The movie is an absolutely incredible, celebratory portrait of twentysomething life in New York City. While very tonally different from Baumbach’s other films, if you’re a fan of his work (or even if you’re not), this is a movie worth seeing when it’s finally out in theaters.
There’s definitely a reason that The Master has been getting so much buzz. The show was completely sold out and there was an enormous line to enter the theater; going to see the movie felt more like seeing a summer blockbuster like The Dark Knight Rises than a serious film at the Angelika. As the audience exited, the enthusiasm and awe for the film was palpable. Between The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild, this is shaping up to be a great awards season!
Though the film was unreleased for years because of disputes between its director and its studio, Margaret is worth the wait. The film is a beautifully acted and expertly written account of a teenager’s transformation after witnessing (and partially causing) a horrific accident. The film can be extremely disturbing and upsetting at times, but it’s definitely worth seeing, if only its incredibly incisive and intensely believable dialogue.
Adapting Midnight’s Children seemed like an impossible task, and I was doubtful that this film would actually happen until production actually started. There seemed to be far too much in the novel for an easy film adaptation, and Rushdie’s style seemed especially difficult to translate to the screen. That being said, I’m not one to get up in arms about a film’s fidelity to its source if the film can stand on its own merits. Even if much of the novel had to be cut to allow for a running time under three hours, I’ll be happy if the adaptation can both capture the spirit of the novel and find originality and innovation as a work of cinema.
The Island President is a documentary that chronicles the attempt of the (now former) president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, to push for the international action on climate change; for the Maldives, climate change is not a future problem, but an immediate threat to the island nation, which is in danger of disappearing under rising sea levels. The documentary not only explore the country’s troublesome history, but also expertly portrays how Nasheed’s efforts are inevitably weighed down by the high likelihood of failure. Available on iTunes, this is an important documentary that illustrates the immediacy of an issue that we often imagine in the future tense.
A Separation was extraordinary. I’ll admit that I was suspicious that this was another simplistic depiction of Iranian society (like Reading Lolita in Tehran) and that was the main reason its been so celebrated. Fortunately, this is not the case. Asghar Farhadi, the film’s writer and director, masters a perfect balance of subtlety and complexity. The film’s plot evolves so naturally and gradually that the monumental developments in the narrative feel perfectly intimate and understated. If you can, see the movie before it deservedly takes home the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
The Museum of Modern Art is currently showing a retrospective called Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema.
From the film exhibition’s description: Largely unknown in North America—except, of course, to millions of fans of South Asian descent—actor, director, and mogul Raj Kapoor (1924–1988) is revered not only in India but throughout the former Soviet world, the Middle East, and beyond for the films he made during the Golden Age of Indian cinema. This exhibition of eight legendary Kapoor films, presented in newly struck 35mm prints, offers an introduction to one of the most ravishing and influential periods of world cinema. Kapoor founded RK Films in 1948, and it became the most important Hindi studio of the post-Independence era—and the one most commonly associated with that nebulous and often misunderstood expression, “Bollywood.”
I can’t wait to go to some of these screenings!
Aparna Sen, one of India’s best writers, directors, and actresses.
Indian Actress Madhubala in her room - Photographed by James Burke in 1951
12 Angry Men is one of the most incredible films I’ve ever seen. The world has lost a true visionary.
I finally got around to seeing Rabbit Hole and I loved it. The film balances incredibly understated dialogue with overwhelmingly powerful scenes of grief. What could have been melodramatic and overwrought was intensely moving. I’m adding this to my list of movies that were robbed as this year’s Oscars, alongside Blue Valentine and Animal Kingdom.
Aishwarya Rai was at the Oscars apparently.
Promotional still for Singularity, starring Bipasha Basu, Josh Hartnett, and Abhay Deol and directed by Roland Joffé (who directed The Killing Fields and City of Joy, as well as the horrendous 1995 version of The Scarlet Letter)
The film is a love story told in two different time periods, one of which is the first Anglo-Maratha war. Bipasha Basu plays Tulaja Naik, a Maratha warrior, though you wouldn’t know it from this image (though this still from the film shows her in warrior garb). Based on this promotional material, it looks like some heroic colonials will be saving some brown women. I obviously don’t want to judge the film until its released, but this type of imagery just glorifies the idea of the helpless “native woman.”