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Directors From Parallel Cinema Entering Mainstream Bollywood

Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s Naseem (1995) is a tender film dealing with a sensitive subject like communal violence without portraying bloodshed. He has an impressive portfolio comprising Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989), Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978), Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho (1984), Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai (1980), to name just a few. When he suddenly disappeared from the scene to focus on writing books, it was a major loss for lovers of good cinema.

5 Films to Watch if you Liked The Stronghold on Netflix

The French catalog at Netflix just got an update. The Cannes-bound Out of Competition title that had a short limited release in its home country has found its rightful place on Netflix. It is the kind of film that completely works with the Netflix algorithm. It has heart-racing action sequences, French people mouthing French expletives with the sound of a razor slashing through, and it has a drug raid that could easily entertain some of the most casual viewers. The point of…

10 Best Amy Adams Performances

Born in Italy, raised a Mormon and trained to be a ballerina, Amy Adams is full of exciting surprises. Revered in the industry for her power packed performances and choice of uncanny and underrated roles, Adams has not been as lucky when it comes to winning awards. Despite being nominated for six Academy Awards and seven British Academy Awards, she has always missed the mark by a whisker. But that has not stopped her from accepting more challenging roles and…

Clairevoyant (2021) Review: The Journey Towards Constructed Enlightenment

Clairevoyant (2021) is a mockumentary-style film with a clear purpose – to blatantly poke fun out of the younger generation’s desire to achieve spirituality and the white privilege that often goes with it. However, despite parts of the film being both outlandish and comedy-driven, it also reflects the sad reality of always seeking more than what you have and wanting to be more than who you are.

10 Essential Argentinian Films of the decade (2010s)

In the early 1990s, Argentina made a record of 12 films released in 1990, 17 in 1991, and 13 in 1993. As time passed by, the filmmakers worked hard and with their innovative vision and grit increased the production and viewership of their cinema both in the domestic and global circuit. Luis Puenzo’s The Official Story was the first Argentinian film to win the Best Foreign Language film award at the 58th Academy Awards. At the 82nd Academy Awards, the…

6 Films to watch if you Liked Kate on Netflix

Kate, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, is now streaming on Netflix. Produced by Hollywood’s quintessential action and stunt man David Leitch, it centers around a female assassin, who plots a revenge plan after being injected with a fatally poisonous substance. The all too familiar plot and associated revelations come with a committed performance from Winstead and a promising debut from Miku Martineau. One highlight of the film that is bound to catch mass attention in the same way the bathroom scene did when ‘Mission…

Every James Ponsoldt Film, Ranked

Indie film-maker James Ponsoldt is not a household name in cinema yet. He is not one of those people you might know from a movie-loving friend or a social media update. We personally feel there is much more to him and his films than seldom catches the eye.

Donnie Darko Explained: A Journey Through The Director’s Theory

A month after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, a fiction about the transformative power of small catastrophes reached American cinemas. In the plot, a troubled teenager escapes death when an airplane engine crashes into his bedroom. He then starts to have visions with a large bunny rabbit, which instead of presenting playful fantasy, involves him in a dark and criminal premonition. The fear and distrust that permeated the scene at the time boycotted Donnie…

The 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of The Decade (2010s)

Science fiction is one if not the most influential genre of film. The reason being that it can be molded to whatever you please. It can be an action epic, a dystopian drama, a convoluted romance, a terrifying omen. In all of its forms, it permits us to tell incredible stories of humanity in heightened ways like no other genre. There might be a case among cinephiles, where they might believe that the genre is not what it used to…

The 25 Best Movies About Writers

Movies about writers are not a common occurrence in cinema. There are only a few filmmakers that have ever been able to capture the cinematic feeling of having to struggle on one’s desk with a pen and paper. Most of them have also complained about the fact that some written texts can never be put to screen. However, when it comes to people writing those texts a few enigmatic filmmakers have managed to portray the zeal, struggle, and eventual relapse…

The Green Knight Review: The Cyclical Battle Between Rot And Growth

Earth has been on red alert for quite some time due to human’s ongoing disrespect towards the environment. While climate activists are constantly trying to wake up big industries that are hugely contributing to this decay, which will eventually cause the extinction of mankind. Many filmmakers are trying to do the same via the medium of cinema. Some of the most recent examples are Emilie Lebech Kaae’s Ragnarok, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, Sung-hee Jo’s Space Sweepers, Ben Wheatley’s In…

The 30 Best Hotstar TV Shows That Are Worth Your Time

Among most streaming services that have hit the video-on-demand world in India, Hotstar remains a big competition. Mostly because of its association with Star India – Which is in itself a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. And of course, the association with HBO and their entire catalogue.

