a few good indian films

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a few good indian films

Postby mukhos17 » Sat Feb 17, 2001 10:05 am

i was browsing the net quite thoroughly for quite some time. i was amazed to find that there is absolutely no information on indian films. though recently quite a few indian films have created more than ripples in important festival circuit. namely, buddhadeb dasgupta's the wrestlers (uttara), which got rave reviews, reception and rewards in many recently concluded festvals including venice last year. similarly jayaraj's karunam and m f hussain's gaja-gamini were shown in berlin 2001. i want to know whether indian films have lost all relevance in the western world or the unavailability of these films in us and europe is the primary reason for absolutely no interest in indian films among many of the so called film buffs of the greater world! i am eager to receive any post on indian films.

Re: a few good indian films

Postby acquarello » Tue Feb 20, 2001 10:32 am

Santosh Sivan's "The Terrorist" is on my Top 10 films for 2000. Although it is self-consciously artistic in a few places, the film raises some intriguing issues on revenge, fanaticism, duty, and affirmation of life.

I also greatly admire Deepa Mehta's courage, resilience and determination as a filmmaker in examining very serious and socially relevant issues of contemporary India in the Elements Trilogy ("Earth", "Fire" and "Water").


Re: a few good indian films

Postby Dizzy_Bird » Thu Feb 22, 2001 12:21 am

Here are some excellent Indian films you might want to consider investigating, of which the first eight are essential, all having been directed by the great Satyajit Ray;
1 Aparajito
2 The Big City
3 Distant Thunder
4 An Enemy of the People
5 The Home and the World
6 Pather Panchali
7 Two Daughters
8 World of Apu
9 Bombay Talkie
10 The River
11 Salaam Bombay!
12 Shakespeare Wallah

I'm not sure if all of these can be purchased but make sure to check amazon.com and the other e-movie sellers, plus internet movie database is a great place to begin your search for any film (imdb.com), good-luck

Re: a few good indian films

Postby acquarello » Thu Feb 22, 2001 1:32 am

Although Satyajit Ray is one of my favorite directors, I think that mukhos17 is attempting to gauge the "continued" relevance of Indian films in 2001 beyond Ray and the Merchant/Ivory films (there's also "In Custody"). "The River" is actually by Jean Renoir, although according to Ray's autobiography, "Childhood Days: A Memoir", he assisted Renoir and learned a great deal from their association. Mira Nair's "Salaam Bombay!" is a good suggestion, though.

Personally speaking, I have also noticed an information vacuum with regards to Indian films, and I'm not sure what the remedy is. In the Singh "Introspections" interview with Satyajit Ray, Ray remarked that in the New York premiere of "Pather Panchali", some people were so offended by the image of people eating with their hands that they got up and walked out. I certainly hope that in 2001, the cultural differences are no longer an issue.

It would probably help to have a passionate advocate for these films. In the case of "The Terrorist", John Malkovich was so profoundly affected by the film that he personally ensured that the film had a US release. I wish I knew the answer, but I think that distribution and publicity are the keys, and so far, Indian films seem to be languishing from inadequate international promotion.


Re: a few good indian films

Postby mukhos17 » Tue Feb 27, 2001 6:49 am

thank you acquarello and Dizzy_Bird for your posts. acquarello, you are dead true that indian films lack strong advocation. considering the amount of exposure the other asian films get (especially hong-kong,chinese,singaporean) in us and europe, contemporary indian films are hardly viewed in western world. i am giving you a hands-on list some of the new indian films worth watching:

*buddhadeb dasgupta's (the wrestlers (2000), red door (1997), shelter of the wings (1993))
*goutam ghosh's (boatman of the river padma (1993), the voyage beyond (1987), the crossing (1984))
*aparna sen's (house of memories (2000), yugant (1995), 36 chowringhee lane (1981)
*adoor gopoalkrishnan's - arguably india's finest contemporary filmmaker (man of the story (1996), the servile (1993), the walls (1990)
*shaji n karun's (the last dance, my own (1994), birth (1988))
*jayaraaj's pathos (2000)

apart from these newer films, has any one of you seen films of ritwik ghatak, mrinal sen or shyam benegal?
by the way, i am strongly reccomending you a film called spice (by ketan mehta)- available in us in vhs.
if you have any querry regarding indian films, please let me know?


Re: a few good indian films

Postby katsuben » Tue Feb 27, 2001 11:15 pm

excellent post and a good list of obscure movies. i've only seen 'A River Named Titash' by Ritwik Ghatak. very nice low-horizon, high contrast photography is about the only thing i can say about it after one viewing. it didn't *really* make me want to see more.

Re: a few good indian films

Postby Dizzy_Bird » Mon Mar 05, 2001 3:22 am

I completely agree with the comment that Indian films are virtually ignored by the western world, what solution or rather what indication, if any, are there to suggest such an issue, for India was a much explored area of the world, particularly in the sixties and seventies, yet very few films were imported here through out those decades; and although the country remains a haven for mysticism and spirtuality, India for some reason continues to be considered somewhat of a joke (e.i. Holy Smoke's ludicrious stabs at Indian cultism). Perhaps the on-slaught of hundreds of films per year mostly by Bollywood studios, of which a good majority resort to traditional Hollywood musical plots and sensibilites, has made the more serious films diminish in comparison. I know from an interview with a local filmmaker who is native to the land, that a film is next to impossible to sell, let alone make, if it is not backed by Bollywood studios and stars. India produces more than 700 films per year, and yet I can't remember the last one that came to my local art house. It seems a bit sad, that filmmakers of a struggling nation should be ignored because the majority of the public prefers watered-down musicals. . .

- by the way the last Indian films that came to our art house were Kama Sutra & Bandit Queen a few years back (the latter of which you should see)

Re: a few good indian films

Postby desifilms » Tue Mar 13, 2001 8:54 pm

A number of classic Indian movies have just been released on DVD. All have English subtitles.

A great place to rent them online is DESIFILMS.COM. Visit them at http://www.desifilms.com

Classic Indian Films include:

and tons more...

P.S. We hope all you foreign movie lovers out there will not mind this shameless plug. We just thought you'd like to know that there is a site that caters to Indian film lovers.

Re: a few good indian films

Postby somegreatmovies » Sat Mar 17, 2001 11:58 pm

does anyone know where the films of Ritwik Ghatak can be purchased on VHS, DVD, LD, VCD, anything at all... especialy if any one knows where they can be rented on 16mm... please email somegreatmovies@yahoo.com

Re: a few good indian films

Postby shumidas2004 » Wed Jul 16, 2003 6:51 pm

You people has also forgotten: Mrigaya, Gudia, Titli, Chaka, This al film srats Mithun Chakraborty.


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