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Posts from — February 2011

True Grit: review from the Berlinale

True Grit, the Coen Brothers’ latest feature, opened the 61st Berlin Film Festival earlier this month. Based on a novel of the same name by Charles Portis, the Coen Brothers’ film is the second film adaptation of this Wild West tale: the first was in 1969 by Henry Hathaway, starring John Wayne. The Coen Brothers’ adaptation is more true to the original in that it tells the tale from the point of view of Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl whose quest drives the narrative. Her father was murdered by a man named Tom Chaney, and fearing that the law will never track him down, Mattie hires Rooster Cogburn, the meanest mercenary marshal in town. They reluctantly join forces with LaBoeuf, a straight-laced ranger who has been chasing Chaney for some time: Chaney is also wanted for a murder in Texas, and a substantial reward has been offered to bring him in. [Read more →]

February 27, 2011   No Comments  

Early Tamil Cinema With Deleuze: The Case Of Cintamani (1937)

Last few weeks had been quite hectic as I was trying to connect early Tamil cinema with Deleuze’s notions of movement-image. I was preparing a paper for Dr Stephen Hughes’ (SOAS) seminar on “Early Tamil Cinema” held in Chennai during Feb.17-18,2011. Working on this paper meant working against the “limit” of Deleuzean notions contained in his Cinema I and II books, as pointed out by David Martin Jones. David Martin Jones’ “Towards Another ‘-Image’: Deleuze, Narrative Time and Popular Indian Cinema,” (Deleuze Studies 2 (1) 25-48) points to the limitation of the supposedly eurocentric approach of Deleuze’s Cinema I and II books in examining the case of Indian cinema. [Read more →]

February 20, 2011   1 Comment  

Review: Phas Gaye Re Obama

by Neha Bhatt

There is so much to love about Phas Gaye Re Obama that it’s a wonder there was barely a whimper about it at any of the recent award ceremonies this season that claimed to have recognised and appreciated small films like Udaan, Peepli Live, Love, Sex aur Dhoka and Band Baja Barat. For, surely, a satire as subtlety crafted and clever as this deserves to be lauded?

Debutant director Subhash Kapoor engages us with characters that are so warm and impossibly sincere that you can’t help but root for them right from the start, even though they’re unashamedly on the wrong side of the law.  Wannabe goon Anni (a fantastic Manu Rishi, as always) who is earnestly taking English speaking classes with Obama ‘s ‘Yes we can’ on his lips desperately wants to migrate to’ Amreeka’. His guru, kidnapper chief Bhaisaab (Sanjai Misra) is so utterly bankrupt that the outgoing on his phone is [Read more →]

February 11, 2011   1 Comment  

Thoughts from the Berlinale jury press conference

This morning, at Berlin’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, the press had a chance to ask questions of the Berlinale’s international jury prior to the kick-off of this year’s festival. The head of the jury is Isabella Rossellini, and her fellow jury members are Australian producer Jan Chapman, German actress Nina Hoss, Indian actor and director Aamir Khan, Canadian director Guy Maddin and British costume designer Sandy Powell. A seat was left vacant for Jafar Panahi, the Iranian director who has just been sentenced to 6 years in prison for his work, and banned from writing or directing films for the next 20 years. Rossellini said that they are still hoping that Panahi might be able to join them. [Read more →]

February 11, 2011   1 Comment  

8th Orphan Film Symposium

NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Cinema Studies, and the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program present the 8th Orphan Film Symposium, April 11-14, 2012 at the Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NY, USA. [Read more →]

February 6, 2011   No Comments  

Berlin 2011: New offerings from familiar names

The complete line-up of films for this year’s Berlinale has just been announced. This time next week, I’ll be reporting direct from Berlin. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of some of the films I’m most excited about: the latest work of excellent directors. [Read more →]

February 6, 2011   No Comments  

R.I.P Miriam Hansen

Miriam Bratu Hansen, professor of Cinema Studies and Literature at the University of Chicago passed away today. One of the leading scholars in the field, she is the author of Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (Harvard UP, 1991; 1994) and her upcoming book, The Other Frankfurt School: Kracauer, Benjamin, Adorno on Cinema, Mass Culture, and Modernity. She has written widely on the Frankfurt School as well as varied essays in journals across the world. Her writings have influence cinema studies scholars and students all over the world.

One of the first people to inform the world of Prof. Hansen’s passing is Catherine Grant whose blog has a selection of tributes while also providing a list of Hansen’s work available online. Click here to access this page. A short yet moving account by one of her students can be accessed by clicking  here .

February 6, 2011   No Comments