Wrath Of Man Review - Guy Ritchie’s Stab At The Crime Epic

Director Guy Ritchie returns once more to old stomping grounds. After the clout cash-in that was Aladdin, he made a film that was both an example of his high-wire style and his struggles to produce something vital this late in his career (2019’s shoddy The Gentlemen). He now reunites with old collaborator Jason Statham in “Wrath of Man”, released this year. His latest is a dependable film, both in terms of enjoyment and in the sense that you can depend…

Not Going Quietly Review: A searing look at the power of activism moulded by personal suffering

Nicholas Bruckman’s Not Going Quietly follows the political and the personal life of activist Ady Barkan, who diagnosed with ALS, had confronted Republican Senator Jeff Flake on flight over his support for the tax reform bill. He tells Flake, “It’s your moment to be an American hero.” The film quietly turns out to document that moment, of a true American hero and an activist using his body as a site of protest.

Delhi-6: The Lanes Holding A Million Stories

Delhi-6 is a beautiful film that focuses on humans, their flaws, and their goodness. It retells the mythological tale set in contemporary times. Even now the Evil seems to dominate, but then the Good always wins over the Evil.

The 6 Best Apple Original Films

It must come as a surprise that Apple – A multinational tech company took so long to dive into original content production. Starting off from 2016 and only getting into the game in late 2019, Apple TV+ is slowly becoming the talk of the town. Much of the buzz has to do with some of the biggest festival picks to shoot up their original programming slate and a free year access to Apple users.

Ascension Review: An impressionistic look at the tendrils of Capitalism in all levels of operation in China

China is a nation that defies definition – a communist nation that also creates a wealth disparity befitting that of a capitalist society like the United States. It is not surprising that the tagline of the current Chinese government, as well as the society, is the ascension towards the Chinese Dream. A bar for economic success strikingly similar to the American Dream. Chinese-American filmmaker Jessica Kingdon thus crafts a documentary exploring the tendrils of capitalism in all levels of social operation…

India Sweets And Spices Review: An Awful Film With Zero Insight on Indian American Community

When a cultural community of one nation migrates in large numbers to another, there’s a sense of community that becomes essential for living. Fellowship, respect for the culture of one another, and strengthening of relationships become crucial. This is something that the upper-class Indians living in the west would relate to. This is something that finds focus in Geeta Malik’s India Sweets and Spices. At that, she makes the film about feminism and coming-of-age as a learning experience in itself. However,…

10 Great Dysfunctional Family Films of the Decade (2010s)

In Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the first line of Chapter one, informs the readers, ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its way’. The wisdom rings true with the thematic structure of some of the films made around the world. As the plot points of these films unravel we discover that younger members of the family are parented by the negligent, the unmotivated, the violent, and the alcoholic, or unparented by deadbeat or mentally ill parents…

20 Underrated Road Movies You Need to See

Road movies are difficult to tabulate. More so, because they mirror the styles of various popular genres like comedy (It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, World), or action-thriller (Mad Max), or horror (Zombieland), amongst many more. Several film scholars believe that road movies are primarily a lump of all these genres put together. As Wikipedia would tell you, it is “an elusive and ambiguous film genre” and an "overlooked strain of film history". We almost agree with it. 

Understanding Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things

A stream of consciousness, mixed with fantasy and glimpses of reality, drive the narrative to reach an ending that doesn’t wrap things up neatly through a clean and simple revelation and suicide; a loose example of such a climax would be the one in Scorsese’s Shutter Island, where the breaks, in reality, are much less obvious to us, even though there are small leaks through Dicaprio’s reality throughout the film. In I’m Thinking of Ending Things, despite Lucy’s confusion and terror at…

Black Easter [2021]: Christploitation time travel film is an absolute cringe-fest

When a film claims – not once but thrice, that it is not islamophobic, there is no way on earth that it isn’t. Similarly, when a film tries to shoe-horn time and again at how smart it is, chances are it is the stupidest thing out there. Jim Carroll’s “Black Easter” – supposedly edited from his own film “Assassin 33 A.D.” is a time-travel film disguised under the wraps of idiotic faith-based propaganda. Filled with smug characters and brainless anecdotes about time…

Every Sriram Raghavan Film Ranked

Sriram Raghavan is a filmmaker India needs, and a filmmaker India deserves. Raghavan’s work has defined a cinematic aesthetic, a style, almost a genre, in the sense of the cultural imprint it leaves behind. While genre filmmaking is usually talked about synonymously with thematic filmmaking, there are multiple instances where a filmmaker’s body of work has stylistic elements which give shape to that filmmaker’s form of storytelling. It is this definition that finds relevance here. The impact here is the…

10 Best Time Travel Movies Ever Made

 The act of moving between variant points in time, also known as time travel, has been heavily imprinted in our collective consciousness, through films like Donnie Darko (2001), Primer (2004), Twelve Monkeys (1995), and the relatively recent German existential-sci-fi thriller, Dark (2017). Here are 10 seminal movies that unravel the fabric of time travel, in no particular order. 

