Wednesday 1 April 2015

Bombay Velvet - Anurag Kashyup's new movie opens May 15 direct from Cannes

Three years ago, the Sydney Film Festival, in the first year of Nashen Moodley's term as Artistic Director, shocked a lot of people by showing Anurag Kashyup's The Gangs of Wasseypur (India, 2012). In two parts, over five hours, this was Hindi cinema at its finest, a Godfather tale stretching over generations with interpolations of music and sequences of breathtaking physical violence. Alas the appearance of the film did not denote a new freedom and flexibility in SFF programming. There have been Indian films screened since but none has had the raw energy, the exhilaration, the bravado in story-telling, the twists and turns, the music, the songs. Art films, the conservative selection, have been all that's been offered. Just a thought to set your mind racing.

Since then Kashyup has made Ugly (2013),  a police procedural that gets itself into such a plot tangle that finally the life sputtered out of it not withstanding the graphic and violent depiction of, on the one hand police indolence and stupidity, and on the other police violence and victimisation towards enemies. Not necessarily criminal enemies either. Ugly had very little public exposure though you can buy it on Blu-ray and DVD if you know where to look. This is of course only part of his work. The full list of titles he has been involved in as a writer and producer tots up to well over forty films and he's only 43 years old. A prodigy working at the very heart of the biggest film industry on the planet Earth.

Now we await Bombay Velvet (2015) and I'm going to give a heads up at this time in the hope that shortly before or shortly after its opening around the world on May 15, after a world premiere at Cannes, I will have a review to hand that I can use to reinforce attention. For now though here's the Youtube link to the trailer  (you might have to cut and paste the address).

In the meantime, if you want to catch up with the short but brilliant career of the most interesting, eccentric and controversial film-maker currently working in the Hindi (OK Bollywood if you want to have it made clear) cinema then you may try and track down his earlier films Gulaal (2010)No Smoking (2007)  and Black Friday (2004) just for starters

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