India

Adoor Gopalakrishnan – Kodiyettam (1977)

Adoor’s second feature film made five years after Swayamvaram achieved commercial success in Kerala, while reaching an artistic height.

Its structure is that of a festival in a village temple. I wanted to create an intimate experience of everyday rural life. It is structured in such a way as to look natural, as if there are no outside interventions. During the course of the film, the festival comes full circle, parallel to it is the inner development of the character as well. Read More »

Shyam Ramsay & Tulsi Ramsay – Bandh Darwaza AKA The Closed Door (1990)

Bandh Darwaza is the Indian version of Dracula. A childless woman visits the lair of an evil magician in order that she may conceive. When she gives birth to a baby girl the magician demands that she hand her over. She refuses and has the magician killed. Years later he is revived as a fully fledged member of the undead. He comes looking for the now teenage girl intending to make her his slave. Read More »

Amit Dutta – Nainsukh (2010)

Nainsukh is a 2010 film directed by Amit Dutta based on the life and works of Nainsukh, an 18th-century Indian miniature painter.The film contains meticulous recreations of Nainsukh’s paintings through compositions set amidst the ruins and environs of Jasrota palace. where the artist was retained.

The film premiered at the 67th Venice film festival, where it was received by Film Comment as one of top 10 films shown. It’s North American premiere was at the San Francisco International Film Festival of 2011. Read More »

Franz Osten – Achhut Kanya (1936)

Along with Franz Osten and Himanshu Rai, Niranjan Pal was extremely important in the making of this film. A synopsis from his memoirs:

This story was about “the ill-fated love of a Brahmin boy for a scheduled caste girl. As no equivalent film title could be found for Level Crossing, Himansu agreed to Achhut Kanya much to my disgust. The film was shot, edited and readied for release in just eight weeks and turned out to be an outstanding success. The Congress leader, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, specially came to Bombay to see the film at the Roxy cinema and gave it unstinted praise. Devika was hailed as the Queen of the Indian screen, though Ashok Kumar was to wait for a few years before having a similar distinction.” (Such is Life), ed. Lalit Mohan Joshi and Kusum Joshi, p. 240). Read More »

Satyajit Ray – Chiriyakhana AKA The Zoo (1967)

Chiriakhana or Chiriyakhana (Bengali: চিড়িয়াখানা; English: The Zoo) is a 1967 Indian Bengali-language crime thriller film, based on the story of the same name by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, directed by Satyajit Ray starring Uttam Kumar as Byomkesh Bakshi. The screenplay is written by Satyajit Ray. Read More »

Ritwik Ghatak – Jukti, Takko Aar Gappo (1974)

Ritwik Ghatak’s final film (made two years before his untimely death) features Ghatak himself in the role of Nilkantha Bagchi (the name is deliberately chosen to draw parallels between Lord Shiva’s blue throat after having swallowed all the poisons-of-the-world during the churning of the ocean and the character in the film), an alcoholic intellectual nearing the end of his life who journeys forth through Bengal, deep into the fabric of his past life, loves, and friendships. It is a not-so-veiled self-portrait of the director himself. Read More »

Mani Kaul – Yatrik AKA Passenger (1966)

Mani Kaul’s early short film Read More »