Journal of Indian Cinema

Vol. 1. Iss. 14 | March – April 2021

Film Critics Circle of India
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Why do you need a film critic?

Amitava Nag | March 19

The filmmaker doesn’t love the critic. Ever. From the rays of halcyon hopes to the lust of seasonal pantomimes all have despised the critic. Univocally. Categorically. Without fail…

… With the death of the intellectual critic, the leftovers writing on cinema are the cheaper call-writers providing plot summaries with stars. They are, mostly, good enough to write paragraphs you had practised in school.


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Joy Bimal Roy | April 28

All Ma had wanted was an exhibition of her photographs (she was one of India’s earliest known women photographers) and despite my best efforts I had not been able to organize a show till then. And I had no idea when that exhibition would become a reality… What could be a more fitting tribute than a piece of sculpture by the sea on the Bandra Promenade?


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Meena Kumari

Darshana Goswami | March 31

Meena Kumari’s expressions and body language are always subtle and understated, leaving us wanting to know more and to hear more. Her beauty adorned with gossamer veils and downcast eyes tell us to look deep into her inner being, and deeper still…

… Her screen images radiate an  arresting combination of softness and vulnerability, but with all her vulnerability, she had the strength and audacity to break her free spirit from everything else and let it move on its free will. 


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Devdutt Trivedi | April 19

The film uses imagery inspired from video gaming with each character being followed by the steadicam. Very often the steadicam pans away from the character to allow the audience to project thought onto the imaginary. Between the vignettes are tableaux shots that reduce the plane of the image to a single dimension, i.e. intensity. The top angle shot towards the end transforms this intensity into a geographical location, so that the purpose of cinema, according to this writer, is simply for a body to occupy space…

… Film maker P.S. Vinothraaj uses the point-of-view shot to connect different characters as the camera follows them much like in a video game. The point-of-view shot denotes a perceptional consciousness i.e. that of wakefulness; whilst the characters appear at rest, in motion or static in a moving vehicle. The film’s cinematography is reminiscent of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, but is different in one respect. Whereas Elephant centres on the high-school shooting as key event, Pebbles creates vignettes around the notion of the absence of the event.


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Devdutt Trivedi | April 15

Basu’s approach is to transform time into speed and slowness through changing the shutter speed of his camera; whilst simultaneously fragmenting space into light and dark. In this way parts of the frame are static and moving, or light and dark. The multiple exposures create a divination of time, which is simultaneously moving when still, and still when moving. This is possible largely through the pre-empted and delayed editing that create tension through the whole.


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Supratim Bhol

Utpal Datta | March 31

“We are all human beings. And we all possess a different philosophy. The philosophy in us has grown out of our life, our childhood, our mental nourishment, our upbringing. The books that we have read. The places we have travelled. The luxuries and hardships we have experienced. The people we have met, accepted and rejected. The situations we have faced; and moved out of, or not. And the wins and losses that have come our way. So, in general, we are all creative in certain ways and have evolved through our personal journeys.”


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