February links: Bad films, good films, Oscar grump, literary feuds and more.

I’d like to hold this wretched heat responsible for the fact that I completely forgot to put up links of published articles for the past couple of months. The way the temperature’s been rising, the only logical explanation for Mumbai’s weather is here in this Instagram post. But let us rewind to when the temperatures were less harsh and when less of my brain had molten into slush. Here are the links from February. Reviews of Shamitabh, Badlapur, Qissa and a running commentary of watching Roy‘s first-day-first-show. February was Oscar season, so here’s what we saw in the theatres from the … Continue reading February links: Bad films, good films, Oscar grump, literary feuds and more.

Talking movies: Fahrenheit 451, Blue Jasmine

For Banned Books Week, I wrote about the film, Fahrenheit 451: Truffaut’s film presents literature’s as a cultural keepsake. Simple or complex, realistic or surreal, fact or fiction, words and stories are a record of how the human imagination has arrived at its present form. As Montag says of his nightly reading ritual, “I’ve got to catch up with the remembrance of the past.” Truffaut and Bradbury suggest literature is like the mythical phoenix, which had healing powers and could rise out of its own ashes. Both fragile and resilient, literature seems simple enough to stifle. Ban it, and it … Continue reading Talking movies: Fahrenheit 451, Blue Jasmine

Links: Films, booze, books, art and caste

‘Tis the time to update. Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks. 1. A long interview with S. Anand, founder of Navayana publishing. The first part is all about publishing and among other things, he makes the rather pertinent point that books are not FMCG products so expecting to churn out the same kind of profits is absurd. In part two, he really sinks his teeth into the privileged Hindu. If you haven’t heard of Navayana, click here. Conservative Hindus who believe the caste system is a wonderful thing, Navayana’s books are not going to be … Continue reading Links: Films, booze, books, art and caste

The Mag This Week – One of Many Pages

Three pages of books, three pages of ‘It’s Personal’ stories — there’s a lot to read in this issue and I’m quite chuffed with how the whole thing’s come out so I’m going to go page by page. In the first page of The Mag, we had the Great Game and the great literary game and some cinematic glamour: An exclusive extract from William Dalrymple‘s new book, Return of A King. A review of Conversations with Mani Ratnam by Baradwaj Rangan. An open letter from a disgruntled lit-fester. Bloomsbury India has published Return of a King and they were kind enough to let me … Continue reading The Mag This Week – One of Many Pages

Booker Prize 2012: Hilary Mantel

How fitting that a writer best known (now) for historical fiction made history? My piece on Mantel’s double Booker in today’s DNA (I’m happy to report that the headline is, ahem, incorrect only in the website. The newspaper carried the sensible version). There’s nothing disappointing about Bring Up The Bodies winning because it is a brilliant book. Structure, pace, language, characterisation, tension, research — it has everything. The one twinge of disappointment for me came from the Booker judges choosing to pick an already famous and bestselling author, rather than someone lesser-known. I probably wouldn’t have felt this twinge if I didn’t love … Continue reading Booker Prize 2012: Hilary Mantel

Nobel Prize for Literature 2012: Mo Yan

This is the week that you should feel a little pity for those of us on the book beat. If no one else wants the sympathy, I’ll take it all, thank you very much. We’ve got two pages of Books coming up in The Mag this Sunday in which yours truly gives you the low down on the six shortlisted novels for this year’s Booker. And as if writing all those reviews wasn’t work enough, the Nobel Prize for Literature had to go ahead and be announced this week. Sheesh. So yes, Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for Literature. … Continue reading Nobel Prize for Literature 2012: Mo Yan