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INDIA: ESSENTIAL FILMS

by Kenji
NAMASTE. Click on Read More. This list is in 2 tiers, most essential first in year order. My adoptive dad was born in India, at Dharamsala, and his father was a professor of Indian history. I would have loved to play cricket for India, though my hero, Imran’s cousin Majid Khan (whose dad was a student of my grand-dad and played for India) played for Pakistan.. Oh and my wife’s ancestors came from India. ~~ MY FAVOURITES: Apu trilogy (Ray) Meghe Dhaka Tara / Cloud-Capped Star (Ghatak) Pakeezah/ The Pure One (Amrohi) Charulata (Ray) Thampu / The Circus Tent (Aravindan) Subarnarekha / The Golden Thread (Ghatak) Siddeshwari (Kaul) Ankur / The… Read more

NAMASTE. Click on Read More. This list is in 2 tiers, most essential first in year order. My adoptive dad was born in India, at Dharamsala, and his father was a professor of Indian history. I would have loved to play cricket for India, though my hero, Imran’s cousin Majid Khan (whose dad was a student of my grand-dad and played for India) played for Pakistan.. Oh and my wife’s ancestors came from India.

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MY FAVOURITES:
Apu trilogy (Ray)
Meghe Dhaka Tara / Cloud-Capped Star (Ghatak)
Pakeezah/ The Pure One (Amrohi)
Charulata (Ray)
Thampu / The Circus Tent (Aravindan)
Subarnarekha / The Golden Thread (Ghatak)
Siddeshwari (Kaul)
Ankur / The Seedling (Benegal)
Ekti Nadir Naam / The Name of a River (Singh)
Nirjan Saikate / The Desolate Beach (Sinha)
Agraharathil Khazuthai / Donkey in a Brahmin Village (Abraham)
Khandhar / The Ruins (Sen)
Baiju Bawra / Baiju the Poet (Bhatt)
Aranyer Din Ratri / Days and Nights in the Forest (Ray)
Ghatashraddha / The Ritual (KasaravallI)
Kaagaz Ke Phool / Paper Flowers (Dutt)

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Great job by Apursansar as manager of India in our 2009 first mubi world cup, reaching the final. A country of well over 1 billion people, extraordinary cultural and scenic diversity, the world’s #1 film poducer, which with its growing economic clout, should finally get proper credit for its cinematic riches. Satyajit Ray, a polymath (like the Nobel-prize winning writer Rabindranath Tagore) is in my opinion among the handful of finest directors there has been worldwide, Ritwik Ghatak is another with great masterpieces to his credit, and The Name of a River, a tribute to him, is a hidden treasure. There is far far more to Indian cinema than escapist kitschy Bollywood musicals (though the best classic musicals are a marvel too), there have been serious intellectual and politically motivated directors aplenty.

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CINEMA OF INDIA
PARALLEL CINEMA

Reading:

Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Paul Willemen: Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema – highly recommended
Andrew Robinson: Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye- also highly recommended.
Bhaskar Sarkar: Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition
Rudiger Tomczak (much valued member of this site): Five Indian Directors

LISTS:

Apursansar: Apursansar’s Indian Film Canon

Laali: Cinema of Prayoga: Indian Avant-Garde Cinema
Literature in Indian Cinema

Kolar: Indian Bengali Cinema

Tuggingonmoustaches: Girish Kasarvali’s Favorite Indian Films
Adoor Gopalkrishnan’s Favorite Indian Films
Malayalam Cinema
Marathi Cinema
Pre-Independence Indian Cinema

L’claSSiks: Indian Parallel Cinema

Amy: Tabu Ranked

Kenji: Satyajit Ray

my dad’s birthplace Dharamsala

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