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[PHOTOS] Kolkata International Film Festival focuses on Hollywood classics

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By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: Kolkata International Film Festival’s (KIFF) 21st edition, which began on November 14 and is slated to continue till November 21, focuses on Hollywood classics, while bringing into limelight films in little-known Indian dialects.

Films from 61 countries will feature in the week-long West Bengal government organized event across 12 venues in the city. As many as 149 films by 137 directors will be screened at India’s second oldest film festival.

Famed Bollywood star Amitabh Bachhan inaugurated the event. Also attending, were his wife Jaya Bachhan, and actresses Sharmila Tagore, Vidya Balan, and Moushumi Chatterjee

‘Maestros of Bengal’, an original musical performance headlined the event, which was presided over by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

NewsGram asked Tollywood actress Koneenica Banerjee on her opinion regarding the change in Bengali film quality in recent times.

“Every film holds a certain relevance, and the likability depends on the audience. It is true that the films now have deteriorated from the quality-films of the past. The main reason behind it is the commercialisation of films,” said Banerjee.

However, every trend comes to a point of change. “With the amazing work contributed by late Rituparno Ghosh, and directors like Srijit Mukherjee, we can hope the Bengali film industry will soon regain its former glory,” she added.

On being asked who she thought was the best director, the actress said, “This kind of comparison is really unjustified… Each and every director makes films according to his own view. They each have their own style. I think a film cannot immediately get a classic status. But after a hundred years, it may become much more prestigious.”

“The Bengali film industry cannot produce good films due to the pressure created by different advertising agencies and in the rush to compete with Bollywood and the film industry of the South,” said famed Bengali actor, Chiranjeet Chakraborty.

“However new directors like Srijit and Bappadityo are doing a wonderful job. Times are changing… But the brilliant work that Bengal produced before cannot be compared to those now. The old is gold,” he added.

“Manik da (Satyajit Ray), Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, all worked in different genres and it’s really harsh to compare their work,” Chakraborty said on being asked whose work he liked the best.

Chakraborty stated that no art could be created without relevance, and believes that the Bengali film industry is doing much better at present, than the low-grade films it was producing during the 90’s.

“Tollywood produced a number of very low quality films during the 80s and 90s. I think it was because of the competitive market,” said Chakraborty. “But Rituparno da‘s Unishe April, which was released in 1994, was a ground-breaking piece of work. At present, Tollywood is making films of a much better quality.”

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CM of West Bengal at Kolkata International Film Festival
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Konennica Banerjee at Kolkata International Film Festival
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Bangladeshi director Munsun Ali addressing a press cconference regarding his film ’71 er Shongram’ at Kolkata International Film Festival.
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Tollywood actor Chiranjit Chakraborty and actress Shatabdi Roy at an event in Kolkata International Film Festival.
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Actor Chinmoy Roy and actress Shatabdi Roy at an event in Kolkata International Film Festival.
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Bikram Ghosh attending a quiz competition at Kolkata International Film Festival

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(Edited by Roshni Chakrabarty)

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Sexual abuse is everywhere in the world, says Radhika

The actress believes that one should know how to say 'No'

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Radhika Apte's view on sexual abuse
Bollywood actress Radhika Apte says that sexual abuse is not only in B-town but in every part of the society. Wikimedia Commons

– Durga Chakravarty

Actress Radhika Apte feels that sexual abuse does not only exist in the world of showbiz but takes place in every alternate household.

“Sexual abuse takes place in every alternate household. So it’s not a part of just the film industry. You have so much child abuse, domestic abuse everywhere in the world, including India,” Radhika told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

She says it exists in “every field and household at some level or the other and that it all needs to be eliminated”.

Sexual abuse does not target just women, stresses Radhika.

“It’s also towards men, little boys and everybody. People exploit their power at every level.”

Radhika asserted that this needed to change.

“I think it starts from us putting our foot down and saying ‘no’ to things, however big your ambition is. You need to be brave about it, believe in your own talent, say ‘no’ and start speaking up because if one person speaks up, nobody is going to listen to him or her. But if 10 people do, then others would (listen to them),” she said.

The “Phobia” actress, who will be seen mentoring budding filmmakers in MTV’s upcoming digital show “Fame-istan”, says there has to be a more organised platform for people to work.

“There has to be more professional platforms as well as rules in place which is slowly happening.”

Sexual abuse has been a topic of debate in Bollywood and Hollywood. Prominent names from the entertainment industry are discussing how men in power take advantage of women in exchange for taking forward their dreams.

The sexual harassment saga started when a media house published a story in October revealing numerous accusations of sexual abuse against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

But why are no names taken in the case of casting couch in Bollywood?

“Because of fear, because people who have great ambitions are afraid. They think of what will happen to them if they take somebody’s name who has so much power. That’s what I am saying. Everybody has to speak up,” she added.

