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Category — Film and Politics

Michael Moore may upset financiers with Capitalism: A Love Story

American documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is now taking on the mighty wall street in his film Capitalism: A Love Story. Reports claim that Moore is afraid the critique will not go down well with financiers and he will be forced to fund his future projects independently.

Click here to read what he had to say.

September 7, 2009   1 Comment  

Understanding the Making of Nalla Thambi (1949) and the Production Conventions of Tamil Cinema During 1940s I

I have been planning to document the experiences and encounters of Tamil film artists who worked during 1940s-1960s, but with limited success as many old living artists are difficult to trace to begin with and meet their natural ends of their lives by the time we are able to locate them. I was lucky to meet two important living sources recently, Mr S S Rajendran and Mr Subbu Arumugam and succeeded in documenting their experiences and encounters in Tamil cinema and politics during 1940s-1960s. I hope to post the audio files of the sessions with the two in the days to come. But here is what transpired [Read more →]

September 6, 2009   4 Comments  

Remembering Theena Muna Kana,N.S.Krishnan and the Camouflaged Narrative Devices of Tamil Political Cinema

Nagercoil Sudalaimuthu Krishnan, popularly known as NSK/Kalaivanar,iNSK2 who died on this day in 1957, remains unrivalled for his stellar ideological contributions to Tamil cinema in general and Tamil political cinema in particular through his multifaceted roles as comedian, singer, director and producer. He started his theatre career in 1924 and film career in 1936 with his role in Menaka. Born in a oral society such as ours, he cleverly chose what suited him and his audience and avoided comedy genres such as slapstick, screwball, mime etc., His comedy roles were imbued with a vision of social and political transformation even as they [Read more →]

August 30, 2009   4 Comments  

When directors attack critics

Directors and film critics have always had a tenuous relationship. For every failed film, and every opinion that goes against them, filmmakers launch diatribes against critics who have panned their films. However, there is a trend to be noted in the recent past, especially as far as the language of criticism and the backlash to it is concerned. A recent blog post written by the ever controversial Ram Gopal Varma creates new heights in vicious words reserved for critics. From personal attacks to their integrity and a conspicuous attempt not to veil their identities, Varma has unknowingly brought to the fore some interesting developments in the relationship that has, almost literally, gone to the dogs. He calls Anupama Chopra ‘sweetie cutie Anupama’, Kaveri Bamzai ‘Buffalo Bumzai’ and traces how Khalid Mohammad was “kicked out and down the ladder from TOI to Mid-day to DNA, to HT to Asian Age, (and now) writes for some obscure website which (I) doubt even 5 people will read.”

It is a piece worth reading. Access it here.

August 10, 2009   6 Comments  

RGV remixes Indian National Anthem

Never far from conrtoversy, Indian filmmaker Ram Gopal Verma announced on Wednesday that the title track of his upcoming film Rann is a reworked version of the Indian national anthem.

The tune remains the same, and the lyrics take off from the original in a way that instead of praising the country, they speak of the current divided reality of India. [Read more →]

May 7, 2009   2 Comments  

Review: The Year My Parents Went On Vacation

theyearCao Hamburger’s film O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (The Year My Parents Went on Vacation) is set in Brazil in 1970. A 12-year-old Mauro’s parents hurriedly leave him at the doorstep of his grandfather’s house, taking off for a ‘vacation’. Soon after the parents speed away, the boy realizes that his grandfather is dead, and he is all alone in a Jewish neighbourhood without any idea of when his parents will return or where they are. [Read more →]

April 27, 2009   No Comments  

Firaaq: Good intentions, bad filmmaking!


From the time of the Partition, all the way up to the demolition of the Babri Masjid and most recently the pogrom at Godhra, modern India has a hefty stock of horrific tales of communal violence. Stories of meaningless murders, rape, immolations and a general feeling of fear are everywhere. You read them, you watch people crying all over news channels, while they lap up the rising TRPs, and you reach a point when it stops affecting you. [Read more →]

March 23, 2009   2 Comments  

Will Hollywood apologise to Iran?

Shortly after a breathlessly hyper Ron Rosenbaum declared Stephen Daldry’s The Reader to be one of the worst Holocaust films ever made, comes a piece of news, if not directly, then indirectly related. According to news reports, the Iranian officials have asked Hollywood to apologise over the ‘insults and slander’ of the Iranian people evident in their films over the last 30 years. [Read more →]

March 3, 2009   1 Comment  

Mr Rahman goes to Oscars. Indian media clamour

(Continuously updated) As Rahman enters the hunt for Oscars, we keep track of the madness that unfolds in Indian media. The latter is known to go give importance to any western recognition to Indians in asign of its readers’/audiences’ westward cultural orientation and sensitivity.  Already we can notice that all the media reports are identical as they are dependant on news agencies, telling us something about the economics and sociology of news production and the structural characteristics of media. Besides this journalism studies perspective there is the other issue of the valorisation of awards instituted in the west. Does this reflect a cultural imperialism and hegemony?  These are issues we can perhaps reflect on. [Read more →]

January 26, 2009   No Comments  

The sanctity of Padma awards?

Most awards in the film world are controversial. There is no black and white and there are always people who agree, those who don’t and those who are perennially suspicious. Be it the Oscars, the Filmfare or any other big or small awards.

The priorities of these awards vary from popularity to critics choice  to a mixture of both, and therefore when there are disparities, one doesn’t make too much of it, because we have come to terms with the ‘corruption’ of it all.

Where one doesn’t expect random popularity to take priority over achievement and talent are the Padma awards. [Read more →]

January 26, 2009   No Comments