Archive for August, 2012

Telluride Film Festival has finally unveiled its line-up for this year. And Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s documentary film “Celluloid Man : A Film on P K Nair” will have its screening at the fest. According to official release, it will be part of Telluride’s intimate screening room which features behind-the-scenes movies and portraits of artists, musicians and filmmakers.

(Click on the pics to enlarge)

Here’s more on the film from its official FB page…

Celluloid Man is a tribute to an extraordinary man called Mr. P.K. Nair, the founder of the National Film Archive of India, and the guardian of Indian cinema. He built the Archive can by can in a country where the archiving of cinema is considered unimportant.

The fact that the Archive still has nine precious silent films of the 1700 silent films made in India, and that Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema, has a place in history today is because of Mr. Nair. He influenced generations of Indian filmmakers and showed us new worlds through the prism of cinema.

As Mr. Nair speaks, we see the history of Indian cinema unfold. What emerges is a portrait of a man so in love with cinema that even his family had to take a backseat to his obsession. Mr. Nair is not just the founder of the National Film Archive, but a living, breathing museum of cinema. Even in retirement, he chooses to stay across the road from the Archive watching over his legacy. The fact that India has a cinematic heritage at all is the singlehanded achievement of this man.

He is truly India’s Celluloid Man. There will be no one like him again.

Cinematography: Santosh Thundiyil, K.U. Mohanan, Avik Mukhopadhyay, P.S. Vinod, H.M. Ramachandra, R.V. Ramani, Vikas Sivaraman, Mahesh Aney, Kiran Deohans, Ranjan Palit, V.Gopinath

Editor: Irene Dhar Malik

Sound Design: Mohandas

Music: Ram Sampath

Titles/Online: Huzefa Lokhandwala, Santosh Sabherwal

Associate Director & Research: Manju Parvathy Iyer

Post Production: Pixion, Prime Focus. Processing: Kodak, EFX Prasad

– 35mm; English with Subtitles; Duration: 163 mins

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1; Dolby 5.1; Colour / B&W

To know more about the film, click here for its Facebook page.

Every decade Sight and Sound magazine does this poll to find out the Greatest films of all time. Filmmakers, critics, festival programmers, academics, distributors, writers and other cinephiles are asked to vote for the poll. We are not sure about the criteria on the basis of which the people are asked to vote, but this year five Indian filmmakers are there in the voting list – Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Amit Dutta, Anurag Kashyap, Ashim Ahluwalia and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. And a strange thing caught our eyes – Raqs Media Collective has voted in Director’s category! Can anyone explain that?

Here’s the list of top 10 films that Indian directors voted for…

1. Adoor Gopalkrishnan

400 Blows, The – 1959 –  François Truffaut

Andrei Rublev – 1966 – Andrei Tarkovsky

Boy, The – 1969 – Oshima Nagisa

Pather Panchali – 1955 – Satyajit Ray

Pickpocket – 1959 – Robert Bresson

Puppetmaster, The – 1993 – Hsiao-hsien Hou

Rashomon – 1950 – Akira Kurosawa

Round-Up, The – 1966 – Miklos Jancso

strada, La – 1954 – Federico Fellini

Tokyo Story – 1953 – Ozu Yasujirô

2. Amit Dutta

Andrei Rublev – 1966 – Andrei Tarkovsky

Distant Thunder – 1973 – Satyajit Ray

Lancelot Du Lac – 1974 – Robert Bresson

Late Spring – 1949 – Ozu Yasujirô

My Ain Folk – 1973 – Bill Douglas

My American Uncle – 1980 – Alain Resnais

Arguments and a Story or Reason, Debate and a Tale – 1974 – Ritwik Ghatak

Rikyu – 1989 – Teshigahara Hiroshi

Saint Dnyaneshwar –     XXX – Vishnupant Govind Damle/Sheikh Fattelal

Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors – 1964 – Sergei Parajanov

