14 August 2018

Everything I Watched in 2018

Feature Films/Documentaries:

January '18 

1 Good Time ***1/2 2017 Ben and Josh Safdie
2 The Householder *** 1963 James Ivory
3 IT **** 2017 Andy Muschietti
4 Thelma ***1/2 2017 Joachim Trier
5 Detroit **** 2017 Kathryn Bigelow
6 Par Ek Din - 2017 Jaideep Varma
7 Crossing Bridges ***1/2 2013 Sange Dorjee Thongdok
8 Marjorie Prime ** 2017 Michael Almereyda
9 Tanna **** 2015 Martin Butler, Bentley Dean
10 Land of Mine ***1/2 2015 Martin Zandvliet
11 Amma Ariyan *** 1986 John Abraham
12 Ghashiram Kotwal - 1976 K. Hariharan, Mani Kaul, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Kamal Swaroop
13 Fences *** 2016 Denzel Washington
14 Mukkabaaz ****1/2 2018 Anurag Kashyap
15 Jackie *** 2016 Pablo LarraĆ­n
16 Hidden Figures *** 2016 Theodore Melfi
17 Kaalakaandi **1/2 2018 Akshat Verma
18 The Beguiled *** 2017 Sofia Coppola
19 Loving Vincent *** 2017 Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman
20 Spielberg **** 2017 Susan Lacy
21 The Lost City of Z *** 2017 James Gray
22 Pyasa Shaitan 1/2 1984 Joginder
23 I Am Not Your Negro *** 2016 Raoul Peck
24 Memoir of a Murderer **** 2017 Won Shin-yun
25 Aval *** 2017 Milind Rau
26 Toni Erdmann *** 2016 Maren Ade
27 Padmaavat (3D) **1/2 2018 Sanjay Leela Bhansali
28 Stronger *** 2017 David Gordon Green
29 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery **1/2 1997 Jay Roach
30 Youth *** 2015 Paolo Sorrentino
31 Jana Aranya ***1/2 1976 Satyajit Ray
32 Cujo ** 1983 Lewis Teague
33 Sikkim *** 1971 Satyajit Ray

10 August 2018

Books I Read in 2018

  1. We Indians (Khushwant Singh)
  2. The Best Baker In The World (Raja Sen)
  3. Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami)
  4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)
  5. The Complete Adventures of Feluda: Vol. 1 (Satyajit Ray)
  6. Kafka on the Shore (Haruki Murakami)
  7. Calling Sehmat (Harinder Sikka)
  8. The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee: The Filmmaker Everyone Loves (Jai Arjun Singh)
  9. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (Arundhati Roy)
  1. Do Log (Gulzar)
  2. Aag Ka Dariya (Qurratulain Hyder)
  3. Udaas Naslain (Abdullah Hussain)
  4. Na Bairi Na Koi Begana: Volume 1 (Surendra Mohan Pathak)
  5. Vishvaas Ki Hatya (Surendra Mohan Pathak)
  6. Fifty-Fifty (Surendra Mohan Pathak)
  7. Kaanpta Sheher (Surendra Mohan Pathak)
  8. Dial Hundred (Surendra Mohan Pathak)
  9. Kaagaz ki Naav (Surendra Mohan Pathak)

12 June 2018

Hindi Films with Exclamation Marks in their Titles

1984 Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!
1988 Salaam Bombay!
1994 Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!
1995 Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India!
1997 Uff! Yeh Mohabbat
1998 Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge! 
2000 Kya Kehna!
2000 Snip!
2002 Mujhse Dosti Karoge!
2002 Waah...! Tera Kya Kehna
2003 Oops!
2004 Ab... Bas!
2004 Dil Maange More!!!
2004 Kyun! Ho Gaya Na...
2004 Popcorn Khao! Mast Ho Jao
2004 Stop!
2005 Bluffmaster!
2005 Tum... Ho Na!
2005 Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!
2006 Khosla Ka Ghosla!
2007 Chak De! India
2007 Hattr!ck
2008 A Wednesday!
2008 Good Luck!
2008 Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!
2008 Rock On!!
2008 Sorry Bhai!
2009 Dil Bole Hadippa!
2009 Shaabash! You Can Do It 
2009 Zor Lagaa Ke...Haiya!
2009 Wake Up S!d
2010 Hello! Hum Lallan Bol Rahe Hain
2010 Pyaar Impossible!
2010 Toh Baat Pakki!
2011 Damadamm!
2011 Love U...Mr. Kalakaar!
2011 Turning 30!!!
2012 Barfi!
2012 Fatso!
2012 OMG: Oh My God!
2013 Kai Po Che!
2013 Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara!
2014 Bang Bang!
2014 Life Is Beautiful!
2015 Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!
2017 Sniff!!!
2017 Golmaal Again!!!
2018 Kuldip Patwal: I Didn't Do It!
2018 Brij Mohan Amar Rahe!

Note — This post is inspired by this Tweet:
Additions via Sanjay Desai

10 June 2018

Hindi Films with Question Marks in their Titles

1957 Apradhi Kaun?
1964 Woh Kaun Thi?
1970 Kab? Kyoon? Aur Kahan?
1979 Aur Kaun?
1980 Yeh Kaisa Insaf? 
1982 Apradhi Kaun?
1983 Kaun? Kaisey?
1985 Aakhir Kyon?
1994 Teesra Kaun?
1999 Kaun?
2002 Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai?
2003 Kyon?
2004 Hum Kaun Hai?
2006 Aisa Kyon Hota Hai?
2006 Anthony Kaun Hai?
2009 What's Your Raashee? 
2009 Raat Gayi, Baat Gayi?
2011 Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?
2012 ?: A Question Mark 
2012 Will You Marry Me?

