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Hachette’s The Bollywood Pocket Book Series, A 4-in-1 Set, by Diptakirti Chauduri: Get set

Hachette’s The Bollywood Pocket Book Series, A 4-in-1 Set, by Diptakirti Chauduri: Get set Yes, it’s a pun. I mean you should get the set, buy the book, or rather, books. They look deceptively thin when ensconced in the hardcover box, but provide a substantial reading once you pull them out. Book one is about Iconic Dates, with Raj Kapoor and Nargis on the cover, under an umbrella. The author reminds us about the calendar of events that begin with Raja Harishchandra’s releas...

ATxSG, 2: Post-event Official Press Release

ATxSG, 2: Post-event Official Press Release Twelve days after the conclusion of Asia Tech x Singapore, which ended on 03 June, there came a press release by email. It is reproduced here, with minimal editing. As Singapore’s largest technology event since the reopening of its borders, ATxSG brought together 16,600 hybrid (live and online) attendees from 93 countries and regions and 26,000 event visits (this includes repeat visitors). The Singapore Expo, located near the Changi airport ...

Medium Spicy, Review: Only medium, not spicy

Medium Spicy, Review: Only medium, not spicy This had to be a new take on love. In its promotion, the makers of the film Medium Spicy (in Marathi language) quoted from William Shakespeare’s all-time love classic, Romeo and Juliet, “Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake – it is everything except what it is!” – Act 1 Scene 1. The movie begins with a reunion party of former catering college students, where liquor ...

A National Song from The Tibetan Plateau ——The film " Tibetan Horse" is in International Promoting and Shooting

After experiencing the challenging winter of wind, snow, and severe cold, the snowy Tibetan plateau ushered in the midsummer of the year while the calendar turned to June. Tibetan Horse, a large-scale national epic film that has completed the shooting of winter scenes, has also been busy shooting summer horse racing scenes in Tibet. Qinghai Mantanhong Culture Media Co., Ltd., Xining Baita Art and Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Sichuan Miding Media Co., Ltd., Qinghai Linshui Media Co., Ltd., an...

Bhirkit, Review: Two deaths, one funeral, one election and three greedy inheritors

Bhirkit, Review: Two deaths, one funeral, one election and three greedy inheritors Bhirkit (Marathi for ‘greed’, an approximate translation), has its heart in the right place. It deals with a subject with which millions of Indians will identify, both city-dwellers and villagers. The team gets the setting, the casting and the milieu right. The emotions are palpable and real. And yet, the film fails to knit all these elements together into a tight narrative. Inspired by his own memo...

ATxSG 2022, 01: Covid effects result in lower participation, media gets the axe

ATxSG 2022, 01: Covid effects result in lower participation, media gets the axe It was where it began, for me. The location this year was neither the top-of-the-line Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Centre nor the centrally located Suntec City. AsiaTechxSingapore (ATxSG), the new avatar of CommunicAsia, moved back to Singapore Expo, where I had first visited it, some 25 years ago. Though a standard exhibition and conference venue, it just cannot compare with Marina Bay Sands. As an add-on, rooms i...

Trailer launch of Om, The Battle Within: One man, three wars

Trailer launch of Om, The Battle Within: One man, three wars Choreographer-director Ahmed Khan, who is adept at directing action as well, takes on the twin roles of co-producer and action designer, in the upcoming movie Om: The Battle Within, the trailer of which was released yesterday at the Juhu PVR multiplex. Present on the occasion were Khan himself, his better half Shaira Khan (co-producer), Shariq Patel (of Zee Studios, which is a co-producer as well as the worldwide distributor of the ...

Book Review ‘‘Film Appreciation’’ written by Mr. Utpal Dutta, translated by Dr. Dipshikha Bhagawati © Mr.Lalit Rao 28.05.2022

Book Review ‘‘Film Appreciation’’ written by Mr. Utpal Dutta and translated by Dr. Dipshikha Bhagawati © Mr. Lalit Rao (FIPRESCI) dated 28.05.2022.                                                          ...

‘‘The Tree full of parrots’’ (2021) directed by Jayaraj talks about compassion which is vanishing from society © Mr.Lalit Rao.