3. Anurag Kashyap

Apocalypse Now – 1979 – Francis Ford Coppola

Bicycle Thieves, The – 1948 – Vittorio de Sica

Breathless – 1960 – Jean-Luc Godard

Fanny and Alexander – 1984 – Ingmar Bergman

Godfather: Part II, The – 1974 – Francis Ford Coppola

Head-On – 2003 – Fatih Akin

Peeping Tom – 1960 – Michael Powell

Pyaasa – 1957 – Guru Dutt

Taxi Driver – 1976 – Martin Scorsese

Trainspotting – 1995 – Danny Boyle

4. Ashim Ahluwalia

Adversary, The – 1971 – Satyajit Ray

Bogey-Man, The – 1980 – Govindan Aravindan

Close-Up – 1989 – Abbas Kiarostami

End of Summer, The – 1961 – Ozu Yasujirô

Golden Thread, The – 1965 – Ritwik Ghatak

Mirror – 1974 – Andrei Tarkovsky

Nanami: Inferno of First Love – 1968 – Hani Susumi

Pale Flower – 1964 – Shinoda Mashiro

Unsere Afrikareise – 1961 – Peter Kubelka

Veronika Voss – 1982 – Rainer Werner Fassbinder

5. Vidhu Vinod Chopra

8½ – 1963 – Federico Fellini

Breathless – 1960 – Jean-Luc Godard

Citizen Kane – 1941 – Orson Welles

Cloud-Capped Star, The – 1960 – Ritwik Ghatak

Emperor of the Mughals, The – 1960 – K. Asif

Lawrence of Arabia – 1962 – David Lean

Mother India – 1957 – Mehboob Khan

Pather Panchali – 1955 – Satyajit Ray

Pyaasa – 1957 – Guru Dutt

Rashomon – 1950 – Akira Kurosawa

– You can click on the filmmakers names to go their voting page and know more about the films.

– To know about the films that other Indian voters voted for, click here. You can go to the individual pages and scroll down to read their notes as well.

– To know more about the poll in details, click here and here.

The documentary film “Fire In Babylon” will have a theatrical release in India on 21st of Sept, 2012. It will be released under PVR Director’s Rare series.

If you haven’t heard about the docu, here’s the official release…

From the Oscar winning producers of One Day in September and The Last King of Scotland, comes the relentlessly entertaining cricket film FIRE IN BABYLON. The film charts the glorious supremacy of the West Indies cricket team throughout the late ‘70s and ‘80s.

A display of dominance at the highest level – longer than any team in the history of sport – in a game previously reserved for the privileged elite, their symbolic declaration was clear: people of colour will not be dictated to – on a cricket ground or in any other field of life.

Recounting the defiant and symbolic dominance of the West Indies cricket team throughout the late 1970s and 80s, FIRE IN BABYLON charts the events, which led to the rise of the West Indian cricketers becoming a fearsome and all conquering force to be reckoned with, striking a wonderfully defiant blow at the forces of white prejudice world-wide, inspiring a generation still struggling to emerge from racial discrimination.

FIRE IN BABYLON is told completely from a West Indian perspective, featuring a host of some of the legendary and revered players of the time and significant names from Caribbean culture including Sir Viv Richards, Michael Holding, Sir Clive Lloyd and Bunny Wailer, against a soundtrack of vibrant and classic music by the likes of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Gregory Issacs, Faithless and Horace Andy.

And here’s the new trailer of the film..

Click here to go to its FB page for more details and updates.

Ranbir Kapoor films have become a must-wait-for event and Pritam’s music the reverse – must-avoid-if-possible. Yet, surprise! What’s this mellifluous music we hear trailing off our TV sets and music players? Is it really Barfi music composed by Pritam? It is and a delicious blend of warmth-quirk-melody at that! Here’s the music review by the almost-resident MFC music reviewer @rohwit. This post was originally written for and published here. But Rohit being a friend, we thought he wouldn’t really mind if we stole it. 😉 Enjoy the spoils!

Ala Barfi! – Right from the first moment when you hear the whistle, you know this song is all about fun! A narrative of the alleged ‘sad’ life of Barfi, the song takes a lighter take on the situation rather than brooding over it (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, take note). There are 2 versions of this song. One is sung by Mohit chauhan and one by Swanand Kirkire. The version by Mohit Chauhan is peppier and stays true to the mood that the song aims to create. Swanand kirkire on the other hand, gives a naughtier touch to the song (so much so that ‘Munna mute hee aansu bahaye’ part doesn’t leave any impact in his version as much as it does in Mohit’s). Both versions are good in their own right. I liked the Mohit Chauhan version better because it’s easy on ears. At times, with the Swanand Kirkire version, the voice is too heavy for a song that is to be sung lightly. In Mohit’s version, in each ‘antra’, you can hear some brief ‘tom and jerry prank style music pieces’ even as Mohit sings. Kudos to Swanand Kirkire for penning  superb lyrics though.

