Category Archives: Television

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

Bengali cinema documentary heralds start of Channel 4’s autumn Indian film season

Channel 4’s autumn Indian film season kicks off in the early hours of tomorrow morning and its recent trend to look further than the Mumbai film industry continues.

It begins, unusually, with a documentary in Bengali – though made by Polish director Andrzej Fidyk – about a mobile cinema run by Mr Battu and his two assistants.

Battu’s Bioscope (1998) is the first in a seven-strong run of documentaries about the many faces of India’s obsession with cinema titled Cinema On Cinema and will be followed later next month a quintet of Bollywood feature films. Continue reading

Channel 4 rounds off autumn Bollywood season with Lata-Pakeezah double-bill

Pakeezah (1972) film posterAnd so Channel 4’s autumn season of Indian films will shortly come to end, but it does so in style with a double-bill combining a documentary on legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and a rare showing of the 1972 film Pakeezah.

Lata In Her Own Voice sees the singer, whose voice has appeared in films for more than six decades, talk about her life and work. (Trivia fans: this version of the documentary is distilled from a six-part series of the same name, originally shown on Channel 4 in 1990.)

Following straight on from the documentary will be a showing of the Meena Kumari starring Pakeezah. The film features Kumari as both a courtesan/ dancer rejected by her lover’s traditional family and then also her duaghter. Continue reading

Channel 4’s Centenary of Indian Film to begin with Zindagi Na Milegai Dobarra

Zindagi Na Milega Dobara Bollywood film poster Following on from posting the full lineup for Channel 4’s Autumn Bollywood season I can also confirm the first three films that will be shown.

First up is Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, writer/director Zoya Akhtar’s light-hearted comedy-drama about three friends and an extended, eventful trip to Spain.

As with her 2009 film Luck By Chance, Zindagi … also stars her twin brother Farhan Akhtar in a crew that this time includes Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif. Continue reading

The full lineup for Channel 4’s Autumn 2013 Bollywood season

Pakeezah Bollywood film posterFollowing last month’s sneak peak at Channel 4’s Autumn Bollywood season I now have the full list of films that will be shown thanks to Hypen Films.

Fittingly heavy on the classics, given this year’s centenary of Indian film, it makes for mouth-watering reading and my next post will have the first films and screen times Channel 4 have confirmed.

Of particular interest are the hard-to-find films Duniya Na Mane
(1937), Sant Tukaram (1936), Andaaz (1949) and – in a restored print – Pakeezah (1972). I’m really looking forward to the last of those, having heard either Raj or Pablo mention it many a time on the radio. Continue reading

Sneak peak: Channel 4’s Autumn Bollywood season

The centrepiece of Channel 4’s Bollywood programming, its Autumn film season promises to be a great one this year, coming as it does during Indian cinema’s centenary.

While Channel 4 hasn’t officially released any details of its main Bollywood season, for those anxious to get their filmi fix I can reveal perhaps just enough detail to whet your appetite. Continue reading

Channel 4’s Dev Anand season

Dev Anand in Hum DonoChannel 4’s begins a short Dev Anand season on Saturday with the film noir-style Baazi (The Gamble).

Baazi was the directorial debut of Guru Dutt, subsequently himself a noted actor, and stars Anand as a small-time gambler who struggles to make ends meet.

His sister has TB and is in the care of his sweetheart, Dr Rajni (Kalpana Kartik, whom Anand later married). Continue reading