Category Archives: Film

India on Film – BFI programme concludes with a Satyajit Ray season

Apu Sansar World Soutmitra Chatterjee Sharmila Tagore

The BFI’s India on Film season will conclude this month with a back-to-back showing of Satyajit Ray’s renowned Apu Trilogy on Sunday 10 December.

And if the thought of seven hours or so of Bengali cinema might be a bit much for one sitting, the London Institute is also showing the films – Pather Panchali, Aparajito and (pictured above) Apu Sansar – in single showings in the following weeks. Continue reading

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India on Film: Calcutta, West Bengal and other treasures from the BFI’s National Archives

Calcutta Kolkata trams BFI India on Film

I’m often amazed by the cultural riches that casually appear online for our use and enjoyment – Open Culture being an excellent contributor and curator to this trend.

Another is the British Film Institute (BFI), whose National Archives recently released a collection of newly-digitised films from India from the turn of the 20th century to partition. Continue reading

Channel 4 goes deep into Indian music for its first 2017 film season

West Bengal Baul musician Tuning 2 You

Bengali Baul musician (pic: Souvid Datta)

Channel 4 has unveiled details of its first Indian film season for 2017 and this time around it’s all about the region’s music.

The season kicks off with Tuning 2 You, a six-part look at Indian folk music, and that’s followed by films on Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain and a collaboration between Wynton Marsalis and a group Pakistani musicians. Continue reading

What are the best Bengali films to watch?

Satyajit Ray's Pather PanchaliWhen it comes to Indian films I am usually drawn to the easier-to-watch fare produced by the Mumbai-based industry.

A case in point would be the Bollywood film Race 2, which I am currently watching, and then there’s all those Salman Khan films I’ve seen since we got satellite television and the Star Gold channel.  Continue reading

Too much content, too little time

I’m listening to the new Dinosaur Jr album – up there with their best if you like that sort of thing – and wondering how I’ll ever keep up with all the, for want of a better word, ‘content’.

I bought my first Dinosaur Jr album (Green Mind – ok, but not the best one to start with) in a mall in Florida in 1992. Continue reading

Channel 4’s 2016 Bollywood film season

Ek Tha Tiger posterAfter the disappointment of having no Spring season of Bollywood films on Channel 4 this year and then the slightly underwhelming, documentary-heavy Autumn season last year, I’m excited by this year’s Autumn line-up of Bollywood films.

Those in charge of programming have struck what looks to be a really nice mix of new/old and left-field/populist films that takes in a crime thriller, an award-winning legal drama and more besides.

Assuming I remember to record it – certainly not a given if past years are anything to go by – I’ll finally get to see Delhi 6, whose songs were playing when I first started listening to Raj & Pablo. 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