Archive for the the good Category

An Jo on the Revenant

Posted in the good on February 2, 2016 by Satyam

This piece originally appeared on BOLLYBRIT

The Revenant (meaning someone who returns from the dead), as it turns out in the hands of Alejandro G. Iñárritu, comes across more as the success and a symbol of cinematic magnetism than a tale of human ‘spirit’ as many clichéd descriptions would have you believe. Every frame, every shot is bathed with the beauty that cinema can achieve and through that, the ugliness that can be refracted. The juxtaposition of ethereal snow-filled caps and pleasantly flowing brooks with the sight of a man wallowing in pus-infected animal-wounds or eating a dead animal’s liver – puking, but still eating— under-scoring Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ theory as a ‘lived’ experience — is something for the visual senses only cinema can provide. In reality, this experience is difficult to experience whether one is either a subject or an object of that experience. But cinema provides a vantage point to visualize and sink into and Iñárritu leaves no snow-ball unturned in this tale of a man’s survival story only to extract vengeance on a man that betrayed and left him and his son for dead in the wintry-wild of South Dakota.

for more follow the link..

Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation

Posted in the good on January 23, 2016 by Satyam

LINK

A Bollywood blockbuster when it was released in 1977, Amar Akbar Anthony has become a classic of Hindi cinema and a touchstone of Indian popular culture. Delighting audiences with its songs and madcap adventures, the film follows the heroics of three Bombay brothers separated in childhood from their parents and one another. Beyond the freewheeling comedy and camp, however, is a potent vision of social harmony, as the three protagonists, each raised in a different religion, discover they are true brothers in the end. William Elison, Christian Lee Novetzke, and Andy Rotman offer a sympathetic and layered interpretation of the film’s deeper symbolism, seeing it as a lens for understanding modern India’s experience with secular democracy.

Amar Akbar Anthony’s celebration of an India built on pluralism and religious tolerance continues to resonate with audiences today. But it also invites a critique of modernity’s mixed blessings. As the authors show, the film’s sunny exterior only partially conceals darker elements: the shadow of Partition, the crisis of Emergency Rule, and the vexed implications of the metaphor of the family for the nation. The lessons viewers draw from the film depend largely on which brother they recognize as its hero. Is it Amar, the straight-edge Hindu policeman? Is it Akbar, the romantic Muslim singer? Or is it Anthony, the Christian outlaw with a heart of gold? In this book’s innovative and multi-perspectival approach, each brother makes his case for himself (although the last word belongs to their mother).

for table of contents and blurbs follow the Harvard link..

Salim’s Viewing! (updated)

Posted in the good on January 21, 2016 by Satyam

I’m back from a long three week holiday in India. Initially I wanted to write a detailed account of my adventures but not sure if that’s going to happen. So in summary, I started in Bombay (which no doubt is the craziest place in the world and I can totally see why its inhabitants find it addictive), then went to Kerala (insanely beautiful and very very green – we started with Munnar, then Thekkadey, both of which had a great climate and hilly/mountainous terrain, then Alleppey where we stayed in a houseboat, and finally Kochi). After that we went to Rajasthan, probably my favourite leg of the trip (Udaipur was crazy crowded because of NYE, and my favourite was Jodhpur – the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life, and Jaipur was great too. Continue reading

the BOmbay report (2016): 15th Jan–21st Jan

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2016 by abzee

It is week 3 of a Box-Office experiment that attempts to understand Box-Office beyond the numbers, and hopes to arrive at the less tangible, but perhaps more genuine, indicator of how well-liked and well-received any film is/was.

We will be taking into account all the screens in the Mumbai region, inclusive of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan-Dombivali as well. The films will be assigned points based on an algorithm that takes into account parameters such as- a) how many screens did the film open on; b) the capacities of these screens; c) the occupancy in comparison to the capacity; d) daily sustenance/growth/drop in the occupancy; e) change in the number of screens in successive weeks; f) change in capacities; g) occupancy in relation to changed number of days and screens; h) occupancy in relation to newer and existing releases; and so on.

These points, the Audience Interest Index (AII), encapsulate buzz, desire to watch translating to actual occupancy and finally acceptability… and that most prestigious of all goals- trending.

 

Top Ten Films In Mumbai (15th January 2016 – 21st January 2016) 

A staggering 28 films released in Mumbai this week, of which those in the Marathi language numbered the most with 5 releases, while there were 4 releases each in English, Hindi and Tamil. Of the English releases, The Hateful Eight also released on IMAX screens. Wazir, which had released last week, also expanded to IMAX in its second week. Bhojpuri and Telugu had 3 releases a piece.

With 13 films ending their run, the total number of films playing at the cinemas this week was 44! If you count Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge which resumed screening at Maratha Mandir this week, that number is 45.

