A blog by Shekhar Deshpande, Arcadia University

Miss Lovely (2012)

| July 1, 2014 | 0 Comments
Miss Lovely (2012)

Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely (2012) leaves an uneasy impression. It is not about its mildly explicit images, titillating posters or exposure to the shady underworld of low-grade semi-porno, horror film industry. It isn’t about the unconventional focus on a low grade film industry. It is none of the above, though all of that lingers in […]

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Gravity and World Cinema– Video Essay

| June 25, 2014 | 0 Comments
Gravity and World Cinema– Video Essay

Here is a video that supplements the argument that I made with Meta Mazaj in our contribution to the Cinema Journal Dossier on  New Approaches to Teaching World Cinema- “Centers, Forms and Perspectives in World Cinema.”   Gravity (2013), directed by Alfonso Cuarón and Aningaaq (2013), a short film released by his son and co-scriptwriter, Jonás Cuarón. The two […]

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Nishi Pahuja’s The World Before Her-Two Extremist Dimensions

| June 25, 2014 | 0 Comments
Nishi Pahuja’s The World Before Her-Two Extremist Dimensions

Documentary film, more than any other film form, is beset with social responsibility. Once it was a tool of power, but it has long spoken truth to that power. For the films that do rise to the task, there is a burden on the viewers to ignite the conversation. At least. Without that, a documentary […]

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More than a Game- – The Only Real Game (2013), Mirra Banks

| June 4, 2014 | 0 Comments
More than a Game- –  The Only Real Game (2013), Mirra Banks

Mirra Banks begins her documentary with pristine and picturesque images of life in Manipur, that remote state near Burma that India only forgetfully remembers. In fact, it remembers the place mostly when stories of rebellion/ the separatists appear in the Press. Banks assumes nothing, introducing the place, the images and the people. With Melissa Leo’s […]

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Rangbhoomi (2013), Kamal Swarup

| June 4, 2014 | 0 Comments
Rangbhoomi (2013), Kamal Swarup

In the precious biographical details of Dadasaheb Phalke’s life that we know, he gave up on cinema after making some 95 films and scores of shorts and went to Banaras. He wrote a play called Rangbhoomi, with a strong autobiographical slant. Kamal Swaroop’s documentary on this phase of Phalke’s life, he says, is an “invocation […]

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Liar’s Dice, (2014), Geethu Mohandas– Exemplary

| June 4, 2014 | 0 Comments
Liar’s Dice, (2014), Geethu Mohandas– Exemplary

This is a road movie. But in Geethu Mohandas’ debut feature; it is about class, divide between the city and the remote areas, between the profits of the capital’s expansion and the cold, brute realities of manual labor and between the deeper suspicions among genders that are trapped in cultural values. It is an unwitting […]

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Nehru on Children’s Films

| May 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
Nehru on Children’s Films

Came across this little gem on

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New Approaches to Teaching World Cinema

| April 10, 2014 | 0 Comments
New Approaches to Teaching World Cinema

Meta Mazaj and I published a piece in Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier edited by Diane Carson and William Costanzo. The topic: “New Approaches to Teaching World Cinema Since teaching world cinema is our concern as much as writing on it, this was a very useful exercise. The connection between Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (2013) and Jonás […]

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Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children (2013)

| April 30, 2013 | 0 Comments
Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children (2013)

When one of the most accomplished writers of our time, whose language, imagery and allegorical deft have transformed many a social crises into figurative labyrinths agrees to work with one of the formidable woman directors with a strong portfolio of socially oriented films to have captured liberal imagination, one would expect some cinematic magic to […]

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Celluloid Man– Saving History for our Rich Past

| April 14, 2013 | 0 Comments
Celluloid Man– Saving History for our Rich Past

“You can see a hundred years from now; you can see a certain aspect of life which was there only at the time, on that day. It means a lot. It means more than Greek Tragedy where everything is heightened beyond compare. But those very small things get so beautifully manifest (on film). It is […]

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