Category Archives: Film

Opening credits

taxi_driverIt’s interesting how some films manage to accomplish so much with their opening sequences. The seven shot opening titles of Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) beautifully manages to establish the dark mood. Two of those shots are close ups of De Niro’s eyes, while other five show distorted images of a hazy and obscured Manhattan through the windshield of his taxi. We instantly know whatever we’re going to see in the film to follow is through Nero’s eyes. The distorted imagery reflects the deranged mind observing it. Continue reading

Kids of Persia

persian_childrenIf I were to recommend films for children’s viewing, 8 out of 10 films would be from Iran. Iranian cinema is known for its childlike innocence, moral values, rural beauty and poetic elegance. It is entirely different from the western media’s portrayal of post-revolution Iran, which paints a picture of war, repressive mullahs and fundamentalists. Propagandists still argue that the paradox is a direct consequence of the censorship there. The larger picture, however, is much more complex and interesting. Continue reading

Christy Daniel Lincoln

?????????????Once Christy Brown, then HawkeyeGerry ConlonBill the ButcherDaniel Plainview, and now Lincoln – it’s hard to believe that all these roles have been played by the same actor. The effortlessness, the elegance in his performances often make us believe that it is not Daniel Day Lewis mesmerizing us, but Christy Brown, or Lincoln, playing himself. Continue reading

The good, the god, and the ugly

1297-Gangsters-729x1024The Godfather (Copolla, 1972) is not just the best film of the mafia genre, but also a gold mine of characters and situations. It is difficult to track the number of films in Bollywood, which have either copied the film, or drawn inspirations from it. Well, the second most influential mafia film is obviously – Scarface (De Palma, 1983). With a rags to riches story, involvement of very little brain and bloodshed written all over, Scarface became the template for the 80’s and 90’s crime cinema of India. Continue reading

History, 24 frames per second

mughal-e-azamHistory is an interesting subject for cinema. It has stories to tell, and more importantly lessons to teach. While Chinese resort to their martial art and wartime dramas, Japanese make jidaigekis, Russians are known for their working class films, and Americans with very little history to tell, still fall back to their cowboy westerns and political dramas, it is rather unfortunate, that India despite of its thousands of years of rich history, vastly fails to replicate it in cinema. Continue reading