Subaltern Talkies
Slumgod Millionaire: On ‘Nayakan’, The Godfather of Indian Gangster Films

On revisiting Nayakan we are reminded that men become gods not as a sign of presumed cultural backwardness but because the modern nation-state has failed.

READ more
From Amar Akbar Anthony to Baahubali: Whither Indian Cinema’s Secularism?

A retrospective of Manmohan Desai’s Bollywood classic Amar Akbar Anthony, and the films it has influenced, 40 years on.

READ more
Performing Bestiality: Beauties and Beasts in Tamil Cinema

Middle of the road Kollywood’s strange obsession with bestiality through the ‘Stockholm syndrome’ demands attention.

READ more
Hardline Feminism and Unfettered Capitalism in the Action-Masala, ‘Mannan’

How does a beautiful young corporate bigwig control a rambunctiously charismatic Alpha-male trade unionist?

READ more
Is Indian Cinema’s First Chick Flick, ‘Mouna Raagam’, a Hindu Nationalist Fantasy?

The "chick flick" medium doesn't completely obfuscate the espousal of the triumph of Hindu conservatism over secular-liberal institutions and socialist ideology.

READ more
From Yugoslavia to South India: The Rise of Tamil Turbo-folk

Like its Serbian counterpart, Tamil Turbo-folk masquerades as ethno-nationalist resistance against the dislocations brought to bear by nation building, liberalization, and globalization.

READ more
Birdman v Uttama Villain: Portrait of the Artiste As an Older, Wiser Man

Making their films resistant to easy consumption and demanding respect for the artiste is essential to the spirit of Birdman and Uttama Villain.

READ more
Does the Title of the Bollywood Blockbuster, ‘PK’, Actually Stand for Performing Kulturkampf?

In the kulturkampf between India’s intelligentsia decrying the ‘cultural terrorism’ of extremists, a film like PK has me wondering, how long can secular liberals retain the moral high ground?

READ more
Tamil Horror Films: Madness, Modernity and of Course, Misogyny

While Hollywood horror thrives on the anxieties over the persistence of evil, emanating from a malevolent source, Tamil horror films deal with the prevalence of social injustice.

READ more
The Defiant New Postmodern Tamil Cinema

Fed up with the empty rhetoric of utopian ideology and highfalutin discourse, the new generation of filmmakers take their frustrations out on the grand narratives of Tamil cinema.

READ more
The Myth of the Global Brown Messiah in Kollywood Cinema

Recent films from the action-masala genre project India as a global sheriff, replacing a toothless West as an expression of muscular nationalism.

READ more
//Mixed media
//Blogs

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article