Top articles

  • Manzil (1960), a photographer's camera obscura

    31 décembre 2010 ( #Nutan )

    Manzil (Mandi Burman, 1960) was a partial disappointment. Not that I had so much to expect from a film that I didn’t know before, and that I just got hold of because of Nutan. But it starts pleasantly, with two childhood friends meeting again now that...

  • Paromitar ek din: can women stay the forces of lunacy?

    03 juin 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    I have only recently been made aware of the interest of movies by and with Aparna Sen, having seen Baksha Badal recently (check Sharmi’s take on it), and so here’s a look at a pleasantly intimate story, shot by the Bengali director in 2000. The film’s...

  • The Stranger (Agantuk), Satyajit Ray's experiment on humanity

    28 août 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    The Stranger (1991) is an atomic experiment. Satyajit Ray imagines what might happen when a normal urban family of three (the target) is bombarded with a high-energy free electron in the shape of a long lost uncle who enters their lives from outer space,...

  • A nutty Nutan!

    21 février 2013 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Hello all, It's been some time I wanted to share with you some of the clownish photos of Nutan that I've been collecting, and well, why not the occasion of her death anniversary coming up this Feb 21st? Nutan passed away 22 years ago on that date. I know...

  • Nutan's birthday (she'd be an old lady now!)

    04 juin 2012 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Hallo all Nutan lovers (Harvey and Bollywooddeewana, especially!) I have been reminded by the above Nutan afficionadoes (like tornadoes?!) that aaj yeh Nutan ki janmadin hai (check Harvey's correction of my hindi in the messages section!!), so I thought:...

  • Clear light of day

    02 septembre 2007 ( #Book reviews )

    This is a foray into a field as yet unploughed by me, literary criticism of Indian novels! This summer I’ve read Anita Desai’s Clear light of day: perhaps some of you know the book? It was written in 1980, but tells the story of an Old Delhi family back...

  • Woman to woman

    10 janvier 2018 ( #Book reviews )

    Woman to woman is the first book I read by Madhulika Liddle. She’s written more, of which I had been aware, since I read her blog where she had mentioned them, but for some reason I had relented until now. It’s a quickly read collection of 12 short stories,...

  • Seema: 3,2,1, Ignition! Nutan's launching pad

    15 décembre 2010 ( #Nutan )

    Seema (1955, Amiya Chakrabarty ) has been hailed as Nutan Samarth’s cinematographical revelation. In this story of a wronged young girl, she shows a sensitivity and a maturity which are striking for one so young. At only 19, she effortlessly steals the...

  • The said and the unsaid: Rajnigandha

    12 juillet 2018 ( #Film reviews )

    First the story for those who don’t remember Basu Chatterji’s Rajnigandha (1974): it’s based on Mannu Bhandari ’s book Yahi Sach Hai. Deepa (Vidya Sinha) and Sanjay (Amol Patekar) are a young, aspiring couple living in Delhi. He’s a jolly, outspoken civil...

  • Yeh raate, yeh mausam

    22 octobre 2011 ( #Songs )

    Here’s my belated commentary of Ravi’s song Yeh Raate yeh mausam in Dilli ka thug sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle, lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri (I had promised it to Suja! Cf. here ). Below you'll find the video, the lyrics and their translation....

  • Mr Sampath, the printer of Malgudi

    24 mars 2014 ( #Book reviews )

    Here’s an addition to my collection of reviews of R.K. Narayan’s novels: Mr Sampath, the printer of Malgudi (first published in 1949). As usual with Narayan, what’s most pleasant is his style, the brisk eventfulness which he masterfully conveys, and how...

  • Deepa Mehta's "Fire": the ashes are still warm

    17 juin 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    There are some films I watch where I have to struggle to find information and reviews. As soon as they are gone from the screens (not to mention movies from the 50s or 60s!) it’s like you are unearthing archaeological artefacts. With Deepa Mahta’s Fire...

  • Shahrukh Khan's charm

    24 mars 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Okay, here we go : an article on « King » Khan. He’s of course inescapable in today’s Bollywood… perhaps a little too predictable, a little too much himself? But we’ll see him put to good use, in fact very good use, and also often not so good. On the...

  • Is Deepa Mehta's "Water" still Bollywood?

    15 mars 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    In the Bollywood cinema that I know, the Masala type, it seems there are two (main) types of films: the social/historical and the comedy/escapist. Of course, there are films that belong to the two types (and they are some of the best) such as Dil se or...

  • Aa ab laut chalen (Let's go back) - Good Bollywood!

    22 février 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    I've seen this 1999 melodrama once again, and thought that it was worth a little commentary. Critics have not always appreciated it at its true worth, it seems to me: ( Planet Bollywood link ) and (Rediff on the Net Link) I will say why in a minute. What...

  • The red badge of feminine courage (Mirch Masala)

    10 août 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Absolutely excellent. The hubris of petty officers, the crisis and tension coming from lust and gratuitous violence, the horrifying banality of colonialism, the abuse and victimization of women: all these elements combine to create a tragedy which the...

  • Preity Zinta is a clever girl

    30 avril 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    A good way to get to know about Preity Zinta is to read what she says about certain problems facing Indian women and the life of actors here . The reactions of readers are also instructive, because they point to the good and bad sides of the exercise....

  • Kajol's future

    20 février 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Seen from away, Kajol is the actress’s dream come true. A real talent, the recognition of the public, her marriage and family with Ajay Devgan, with whom she’s had a little girl, a promising future, what else can you ask for? Well, the answer is, a lot....

  • Bollywood music

    27 février 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I realise that this theme « Bollywood music » is as vast as the sea, and that wanting to speak about it in one instalment is a little presumptuous. But I won’t: there’ll be other messages, more detailed and more focussed. What I want to speak about here...

  • La couronne et les singes

    09 août 2010 ( #Trips to India )

    Bonjour a tous! (c'est vraiment enervqnt d'ecrire avec un clavier indo-je ne sais quoi!... pas d'accents, surtout!) Bon, donc apres un jour assez eprouvant a Delhi, tres chaud, tres bruyant etc., on est parti pour l'"Ulta Pradesh" - corruption amusante...

  • Rani's magic

    16 mars 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Rani’s got (almost) everything. She’s not yet an internationally known actress, but in terms of Bollywood, I’d bet on her for the title of Best Actress (Amitabh is still the best Actor…) Let’s have a look: Black, Veer-Zaara , Yuva, Chalte chalte , Kabhi...

  • The value of life (Main zinda hoon)

    25 juillet 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Abstract : Admirable and moving, "I am Alive" by Sudhir Mishra is excellently served by inspired actors (Deepti Naval leading the crew), filmed with tact and reserve, and filled with emotion and realism. It tells the story of Beena, a young woman married...

  • Katha, window on a small world

    23 mars 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    The main beauty of this little film, Katha (Sai Paranjpe 1983), which suffers somewhat from clichés that are perhaps enjoyed by a certain type of audience, is the delightful portrayal of the Suburban chawl where a community of friends and neighbours live...

  • The Guide (R.K. Narayan)

    05 mars 2008 ( #Book reviews )

    R.K. Narayan’s novel, The Guide, written in 1958, is recognised as one of the author’s best. (It’s selected within a collection of “1000 books to read during your lifetime” collection which some French publishers were selling over Christmas). It tells...

  • Manisha Koirala: the fallen angel?

    03 juin 2008 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Like perhaps a number of you, I discovered Manisha Koirala in Dil se , by Mani Ratnam, and was attracted by that irritating mousy character of the terrorised terrorist, who with her distant but intense eyes tries to escape Shahrukh’s advances, but not...

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