2019 Emmy Nominations : It is a game alright!

So Emmy’s 2019 nominations are out, and even after the pretty disastrous final season of Game of Thrones, it still manages to secure a whopping 32 nominations!

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2019 Mid-Year Checkpoint – Bangla Films

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Continuing with the mid-year checkpoint discussion, here is taking a pause to look at the Bangla films of 2019. Personally, I think it has been a pretty good year for Bangla Films in 2019 so far and has been a big turnaround since last couple of years. There have been quite a few good films that made their mark, and the good thing was that we got to see a lot of promising new talent coming up with the best of the year. There were also films in relevant and refreshing themes, modern in treatment with a lot of soul. We still had some biggies that were disappointing, but then which year won’t have that in the mix.

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2019 Mid-Year Checkpoint – Hindi Films

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As the first half of 2019 is over now, it is a good time to take a pause and retrospect at what Hindi cinema had to offer so far for us this year. Overall, it has been a mixed bag year of a few brilliant films and a huge bunch of average and poor films so far.

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ARTICLE 15 : When Change Begins with Each of Us

In one of the most impactful scenes of Article 15, Anubhav Sinha wants to expose the caste hierarchy deeply rooted within the system even amongst the protectors of law of our country. Most of them are not corrupt police officers per say, but they are just conditioned in a way since birth – so unconsciously aware not just of their castes, but even of the subdivisions within the highest and lowest stratas of that hierarchy. This is the team who have switched themselves off to a part of India that co-exists with them, but they turn a blind eye to ‘their‘ life and death problems, even without realising that their own life will become a dumpster without ‘their‘ help. This non-chalance and convulated thinking is baffling for their privileged and idealistic officer, and his extreme frustration shows up as he is at a loss of where to start cleaning the mess from. This is the India that has become.

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Top 30 Pancham Albums – Ranked!

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PANCHAM, the true successor of the genius of Sachin Dev Burman, was no less a magician by himself. The man who broke every conventional barrier through his music, and composed music that was way ahead of his time. He was at his sublime best when he was dealing with pure unadulterated melody unlike his more popular jazzy work. 60’s first felt the fire power of his music, the glorious 70’s and most of 80’s thrived with his golden compositions; and even when he was written off in 90’s, he created some of his finest work completely pushed against the wall. Challenging the status quo of every singer, he provided the flight beneath their wings for them to soar new heights, and with that his eternal music found its unbound skies as well. Too many classics, too many game changers, and then the trailblazer was suddenly gone too soon.

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Best of Madan Mohan & Lata Mangeshkar

The magic of Madan Mohan is beyond words. Possibly the best exponent of beautifully garnishing popular hindi film songs with influence of classical music and ghazals, it is appalling how underappreciated he has been in terms of recognition from mainstream hindi cinema. A treasure trove of brilliance, and yet there isn’t one single Filmfare award to his credit, the only established mainstream awards for the times he belonged to. He received a national award for Dastak (1970) but he deserved much much more.

The pathos that Madan Mohan brings to his compositions are unparallel, and though he has got unique gems with a range of wonderful singers from Mohammed Rafi to Bhupinder Singh, the name that has become inseparable from the magic of Madan Mohan is Lata Mangeshkar. Together they have created sheer magic in the world of soulful music. When you start listening to them, you do not stop for a long long time.

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SUNO : A Call of Conscience

Shubham Yogi‘s new short film SUNO is extremely relevant and timely for today’s times as it brings the conversations around marital consent, entitlement and domestic violence to the center stage. The film becomes far more effective as it chooses to tell the story in an urban elite setup, where it is almost considered a given that both partners in a marriage will be far more woke and empathetic in their understanding for each other’s agency and concurrence for a conjugal encounter.

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TOY STORY 4 : A Heart Tugging Tale of Existentialism

When a twenty five year old animation franchise feels as fresh, lovable and heart warming even in its fourth outing that is here after nine long years since the last Toy Story, you don’t get surprised at all. After all, it is a happy family of cute, vibrant, dynamic, helpful and extremely matured bunch of toys who only want to feel loved at all times, and want the same for the kid they belong to. Their’s is a magical world where they are far more humane than the humans around them, and thrive by the emotions of togetherness, loyalty, wanting to make the world a wonderful place for the kids, and themselves. They also live with the biggest fears of obsolensce – of not being loved any more, of becoming a rejected lost toy, or of their datedness making them less relevant and desirable with time as they get passed over to new kids or new toys come and join the universe. But even in these most trying times and a struggle for existentialism, they still stick on to their wholesome goodness, united and loyal, to make this world a better place – to infinity and beyond!

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10 Hindi Films that Boldly Brought the Caste Narrative to Center Stage

Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15 is ready for release on June 28th, and if the promos are anything to go with, it is going to be a hard hitting commentary on the darkest impact of caste based politics on basic human agency and living rights of the common Indian. In today’s date of extreme chaos and cacophony, where almost every other ism is exploited by a select few to evoke mass hysteria and dangerous results, Article 15 may be the film that India needs desperately, and what the Indian youth should watch in masses and retrospect about. Hoping for it to be a well made film just like Mulk was, one that hits it where it hurts and raises the right questions. As we prepare for this experience, here is looking back at a few other Hindi films that made a statement by raising the caste issues unabashedly in a format and tone relevant to their times and left long lasting impressions.

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A MONSOON DATE : An Emotional Ride

Tanuja Chandra‘s new 20 minute short film A Monsoon Date is a thought provoking portrayal of a tensed and yet confident woman fighting the demons of her life and searching for acceptance for who she is. Written by Ghazal Dhaliwal, the film traces a rain drenched monsoon evening of Mumbai, where the protagonist Konkona Sen Sharma is on her way for a date with a man she has met about a month back.

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