ISSN 2231 - 699X | A Publication on Cinema & Allied Art Forms
 
 

Critique

Women at the Centre: Four Sensitive Films

Four contemporary films handle adeptly the perennial themes of rape, resurgence, struggles, preferential and identity questions with women at the centre of attention. Preference of reality over fantasy is evidenced by the choices, whether in content or in the craft of storytelling, made by each of the directors concerned.

Women at the Centre: Four Sensitive Films
Women at the Centre: Four Sensitive Films
Four contemporary films handle adeptly the perennial themes of rape, resurgence, struggles, preferential and identity questions with women at the centre of attention. Preference...
Celebration of Moral Decay in Contemporary Bollywood Films: A Critique of Raees and Kaabil
Celebration of Moral Decay in Contemporary Bollywood Films: A Critique of Raees and Kaabil
Bollywood films and films in general across the world have more often than not been lured by the temptation to depict the dark, amoral world that runs in parallel to the more...
Satyajit Ray and Ravi Shankar during one of the many sessions composing the music of Ray’s The Apu Trilogy.
Ray’s Ravi Shankar – A Blueprint for Posterity
An Unfilmed Visual Script: Satyajit Ray’s Ravi Shankar is a very different and special book. It embeds within itself, a 32 page drawing book containing more than a 100 sketches...
Of Traditional Tyranny and Feminine Revolt
Of Traditional Tyranny and Feminine Revolt
Two gut-wrenching films with strong feminist undertone, that stood out in their attempt to uphold spirited fight of women, against traditional hegemony and striving for her...
Maurits Cornelis Escher’s ‘The Eye’ looks straight in my eyes
I’s Eyes: Exploring Use of Eyes in Films
The recently concluded Kolkata International Film Festival threw up a few interesting films including Katarina Zrinka Matijevic’s The Trampoline, Maria Govan’s Play the...
Jamie Fox plays Rhythm and Blues musician Ray Charles in the biopic Ray (2004)
The ‘Biopic’ Teaser
Biopic films have more often than not run into controversies and debates about the authentcity in depicting the life of a celebrated person. From the Hollywood myth-making...
dobighazameen
Hindi Films 1950s – 2000 and the Emerging Trends – A Sociological Perspective
An exploration of Hindi mainstream cinema from the post-Independence era till today, chronicling the most significant trends.
Mrinal Sen's Bhuvan Shome - an Indian Nouvelle Vague experience
Re-claiming Indian Parallel Cinema
The Indian Parallel cinema has been an overtly used, vague term. There have been discussions and debates as to what constitute the definition and equally important where to...
Uttam Kumar in Satyajit Ray's Chiriakhana
An Open Letter to Byomkesh Bakshi
There have been a flurry of films on the popular Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi. Are these adaptations losing the essence of the sleuth or they are adding to the rich oeuvre?...
Thousands of feet of celluloid stripped of silver
India’s Vanishing Films Need Urgent Policies to Avoid a Bleak Future
Destroyed by nitrate fires, stripped bare of silver, decaying in locked cans in hot and humid, unfavourable weather conditions or sold by the kilo in flea markets, the films...
Prosenjit as Anthony Phiringi in Jatishwar
Unmitigated Agonies and Unheard voices: Exploration of Madness in Srijit Mukherji’s Baishey Shrabon and Jatishwar
In both Jastishwar and Baishe Srabon Srjit Mukherjee reflects on ‘mad’ characters and how they are treated by the society at large – for its use and...
The Idea of Apu
The Idea of Apu
On reading Pather Panchali one cannot help feeling that Bibhuti Bhushan’s construction of Apu has given Ray an understanding of child psychology. Most importantly, Ray imbibed...
The State of Independent Cinema in India
The State of Independent Cinema in India
Independent cinema is basically independent of established production houses meaning the independent film makers have to raise money on their own and more than often the budget...
Pramathesh Barua, Uttam Kumar and Soumitra Chatterjee: A Brief Insight into Concepts of Masculinities
Pramathesh Barua, Uttam Kumar and Soumitra Chatterjee: A Brief Insight into Concepts of Masculinities
Indian cinema reveals a wide variety of masculinities in the male protagonist, from God figures drawn from Hindu mythology to saints derived from the stories of saint poets;...
The Many Faces of Byomkesh Bakshi
The Many Faces of Byomkesh Bakshi
Indian cinema and television has by now presented almost a dozen Byomkesh Bakshis. Filmmakers from Basu Chatterjee to Satyajit Ray, Manju Dey to Swapan Ghosal, Rituparno Ghosh...
The Wind Will Carry Us 
Cast: Behzad Dorani, Bahman Ghobadi 
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
[Blu-ray available on Amazon]
Landscape & Kiarostami – Taste of Cherry & The Wind Will Carry Us
Kiarostami has been a tireless composer in experimenting over the last two decades by using different means of image and sound technique, which is entwined masterly with the...
The Mind Twisters (8 Movies No One Can Watch Just Once)
The Mind Twisters (8 Movies No One Can Watch Just Once)
