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Cinema

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P <b><br><br>E R S O N A L R ECOM M E N DAT I O N </b><br><br><b>RETURN OF THE SEVEN (1966) </b><br><br><b>Director: Burt Kennedy </b><br><br><b>Language: English </b><br><br><b>Cast: Yul Brynner, Robert Fuller, Warren Oates </b><br><br>A duststorm is sweeping through the deserted village. From a distance, Chris (Yul Brynner) looks at the familiar landscape and utters almost with resignation, "I never thought I would come back. " For a majority of the audience, the feeling could have been similar when the sequel to the incomparable The Magnificent Seven (1957), arrived a decade later. It is less of a sequel, more an afterthought. Barring the overwhelming Brynner, the movie bears little facial resemblance to the original. No Steve McQueen, no Charles Bronson and no James Coburn - who had all become major Hollywood stars by then. <br>Nonetheless, the sequel has a personality of its own, and that includes the rugged high sierras of Spain. Riddled with crackling one-liners, the movie is essentially a Brynner show. He personifies toughness, authority, control and that rare virtue, wisdom. "In all the years I have made a living with a gun, I never shot a man to see him fall, " he tells one of his partners in that deep, dignified voice. And you believe him. In the movie, Brynner rustles up a fresh band of mercenaries to save a friend. As they embark on a near-suicide mission, his wife tells Brynner, "No matter what happens we'll never forget you or the others. " Brynner replies, "That's all a man can ask. " That one scene tells you more about the Wild West's 'imagined' code of honour than an entire history book. Return of the Seven isn't half as accomplished as the original but it still carries the pleasant after-taste of good vintage wine.

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Avijit Ghosh | July 30, 2011


P

E R S O N A L R ECOM M E N DAT I O N


RETURN OF THE SEVEN (1966)

Director: Burt Kennedy

Language: English

Cast: Yul Brynner, Robert Fuller, Warren Oates

A duststorm is sweeping through the deserted village. From a distance, Chris (Yul Brynner) looks at the familiar landscape and utters almost with resignation, "I never thought I would come back. " For a majority of the audience, the feeling could have been similar when the sequel to the incomparable The Magnificent Seven (1957), arrived a decade later. It is less of a sequel, more an afterthought. Barring the overwhelming Brynner, the movie bears little facial resemblance to the original. No Steve McQueen, no Charles Bronson and no James Coburn - who had all become major Hollywood stars by then.
Nonetheless, the sequel has a personality of its own, and that includes the rugged high sierras of Spain. Riddled with crackling one-liners, the movie is essentially a Brynner show. He personifies toughness, authority, control and that rare virtue, wisdom. "In all the years I have made a living with a gun, I never shot a man to see him fall, " he tells one of his partners in that deep, dignified voice. And you believe him. In the movie, Brynner rustles up a fresh band of mercenaries to save a friend. As they embark on a near-suicide mission, his wife tells Brynner, "No matter what happens we'll never forget you or the others. " Brynner replies, "That's all a man can ask. " That one scene tells you more about the Wild West's 'imagined' code of honour than an entire history book. Return of the Seven isn't half as accomplished as the original but it still carries the pleasant after-taste of good vintage wine.

<b>WO R L D LY W I S E </b><br><br><b>THE ENGAGEMENT (1963) </b><br><br><b>Director: Ermanno Olmi </b><br><br><b>Language: Italian </b><br><br><b>Cast: Carlo Cabrini, Anna Canzi </b><br><br>Director Ermanno Olmi belonged to the second generation of neo-realist Italian filmmakers. While some of his contemporaries dealt with the lives of the rich and the wasted in the 1960s' industrialised Italy, Olmi explored the impact of machines on the working class. Always subtle and nuanced, his movies never shouted slogans;they just left you with a lingering regret. The director once wrote in the context of another movie, "My purpose was to portray the courage it takes to live through the colourless, grey days which are, in anyone's life, the majority, the rare opportunities, too precious to be lost, for finding love;the subtle distinction between acceptance and resignation. " <br>In The Engagement, a going-steady couple, Giovanni and Liliana, develop strains in their relationship when the former is transferred to Sicily for 18 months. Giovanni sees this as a career move, an opportunity to move up the social ladder. Liliana fears it could lead to a break-up. The movie is as much as about their anxieties expressed in the letters they write to each other as a passing show of the changes industrial development brings to the countryside. "They don't understand industrial work. Earlier when it rained, they wouldn't turn up, " an engineer tells the protagonists about the local workers. Olmi doesn't believe much in dialogues. For him cinema is primarily about images and sounds. Together they act as the threads that link the narrative, take it forward. The overall feeling is that of drifting aimlessly underwater. And it pleasures you like a sêance on a summer afternoon.