Radhika ventured into Bollywood in 2005 with “Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!” and since then has explored genres like thriller, drama and adult comedy with films like “Rakht Charitra”, “Shor in the City”, “Badlapur”, “Parched” and “Hunterrr”.

Was it a conscious decision to act less in commercial entertainers?

Radhika said: “Nothing like that. You have to choose from the work that you have. You can’t say that ‘I want that’ if that’s not been offered to you. So, whatever is offered to you, you choose from that. You make your choice whatever you feel is going to be more challenging or something that inspires you or excites you.”

She says she makes her choices in the “spur of the moment” with whatever she feels intuitively. “I am not a very big planner.” (IANS)

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Film ‘The Florida Project ’ Shines Bright Light on Hidden Homeless

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Florida project film
Writer-director Sean Baker, from left, actress Brooklynn Prince and actor Willem Dafoe pose together to promote their film, "The Florida Project,". voa

Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” takes place in a blindingly purple low-budget motel named the Magic Castle, just down Route 192 from Disney’s Magic Kingdom. For the children of single parents who live there, the Kissimmee, Florida, motel is a playground — even if they’re living in poverty.

The Florida Project,” which opens in theaters Friday, is an ebullient, candy-colored movie wrapped around the very real issue of hidden homelessness. Families nationwide are living below the poverty line and eking out an existence in cheap motels, but the problem is particularly acute — and ironic — in the shadows of Walt Disney World.

The Florida Project stars Willem Dafoe as the kindly father-figure manager Bobby, but its central characters are played by newcomers. The feisty, scamming Halley (Bria Vinaite) is the 23-year-old mother to Moonee (7-year-old Brooklynn Prince), a free-spirited troublemaker who, with her friends (including the 6-year-old Valeria Cotto), are a delightful menace to Bobby and the motel’s residents. (voa)

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Documentary ’78/52′ Explores The Killer From Hitchcock’s Classic ‘Psycho’ : Watch Trailer and Latest Updates

It is captivating, it is enthralling ; from the very first glimpse of the trailer, 78/52 appears to be a promising film.

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The iconic 3 minute murder sequence from Psycho has been honored with an entire documentary titled 78/52 devoted to its brilliance. Youtube
  • New documentary ’78/52′ draws upon Alfred Hitchcock’s celebrated film Psycho
  • The documentary examines how Hitchcock  shot the shower scene that went on to make history
  • 78/52 will have a theatrical release on October 13

Washington D.C, September 1, 2017 : The trailer to 78/52 opens with Alfred Hitchcock’s distinctive voice that instantly brings goose-bumps, “I once made a movie. It was intended to cause people to scream and yell, but I was horrified that some people took it seriously.” Hitchcock’s film ‘Psycho’ changed the heartbeat of the world, and made the shower-scene immortal. And the documentary 78/52 aims to explore just that!

78/52, directed by Alexandre O. Philippe will present a detailed frame-by-frame analysis of the iconic shower scene from Psycho in an attempt to know more about ‘the man behind the curtain’.

The title of the documentary sounds as intriguing as the original sequence was.

If you are wondering about it, ‘78/52’ refers to the 78 set-ups and the 52 cuts that were taken to accomplish the iconic shower scene; a singular event that had taken one-quarter of Psycho’s shooting schedule.

For director O. Philippe, the murder in the shower scene was a critical and defining cultural moment; he calls it “the most important scene in the history of motion pictures”. According to him, the 3-minute long scene was “the culmination of decades of experimentation for Mr. Hitchcock, and the purest expression of his absolute mastery of the art and craft of film-making.”

Analyzing ‘The Man Behind The Curtain’

Hitchock had once admitted that the shower scene was his only motivation to make a film in the first place. And rightly so! The film (and the scene) went on to become one of the most celebrated works in the global film-making industry.

ALSO READ New Documentary on Princess Diana accounts Prince William’s and Harry’s Last Memories with their Mother

As per the trailer, 78/52 presents a captivating analysis of O. Philippe’s interpretation of this iconic scene that altered the course of world cinema.

The documentary is believed to explore the murder scene wherein the crook Marion Crane (character played by Janet Leigh) was repeatedly slashed with a knife by an intruder from different angles and perspectives. Additionally, the documentary will pay special emphasis on the technical aspects of shooting and the sequence’s impact on the culture and practice of movie-making.

ALSO WATCH Trailer of documentary 78/52

The trailer also reveals that the documentary aims to uncover the depiction of violence by critically studying the allusions and double meaning created by Hitchcock in the original 3 minutes-long sequence.

Following its Sundance premier, the makers have now released the trailer of the documentary ahead of its theatrical release which has generated immense curiosity among viewers worldwide.

Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, the documentary features in-depth interviews of filmmakers, critics and fans including Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eli Roth and Peter Bogdanovich among others.

It is captivating, it is enthralling; 78/52 is being touted as a multifaceted master class that makes for a intriguing piece of cinematic detective work.

78/52 will be officially released across all digital platforms on October 13


 

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