooth’ turns ten, a look at Yorgos Lanthimos, who’s now an awards-season ‘Favourite’

January 17, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: For a while now, I’ve been meaning to write about Yorgos Lanthimos — and the time is right now, what with Dogtooth turning ten and The Favourite becoming an awards-season favourite. In an Indiewire piece, Eric Kohn summed up the Lanthimos phenomenon thus: “Not since the emergence […]

Demy and Truffaut and Kieslowski… these are a few of my favourite foreign films

January 10, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: My editor asked me to follow up last week’s column with a list of foreign-film favourites, and there are two ways to go about this. One is to follow the establishment-approved route, and talk about Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, Jiří Menzel’s Closely Watched Trains, Fritz Lang’s M, […]

This new year, make a resolution to watch more foreign cinema (and here are some hacks)

January 4, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: This new year, allow me to tempt you with a relatively easy resolution, that you will watch more foreign films. Many of you already do this, but maybe some of you have fallen out of the habit. Let’s face it:  it’s tough. With the glut of entertainment […]

On Gérard Depardieu’s birthday, a look at his work with the director Maurice Pialat

December 27, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: F or Gérard Depardieu’s birthday (December 27), I wanted to pick one film to write about — say, Claude Berri’s Jean de Florette (one of the actor’s most beloved films, and one of his biggest hits), or Andrzej Wajda’s Danton (one of the earliest art films I […]

Hu Bo’s ‘An Elephant Sitting Still’, Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’, ‘The Godfather’, and the concept of slow cinema

December 20, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: One of the highlights at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, this year, was Hu Bo’s Chinese film, An Elephant Sitting Still. There are many things that are noteworthy about it. One, the director committed suicide soon after finishing his film, reportedly due to conflicts […]

Searching for sci-fi/fantasy like ‘Aquaman’ outside Hollywood leads us to… ‘Enthiran’?

December 13, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The upcoming release of Aquaman made me wonder if there’s another country that makes this kind of movie. Of course, it’s not difficult to find sci-fi films – in the broadest sense – in foreign languages. We have the surreal sci-fi of The City of Lost Children […]

On Ozu’s birth and death anniversary, a look at ‘Tokyo Story’ and the Yōji Yamada remake, ‘Tokyo Family’

December 12, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Yasujirō Ozu was born on 12 December, 1903. He died 60 years later, on the same day. There is no need to reiterate this filmmaker’s greatness – if you are reading this column, you probably know this already. Wim Wenders put it perfectly at the beginning of […]

‘Last Tango in Paris’ remains a big deal, both as a movie and as the complicated legacy of Bernardo Bertolucci

December 2, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: It’s a little hard, in this been-there-seen-that era, to grasp what a big deal Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris was, upon its release in 1972. Indeed, one of my favourite appraisals of the film (though, clearly, not one that I agree with) is by a user […]

Kosovo’s submission for the Foreign Language Film Oscar is an LGBTQIA-themed drama, and a big hit

November 29, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Kosovo is a small country of 1.8 million inhabitants. It now produces up to three or four feature films a year. The source of this information is Blerta Zeqiri, the  Kosovar director/scriptwriter, whose Martesa (The Marriage), is Kosovo’s candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Zeqiri […]

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘At Eternity’s Gate’, and how familiarity can influence how we view biopics

November 24, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, made me recall many dramas about singers, but for different reasons. I enjoyed this film flaws and all. It didn’t bother me much that Freddie’s decision to pursue a solo career is treated by his fellow band mates with the kind […]

The letter in ‘Casablanca’ versus the ones in Chantal Akerman’s ‘News from Home’

November 15, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: BBC Culture’s poll of the 100 best foreign films has given us fodder for many, many columns – so this week, let’s look at one of the female filmmakers on the list. Not that there’s much choice. There are only four women – three-and-a-half, in a sense, […]