articles by Baradwaj Rangan

Entertainment

Berlinale 2021: Céline Sciamma, Jacqueline Lentzou and the other women who competed for the Golden Bear

Five of the 18 titles that competed for the Golden Bear, are directed or co-directed by women. A look at Petite Maman, Moon, 66 Questions, and Ballad of a White Cow.

Entertainment

Luiz Bolognesi’s The Last Forest, playing at Berlinale 2021, takes us to the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon basin

The Last Forest brings up the often-debated question about whether indigenous people should be allowed to be who they are or brought into the fold of a modern world.

Entertainment

Dekel Berenson’s superb short film Anna sheds light on the “love tours” industry in Ukraine

This 15-minute film is about: meat. Rather, women treated as meat, ready to be picked up by American men who want someone to cook and clean.

Entertainment

Martin Scorsese’s recent essay on Federico Fellini makes a very important point about what cinema is

When you see certain films, you sense the presence of a director. And to me, that is the crux of defining “cinema”: whether it’s been made by a “director”.

Entertainment

International Film Festival of Rotterdam: In Dear Comrades!, Andrei Konchalovsky’s record of the Novocherkassk massacre

What is the real “truth” behind the Novocherkassk massacre? Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky's latest film — premiering at International Film Festival of Rotterdam — explores this in detail.

Entertainment

Dea Kulumbegashvili’s Beginning, on MUBI, studies a suffering woman with a static camera

When the camera remains stationary, it’s objective. It’s omniscient – like a cold, distant, Bergmanesque God who stays silent and remains, well, un-moved by suffering.

Entertainment

Mads Matthiesen’s Sundance winner Teddy Bear, now on MUBI, is a gently told male-emancipation story

Teddy Bear turns the “emancipation movie” on its head. Most times, the person who needs emancipating is a woman. It’s interesting to see this most masculine-looking of men needing to “find himself”, too.

Entertainment

Pradeepan Raveendran’s Soundless Dance dives into the war-torn mind of a Sri Lankan Tamil in Paris

Through Soundless Dance, the director asks: Isn’t the pain of a torn country, the pain of separation from family enough? Does one need to manufacture more “drama”?

Entertainment

Ekwa Msangi’s Farewell Amor is an immigrant drama about coming to terms with a family member who’s now a stranger

Farewell Amor made me wonder about the marriages and separations we are more familiar with.

Entertainment

Maurice Pialat’s The Mouth Agape looks death in the eye without sentimentality or embellishment

The Mouth Agape is shockingly un-aestheticised. If Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers was a “dream," then this is the nightmare equivalent.

Entertainment

Hannes Stöhr’s Berlin is in Germany talks about an East German adjusting to life in a unified nation

What if you were raised in a place that resembled jail, and that’s your default state of being? You don’t know what it is to be free.

Entertainment

Jan Komasa’s The Hater on Netflix is a quietly chilling story about the virtual world’s revenge on the real world

The Hater shows us, with sickening procedural detail — how easily we are manipulated, and how “perception” is everything.

Entertainment

Soorarai Pottru, The Motorcycle Diaries, and a response to the truth-versus-fiction issue in biopics

All that matters in a biopic is whether the spirit of the subject is captured. That’s what you should base your evaluations on: basically, not the story you know but the story the film chooses to tell.

Entertainment

Sophia Loren transformed from glam star to great actor in Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women

You could say the reason glamorous stars de-glam themselves is because nobody takes them seriously. It’s only when Sophia Loren plays Cesira in Two Women that we sit up and say, “Oh wow, what a performance!”

Entertainment

Fernanda Valadez’s Identifying Features, playing at Dharamshala, is a poignant drama about would-be illegal migrants

Identifying Features may show a journey that may be about the son. But the story is about the mother.

Entertainment

Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi, playing at Dharamshala, makes you think about faith and prayer, sinners and saints

The Polish entry for the Best International Feature Film at Academy Awards 2020 reiterates that religion isn't something that has to be followed by the book.

Entertainment

Isamu Hirabayashi’s Shell and Joint, playing at Dharamsala, is a fascinating look at life and death

Isamu Hirabayashi’s Japanese-Finnish feature debut Shell and Joint is playing at the Dharamshala International Film Festival.

Entertainment

David and Àlex Pastor’s The Occupant on Netflix is a solid psycho-thriller about a man who loses a job, and loses it

The protagonist Javier's desperation underscores the fundamental truth about how many of us live: it’s not just about the job, it’s about a certain kind of lifestyle.