Authors Posts by Balaji Thangapandian

Balaji Thangapandian


The history:

The International Film Festival was created on the initiative of Jean Zay, Minister for Education and Fine Arts, who was keen to establish an international cultural event in France to rival the Venice Film Festival.

The first edition of the Festival was originally set to be held in Cannes in 1939 under the presidency of Louis Lumière. However, it was not until over a year after the war ended that it finally took place, on 20 September 1946. It was subsequently held every September – except in 1948 and 1950 – and then every May from 1952 onwards. The rest is history. It need not explained.


One of the most prestigious film festivals, The Cannes Film Festival, is well poised to begin in May’16. And the schedule for screening between May 11 and 22 is been made public.

Opening Film
“Cafe Society” (Woody Allen)

Official Competition
“Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade)
“Julieta” (Pedro Almodovar)
“American Honey” (Andrea Arnold)
“Personal Shopper” (Olivier Assayas)
“The Unknown Girl” (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardennes)
“It’s Only The End Of The World” (Xavier Dolan)
“Slack Bay” (Bruno Dumont)
“Paterson” (Jim Jarmusch)
“Staying Vertical” (Alain Guiraudie)
“Aquarius” (Kleber Mendonça Filho)
“Mal De Pierres” (Nicole Garcia)
“I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach)
“Ma’ Rosa” (Brillante Mendoza)
“Bacalaureat” (Cristian Mungiu)
“Loving” (Jeff Nichols)
“The Handmaiden” (Park Chan-Wook)
“The Last Face” (Sean Penn)
“Sierra Nevada” (Cristi Puiu)
“Elle” (Paul Verhoeven)
“The Neon Demon” (Nicholas Winding Refn)

Un Certain Regard
“Varoonegi” (Behnam Behzadi)
“Apprentice” (Boo Junfeng)
“Voir Du Pays” (Delphine & Muriel Coulin)
“La Danseuse” (Stéphanie Di Giusto)
“Eshtebak” (Mohamed Diab)
“The Red Turtle” (Michael Dudok De Wit)
“Fuchi Ni Tatsu” (Fukada Kôji)
“Omor Shakhsiya” (Maha Haj)
“Me’ever Laharim Vehagvaot” (Eran Kolirin)
“After The Storm” (Hirokazu Koreeda)
“Hymyilevä Mies” (juho Kuosmanen)
“La Larga Noche De Francisco Sanctis” (Francisco Márquez & Andrea Testa)
“Caini” (Bogdan Mirica)
“The Transfiguration” (Michael O’Shea)
“Captain Fantastic” (Matt Ross)
“Uchenik” (Kirill Serebrennikov)

Out Of Competition
“The BFG” (Steven Spielberg)
“Goksung” (Na Hong-Jin)
“Money Monster” (Jodie Foster)
“The Nice Guys” (Shane Black)

Midnight Screenings
“Gimme Danger” (Jim Jarmusch)
“The Train To Busan” (Yeon Sang-Ho)

Special Sessions
“L’ultima Spiaggia” (Thanos Anastopoulos & Davide Del Degan)
“Hissein Habré, Une Tragédie Tchadienne” (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun)
“La Mort De Louis XIV” (Albert Serra)
“Le Cancre” (Paul Vecchiali)

Compiled by: BT, Film Theorist

Tag: Cannes Film Festival.

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It is official that Ben Affleck is to direct standalone Batman for Warner Bros. Yes, its the first time after Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, a solo movie is going to be made for Batman.

Warner Bros, studio chairman and CIO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed longstanding rumors about the Oscar-winning filmmaker directing and reprising as Batman. Earlier, Ben Affleck was signed for Justice League part 1 & 2. Now, this news has brought delight among the fanbase, who greatly celebrated seeing Ben Affleck as Batman.

Zack Snyder was asked whether Ben Affleck should direct a Batman film, he said, he should certainly do it because its going to help him in comprehending the universe of Batman. ‘Oh yeah, for sure. I think he would. I think that’s kind of the prerequisite, hopefully, for him doing [the film]’, says Snyder.

Reportedly, Ben Affleck concentrates on one film at a time, he completes a film, and then takes the next project. ‘I keep working on him, he’s always said he’s a one movie at a time guy. He’s finishing editing his film ‘Live By Night’ and then he comes to ‘Justice League,’ and then after that, I think he’s going to try and develop the story [Batman].’, says Snyder.

The academy award winning filmmaker (Argo), Ben Affleck directing a standalone Batman film has rejuvenated enthusiasm among fans.

Authored by: BT, Film Theorist.

Tag: Ben Affleck, Batman, Zack Snyder, Batman Standalone film

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From the writer of Training Day, the director of Fury, David Ayer comes Suicide Squad. I’m looking forward in watching, the academy award winner Jared Leto as Joker.

