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Sunday, July 27, 2008

World Cinema - now at home!

World cinema, i.e. films made in foreign languages, not the Hollywoodian fare though, have always been so difficult to view, especially for the common Indian viewers. Other than the festival circuit (for us Kolkatans, the Kolkata Film Festival is the biggest film event to showcase World Cinema), the films which are appreciated for their content, themes, sensibility and which convey so much in terms of their socio-cultural milieu, have by and large eluded us - as far as the mainstream sharing space was concerned. UTV World Movies has finally been the answer to our prayers..... seeking quality films from all over the world, on our television screens.... and it promises to fill the void.

The television channel, World Movies, has been screening films in diverse languages (with English sub-titles, of course), such as French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Cantonese, Thai, Polish, Persian, Japanese, Russian and English. It is India’s only international movie channel, and is owned by the UTV Network. Interestingly, the line-up of movies include those that are contemporary, glamorous, award-winning classics and even the box-office successes.

World cinema has an unofficial implication of films with "artistic value" as opposed to "Hollywood commercialism." Foreign language films are often grouped with "art house films" and other independent films in DVD stores or on cinema listings. UTV World Movies has attempted to change that mindset. Furthermore, foreign language films that cross cultural boundaries, particularly where the visual spectacle and the style is sufficient to overcome the lay viewer's misgivings, have been emphasized upon. This will surely garner the initial viewership base.

I have been lucky enough to catch some really engaging films on the World Movies channel, and they are:

Magonia (Dutch)
Cleopatra (Spanish)
Machuka (Spanish)
Viva Cuba (Spanish)
Blessed by Fire (Spanish)
Secrets and Lies (English; UK)

The Mission (English; UK)
Karnaval (French)
Stolen Kisses (French)

Swindled (Spanish)
My Girl (Thai)
Scorchers (English; UK)
The Hidden (Spanish)
Finally Sunday (French)
Rendez-vous (French)
The Last Metro (French)
A Special Day (Italian)
Your Name is Justine (Polish)


Satyaki said...

UTV's channel World Movies, which showcases global cinema, has acquired director Steven Soderbergh's film Che. The film was nominated at Cannes for the Golden Palm this year. This four-hour-plus epic about Latin American revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara stars Benicio Del Toro in the title role, for which he won the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year. The broadcaster says that Che is the first full cinematic rendition of the life of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, politician, author, physician, military theorist, and guerrilla leader who has been and continues to be an inspiration for millions of people around the world. I am eager to catch it on World Movies.

Aniruddh said...

The fare on UTV World Movies is, unfortunately, inconsistent in terms of quality. Mostly the movies are the 2nd-rung movies from the festive circuit. If UTV World Movies attempts at reaching the widest viwership base, then I doubt it would have any opportunity to regale true connoisseurs of world cinema, rather it will have to make do with martial arts pics and mumbo-jumbo thrillers!