articles by Srikanth Srinivasan

Entertainment

Book excerpt: In Modernism by Other Means, an examination of Amit Dutta's filmmaking style

In the book, film critic and writer Srikanth Srinivasan examines how Dutta's work strives towards an authentic conception of modernism.

Entertainment

How Robert Wise's 1949 boxing film The Set-Up underscores the impossibility of the Great American Dream

The Set-Up (1949) centres on Stoker, a 35-year-old boxer riding on a string of failures, getting ready for what may be his last shot at success.

Lifestyle

45 years later, how Indira Gandhi's 1975 Emergency appears through the lens of the Films Division of India 

When the Emergency was declared on 25 June 1975, the Films Division's resources were marshalled to defend the clampdown and sing the praises of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her Twenty Point Programme.

Entertainment

In Reaching for the Sun, William Wellman explores modern man’s enslavement by his own inventions

Adapted from Wessel Smitter’s novel F.O.B. Detroit, Reaching for the Sun follows Russ, a backwoods clam-digger who moves to Detroit to work in a car factory so he can afford an outboard motor for his boat.

Entertainment

In Heroes for Sale, William A Wellman presents discontentment with the old and hope for the new, steeped in govt propaganda

Heroes for Sale was made just after Roosevelt swore in as the 32nd president of the United States. As though symptomatic of this particular time, the film embodies both a discontentment with the preceding Hoover administration and a hope for the new one, the duality manifesting as an incongruity between plot and character.

Entertainment

How The Scarlet Empress deftly explores the duality of evil and innocence while mapping the rise of Catherine the Great

Nothing, not even Josef von Sternberg’s earlier films with Marlene Dietrich, anticipates the stylistic aggression of The Scarlet Empress, a box-office bomb.

Entertainment

Visions du Réel 2020: Works at the festival's online edition exhibited a yearning for the social, symbolic of present crisis

Numerous works at the 51st edition of Visions du Réel, traditionally held in April in Nyons, Switzerland, unfold in self-contained worlds with no exit to external reality.

Entertainment

How Hollywood classic Hellzapoppin' defied categorisation, rejoiced in playing with possibilities of the medium

It wouldn’t be a hyperbole to state that there’s nothing quite like Hellzapoppin' in classical Hollywood.

Entertainment

Cecil B DeMille’s This Day and Age portrayed the tensions of its era as well as the dynamics of Hollywood film production

This Day and Age capitalises on a certain hopefulness about the younger generation pervading the air.

Entertainment

Kiss Me Deadly: Robert Aldrich's crime movie classic is less detective story, more myth with a physical presence

The first to consider Robert Aldrich as a serious artist—and this film a masterpiece—were the young critics at the French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma.

Entertainment

In Moonrise, Frank Borzage sheds his ethereal aesthetic to foreground man as a product of circumstances

In Moonrise, director Frank Borzage accentuates his protagonist Danny’s shadowed existence by holding him at a distance from the viewer.

Entertainment

John Ford's Young Mr Lincoln was no prestige biopic, but a humane portrayal of the American icon as an inexperienced lawyer

In John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln, Abe is the son of the soil, a herculean figure as adept at working an axe as debating in a courtroom. Throughout, he is associated with nature, the trees and the river, his understanding of law deriving from the intuitive understanding of right and wrong | Srikanth Srinivasan writes in 'At the Movies'

Entertainment

Remembering Kirk Douglas — an emblem of classical, rugged masculinity — through Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole

Made by Paramount studios and starring Kirk Douglas who passed away this month, Ace in the Hole (1951) is one of Billy Wilder’s best-known pictures.

Entertainment

The Fountainhead: How Ayn Rand's wildly popular novel got made into 1949 Gary Cooper-Patricia Neal film

Warner Brothers had bought the rights to Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead during World War II, but it couldn’t be made into a film because of America’s pro-Russia stance at the time. In 1949, however, things were markedly different.

Entertainment

How Rebel Without a Cause depicted a generation devoid of spiritual lives, coming of age at a time of peace 

One of the most prominent examples of CinemaScope, Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause sought to shake up the tranquillity of suburban life by exploring the disquiet simmering beneath its apparent peace and propriety

Entertainment

John Ford's Stagecoach responded to socialist spirit of 30s America, pitted outcasts against the respectable

As with any story of people confined in a space, Stagecoach depicts the changing group dynamics, shifting allegiances and the formation of a chain of command among the passengers. In their own way, the nine represent a microcosm of America, their eventual cooperation demonstrating that it takes all kinds to make a world | Srikanth Srinivasan in this edition of 'At the Movies'

Entertainment

Jean Renoir's The Southerner has no heroes or villains, only courage and optimism in the face of hostility

The Southerner, the third of the five films Renoir made in America, tells the story of the Tucker family, plantation workers who decide to grow their own cotton as tenant farmers on a piece of leased land.

Entertainment

Ernst Lubitsch’s 1942 classic To Be or Not to Be is a testament to comedy as a force of resistance

Arguably the greatest Hollywood comedy of the sound era, To Be or Not to Be is a daring, intellectually provocative work that stands testament to the power of life-sustaining humour in face of unspeakable horror.

Entertainment

Gold Diggers of 1933 was a racy backstage musical — and Hollywood’s response to the Great Depression

The Warner production Gold Diggers of 1933, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, is a racy backstage musical rife with the kind of elements that the censors would veto in the following years: women in underwear and skimpy stage costumes, or as sexy silhouettes changing clothes, their bottoms spanked by men, dialogue with double entendre, and a gleefully amoral scenario.

Entertainment

In Fritz Lang’s 1946 classic Cloak and Dagger, a prescient and thrilling fable about the loss of innocence

In its own way, Cloak and Dagger attests to the passing of the baton from Hollywood’s left wing, in the ascendant since the Great Depression, to the conservatives, who would dominate the industry in the subsequent decade.