IFFLA 2013 Preview: India In The Spotlight Again!

J Hurtado, Contributing Writer
The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles is nearly upon us with an April 9th opening looming, so we thought we'd give you a little preview of the awesome films coming to the City of Angels. Unfortunately, I won't be in Los Angeles to cover the festival first hand, but I will be presenting a few new reviews for the festival as the week wears on. In the meantime, I've prepared a small list of features that are definitely worth checking out, including links to Twitch reviews from festivals past.

gowiifla.jpgGangs of Wasseypur
IFFLA's opening night gala screening is Anurag Kashyap's crime epic Gangs of Wasseypur, which will be shown over two nights. We've written plenty about the film here, but I decided to add a little blurb from Kurt's Review from TIFF 2012

Anurag Kashyap works outside of the mainstream Bollywood industry, and he is very likely about to become his own industry with three new projects on the ground. His commitment to using character actors, and not celebrities, to drive his films and using music in a compelling new way; one could easily consider this film a musical even if it defies all expectations of what you will think. It's got grit, heart, style, and brains.

Even with the mountain of Indian cinema and pop culture -- music and cinema are everywhere by intent -- information adding resonances I cannot see, the film can easily travel anywhere, as organized crime is a universal cinematic language. My god, can Kashyap speak it well. See this monster of a film, any way you can, but on 35mm seems so beautifully appropriate.

eegaiffla.jpgEega
I know that some people may have grown tired of my incessant pimping of SS Rajamouli's miraculous Eega, but I won't be satisfied until everyone on Earth has seen it. IFFLA has seen fit to add it to their schedule and this provides yet another opportunity for fans of fantastic films to get this one into their eyeholes. Here's a piece from my review from last July:

There is a reason that S.S. Rajamouli is considered the most innovative director in the Telugu film industry, and Eega is the perfect illustration of why he deserves to wear that crown. The film is completely insane, endlessly enjoyable, and absolutely unique. Eega is the best film about a man reincarnated as a housefly avenging his own murder that you will ever see.

arjuniffla.jpgArjun: The Warrior Prince
The first animated feature from the Disney/UTV takeover is this mythological tale of Arjun: The Warrior Prince. The film is computer animated in 2D, which gives it an interesting look very similar to that of cel animation, and in that regard it actually looks really good. The story is a bit heavy on mythology for those unfamiliar with sacred Hindu texts, but provides enough action for fans of all ages. Here's what Peter Gutierrez had to say about the film:
In short, although on the surface Arjun - The Warrior Prince may feel like a traditional Disney film, it's got a lot more gravitas and respect for its audience, whether old or young.

misslovelyiffla.jpgMiss Lovely
Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely was among the most daring Indian features I saw in 2012. After premiering at Cannes in May, the film has made its way through the festival circuit and is now landing at IFFLA for its Los Angeles premiere. Rather than attempt to synopsize the film, I'll leave you with a bit from my review from last September.
Ashim Ahluwalia's film is bold and singular, his vision: clear and concise. His film may not be a simply told story, but Miss Lovely is most definitely among the most challenging and atypical Indian features of the year, and that is almost worth supporting by itself. However, I give it my hearty recommendation, based not upon what it isn't, a cookie cutter romantic tragedy, but upon what it is, an idiosyncratically self-reflexive piece of cinematic art that will leave you drained as you leave the cinema.
Also playing the festival are a handful of other films that I'll be reviewing over the next week. Vasan Bala's Peddlers, Anand Gandhi's Ship of Theseus, and Hansal Mehta's Shahid are  films that come to IFFLA as graduates of TIFF's City to City 2012 program. Look for reviews of all three as the week progresses. Also playing are a group of films as part of a tribute to the late king of Bollywood romance, Yash Chopra. Silsila, a film about the infidelity of a man and the struggles through which he puts his faithful wife, will play in this section, as well as Chopra's Chandni and Kabhi Kabhie. The other major films playing IFFLA include new films from a pair of India's best known filmmakers. Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie's book of the same name, and Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist round out the big name titles playing IFFLA 2013.

For more information, show times, and ticket purchases, you can visit the festival's website here.

Around the Internet:
blog comments powered by Disqus
​​