Utpal Borpujari

January 24, 2010

DVD Review: Alphaville

By Utpal Borpujari

Godard’s 1965 black & white film is what is called a masterpiece. Protagonist, private investigator Lemmy Caution, finds himself in strange surroundings as he reaches Alphaville in search of one Prof von Braun. Strange because the town has abolished love and made emotion punishable by death.

Alpha-60, a computer developed by von Braun, seems to control the thought of all residents of the town. Godard’s futuristic story has very little physical violence, but his masterly use of camera and lighting, and aided by a taut script, makes it a great example of cinema depicting violence of the mind.

The film’s strength comes from its narrative and characterizations. The film is complex in its structure but that does not deter it from being an exciting fare.

Alphaville; dir: Jean Luc Godard; Moser Baer/Palador; Rs 399

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 24-01-2010)

December 21, 2009

DVD Review: Moolaade

By Utpal Borpujari

Ousmane Sembène, who passed away in 2007, is considered by many to be the ‘Father of post-colonial African Cinema”, so great was his contribution in taking the continent’s cinema to the world. The Senegalese director-producer-writer is known for taking up powerful feminist themes that found resonance across the world.

While his films like Black Girl and Faat Kine have highlighted the resilience of African women, Moolaade is probably one of his most powerful films that focuses on the ritual of female genital mutilation. The story revolves around six young girls in a Burkina Faso village who refuse to succumb to the ritual. A hard-hitting film that at the same time is deeply moving, it draws its strength from the debate on relevance of certain rituals.

The film does on not eschew depiction of societal cruelty, but at the same time it makes a powerful humanist statement despite its theme. The superb performance of Fatoumata Coulibaly as protagonist Collé gives the fitting power to the film. A superb watch anytime.

Moolaade; dir: Ousmane Sembène; Moser Baer/Palador; Rs 399

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 20-12-2009)

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/42152/making-powerful-humanist-statement.html

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