articles by Baradwaj Rangan

Entertainment

Cannes Classics 2020: Martin Scorsese restores The Hourglass Sanatorium to its hallucinatory glory

The Hourglass Sanatorium was made in 1973, but it wasn’t until 2014 — and thanks to Martin Scorsese — that many cinephiles came to know of the film.

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Cannes Classics 2020: Federico Fellini’s La strada, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and the concept of 'existential time'

This is the centenary year of Federico Fellini’s birth, and film festivals like Berlinale and Cannes have been programming the legendary director’s work.

Entertainment

Black Coal, Thin Ice, Diao Yinan’s Berlinale Golden Bear winner, smuggles fascinating layers into a genre film

When genre conventions are punctuated by other considerations, Black Coal, Thin Ice slowly drifts away (in a good way) from the expected.

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Jean Eustache’s The Mother and the Whore is a time capsule of French youth post civil unrest of May 1968

Many critics accused The Mother and the Whore of being 'immoral' and 'obscene' at 1973 Cannes Film Festival. Today, of course, the film's 'transgressions' are hardly provocative.

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In these coronavirus times, understanding why the mind seeks lighter fare over heavy-duty, 'difficult' cinema

The coronavirus outbreak has shaken the foundations of the Maslow's need-hierarchy pyramid: self-actualisation has been pushed to the back burner.

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Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita depicts the suicide of an intellectual, and the death of everything he stands for

Two words have dominated the conversations — in the media, on social media, and all around us — in the entertainment beat this week: “suicide” and “depression”.

Entertainment

Reading JK Rowling’s tweets through the prism of Polish filmmaker Małgorzata Szumowska’s In the Name Of

Along with commenting on JK Rowling's 'transphobic tweets', watching Polish gay drama In The Name Of on MUBI India may give one a better perspective.

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The question of race permeates every pore of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s German melodrama Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

An inter-racial romance seems apt to talk about in these #GeorgeFloyd times, especially when race colours every aspect of the “romance” in question.

Entertainment

The late Michel Piccoli in the role of his lifetime, as an artist in Jacques Rivette's 1991 masterpiece La Belle Noiseuse

French actor Michel Piccoli died on 12 May. When I looked at his filmography, one film stood out, Jacques Rivette’s 1991 masterpiece La Belle Noiseuse.

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Alexander Zolotukhin’s A Russian Youth, set during WWI and now on Mubi, is a perfect contrast to Sam Mendes’ 1917

Like 1917, A Russian Youth is “emotionally distant” too. But here, this is not a “failure” because the film can function no other way.

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Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris vs the Steven Soderbergh version, plus a diss about Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey

Thoughts on Solaris director Andrei Tarkovsky's dig at Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, where he equated the latter's sci-fi film to a "comic book."

Entertainment

Jean Cocteau’s 1950 French film Orpheus transcends biological death to ponder on artistic death

Orpheus is a reworking of the Greek myth about a musician but has been remodeled around the life of a poet.

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After a week of grief, remembering Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After Life, which promises a happy eternity

At a time we are surrounded by mortal fear (and we’ve just lost two of our most beloved actors), it’s perhaps natural that the mind drifts towards death, which has inspired some of the most inventive cinematic narratives.

Entertainment

Like Parasite, Knives Out and The Platform, Brazilian quasi-Western Bacurau uses genre constructs for social commentary

In films like Bacurau, we get messages about society’s class structures, and the most interesting thing is that these films aren’t structured like “message movies”.

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Gay-themed Israeli drama 15 Years may have missed the theatres, but offers the cozy comfort of personal viewing

Watching something as quiet and delicate as 15 Years feels like reading a book. It feels personal. You want a one-to-one experience, not a shared one.

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Red Beard, the last Kurosawa-Mifune collaboration, is a film for these times — it’s about healing and hope

Red Beard is a 1965 Japanese film about two doctors. It is really a story about healing: physical healing, emotional healing, social healing.

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Vittorio De Sica’s Italian classic Shoeshine shows rare instance when children slip into adulthood too soon

Why I wanted to write about Vittoria De Sica's Shoeshine is because it is largely set inside a prison, which is what life feels like for most of us now.

Entertainment

Understanding Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk’s provocative themes in films like Moebius, Pietà

Korean director Kim Ki-duk's rationale behind the animal slaughter in his films: "Hope they can be more sensitive to what is acceptable in different countries."