Browsing All Posts filed under »Firstpost Column«

On the parents and children in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Like Father, Like Son’

September 19, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: This week, we’re going to discuss a film about fathers and sons, but what birthed it was director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s relationship with his daughter. He said, in a Screen Anarchy interview, that he actually didn’t have very much time to spend with her, probably due to the […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

The 50th anniversary of Z, by Costa-Gavras, who receives the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award at Venice

August 22, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Z, directed by Costa-Gavras, is a French procedural-thriller based on Greek events – but let’s first look at the American connection. When the film was released in 1969, President Nixon’s resignation was still a few years away – but what Federal Times Editor Jill Aitoro wrote, after […]

The reverse chronology in Gaspar Noé’s ‘Irreversible’, which gets an Out of Competition screening at Venice 2019

August 16, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Talking about Memento (2000) in a Creative Screenwriting interview, Christopher Nolan said that he and his brother Jonathan (who came up with the story) felt that the most interesting approach was to tell the story from the first person point of view, putting the audience right in […]

Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘The Spider’s Stratagem’ will be screened as part of Venice Classics

August 8, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: In 1944, the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges published a short story titled Theme of the Traitor and the Hero (original Spanish title: Tema del traidor y del héroe). The protagonist, Ryan, sets out to write a biography about his great-grandfather, a nationalist hero who was killed […]

Greater transparency in the process may help address the gender parity issue at Venice and other film festivals

August 1, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The issue of gender parity has come up again after the Venice Film Festival announced its line-up, with only two Competition titles from women filmmakers: Haifaa Al-Mansour’s The Candidate and Shannon Murphy’s Babyteeth. (If you want to make a grim joke, you could say it’s a full […]

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s ‘Micmacs’ and the problems when a director has too distinct a signature

July 25, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Micmacs (2009) is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director best known for Delicatessen and Amélie – and if you didn’t know, going in, that this was his work, you’d know in the first five minutes. Look at the shot where a woman receives news that her husband […]

Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s ‘Salaam Cinema’ is not just an ode to the medium but also a reflection of it

July 18, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: In 1895, the Lumière brothers, in Paris, held the first paid public screening of 10 short films, including the now-famous Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory. A hundred years later, Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf dreamed up a novel way to celebrate the centenary of this new medium. Salaam […]

Forty years on, Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’ remains a great example of movie-poetry, easier to experience than explain

July 11, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: In 1972, the brothers Boris and Arkady Strugatsky published a Russian sci-fi novel titled Roadside Picnic, which centres on an extraterrestrial event called Visitation. This event results in “Zones”, mysterious (possibly supernatural) areas that have been cordoned off by the respective Governments. Instead of a single exposition […]

Luchino Visconti’s ‘Senso’, which heralded the slow opening-up of Italian neorealism

July 4, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: When we think of Italian neorealism, the films that spring to mind are all of a certain kind. We think of films about the poor or the working class. We think of non-professional actors and shooting on location. The movement shot to fame when Rome, Open City […]

On Carlos Reygadas’s ‘Japón’, and unilateral vs. bilateral cinema

June 27, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: This June, Film Comment published an interview with Carlos Reygadas, the Mexican filmmaker widely regarded as one of the leading proponents of Slow Cinema. (The term means exactly what you think it does. Think, for instance, of the cinema of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Albert Serra, Lav Diaz and […]

On World Music Day, a salute to Jacques Demy, who made two of the greatest musicals outside the Hollywood system

June 20, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: In 1964, the French filmmaker Jacques Demy (aka Agnès Varda’s husband) made one of the most original musicals of all time: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The film was top-lined by Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo, who — along with the other characters — sang not just the […]

In Pride Month, a look at ‘Kanarie’, a South African coming-of-age (and coming-out) drama

June 13, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Among other things, Christiaan Olwagen’s South African drama Kanarie is about the importance of role models. The people around us — family, friends, teachers — they’re all good. But it’s something else when a public figure, especially one you adore, legitimises what you are. Johan adores Boy […]

‘Ode to My Father’ is an important reminder that sentimental, manipulative mainstream cinema isn’t just our thing

June 7, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: You should watch Ode to My Father, the 2014 South Korean melodrama which is the basis of the Salman Khan-starrer, Bharat. When we talk about films from other countries, there’s usually a strain of “Look, even <insert name of country> makes such great films. But we keep […]

With the end of Cannes 2019, here’s looking back at Palme d’Or winners down the years

May 30, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Now that Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite has won the Palme d’Or, let’s look back down the years and see if we can settle on the one Palme d’Or winner to beat all others. Let’s exclude the most recent winners like Shoplifters, The Square and I, Daniel Blake. They’re […]

Abdellatif Kechiche’s unique achievement, with Part One in Venice, Part Two at Cannes

May 23, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: In terms of pedigree, Abdellatif Kechiche’s Mektoub, My Love series may be unprecedented. The first part (subtitled Canto Uno), adapted from François Bégaudeau’s French novel La Blessure, la vraie (The Real Wound), was screened in the main competition section of the 2017 Venice International Film Festival. And […]

Remembering a classic film with Alain Delon, recipient of the honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes 2019

May 16, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: For a brief while, it appeared that Alain Delon might not receive the honorary Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Melissa Silverstein, the founder of the American organisation Women and Hollywood, tweeted that Delon “has publicly admitted to slapping women. He has aligned himself with […]

The Cannes classics line-up includes a tribute to Lina Wertmüller’s Oscar-nominated ‘Seven Beauties’

May 9, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The biggest ticket at Cannes Classics 2019 is undoubtedly  the midnight screening of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, remastered in 4K and presented by Alfonso Cuarón. It’s the film you want to brag about, with a tweet like “Braved the mad rush and got a seat for The […]