FC Recco: ‘Parasite’

May 30, 2019

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A weekly series where I recommend a film-based book, a foreign film or an Indian movie. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

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

May 30, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/with-the-end-of-cannes-2019-heres-looking-back-at-palme-dor-winners-over-the-years-6725551.html/ 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 […]

Happy 76th, Ilayaraja, and yes, just be yourself

May 29, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/happy-76th-ilaiyaraaja-and-yes-just-be-yourself-interview/ We should really, really stop expecting celebrities to conform to our notions of “good behaviour”. In the sixteen-plus years I have been writing about cinema, one thing has remained constant. Whenever I have run into (either casually or for the purposes of an interview) someone who’s […]

Readers Write In #76: Thamizh Cinema – Punaivil Iyangum Samoogam

May 27, 2019

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Is cinema merely a reflection of society or does it reinforce the existing beliefs of a society? This is the question left lingering in my mind after reading ‘Thamizh Cinema – Punaivil Iyangum Samoogam’ (Society living in Fiction). Stalin Rajangam’s book is an interesting collection of essays about Tamil cinema, its many layers and the […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Two best friends grapple with desire in Xavier Dolan’s halfway interesting ‘Matthias & Maxime’

May 25, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-2019-matthias-and-maxime-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Plus Marco Bellocchio’s ‘The Traitor’. And Abdellatif Kechiche’s ‘Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo’. In Xavier Dolan’s Matthias & Maxime, the director — playing the latter half of the title — sports a wine-red birthmark that pools over the right side of his face. From the outside, this […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ is a sensationally effective take on the class divide

May 24, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/bong-joon-ho-parasite-movie-review-class-divide-sensationally-effective-baradwaj-rangan/ Plus, Shahrbanoo Sadat’s ‘The Orphanage’, which worships Bachchan. And Arnaud Desplechin’s cop drama, ‘Oh Mercy’. The Holy Grail of a festival film is that which ticks off all the important boxes (it is by an auteur; it is about a big issue; it’s a work of […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Ira Sachs’s ‘Frankie’, with Isabelle Huppert, is an underwhelming family-reunion tale

May 23, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-isabelle-huppert-frankie-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Plus, ‘The Invisible Life Of Eurídice Gusmão’, by Karim Aïnouz. And ‘La belle époque’, by Nicolas Bedos. After the amazing Little Men, the featherweight drama of Frankie must count as a disappointment from Ira Sachs. Hearing about it, you’d think… But what’s not to like! The […]

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

May 23, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/cannes-2019-after-venice-adbellatif-kechiche-takes-his-series-mektoub-my-love-to-the-french-riviera-6686971.html/ 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 […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Quentin Tarantino’s pleasurable ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ catches the filmmaker in a mellow mood

May 22, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-quentin-tarantino-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-movie-review-brad-pitt-baradwaj-rangan What is a “mellow” Tarantino? For one, the swearing isn’t creatively colourful. There’s no nudity… On the evidence of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — a studio-backlot story set in 1969 — Quentin Tarantino is mellowing nicely. We’ve already had an “uncharacteristic” film in Hateful […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a super-strong award contender

May 22, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-celine-sciamma-portrait-of-a-lady-on-fire-review-baradwaj-rangan/ This isn’t so much about a same-sex relationship as the first time we lose our heart to someone. It’s about that intensity. Two female members of the Competition jury have weighed in strongly about the gender debate at Cannes, which argues for the inclusion of more […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – ‘Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut’ is the definitive version Coppola wants you to see

May 21, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-apocalypse-now-the-final-cut-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Plus, Kantemir Balagov’s ‘Beanpole’, about women during wartime. And Corneliu Porumboiu’s ‘The Whistlers’. On the 40th anniversary of APOCALYPSE NOW, director Francis Ford Coppola unveiled a version of the film he called “The Final Cut”. Speaking through a video recording before the screening, he said he was […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – In the affecting ‘A Hidden Life’, Terrence Malick’s style finds a worthy subject

May 20, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-2019-a-hidden-life-terrence-malick-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Where another filmmaker might have focused on the dramatic twists of a life, Malick composes a hymn about suffering. For those who’ve been frustrated by Terrence Malick’s plotless, ruminative, meandering post-Tree of Life films, A Hidden Life comes as a relief. Oh, it’s still Malickian. This […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – AR Rahman’s ‘Scent of a Song’ is a VR film that spritzes you with smells

May 20, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-a-r-rahman-scent-of-a-song-review-baradwaj-rangan/ The idea came from Rahman’s wife, Saira, who loves perfumes. And a movie with scents made sense, because — why not? One of the Virtual Reality attractions at Cannes 2019 was a teaser for Scent of a Song, “a musical sensory experience by AR Rahman”. Here’s […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Ken Loach’s superb ‘Sorry We Missed You’ is especially important in our Amazon age

May 20, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-ken-loach-sorry-we-missed-you-review-baradwaj-rangan/ We feel we are living these working-class lives, not just getting a set of artfully curated moments. Ken Loach’s latest masterwork is titled Sorry We Missed You, which refers to the card left behind by FedEx-type package deliverers when the addressee is unavailable. The film opens […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Despite clichés, the earnestness of the Taliban-era ‘Swallows of Kabul’ is affecting

May 20, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-the-swallows-of-kabul-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ When we see the world through the mesh screen on the burqa, it’s like looking out through prison bars. And we realise how heavy the garment is. The Swallows of Kabul is an animated feature about life under the Taliban (based on a book by Yasmina […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Almodóvar’s exquisite ‘Pain and Glory’, plus ‘Little Joe’

May 19, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/almodovar-pain-and-glory-little-joe-movie-reviews-cannes-film-festival-2019-baradwaj-rangan/ The first half plants the seeds that bloom beautifully in the second, which contains one astonishing scene after another.  An early scene in Pedro Almodóvar’s exquisite Pain and Glory shows a gay filmmaker named Salvador (Antonio Banderas) reminiscing about his childhood. His mother (Penélope Cruz) and […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – The ho-hum ‘Rocketman’, plus Mati Diop’s haunting ‘Atlantique’

May 18, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-rocketman-movie-review-mati-diop-haunting-atlantique/ Instead of focusing on one track, this biopic wants it all. The man is blotted out by all the bling. I was a bit bummed when I found myself in a nosebleed seat for Dexter Fletcher’s Elton John biopic, Rocketman — Piano Man would have been […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – A Parisian incarnation of Pa. Ranjith, plus ‘A Brother’s Love’

May 17, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-pa-ranjith-les-miserables-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Clashes between police and public aren’t new, but like in Pa. Ranjith’s films, the divide is also that of class and what passes for a caste hierarchy. Before talking about Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables, it may be necessary to talk about Ladj Ly himself. I hadn’t […]

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

May 16, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/cannes-2019-remembering-a-classic-film-with-alain-delon-recipient-of-the-honorary-palme-dor-6643761.html/ 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 […]

FC @ Cannes 2019 – Jim Jarmusch makes a zombie movie, plus fighting words from the jury president

May 16, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/cannes-film-festival-2019-jim-jarmusch-the-dead-dont-die-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Despite the George Romero name-drop and the genre trappings, this is not exactly a genre film. It’s more a wry meditation on death. With every movie, even in a Marvel movie, Tilda Swinton keeps making you think: “This is the most quintessentially Tilda Swinton role.” With […]