Browsing: Cinema

Indian Cinema, masala movies, Bollywood, interviews & videos with Indian stars & filmmakers.

4 Meet Mani Ratnam: Chronicler of Human Pain & Joy

With his grey hair, rimmed eye-glasses and gentle smile, Mani Ratnam is an unlikely global rock star. Yet rock star he was when the prestigious Museum of the Moving Image in New York showed the film series ‘Politics as Spectacle: The Films of Mani Ratnam’ – ‘Roja’, ‘Bombay’ and ‘Dil Se’, three films from his stormy, much loved oeuvre.

0 Review: He Named Me Malala

Our world is full of irrational, brutal acts and unbelievable consequences, and yet sometimes good can come out of evil. A flying bullet can end a life – or start a bloodless revolution that can change the world.

The film “He named me Malala” documents just such a real life story.

0 Remembering Dev Anand

A tribute to the late great Dev Anand whose birth anniversary is on September 26. He is an evergreen part of the golden years of India’s film industry and adapted himself successfully into the contemporary decades. His fans were of all ages and all walks of life. He introduced some of the most beautiful actresses to the Hindi film industry. His film ‘Guide’ is a classic and one can see it again and again.

2 ‘Court’ is India’s nomination for the Oscars

‘Court’ is India’s official nomination for the Oscars. Director Chaitanya Tamhane on how he made the movie: “Instead of drawing inspiration from other films or literature, I found the experience of attending actual trials in the lower courts of Mumbai far more enriching. Some of the stories unfolding in those rooms are indeed stranger than fiction. What made these stories unlike anything I had seen on screen was the unique cultural milieu of Mumbai they were set in.”

2 Starry Encounters in Bollywood

Imagine sitting across the table from the iconic Amitabh Bachchan as he tells you – and only you – in his rich baritone about his daily life. Imagine the one and only Madhuri Dixit chatting with you about who does the cooking in her family as her husband Sriram Nene gamely shoots a picture of her and you together. Imagine the wonderful A.R. Rahman actually bringing you a glass of orange juice when he hears you are fasting that day.

Yes, all this actually happened to me!

9 Learning to Drive with Ben Kingsley

You probably will never meet two more unmatched people than the lead pair in ‘Learning to Drive’: Wendy (Patricia Clarkson), a frenetic Manhattan book critic whose relationships are falling apart and Darwan (Ben Kingsley), a gentle Sikh taxi driver and part-time driving instructor.

Both are from New York City but inhabit worlds apart.

Their lives intersect when Wendy, devastated by the fact that her husband Ted (Jake Weber) has left her for a younger woman, decides to take driving lessons to regain her independence. Darwan, who is about to be entering into an arranged marriage, sight unseen with Jasleen ( Sarita Choudhury) a woman from his village in India, has his own immigrant upheavals in a new world.

0 ABCD2 – Life’s a Dance, Disney-style.

At times you’re not even sure you’re watching a movie – it seems like a very extended, very elaborate dance contest on TV and goes on and on. If you’re with a group of teenybopper friends and love hip-hop dance moves, have access to a large size Coke and a huge tub of popcorn, you’ll have a pretty good time.

8 Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy – A Rebirth

Have you ever met Apu – Satyajit Ray’s Apu? If not, this is your chance to finally make his acquaintance – and he’s looking better than ever before. As film fans know, ‘The Apu Trilogy’ is master filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s seminal work, a story that is bound to touch whoever sees it, because it is our story. We may never have stepped into a Bengali village or lived in that simple yet hard world a century ago but this tale of family, struggle and aspirations speaks to something so universal, so human that it affects us all.

2 NYIFF – The Power of Cinema, One movie at a time…

What would be a filmiholic’s idea of heaven? A week full of back-to-back viewings of the most intriguing films, a mixed bag of drama, suspense, comedy and chills – by some of the most noted directors in Indian cinema. Think Vishal Bharadwaj, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, Hansal Mehta and Shonali Bose. Then there is the joy of seeing the work of so many regional filmmakers as well as getting to know so many new directors. Lots of films by Indian-American filmmakers too, including ‘Miss India America’ and ‘Meet the Patels’.

All this is happening at the upcoming New York Indian Film Festival with over 30 films, 30 alternate worlds to get lost in. You’ll find love, loss, laughter – and life…

11 ‘India’s Daughter’ – Banned – But Still Seen

‘India’s Daughter’ is banned in India but Jyoti Singh’s story cannot be put under wraps, it cannot be muzzled. It is all over social media, and it needs to be seen and seen by a lot of people, especially the gatekeepers of patriarchy.

What happened in Delhi on 16 December 2012 has come back to haunt people, and to see that justice gets done. It is said that a woman is raped in India every 20 minutes and the time is not for complacency. To those who say the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ should be banned, there is only one thing to say – watch it and then decide.