– BT, Film Theorist

Jason’s Bourne is a fictional CIA field agent, who is framed into a special assignment as an assassin for eliminating targets who have conflicting interests. During a particular mission, he declines to assassinate a diplomat, consequently, he gets shot by the guards and disappears. He is then found and rescued somewhere in the European waters by fishermen. He does not remember his identity. He traces back his origins and founds that he is sort of persuaded to kill targets. And, then he starts following the leads and kills those responsible. Jason Bourne is a fictional character originally written by Robert Ludlum for his novel by the same name. Subsequently, his works were adapted into feature films.That’s the brief introduction about the character and events happening in the Bourne Trilogy, The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).

Matt Damon played as Jason Bourne and he was phenomenal. The first part of the installment was directed by Doug Liman, and the last two series were by one of my most favorite directors Paul Greengrass.

I was captivated by Matt Damon as Jason Borune. His moves, body language, motorcycle and car driving expertise, being nimble, sensitive of the environment, ability to quickly understand the threats and find a way to evade them, meticulous in thinking and execution, physical stamina. All of it made me obsessed with the character. In effect, I became Jason Bourne in my real life either. I enacted the character, I moved, talked, behaved, drove, ran, thought, actioned like Jason Bourne. My colleagues started calling me as Jason Bourne. Yes, that’s another pseudo name of mine. In this process I sustained minor bruises and injuries.

Now, I’m delighted because Matt Damon had reprised the role of Jason Bourne and Paul Greengrass has come back to direct the 5th installment of the series, titled Bourne 5/Jason Bourne.

They should have left him alone! So do I.

Authored by: BT, Film Theorist.

Tag: Jason Bourne, Matt Damon, Doug Liman, Paul Greengrass, Jason Bourne 5, Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum

The three creative geniuses of our times Roald Dahl (novelist), Walt Disney (Innovator) and Steven Spielberg (Storyteller) have come together and made one of the most loved works of Dahl, The BFG as a feature film. Also joins the critically acclaimed screenwriter Melissa Mathison, whose earlier major screenplays include E.T( Extraterrestrial, 1982) and Kundan (1997) a biographical drama about Dalai Lama.

As the name suggests the film is about the Big Friendly Giant (BFG) from the giant world, who brings a precocious, 10 year old girl Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) from London to his cave in the dream country of him. He collects dreams and shares them with children and tells them the wonders, mysteries, and dangers of their world and dreams. The BFG is Mark Rylance, who won academy for best supporting actor for his role in The Bridge of Spies.

Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance stars as the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) in Disney's fantasy-adventure, THE BFG, directed by Steven Spielberg based on the best-selling book by Roald Dahl, which opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.

“I think it was kind of genius of Roald Dahl to be able to empower the children. It was very, very brave of him to introduce that combination of darkness and light which was so much Disney’s original signature in a lot of their earlier works like in ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Fantasia,’ ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella,’ and being able to do scary, but also be redemptive at the same time and teach a lesson, an enduring lesson, to everyone, it was a wonderful thing for Dahl to have done, and it was one of the things that attracted me to want to direct this Dahl book,” says Spielberg.

In Disney's fantasy-adventure THE BFG, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Roald Dahl's beloved classic, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) befriends the BFG (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance), a Big Friendly Giant from Giant Country. The film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.

The BFG is an outcast, as unlike other giants, he does not eat humans, instead he survives on Snozzcumber and Frobscottle ( fictional food and drink respectively of the worlds of BFG). He is 24 foot tall, with enormous ears and lovingly stupid. Soon, Sophie and The BFG become friends on realising their warm and cordial intentions. Meanwhile, the giant world, realises the unwanted presence of the girl, and the other giants intend to kill both The BFG and girl. The rest of the plot revolves on how does the small little girl, Sophie, plans and protects the giant, The BFG for their friendship.

‘It’s a story about friendship, it’s a story about loyalty and protecting your friends and it’s a story that shows that even a little girl can help a big giant solve his biggest problems’, says Spielberg.

Only few fortunate ones exist in the world, who are beyond the relationships humans can ever understand. The BFG is one such relationship!

The theatrical release is scheduled on 1st of July 2016.

Authored by BT, Film Theorist.

Official Trailer:

Tag: The BFG, Steven Spielberg, Roald Dahl, Walt Disney, Melissa Mathison, Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill

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Sundance film festival is the household name for exhibition and commercialization of independent cinema of American and International origins for decades. Filmmakers have always found commercial distribution for their films here. Therefore, there have always been admiration for unique and intriguing content. ‘ Swiss Army Man ‘ was an exception. People walked out half way of the screening. Why? Let’s explore!

The production company A24 is widely known for advocating films of different kind. Ex Machina(2015), which won the academy for best visual effects beating Star Wars: Force Awakens, The Rover (2014) are few examples of their philosophy of filmmaking. Swiss Army Man is a perfect exemplification of their beliefs.

Why the title Swiss Army Man?

Paul Dano is deserted on an island and stranded without help for years. Eventually, he decides to commit suicide. From nowhere, he finds a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame). Intriguingly, the corpse farts and turns out be savior of kind, which develops multi purpose abilities over the period, which help Paul Dano escape, and bring back the memories of his girlfriend. Therefore, the title Swiss Army Man.