Full screen

Avijit Ghosh | July 30, 2011


WO R L D LY W I S E

THE ENGAGEMENT (1963)

Director: Ermanno Olmi

Language: Italian

Cast: Carlo Cabrini, Anna Canzi

Director Ermanno Olmi belonged to the second generation of neo-realist Italian filmmakers. While some of his contemporaries dealt with the lives of the rich and the wasted in the 1960s' industrialised Italy, Olmi explored the impact of machines on the working class. Always subtle and nuanced, his movies never shouted slogans;they just left you with a lingering regret. The director once wrote in the context of another movie, "My purpose was to portray the courage it takes to live through the colourless, grey days which are, in anyone's life, the majority, the rare opportunities, too precious to be lost, for finding love;the subtle distinction between acceptance and resignation. "
In The Engagement, a going-steady couple, Giovanni and Liliana, develop strains in their relationship when the former is transferred to Sicily for 18 months. Giovanni sees this as a career move, an opportunity to move up the social ladder. Liliana fears it could lead to a break-up. The movie is as much as about their anxieties expressed in the letters they write to each other as a passing show of the changes industrial development brings to the countryside. "They don't understand industrial work. Earlier when it rained, they wouldn't turn up, " an engineer tells the protagonists about the local workers. Olmi doesn't believe much in dialogues. For him cinema is primarily about images and sounds. Together they act as the threads that link the narrative, take it forward. The overall feeling is that of drifting aimlessly underwater. And it pleasures you like a sêance on a summer afternoon.

<b>O U T O N DV D </b><br><br><b>STANLEY KA DABBA (2011) </b><br><br><b>Stanley Ka Dabba (2011) </b><br><br><b>Director: Amole Gupte </b><br><br><b>Language: Hindi </b><br><br><b>Cast: Diya Dutta, Amole Gupte and Partho </b><br><br>People elude us. They may be around us all the time, but we really know very little about them. What we actually get to see is only a fragment of their life and less than a fraction of their soul. What his friends know about Class IV student Stanley Fernandes is that he loves to joke, that he writes beautiful English prose, that he dances well. What they don't know must remain unsaid. What we know about Hindi teacher Babubhai Verma is that he is a slave of the tastebuds. The smells of batata wada and palak paneer taunt and haunt him. When he watches his colleagues eat at lunchtime, he cannot stop himself from asking for a helping. And he has no idea how the addiction has become an incurable disease that brings the beast out of him and ultimately consumes him. <br>It is possible to look at Stanley Ka Dabba as an endearing kidflick that's as much about bonding as an insight into child behaviour. But, it is also possible to look it as an allegory on human greed and on the abuse of power. This is one of the most realistic movies of 2011. Every minor character, the hyper-cheery Rosie ma'am (Divya Dutta), the stern science teacher Mrs Iyer (Divya Jagdale) are wonderfully worked on. The film's climax is incredibly moving without being manipulative. What makes the movie special is its understanding of child psychology : their sense of comradeship and bonding, how they use lies to act as shields. Stanley Ka Dabba is an unforgettable little gem.

Full screen

Avijit Ghosh | July 30, 2011


O U T O N DV D

STANLEY KA DABBA (2011)

Stanley Ka Dabba (2011)

Director: Amole Gupte

Language: Hindi

Cast: Diya Dutta, Amole Gupte and Partho

People elude us. They may be around us all the time, but we really know very little about them. What we actually get to see is only a fragment of their life and less than a fraction of their soul. What his friends know about Class IV student Stanley Fernandes is that he loves to joke, that he writes beautiful English prose, that he dances well. What they don't know must remain unsaid. What we know about Hindi teacher Babubhai Verma is that he is a slave of the tastebuds. The smells of batata wada and palak paneer taunt and haunt him. When he watches his colleagues eat at lunchtime, he cannot stop himself from asking for a helping. And he has no idea how the addiction has become an incurable disease that brings the beast out of him and ultimately consumes him.
It is possible to look at Stanley Ka Dabba as an endearing kidflick that's as much about bonding as an insight into child behaviour. But, it is also possible to look it as an allegory on human greed and on the abuse of power. This is one of the most realistic movies of 2011. Every minor character, the hyper-cheery Rosie ma'am (Divya Dutta), the stern science teacher Mrs Iyer (Divya Jagdale) are wonderfully worked on. The film's climax is incredibly moving without being manipulative. What makes the movie special is its understanding of child psychology : their sense of comradeship and bonding, how they use lies to act as shields. Stanley Ka Dabba is an unforgettable little gem.

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