World Cinema Wonderland

To paraphrase a soft drink ad from the past, I eat, drink and sleep world cinema. It is one of the few things that keeps me from going mad from the endless tedium of research. I usually have my favorite films running in the background even if I’m doing something else. And come weekends I love to curl up on my couch and lose myself in film after film from around the world. So as you can imagine I’ve seen a LOT of films, especially in the past four years. And every time I see a film I think about posting a detailed review here but as usual my laziness trips my good intentions. So instead I’ve decided to come up with short blurbs for some of the remarkable films I’ve seen, enjoyed, loved and even disliked. So without further ado here is the first part in what will hopefully be a regular series:

1. Apocalypse Now Redux: A difficult film both in terms of production as well as viewing but it is worth all the trouble. One of Coppola’s best with Brando’s brooding presence adding to the other worldly atmosphere of the second half. War is indeed the preserve of psychotics. And seminal use of music, be it 60s rock and roll or Wagner. Look for the Redux version.

Full Metal Jacket

2. Full Metal Jacket: Another Vietnam War film but with the distinctive touch of Kubrick. The boot camp sequence is still one of the most intense cinematic moments I’ve seen on film. Kubrick extracts superlative performances from lesser known faces and captures the pointlessness and dark comedy of the Vietnam War perfectly.

3. Amadeus: F. Murray Abraham. Watch it for him. And the music. And the period detail. Enough said.


4. Frida: Hayek excels but the film suffers. All biographies are not equal.

5. Lost Highway: The twisted universe of Lynch. Anything and everything is possible. From surveillance video tapes to meetings with weird people in the desert. Will you be able to unravel the madness?

Mulholland Drive

6. Mulholland Drive: Another Lynch masterpiece. And the hottest woman-woman love scene I’ve ever seen on film. That scene alone is worth the price of rental but the rest of the film is a tour de force of deception, betrayal and the cut throat hunger for fame.

7. Three Days of the Condor: Pollack at his finest. 70s paranoia translated brilliantly onto the screen. The enigmatic but very sexy Dunaway and quietly dashing Redford perform well.


8. Elephant: Gus Van Sant’s sensitive exploration of the Columbine massacre. A chilling tale set in the world of seemingly normal school kids but madness is waiting to be unleashed.

9. Paris, Texas: Wim Wenders sometimes takes too long to get to the point but even then a brilliant film about love and loss set in Paris. No, not that one. The other Paris.

10. Miller’s Crossing: The Coen brothers are in fine form here. A brilliant film noir with really nice cinematography and strong story telling. The cast also shines.

11. Picnic at Hanging Rock: A breakthrough film for Australian cinema as a whole. Weir’s film is enigmatic, surreal and intensely moody. Leaves a lasting impression.


12. Silkwood: Based on a true story. Streep deserved an Oscar for her superb portrayal of a nuclear industry whistle blower.

13. The Hours: Superb screenplay and brilliant acting by three very talented women at the peak of their powers.

The Color Purple

14. The Color Purple: Whoopi and Oprah excel in this film based on Walker’s celebrated novel. One of Spielberg’s more serious films.

15. A Fish Called Wanda: British humor at its best. More accessible than the Python films featuring many of the Python regulars. If you like black comedies then do not miss this.



August 2007, Rothenburg (Fuji Sensia 100).

For a long time I’ve had the idea to start a blog where I write on photography and related topics. I finally started it a few days back. If interested you can check out the blog here. I’m open for well written articles on any topic related to photography so if you’re interested in contributing do get in touch with me through the ‘Contact’ link on the new blog.