The best aspect of this genre is the faith the film-makers place on the audience's intelligence and wit. No unnecessary dumbing down, a complex story more on psychological...
Charulata: The Lonely Wife
Performativity and Politics: Ray and Ghatak
Ray, in his characteristic swagger, put it down to the puerile nature of his native Bengali audience and the ‘backward, stupid and trashy’ quality of contemporaneous work...
Nutan essayed the role of Kalyani in Bimal Roy's Bandini
She Smiles Everytime Letters Marry Silver Screen
Literature and cinema have had a close relationship for decades, perhaps since the very inception of the cinematic medium. Several films that have been path-breakers in cinema...
Eternal Dialogues Of Bollywood Movies
Eternal Dialogues Of Bollywood Movies
If you are a true Bollywood movie fan, you should have no trouble voting for the best eternal dialogues from our masala hits over the decades.
First-nighters posing for the camera outside the Warners' Theatre before the premiere of Don Juan with John Barrymore. 
Pic Courtesy: National Archives and Records Administration, Wikimedia Commons
Silent Film Studies: The Curious Absence of Film Sound in Film Theory
Works of film historians like Rick Altman, Donald Crafton etc shows us there was never a thing called Silent Cinema. In fact, the term was not in use before 1927. The journey...
South City Towers
The City in Cinema, and Cinemas in the City: South City Mall and Locations of Display
Somewhat surprisingly while there are numerous studies on 19th Century Calcutta,[1] enquiries on the political history of Calcutta from the partition years to the political...
The Certain and Uncertain Tendencies in Today's Bollywood Cinema
The Certain and Uncertain Tendencies in Today’s Bollywood Cinema
What Bollywood also seriously needs today is to cultivate a new tendency of revisionism. We need films today that question the uneasy status quo, confronting us on a day...
Meena Kumari in Pakeezah
Locating the Muslim Identity in Popular Hindi Cinema
The Muslim community of post-partition India occupies an in-between space beyond the self and before the other. Hindi cinema furnishes an interesting site of analysis.
Bollywood - Wacckopedia
Bollywood – Wacckopedia
Bollywood signed a $12.79 million deal with Story Confectioneries, who would supply the wafers. The deal still continues, which is renewed every 5 years for an undisclosed...
In Gulaal’s heavily masculine world of politics, inheritance, and parochialism, Kiran, starts from a point of disadvantage on account of her gender and pedigree, to battle her way in a bid to acquire power on her own rules.
Sex And The Second Sex In Anurag Kashyap’s World Of Films
And although Kashyap’s woman is often the subject and nowhere close to being the incidental or the inessential, it is imperative for her to be incomplete and not absolute...
Satyajit Ray's Sonar Kella, the first of the two films he made on the Feluda series
Why Feluda Works
When we talk of re-birth of Feluda on screen with Sandip Ray’s adaptations of Satyajit Ray’s Feluda stories we discuss the populist strategy of old wine in a new bottle...
Filming Dreams: Desire As Power In Gitanjali Rao’s Animation Movies
Filming Dreams: Desire As Power In Gitanjali Rao’s Animation Movies
Gitanjali Rao's Printed Rainbow describes the loneliness of an old woman and her cat, who escape into the fantastical world of match box covers.
Who can forget Madhubala’s naughty flouncing of skirts to the sensuous yet charming tunes of ‘Aiyee Mehrbaan' (Howrah Bridge, 1958)
(Pic: Youtube)
Critiquing Sexuality: Tracing the Changing Sensuality of the Popular Hindi Film Heroine (1950s-2000s)
The late 1960s in turn saw a gradual lapse in vigilance, as Hindi film heroine became bolder, stirring up controversies, as well as the ‘male gaze’.
The Emergence Of SFX (Special Effects) In Movies
The Emergence Of SFX (Special Effects) In Movies
Often several different techniques are used together in a single scene or shot to achieve the desired effect. Let’s have a look what is SFX all about.
What Is Acting
What Is Acting
Michael Chekhov, a great Russian actor, teacher, director, seemed to have an interesting approach to these challenges and emphasized the art in acting.
Alex looking straight at the camera with the eyeballs slightly above centre
(Pic: Amazon)
The Need For A Visual Syntax
The quest to create strong, powerful and most importantly - relevant visual syntax for the written word is alive in every serious director working in the medium today.
Tapan Sinha's Khudito Pashan
(Pic: Youtube)
Cinematic Adaptations Of Rabindranath
Since Tagore’s works are universal — in time, space, emotions and human relationships, they offer filmmakers a challenge to make the film as powerful, credible and appealing...
Masculin, féminin
Cast: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Chantal Goya
Director: Jean-Luc Godard 
(Pic: Amazon)
Space Sound Color: Giving Life To An Art Film
Since its nascent beginnings, the so-called art film has maintained this basic manifesto while dovetailing into its various faces, representing and dealing with the temper...