PS: Films like Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai (1980), Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya (2005) and Kya Yahi Sach Hai (2011) do not have question marks in their title.

3 June 2018

Chess in Hindi Films

21 May 2018

The Day I Met Gulzar

May 20th, 2018. 

I will never forget this day. I was fortunate enough to be present in the company of the legendary Gulzar Saab. Listening to him (along with Vishal Bhardwaj and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra), at the 13th Habitat Film Festival, was an incredible experience. I took his autograph on his novel Do Log, which has now become one of my most prized possessions. The twinkle in his eyes and the smile that played on his lips as he signed this copy for me will be etched in my heart forever. 

Thank you, HarperCollins India and Habitat Film Club.

15 May 2018

The Twitter account that documents characters reading books in movies

First published on The Reader.

When I trace the moments that built curiosity in me, I remember reading a 2014 article titled ‘Books People Read in Hindi Films’ by Diptakirti Chaudhuri in Outlook. As a trivia buff, it really intrigued me, but at that time, I had no plans to start Books in Movies. It was only after I came into contact with Pankaj Sachdeva (one of my favourite bloggers) over Twitter, who’s also interested in such trivia, that I started thinking about it.

I realised I consume enough films on a daily basis and it would be really fun to dig out scenes of characters reading books. I remembered quite a few books in movies I’d seen long ago, which was good enough to give me a kickstart. After tweeting a few posts from my personal account, I decided to create a separate Twitter and Instagram page dedicated to books in movies.

However, I had absolutely no idea that I’d get such a good response. It was more of something I was doing for myself. But, surprisingly, I got wonderful responses and support from fellow movie buffs, authors, writers and film-makers, and that still continues. Eminent personalities like Konkona Sen Sharma, Varun Grover and Mayank Shekhar also follow this account. And it makes me very elated when someone of their stature shows interest in the work I do. This has encouraged me further to keep continuing, and so far I have tweeted over 750 posts.

As far as the process is concerned, I never watch a movie solely for the purpose of finding books in it. But since I watch one movie almost every day, I keep getting my data regularly. Most of the times, I find them easily, but sometimes, the books are not properly visible in the films or I can’t find any details about them. In such cases, I search for the books/authors using related keywords.

While in most movies, books are rarely related to the plot, there have also been films that have shown characters having deep connections with books. Say, for example, Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan, where Shaalu (Shweta Tripathi) loves reading Hindi literature and in a scene, she is seen picking Rag Darbari by Sri Lal Shukla. In Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) is depicted reading parts of 'The Hollow Men' by T. S. Eliot towards the end of the film. 

K. Balachander’s Ek Duuje Ke Liye is about the love between a North Indian woman (Rati Agnihotri) and a Tamil man (Kamal Haasan). In the film, they read ‘Learn Tamil in 30 Days’ and ‘Learn Hindi in 30 Days’, respectively. Similarly, Kalki Koechlin’s character is seen learning Hindi in Anurag Kashyap’s That Girl in Yellow Boots which is a story of a British girl who has come to Mumbai to search for her dad.

In Mira Nair’s The Namesake (based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel of the same name), there are numerous references to Nikolas Gogol’s The Overcoat. In the film, Irrfan Khan names his son Gogol after his favourite writer.

It makes me immensely happy when people tell me that they have started noticing books in movies because of this account and it is inspiring them to do their own research. Many people also contribute by sending pics. I would specially mention Sanjay Desai from Gandhinagar (Gujarat) who has been a frequent contributor to this page.

I hope I can continue to gain the love and support of my friends and well-wishers. The journey so far has been better than I anticipated. I wish my ‘Books in Movies’ family continues to grow and win the interest of book lovers and movie buffs alike.

-Abhisek Suman

4 February 2018

What People Watch in Hindi Films

31 December 2017

Everything I Watched in 2017

Feature Films/Documentaries:

January '17

1Hunt for the Wilderpeople***1/22016Taika Waititi
2Eraserhead****1977David Lynch
3Anomalisa****2015Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson
4Blade Runner***1982Ridley Scott
5The Witch***2015Robert Eggers
6A Monster Calls***2016J. A. Bayona
7Agraharathil Kazhutai***1977John Abraham
8OK Jaanu***2017Shaad Ali
9Haraamkhor***2017Shlok Sharma
10Dr. No**1/21962Terence Young
11The Darjeeling Limited***2007Wes Anderson
12Mrs. Doubtfire**1993Chris Columbus
13Revolutionary Road***1/22008Sam Mendes
14Sing Street***2016John Carney
15Kalifornia***1/21993Dominic Sena
16Perfume: The Story of a Murderer***1/22006Tom Tykwer
17Thithi****2016Raam Reddy
18Raees*1/22017Rahul Dholakia
19Duel***1971Steven Spielberg
20Kaabil**2017Sanjay Gupta
21The BFG**2016Steven Spielberg
22The Light Between Oceans***2016Derek Cianfrance