Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sabad Nirantar aka Word Within the Word (2008)

Sabad Nirantar aka Word Within the Word (2008)
Director:Rajula Shah
Runtime:74 mins.

Sabad Nirantar is a search for the Word within the word; a poised reflection on the formless essence of reality expressed through the living resonance, continuing and constant exchanges among diverse worldviews, epochs and emotions of the indigenous spirit and its undying echoes enlivening the emergent and modern soul. It seeks to comprehend and expand upon the Bhakti movement, an important chapter in the social, political and literary history as far back as 12th century, in India, that of medieval mystic poets like Kabir, Gorakhnath, devout singers Meera, Sehjobai and others blooming from within the wretched of the earth and coming to form cogent dialogues across socio-philosophic fractures in an ancient landscape ravaged by history. Embarking upon a journey into the flux, the film finds within the zeitgeist, ancestral voices question and dismantle fatal stereotypes, those blind yardsticks of lopsided reason with which knowledge attempts to measure the past and present.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Revolución (2010)

Revolución (2010)
Director: Carlos Reygadas, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Rodrigo Plá, Amat Escalante, Mariana Chenillo, Patricia Riggen, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo García, Fernando Eimbcke
Country: Mexico
Runtime: 106min

Description: Made up of 10 short films, 'Revolucion' analyzes through the eyes of the directors what is the revolution today and what it means to the young minds of Mexico.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Figures of Thought (1990)

Figures of Thought (1990)
Director: Arun Khopkar

A film about three of our leading visual artists, Bhupen Khakar, Nalini Malani and Vivan Sundaram. It takes, as its point of departure, a glass mural on which all three were working, then zeros into each of them. It links them to their physical and mental worlds through cinematic devices like associative sounds, variable light and montage. Compositionally, the visuals aim to link with the styles of each artist, as well as the larger narrative traditions of India.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Daughter... Father... Daughter (2011)

Daughter... Father... Daughter (2011)
Director: Panahbarkhoda Rezaee
Country: Iran
Runtime: 70 min

The film poetically traces the solitary existence of three sisters living in the traditional central western region of Iran, where the occasional traveling salesman serves as a distraction from the general monotony.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Frida Kahlo: A Ribbon Around a Bomb (1992)

Frida Kahlo: A Ribbon Around a Bomb (1992)
Director: Ken Mandel 
Country: USA
Runtime: 49min

A tortured Mexican artist whose work reflected her physical and psychological pain, Frida Kahlo lived in the shadow of her more famous painter husband Diego Rivera during her lifetime. But in recent years there has been a steady revival of her work, which has gained new respect among the artistic community.
To the average observer, her paintings immediately appear to be incredibly dark, if not disgusting and sick. But an understanding of her background gives Kahlo's imagery a wider dimension.
"Frida Kahlo: A Ribbon Around the Bomb" is a documentary about Kahlo's life, but it's hardly the traditional form for this type of film. There are talking-head interviews with some of those who shared Kahlo's life but the framing device — and clearly the emphasis — for exploring her work (some 120 of Kahlo's paintings are shown) is a dramatic interpretation by actress/co-producer Cora Car-dona.
Using excerpts from a play (Abraham Oceransky's "The Diary of Frida Kahlo"), Cardona portrays Kahlo as a fiery, angry, unfulfilled soul who dwelt on death and embraced pain. During her childhood she suffered from polio and later was severely injured in a bus accident, from which she never fully recovered. She also could never quite get over being unable to have children.
Meanwhile, Kahlo's self-portraits reveal a range of dark, self-destructive feelings, whether her haunting face is on a fawn plugged with bloody arrows or on a body opened to reveal a steel post replacing her spinal column or whether she is shown in various stages of bleeding in hospital beds.
While some of this is unpleasant, there's a morbid fascination with this woman who was unable to come to terms with herself during her lifetime.
Some of Kahlo's history is glossed over or omitted completely (her affiliation with the Communist Party, her affair with Leon Trotsky) and her relationship with the older and physically imposing Diego Rivera is only briefly explored. There are also some dramatic moments that seem to be here more for Cardona's benefit as a performer than to lend any insight into Kahlo.
Still, despite its dwelling a bit too much in the Land of the Tortured Artist, much of this is quite compelling. Although, whether she should really be compared to Vincent van Gogh is arguable.
"Frida Kahlo: A Ribbon Around a Bomb" (the title comes from poet Andre Breton's description of the volatile Kahlo) is not rated but would doubtless get an R for language and for some of the imagery in Kahlo's paintings.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Directed by K.P. Sasi
Runtime: 90 Minutes

 A 90 Minutes Documentary Film on the Fabricated Cases on Abdul Nasar Maudany & Others.

