Indian film season begins with Qissa and Bhuvan Shome

Bhuvan ShomeThe first of Channel 4’s two Indian film seasons begins tonight/in the early hours of tomorrow with Qissa (2013), an award-winning social drama/fantasy is set at the time of India’s partition in 1947.

It’s the first of six films to be screened over the coming weeks that draw on “moving stories from across the country”, according to the UK television station.

Director Anup Singh’s tale – told in Punjabi with English subtitles – tells the story of Umber Singh (Irrfan Khan), a Sikh forced, with his wife and three daughters, to flee his village in the new state of Pakistan.  Continue reading

Aparajito (অপরাজিত) tonight

Satyajit Ray's Aparajito (The Unvanquished)

Bengali films on TV are even rarer than posts on this blog in recent months.

So it’s nice to see Film 4 giving Satyaji Ray’s 1956 film Aparajito (অপরাজিত) an outing tonight/tomorrow morning.

Aparajito is the second part of Ray’s famous Apu Trilogy (following Pather Panchali and preceding Apur Sansar). Continue reading

বড়দিন মেলা – বাংলা দিনলিপি

Christmas Santas by @Jorbasa

Weihnachtsmarkt – Christmas fair (Flickr: @Jorbasa)

গতকাল বড়দিন মেলায়ের জন্য আমার ছট্ট ছেলেয়ের স্কুলে গিয়েছিলাম |

মেলাটা কুব মোজা ছিল (অন্তত, ছেলেদের জন্য) । ছট্ট ছেলে সানতা দেখে উপহার দিয়েছিলে – একটা নতুন পাদিনতন বালুর বই |

Continue reading

Bengali numbers (1-50) [audio only]

After posting my Bengali numbers (1-50) video to my recently reactivated A Tangle of Wires on Facebook page it was suggested that – as good as YouTube is – isolating the audio file of my Indian father-in-law counting from 1-50 to help me with my pronunciation would be useful.

A quick play around with the remarkably user-friendly SoundCloud and here it is in its full, downloadable mp3 glory.

The Bengali Bonti and fish preparation

Maachwala – Cutting and Cleaning Fish the Bengali Way – New Delhi, India from Parvati Dev on Vimeo.

Despite the recent incursion of knives, peelers, graters, and other modern, Western-style kitchen utensils, the bonti is still alive and well in the rural and urban kitchens of Bengal – Gastronomica

Or, in the case of Parvati Dev’s above video, it’s in the hands of the local – Bengali – fish seller who comes calling with fish and neighbourhood news that the ‘bonti’ makes an appearance.

Channel 4 ends its Autumn Indian film season with The Square Circle

Daayra film posterIt looks like Chanel 4 will end this Autumn’s Indian film season with The Square Circle (Daaryaa).

The 1996 drama is set on the north-eastern coast of India and tells the story of a transvestite and an abducted girl who find friendship.

The abducted girl (Sonali Kulkarni) suffers terrible violence at the hands of a group of men she encounters. But, escaping them, she finds refuge with a transvestite (Nirmal Pandey). Continue reading

Channel 4 prepares to screen English Vinglish, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Lootera and B.A. Pass

English Vinglish film posterWatching the beautifully shot, measured and thoughtful With You, Without You recently was very enjoyable.

But, as much as I enjoy the less-travelled roads of South Asian cinema, I do sometimes wish Channel 4 would show more of the films that get a mention on Love Bollywood on a Saturday morning.

So I’m particularly looking forward to the next instalment of Channel 4’s current Autumn Bollywood season, which will feature Sridevi in English Vinglish, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani with Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone and two other interesting-sounding recent films. Continue reading