About — Kuhu Tanvir
Posts by — Kuhu
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
June 23, 2012 No Comments
As much as I would have loved to review Anurag Kashyap’s epic Gangs of Wasseypur, I have decided not to. Not only because of paucity of time, but also because I have some vested interests in this film and am not really in a position to be unbiased about it!! But I did find a review that says a lot of things that are reeling in my mind about this sprawling, gritty, beautiful magnum opus. I will say that this film is definitely worth watching, for more details, read this wonderfully written review. Click here to read.
June 18, 2012 2 Comments
In the midst of some reading on Fearless Nadia, I decided to look at the Internet to see and gather what all images are easily available. The result of this is a small, unofficial, almost random gallery of Fearless Nadia film stills and posters etc that I made on Facebook. Have borrowed them from various sources. And I can’t identify all the films.
So all help in clarifying details for this little archive will be welcome.
The gallery is available here
May 3, 2012 No Comments
A few hours ago the Minister of Information and Broadcasting here in India, Ms Ambika Soni announced that on the occasion of hundred years of Indian cinema (which is next year by popular account), her ministry has assigned Rs. 500 crore in the next five-year plan for setting up the National Heritage Mission that aims to digitize and restore all audio and video tapes of Indian films. While India faces a dire need to pay more attention to archiving its cinema history, this does seem an ambitious project. But here’s hoping it sees light of day.
Meanwhile, at a less official level, I recorded a ten-minute extract of the restored Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra, ostensibly India’s first film. With cinema entering its 100th year, I would assume this film has long entered the free-copyright zone and will not land me into trouble. The aim of the arduous exercise of putting this clip on YouTube was to contribute yet another unofficial, barely legal bit to the enormous, free and pirate archive of cinema that is floating across media, particularly on the Internet. So here it is:
Read the entire press report here: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=83059
April 30, 2012 No Comments
A excerpt from the letter Henri Langlois wrote to the Edison National Historic Site to request Edison’s Kinetograph for his proposed Musée du Cinéma in Paris:
“On the occasion of the inauguration of the great Musée du Cinéma in Paris, the Cinémathèque Française has assembled an exhibition on the origins of the cinema, to which the principal foreign museums, English, German, Austrian, such as the Smithsonian, have loaned us the prototype cameras that recount the history of the discovery of cinema. All these will be gathered together for several weeks in this exhibition, except that of Edison. [...] This causes me great distress, since I tell myself that this absence of the Edison camera will do harm to his memory and withhold, once again, his rightful place in the chronology. [...] It is of such great importance for Edison that this camera is here, even if only for a few days. [...] After all, we were able to loan the Mona Lisa, and she did not suffer from her voyage.”
(6 May 1972)
From: Mannoni, Laurent. ‘Henri Langlois and the Musee du Cinema’ in Film History, Volume 18, pp. 274–287, 2006.