Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My personal obsession: cinema, nationhood, and citizenship

Here's a new website from India, OyeCinema.com, which features original articles and reviews, but is also building a database of the best popular writing on cinema from all over the world. Here's a piece I recently contributed, on Lagaan (2001), Naya Daur (1957), and the situation of the audience as citizens.
I actually began by thinking about early postcolonial Hindi cinema, a great interest of mine. Thinking about Naya Daur, however, led to re-thinking Lagaan, and thus the article.
Lagaan, Naya Daur, and the mesmerisation of a nation.

Yasmin: 9/11 and the lives of Others

Several things have been happening in this country lately, that have made me think of a film I watched this summer, when I was in the UK, for research. I wasn't planning on watching it originally, but the BFI has installed free mediatheques all over the country. So on a chilly, wet morning in Wales, I thought to myself, "why not? I like Archie Panjabi, I think she's a very good actress. Let's see what this film's like."
Yasmin (2004), directed by Kenny Glenaan, and written by Simon Beaufoy (who then went on and wrote Slumdog Millionaire), is a film predictable in parts, but important all the same, for the direction in which it seeks to divert our perspective. Here's my review of the film on postcolonialnetworks.com, a website launched recently by Joseph Duggan, a PhD candidate at the University of Manchester, UK. For anyone interested in Postcolonial Theory, this promises to be a good resource.