1 NYIFF 2015: Cinema That Matters

Sometimes there’s a film so emotionally wrenching and yet so life-affirming that you just have to see it. Such a film is Shonali Bose’s ‘Margarita with a straw’ which opens the New York Indian Film Festival. In this unusual love story, a middle-class Indian teenager with cerebral palsy longs to experience that most basic of human desires – a love relationship. Sex and the disabled are hardly ever talked of in the same breath, and this brave film takes on this taboo topic

4 Is Sholay the Greatest Bollywood Movie of all Time?

Life has many pressing questions but for Bollywood fans it has to be – which is the greatest Bollywood film of all time? It’s a highly subjective question and there can be no one clear answer but wonder of wonders, 30 Bollywood gurus have come together to agree upon a clear winner! It is ‘Sholay’ – Ramesh Sippy’s action thriller from 1975.
Check out the 100 greatest Bollywood films, according to Time Out.

2 The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is Opening!

For all those who loved ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, there’s more – ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel! The joy of sequels can be akin to comfort food – getting involved in the lives of favorite characters once again and seeing how they are all doing since you saw them last. And this one even has that quintessential desi pleaser – a Big Fat Indian Wedding! Dev Patel and Tina Desai – and those powerhouses Judi Dench, Maggie Smith – and Richard Gere too!

2 Jai Ho! A Chance to See A. R. Rahman Face to Face

The wonderful A. R. Rahman is coming to New York and you actually have the opportunity to meet him in the flesh, hear him speak and ask him a question or two!

The occasion is the world premiere of Jai Ho, a documentary about the iconic musician and composer. He’s won every award there is including an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe and has legions of fans around the world. So it’s about time his work was chronicled. Jai Ho, which is directed by Umesh Aggarwal, is premiering at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York on February 25.

2 Gangs of Wasseypur Invade New York

Watch out, the wild Gangs of Wasseypur have come to New York and no one’s going to be spared! Anurag Kashyap’s stunning mafia odyssey will hook you, grab you and get you.
It is the very heart of darkness, a revenge saga where there’s no business like the don business and where firing a gun is as normal as brushing your teeth. Every random unknown on a scooter, armed with an AK47, is a killing machine.
As a visitor to Wasseypur, albeit in the theater, you need to have a high tolerance for bloodshed – after a while even your popcorn seems to be tinged with blood.

2 Not Just Bollywood – From Yash Chopra to Anurag Kashyap

Indian cinema is so much more than Bollywood, encompassing regional and independent cinema. What would you ask 28 of the top film directors if you had the chance? In ‘Not Just Bollywood- Indian Directors Speak’ Tula Goenka meets noted names from Shyam Benegal to Anurag Kashyap to Farhan Akhtar and gets the inside view on cinema and the film industry. So many personal stories abound in this book that it almost calls for its own big bag of popcorn to indulge in, as you read!

0 Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Haider’ – In the Land of Disappeared People

There is a maniac energy about ‘Haider’ – and a maniac desire among viewers to immerse themselves in this film. Yes, a film scribe I know turned up at this advance screening, bleary-eyed and disheveled, suitcase in tow, straight from the airport – rather than miss this first screening of Vishal Bhardwaj’s much awaited film!

It is a brutal, blood-stained Kashmir, etchings of a brooding, bereft landscape, a city of disappeared people. It shows that Shakespeare’s tale of deceit and murder, of treachery and lost ideals is a universal tale and relevant to all humans. Bhardwaj has successfully transported the ill-starred Danish Prince to Kashmir, and made it an indigenous, very authentic Indian tale.

9 Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues

This festive season, welcome to Nina Paley’s animated film ‘Sita Sings the Blues’, yet another retelling of India’s great epic, Ramayana. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it, as some have done, ‘Sitayana’ for it tells the tale from the perspective of Sita, not unlike the oral retellings through the ages by village women that made Sita the focus of the story. Only here the story is told through the jazz tradition of torch songs, of a lovely, smoky voiced lament more often heard in a dark New York lounge or bar, than in the rural outposts of India.

8 Buzz Beyond Bollywood: Knights of the Directors’ Round Table

Anurag Kashyap. Aparna Sen. Buddhadeb Dasgupta. Gurinder Chadha. Nagesh Kuknoor. Nagraj Manjule. What if they all wandered into the New York night with megaphones and cameras and created their own tapestry of the city? While that did not happen, the combined star wattage of several talented directors certainly amped up the proceedings at the recent New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF).

It was quite surreal to sit just seats away from noted directors and dissect the movies with them after the screenings. What you realized was that all these directors were passionate fans of cinema and as anxious to catch new, offbeat films as the next moviegoer!

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