The Man Who Stole the Sun [1979]: A Singular & Highly Ambitious Black Comedy

Political activist Kazuhiko Hasegawa directed only two movies, The Man Who Stole the Sun being his second and last. It was said that his mother was pregnant with him and living in Hiroshima when the atom bomb was dropped there. Screenwriter Leonard Schrader lived in Japan for many years. He has also collaborated with his brother Paul Schrader on the scripts of Blue Collar (1978) and Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985). Moreover, many critics draw comparisons with the…

45 Years (2015): An Explicit Relationship With Memories

Director Haigh sets up an atmosphere and presents elusive symbols that give us the feeling of a haunted house drama. The hallway door gradually closes; Kate comments about ‘smelling Katya’s perfume around the house’; a hidden memory stays in the attic and possesses & breaks Kate’s placid mindset. These metaphorical Zen frames about ‘ghosts of the past’ (or ‘skeletons in the closet’) perfectly show how the aura of a long-dead person is creating turbulence in the minds of the couples.

25 Greatest Malayalam Movies of All Time

Ever since Malayalam cinema underwent a renaissance in the past decade- with the influx of new-age filmmakers creating some groundbreaking work, it has been unarguably the foremost film industry in India when measured by the quality of films produced. If the 2000s were the worst years for Malayalam movies, then the best era was definitely the 70s and 80s, which witnessed the rise of the New Wave and Middle cinema respectively.

Mr. Holmes (2015): A Mysterious Search for Human Identity

Mr. Holmes (2015) is a poetic character study of the other side of the Robot detective from Baker Street. Bill Condon’s film presents a picture of Sherlock Holmes that hasn’t graced the screen till date. Its a film that grows on you when its fictionalized emotions come to play. Mr. Holmes is one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

5 Underrated Benedict Cumberbatch Movies

Before he was a talking dragon protecting gold, before he was the swift-talking-inhuman-robot living on 221B, Baker Street, before he was a terrorist with an ideology bringing darkness on to the Enterprise, or before he was turning up pages, firing people and calculating possibilities of making a machine to stop the war, Benedict Cumberbatch was a British actor who was waiting to be recognized in movies that meant something. 

Far From Men (2014): A Gritty Little Chapter in the French-Algerian War

Far From Men is adapted from the short story The Guest by Nobel Prize-winning author Albert Camus, which was written as an allegory of French-Algerian tensions. Writer-director David Oelhoffen paints the beautiful but deserted landscape canvas with the colors of palpating human drama that will certainly move you. The film echoes the psyche of two men from different strata who are thrown into a “lose-lose” situation and they have to make a hard choice of choosing the best of the…

How Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction Condemns American Nihilism

Tarantino truly condemns American nihilism in its entirety when the ravishing taxi-driver asks Butch about the meaning of his name. He casually responds by saying, “I’m an American, honey. Our names don’t mean shit.” This exchange was the essence of Tarantino’s take on American nihilism. His association of the vibrant American culture with the absence of meaning in a name implies that beneath all the fuss, America is nothing but meaningless.

Here’s why ‘The Piano Teacher’ is One of the most Disturbing Films ever made

Michael Haneke is either a cynical God exposing our complicity to casual violence in films that we hardly acknowledge or a provocative & sadistic filmmaker who has lost faith in humans. Whatever may be the case, his films are difficult to watch on two fronts; they are inherently disturbing, even cruel at times; and he ensures that our voyeuristic participation in the on-screen violent events gets registered in our consciousness. That’s a dreadful feeling which gradually seeps into our subconsciousness.

The 10 Best Fahadh Faasil Performances

Fahadh Faasil is a name that has steadily but surely gained traction in Hindi-speaking film audiences. Despite being an undisputed star in the South film industry, Faasil has come across as a sincere performer and a dedicated character actor. The realism in modern Malayali cinema is matched by equally relatable and understated people brought to life on screen. The actor has starred in and produced some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful films in the industry in the…

The 20 Best Films of 2021 (so far)

The best films of the 2021 list would never be complete without talking about the fact that cinemas are back in action (at least in some parts of the world). Also, while most of the film festivals from across the world choose to go online, Cannes, and possibly some other major ones are going to follow pursuit with their in-person, socially-distanced screenings outdoors.

The Birds: What Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 Classic Really Means?

The Birds is an allegory of nature turning violent, when you treat it as a joke. Melanie Daniels’ compulsion to do practical jokes is a bit far-fetched. The meaningless and petty joke that involved Birds is one of the many ways in which humans humiliate the creature. Caging them and moving them unnecessarily treating them as mere prop in a gag.