Archive for the the good Category

Utkal on Ok Kanmani

Posted in the good on May 30, 2015 by Satyam

Someone said this of Mani Ratnam’s films: It is love in the time of …..fill in the blanks. Insurgency in Kashmir. Bombay riots. Terrorism in the North East. The Eelam movement in Sri Lanka.

So what about OK Kanmani? At one level it is love in the time of …well, love. Because all it does is captures through a sort of Kirlion photography the budding of romance between Adi and Tara, the flowering of full blown love and passionate physical intimacy, and the ripening of the relationship to one of deeper commitment.
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The Cinema Isn’t a Place; It’s An Idea (NewYorker.Com)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2015 by Qalandar

EXCERPT: “The cinema isn’t a place, it’s an idea. When Fassbinder made “Martha” for German TV or Steven Soderbergh made “Behind the Candelabra” for HBO or Bruno Dumont made “Li’l Quinquin” for Arte, the resulting works were movies, no different in kind from their films “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” or “Magic Mike” or “Humanité,” which premièred in theatres. The aesthetic and the artistry are the same. … Yet that’s why the changes augured by the Times’s new policy won’t do much to clear space for independent-film releases. With coverage expanding to on-demand and online releases, the clutter—and the demands on a movie critic’s attention—will only increase. The changes in critical coverage make critical judgment all the more crucial. Only a discerning sense of what’s important—artistically and therefore journalistically and even historically—will enable a critic to bring a little-marketed film of great merit to the attention of readers and viewers. Without that exacting taste, no change in policy will ever help.”

Complete piece HERE.

How Delhi watched movies before the age of multiplexes

Posted in the good on May 23, 2015 by Satyam



“These halls were dream-palaces where business, art and entertainment commingled, but their personal histories also intersected with the larger national narrative. Reading about murderous rioters attacking the Sikh-run Swarn hall after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, I couldn’t help think what a grotesque merging of real-life tragedy and reel-life drama it was that the film playing at the time was Jeene Nahin Doonga. Or that when Badarpur’s Seble hall reopened after a similar mauling by rioters who had the covert encouragement of politicians, the film it showed was Dharm aur Qanoon.”

Walking Manto’s Bombay

Posted in Refugee, the good with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2015 by Qalandar

Related post HERE.

Excerpt: “This spring I went on a journey in search of Manto’s city with the journalist Rafique Baghdadi, flaneur par excellence of Bombay. Rafique himself could have stepped out of one of Manto’s tales. He lives in a tiny single room near Mazagon docks, surrounded by canyon walls of books stacked floor to ceiling. A narrow passage of floor leads to a table and chair by the window. Rafique not only has an encyclopedic knowledge of Bombay and its history, he has also walked all of its streets. He seems to know every shopkeeper in every quarter of the city, and he is steeped in the world of cinema.”


New Yorker on ‘Court’

Posted in the good, the ugly on May 6, 2015 by Satyam


In “Court,” a powerful and richly praised new Indian film that is showing in San Francisco this week, the camera has a restful, unblinking gaze. It behaves as if it is filming a documentary, even though the film is a work of fiction. It does not continuously scurry to show faces in close-up or cut away for effect, as one might expect in a courtroom drama. It loves attrition as much as tension. In long, steady shots, it absorbs the unglamorous details of judicial procedure in a single case that unfolds at glutinous pace. The camera’s patience mirrors that of the court, where time appears to be of no consequence at all; a hundred years hence or a thousand, this case may well be trudging along, awaiting a witness or rummaging through its trove of antiquated laws. The film’s stillness and the court’s lack of urgency nearly fool us into forgetting that a man’s freedom is at stake.

That man is Narayan Kamble, a white-bearded folk singer who has been arrested during a matinee performance amid a clutch of tenements in Mumbai. Kamble is ordinarily taciturn, but onstage, after he has been introduced as a “people’s poet,” he is electric with fury. He sings, in Marathi, about the oppressions of class and caste, and bemoans greed and corruption: “Pandemonium is here / Time to rise and revolt / Time to know your enemy.” Kamble is arrested on the charge of abetting the suicide of a sewer cleaner whose body has been pulled out of a manhole. A couple of days earlier, it is alleged, Kamble had performed in the neighborhood and incited sanitation workers to kill themselves in protest of their inhuman working conditions.

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Salim’s Viewing! (updated)

Posted in the good on April 24, 2015 by Satyam

Smita Patil is married and has a daughter but takes a remote job running an ashram for destitute women. She has to deal with a rotten system and also the drama of her utterly worthless husband. Smita is excellant and Lata’s diving Tum Aasha Vishvaas Hamaare provides the solace in this dark film.

Alai Payuthey
Been wanting to see this for so many years. Loved it. Beautifully shot. Loved the intimacy. Yet again Mani gives his lead actress a great role.
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Qalandar Reviews O KADHAL KANMANI (Tamil; 2015)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2015 by Qalandar


EXCERPT: “And yet, by the end of O Kadhal Kanmani, I realized that I might have been missing the point of the film: Bombay, beautiful Bombay, in its real and cinematic avatars, appears to be the raison d’être of this film, and perhaps the most plausible kanmani on offer. Not for nothing does the film begin with Dulquer’s Aditya Varadarajan disembarking at CST/Victoria Terminus, and catching sight of Nithya Menon’s Tara, her image framed, de-stabilized, and finally obscured by passing trains in possibly the best train shots of even Ratnam’s long career. Indeed, over the course of the film the couple seems to meet more often in BEST buses and local trains than seems plausible for the iPad and iPhone wielding yuppies these two seem to be, and the reason is surely that O Kadhal Kanmani is Ratnam’s paean to a city that he loves, in the manner one loves a city one has discovered later in life, too late, that is, to take for granted. As with so many films from decades ago, the city’s lodestars are (apart from CST) the Gateway of India, the Worli sea-face, and the public transport system, each of these sites charged with years of not just social but cinematic meaning that made the experience of watching them on-screen moving in a way quite independent of the unfolding love story. The romance, in short, serves as backdrop to Ratnam’s representation of a city he clearly loves.”
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