Indian film ‘‘The Tree full of parrots’’ (2021, Malayalam language) directed by Jayaraj talks about compassion which is vanishing from society © Mr.Lalit Rao (FIPRESCI) 27.05.2022  Cinema as an art form is important in India as more than 1000 films are made annually. Indian cinema is one of those rare national cinemas which has challenged the hegemony of Hollywood. Cinema as an industry gives numerous opportunities to various indigenous film industries to mak...

Spring. Seeing Hong Kong again: Review by Siraj Syed

Spring. Seeing Hong Kong again: Review by Siraj Syed How do you define a city? Or, rather, how do you re-define a city, after two years of a pandemic? Covid had varying casualties across the world, and Hong Konghad its share. The 5th wave of the deadly virus brought with it 20,082 new cases, while the total number of confirmed infections exceeded one million. That is a huge number, considering the city’s population of about 7 million. But while the severe impact of the disease meant a t...

aNEk, Review: Many a dull moment

aNEk, Review: Many a dull moment Many, several or various are the one-word translations of the title. The reference is to the various cultural and ethnic identities that inhabit India. This is popularly called ‘unity in diversity’. Under British rule, India consisted of hundreds of little ‘kingdoms’, most of which joined the Indian Union, when the British granted Independence. Collaterally, another nation, Pakistan, was carved out of India, and came into being a day be...

Haemolymph-The Invisible Blood, Review: Mumbai Police’s worst kept secret

Haemolymph-The Invisible Blood, Review: Mumbai Police’s worst kept secret Some real-life stories have been turned into good films, some have not. Haemolymph belongs to the latter category. Had we not seen 500+ Hindustani films about police excesses and third degree torture, Haemolymph (Oxford definition: a fluid equivalent to blood in most invertebrates, occupying the haemocoel) would have had some novelty. As it transpires, the real-life story of a man falsely accused of the 2006 Mumba...

Adrushya, Review: Invisible man meets blind twins

Adrushya, Review: Invisible man meets blind twins In the last two decades, Marathi films have thrown-up some real gems. They have also not fought shy of experimenting with both form and content. We have been treated to some films that were rooted deeply in Marathi culture and ethos, while there were others with more universal themes. Non-Marathi speaking producers, directors and writers have made their way towards Marathi filmdom, with varying degrees of success. Directed and co-written by a ...

Dhaakad, Review: Kan-gana Ran-aut-do Charlize Theron?

Dhaakad, Review: Kan-gana Ran-aut-do Charlize Theron? Whenever director Razneesh ‘Razy’ Ghai shouted action on the sets of this film, he must have meant either of two things: A. Kangana Ranaut, Arjun Rampal and a battalion of cronies get at each other, either with arms and ammunition, or fists, kicks and ambition. B: Some version of a lullaby is sung by someone, from at least four characters. There is little else happening. So, what? Is something more needed? Yes, surely! But wher...

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2-Song launch at Imagicaa: How far will you go to watch a film song?

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2-Song launch at Imagicaa: How far will you go to watch a film song? Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is the second part of the franchise, the title of which means Maze or Labyrinth. Imagicaa is an amusement park situated at Khopoli, some 80 kms from Mumbai. The invitation from the Public Relations was tempting: 1.00 pm - Media assemble time at T-Series office, Andheri West   2:00 PM - Departure For Imagicaa, with Media   - Media to be segregated in 2 buses   5:00 PM - ...

Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Review: A ban on soap and kisses instead of foeticide

Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Review: A ban on soap and kisses instead of foeticide Even a relatively small budget film from Yash Raj Films (YRF), with only two known names to tout, succeeds to a large extent in highlighting the hideous Indian social practice, seen predominantly, in a few states, of killing/aborting the girl child. Since marriage involves a large sum as dowry, which is given by the girl’s family to the boy’s family, the birth of a girl child is considered the genesis of a m...

Three trailers of Prithviraj: On stage, on screen and off-screen

Three trailers of Prithviraj: On stage, on screen and off-screen This is what the invitation, received on Friday, 06 May 2022, by WhatsApp, from YashRaj Films read: “Hello, Yash Raj Films cordially invites you to the trailer launch of their first historical film - based on the life of Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan starring superstar Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chhillar and directed by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi (Padma Shri). Date: 9th May 2022- Monday Time: 10.30am Venue: YRF Studios, Sta...