More films did not mean more viewers however. The overall AII for this week is 89.69 compared to last week’s 133.62, a drop of 32.87%. With lesser viewers and an incredible amount of new releases, Wazir still remained the number one choice, even if the number was low. In fact many films operated in the middle range this week, so much so that this week’s 15th ranked film has earned twice as many AII points than last week’s number 10 film.

Honourable mentions then to the Tamil film Rajini Murugan and the Telugu release Nannaku Prematho as both put up impressive AII numbers despite not making it to the top ten.

Rajini Murugan performed the best of all the Tamil releases with 105 AII points, while the Telugu language Nannaku Prematho did even better with 119 AII points. Continue reading

the BOmbay report (2016): 08th Jan-14th Jan

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2016 by abzee

Week 2 then, of a Box-Office experiment that attempts to understand Box-Office beyond just the numbers; and hopes to arrive at the less tangible, but perhaps more genuine, indicator of how well-liked and well-received any film is/was.

We are starting only with Mumbai for now. We will be taking into account all the screens in the Mumbai region; that is inclusive of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan-Dombivali even.

The films will be assigned points based on an algorithm that takes into account parameters such as- a) how many screens did the film open on; b) the capacities of these screens; c) the occupancy in comparison to the capacity; d) daily sustenance/growth/drop in the occupancy; e) change in the number of screens in successive weeks; f) change in capacities; g) occupancy in relation to changed number of days and screens; h) occupancy in relation to newer and existing releases; and so on.

These points, the Audience Interest Index (AII), hope to be an all-encompassing indicator  of buzz, desire to watch translating to actual occupancy and finally acceptability… and that most prestigious of all goals- trending. As this is a new experiment, we may get a true picture only as we go along.

 

Top Ten Films In Mumbai (08th January 2016 – 14th January 2016)

10) CHAURANGA (Hindi)

  • New Release
  • AII Points- 45

Continue reading

the BOmbay report (2016): 01st Jan-07th Jan

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2016 by abzee

I’ve admittedly never been a Box Office kind of guy. While I’ve enjoyed the spirited Box Office debates and arguments looking from the outside in, rarely have I engaged with it as passionately as many members whom I admire and loathe do. Anyway, the idea for this weekly post (at least that’s the plan for now) came by way of a rather random exchange that I had with one of the esteemed members of this blog- Qalandar, an individual I am proud to have as a friend as well.

During his visit to my place during the Ganesh festival in September this past year; we were talking about Bahubali, and he casually remarked how he would like to see it on the big screen again. And I, just as casually, remarked that it was still playing at few cinemas, a long run at the cinemas which he was pleasantly surprised to learn of. That conversation stayed with me. Box Office figures tell you about opening days, first weekends, weekly nett and grosses and so on. But surely, the perception of a film and its acceptance cannot be arrived at only by how much it has made. Yes, the numbers matter… but there must be a meter to gauge a film’s continued ability to attract moviegoers and keep a steady flow coming in of those wanting to see it. In these times when new releases eat up all screen space, if a liked film from the previous weeks has come down to but a few screens, it will naturally have a ceiling on how much it can make with those amount of screens. But if it sustains those screens, and keeps churning out the numbers on the lower end consistently… surely that is a phenomenon in itself that cannot be ignored.

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Abzee on KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI and going back to the movies

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2016 by abzee

I couldn’t have asked for a better cinematic experience to return to watching movies on the big screen again than the Marathi language Hindustani Classical Musical KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI (A Dagger through the Heart). My last outing at the cinemas was the fifth installment of the M: I series on the 27th of August, 2015… before a freak motorcycle accident rendered me put at home, recovering slowly but steadily. To a cinephile such as me, more debilitating than the injury even was being robbed of the almost religious ritual of the weekly visits to the cinemas. Good, bad or plain ugly… there is a certain incompleteness without the movies. And TV just doesn’t match up. Anyways… after watching a dozen or so releases that I was looking forward to come and go, I finally got the green signal from my orthopedist to watch a movie at the cinema hall! My choices were Bajirao Mastani, Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Natsamrat. And then, while going through the listings, one saw that KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI was still playing… well into its 9th week at a few select screens.

katyar-kaljat-ghusali-marathi-movie-poster

KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI is an adaptation of the famous Marathi natya sangeet (musical theatre) of the same name. The play had a phenomenal run of more than 1,000 shows back in 1967, most thronging to the theatres to catch the live jugalbandi of Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki and Vasantrao Deshpande, both stalwarts of Hindustani Classical Music. One hears from those having experienced the play back in the day that such riveting and rapturous the experience was that the running time of 4 hours would never be felt.  But Marathi theatre is, and has always been, multi-faced.

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