It’s that time of year again – Indian film season on Channel 4.
This Autumn’s run of Bollywood films kicks off with first-time writer-director Anand Gandhi’s drama Ship Of Theseus.
The 2012 film is based on the intellectual proposition that questioned: As the planks of Theseus’ ship needed repair, so they were replaced one by one, until not a single original part remained – so was it then still the same ship? Continue reading
Given its European premiere at last week’s London Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya (The World of Goopi and Bagha) is an adaptation of Satyajit Ray’s similarly named 1968 Bengali film.
This time around the hapless singers are animated and their tale told in Hindi and, according to director Shilpa Ranade, the state-funded film is riding a wave of interest in animation in India.
Lists are generally worth about as much as surveys; the trick to divining their value invariably lays in finding out what questions where asked and who answered them.
Nevertheless I remain a sucker for lists, whatever their provenance, and that includes Amazon’s new UK version of its 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime, a wide-ranging reading list that manages to include The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Trainspotting and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Although it’s somewhat opaque in its ‘compiled by the Amazon Book Editors’ descriptor, it arrives just as I’m trying to work out what to read next having made one too many unwise-in-retrospect second-hand book choices. (It’s also, as usual, a chance to cross off the ones I’ve read – but that’s what lists are for … right?) Continue reading
The cliche about how the British communicate aboard – speak loudly, slowly … and in English – may not be entirely fair*, but the county still doesn’t value language learning.
At least that appears to be the message from a new report by business lobbying body the CBI, which says there is a growing need for people with language skills.
Somewhat typically there is no mention of Indian languages, though it’s difficult to see how, at least from a business perspective, there would be a need to prioritise Hindi, Bengali etc when not only is English the second most spoken language language in India, but the alternative is deciding which of the 18 or so official languages to pursue. Continue reading
Early morning wash and check for Ambassador taxis near Kolkata’s New Market (December 2012)
It’s difficult to know how long the decision by Hindustan Motors to close indefinitely the factory where Ambassadors were made will take to bite.
Certainly the iconic cars will hardly disappear overnight from the streets of Kolkata, where they make up most of the city’s taxi cabs, but the decision does mark the beginning of their end. Continue reading
British Pathé newsreels were famously shown in cinemas prior to a featured film and the company kept churning them out, despite the inescapable threat from television, until 1976.
Last month the entire British Pathé archive was uploaded to YouTube and the UK’s historic ties to India ensure the country makes a number of appearances in the 85,000 film collection. Continue reading
The last film in Channel 4’s current, short South Asian film season will be the Nepali film Saanghuro.
Director Joes Pandey’s debut picture is the story of a lower middle-class family living in an urban slum in Kathmandu and it portrays life as a constant struggle, according to Channel 4. Continue reading