Monday, March 31, 2008


Independent Lens/PBS Film.
The film is about Shadya - 17 year old world champion (2003 World Shotokan) in Karate. The film is about her life as an Israeli-Arabic woman living in a (liberal) Muslim family in Israel. It appears to have been shot at a minimum budget and looks very real. Interesting subject to make up a really interesting film.

Read more about her here.

Go see it!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One, Two, Three (1961)

Today I watched this classic B&W called One, Two, Three on WNET/Thirteen ( Liked it immensely - "Schlemmer", the pet cry of McNamara (played by James Cagney) will keep going through my head for some time.

What I found especially amazing about the movie is not only the ferocious speed with which the dialogs between the cast take place but also that all times it is (ROTF) funny! Besides the obvious humor in the story it also came across to me as a very valid, albeit comical look at politics of its times. The story is set in Berlin (West) during the Cold War and it shows the idiocy of politics in general. Otto continuously gives a running commentary on the evils of the capitalist/imperialist world (which do not sound far from widely held views). He is however seriously disappointed in the communist politics of Moscow when it is shown that the very same human fallacies (greed, power-usurping, control, etc) exist on the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Immensely funny and simply magnificent. Period.

PS: I also saw a part of an indie movie called The Delicate Art of Parking. Set in Vancouver, Canada, it is a humorous take on the life of parking enforcers who are obviously hated by everyone. It turned out rather mild and seemed to be stretched a little too much off the central theme. Could have been much better.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Cry In The Dark

This week I saw the 1985 movie A Cry In The Dark. It has breathtaking cinematography of the Australian wild. An emotional, touching story in the end.

I am very intrigued by Meryl Streep; no wonder she turns out to be a Masters in Fine Arts from Yale University. Diane Keaton calls her "my generations' genius". I am hoping she will be the next subject of my (private) film festival series! So far I have seen her in :

Sophie's Choice (1982) - Academy Award, Best Actress
Out of Africa (1985)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) - an amazing Clint Eastwood flick
Lions for Lambs (2007)

And next on the list are:

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) - Academy Award, Best Actress

Friday, March 14, 2008

What have I been doing?

I took this blog off line for a while. Below is a short summary of what I have been up to:

1. I am irrevocably submerged in the Japanese classics. So far I have seen Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, The Seven Samurai and The Lower Depths. All of them are superb classics of their times, which redefined the art of movie making. It is said that the sun sequence (the popular way in which the film camera travels under a canopy of trees while at the same time it is pointed straight at the sun) was invented in Rashomon. I have seen this sequence countless times in Bollywood movies.

Later I also picked up Kagemusha, one of his later movies, but did not have the patience to go through it. Maybe some other time.

2. I also watched Kinji Fukasaku's 1975 Japanese classic 'Kenkei tai soshiki boryoku' aka Cops vs Thugs. Its one of the films of the Japanese Yakuza genre. I always like the rugged 1970's action flicks.

3. Yesterday I watched Wong Kar Wai's Chunking Express - a movie from Hong Kong presented by Quentin Tarantino. Contemporary cinema from east - it was good.


1. In November I picked up Kiran Desai's Booker Prize winning An Inheritance of Loss. Good job here.

2. Recently picked up Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. This is a book which is in effect a (semi) scientific history of the human race. Still working through this one.