A tribute to the late great Dev Anand whose birth anniversary is on September 26. He is an evergreen part of the golden years of India’s film industry and adapted himself successfully into the contemporary decades. His fans were of all ages and all walks of life. He introduced some of the most beautiful actresses to the Hindi film industry. His film ‘Guide’ is a classic and one can see it again and again.
‘Court’ is India’s official nomination for the Oscars. Director Chaitanya Tamhane on how he made the movie: “Instead of drawing inspiration from other films or literature, I found the experience of attending actual trials in the lower courts of Mumbai far more enriching. Some of the stories unfolding in those rooms are indeed stranger than fiction. What made these stories unlike anything I had seen on screen was the unique cultural milieu of Mumbai they were set in.”
Have you ever met Apu – Satyajit Ray’s Apu? If not, this is your chance to finally make his acquaintance – and he’s looking better than ever before. As film fans know, ‘The Apu Trilogy’ is master filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s seminal work, a story that is bound to touch whoever sees it, because it is our story. We may never have stepped into a Bengali village or lived in that simple yet hard world a century ago but this tale of family, struggle and aspirations speaks to something so universal, so human that it affects us all.
What would be a filmiholic’s idea of heaven? A week full of back-to-back viewings of the most intriguing films, a mixed bag of drama, suspense, comedy and chills – by some of the most noted directors in Indian cinema. Think Vishal Bharadwaj, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, Hansal Mehta and Shonali Bose. Then there is the joy of seeing the work of so many regional filmmakers as well as getting to know so many new directors. Lots of films by Indian-American filmmakers too, including ‘Miss India America’ and ‘Meet the Patels’.
All this is happening at the upcoming New York Indian Film Festival with over 30 films, 30 alternate worlds to get lost in. You’ll find love, loss, laughter – and life…
Watch out, the wild Gangs of Wasseypur have come to New York and no one’s going to be spared! Anurag Kashyap’s stunning mafia odyssey will hook you, grab you and get you.
It is the very heart of darkness, a revenge saga where there’s no business like the don business and where firing a gun is as normal as brushing your teeth. Every random unknown on a scooter, armed with an AK47, is a killing machine.
As a visitor to Wasseypur, albeit in the theater, you need to have a high tolerance for bloodshed – after a while even your popcorn seems to be tinged with blood.
There is a maniac energy about ‘Haider’ – and a maniac desire among viewers to immerse themselves in this film. Yes, a film scribe I know turned up at this advance screening, bleary-eyed and disheveled, suitcase in tow, straight from the airport – rather than miss this first screening of Vishal Bhardwaj’s much awaited film!
It is a brutal, blood-stained Kashmir, etchings of a brooding, bereft landscape, a city of disappeared people. It shows that Shakespeare’s tale of deceit and murder, of treachery and lost ideals is a universal tale and relevant to all humans. Bhardwaj has successfully transported the ill-starred Danish Prince to Kashmir, and made it an indigenous, very authentic Indian tale.
This festive season, welcome to Nina Paley’s animated film ‘Sita Sings the Blues’, yet another retelling of India’s great epic, Ramayana. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it, as some have done, ‘Sitayana’ for it tells the tale from the perspective of Sita, not unlike the oral retellings through the ages by village women that made Sita the focus of the story. Only here the story is told through the jazz tradition of torch songs, of a lovely, smoky voiced lament more often heard in a dark New York lounge or bar, than in the rural outposts of India.
Bollywood superstars hardly ever play second fiddle to anyone – be it heroines or villains. They dance with beauties who are often just icing on the cake and they bash carloads of villains. Yet now we have Bollywood biggie Akshay Kumar deferring to – a dog!
In ‘Entertainment’, a fun comedy being released this week, it’s a dog’s life for the swashbuckling Akshay as he competes with man’s best friend for his family inheritance – and what can one say but – may the best dog win! Yes, this dog does everything – even get married! And the Big Fat Indian Wedding is quite hilarious. An interview with Akshay Kumar on everything from dogs to dreams.
Can a film be just over six minutes – and still get you emotionally enmeshed? Our Bollywood movies are usually three hour plus juggernauts of drama, romance and comedy but this little film – over in the blink of an eye – shows that length has nothing to do with the impact of a film. Especially if it has a volatile mix of India, aspirations and the love of a father and son – and is directed by that ace director, Nagesh Kukunoor.
Here’s ‘Sapnon Ki Udaan’ – a father and son love story.