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Court: The Rashōmon of Unabashed Violence

Scope | Abdul Ahad While watching the movie “Court” I was very much reminded of a novel called “My Name is Red” written by Orhan Pamuk, especially because of its narrative style. The novel evoked a variety of experiences for understanding what is happening in a particular event with the contributive narration of all characters. The author is criticizing the single …

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Film Aesthetics of Control Society: On Amen (2013) and Traffic (2011)

Early in 2011, when the Malayalam film Traffic (Dir.Rajesh Pillai) came out, a clear sense of accomplishment reflected in the way the film was advertised – a claim that was reciprocated positively in its reception and reviews as well. Contemporary accounts on Malayalam cinema often credit it as one of the first films that announced the beginning of an era …

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Making sense of “new generation” in Malayalam Cinema

The beginning of 2010s saw the appearance of a new kind of cinema in the Malayalam film industry, promising an end to a longstanding ‘crisis’ of the industry (marked, according to some commentators, by an ‘irrational’ dependence on super-star system, the subsequent compromise of the quality of story and the drifting away from the norm of realism of the middle-class …

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A tale of wonder: Sahaj Pather Goppo

I came to know about Sahaj Pather Goppo (Colours of Innocence) absolutely by accident. Sure, there was a small feature on the two child artists Nur Islam and Samiul Alam, who won the National Awards this year in the entertainment supplement of a Bengali daily. But apart from that and a small review in another Bengali daily, the mainstream media …

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When John Locke Watched Memento

Dearest Lady Masham, I am writing to you about something absolutely extraordinary; something that I cannot explain without the fear of being termed a lunatic. I confide in you with the firm conviction that you believe I am mentally sane, and that I speak the truth. Before I proceed, it is my obligation to apologise for failing to write to …

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Exploring the presence of god: Onscreen to off-screen

In a scene from a popular Tamil movie, Seedan, the heroine Mahalakshmi (played by Ananya) is ready to jump into a step well. Behind the heroine carved on the rock is a peacock feather.  To the culturally aware it suggests “god is always behind you.” We hear her suicidal thoughts and the then a male voice taunts her to jump …

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The Casablanca Test

There are two ways to learn about people, two acts—one unconscious and the other deliberate—that provide insight into people’s personality more than anything they willingly disclose. The first is to check the contents of their bookshelf; this survey will reveal more about people than anything that they say on their own.  No amount of “profile” responses or conversation can be …

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The Rise and Fall of the Ramsay genre of horror in Indian Cinema

Shamya Dasgupta, Don’t Disturb the Dead: The Story of the Ramsay Brothers, Noida: HarperCollins Publishers India, 2017, pp. 238+xxix, price. 399. The name ‘Ramsay,’ associated with a clan of seven brothers –Kumar, Gangu, Tulsi, Arjun, Keshu, Shyam and Kiran, who along with their father F. U. Ramsay (originally, F. U. Ramsinghani) made mostly low-budget and adult movies, is synonymous with …

How can films be for the Blind? Some Thoughts on the Art of Visualization

Dear Editor, This is a letter from a choosy, (but) inexperienced, and (by inference) impassionate viewer of just a few films per decade. I am a blind person who likes literature and philosophy, and who has, therefore, come, over many years, to hold a few thoughts about the art of film-viewing and film-making. I can give two simple reasons for …

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Exile​ ​and​ ​Self-Reflexivity​ ​in​ ​Mohsen​ ​Makhmalbaf’s​ ​The​ ​Cyclist

Scope | Akhil Puthiyadath Veetil Edward Said in his Reflections on Exile describes the incomprehensible nature of twentieth-century exile due to the absolute scale of displacement. A greater difficulty arises in expressing the nature and phenomenological aspect of exile through arts without objectifying the exiled figure in the process (Said , 2013, 138). Nevertheless, it is problematic to claim that aesthetics …