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Maachis January 12, 2007

Posted by ujj in film makers, Mood: serious, Reviews, Screenings.

According to IMDB, this is Gulzars most personal film till date and so it seems. Gulzar, a manMaachis known more popularly for his lyrics, understands and portrays human emotion like noone else, the plot and the dialogues of Maachis seem to highlight this fact. Maachis is the story of the aftermath of the 1984 anti Sikh riots, following the assasination of Indira Gandhi after operation blue star, where young Sikh men and women were taken away by desperate police officials for questioning about the various extremist groups operational in Punjab at the time. One of the important notions displayed, is the irony, in which terrorists are born out of supression of the authorities that exist for protecting them.

Superb acing performances by actors like Chandrachur Singh, Tabu and Om Puri do justice to the brilliant plot which narrates the becoming of a few young men, unhappy with the system, into extremists. Unlike Rang De Basanti, this film actually makes a lot of sense and is much more mature than a group of angry collegians shooting out. Tabu and Om Puri got national awards for this film. Maachis is a typical example of film-noire.

The songs are simply beautiful. Chappa Chappa Charkha Chale and Chod Aye Hum Wo Galiyan are to this day one of the most popular songs, not just in Punjab, but the rest of the country too. Gulzar known for portraying complex emotions into 5 minute songs, has done a great job in making a standard length Hindi film. The film is not the best or the most accurate political description of the 1984 riots aftermath but it doesnt aim to do so. It aims to show the case of families that suffered then and that it accomplishes very well. Its perhaps one of the most simple and yet popular films of the Indian film industry. Should’nt miss an opportunity to watch it, in a group if possible, its one of those films that rise to become universal, its complete effect takes over you, if you’re in a group.


Chronicles of Faith August 30, 2006

Posted by ujj in Screenings.


A special screening of a film made by the MDes Group of DA-IICT is going to be held on Friday, 1 September 9:00 pm in the OAT. According to Nidhi Gulatee, one of the studentsinvolved in making of the film:

Chronicles of faith is a docu-fiction movie, an autobiography of an old earthen lamp which has been kept lit for 600 years. It is sitting in a niche in one of the monuments in Ahmedabad. Presently, an old man takes care of it making sure it never blows out. The lamp is a tiny lifeless entity. Hence it wonders why people believe in it and bow down to it. Each person interviewed in the film has a different story to answer this; a different reason to believe or not believe in this lamp. In the docu-fiction, the lamp delves into the foundations of faith as it explores the reason of its existence.

Runtime- 15 mins.

Students involved- Nidhi Gulatee, Sumit Kumawat, Ami Ahalpara, Rashmi Singh and Bhakti Padia.
Actors from Campus – Ankit Mundra and Bushra Firdaus.

The film will be followed by our regular weekend screening. Check the local intranet site for more info.

The Best of Shyam Benegal August 25, 2006

Posted by ujj in film makers, Screenings.
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The success that New India Cinema enjoyed in the 1970s and early 1980s could largely be attributed to Shyam Benegal’s quartet Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975), Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977), which were artistically superior yet commercially viable films. Tapping fresh talent mainly from the FTII and NSD like Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Amrish Puri, Benegal has made several sensitive and stimulating films.Nephew of Guru Dutt, Founder of the Hyderabad Film Society and a former Ad Filmmaker, Ankur, his first feature film, is set in rural South India where Surya, a zamindar’s son arrives from the city to oversee his father’s estate. Bored and sexually frustrated, he seduces his attractive maidservant, wife of a deaf-mute labourer. The discovery of the maidservant’s pregnancy and the arrival of Surya’s wife who senses her husband’s involvement bring matters to a head. The film is memorable for its engrossing details of rural life and its exposure of the feudal system that is brutal and indifferent and is helped by a powerful film debut by Shabana Azmi as the maidservant. Ankur not only won several awards including the National Award for Shabana but also had a good showing at the Box Office. Ankur will be screened on 26, August, Saturday in the OAT.

Info on Shyam Benegal taken from here.

More info on Shyam Benegal can be found here.

The Motorcycle Diaries in Rain August 24, 2006

Posted by ujj in inside story, Screenings.

It kept drizzling for two and a half hours straight, ocassionally picking up pace and becoming unbearable, but for some 30 odd people sitting in the Open Air Theatre that night, running for cover did not seem too friendly an option. One of the veterans of the club did make a routine announcement asking them whether to continue the film or not, only to receive unkind words on his act of disturbance to a unique film watching experience, which he intended meant a “YES” (of course no further announcement was made again). Probably the exuberance of youth in the one of the most iconic figures of modern history, the spanish chipi chipi music and beautiful women kept them fixed to the concrete seats.

Covers (a temporary on_the_site solution) were brought out for the equipment, and for the next two hours of the film, it was forgotten that the rain meant a problem for open air film screenings. For the workmen of the film club, work was never so adorable. So when Che crossed the river to reach the other side of the village to celebrate his birthday with people suffering from leprosy, the film club guys celebrated their newly found solution to a weather proof screenings, ocourse it requires wonderful audience and itd not fool proof, but as Ive heard, theyr workin on it.

May the force be with them!!

Behind Enemy Lines August 18, 2006

Posted by ujj in Mood: WTF, Reviews, Screenings.

A typical masala fast paced action film. What makes it different is that the hero fights for belhis survival in more believable ways (read: runs, hides and asks for lifts) . Owen Wilson has crashed in enemy territory and is now alone. He runs to reach a safe ground where he can be picked up. Gene Hackman is a the captain of the aircraft carrier (a ship) from where Owen left, he talks to Owen and we get to hear some great dialogues. Ofcourse occasionaly we have the same old American_technology_greatest spirit displayed in as Gene locates Owen from a sattelite image (ha ha !) . The rest of the film is really interesting especially when the enemies claim on the TV that theyve got Owen. Fabulous watch for action film lovers and I mean action films not like SunnyDeolAction films!

The Motorcycle Diaries August 18, 2006

Posted by ujj in Mood: serious, Reviews, Screenings.
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A 23 year old medicine student moves out to discover the world on a banged up bike with his friend. The film follows the development of the young man’s political views and the making of perhaps the most iconic revolutionary figure of the latter half of the 20th century. The young man was Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.

The film does not barrage you with political ideas or theories; it grows on you, soaking you up. That is exactly the way such movies ought to be. Beautiful cinematography and the background score (won Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song) adds to the atmosphere. Acting is first rate. Garcia Bernal after ‘Amores Perros’ lives up to expectations portraying ‘Che’ in an understated yet powerful performance. The supporting cast also performs admirably.

It’s easy to get preachy in a film like this. But Walter Salles (the director) doesn’t get carried away. You ought not to miss this one. Also, grab the book (of the same name) from the library.

Review by: oranjee