VIDEO: FILMMAKER RITESH BATRA ON “THE SENSE OF AN ENDING”

 

Highlights of our upcoming interview with filmmaker Ritesh Batra on his new film The Sense of An Ending. The film is based on Julian Payne’s novel by the same name. This coming-of-age film is about a older man, who is semi-retired. Set in England, the film stars Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter and Michelle Dockery (Downtown Abbey).

Batra made his debut as a feature film director and writer with his critically acclaimed award-winning The Lunchbox. The film premiered in Cannes in 2013. Prior to that Batra had made a few award-winning short films.

Stay tuned for our full interview with Batra on the making of The Sense of An Ending, his upcoming film with Robert Redford and Jane Honda and Bollywood films. Batra grew up in Bombay, India and came to the US for his higher studies.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

FILM NOTES: KONG: SKULL ISLAND

So, there I was at a screening of Kong: Skull Island at a IMAX theatre with my 3D glasses jammed over my regular glasses. Get ready for some fantastic action whispered my better half. I could sense the excitement in the theatre and it looked like folks were really looking forward to watching this picture.

Kong: Skull Island is directed by Jordan Charles Vogt-Roberts and has a stellar cast of  Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Riley and others.

The first 20 minutes of the film was interesting, but after that I had a hard time watching it. What was the film about? Was it a love story between the leading male and female protagonist? Or, was it a fight between man and ape? Or, was it a quest to find the secret of Skull Island? The film script is weak is one way to put it. What kept me engaged was the fantastic music track scattered throughout the film.

After 118 minutes I was glad that the film was over. It is a pity that Hiddleston, Goodman and Larson were under utilized in the film. Riley was the one shining star of the film.

And, what did my better half think of the film? He was a tad disappointed.

May I point you to Peter Bradshaw’s review of Kong:Skull Island? Only de-evolution can explain this zestless mashup writes Bradshaw. It is hard not to concur with his view.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

 

VIDEO: FILMMAKER MARK PELLINGTON ON THE LAST WORD, SHIRLEY MACLAINE, AMANDA SEYFRIED & MTV

Filmmkaer Mark Pellington talks about this new The Last Word that stars Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, AnnJewel Lee Dixon,  Thomas Sadoski & Philip Baker Hall. This is a coming-of age film of a octogenerian played by MacLaine.

We sat down to speak with Pellington about the making of The Last Word, working with MacLaine & Amanda Seyfried and The Kinks, whose music plays a key role in the film. We also spoke about his creative process and his work with iconic music bands and singers like Pearl Jam (Jeremy), U2 (Achtung Baby), Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, INXS, Michael Jackson and others. Pellington started his career at MTV in the 1980s.

Pellington’s repertoire of feature films include Going All The Way, Arlington Road, The Mothman Prophecies, Henry Poole Is Here and I Melt With You.

The Last Word releases in the San Francisco March 10, 2017.

  • Title: THE LAST WORD
  • Running Time: 108 minutes
  • Status: Limited Release March 10, 2017
  • Country:USA
  • GENRE: COMEDY/DRAMA

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

THE TIGER HUNTER OPENING NIGHT FILM AT CAAMFEST 35 MARCH 9 -19, 2017

San Francisco’s Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) Film Festival is back this year with an interesting theme – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. The festival spotlights and celebrates Asian American films, music and food from March 9-19, 2017 in San Francisco and Oakland.

Filmmaker Lena Khan’s debut feature The Tiger Hunter is the opening night film at the historic Castro Theatre on March 9, 2017.  Khan’s film is inspired by her father’s experience of migrating from India to America in the 1970s.This timely  film is laced with lots of humor and looks back to a different era in American history.The film gives you a sense of what drew people America and how they realized their American Dream.

The Tiger Hunter traces the journey Sami Malik played by Danny Pudi, who travels from a small town in India to Chicago to make his dreams come true. America is where he wants to find his greatness and also win the girl of his dreams from India. Sami does not land a job as an engineer, instead he is perished to the basement of a company as a draftsman. The company’s goal is to introduce a viable technical product that proves to be elusive to the engineering team. Sami figures out a way to make his way up the ladder and recruits his apartment mates (most of them are engineers)  to create that viable technical product. And that is how Sami realizes his American dream.

I need to make a special mention of Vineet Bailur’s music for the film. What caught my ears was the track Chicago Land that plays during the end credits.

The Tiger Hunter stars Danny Pudi, Jon Heder, Rizwan Manji, Karen David, Iqbal Theba, Kevin Pollak, Kay Kay Menon and others.

Check CAAMFest website for tickets and information.

VIDEO: CINEQUEST FILM & VR FESTIVAL FEB 28 – MAR 12, 2017

Silicon Valley’s annual film festival Cinequest is back this year with a strong focus on Virtual Reality (VR). Rebranded as Cinequest Film & VR Festival the festival has expanded beyond its traditional downtown San Jose area. This year film screenings will be held in various parts of San Jose and in a new location in the Peninsula – Redwood City.

We talked to Halfdan Hussey, CEO and co-founder of Cinequest about this year’s festival.

For ticket and information to the film festival and VR events check the website of Cinequest.

This interview aired on TV in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

SAN FRANCISCO’S MOSTLY BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL FEATURES AN EVENING WITH ANNE COATES OSCAR WINNING EDITOR OF “LAWRENCE OF ARABIA”

This year’s San Francisco’s  Mostly British Film Festival (Feb 16-23) has a rare treat in store for film buffs. On Tuesday, Feb 21st you catch the legendary film editor Anne Coates in conversation with film historian David Thomson at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco. This will be followed by the screening of A Murder on the Orient Express at 9.30 pm. For tickets and information about the event check Mostly British Film Festival’s website.

