Thursday, August 03, 2006

a shot of varma

This post took a long time coming. The 2006 edition of the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) {June 16 – July 1, 2006} featured a special section dedicated to RGV; it was called no singing, no dancing, no mercy: the films of ram gopal varma. Featured therein were Ab Tak Chhappan, Company, Ek Hasina Thi, and what was hoped to be a world premiere screening of Shiva (the forthcoming Ahlawat flick with a nice not-for-the-faint-of-heart preview and a cool poster (courtesy: Twitch]. The co-founder of the festival, Grady Hendrix, runs a cool blog at Kaiju Shakedown and has discussed stuff from Bollywood (sometimes extending the idiom to the incorrect Western perception that "Bollywood" represents Indian cinema in general and not simply the Bombay film industry) on more than one occasion. As if this wasn't enough to be pleased about, the guys at Twitch have even posted a couple of cool reviews: of Company and Ab Tak Chhappan. The latter begins with the interesting note that this is quite possibly the best Michael Mann film not actually made by Michael Mann or anyone associated with him. These are interesting takes on the "Indian Scorsese" who "subtracts singing and dancing from the equation replacing it with pure visceral impact"; more interesting than the strange Western fascination for the song-and-dance tripe that defines Bollywood.

The Shiva premiere didn't happen then, but it might just happen at the Ram Gopal Varma retrospective at Austin's Fantastic Fest in the last week of September (more about this at Twitch).

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