Main kya karu – The song starts very quickly and in a very kya karu from ‘Wake Up Sid’ mood. The song doesn’t have an elaborate music setting before the singer starts. Nikhil Paul George starts the song with less than 6 seconds of music into the track. The ‘guitar resignation of a note’ at every ‘uff’ in the song is cleverly placed. The ‘antras’ have a ‘hopeless in love’ mood to them which is immensely relatable and melodiously performed. The song again is very easy on ears and has a lazy feel to it due to the absence of ‘orchestra overload’ sort of music setting. Liked. Super liked.

Kyon – Papon, (I mean THE Papon!) starts the song with a very 1970’s beat accompanying him. You almost miss a romantic accordion from the setting. The sweet violin arrangement makes it up very well though. Excellently penned by Neelesh Misra, the song makes just enough space for Sunidhi Chauhan to take over one antra and leave us mesmerized. Excellent display of two master artists at work. The only grouse I have is that I left wanting to hear Sunidhi Chauhan for one more Antra. Thoroughly enjoyable and hummable. Papon, sing more for us, will you? Please! The 25 second-odd simple twinkling music arrangement towards the end of the song puts us back to sleep and the song ends.

Phir le aaya dil (Reprise) – Sung by Arijit Singh in a contemporary music setting (yes, with faint tabla throughout the song) and ghazal-like lyrics. This sums up the song best . The use of piano in between and the general mood of this song is just too good. There is another version of this song as well and we will go there in a minute but this song has more layers because it’s not an out-n-out ghazal. The vocals of Arijit are apt for the song (And reminded me of Shail Hada. Where’s he by the way?) Pritam, is that you? Really? Pleasantly surprised! For me, the best song of the album.

Phir le aaya dil – Sung by Rekha Bhardwaj, this composition is an out and out ghazal – very linear in it’s approach. Not many layers. Not sure if this will feature in the film. We have heard Rekha Bhardwaj sing many a ghazals such as this one so it doesn’t come as a surprise that she hugs the lyrics, hi-5’s the music setting and sings with her usual aplomb.

Aashiyan – Excellent accordion play starts this song and Shreya Ghosal greets us smiling. Nikhil Paul George makes another appearance and compliments Shreya Ghosal superbly. This is a happy song. There is  flute  and voilin play in between and it does to us just what good music should!  Yes, music to the ears. The adorable ‘almost’ yodelling is placed perfectly in the song and you can’t help but smile everytime it comes up. Excellent arrangement, this.

Sawali si raat – Beautiful piano starts the song and guitars drift away in the background. Arijit Singh whisper-starts the song. The song talks about ‘sleep’ but the singer sounds clearly out of place in this song. Not comfortable with the subdued singing, Arijit perhaps wasn’t the right choice of the song. The tune nevertheless is quite hummable (Youtube ‘versions’ of this ahoy!). The only blip on the otherwise excellent album and for this, I can’t penalize Mr. Pritam.

Phir le aaya dil (by Shafqat Amanat Ali) – A very ‘raabta‘ like start (initial notes remind you of the Siyah Raatein version of Raabta), piano and a gentle music arrangement, thankfully aided by sarangi this time starts this song and Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan gets on with it. The moment you hear this song you feel it is the ‘cleanest’ arranged and presented song of all the versions. Best part – you cannot (and should not) compare the 3 versions of this song. Arijit Singh’s version is blessed with more ‘feel’. Rekha Bharadwaj and Shafqat’s version is more directed towards singing it right. I cannot get over the excellent use of our very own ‘Sarangi’ in this version though. Not nitpicking but please do pay chotu attention to the way Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan pronounces ‘Baaki’. This is the version that will make you cry a bit, yep.

