• Ritwik Ghatak
  • A Kaiju— a Guillermo del Toro monster from Pacific Rim
  • Superman-Batman movie poster

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Of Clouds, Stars and… Holy Ryan Gosling, Batman!


There’s a new Meghe Dhaka Tara in town. Alas, Ritwik Ghatak’s masterpiece has not been given the Criterion treatment just yet. Instead, director Kamaleshwar Mukherjee has taken on the life and themes of the great filmmaker and shuffled them into a sort of biopic-via-salute, making lives harder for DVD libraries everywhere by using the name of Ghatak’s best-known film as the title of his own. (Here’s the trailer). The results aren’t exceptional but decidedly thought-provoking: it tries to be I’m Not There but ends up Across The Universe, minus the songs. Either way, big ups to Saswata Chatterjee (yes, Bob Biswas himself) who plays Ritwik compellingly, even though he looks nothing like the iconic master.


For more on Ghatak, here’s Ramesh Sharma’s vintage Doordarshan documentary on the director, and here’s an interesting look at the way he shot automobiles in Ajantrik, one of his most compelling films. A few of his other features can be found in full on YouTube, and so it is to you I present — with a request to take the afternoon off, draw the blinds and silence the phone…


Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1973)


Subarnarekha (1965)


and, one of my all-time favourite films, Jukti Takko Aar Gappo (1974)






One of the most overwhelming cinematic experiences I had in a movie theatre this year came with Pacific Rim, a gargantuan summer blockbuster that dwarfed IMAX screens and made me feel as tall—and as thrilled—as when I was knee-high. But then Guillermo del Toro has a knack for reaching elbow-deep into our nightmares and plucking out something particularly squelchy. How did he get that way? This spectacular New Yorker profile attempts to find out, and unearths a man, a little boy and a monstermaker we should all be grateful for.




Speaking of monsters, the most fascinating film-related list I’ve encountered recently (and that includes Stanley Kubrick’s own ranked set of top ten films of all-time) is this jaw-dropping collection of visual effects shots, cherry-picked by men in the trade of razing cities to the ground and making alien eyeballs bounce:


It’s a helluva selection, accompanied by the clips in question, and what stand out most are the surprises: Fritz Lang and Michael Powell make it there along with Ray Harryhausen and Steven Spielberg.




Spielberg, in turn, has famously doomsayed an end for the blockbuster-era, saying that several will come a cropper and that a paradigm shift is in order. His buddy George Lucas, who made movies so popular he made millions off their lunchboxes, agrees. And we’re told Lincoln was “this close” to becoming an HBO series. Here’s that report, but then here’s another fantastic director who doesn’t think Spielberg’s all that brilliant— then again, how many would hold up when compared to Kubrick? Anyway, here’s Terry Gilliam dissing Schindler’s List:





So there’s going to be a new Superman movie, and Batman’s going to be in it. Finally, that logo from I Am Legend can come in handy and the two most-mismatched combatants in history can have a go at each other. Alas, the film is being made by that guttersnipe Zack Snyder, murderer of true believers everywhere. Fan speculation has begun on who should next play Batman with names like the almighty Ryan Gosling being tossed around.
But what will the plot of the new movie be? Snyder might have the massivest Frank Miller boner around, but studios aren’t going to let Superman turn old and get clobbered this soon. If only they’d adapt Andrew Kevin Walker’s Asylum—a script which could be buffed into a truly solid superhero movie; here’s the full script PDF—but that’s just wishful thinking considering it’s coming to us from the makers of Man of Steel. The possibilities of DC Comics’ Big Two mixing it up, however, are manifold and awesome and, most frequently,very very twisted. Hee.


Either way, those caped lads need to bring out their A-game. Because, clearly, Iron Man can do everything.

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Forget Batman/Superman. Give me Wonderwoman!!!


Boy, is that a goldmine of interesting links.Thanks, Sensaab. 


July 2013
By Raja Sen

Raja Sen is one of India's leading film critics. He also contributes profiles, interviews, culture critique and book reviews to various publications. In his own words he is a W.R.I.T.E.R. Foremost and at all times.