Tag Archives: Bollywood

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

Kahaani: a story in Kolkata

Kahaani film poster Vidya BalanI really enjoyed watching Kahaani (lit: story) recently, but two of the things that gave me the greatest pleasure about this Bollywood film were its setting for a short restaurant scene and the way the Bengali language was woven into the film’s plot.

There was much to recommend it beyond that, as it was also a great, a-typical, Bollywood film, with no dance scenes and little use of music. (Not, I hasten to add, that I think Bollywood films have to be a-typical or – heaven forbid, music-less – in order to be great).

The film also made great use of Kolkata as a backdrop – though admittedly I am always on the lookout for Kolkata on film, and it rarely makes it to glossy Bollywood films. 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

Gruesome music comedy

In the evening we went to the cinema. The film was a gruesome music comedy set amongst almond blossom in Kashmir.

I’m enjoying reading Eric Newby’s Slowly Down The Ganges, an account of the 1,200 mile journey he and his wife made in the early 1960s, but the line quoted above did make me wonder how many Bollywood films would qualify as gruesome music comedies.

Film Review: Mother India

Mother IndiaI’ve had this review in my blog’s draft posts folder for more than two years, but there’s no time like the present for talking about a 55-year old film.

Mother India is the quintessential Indian film of its time, combining themes of sacrifice, family, corruption, progress and honour (no name but a few).

It was also India’s first submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1958 and was chosen as one of the five nominations for the category, where it eventually lost to Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria. Continue reading

‘Hindu’ films now available on iTunes

Hindu films on Apple iTunesForgive me a moment while I indulge my snarky tendencies to point out that if Apple is serious about a particular genre of world cinema then it would be well advised to ask those tasked with producing copy on its behalf to double-check their work.

Alternatively, perhaps the technology giant actually believes films produced by the Mumbai movie industry conform to a single religion.

(Bonus points to readers who spot the irony of listing Singh Is Kinng as a ‘Hindu’ film.)

Action Replayy (film review)

Action Replayy Bollywood filmThe glorious technicolour titles for Action Replayy, leaning heavily on an Austin Powers idea of retro, promise much more than the film can deliver.

In a little over two hours it under-performs with its script, jokes, songs and acting. And yet it still proved to be an enjoyable ‘time pass’, though unlikely to meet its billing by a lonely Amazon reviewer as one of the best Bollywood films of 2010.

But, rewinding the (ahem) action a little and, with no chance of a repeat of last year’s Channel 4 Christmas Bollywood season, I chose to browse YouTube’s free Bollywood films listings, finally alighting on a title I recognised. Continue reading

Bengali film classic Pather Panchali on YouTube

Full length Indian films have been available on YouTube for nearly two years now, but it was only recently that I noticed a classic Bengali movie among them.

Satyajit Ray is India’s most famous director and his 1955 film Pather Panchali (above with English subtitles) is easily the best known Bengali film. Continue reading

Bengali links – Beyond Bollywood, Satyajit Ray institute, re-reading Tagore and re-naming West Bengal

This selection of Bangla links from my Twitter feed covers Bengali film, literature and politics.

All the links in the tweet images work, allowing you to click through to view the links, follow me on Twitter or even re-tweet any of the links.

Continue reading

4 reasons Lagaan is Bollywood’s Kind of Blue

Lagaan bookMiles Davies’ landmark album Kind of Blue is generally considered to be the one jazz album liked by people who generally avoid the genre.

More than fifty years after release it has a reputation founded on the timeless nature of the music. It’s jazz as it should be played – recognisable, coherent, but takes enough risks to avoid being staid.

Lagaan is only ten years old, but it’s Indian cinema’s Kind of Blue – one of the most recognisable examples of its genre. And here are four reasons why. Continue reading