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Tag: Cinema

Aesthetic enclosure and insurgent critique in Ray’s fantasy fables

Published @ Café Dissensus
1 Satyajit Ray’s Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha, 1969, hereafter Goopy Gyne)and the follow-up fantasy Hirok Rajar Deshe (In the Land of Diamond King, 1980) are two parts of a trilogy of fabular musicals for children.[1] Or so is what they have been mostly, if not always, remembered as. Ray had often felt that films for children made locally were unable to satisfactorily capture their imagination. More often than not, those films sentimentalized childhood, or treated them as part of a sealed…

Bollywood’s Propaganda Wheels Have Been Set in Motion

Published @ Economic & Political Weekly (EPW)
A promo still from the film Uri, 2019. Once upon a time in Hollywood, socially conscious cinema would be frowned upon. It was a standing joke in Hollywood that a studio-era executive, on hearing a sober, earnest script with deep substance would swoop down on the table and say: “if you want to send a message, use Western Union.” (Westwell 2013). While the humour drives home the apathy, it also draws attention to the nature of cinema itself. Cinema…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Cinema, Politics | Read More

Passing through the popular

Published @ Biblio India
Baradwaj Rangan has been writing on various aspects of Indian cinema for several years now. He is a Senior Editor with The Hindu but the articles collected in the book have been sourced also from his former stints at The New Indian Express and New Sunday Express. A few of them have also appeared in more serious long-form journals, like Caravan. Divided into six sections – actors, Hindi cinema, directors, music, Tamil cinema, reviews – Dispatches covers 20 years and many hundred reels of cinema in…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Book Review, Cinema | Read More

New and improved Tagore

Published @ The Bengal Post
Two of Tagore’s numerous endorsements. Rabindranath was not just pen and ink, but as Sayandeb Chowdhury finds out from a set of new exhibitions, a regular endorser of indigenous enterprise and a great believer in the potential of the moving images One problem with the traditional appraisal of Rabindranath Tagore, in which the Bengali community, the chief benefactor of the great man’s infinite genius, has usually regaled, is that such a disposition obliterates larger spheres of reception and cognition. Tagore,…

Yuri, thanks for all the stars

Published @ The Bengal Post
Yuri Gagarin, who walked the space sixty years ago this week, gave the world, among other things, an intergalactic imagination, which auteurs have managed to convert into astonishing specimens of cinema — meditations which spawn not just the Great Dark but also dystopianism, psychography, alienism and most importantly, the unending search for a soul like ours. Here is a possible list of sci-fi hall of fame. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Arguably the greatest sci-fi film ever made, 2001: A Space…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Cinema | Read More

A walk down the republic of Nandan

Published @ The Bengal Post
The arm-stretched tree-man at the Republic of Nandan. Photo by author. It is difficult to believe that there was a time when CPI(M) did not resemble a felled behemoth that was howling away on its way to dusty death. In those days it did many other things. And it also did Kaalture, so to say. It had aspired to be a party that stood erect for the working classes while sitting down to sip tea and discuss cinema with the…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Cinema, Nostalgia | Read More

In defence of mockery

Published @ The Bengal Post
The much-discussed Peepli (Live) has garnered attention to the logic of employing satire to a case (or a cause) that is hopelessly tragic. The film’s veracity, depicting one of the biggest agrarian crises to have precipitated in Independent India, is unquestionable. The makers have rightly targeted the assorted symbolisms of what we call the ‘establishment’ — the administration, the government, agencies of policymaking and the favourite butt which everybody kicks these days — the 24X7 television media. The critical value of the…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Cinema, Politics | Read More

Postal Failure

Published @ The Moving Arts Journal
Poster of The Japanese Wife, 2010 Indian indie favourite Aparna Sen’s new film The Japanese Wife, about love through letters, lacks style and diction. THE phonetic possibility of her surname Sen makes Indian indie filmmaker Aparna Sen’s films a fine fodder for all sorts of rhetorical puns in English, most obviously for a word, like say, sensational. But sadly her latest outing The Japanese Wife does not lend itself to the word because the film is anything but an…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Cinema | Read More