This is a story of the post Independent India. Every year when this country celebrates freedom, there are thousands of innocent prisoners in Indian jails, waiting for justice without even a trial. Abdul Nasar Maudany is one such victim. As a Muslim spiritual leader, he reacted strongly against the demolition of Babari Masjid in 1992. His house was attacked and he spent nine and a half years in jail. All the charges against him were proven false and even the judgement makes it clear that the case was fabricated. He was released without any compensation. No trial on those who were responsible for such fabrication was conducted. But soon, Maudany was framed for another series of charges and he is still waiting for justice in Bangalore Parappana Agrahara jail. The documentary film shows that this is not an isolated case, but several Muslims, dalits, adivasis and activists from people's movements go through similar experiences. The question raised by the film is `why is a person spending so many years in jail in without being proven guilty?' This documentary film portrays the inner dynamics of the manner in which the present institutions of the democratic system functions, so that a large number of innocent people can be framed and fabricated with false cases and dumped in jails for long periods, without the provision of basic human rights as per the requirements of Indian Constitution.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Me and You (2012)

Me and You (2012)
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Country: Italy
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Lorenzo is a quirky 14-year-old loner. He plans to fulfill his teenage dream of happiness by hiding out in his apartment building’s abandoned cellar. To escape his overwrought parents, Lorenzo will tell them that he is going away on a ski trip with school friends. For an entire week, he will finally be able to avoid all conflicts and pressures to be a "normal" teenager. He plans to live in perfect isolation with his horror and fantasy books. But an unexpected visit from his worldly older half-sister Olivia changes everything. Their emotional time together will inspire Lorenzo to come to terms with the challenge of casting aside his disguise of troubled youth and prepare to soon be thrown into the chaotic game of adult life.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Like Someone in Love (2012)

Like Someone in Love (2012)
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Country: France | Japan
Duration : 1h 45mn

An old man and a young woman meet in Tokyo. She knows nothing about him, he thinks he knows her. He welcomes her into his home, she offers him her body. But the web that is woven between them in the space of twenty-four hours bears no relation to the circumstances of their encounter.

Le corps sublimé (2007)

 Le corps sublimé (2007)
Director: Jérôme de Missolz
Country: France
Runtime: 75 min

American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) is best known for black-and-white pictures of herself and of female models, which still draws new fans. Many of her photographs show young women nude, blurred (due to movement and long exposure times), merging with their surroundings, or with their faces obscured. Years after her suicide at the age of 22, her photographic works became the subject of much attention, including many exhibitions and books.

It's a Fiction-documentary about the short life of the photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-81) who used to photograph herself, mostly naked in strange places, until she committed suicide.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Most aka Bridge (An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge) (1960)

Most aka Bridge (An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge) (1960)
Director:Janusz Majewski

A very interesting curiosity here: another adaptation of Ambrose Bierce's An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, made famous by Robert Enrico's version (as part of his Bierce anthology, In The Midst Of Life) which was subsequently used as an episode of the Twilight Zone.  What's interesting is that Majewski's version was seemingly made two years BEFORE Enrico's, and yet shares a number of stylistic similarities with the later film >> did Enrico see this adaptation (made as a student film), or does the material just suggest a certain cinematic interpretation that both Majewski and Enrico followed independently?

Set during the American Civil War, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is the story of Peyton Farquhar, a Confederate sympathizer condemned to death by hanging upon the Owl Creek Bridge of the title. The main character finds himself already bound at the bridge's edge at the beginning of the story. It is later revealed that a disguised Union scout enlisted him to attempt to demolish the bridge, and subsequently he was caught in the act.  When he is hanged, the rope breaks. Farquhar falls into the water and makes a bid for freedom...

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Nirakar Chhaya AKA Shadows Formless (2007)

Nirakar Chhaya AKA Shadows Formless (2007)
Director:Ashish Avikunthak

A film trapped between two monologues. A lonely and abandoned wife’s fantasy comes to life when the paramour she invokes springs forth and transforms her reality. Shadows Formless is an interpretation of the Malayalam novella Pandavpuram by the distinguished novelist Sethumadhavan from Kerala.

