Harry Belafonte as the last man alive in The World, The Flesh and The Devil
Will Smith as the last man alive in I am legend
The world’s first colour motion picture was stumbled upon in the National Media Museum, Bradford last year
And Kodak’s earliest colour film:
All those individuals who have already or are planning to trade their souls and brains to undertake the masochistic journey of a PhD (that should already put you off) here’s something to make your day just a little bit more depressing. The folks at PhD comics have released the movie, PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper). Watch it. What do you think?
Ram Gopal Varma has been panned and flamed by critics for his mediocrity (here), being hysterical and gimmicky (here), and like the prodigal son who has lost his way (here). There is also the reported trading of insults between Karan Johar and RGV (here). The proverbial dirt from the laundry is all over the web for interested voyeurs to unravel. This post is not about what are considered RGV’s failures. While we are aware of his abilities to make thrillers and cult characters (Shiva, Satya, Company), his abilities in directing films that subtly poke fun at the “Indian film” without upsetting the “average viewer” are perhaps under-explored and with good reason. The background noise from his many films with the B conventions obscure his record in making some interesting comedy films that do not reduce filmmaking to a series of skits. Three films that come to my mind are Kshana Kshanam (Dir, Telugu) and Rangeela (Dir, Hindi) and Money (Prod, Telugu).
Lately, I’ve been scouting around on the Web to find good sources of independent films, and in the process I have found some great films, met some interesting filmmakers and found sites that allow us to watch independent films for free.
Here’s a small sampler of the stuff that I found and I can recommend.
First up is a film by an up and comer, Shuchi Talati. It is a beautiful film called Mae and Ash about a young couple who are in an open relationship. Watching this film I realized how much control it takes to make a film that is so silent and yet so full of emotion. Shuchi has been nice enough to share her film with me, though as of now it is not available online. A trailer of sorts can be found at: https://vimeo.com/61106015. The film is being screened at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Queens World Film Festival. I am hoping that it will be available online once these screenings are done. Watch this space for when it does. (More info at: http://www.queensworldfilmfestival.com/films/detail.asp?fid=293)
Up next is a site called artbarricade that is coming up as an interesting platform not just for discussions about art (and art-related events), but from the look of it, also independent films. As of now it has a small archive of films and videos, some generated by their own personnel. I particularly like Pallavi Paul’s Nayi Kheti. I think it is a thoughtful and well-crafted deliberation on ideas of rhythm and movement as they find common ground in poetry and cinema. Here’s a link to the site (the film is embedded on the homepage if you scroll down a little): http://artbarricade.org/
Among sites where you can find independent films to watch for free, there is: http://www.indiemoviesonline.com/ and also http://indieflix.com/ (this one is not entirely free, it has some free content and a free trial). Indieflix is also a platform for new filmmakers to submit their film to a dedicated audience of cinephiles and fellow filmmakers.
As some might remember, I had written a review of Eran Riklis’s 2008 film Etz Limon (Lemon Tree) for the inaugural issue of Wide Screen (1.1). I recently re-watched the film when I screened it at the University of Pittsburgh which is currently my home. I was surprised by the differences in my response to the film was this time around.
Here’s a link to the very short response piece I wrote recently: http://www.fsgso.pitt.edu/2013/02/fiver-years-lemon-tree/
Here’s a link to the original review in WS: http://widescreenjournal.org/index.php/journal/article/view/23/28
2013 promises to be an exciting year for Indian cinema as various groups and individuals are busy organizing interesting ways of commemorating the centenary of Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra, arguably India’s first film. Ostensibly as a part of this celebration, I was recently informed about the launch of a new crowd-sourced encyclopedia of Indian cinema, called CinemaofIndia.org. The site is based on the Wiki-model and is designed and hosted by the brains behind the pad.ma archive.
Here’s a brief description provided by the hosts:
“This Wiki is based on Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen’s Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema, a pioneering effort at documenting the history of cinema in India at a time when there were very few resources available and even fewer people working on the history of Indian cinema. There is now a much wider community of scholars, enthusiasts and cinephiles working on Indian cinema, and a much wider range of resources by way of films, DVDs, memorabilia and most importantly technology available that allow us to rethink how we may carry forward the encyclopedia project as a collaborative venture. The internet also allows us to link the original entries to images and movie clips thus housing an encyclopedia of cinema in the only environment that it was meant to be housed in: a multi-media environment. Ashish has very generously offered us the encyclopedia as a starting point.”
The idea behind this project is to combine collective knowledge on various films, actors, directors, technicians etc by either creating new entries or adding to existing entries.
We are very happy to announce that after a long wait, Wide Screen 4.1, a special issue on Documentary, Art and Performance is now online. The issue has been edited by Veena Hariharan. Click on the image below to access the issue.
Films are texts that become subjects of acrimony between reviewers and fan girls and boys. The former, most often sitting in the periphery of the film world, are borderline narcissists and somewhere off centre lie the fangirls and boys. In this universe, it is almost impossible to have a meaningful conversation unless we are generally in agreement, for example Shah Rukh Khan is the best (replace Shah Rukh Khan with any actor you zealously follow). My review of Gangs… is not aimed to pander to either the Anurag Kashyap fan girls and boys and of course, it is an exercise in narcissism. [Read more →]
BFI posted this early Ridley Scott film that starred his brother Tony Scott who recently passed away.
Access it here: http://thespace.org/items/e00000ml?t=cdhp