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Gautam Chintamani

Gautam Chintamani

Film historian and authorgautam@chintamani.org
Cinephile, observer of society and technology and author of the of Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna.

By Gautam Chintamani

AR Rahman and the Oscars ‘curse’

When it comes to the likes of Rahman, and Pookutty, there could also be something else at play. There is a mindset that stops people from approaching artists that might simply be too good.

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Can films usher in social change?

Post-independence popular Hindi films considered class disparity as one of its go-to themes and included it in nearly all genres ranging from romance to drama.

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Will nostalgia be able to beat lockdown blues?

Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were. However, the time in the history of the world where the bygone is recalled can do wonders.

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Why Sushant Singh Rajput's death is a wake-up call for Bollywood

This isn't the first time someone with immense potential got the short end of the stick in the Hindi film business on account of being an outsider.

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The colour of film nostalgia

In a scenario where even officially older films are a mess to watch with DVDs and Blurays butchering their aspect ratios, the trauma of witnessing colourisation of some of the seminal classics is far from over.

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What the future of cinema halls looks like

With the world fast adapting to the changes unleashed by the pandemic, the film industry needed to re-look at its mechanism. The same way cinema halls also need to adapt.

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The enduring legacy of an icon

Few can stake the same claim as Irrfan, who at the time of his death was one of the best-known Indians in the world of cinema.

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Covid-19: Will Hindi cinema's disaster genre now come of age?

It would be difficult to imagine that a real-life event like the coronavirus pandemic wouldn’t usher in a new phase for the disaster genre within Hindi film.

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Why poor copies of great originals rankle

Much like the oft-repeated points in the remix debate, the powers that be invariably end up blaming the public for accepting the new version.

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When movies come to life in the times of coronavirus

The eerie similarities between present-day events and the plot of Contagion where a virus leads to the loss of social order has expectedly renewed interest in the nine-year-old film.

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Milind Soman's memoir: What’s ideology got to do with it?

For Milind Soman, being a part of an RSS shakha was “a very Shivaji Park thing" for young Bombay boys of the mid-1970s.

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#MeToo effect on Indian cinema: Should Kamal Haasan apologise to Rekha for the kissing scene?

Rekha was 16 at the time of the incident.

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Message for India in Parasite's Oscars win

Despite being the world's biggest film industry, Bollywood continues to be ignored by all major film awards festivals of the world.

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Deepika Padukone's JNU visit demolishes key Bollywood mantra

For Bollywood, not all is well; some publicity comes with 'blowback'.

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Whose film is it anyway?

Does the film belong to the actor who has more scenes in the film or the co-star whose screen presence pips screen time?

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2020: Why it's time for new storytelling

The way content was consumed recently has made it nearly impossible for the trade to guess what 'films' would mean to the viewer at the next turn.

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Who will win Avengers versus The Irishman battle?

Get the popcorn ready, the fight has just started.

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Actors need to break the mould. Shah Rukh Khan sure is showing the way

The actor is a victim of the rules set by the likes of him.

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Pati Patni Aur Woh: Why Bollywood refuses to grow up even in the time of #MeToo

The film industry continues to fail in terms of onscreen portrayal of sexual harassment, especially in the shadow of its legacy of trivialising the issue.

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Soft power for hard messaging

While PM Modi excels at using Bollywood's soft power for hard messaging, his predecessors used it to supplement their own messaging.

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War's success shows critics and audiences differ on what is a good film

The Hrithik Roshan-Tiger Shroff starrer film is as far as it can be from anything that could further the cause of cinema, but that isn't something that concerns the viewer.

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Why Gully Boy is a good bet for India at the Oscars

The movie checks most boxes in terms of factors that the West expects from the cinema it terms 'foreign'.

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Why it’s time for Indian filmmakers to switch to ‘filmmaker mode’

In some other countries, it would be sacrilegious to present a film in a format different from its original.

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Utpal Dutt Today: How would the thespian have fared in the age of Netflix and Chill?

It's 26 years since Utpal Dutt passed on. Would he have achieved the same glory today with online platforms, where ‘content’ and ‘actor’ surpass the ‘star’, but have a much shorter screen life?

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Surge of nationalism or political promotion: What is wrong with Bollywood’s recent blockbusters?

If the audiences are lapping up films that reinforce a sense of patriotism, why is it being talked about as effective propaganda?

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Akshay Kumar, Fair Superstar: Why criticism over 'sexism' in Akshay Kumar’s 'Mission Mangal' is unwarranted

To many, it seems 'Mission Mangal' gives Akshay Kumar more prominent display than his woman co-stars. But Kumar has always shared screen space equitably with women actors.

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Two decades on, The Sixth Sense still has the greatest 'twist'

The beauty of the movie's twist ending is not that it worked for the first time — it is about how it continues to still hold up even after 20 years.

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Baby, love hurts: Bollywood's romance with violence against women has been its most enduring affair

From Amitabh Bachchan to the Khans, Bollywood has always normalised violence against women. Today, 'Kabir Singh' director Sandeep Vanga describes violence as expressing true love.

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Girish Karnad: Intellectual, artist and one of India's most fearless social voices

Karnad was an intellectual giant whose knowledge of, and contribution to, art, cinema and literature remains unmatched. He was also a fearless social voice who stood up for what he believed in.

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Between myth and reality: Can you really believe what you see on screen?

It’s not as if movies have lost their edge as agents of conditioning, but what has changed is how the average audience refuses to drink the Kool-Aid of yore with the same enthusiasm.

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