A consolidated film diary for tracking my viewing, which I hope could also serve as recommendation. There are quite a few films – feature length and shorts –  missing from this list, either because I had seen them years ago and don’t have a good memory of them or simply because of my negligence in jotting these titles down. I hope to add them to the list whenever I come across them again.  The films have been rated as an obligation based partly on merit and historical importance, partly on taste and initial impressions, partly on an absolute scale and partly on a relative one. In other words, totally arbitrarily. A low rating for some films, especially challenging ones, stands for an acknowledgement of my inability to engage with them fruitfully.

[Rough key: 10,9: All-time Favorites/Masterpieces, 8,7: Pretty Great/Essential, 6,5: Compelling, but with major reservations, 4,3: Mostly disappointing, 2,1: Turn-offs]

25 Responses to “Film Diary”

  1. Wow. This is great :) Much more informative than /4 star rating that you used before .

    1. I feel so too, Richie. But I’m still a bit embarassed about rating films. Oh well.

      1. Yes, Detailed reviews would be ideal but those are of course a lot more time consuming. In the meantime, this helps in getting atleast a perfunctory idea of how you find certain auteurs / their films in relation to other auteurs/films.

  2. Hi Srikanth,
    Just came across ur blog. Great work.
    Liked in particular, on a quick glance,the latest entry on Paul Virilio’s War And Cinema and the one on Mani Kaul.
    Am trying to compile a list of documetaries and films dealing in some artful manner with the process of filmmaking or the reception/consumption of films.
    I will be thankful if u could key-in a few titles that come to ur mind.
    BTW, where could i find ur profile?

    1. Thank you, Sumanaspati,

      There must be quite a few films falling in the category that you are dealing with, I guess. Right now I can think of Costa’s WHERE DOES YOUR HIDDEN SMILE LIE?, Kieslowski’s CAMERA BUFF, Fassbinder’s BEWARE OF THE HOLY WHORE, Fellini’s 8 1/2, Blank’s BURDEN OF DREAMS and a few others. You should be able to get hundreds on a search engine, with the proper terms.

      I don’t think I have a profile anywhere on the net!


      1. Sujeet Says:

        One docu I’d definitely recco roughly falling in the category you mentioned is ‘Videokaaran’ by Jagannathan Krishnan. More about the film here and here.

        1. Videokaaran has been eluding me for some time, Sujeet. Thanks for reminding again. Happy new year.

  3. Venkateshwaran Says:

    I really liked the translation of Thillu-Mullu and Thiruda thiruda (Was it official translation?)..Btw does Va quarter cutting deserve a rating of 5? I thought it was less than that! Anyway I am really liking this diary which gives me invaluable film suggeastions apart from the ratings..Nice work Srikanth

    1. I guess it is the official one, Venky. I’ve said it and I say it again. Forget the ratings, they are fickle. I’ve just put them on a quasi-relative scale, just for recommendation.

      Having said that, I’ve to admit I was sort of warm for VA’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND-like absurdity (except when it was trying to market that absurdity intentionally).

      THanks and cheers!

      1. Venkateshwaran Says:

        Quasi-Relative scale? hmm.. that’s ok..Ratings are fickle indeed. That’s just a reflection of a viewer’s (or critic’s) instant experience of a particular movie which don’t give a true picture at all.

  4. Anuja Says:

    Dear Srikanth,

    Just stumbled on your blog while searching for an analysis of Mani Kaul’s Satah Se Uthata Aadmi, right after I watched the film. Needless to say the film is superb and yours is a very valuable blog, keep it going. I used to write a blog on film too, on my grand father who worked in the Hindi film industry as a make up artist for over fifty years. If you have the time and the inclination you can see it here: http://www.papaajoba.blogspot.in


  5. Deepak Says:

    I came your blog while I was in Twitter. Enjoyed your detailed analysis on Hey Ram. I’ll watch the movie again if I get a copy of it. Also I would like to suggest something. In your “Film Diary” column you’ve rated some of the movies. It would be really useful if you can provide drop-down for each field or just for rating field. It would surely make things easy to choose a movie.

    1. Hi Deepak,

      G-docs does not allow me to do that, but I do have multiple sheets, noticeable at the bottom, where the titles are sorted based on each column.


  6. Sameer Says:

    This is a very helpful list for recommendations, thanks to systematic sorting of titles. One correction I would like to suggest: Angoor (1982) was directed by Gulzar and not by Shakti Samanta.
    I’m also wondering as to why some important Indian films like Sholay, Deewar, Mughal-e-Azam, Satya, Black Friday, Maqbool, Omkara, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi or some of Shyam Benegal, Saeed Mirza and Govind Nihalani films aren’t listed here; especially since I was curious to know how you like these films vis-a-vis such diverse array of international films listed here.


    1. Thanks for pointing out the error, Sameer. Corrected. The reason these films are missing is either that I haven’t seen them or don’t have the memory of seeing them. Hope to see/re-see some of those soon.


  7. anushil Says:

    Hey there, I keep coming to your blog, and some of what I have read is really interesting, to say the least. Came across this, and it is a bit amusing. I for one don’t really look down on scales, and ratings; obviously they are subjective but for the critic individual and personal. It also does shed a light on the cinematic sensibilities of the critic. Query here: did you really rate Fandry as a 2, or was it a typo? Would love to read a critique on the film from you. Thanks and keep on writing.

    1. Thanks Anushil,

      Yes, I hated FANDRY, which I saw a year and a half ago in a film festival. I was revolted by its spectaclizing of misery for the consumption of a self-patting audience. I don’t have much more to say though.


  8. anushil Says:

    Interesting. Had similar words for some other filmmakers we have :)

    Fandry though, for me, was a gem. Didn’t find any misery (or spectaclizing) there – a lot of joy yes with equal parts anger. Fell for it hook, line and sinker. Just as I did for Wes Anderson and Ray when I first saw them.

    Was your reaction to it, partly, a function of the audience you were watching the film with? I thought it was quite personal and didn’t pander but I was revolted by the audience with me.

    Loved your thoughts on Grand Budapest. And your analysis of Maqbool (don’t really care for the film itself but for the sublime acting and the music). Have you written about anything by Rajat Kapoor or the Coens?

    1. Hi Anushil,

      No I haven’t. Interestingly, they happen to be filmmakers I’m not particularly fond of.

      As for Fandry, the audience reacted exactly the way the film tickled them to. But my reaction to it, I’d like to believe, stays independent of that. I understand that the film might come from real life experience, but I could only see a lot of convenience and stereotyping unfolding on screen. To me, this film reincarnates the worst kind of socially-conscious complaint-box cinema that we in India take for art. Of course, I am in extreme minority with respect to this film.


  9. S M Says:

    I just wanted to check with you. In one of your posts you have written about G Aravindan’s films. There is a link you had in your post that should have let to a set of interviews with him. But that link does not work anymore. Do you have the correct link or the interviews. I need them for a research project. Please do get in touch with me.

    S Madangarli

    1. Hi S M,

      The link seems to be broken, but it is archived at the archive dot org site. Click through the links on the following page. Alternatively, search for the url in the archive.org website.


  10. Hello there. Thats such a nice thing there, the film diary! Thankyou. Dome ratings do appear out of the place, but they are subjective and depends on tastes. However, a question. How have you been able to watch such a long list (this is obviously not about endurance, but about the means & time) ? Thankyou again! Informative.

    1. Hi Vighnesh,

      This is a consolidation of about 10 years of movie watching. So I don’t think that much!


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