Top articles

  • "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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Brick Lane

    18 septembre 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    I happened to watch Brick Lane (2007, by Sarah Gavron) recently, a movie based on the acclaimed book by Monica Ali . It’s a well-made, well balanced film about emigration and multiculturalism, to put it positively, or – in a less positive light – about...

  • Taare zameen par, Aamir's Khan view of childhood

    07 novembre 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    Taare zameen par (2007) was Aamir Khan ’s début movie as director; and for a “beginner’s” movie, it’s a rather good one. Does this sound rather bland? Yes, I admit, from the point of view of universal cinema quality. It’s probably because the story is...

  • 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...

  • Sex and Bollywood

    18 avril 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I have already slightly touched upon this question (see article “What I like about Bollywood”), but I would like to come back to it because it is in fact quite an important question, and I think I now have a somewhat different perspective. The other day,...

  • Aag (1948): Raj Kapoor's burning idealism

    12 août 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    Aag: fire. In this Early Raj Kapoor Movie, fire is a symbol of love, naturally, but also creation and destruction. It is fit that this film stands at the beginning of Raj Kapoor’s career (his first movie as an adult was in 1943), since there is a strong...

  • Their hands can see: Sparsh

    02 février 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    In the Mahābhārata, Gandhar i voluntarily blindfolded herself throughout her married life. Her husband Dhritarashtra was born blind, and on meeting him and realizing this, she decided to protest silently by blindfolding herself. (source: Wikipedia – Jatland.com...

  • 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 cloud-capped star: Heaven and earth's glory

    20 janvier 2013 ( #Film reviews )

    One cloud-capped day, somewhere along the bank of a Bengali river where waterfowl chirp their little bedeep, bedeep, a young woman clad in white walks out of the canopy of some century-old oaks that spread their gigantic branches all the way to the river...

  • 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...

  • Sahib bibi aur ghulam, an Initiation to Desire

    13 octobre 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    While I was reading about Satyajit Ray’s Charulata (1964), and thinking of Pakeezah (1972), critics mentioned Abrar Alvi's (or Guru Dutt’s - he apparently was almost as much behind the camera) Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam (1962) as a paradigmatic sort of film....

  • 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...

  • Om Shanti Omy Gawd!

    21 mai 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    I decided I would follow Astia’s remark, expressed in a recent commentary on Love aaj kal , which suggested I should review some more recent BW issues than Nutan and Bimal Roy. So as I’m of an obliging nature, I dutifully pored again in that cardboard...

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