Director's Statement:
This film is a stylized adaptation of a novel called Pandavpuram by an important Malayalam author, Sethu Madhavan. It explores the psychological universe of a lonely woman abandoned by her husband, awaiting a paramour who she believes will rescue her from the mundanity of her existence and bring passion into her life. This yearning stems from both her emotional need to overcome loneliness and a suppressed sexual desire. As the yearning translates into an imagined reality, the film travels through the daily life of this lonely woman, inhabited by a affectionate sister-in law and a paramour.

Contemporary urban society in India is increasingly faced with the problems of alienation and loneliness, arising from nuclear family units and rising levels of marital separation and abandonment. In the absence of the support of the larger joint family, this alienation can take on the nature of a psychosis. The film attempts to probe into the complexities of such a state, which blurs the boundaries between reality and unreal. This film contemplates upon the reality of such an imagined world through the use of the aesthetic and structural possibilities of the cinematic medium.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Katho Upanishad (2011)

Katho Upanishad (2011)
Director:Ashish Avikunthak

 “Teach me the path beyond death,” asks Nachiketa to Yama, the God of Death. ‘Katho Upanishad’ is a film that expounds on this basic quest of human existence. It is a film about a man's pursuit for nirvana. The film centers on the metaphysical dialogue between Nachiketa and Yama. It is an adaptation of a two and half thousand years old Sanskrit treatise of the same name, where Yama instructs Nachiketa about the path towards enlightenment. Structurally, the film is a triad with three chapters – the quest, the dialogue and the final liberation

Film contains only three shots

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Do Not Forget Me Istanbul (2011)

Do Not Forget Me Istanbul (2011)
Directed by
Hany Abu-Assad        
Stefan Arsenijevic        
Aida Begic        
Josefina Markarian        
Eric Nazarian        
Stergios Niziris        
Omar Shargawi
Duration : 1h 54mn

Six directors from the Balkans and the Middle East including Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now), and Aida Begic (Snow) have been enlisted to make short films for a portmanteau revolving around the city of Istanbul.
Do Not Forget Me Istanbul is being produced by Huseyin Karabe at Asi Film Production, Sevil Demirci at Yeni Sinemacilik and Emre Yeksan at YXN Film and is designed to demonstrate the cultural influence of the city throughout the centuries.
The other directors on the film are Serbia’s Stefan Arsenijvic, Eric Nazarian, an American of Armenian descent whose first feature was The Blue Hour, the Danish-born Palestinian Omar Shargawi (Go With Peace Jamil) and and Stergios Niziris from Greece.
Petros Markaris, the Greek co-writer of numerous films by Theo Angelopoulos, is the script editor and consultant, while Karabey, who directed My Marlon And Brando, is the artistic head of the project…

 Half Moon Strangers by STERGIOS NIZIRIS
Vangelis has to frequently travel between Thessaloniki and Istanbul to buy textile to sustain his job, even if he doesn’t like the Turks. Each time, instead of spending the night in Istanbul, he prefers to make the long round trip journey on the same day. He is stressed and lonely man and Istanbul has no interest for him. This time, following a fraud by the shopkeeper with whom he collaborates, his money is stolen and he has to stay overnight…

Dragan and Ana are having a vacation in Istanbul. Having been married for a long time, they are quarrelling continuously. During one quarrel at the Spice bazaar, Ana looses her husband in the crowd…

 The Jewish Girl by OMAR SHARGAWI
Fayez, a successful Palestinian writer living in London, has recently been in Israel to negotiate the adaptation of his latest novel to the screen with a film studio. There, he has met a young woman, Levana, with whom he had an affair. But a relationship between an Israeli and a Palestinian is no easy thing in these territories, so the two agreed to meet in Istanbul for a romantic weekend….

 Otel(o) by AIDA BEGIC
Young Bosnian actress Alma has come to Istanbul to prepare for auditions of Othello. On one side she is dealing with the jealous and incessant phone calls of her lover, on the other she’s trying. To prepare the part in the trendy hotel he has booked for her. At some point of the evening she convinces hotel employee Ayca to help her…

When Israel was created in 1948, Palestinian Samah was displaced and forced to settle in Syria. Her sister Zahra has not seen her since 62 years. Only now are they able to meet in Istanbul…

Armenak is a successful Oud player who is in Istanbul for the first time for an important musical event. His feelings towards the city, where his Armenian grandfather disappeared from “at the tip of the sword” on April 24, 1915, are very complex. Armenak arrived expecting to hate the city, but instead finds it full of familiarity…

The famous Greek writer Petros Markaris left his native Istanbul in the 60s after turbulent political and social conflicts. Now he is back to the city and visiting all the places that mattered to him one by one…