• TV Show Review

    The Naked Director (2019)

    The Naked Director (2019) is a Netflix Original TV Show from Japan. It is about the Adult magazine and then the Adult video industry in the 1980s Japan. We get to see the underbelly of the Japanese businesses, their nexus with the corrupt police officers and the dirty underground trade – a shocking revelation to what we outsiders consider being a disciplined country. What makes it standout from the other Rated R shows, is its strong casting and a powerful story of one man’s belief, struggle and success against all odds. A junior salesman Toru Muranishi cannot sell even a single copy of his company’s English encyclopedia. Luckily, he gets taken…

  • One Cut of the Dead (2017)
    Movie Review

    One Cut of the Dead (2017)

    One Cut of the Dead (2017) is a comedy zombie film. The film directed by Shin’ichirô Ueda, starts with a shooting of a zombie TV show at an abandoned building used by the Japanese army during the second world war to experiment bringing the dead back to life.  Unaware to the crew, there seem to be real zombies around them who keep turning everyone into a Zombie. The second half covering the script discussion and planning for the TV show was hilarious. We get to see a range of characters – the star, a young heart-throb, comes with an oversized ego; the heroine has poor acting skills; the cameraman a drunkard;…

  • Fax machine
    Lounge,  Technology

    Fascinating to see older technologies making a resurgence!

    Fax usage is growing in some parts of the world This is puzzling at one level and expected at another. We have seen this trend in other areas too: Vinyl records are making a comeback, they are prized possessions now. In fact, there are crowdfunded projects now for cutting your own vinyl records at home with the music you like. When digital and web came, many of us thought that the amount of travel to see places (or) work will come down with the advent of webcams and virtual-walkthroughs. Instead, the number of people travelling is at an all-time high. With web and Wikipedia, the bulk of human knowledge is…

  • Hang in There, Kids! (2016), a Taiwanese film
    Movie Review

    Hang in There, Kids! (2016)

    This week ICAF, Chennai (Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation)  is hosting a Taiwanese film festival. Today’s second film screened was Hang in There, Kids! (2016) by Laha Mebow. This is a feel-good movie about three young boys growing up in the mountains. The story happens in a farming village of Tayal people, who are indigenous to Taiwan Island. Three boys studying in a community school, spend their evenings in an afterschool run by the local church and go about doing small hunting in the forest nearby to sell their catch to the visiting tourist by taking advantage of their aboriginal looks for quick money. Each of them come from a broken family…

  • The Tenants Downstairs
    Movie Review

    The Tenants Downstairs (2016)

    This week ICAF, Chennai (Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation)  is hosting a Taiwanese film festival. As part of that, today’s first film screened was The Tenants Downstairs (2016). It was a well-made film, a black thriller, with a few scenes that were repulsive for me –  loads of blood, the severing of body parts and the likes. The story starts with a police investigation of a landlord (Chang Chia-chun) who has rented a few studio apartments to tenants. Leading an uninteresting life with no family, the landlord starts spying with cameras every aspect of the tenants. The tenants are a varied bunch comprising a widower with a young girl, a gym…

  • Today (2014) by Reza Mirkarimi
    Movie Review

    Today (2014)

    When we think of Iran, films are not the first things that come to our mind. In recent times the few Iranian movies that I saw like Taxi (2015)and Night Shift (2015), though made with limited budgets, they were impressive and made me realise what I was missing. The film-makers there, are producing excellent films that showcase the socio-economic conditions in Iran very well. Today (2014) is one such film, that was exhibited as part of the ongoing Iranian Film Festival organised by Chennai’s ICAF society. The film is about an old Taxi driver, and the unconditional kindness he shows towards a complete stranger, a pregnant lady who gets into…

  • Movie Review

    King of the Belgians (2016)

    King of the Belgians (2016) is a comedy film, with an easy story. The King of the Belgians, Nicolas III, is doing an official visit to Istanbul when the news of his country broken up into two comes. He is unable to return by Air to Brussels due to a solar storm, so with his entourage and a filmmaker he goes on a road-trip via Romania and the Balkans to his country.  Yes, you got it right! While on the road trip, he gets to interact with ‘normal’ people, get to experience their simple lifestyle, and, empathize with them. The film works because it is unpretentious, but the plain-sailing becomes…

  • The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
    Movie Review

    The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

    What a movie this was! I had a great time watching the South African comedy, The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980), starring Marius Weyers as Andrew Steyn and Sandra Prinsloo as Kate Thompson. One day an (ordinary) coco-cola glass bottle gets thrown down from a low-flying aeroplane into the lands of the Kalahari desert. There Xi and his San tribe of bushmen who live there find it. These people have no contact with the outside world and so, they get baffled by the fallen object and regard it as a God’s gift to them. The bushmen have no concept of individual ownership, so far they were living happily, but once…