Top articles

  • Subarnarekha, Ritwick Ghatak's ode to Life

    09 janvier 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    What is the soul of poetry? Isn’t it a kind of universal music which, universal as it is, springs fresh and clear from a homely and unique source of inspiration? When Tagore writes: Nahin kisi ko pata kahaan mere raja ka rajmahal Agar jaante log, mahal...

  • Mera Naam Joker: too big? Too much?

    19 décembre 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    The cinematographic monument Mera naam Joker, which was directed, produced and starred by Raj Kapoor took 6 years to complete, cost millions and was a catastrophic flop when it came out in 1972 (see the wikipedia page ). No wonder: the first version was...

  • Lady Nutan

    03 juin 2014 ( #Nutan )

    Hello ! As Nutan’s birthday was coming up, I wanted to resume some hold on the blog (sorry readers for my lack of habit, another blog has kept me busy, plus my PhD research) and went through my hoard of Nutan stuff, so I’ll put up some of it as an illustration...

  • Dilli ka thug: a gallery of masks

    28 mars 2009 ( #Nutan )

    Dilli ka thug (1958) might be tossed aside as a jumble of loosely connected narrative titbits that have been put together for two main purposes: Kishore Kumar’s clowning, and Nutan’s youthful charm. A messy God seems to have been presiding over this movie,...

  • Pratidwandi (The Adversary) - an exploration of the self

    04 novembre 2013 ( #Film reviews )

    There isn’t much of a story in Satyajit Ray's Pratidwandi (the Adversary, 1970): because of social and economic disruption in Bengal, young Siddharta (Dhritiman Chatterjee) and his family (mother, uncle, sister and younger brother) find it hard to cope...

  • Chhalia, Nutan's contribution to the Indo-pakistani peace process

    26 décembre 2011 ( #Nutan )

    In Chhalia (Manmohan Desai, 1960), we have another of Raj Kapoor’s avatars: his character personifies a “chhaliya”, translated by Philip as a cheat, or artful deceiver, but who in fact doesn’t deceive anyone, and I wonder whether we shouldn’t say “cunning...

  • Bandini, Bimal Roy's ode to purity

    18 mai 2009 ( #Nutan )

    I remember feeling annoyed when, a few years ago, somebody to whom I was voicing my pleasure at recently discovered Bollywood movies, bluntly told me: “oh yes, but Indian movies now… you want to see those from the 60s and the 70s!” Whether he was right...

  • Saraswati Chandra, the last tragedy

    01 décembre 2010 ( #Nutan )

    S araswati Chandra ( Govind Saraiya , 1968, last Bollywood movie in B & W) tells the story of a young aristocrat, Saraswati (Manish), who is indifferently raised by his step-mother and yet grows up and becomes a compassionate person who has lofty ideas...

  • Madhuri Dixit: Bollywood's cannibalism

    27 octobre 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I am thrilled to say a few words about Madhuri Dixit. And not only because we are in an expectant Madhuri-comes-back period, with Aaja Nachle in the wings. Ever since I saw her in Devdas, where she outshines Ash Rai (well, a few more words on this later),...

  • Ek chotisi love story: love and desire

    20 avril 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    « This is one of the worst Bollywood films ever made. It tells the sickening story of a 15 year old boy who loves a 26 year old women. Its weird, cos the boy is just so annoying and looks stupid. He spends long hours just spying on her with his telescope....

  • "An enemy of the people", can truth win against money?

    21 mars 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    After I saw Ganashatru, which Satyajit Ray shot in 1989 (see Ray’s website ), I noticed that it was based on Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People , and some good soul has uploaded on YouTube Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Ibsen’s play , so I watched...

  • Distant thunder, or how Ray recreates the World

    21 mars 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    Ashani Sanket , shot by Satyajit Ray in 1973 is again one of those movies people lift to the skies, but for which you have to wonder why what they find so important or interesting in it is so vague and general. Just saying things like “a scathing indictment...

  • Woman's hidden powers: Mahanagar

    13 octobre 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    Satyajit Ray’s “Mahanagar” (The Metropolis, 1963, based on a short story by Narendranath Mitra) is a fascinating and thoroughly original work of art. It is at once a beautifully realistic love story, a profound sociological study into men and women’s...

  • Kanchanjungha, the moment of revelation

    19 novembre 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    I owe Sharmi an IOU because she’s the lover of “threadbare movies” who watched and beautifully reviewed Satyajit Ray’s Kanchanjangha (1962) on her blog and made me want to watch it! Well, everybody whose review I read ( check here and here ) calls it...

  • Aparajito, life's open eyes

    12 avril 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    Ray’s 1956 Aparajito (Unvanquished) enters triumphantly the collection of my best loved films, and effortlessly so. It’s been some time I’d watched Pather Panchali and I don’t remember everything about it, but I do recall enough to connect it with Aparajito’s...

  • Devi: can religious belief be inhuman?

    28 janvier 2013 ( #Film reviews )

    I think I can safely say that Satyajit Ray all his life tried to fight for individual rights and a critical outlook on traditions. If you have in mind the film Ganashatru (An enemy of the people) , where a Western-looking scientist struggles against the...

  • Charulata, Satyajit Ray's masterpiece

    03 juillet 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    It’s become a recurrent syndrome: I need a second viewing or reading to appreciate some of India’s prominent masterpieces! (For it has been recognised as such, see this link , or this one for example). This has been very true for Charulata (charu = attractive,...

  • Nayak (1966), the distant star

    29 avril 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    1966: The same year that she was shooting Anupama, Sharmila Tagore played in Satyajit Ray’s Nayak (The hero). Her character is quite different of course, but not without certain similarities: in both movies, she plays a sensitive, quiet and very feminine...

  • Shatranj ke Khilari, ode to a lost kingdom

    28 décembre 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    ("Make way for Queen Victoria!") Shatranj ke Khilari (1977, The chess players) shows how close Satyajit Ray has come to Shakespearian inspiration. In this story of two gentlemen of Lucknow we have the dilemma of the good king, made powerless by a power...

  • Memories of rain

    24 août 2009 ( #Book reviews )

    Memories of rain, by Sunetra Gupta (1993) is a dark jewel of a book, a sombre and dense memorial stone made of darkness and yearning, frustration and anger. We are inside a sort of cenotaph: a young Bengali woman’s stream of consciousness and we never...

  • What's the matter with Mani Ratnam?

    01 juin 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    It came to me as a big surprise to learn that a large fraction of the Indian cinema goers do not appreciate Mani Ratnam. I was reading this article by Anita Nair , which sums up the criticism: - All his movies have been hyped excessively - His movies...

  • 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...

  • The city with a beating heart: Delhi 6

    25 juin 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    A soft breeze wafts the chimney tops on the morning terraces; night clouds trail away in the East. Bustle and rumours from the city all around; calls and shouts close and far, muffled car honks, and the familiar smell of the city. You’re in Delhi. Oh,...

  • Mr & Mrs 55, Guru Dutt's love-dallying

    14 novembre 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    Reading about Mr. & Mrs 55, Guru Dutt’s 1955 sparkling romantic comedy on the net, in order to prepare this review, has been very pleasant; this devil of a director has produced some insightful commentaries from many of my blogging friends, along with...

  • Arth: ideologically loaded weapon of feminine emancipation

    12 mars 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    When I first watched this 1982 movie by Mahesh Bhatt I knew it was a good one, so many people had written so already. I knew that the main roles were exceptional, Shabana Azmi (Pooja) and Smita Patil (Kavita) leading the team. But Kulbhushan Kharbanda...

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