Riding the local train to and from South Calcutta in the early 2000s, the arrival of the Park Circus station was always unmistakably felt–regardless of whether one was paying attention to the world outside and quite independent of any knowledge of the stoppage being adjacent to the terminal Sealdah. Because, you see, one did not need the sense of sight or any expertise regarding the Kolkata railway layout to detect the arrival of Park Circus–the sense of smell was enough.…
"Suppose you found Aladdin's magic lamp, what would you do?"
Patru the pickpocket: "I would distribute the riches equally amongst all... all the widows, the thieves, the beggars, the construction-workers, the solution-addicted kids..."
What a film. The 4-year long wait was so worth it. It's incredible to witness what a bunch of theatre artistes managed to do with the cinematic medium, portraying the underbelly of Shahjahanabad with its migrant worker population repressing the reality they've been dealt with and, instead,…
A Brighter Summer Day was the first Taiwanese film I had ever seen and it had left me floored, back at a time when I was wholly ignorant of its history and culture. As I watched more and more Taiwanese cinema, this one film kept echoing and reverberating through my memory, somehow only growing in stature.
About six months later, I decided to finally put my thoughts in writing, and come to terms with how I feel about this…
Filmed over a span of 10 years, running over a period of 10 hours, illuminating the unseen face of a nation spread across its past, present and projected future, this is Evolution of a Filipino Family. This is Lav Diaz. This is cinema at its most potent, mined to its extremes and exploited like never before, fixing a hard gaze on the neglected and abused―the lowest strata of civilized society―like nothing has ever dared to.
Even if the film…