Feluda : 50 Years of RAY’s Detective – A nostalgic trip

Let me begin by stating that for a generation of Bengalis, Feluda is not just a detective or the first childhood hero. Feluda is a much larger emotion. He is you growing up through your childhood, Topshe is you making Feluda an integral part of that childhood. And through the world of Feluda, somehow the genius who created this icon became far more accessible to you even during your growing up years, when some of his other work was more complex and aspirational for the young mind. For many like me, Feluda (who in a way impersonated the maker himself) was our first introduction to the magical world of Satyajit Ray.

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CHERNOBYL : Choking Saga of Horror

What is the cost of lies? Lies to cover-up the worst nuclear disaster ever in human history? What is the human value equivalent of that loss? Well the official Soviet numbers are still pegged at 31! The actual number for an incident that happened more than three decades ago could be anything between 4,000 to 96,000 and still counting! And yes, no one bothered to keep any track of that! Three decades on, some 2,600 square miles of area was evacuated deemed contaminated by the nuclear meltdown. And 300,000 of those temporarily moved residents have still not moved back, because the after effects of contamination are still active and will remain so for many more decades.

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TEEN AUR AADHA : Memoirs of a Room


Ukranian filmmaker Dar Gai‘s (Daria Gaikalova) first Indian film (released for festivals in 2017, but finding its wider digital release only now in 2019 on Netflix) Teen aur Aadha has an interesting film premise when a house, more specifically a room, becomes a constant character across three different stories along its maturing timeline, with almost a common theme of central characters in each story wanting to break free off the confines of the same room. It becomes even more interesting when the each of the three stories are shot as continuous forty minutes long shots each without any cuts, as if trying to follow the arc of the protagonists up close.

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Rabindra Sangeet in Films – This Millennium

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The songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore have always been a lifeline of Bangla films. For decades, they have been the voice of soul in our films, and when at the turn of the century a decision was taken to allow experimentation with the arrangement in Tagore Songs, there was a fear that it would be a disaster as far as preserving the sanctity of these songs was concerned. Has it really been the case in the whole?

Yes, there has been a Oo lala added to a Pagla Hawa in some cases, but Rabindra Sangeet has stood firm with its soul and its form preserved for the most, a few modern rhythmic adaptations like Jagorane jaaye bibhabori have actually worked, and in most cases even the form has remained as pure as possible. How much ever our storytelling might have changed, our filmmakers still fall back to the ever reliable and the deepest emotions of Rabindra Sangeet even today, and rightfully so.

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50 Years of Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne

50 years ago, on May 8th 1969, Satyajit Ray‘s Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne saw the light of the day…

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The charismatic children in the world of Ray

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Apu & Durga (Pather Panchali & Aparajito), Kajal (Apur Sansar), Ratan (Postmaster), Mrinmayee (Samapti), Mukul (Sonar Kella), Ruku (Jai Baba Felunath), Pikoo (Pikoo), Dingo (Shakha Proshakha), Satyaki (Agantuk), or the ‘Two’ kids…

Just these characters can continue reminding us for decades to come how brilliant a film maker the Maestro was… It takes a genius to get the best and most natural out of children in cinema, and He did it every single time with each one of them. The characters above have become legendary, not just with their writing, but also with the kind of performances these kids could deliver under the guidance of Ray..

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KOTA FACTORY : The Grey Dreams

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It is not just an aesthetic differentiation that the new TVF original Kota Factory is possibly the first black and white Indian web series. Created by Saurabh Sharma, it uses the color scheme as the very handle to tell the world that the dreams of millions of students (and their parents) every year to crack IIT or equivalent is not all back and white, but a lot of grey in between. This well conceptualized show, that has been releasing one episode every week since the last three weeks exposes the dark shades of ambition vs. ability, and how the pressure often takes an irreconcilable toll on the young minds tainting them for life.

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JYESHTHOPUTRO : Melancholic Musings of Life

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When a film casts the biggest superstar and the best actor of Bengali cinema of our generation pitted against each other in life and in performing arts, and head on acknowledges who is the better actor of the two and how that is often not enough for success; it makes a bold and highly self-aware statement about hard facts of life without being worried about any repercussions. Also, when a film’s story-line builds on the everyday mundaneness of daily lives, and thrives on its organic but predictable conflicts without trying to force-fit anything just for the sake of drama; one has to again applaud the fearlessness and the sure-footed awareness of the story-teller about his ability to touch lives without an attempt to manipulate emotions. Kaushik Ganguly and his profound new film Jyeshthoputro are brilliant examples of such confident and restrained poignancy!

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Manhattan – To beautiful beginnings…

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“He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion…no, make that: he – he romanticized it all out of proportion. Yeah. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin.”

Uh, no let me start this over.

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50 Hindi Films inspired from Bengali Literature

Bengali literature in all its richness has been a constant influence on the world of films, both for bengali and hindi films. While some of the adaptations like Devdas, Parineeta or Kabuliwala are more common and widely acknowledged, there are a host of films influenced by bengali literature that are not so commonly recalled. This includes films based on full scale novels, short stories, poems and more. Some of these films credit the source as the official adaptation, some of them do not. But the inspiration behind the story-line is not be be missed, especially when the authors behind the literary references are some of the most illustrious names of Bengali Literature ranging from Rabindranath Tagore to Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay to Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay to Ashapoorna Devi to Subodh Ghosh and more.

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