Special mention – Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan has to be appreciated for not choosing similar songs and falling into the ‘Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’ sahab wala ‘typecast’ groove.
Aashiyan – Nikhil Paul George goes on and about in this solo version. While the duet version sounds fresh with Shreya Ghosal (and if you have heard that version already), you will miss her voice in this one because the energy is a little low. The tempo, music arrangement (save for voilins) is pretty much the same. The only difference that I could make out was the spacing between the opening lines of the mukhda. The lines are spaced using violins so that the listener doesn’t feel that the male voice is singing the female part as well. Not a song that would make you buy this album on a stand alone basis but compliments the album very well.
It’s already been said, blogged and screamed that Pritam has outdone himself with this album and I will just reiterate it shamelessly! You can visualize the film when you hear the songs. If the teaser of Barfi looks like picture perfect painting, the music adds beautiful colors to it. Thrilled beyond words, Pritam has given us one of the best music albums of this year!

Take a bow, Pritam…I owe you a 5 star chocolate, for this tasty Barfi!

A new music video for Indian ocean’s popular song bula raha hai koi is out and it features actor Rajat Barmecha.

ROME FILM FESTIVAL
(FESTIVAL INTERNAZIONALE DEL FILM DI ROMA)
Calls for Entries in all categories for 2012.

– Rome Film Festival now has a new artistic director, Marco Mueller (who used to head the Venice fest) and they are introducing some new categories and going for a makeover.  Scroll down for all the details.

DATES : The New redesigned 7th Rome Film Festival will take place from November 9 – 17, 2012 and will be a ‘World Premiere’ festival with a selection of around 60 world premieres. There will also be a focus on new trends in contemporary cinema in a New Competition section called Cinema XXI (21st-century cinema)

 – NEW SECTION : Cinema XXI (21st-century Cinema) focuses on works that “reflect the continuous reinvention of cinema on the contemporary visual scene,” and will host a competition showing feature films, medium-length features, and short films, for a maximum of fifteen films.

– The Official Selection is composed of an International Competition, a choice of films Out of Competition, and two additional competitive showcases: CinemaXXI (21st-century Cinema) and Perspectives Italy.

– The Rome Film festival will give out more than 12 awards for World Cinema.

 – The 7th Rome Film Festival is now open for Entries.

Eligibility Criteria: All film submissions must be recent productions completed not prior to November 30th, 2011, and they must not have been presented in any other format or length, not even as works-in-progress, for submission to previous editions of the Festival. Under no circumstances may films that have had prior public screenings be presented at the Rome Film Festival. Exceptions may be made only for films presented exclusively in their own country of origin. Works previously presented in competition or out of competition at other international festivals or shown on the Internet will not be considered for selection.

 – To submit a film to the selection, one has to fill out a pre-selection entry form on the official festival website.

– The preview DVDs should be sent to Deepti DCunha, who continues as the India Consultant to Artistic Director, Marco Mueller for the 7th Rome Film Festival.

– The DVDs should reach her before 1st September, 2012. Filmmakers with films in post-production are requested to contact Deepti at the address below.

– The festival’s Director Marco Mueller will be visiting India in September for the final selection of films.

– All submissions (duly subtitled in English) should be sent to the contact details given below before the 1st of September.

Name & Address: Deepti DCunha. 23 Gautam Niwas, 7 Bungalows. Andheri West, Mumbai 400 053. India

Email: deepti.dcunha@gmail.com or d.dcunha@romacinemafest.org

WEBSITE : For complete rules and regulations, you can visit the Festival website at www.romacinemafest.it

The sixth edition of Film Bazaar in which the Screenwriters’ Lab is conducted for Indian writers with original screenplays, has announced its results. The Lab is held in partnership with the Venice International Film Festival and has selected six scripts this year.

1. Kanu Behl – Titli

2. Umesh Vinayk Kulkarni – Antaraal

3. Ruchika Oberoi – Island City

4. Siddhartha Sinha – Behind the Camera

5. Alankrita Shrivastava – Lipstick Under My Burkha

6. Anupam Barve – The Shadow Lines

– Film Bazaar will be held from November 21-24, 2012 alongside the International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The screenwriters’ will travel to Venice during the Festival for the first working session of the Screenwriters’ Lab with mentors Marten Rabarts, Olivia Stewart, Urmi Juvekar & Bianca Taal. The second working session will take place in Goa at the Film Bazaar.