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About — Kuhu Tanvir

Kuhu TanvirKuhu is a sub-editor with NDTVmovies.com, an Indian media organisation. She has previously worked with the First City Theatre Foundation, New Delhi. Kuhu holds an MA in English Literature from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. Her interests include Realism in film, film and literature, visual culture, the Beat generation, history, and fantasy films. Other than films, she loves to read, J.M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Virginia Woolf are current favourite authors. She is at the moment obsessed with the music of Joan Baez!

Posts by — Kuhu

Wide Screen 6.1 Special Issue on Videogame Adaptation

September 7, 2016   No Comments  

cover-finalWe’re back after a two year hiatus! This special issue, titled Videogame Adaptation has been edited by Kevin M. Flanagan. Click here to access the entire issue. As usual, it is completely open-access.

Wide Screen Special Issue on Indian Cinema is online

February 19, 2014   No Comments  

cover 5.1The latest issue of Wide Screen, a special issue titled The Unseen Century: Indian Cinema 1913-2013, edited by Kartik Nair and Kuhu Tanvir is now online. The issue can be accessed here.

Terrible trends at Bollywood award shows

September 1, 2013   3 Comments  

It’s Labor Day weekend here in the US and I just watched IIFA, the very last of Bollywood award shows for the films and stars of 2012. Beginning some time in March, the award show season is peppered with glitzy lights, star-studded performances, terrible starry humor and (mostly objectionable and dissatisfying) awards. We’ve all spent many cocktail parties discussing these often cringe-worthy awards, but this year I noticed something much more disturbing—a normalization of distinctly religious Hindu aesthetics and a strange erasure of female stars as actors and active contributors to the industry.

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Filmfare covers from the 1950s

August 6, 2013   No Comments  

1957 madhubala-filmfare-1957-magazine2 (1)Click on Wide Screen’s Facebook page for a random collection of Filmfare covers from the 1950s, found from various sources online:



All that’s Indie

March 14, 2013   No Comments  

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.

Lemon Tree, five years hence

February 22, 2013   No Comments  

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

Announcing the launch of CinemaofIndia.org

January 13, 2013   No Comments  

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.

First-timers might need some help navigating the Wiki and figuring out how to get started. If you would like to contribute or get involved in some way, please contact Lawrence Liang lawrence@altlawforum.org or Ashish Rajadhyaksha  ashish@cscs.res.in
 For a few examples of entries which combine multi media please see the following

Wide Screen 4.1 is now online

November 29, 2012   No Comments  

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.

CFP: Wide Screen 5.1 A Century of Indian Cinema

November 20, 2012   No Comments  

Wide Screen Special Issue: A Century of Indian Cinema

Edited by Kartik Nair and Kuhu Tanvir

Indian Cinema: A Hundred Years, A Hundred Cinemas


Indian Cinema has overwhelmingly been thought and written of as the sum of its stars, songs, and studios, which come together on-screen in melodramas about life and death, love and marriage. For this special issue of Wide Screen, we invite papers that prospect the cinematic terrain beyond these big-budget, mass-audience, song-and-dance spectacles. This is not simply to fill in the blanks of film history, but to critically expand our understanding of the diverse practices, pleasures, and publics that have constituted ‘cinema’ in the subcontinent over the past century.

Contributors are invited to reflect on the many films, filmmakers and filmgoers that have participated in (and perhaps even thrived outside) the territory of India’s popular cinema(s). This is an opportunity to focus on moving images in excess of the hallowed melodramatic mode: special-effects driven devotionals, horror films, wrestling pictures and revenge thrillers, rape dramas and sex-ed films. Equally, we encourage contributions that focus on the material infrastructures through which India’s popular cinemas have been made and moved: activities of production, circuits of distribution, sites of exhibition, and forms of consumption.

Possible topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Film Genres and Film Cycles: student films, insurgency videos, propaganda films, newsreels, documentaries, as well as the genres mentioned above
  • Cinematic Subcultures Across Regions and Languages
  • Cinematic Afterlives in the Digital Era: Parody, Archive, Tribute videos
  • ‘B’ and ‘C’ Grade directors and actors
  • Fan activities and publications
  • Film Criticism: English and Vernacular Presses, Blogs
  • Exhibition: Morning Shows, Video Parlors….
  • The Global Before Globalization: Indian cinema’s transactions with international personnel, styles, and audiences


Send paper abstracts (300 words) by 15 December, 2012 to kartiknair@gmail.com or kuhutanvir@gmail.com

Ridley Scott’s 1962 film Boy and Bicycle

August 20, 2012   No Comments  

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