Village Council ‘Panchayat’ to have second session on Amazon Prime Video from 20 May

Village Council ‘Panchayat’ to have second session on Amazon Prime Video from 20 May One of the most loved web series, Panchayat, is all set to return on your small screen for its Season 2. Amazon Prime Video launched its long trailer at a packed media gathering at the swanky J.W. Marriott Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai, on May 09.  The village comedy-drama is based on the premise of a city man migrating to a village and the situations he faces there, which are poles apart from city iss...

Wonder-dancer AJ stakes claim as India’s answer to MJ

Wonder-dancer AJ stakes claim as India’s answer to MJ Amit Jadav, aka AJ, a Mumbai prodigy, is a singer-dancer who can leave you wonder-struck with moves that are leaves right out of Michael Jackson (MJ)’s work-book, including the moonwalk and spin. At the performance on 07 May at the Birla Matushri Sabhagar, South Mumbai’s prestigious hall, a packed auditorium found their jaws dropping when he wowed them with act after act, syncing hundreds of moves with video-projection of...

RIFF 08, 2022, 15: Films I saw at the Rajasthan International Film Festival

RIFF 08, 2022, 15: Films I saw at the Rajasthan International Film Festival Princes and Vagabonds, Directed by Fabienne Le Houérou: Brave attempt but low cinematic values make this documentary watchable only for its informative and curiosity factors.   Pilibhit (The Yellow Wall), Directed by Ashutosh Chaturvedi, Pankaj Mavchi: Inspired from true stories, it tells you how the place got it curious name, has a good treatment and powerful performances.   ...

Mere Desh Ki Dharti, Review: Suicide or pesticide, you decide

Mere Desh Ki Dharti, Review: Suicide or pesticide, you decide You get two films for the price of one when you, or if you, go to see Mere Desh Ki Dharti. Now, if you happen to arrive a little late, after the opening credits, the first half makes you wonder whether you have been ushered into the wrong auditorium of a multiplex, and the film you are watching is not Mere Desh Ki Dharti. On the other hand, if you arrived on time, you must wonder whether the reels have got mixed-up (what an archaic...

Parveen Babi, A Life--by Karishma Upadhyay: Break-ups and break-downs

Parveen Babi, A Life--by Karishma Upadhyay: Break-ups and break-downs Appearing out of nowhere, Parveen Babi made her screen debut with the film Charitra, acting opposite cricketer Salim Durani, in 1973. That was not the first film she had signed, which credit goes to Dhuen Ki Lakeer, released the following year. Her career really took off with Majboor (1974, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan) and she was seen in some 58 films totally, the last one releasing in 1991, years after she had given up a...

Dehati Disco, trailer launch: Ace choreographer Ganesh Acharya debuts as leading man

Dehati Disco, trailer launch: Ace choreographer Ganesh Acharya debuts as leading man They chose International Dance Day to release the trailer of the film Dehati (Rural) Disco at the deserted and decrepit Golden Tobacco cigarette factory, in suburban Vile Parle, Mumbai, which stopped production of their Panama brand decades ago, and the place, which was a landmark once upon a time, now constitutes vestigial remain. Dance has always been the heart of our Indian cinema. We have seen several ic...

Heropanti 2, Review: A bullet in his bum

Heropanti 2, Review: A bullet in his bum Denizens of Mumbai and environs might not need the meaning explained, but this is an international portal, and an explanation is in order. The title comes from two words, hero, which needs no translation, and panti, which does. Most probably, it is derived from panthi, which mean traveller. Panthi easily becomes panti, the combination with hero standing for one who follows the hero’s, or heroics’, path. Lead actor Tiger Shroff took a walk a...

Runway 34, Review: Plane truth

Runway 34, Review: Plane truth Yes, the film is about an aircraft, and a pilot’s attempt to land against all odds on Runway 34. But that is exactly half the story. The film has no action whatsoever, not even a single blow, and it is not even about hijacking. A married man, with a young daughter, is piloting a plane with 150 persons on board, when it hits rough weather. How he manages to avoid disaster constitutes the portion before the intermission. Next appears a much feared man who is...

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