It 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
Watching 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
And 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
Abhaas is the second film by Orissa actress, Bijaya Jena, who also stars in the lead role.
In the tradition of art (or parallel) cinema, it’s an unhurried tale and one that focuses on a feudal family in Orissa in 1955. Continue reading
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
Following 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
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
The next Indian film in Channel 4’s latest mini-season (Queer India) will be Chitrangada, a Bengali film that explores the country’s attitudes about homosexuality via a quartet of movies with central gay themes.
Director by the multi-award-winning, and opening gay, Rituparno Ghosh, Chitrangada is a multi-layered story about choreographer Rudra (Ghosh), who is staging a production of Rabindranath Tagore’s dance drama based on a tale from the Mahabharata.
While the production is in progress, Rudra falls in love with drug addict Partho (Jisshu Sengupta), who seemingly has no real feelings for the choreographer. Rudra then decides it’s not only his mind that needs to be shaped according to his innermost desires, but his body too. Much to the chagrin of his father, he decides to have a gender reassignment operation. Continue reading
The next part of Channel 4’s 2012 Autumn Bollywood film season will be the forthrightly titled Queer India.
So far details on just two films have emerged: My Brother … Nikhil and Fire.
2005 film My Brother … Nikhil was inspired by the real-life story of Dominic D’Souza, India’s first known HIV patient. Continue reading
Channel 4’s Autumn Indian film season continues with two more Vishal Bhardwaj films and, somewhat unusually, a Malayalam film in the form of Sancharram.
Bhardwaj’s retelling of Othello, Omkara, stars Saif Ali Khan playing against type as the dynamic and sinister Langda Tyagi, alongside Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgan and Vivek Oberoi.
It’s followed by The Blue Umbrella, which is based on a short story for children by Ruskin Bond, an Indian writer of British descent. The narrative, which explores the nature of envy and friendship, centres around the young Binya (Shreya Sharma) who falls in love with a gorgeous blue umbrella owned by a Japanese tourist. Continue reading