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Posts from — February 2008

Charlie Wilson’s War: The Then and Now of the United States?

This year’s Oscar nominee, Charlie Wilson’s War (Philip Seymour Hoffman for Best Supporting Actor) is a puzzle. It could be one of two things: an incredibly clever, subtle scathing comment on the history of American foreign policy, or a fairly uni-dimensional – not to mention jingoistic – addition to the ‘great America’ series that occupies a significant place in Hollywood. [Read more →]

February 27, 2008   3 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  

United 93: Polite Propaganda

What we know: United 93 was one of the four planes that were hijacked on September 11, 2001. The plane probably missed its intended target and crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania leaving no survivors.
Now, United 93 is the film made by Paul Greengrass that tries to capture what might have happened on the flight and restructures the scenes at the various air control centres across the United States as they [Read more →]

February 26, 2008   No Comments  

Two thumbs down for Taare Zameen Par

It often happens that when you have low expectations of a film, you end up enjoying it because it has something that you didn’t expect it to have. When I read the tagline of this film “Every Child is Special” every cynical bone in my body had low expectations of the film. Unfortunately, even that could not redeem the painful experience that was Taare Zameen Par. For a person hailed as a perfectionist, Aamir Khan sure didn’t deliver in his directorial debut. [Read more →]

February 26, 2008   13 Comments  

Dancer in the Dark: Lars von Trier and the Golden Heart

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier isn’t very secretive about his deep criticism of the United States of America. He made Dancer in the Dark, the third part of his ‘Golden Heart’ trilogy, in 2000, and the film served, in many ways, as a precursor to the ‘USA: Land of Opportunity’ trilogy that he began after being criticised by American filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival when he went to showcase Dancer in the Dark-he was told [Read more →]

February 26, 2008   No Comments  

Forrest Gump

Innocence and History in Forrest Gump

The 60s have held a fascination in the minds of millions across the world- the Beat Generation, the hippie culture, Joan Baez, Holden Caulfield, the Beatles, lifting the ban off Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Catch 22 etc have appealed to the rebellious desires of artists, writers and filmmakers for years. In the romance of the [Read more →]

February 25, 2008   3 Comments