Browsing All Posts filed under »Lights Camera Conversation«

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A ticket to Bizarro World”

December 26, 2014


Notes from a random day at the 12th Chennai International Film Festival. Under normal circumstances, this would have given me an aneurysm. I walked into a film a couple of minutes late. If that wasn’t bad enough, I did not know the name of the film. I know you think I’m being overdramatic with all […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Moses supposes…”

December 19, 2014


Thoughts on ‘Exodus’, ‘The Ten Commandments’, Old Hollywood and New Hollywood. Just last week, I wrote about Gone With the Wind, and how, 75 years after its release, it remains the epitome of a certain style of filmmaking – the Old Hollywood Style, if you will. I was reminded of that style again while watching […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A study in Scarlett”

December 12, 2014


Training an Indian-cinema lens on the still-awesome ‘Gone With the Wind’, which turns 75 on December 15. Leonard Maltin, in his video guide, had this to say about Gone With the Wind: “If not the greatest movie ever made, certainly one of the greatest examples of storytelling on film, maintaining interest for nearly four hours.” […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Time passages”

December 5, 2014


Now that awards season has begun in the US, some thoughts on the wonderful ‘Boyhood’, an Oscar frontrunner. In the Before movies, Richard Linklater’s signature trope (if you want to call it that) was the walk-and-talk. The couple kept walking, the couple kept talking. And at some point, I was reminded of how Woody Allen […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Two-film wonder”

November 28, 2014


Why did C Rudraiah’s career never take off after his dazzling debut film? The film industry’s answer: “Avar Appadithan.” This is your first film, and even the way you refer to this first film in the acknowledgements at the beginning is different – not as “mudhal padam,” which is the literal translation, but as “kanni […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Time for a toon-up”

November 21, 2014


Thoughts on animated features, which aren’t just for kids, and ‘Big Hero 6’, which is. “But that’s an animated movie!” I hear some version of this when I say I’m going to watch… well, an animated movie. It’s surprising how, even today, so many people think that animated films are only for children – something […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The curious case of a buttoned-down movie”

November 14, 2014


Thoughts on the ho-hum film version of a book that I found a knockout (made by a director who’s usually a knockout). It’s hard to say why an eagerly anticipated movie – like David Fincher’s Gone Girl – doesn’t work for you. Part of the problem may be the eager anticipation itself. A book you […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The man who does too much”

November 7, 2014


Thoughts on a filmmaker who wants to be considered so deep, it must hurt to be him. Has there been another director who has laboured as much as Christopher Nolan to make simple, generic stories look impressively complex? In Memento (Nolan’s first biggish movie; it still holds up very well), a routine revenge saga was […]

A walk through time

October 31, 2014


Thoughts on the remarkable “Before” films – “Sunrise,” “Sunset” and “Midnight”. There’s a reason I kept putting off watching Before Midnight, the third and final instalment of Richard Linklater’s chronicle of the evolving relationship of Jesse and Céline. I wanted to catch up on the earlier two films first – and now that I have, […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Hell on screen”

October 24, 2014


Thoughts on the violence in ‘12 Years a Slave’ versus ‘Lacombe Lucien,’ which was co-written by this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. I wanted to write about Louis Malle’s Lacombe Lucien when I saw 12 Years a Slave. The brutality depicted in the latter film bothered me, and it took me back […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The critic doth protest too much?”

October 17, 2014


Thoughts on readers’ thoughts on my thoughts on “Haider”. About the observation that I try to “find faults” with good films while giving lesser films an easy pass, here’s how it works (or at least, here’s how I think it should work). Firstly, it’s not “finding faults.” It’s not nitpicking. It’s gnawing, mental mastication. It’s […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “ ‘Impure’ Tamilians? ”

October 10, 2014


The reviews for the Tamil film ‘Madras’ suggest that most English-language writers are divorced from a certain kind of reality. Pa Ranjith’s Madras is the work of a good, thoughtful filmmaker. It’s a supremely well-made film, but not especially well-written. The narrative superstructure is derivative, and Ranjith doesn’t do enough to make his film different. […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “All the world’s a screen…”

September 12, 2014


In light of the upcoming ‘Haider’, a look at a 60-year-old Hindi version of ‘Hamlet’. Plus, ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan and Uttam Kumar as Othello. When we think of non-Western (and non-Vishal Bhardwaj) adaptations of Shakespeare, the mind settles, instantly, on Kursosawa. Throne of Blood. Ran. But a quick Google search reveals some fascinating Indian productions. A […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Police story”

September 5, 2014


Recalling the superb writing in ‘Khakee’, one of the great masala movies – it turned ten this year. I wish I’d thought of this piece earlier, this January to be precise.  That would have marked, exactly, ten years – a nice round figure – since the release of Rajkumar Santoshi’s Khakee, which has been coming […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A normal boy who does stupid things…”

August 29, 2014


Thoughts on ‘Njan Steve Lopez’, and the problem with email interviews. Slowly, surely, Rajeev Ravi, known to most people as “Anurag Kashyap’s cinematographer,” is creating an identity for himself as a filmmaker. His superb first film, Annayum Rasoolum (“Anna and Rasool”), was about a young man who falls in love. The girl rebuffs him at […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Cutting questions”

August 22, 2014


So we know now the censor board is corrupt. But how necessary is it in the first place? About the recent fuss around the censor board chief caught taking bribes, I have just this to add: I am not surprised. This was bound to happen. Over the years, censorship has become some sort of minor […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Goliaths and Davids – 2”

August 15, 2014


On “Jigarthanda.” On the current state of Tamil cinema. On criticism, and why it’s important to not just praise a film because it’s… “different.” Last week, I wrote about how the very existence of a film like Jigarthanda in the current Tamil-cinema climate is a miracle – but while we should celebrate films like Jigarthanda, […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Goliaths and Davids”

August 8, 2014


On “Jigarthanda.” On the current state of Tamil cinema. On criticism, and why it’s important to not just praise a film because it’s… “different.” Sometime last month, in the coverage of an interaction that had something to do with the teaser of the Suriya film Anjaan, the star was thus quoted: “Expectation about every […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Slumming it…”

August 1, 2014


On good actors in not-so-good movies. Or sometimes downright terrible ones, like “Kick”. It’s sometimes a bit of a shock to see a good actor in a bad movie – and it’s always actors that make us feel this way. We say nothing when a famous lawyer takes on a case that doesn’t deserve his […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The genre and the specific”

July 25, 2014


“Gay movie.” “AIDS movie.” “Chick flick.” Thoughts on the informal tags we slap on films… By the time you read this, the Chennai International Queer Film Festival (or to call it by its proper name, Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival) will be on its last day. And if things go according to plan, […]