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
Channel 4’s Autumn Indian film season will kick off shortly with a brace of films from the late Bangladeshi director Tareque Masud, beginning with his most famous one, The Clay Bird (Matir Moina).
Set in 1960s East Pakistan, as Bangladesh was then known, the film focuses on Anu (Nurul Islam Bablu), who is sent to a madrasa (Islamic boarding school) by his strict and increasingly religious father in order that he might lead a more disciplined life.
Influenced by Satyajit Ray, the film is a study of childhood and family that was initially banned in its native country due to its critique of Islam. Continue reading
The next four films in Channel 4’s current Indian cinema season may not all live up to the parallel cinema (or art house or new cinema) billing of this post’s title, but I’m pretty sure Uski Roti will.
Directed by the late Mani Kaul, the 1970 is considered one of Indian New Cinema’s most significant films.
Based on a short story by the celebrated Hindi writer Mohan Rakesh, and shot in black and white, the drama is set in rural Punjab and tells the story of Balo (Garima), the young wife of a long-distance truck driver, Sucha Singh (Gurdeep Singh), and her young sister. Balo’s life revolves around her surly, absent husband, who comes home just once a week, and is rumoured to have a mistress (Savita Bajaj) in a nearby town. Continue reading
I posted details of the current run of Indian films on Channel 4 last week, but it turns out that’s not all the Bollywood that UK television viewers can look forward to.
Usually the channel’s spring season of films only runs to four, but there’s more this time and following Dabanng, Enthiran, My Name Is Khan and Udaan is Band Baajaa Baaraat (Bands, Horns and Revelry), 2010’s hit wedding planner romantic comedy staring Anushka Sharma and Reveer Singh.
Its simple storyline, lively songs and dance numbers appealed to the masses and made stars of its leading cast.
It’s that time of the year again when UK fans of Indian cinema either drink super-strength coffee or set the video/dvd/HD recorder/Sky+ (delete as appropriate).
Channel 4’s first Bollywood season of 2012 kicks off just before midnight on Sunday with the Dabangg, the Salman Khan staring blockbuster that became the highest grossing Indian film of 2010.
Dabangg (The Fearless One) is a tongue-in-cheek crime caper that combines action, romance, family intrigues and satirical comment on political corruption and power. Continue reading