Top articles

  • Parakh, or: what is a good man?

    30 juin 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    Bimal Roy’s Parakh (Test, 1960) is an experiment. Not so much in democracy, as some people say, even though they’re right, it does contain an implicit criticism of democratic processes, but this is only a side-issue. It’s an experiment in morality or...

  • Indian cinema on stamps

    21 octobre 2012 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Hi, sorry to have been away so long, too many things in the going. This one took me some time assembling and researching, but was great fun! When I was a boy, my brother François and I used to collect stamps, mostly French ones of course, and I still...

  • The reluctant fundamentalist

    26 mai 2010 ( #Book reviews )

    The reluctant fundamentalist is a strange and powerful little book. It’s clearly got some autobiographical elements in it, and because of that has manage to net some darting fishes of life that jump and flash and look up from their prison wondering what...

  • Swami and friends

    09 mars 2011 ( #Book reviews )

    This is a lovely, very readable, and at the same time, a rather unusual little book. Unusual because it doesn’t follow the common pattern of what might be expected from such entertainers. It gears itself towards an all-important cricket match, which the...

  • Train to Pakistan

    08 février 2011 ( #Book reviews )

    I am not sure I shall be able to do justice to Khushwant Singh’s little novel (published in 1956). It seems both too simple, too factual, and so because of that, too deeply rooted in Indian history and drama (for those who need the plot, go here ). Not...

  • The vendor of sweets

    18 octobre 2009 ( #Book reviews )

    R.K. Narayan’s short novel The vendor of sweets (1967) is the story of a wise man, called Jagan, who lives in the narayanian town of Malgudi and prospers by selling quality sweetmeats appreciated because they aren’t overpriced or watered down with cheap...

  • DDLJ: reason or folly?

    10 mai 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Like many of you, I have noticed this film has broken the record of length (600 weeks) in that cinema hall in Mumbai (link) , and I had already been alerted some time ago by its 500 weeks’ record, so I too felt the urge to give my point of view. What’s...

  • The white tiger

    02 janvier 2010 ( #Book reviews )

    The white tiger is a rare genetic variation of the normally ochre-skinned feline that is both feared and respected as the king of animals in Asia. But it’s also a 2008 novel by Aravind Adiga which the press has acclaimed and which I’ve just finished reading....

  • Roja: how can we love and live apart?

    26 juin 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    Roja is an excellent little movie made by Mani Ratnam back in 1992, starring Arvind Swami and Madhoo (Raghunath); it was a real pleasure to watch another of Mani Ratnam’s works. His intelligence, his realism, his careful balance of private and public...

  • Provoked, a battle for battered women's freedom

    07 février 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    Strange that it was Jagmohan Mundhra (of the fame of Sexual Malice and other cheap erotic thrillers) who was fortunate enough to have been able to shoot this story, the true story of a battered Punjabi woman who after 10 years of domestic violence decided...

  • Why should watching older films make more recent ones seem less interesting?

    31 juillet 2009 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    This is a rewriting of a post dated April 4, 2007. The blog output is so low these days that I am resorting to rewrites! ( in fact, I’m busy with other things...) I don’t know if you’re like me, but most people around me still don’t really appreciate...

  • Unaccustomed Earth

    20 mai 2012 ( #Book reviews )

    The 2008 collection of short stories entitled « Unaccustomed Earth » by author Jhumpa Lahiri, well-known for her novel The namesake, which Mira Nair shot in 2006, has the unusual quality of being (in fact) a collection of little novels, rather than actual...

  • Another day in Paradise?

    16 septembre 2010 ( #Trips to India )

    “Don’t hand out money to beggars in crowded places. You will be swarmed. In fact, authorities advise that you don’t give money to anyone asking for a handout. If you want to give, by all means do so — India has many, many worthwhile charitable organizations....

  • Pakeezah, Meena Kumari's romantic Swan Song

    22 juillet 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    Of all the commentaries I have read about Kamal Amrohi’s 1972 movie Pakeezah, this one (Upperstall.com) corresponds most to what I thought of it : “Pakeezah is a stylized, larger than life mythicization of the familiar tale of the prostitute with the...

  • Jaipur National University

    03 mars 2014 ( #Trips to India )

    Désolé du délai pour remplir ce blog avec les infos des derniers jours, mais pendant les 4 jours passés à JNU (Jaipur National University), nous ne disposions pas, bizarrement, de réseau internet ou téléphone ! Étrange pour une université ! Cela dit,...

  • Peepli live: long live the media!

    17 janvier 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    I thought at first I wouldn’t have much to say about Peepli live (Anusha Rizvi, 2010), but as I started writing, the following article poured out very easily! I had told myself that the film wasn’t much more than a properly engineered denunciation of...

  • A suitable boy

    18 novembre 2008 ( #Book reviews )

    Well! I’m pleased to announce that I too have escalated the Everest… Er, I mean I finally read Vikram Seth’s 1472 page novel “ A suitable boy ”, and that it has been a fascinating experience: thanks M. Seth! Such a length is said to be unparalleled in...

  • Dhobi ghat, looking for a new centre

    10 novembre 2011 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Dhobi ghat (Kiran Rao, 2010) is a pleasant enough film to watch; it has a seductiveness, an allusiveness whose charm lasts a while in the mind, and one wonders, after the last unfulfilled pictures have gone, what was this? What sort of movie did I watch?...

  • Home and the world: what's in a woman's heart?

    28 décembre 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    In Satyajit Ray’s Home and the world (1984), there is a mystery: why does Nikhil (whose name means “free”), the open-minded husband who wants his wife to espouse modern ideas and leave the traditional confinement of the home (the Purdah), let her see...

  • Awara's dream sequence: a metaphor of life

    17 juin 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    Hi everyone… Here’s that detailed observation of the dream-sequence in Raj Kapoor’s Awara which I had promised you! I’m in fact quite pleased I had set that aside, because there is so much in it, and even more than what my Western perspective can divine,...

  • Calcutta Mail, or why Sudhir Mishra's films have urban settings

    21 juin 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    I watched Calcutta Mail on Jaman (Jaman.com) because of Sudhir Mishra and the good memories I had of Dharavi , Main zinda hoon and Chameli . All three movies are urban movies, and deal with the impact that cities have on the individual, or perhaps rather...

  • The inheritance of loss

    26 juin 2008 ( #Book reviews )

    It took me a long time to finish The Inheritance of Loss. Not only because there has been so many things to do in the past months, but also because somehow the novel didn’t correspond to what I am at ease with, a real storyline evolving around recognisable...

  • Awaara (1951): the world's most popular movie?!

    22 mai 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    “Oh World, I am a wanderer in your puzzle!” So sings Awaara, Raj the vagabond, as he leaves the prison, and winds his way through village streets and benevolent humanity, his newly found freedom and his good nature hiding the deep wounds of a wrecked...

  • Naseeruddin Shah: the fox is cleverer than the lion

    13 mai 2008 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I’ve been longing to write that LetsTalkAboutBollywood article about Naseeruddin Shah for a long time. He’s one of my favourite Indian actors, if not my favourite. Okay, let’s say he is my favourite actor (alive). I suppose it’s natural to take sides,...

  • Guide (1965) Anand's romanticized version of Narayan's story

    27 avril 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    Some of you might remember that I had promised to watch Guide, by Vijay Anand, the movie based on R.K. Narayan’s novel which I had reviewed here . I had been encouraged by a number of blog reviews, but I must say that I have been rather disappointed....

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