Chauranga (2014), Bikas Ranjan Mishra-North American Premiere-IFFLA, April 9. 2015

Over the past two decades or so, world cinema has seen emergence of a film that anchors itself in a local idiom, bears its cultural signature and then positions its appeal to the larger, broader audience outside of its specific contexts of origin.

Titli (2014), Kanu Behl– IFFLA, April 9, 2015

There was always some taint to the notion of poverty in India. Shameful for the rabid nationalists, it was a sign of the struggle in postcolonial times; a difficult problem for representation since poverty for the “foreign eyes” was always different than what it meant to the people living in the slums and villages.

Haraamkhor (2015), Shlok Sharma- World Premiere, IFFLA, Apr. 8, 2015

Shlok Sharma’s Haraamkhor gives a snapshot of parallel moralities in a small Gujarat village. Shyam, a married teacher has a relationship with Sandhya, his student, who just crossed the threshold of puberty.

Charles Chaplin+ John Berger+ Sight and Sound

January 2015 issue of Sight and Sound magazine carries a piece by John Berger, called “The Lost Art of Falling.” Recalling Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s prophetic words that his friend Charles Chaplin was “undoubtedly the only one of our time who will be talked about a century from now,” Berger proceeds to diagnose the tramp’s trajectories of bodily movements and gestures, humor and laughter, to read in them a prophecy of the struggles of the underdogs, particularly children, who try to survive on the margins of affluence in modernity.

Miss Lovely (2012)

Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely (2012) leaves an uneasy impression. It is not about its mildly explicit images, titillating posters or exposure to the shady underworld of low-grade semi-porno, horror film industry.

Gravity and World Cinema– Video Essay

Here is a video that supplements the argument that I made with Meta Mazaj in our contribution to the Cinema Journal Dossier

Nishi Pahuja’s The World Before Her-Two Extremist Dimensions

Documentary film, more than any other film form, is beset with social responsibility. Once it was a tool of power, but it has long spoken truth to that power.

More than a Game- – The Only Real Game (2013), Mirra Banks

Mirra Banks begins her documentary with pristine and picturesque images of life in Manipur, that remote state near Burma that India only forgetfully remembers. In fact, it remembers the place mostly when stories of rebellion/ the separatists appear in the Press.

Rangbhoomi (2013), Kamal Swarup

In the precious biographical details of Dadasaheb Phalke’s life that we know, he gave up on cinema after making some 95 films and scores of shorts and went to Banaras.

Liar’s Dice, (2014), Geethu Mohandas– Exemplary

In a remote village, far away from Delhi, Kamla fails to hear back from her husband for five months He is in the city for work, toiling on the constructions sites that have become the hallmark of capital’s expansion.

Nehru on Children’s Films

Came across this little gem on Scroll website. My hearty thanks to Nandita Dutta from DearCinema for graciously translating the brief chat. Here it is, with a couple of micro-changes from me.  The gentle idealism of his vision pervades here.

Tacita Dean at Arcadia University Art Gallery

Tacita Dean at Arcadia University Art Gallery