Anup Singh’s Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

One of the earlier passages of Walter Benjamin’s elegiac meditation on the art of storytelling captures the essence of the cherished art form.   The fourth “stanza” of that piece begins with an observation: “An orientation toward practical interests is characteristic of many born storytellers.”

True Love Story (2014), Gitanjali Rao- L. A. Premiere, IFFLA-Apr. 10. 2015

I watched Gitanjali Rao’s Printed Rainbow (2006), in India when it was just released in Cannes, winning Best Short Film Award in Critics Week. It was a stunning discovery of a film and an artist. The film is not merely a masterpiece in painted image, propelling an entirely new aesthetic and bright new parameters for animation.

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.

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.

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

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.

New Approaches to Teaching World Cinema

Meta Mazaj and I published a piece in Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier edited by Diane Carson and William Costanzo. The topic: “New Approaches to Teaching World Cinema Since teaching world cinema is our concern as much

Arcadia to host Arusha Africa Film Festival

Arcadia hosts first ever Arusha Africa Film Festival (AAFF) at the Cultural Heritage Cinema Center on December 1st.

Traveling Cinemas/ Bioscopes in India

Dev Benegal’s (2009) Road, Movie is only the latest addition to a number of films that have been produced over the last decade and a half around the world. For some reasons, there is a renewed focus on a practice that has been in existence since the beginning of cinema, now being revived in all corners of the world.

Road, Movie (2009), A Reappraisal

Watching Dev Benegal’s Road, Movie (2009) aroused a number of issues, questions, doubts and mixed responses from admiration to dismay. In some ways, that must be considered a compliment.

World Cinema: a new column

I have started writing an infrequent column on the idea, the practice and the ways of seeing world cinema.