Coates won an Oscar in 1962 for her work in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. She went on to win 4 Oscar nominations for Out of Sight, In the Line of Fire, The Elephant Man and Becket.

In 2016 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors Coates presented an honorary award to Coates in recognition of her work and contribution to the film industry. Coates began her career in the film industry in 1947 when she worked as an assistant editor for The Archers directed by Derek N.Twist. She next worked for Director Michael Powell’s The Red Shoes. The Pickwick Papers  (1952) directed by Noel Langley was the first feature film Coates edited. And 10 years later in 1962 she won an Oscar for her work in Lawrence of Arabia. The last film Coates edited was  Fifty Shades of Grey released in 2013..

 

RITESH BATRA’S “THE SENSE OF AN ENDING” AT CINEQUEST FILM & VR FESTIVAL

Director Ritesh Batra of The Lunchbox fame is back with a new film The Sense of an Ending. The film is based on Julian Barnes’s novel by the same name that won the Man Booker prize in 2011. The compact novel as the New York Times Book Review put it is ” a mystery of memory and missed opportunity.”

The film stars Jim BroadbentCharlotte RamplingMichelle Dockery and others.

You can catch The Sense of Ending at this year’s Cinequest Film & VR Festival on March 12, 2017. Check Cinequest’s website for ticket and information about the film.

VIDEO: JOHN TURNER ON KORLA PANDIT

I sit down to talk with John Turner director of Korla, a documentary that takes you on a fascinating journey on Korla Pandit’s music and life. Pandit was a talented musician, who was the person to perform live on American TV. Pandit performed on KTLA in Los Angeles in 1949. He was eventually replaced by Liberace.

Pandit relocated to the San Francisco Bay area, where he lived until his death in 1998. Pandit appeared on KGO TV and continued to play in concerts and release records.

So, who was Pandit? Why did he love from New Delhi, India to the USA? What was his story? Tune in to find out.

Korla will air on PBS during the Black History Month.

  • Title: KORLA
  • Running Time: 78 minutes
  • Status: Released Feb 2017
  • Country: USA
  • GENRE: Documentary

This interview aired on TV in the USA. You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

FILM NOTES – ASGHAR FARHADI’S THE SALESMAN

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s award-winning film The Salesman  (Forushande in Persian) centers around the notion of love, friendship, trust, revenge and forgiveness. If you have seen Farhadi’s previous films like About Elly or The Separation you know they leave you with more questions than answers. In The Salesman Farhadi skillfully peels layer after layer and leaves you with what is essential to any relationship – trust, love and forgiveness. The film also give us a view of modern day Iranian society and the toll that censorship takes on a society.

Central to the film is the relationship between Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidosti) a husband and wife, who are passionate about theatre. The couple along with their friends are in the process of staging a Persian version of Arthur Miller’s The Death of a Salesman.  The couple’s happy life is rudely interrupted one night when they discover their apartment building is collapsing. They leave their home and have no idea how and where they will find a new home to rent. As luck would have it their theatre colleague helps them find a new apartment. When they move into their new place the couple discover that one of the room contains the previous tenant’s possessions. For some inexplicable reason the previous tenant (a woman) appears to have vacated the apartment in a hurry. Emad and Rana treat it as a minor & temporary inconvenience that they don’t have access to the previous tenant’s room. They settle down to resume their life and the rehearsal of their play.

One evening Rana hears the bell ring just as she is going in for a shower. She unlatches the front door for Emad and slips into the bathroom. That is the first twist in the narrative and changes into a whodunit film. Turns out it was not Emad who rang the bell, but a stranger, who sexually assaults Rana. When Emad comes home that evening he discovers what happens to Rana he is devastated. Why was Rana assaulted and by whom? Could there be a connection to the previous tenant, who left behind her belongings? This is when the film becomes interesting as we follow Emad’s painful journey to track the culprit that ends on a rather unexpected note.

In 2012 Farahadi won an Oscar for his film The Separation. In 2o17 The Salesman won an Oscar nomination in the foreign film category and is a strong contender in this year’s Oscar race. Farhadi along with his cinematographer Hossein Jafarian was planning on attending the Oscar awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Due to the recent US travel restrictions on citizens of Iran Farhadi will not attend the Oscar awards ceremony. He issued an official statement saying that he will not attend the Academy Awards ceremony in February.

The Salesman released in the San Francisco Bay area on Feb 3, 2017.

  • Title: THE SALESMAN
  • Running Time: 125 minutes
  • Status: Released Feb 2017
  • Country: IRAN/FRANCE
  • GENRE: DRAMA

 

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: HALFDAN HUSSEY ON CINEQUEST FILM & VR FESTIVAL

I  sat down to speak with Halfdan Hussey, CEO and co-founder of Cinequest Inc, a Silicon Valley-based organization. Every year they host an annual film festival that features films, workshops, conversation and spotlights the latest technology for content creators and filmmakers. They also have a program for youths called Picture The Possibilities.

Hussey talks about the philosophy behind their Picture The Possibilities initiatives and what is new in this year’s film festival. Hussey is a film maker and an author and he shares how his interest in films developed and what propelled him to write.

The opening night film on Feb 28, 2017 is director Mark Pellington’s The Last Word starring Shirley MacLaine & Amanda Seyfried. The closing night film is director Niki Caro’s The Zookeeper’s Wife, starring Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh & others. Jane Lynch and Jason Reitman will be at Cinequest to receive their Maverick Award.

Cinequest Film and VR Festival takes place in San Jose and Redwood City from Feb 28 to March 2017. For tickets and program schedule visit Cinequest’s website.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our  YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.