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Category — Must Read

Foxy times for Bollywood

Guardian reports the launch of Fox Star Studios, a Fox Studios venture into Indian cinema (read here). I had predicted changes in structures of ownership (read here), written about the formal subsumption of capital (read here). Majors such as Sony Pictures had already shown the way to do it in Bollywood (read here). [Read more →]

September 10, 2008   No Comments  

Turkeywood and Hari Puttar? Damn ’em Subaltern cinema

The headlines in western newspapers put it quite succinctly: “Warner set to tackle Mumbai’s Hari Puttar” (CBC);  “Bollywood sued over ‘Hari Puttar'” (news.com.au). The fuss is over what Warner considers as intellectual property transgression of its lucrative Harry Potter franchise.

Hari Puttar vs Harry Potter

Hari Puttar vs Harry Potter

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August 26, 2008   No Comments  

Simulacra: The next level?

Image Metrics, a California-based animation company has come up with a modelling technology that allows a face to be recognised in its minutest detail and converted to animation.  The technology, unlike earlier motion, capture works “without markers, make-up, specialised stages, or sets“. The results are stunning. For example, watch Emily: [Read more →]

August 19, 2008   No Comments  

Surveillance and subjugation of Tamil actresses

Remember Marion Crane? Remember what Laura Mulvey sought to convey about the patriarchal moorings of the classical film narrative in her defining work, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema? Marion Crane of Psycho stands out from the multitude of Hitchcock’s female stars in one respect. When it comes to defining the victimhood engendered by the male gaze, Marion Crane succeeded remarkably well. She expressed well [Read more →]

July 30, 2008   No Comments  

Aamir: A do-gooder gone wrong

Does Aamir change the way we view Muslims?

Does Aamir change the way we view Muslims? Pic from UTV website

Rajkumar Gupta’s recent film Aamir has created a stir it seems in the country. And not just because it stars Rajeev Khandelwal-a relatively new face on the big screen, but also because it is one of the films that dares to approach the tabooed Muslims-in-India issue. The long and short of the film is that it is about Aamir, a young doctor who has just stepped foot on Indian soil after finishing studies in the UK. [Read more →]

June 20, 2008   2 Comments  

The state of African and Chinese cinema

Two reports in Shanghai Daily and Business Daily Africa highlight the plight of low budget filmmaking in China and the local film industry in Africa respectively.

“Big hits overseas, bomb at home” (China Daily) taking the example of In Love We Trust argues that [Read more →]

April 12, 2008   6 Comments  

The Corporate Shakeout In Tamil Film Industry: The Forgotten Lessons of the Paramount Case

For the past one year, there has been a growing interest in media circles in Tamil Nadu about the ventures of corporate film companies such as Pyramid Saimira, Adlabs, Ayngaran, Eros, UTV etc., Media reports speak of a big shakeout in Tamil film industry due to the advent of corporate groups. It must be mentioned here that corporate film companies entered Tamil film industry long after corporates such as Adlabs and UTV entered [Read more →]

March 30, 2008   3 Comments  

Musafir: Rethinking popular culture

Breaking into a song in Venice. A screengrab from Musafir

Breaking into a song in Venice. A screengrab from Musafir

Dir Pierre-Yves Perez & Cedric Dupire
color, 84 min, 2004
Documentary Educational Resources
http://der.org/films/musafir.html [

March 24, 2008   2 Comments  

“It is different, it is truly different…”: An Adornian View of Tamil Cinema’s Logic of Difference

The one short sentence which runs a ceaseless course in the talks and speeches of majority of actors, directors, producers and technicians of the Tamil film industry is, “It is different.” The close counterparts of this sentence are “it is truly different” and “it is new.” Whenever a film enters the production phase or scheduled for release, the people who are associated with the film do not miss an opportunity to tell the [Read more →]

March 23, 2008   4 Comments  

Pan’s Labyrinth of History

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s deep spiritual struggle with the representation of the Spanish Civil War was first visible in The Devil’s Backbone in 2001. He chose the ghost-story as a natural symbol for a tragic history, one that hasn’t been avenged and therefore put to rest – quite literally, it spoke of history as a something that haunts the present. It was perhaps this literal quality that pushed him to look at the event [Read more →]

February 26, 2008   5 Comments