Posts

Showing posts from December, 2008

Song of the road- a year in the life of an Indian cinephile

Image
When I started the blog about a year back, I didn’t know I would manage to maintain consistency, because all my previous efforts were eventually a letdown. I realized it was the easiest thing in the world to start a blog, but the hardest thing to maintain one. However, over the course of the year, the blog helped me get assignments under various publications. Yet, with every passing month, rather everyday, there is something more to learn and something more to improve & work upon. And I can see the difference when I look back at the articles I wrote months back. All I can say that the coming year, things are going to be more exciting than this year. As for my favorite films in 2008, I have only included those films that had an official screening at a film festival or theatrical release in the country. So folks, have a great holiday. See you people in 2009. Here are my favorite films, music and moments from the year and thank you for reading and feedback. It definitely helped a

The Filmmaker, Fanboys and Cinephiles debate

Image
Anyone remotely interested in Indian cinema and the nature of film-love in the country should read this discussion. The discussion is taking place at Passion for Cinema community blog. I think, I don’t need to state facts or my own opinions to point out- who is right or who is wrong-as the evidence is in the discussion. Wonder, what Bazin would have made of such confluence of ideas and perception on cinema. In the end, I’m happy, that slowly but steadily the ideas of discussion/questioning would become an important proposition in Indian Cinema. To sow the seeds in establishing a critical school of thought for our films and pave a path for a new generation of filmmakers. A little background (on the discussion) Anurag Kashyap is an Indian film director and writer. He is best known for as the scriptwriter of the 1998 film Satya and as the director of Black Friday, a controversial film about the 1993 Bombay bombings.He is also the member of International Film And Television Club

The World of Pather Panchali

Image
Anyone who has seen Pather Panchali knows that the film is an experience that sinks deep within and becomes a part of one’s being. The film enlightens, shapes, modifies. One could recall individual scenes and reactions to them. The pathos of old age in Pishi. The sheer terror of the night and helplessness at Durga’s death. Even amusement at the placing of the first raindrop on a bald head, or at the pranks of Apu dressing up like a prince and getting beaten up by Durga. Or, for that matter, the sheer lyrical beauty of the dance of insects. One may not talk of scenes, but themes or abstract values: the dynamics of a poverty-stricken family, or the genuine feel of a Bengali village or the authentic Indianness of the mentality of the characters. Whatever the level of recalling to memory, the modifying influence of the film is self-evident. Or, one could go beyond the casual response and think of the whole film and enquire into the why of it. And then one necessarily starts thinking of t

Satyajit Ray, 'What's wrong with Indian Films?

Image
2008 The year is drawing to a close and top-ten lists have already started hitting the Internet. While going through several list of the, ‘Best movies of the year- distributed and non-distributed,’ it’s sad and remarkable to see the omission of Indian films. Over the years, there seems to be either ignorance on part of film festivals, critics, organizers about our cinema or in a country of over billion people,we are not able to make one worthwhile film that could transcend boundaries and cultural space- irrespective of being Indian. Beside let’s make this clear- Slumdog Millionaire is not an Indian film as the media seemed to project, rather it’s a British film with an Indian context. And so instead of proclaiming this as our conquest on the global stage, we should lament why anyone from our own industry couldn’t achieve this feat. While it's high time we should move on from talking about our scripts reaching the Oscar library or the growth of Bollywood in the US and UK box-o

Satyajit Ray's: Aparajito

Image
PART 1 Aparajito, which Ray chose to film, had earned tremendous reviews as a novel and achieved another milestone in the literary career of eminent novelist Bibhuti Bhusan Bandopadhyay But Satyajit Ray’s perception was exclusive. His scenario was based on reality — a concept which the masses could correlate and conjure as such he evaded the mythology or any alien culture. The character Leela in the novel is thus transposed with the city Calcutta where chronological events in the life of Apu emerge within the framework of a modern city. To explore the psyche of Ray on cinema — an in-depth study of his book "Our Films Their Films" is particularly relevant. His perception on cinema —long before the idea of filming Pather Panchali emerged is evident from the essay "What is Wrong with Indian Cinema" in 1955. He writes ".....in the primitive state films were much alike no matter where they are produced. As the pioneers began to sense the uniqueness of the med

The Cinema of Hollis Frampton.

Image
Satyam While reading Scott MacDonald's Critical Cinema, the first thing that struck me was Hollis Frampton's statement - Quote - "The term Intuitive - although that's an indelibly sloppy word that i dislike immensely. When people say they did something intuitively, it means that they didn’t think about it. They did what they liked to do, or what they do automatically, like picking their noses. It’s a totally irresponsible thing for an artist to say. On the other hand, simply attempting to keep an apparent progression from developing was probably a better control than assigning them each a number and taking the numbers out of a hat. As always happens with the very elementary uses of chance operations that would have produced "Clumps.""...Unquote A brief biography Frampton was born March 11, 1936 in Wooster Ohio. An only child, he was raised primarily by his maternal grandparents. At the age of 15 he entered Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachuse

Narrative Style of Satyajit Ray- in context Godard, Eisenstein and others.

Image
A discussion about the narrative styles of Satyajit Ray in different films like Pather Panchali, Aparajito, Charulata, Jana Arnya etc. In this context comparison with Godard, Eisenstein and other directors and schools are done. Sanjay Mukhopadhyay discusses with Bibhuti Bhusan Mandal and Dr. Arup Ratan Ghosh Sanjay Mukhopadhyay (SM): The discussion that we are going to begin is about Satyajit Ray and his films. To be more precise, the topic sounds as ‘Satyajit Ray and the narrative style of his films’. I want you to highlight the salient features of his narrative style . When Satyajit Ray came to the film industry he had already developed a film sense. He had written a lot of essays in the Calcutta Film Society journals. These volumes help us to know Ray’s theory about the cinematic aspects of film. For example, during Dada Saheb Phalke or Jamaibabu period (silent era) we find that theatres and novels had a lot of influence on cinema. In these essays we find that the theatrics of t