IN A LONELY PLACE…(The Films of Mike Leigh & Kelly Reichardt)

A fun film festival programming assignment that encouraged us to make connections between director Mike Leigh’s work and another director of our choice! INTRODUCTION It’s all about those long-drawn-out silences. Or the never-ending rambles. People’s desire to connect but their inability to do so is a reality that humanist filmmakers consistently tap into to understand […]

Suspense AND Surprise in The Conversation (1973)

This academic paper conducts a formal analysis Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation (1973), extensively focusing on its cinematography and editing. Major Spoilers ahead. In his infamous interview with filmmaker and critic François Truffaut, Alfred Hitchcock details the critical difference between eliciting surprise and suspense from an audience. Using the “bomb under the table” analogy, the […]

Thappad (2020)

The rise in production and consumption of “social-message movies” in Bollywood of late has given birth to some actors’ careers (Ayushmann Khurrana), and somewhat resurrected flailing ones (Akshay Kumar). But, if there is one person, this movement has entirely changed (arguably liberated), it is director Anubhav Sushila Sinha. Take his output before the still hauntingly […]

Chhapaak (2020)

Major Spoilers for Chhapaak (Only if you have not seen the trailers) In an era whereby Bollywood has been content in churning out countless hagiographies and jingoistic propagandas to comfort the mass’ sentiments, the success of the fearless Meghna Gulzar deserves special praise. With Talvar (2015), the female director turned what could have been (and was in […]

Ghost Stories (2020)

The transformation of this anthology film series from being a one-off theatrical celebration of Bollywood in Bombay Talkies (2013) to a regular Netflix production that champions the idiosyncrasies of Hindi cinemas’ auteurs is an admirable one. The streaming platform affords these directors so often constrained by the need to bring in box-office numbers and obey Indian censorship’s strict guidelines […]

The Personal-Political Spectrum (via NYFF 56)

A question asked during the Q & A of Bi Gan’s fascinating “Long Day’s Journey into Night” brought about an answer from the young Chinese director that continues to linger in my mind. The person in the audience asked the director if he thinks contemporary filmmakers should focus on making emotionally driven films (like Gan’s […]