Browsing All Posts filed under »Firstpost Column«

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, […]

‘Seven Samurai’ is certainly a great film, but is it the best foreign film of all time?

November 8, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Polls are fun. They’re imperfect. They’re maddening when they don’t match your tastes. But they get people talking about the subject, which is the whole point of the poll. For a while now, BBC Culture has been running polls on cinema. In 2015, the web site asked […]

‘And Breathe Normally’, and the interesting ways in which black and white critics write

November 1, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Ísold Uggadóttir’s Icelandic drama, And Breathe Normally, played at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star, and the first scene shows you the reason behind that title. Lara (Kristín Thóra Haraldsdóttir), a single mother, is at the supermarket, realising how much she has to pay for […]

The long gaps between the films of David Lean, Terrence Malick and Ildikó Enyedi, whose ‘On Body and Soul’ is on Netflix

October 25, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi is part of a unique trivia list of filmmakers: the release dates of at least two of their films were separated by more than a decade. Stanley Kubrick belongs in this list, with a 12-year gap between Full Metal Jacket (1987) and […]

‘The Godfather’, ‘Citizen Kane’, ‘Son of Saul’, and the philosophy behind cinematography

October 18, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here:​ One of my favourite anecdotes about cinematography comes from Francis Ford Coppola’s DVD commentary track of The Godfather. He says that they decided to be very “classical” about how the film was going to be shot, the camera always about four-and-a-half feet off the ground. “It never […]

Detective Dee and the Strange Case of the Non-Hollywood Franchise Film

October 11, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here:​ On July 27, this year, Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings was released. It’s the third instalment in a supernaturally flavoured action franchise, which is a blockbuster everywhere except in the US. The first film (Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, 2011) made under […]

The Pingyao Film Festival and how the “boutique” model can help arthouse cinema in India

October 4, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here:​ I’ve received an invitation to attend the 2nd Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, in China. I know about the festival, of course. It was initiated by Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke (Pingyao is in the Shanxi province, which is his home, and where he shot […]

Kenji Mizoguchi’s ‘Street of Shame’, restored and shown at the Venice film festival, pits sex workers against an unforgiving society

September 27, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here:​ The Venezia Classici section of the Venice Film Festival features two kinds of films — documentaries about cinema (the prize, this year, went to Peter Bogdanovich’s documentary on Buster Keaton, titled The Great Buster) and the world premieres of classics restored by film libraries and cultural institutions. […]

‘My Life with James Dean’, ‘gay cinema’, and whether cinema should be classified as ‘gay’

September 20, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here:​ In the June 25 column, written on the occasion of Pride month, I wrote, “There are, of course, many filmmakers who are homosexual, but it’s interesting to explore whether this ‘gayness’ manifests itself in the films they make, and what really makes for a ‘gay film’. Is […]

Running between films at Venice, Cannes, Berlin… Why put yourself through the festival grind?

September 13, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here:​ At the Venice Film Festival, this year, I ran into Peter Bradshaw, chief film critic at The Guardian. We were in line for a press screening, and we were generally chatting about the films we liked and disliked. The topic shifted to the nature of film festivals, […]