Nagraj Manjule – Fandry (2013)

htuz Nagraj Manjule   Fandry (2013)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Nagraj Manjule   Fandry (2013)

Fandry is a 2013 Indian Marathi language film, written and directed by Nagraj Manjule in a directorial debut. It stars Somnath Avghade and Rajshree Kharat as the film leads. The story focuses on a romance amidst caste-based discrimination. The film set in Akolner, a village near Ahmednagar is about a teenager from a Dalit (lower caste) family, who lives at the village fringe, and falls in love with an upper caste girl.
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Amit Dutta – Aadmi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniya (2009)

9ukd Amit Dutta   Aadmi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniya (2009)

thgc Amit Dutta   Aadmi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniya (2009)

One of the most exciting films of 2009: Amit Duttas first feature is based on three short stories by Vinod Kumar Shukla and Saadat Hasan Manto. Maybe it indeed is about the problems of masculinity in the modern world (the director says so, at least), but there’s so much more to find in these images. There isn’t one conventional moment in the film. Dutta, one of the most idiosyncratic directors working today, makes every single shot completely his own. Continue reading

Mira Nair – Salaam Bombay! (1988)

 Mira Nair   Salaam Bombay! (1988)

thgc Mira Nair   Salaam Bombay! (1988)

Plot synopsis from AMG:

Shot on-location on the streets of Bombay, Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay is the gritty tale of Krishna (Shafiq Syed, a runaway discovered by Nair), a boy kicked out of his home, and abandoned by the traveling circus he had joined. In desperation, he uses the little money he has to buy a one-way ticket to the nearest city, which turns out to be Bombay. “Come back a movie star,” the ticket agent tells him mockingly. In Bombay, Krishna joins a small community of street kids, and gets a job delivering tea. Soon, everyone in the downtrodden neighborhood knows him as “Chaipau” (tea boy). Krishna wants to save five hundred rupees, enough money to get back into his mother’s good graces and return home. Chillum (Raghubir Yadav), a streetwise young man who deals drugs for the local kingpin, Baba (Nana Patekar), takes Krishna under his wing. The sly but cruel Baba has a mistress, Rekha (Aneeta Kanwar), who works as a prostitute. She has a young daughter, Manju (Hansa Vithal), who has a crush on Krishna, but Krishna only has eyes for the girl they call “Sweet Sixteen,” a virginal teenager who is being forced into prostitution. Eventually, Baba fires the surly Chillum, and Krishna finds himself struggling to keep Chillum alive by supporting his drug habit. Many of the roles in the film are played by non-actors, including the street kids, and an actual madame who allowed Nair to film scenes in her brothel. The Harvard-educated Nair began her filmmaking career working on documentaries. Salaam Bombay, her narrative feature debut, won worldwide critical acclaim, and was awarded the Camera D’Or at Cannes.
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I.S. Johar – Johar Mehmood in Goa (1965)

l8n732 I.S. Johar   Johar Mehmood in Goa (1965)

thgc I.S. Johar   Johar Mehmood in Goa (1965)

Synopsis

Mary and Peter fall in love with each other and are about to get married, when Peter is asked to re-join his regiment to go to war. Shortly thereafter, he is missing, believed to be dead, leaving behind a devastated Mary who subsequently gives birth to twins, and leaves them on the doorsteps of two Goan households, and becomes a nun. Twenty four years later, India is a free country, while Goa is under the rule of the Portugese, Mary is the Mother Superior; Peter, who is still alive, is the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Goa, who has been entrusted the task of apprehending two revolutionaries by the name of Ram and Rahim – none other than his very own sons. Watch what happens when duo unleash a series of attacks against the oppressive Portugese regime, including robbing the Bank of Portugal, disrobing an arrogant Superindent of Police, Alburqueue, then setting his house on fire, joining hands with dreaded bandit Daler Singh, and abducting the daughter of the Goa’s Hakim, Rita. Continue reading

Girish Karnad – Utsav aka The Festival (1984)

utsav Girish Karnad – Utsav aka The Festival (1984)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Girish Karnad – Utsav aka The Festival (1984)

Playwright, actor, director, and theatre scholar Girish Karnad conceived this film as a popularly-accessible tribute to the glories of Sanskrit drama, turning one of the most beloved of classical plays, the ca. 5th century “Little Clay Cart” (ascribed to Shudraka) into a contemporary spectacle with A-list stars and music by major filmi composers. Lavish sets and costumes, jewelry and hairstyles, all inspired by classical paintings and sculptures, evoke the glories of the Gupta age, while saucy dialog in contemporary (if properly Sanskritized) Hindi recreates the playwright’s satirical vision of the demimondaine world of the city of Ujjayini. By reminding viewers that, for ancient Indians, “pleasure” and “profit” (kama and artha) were right up there with “virtue” (dharma) among the principal Aims of Life, the film can serve as a refreshing antidote to the over-emphasized philosophical and mystical preoccupations of the much-studied texts of the classical period (e.g., Bhagavad-gita). Its Rabelaisian cast of characters — the voluptuous and talented courtesan, witty cat burglar, pompous monk, wild-eyed revolutionary — mirror those found in the worldly-wise story anthologies of the classical period (such as those translated in J. A. B. van Buitenen’s Tales of Ancient India), and thus bring to life their urbane world of fleshly delights. Continue reading

Madhushree Dutta – Scribbles on Akka (2000)

ur9b Madhushree Dutta – Scribbles on Akka (2000)

In this short film on the life and work of the 12th century saint-poet, Mahadevi Akka, her radical poems, written with the female body as a metaphor, have been composed and picturised in contemporary musical language. Mahadevi, framed as Akka – elder sister, while leaving the domestic arena in search of God also abondoned modesty and clothing. The film explores the meaning of this denial through the work of contemporary artists and writers and testimonies of ordinary folk who nurtured her image through centuries in their folklore and oral literature. A celebration of rebellion, feminity and legacy down nine hundred years. Continue reading

Ashutosh Gowariker – Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India AKA Land Tax (2001)

 Ashutosh Gowariker   Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India AKA Land Tax (2001)

thgc Ashutosh Gowariker   Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India AKA Land Tax (2001)

Synopsis:
Considered to be a modern classic of Indian cinema, LAGAAN is a musical drama which tells the story of a central Indian farming village in 1893. The village waits for the monsoons to come and rain on its crops, but the ground remains dry and infertile. Meanwhile, British ruler Captain Russell (Paul Blackthorne) demands lagaan–or double normal taxes–from the villagers. When it becomes clear that they can’t pay, Russell challenges the villagers to a game of cricket, a game they know nothing about. Teaching the villagers about the game falls on the shoulders of farmer Bhuvan (Aamir Khan). As they begin to learn, the villagers are inspired to go up against Russell, with tax negotiation as the stakes for the game. Full of choreographed musical numbers and climaxing in a pulse-pounding cricket match, LAGAAN is a fun, heartwarming British/Indian production that should have no difficulties translating across other national borders. Continue reading

pixel Ashutosh Gowariker   Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India AKA Land Tax (2001)