Archive for NYT

NYT obituary on Soumitra Chatterjee

Posted in Refugee with tags , , , , , on November 22, 2020 by Qalandar

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Excerpt: “…In one memorable scene, while delivering a monologue about the novel he plans to write, Mr. Chatterjee furrows his brow with intellectual severity, strikes the faraway look of an imagination at work, pauses and points for emphasis as he narrates the plot, and finally, with arms raised in triumph, smiles with joy at the act of creation. The sequence appears to have the naturalness of improvisation, but it was actually the product of laborious preparation.

Mr. Ray’s son, Sandip, said he saw the work that Mr. Chatterjee put into his roles when he peeked at one of the actor’s scripts. “It was full of handwritten notes,” he told The Telegraph, Kolkata’s English-language daily, in a recent interview. “Every minute detail of voice modulation, pause, look, movement and whatnot was in there.””

Read the complete piece HERE.

The Universalist (NYT Mag Profile of Asghar Farhadi)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2019 by Qalandar

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Asghar Farhadi, the most successful director in the history of Iranian cinema, may have little interest in global politics, but global politics are interested in him. On Jan. 27, 2017, less than a week after “The Salesman,” Farhadi’s seventh feature film, was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign-language movie, President Trump signed Executive Order 13769, more commonly known as the Muslim ban. Under its terms, citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, Iran among them, were barred from entering the United States for 90 days — apparently the time it would take the new president to figure out “what the hell is going on.” For Farhadi, a connoisseur of human particularity whose nuanced, open-ended films about the cultural fault lines within Iran have been embraced by audiences around the world, Trump’s order was an offense both moral and intellectual. Continue reading

What the Movies Taught Me About Being a Woman (Manohla Dargis in the NYT)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2018 by Qalandar

“I was a movie-struck kid, and I learned much from watching the screen, including things about men and women that I later had to unlearn or learn to ignore. I learned that women needed to be protected, controlled and left at home. I learned that men led, women followed. And so, although I loved Fred Astaire, I merely liked his greatest dance partner, Ginger Rogers. I was charmed by her sly smile and dazzled by the curve of her waist as she bent in his embrace. But I saw her as a woman in the great man’s arms, a message I didn’t learn just from films. … In the wake of Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo, I have been thinking a lot about what movies have asked me to dream, including the image of the forced kiss and all that it signifies about women and film. I’ve been thinking about what else I learned from them.”

 

Read the complete piece (embedded clips et al) HERE

In ’80s Comedies, Boys Had It Made. Girls Were the Joke (Wesley Morris in NYT, Oct. 4, 2018)

Posted in Refugee, the good with tags , , , , , on October 7, 2018 by Qalandar

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Excerpt: “By 1982, if you were a teen male, your fantasies no longer had to live under a mattress. In a movie theater, you were free, say, to do some vicarious peering into the girls’ shower after gym. The drooling voyeurism, the casual racism, the aggressive anti-Semitism, the backhanded homophobia: None of it is quite the reason to bring “Porky’s” up now.  The reason to bring up “Porky’s” now is the laughter — the uproarious laughter. Last week, when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was asked what she most remembered about the night she says Brett M. Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her, she offered, with some quavering, that it was the laughter between Mr. Kavanaugh and his friend. She told the Senate Judiciary Committee: “indelible in the hippocampus” — Dr. Blasey’s a professor of psychology — “is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”

Read the complete article HERE

Nigeria’s Booming Film Industry Redefines African Life (NYT)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , on February 20, 2016 by Qalandar

EXCERPT: “Nollywood generates about 2,500 movies a year, making it the second-biggest producer after Bollywood in India, and its films have displaced American, Indian and Chinese ones on the televisions that are ubiquitous in bars, hair salons, airport lounges and homes across Africa. The industry employs a million people — second only to farming — in Nigeria, pumping $600 million annually into the national economy, according to a 2014 report by the United States International Trade Commission. In 2002, it made 400 movies and $45 million.”

 

Read the complete article HERE.

NYT: ‘Masaan’ and Other Indian Films Steer Away From Bollywood Escapism

Posted in Refugee with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2015 by Qalandar

Not a huge fan of this sort of piece, with its neat (perhaps even imaginary) “before/after” dichotomy, and its lack of any nuance in writing about popular cinema (not to mention the pretty explicit, and inaccurate, classist assumption that the upwardly mobile are leading this revolution; or the notion that being “in tune with the movements and language of global cinema” is the only respectable way — that way lies the illusion that we are telling new stories, about different people, but unfortunately the stories are increasingly being told in the same way the world over), but hey, can’t NOT post this 🙂  — Qalandar

EXCERPT: “At the Cannes Film Festival this year, “Masaan” won the Fipresci Prize, awarded by international critics, and the Promising Future Prize in the Un Certain Regard section, becoming the first Indian movie to receive two awards at Cannes since the Oscar-nominated “Salaam Bombay” in 1988. “Masaan” is the surest sign yet that a fresh crop of filmmakers is ushering Indian movies in a new direction in tune with the movements and language of global cinema.”

Read the complete piece HERE.

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.

Masked Lawman Stumbles at the Gate (NYT)

Posted in the bad with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2013 by Qalandar

“… Together they offer a striking portrait of modern Hollywood. Studios like Disney, searching for global audiences, are making fewer movies but spending more on the ones they do release. This raises the stakes to almost impossible levels; “The Lone Ranger,” which cost at least $375 million to make and market, will need to take in an estimated $800 million worldwide to break even, after accounting for revenue splits with theater owners….”

LINK to the complete article.

NYT Quickie on DAVID

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , on February 4, 2013 by Qalandar

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“David,” a Hindi film directed by Bejoy Nambiar, asks a simple question: Why make a single movie when you can pack three into one? Behold the complicated, entertainingly erratic result: separate story lines set in 1975, 1999 and 2010 that encompass gangster daddy issues, religious extremism and the coveting of a best friend’s fiancée.

The tie binding the stories, with a certain jaw-dropping purity of intention, is that the protagonists share the same first name. Shot in black and white (with a lot of leather, shades and hair) for no evident reason, the 1970s David is a brutal but soulful London assassin (Neil Nitin Mukesh) embroiled in dramas of romance and revenge with his boss’s family. The millennial David, a mild-mannered aspiring guitarist (Vinay Virmani) in Mumbai, goes on the warpath when a rabble-rousing politician targets his father as a Christian zealot and incites supporters to attack. Last but not least of the Davids is a Goan beach-bum fisherman (Chiyaan Vikram) who zanily falls in love with a deaf-mute woman shortly before she is to marry his buddy.
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