The city in question

Girish Karnad's clear-eyed, unsentimental and even self-deprecatory view of the city seems rare in the Indian narrative imagination, which continues to nurse the notion of ‘the village innocent’ vs ‘the city corrupt’.

#Cities #Culture #Society
Saankal – strong content, weak movie

Even a badly made film becomes a learning experience for the viewers because it sheds light on issues not known widely otherwise, says Shoma Chatterji as she reviews the movie Saankal.

#Human Rights #Reviews
The path of Zarathustra
THE PARSI STORY : The path of Zarathustra

The traditionalists and the liberal Parsis have an never-ending debate on how to keep their community and faith alive. Recently released feature film The Path of Zarathustra directed by Oorvazi Irani looks at this debate and more. Shoma Chatterji reviews the movie and talks to the director.

#People #Reviews
Womanhood: A synthesis through many forms
NATIONAL WOMEN’S THEATRE FESTIVAL : Womanhood: A synthesis through many forms

Shoma A Chatterji writes on Samanway 7, a unique theatre festival showcasing performances conceived of and crafted exclusively by women, which evolved into a well-blended expression of feminist questions that have sustained through the ages.

#Creative Media #Women
Kerala’s royal connection: The luxury ‘uru’

In the non-descript town of Beypore near Kozhikode, skilled artisans have revived in a big way the tradition of making luxury ‘urus’, or dhow-shaped boats, as they find a ready clientele in the royal family of Qatar. Akshatha M visits Beypore.

#Livelihoods #Economy #KERALA
Blending theatre with nature
ART & INNOVATION : Blending theatre with nature

In Assam, a unique innovation by a passionate tribal theatre enthusiast succeeds in taking the art from the confines of the auditorium into the lap of nature, creating a near-cosmic experience for the performer as well as the audience. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports.

#Environment #Society #ASSAM
The wandering minstrel who turned down Peter Brook’s Mahabharat

He said no to Brook, as he would not be allowed to carry hemp to the US! He had selective praise for Dylan and was openly caustic about contemporary artists. Shoma A. Chatterji reviews a biographical film on Gour Khepa, the brilliant and eccentric baul who lived life on his own terms.

#Films #People
In search of Binodini and her peers
A TRIBUTE TO FORGOTTEN LEGENDS : In search of Binodini and her peers

The leading ladies of Bengali theatre in the late 19th and 20th centuries presented an intriguing portrait of women caught between two worlds, liberated in a way, yet shackled in others. A recent performance as tribute to these artists leads Shoma Chatterji to reminisce their lives and times.

#Creative Media #Culture #Women's Films and Books #Women
“I want to learn the mainstream language of cinema”

The multi-faceted Gulzar, revered equally in intellectual literary and mainstream film circles, was recently bestowed the 45th Dadasaheb Phalke Award. In this interview with Shoma Chatterji, the venerable Gulzar Sahib speaks of his art, his career in Indian cinema, and the changes he has seen over the years.

#Culture #Media Interviews #People
Losing India's Greta Garbo

Renowned popular Bengali actress Suchitra Sen, remembered by audiences nationwide for her performances in Hindi films Aandhi and Mamta, passed away recently after years of strict, self-imposed seclusion. Shoma A Chatterji remembers her life and aura.

#Films #Reviews
Infusing sensuality into a Tagore classic
Filmmaker Q's reinterpretation of Rabindranath Tagore's Tasher Desh is a bold experiment, not only in format but also content, as it seeks to layer the classic satire with unprecedented connotations of sexuality and gender issues. Shoma A Chatterji reviews the film.
#Films #Reviews
Meghe Dhaka Tara: A stunning tribute
It is not just another feature film; new generation director Kamaleshwar Mukherjee's fictionalised depiction of the life and genius of iconic film-maker Ritwik Ghatak is in itself cinema at its best. Shoma A Chatterji reviews the film.
#Films #Reviews
Remembering Rituparno (1963-2013)
The premature demise of acclaimed Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, who passed away on May 30, has robbed Indian cinema of a rare combination of courage and sensitivity and perhaps, of many more masterpieces to come. Shoma A. Chatterji reminisces his works in this tribute to his genius.
#Creative Media #Media #Society
Life in no man's land
FILM REVIEW : Life in no man's land
On a fragile island spread across 150 kms at the border of India and Bangladesh, thousands of people lead precarious lives at the mercy of the River Ganga. Shoma Chatterji reviews Char - The No Man's Island, a film depicting the tragic realities of their existence.
#Films #Reviews
Preserving history for posterity
Celluloid Man pays a moving tribute to P.K. Nair, a man whose passion and commitment has kept alive the history of Indian cinema for film lovers, even as it exposes the tragic indifference of the establishment towards Nair, and archiving in general. Shoma A. Chatterji reviews the film.
#Films #Reviews