Dialogue in a way authenticates the speaker as a real person rather than a mere imaginary character of the filmic tale.
Visible Voice And Imaginary Appearance: Let Her Absence Speak For Herself
When voice becomes visible, it fails as a controlling entity of the narrative; rather the voice itself becomes uncontrollable and uncanny.
The whole of scene of the film The Draughtsman’s Contract is set in 1694 in the vast estate, were young and modern painter Mr. Nevill signed a contract with Mrs. Herbert about 12 drawing of her husband’s estate. 
(Pic: Youtube)
The Relationship Between Film And Other Art Forms
Peter Greenaway’s film The Draughtsman’s Contract seems to me like a motion picture absorbing other forms of art.
New York: Capturing The Essence
New York: Capturing The Essence
New York is much more than a studio where films are shot for reasons of convenience, it has a soul that seeps into and is used by different filmmakers to mean different things...
Bobby Deol in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye
Screening Delhi
Films that deal with Delhi as a city largely involve emigrational situations. Exploring Delhi-6, DevD, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Chandni and Khosla Ka Ghosla.
Taylor and Van Johnson find romantic fulfillment in The Last Time I Saw Paris
City and Cinema: The Cinematic City of Paris
Cinema is a powerful signifying system. Cinema captures the aural and the visual realities of a metropolis and becomes a metaphor for urban life.
Marriage of Maria Braun
A Nazi City – Berlin in the Films
Interestingly, the film makers trying to depict Berlin of that era are faced with a number of hurdles, most notably the absence of internationally recognizable landmarks....
Dibakar Banerjee
LSD And The Great Indian Middle Class In The Films Of Dibakar Banerjee
One of the most noticeable and publicized things about the movie was of course that it had been shot in a digital, hand held camera format. This visual style undoubtedly made...
Cinema & Sexuality: On the Death of the Desiring Woman
Cinema & Sexuality: On the Death of the Desiring Woman
Why is it that the woman (female lead) in cinema is usually represented as a shadow of the man’s desire - existing only in response to the man’s desires?
Where Defeat is Victory – Anachronism is History
Where Defeat is Victory – Anachronism is History
The quick paced usage of such stock monochromatic films seemed to allow Ghosh to situate Samaresh Mazumdar’s 1980’s novel Kalbela, cinematographed ( initially planned...
Europe and Hollywood: Depiction of Second World War in Movies
Europe and Hollywood: Depiction of Second World War in Movies
Movies produced as the Second World War progressed were inclined more towards propaganda to boost the morale of the soldiers at the front and civilians suffering back home....
Metal Gear Solid 4 and Postcolonial History
Metal Gear Solid 4 and Postcolonial History
Metal Gear Solid 4 tells a truly planetary tale of the worldwide struggle against neoliberalism, and went so far as to forecast the real-life meltdown of neoliberalism with...
Videos To Voice
Videos To Voice
Community Video is a unique and new initiative in India. These units provide a platform for the disadvantaged communities to voice.
Three Movies of the Digital Age
Three Movies of the Digital Age
The DVC phenomenon shows that those handling the media have the power to literally drag large crowds of people into their products and even to force some to get involved....
Neocolonialism and Videogame Culture
Neocolonialism and Videogame Culture
Videogame culture offers a startling example of how a public digital space or commons can successfully resist the silicon dictatorship of multinational capitalism, even on...
Displaced Nationalism: Popular Indian Film’s Disconnect with the Nation
Displaced Nationalism: Popular Indian Film’s Disconnect with the Nation
In trying to demonstrate how the nationalist zeal declined post independence, these films re-evoke the patriotic ideals of nation building, because that is a viable location...
The Colour of Aesthetics
The Colour of Aesthetics
In the works of Ray himself we will find that he made black-white after making films in colour as well, to him, it’s the subject which demands the medium and the treatment....
Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen in Indrani
Inhabiting Passionate Spaces: Reframing of Intimacy in 50’s Bengali ‘Romantic Films’
Throughout the decade, a number of visual motifs such as tree shades, hillsides, flowers and foliages alluded to the autonomy of this romantic space in relation to other social...
Demystifying The Popular Item Number Trend: Indian Cinema
Demystifying The Popular Item Number Trend: Indian Cinema
Since about six years or so, there has been a flurry of ‘item numbers’ that are indoctrinated into films.
Movies and the Quest for Collective Identity in the Indian Diaspora
Movies and the Quest for Collective Identity in the Indian Diaspora
Many of the films made over the past decade by Indians settled abroad on the cultural angst of the diaspora gives us a window into the schizophrenic cultural mentality of...

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