The filmmakers Daniels aka Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) who made the debut at Sundance this year (2016),  from the music video fraternity, won directing award in the dramatic category for making weirdly unique, awkward film that explores the human emotions embarrassingly. I hope, it would suffice for you to get an idea why did viewers walked out half way of the screening, without me divulging into details, which act as spoilers.

Swiss Army Man is not an independent film, but marks the birth of all new filmmaking approach ‘ indifferent cinema’. It opens in theatres on 17th June’16

Official synopsis:

Hank (Paul Dano) is stranded on a deserted island, having given up all hope of ever making it home again.  But one day everything changes when a corpse named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) washes up on shore; the two become fast friends, and ultimately go on an epic adventure that will bring Hank back to the woman of his dreams.

Swiss Army Man creates a world like no other—a place of pure fantastical imagination, brimming with magical realism yet featuring two characters whose dreams and fears are entirely relatable. Dano and Radcliffe both fully commit to their directors’ audacious vision, and their work is exceptional, finding the perfect balance of humor and heart that drives the whole film.  A celebration of all the wonders cinema has to offer, Swiss Army Man is ultimately all the more remarkable for using its dazzling originality to tell a universal story of human complexity and connection.

tag: Swiss Army Man, Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Daniels, Indifferent Cinema, Independent Cinema

Authored by: BT, Film Theorist

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Star Wars: A Rogue One Story is a standalone film of Star Wars, directed by Gareth Edwards. An independent turned successful mainstream filmmaker. Earlier, he had made an indie film, Monster (2010) which was well received, winning awards for best first film, best direction, and technical achievement from British Independent Film Award. And, went on to make rebooted version of Godzilla (2014), which proved as both critical acclaim and commercial success as well.

George Lucas intended to build Star Wars by delegating it to indie turned mainstream filmmakers, he partially achieved it in doing so. That’s how, Gareth Edwards got the opportunity of directing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Reportedly, the plot revolves around the rebellion’s attempt in acquiring the technical details of Death Star. The mammoth floating spacecraft houses the empire, Lord Sith, Darth Vader and their followers. The purpose of the death star is destroy planets through focussing its high intensity laser beam on the target planets of rebels, the good side of the force. Therefore, its been speculated that, despite the fact that Darth Vader is dead, he will be back on the screen after decades as he is one of the pivotal roles of the plot.

Since, the story is about conceiving plans for destruction of Death Star or acquiring technical blueprint, the story should be happening even before Episode IV happened (originally episode I).

The other standalone movies of the franchise that are either in conceptualization or production are OBI WAN and Anakin, C – 3PO One Shot, New Republic: Bloodline, Aftermath: Life Debt, Han Solo Movie, unconfirmed one anthology film.

The mainstream films that are in production include Star Wars: Episode VIII (May 2017), directed by Looper fame Rian Johnson and to be announced Star Wars: Episode IX (2019).

Authored by: BT, Film Theorist.

Tag: Star Wars: A Rogue One Story, Gareth Edwards, George Lucas, Standalone films, Death Star, Episode VIII, Rian Johnson,


Sometimes doing the world’s most dangerous job requires, someone who is reckless.

‘ If I’m going to die, I’m going to die comfortable’.

Does it sound ruthless? Yes, certainly it does. When one is exhilarated by the adrenaline generated from the war, this is how precisely they sound.

How do you lead your life when the job that you do is horrifyingly the most dangerous job in the world? And, you are most likely to be killed as we speak, the very next second, tomorrow or maybe end up living until you get reasonably old. How would your life be?

The Hurt Locker perfectly exemplifies these questions. The film does not follow a definite narrative, it starts and ends abruptly. The immersive cinematography takes you into the battlefield as a participant because of the predominant usage of Point Of View (POV) shots, that create and sustain the real time battlefield tension throughout the film. The director of cinematography Barry Ackroyd, primarily deserves the credit for producing the documentary styled visuals mixed with essence of feature films. His major credits as DP include Captain Philips(2013) and The Big Short(2015). Editing of the film is perfectly paced, and the editors won Oscars for their impeccable job. (Bob Murawski, Chris Innis)


Being Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technician is the job that I’m talking about so far. The independent turned mainstream filmmaker Kathreyn Bigleow intended to replicate the chaos of war on the screen; audiences to be part of the humvee and get confused in deciding whom to shoot, civilians or potential insurgents; become the fourth man in the unit disarming unexploded bombs, carrying the body parts of the mate who was alive until now.

‘My intention was to put the audience into the soldier’s shoes, into the humvee, and almost ask them to be the fourth man on the team, and have the experience, what the soldiers experience, what is like to walk down on the bomb, and how the world begins to recede, its an epic walk, that’s where the film lives, and if you could put the audiences there and give them that walk, then, i suppose as a filmmaker, I have done everything, I could have imagined to do.’ says the academy award winning director Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, whose other major work credits include, Zero Dark Thirty(2012), Point Break (1991).

The screenwriter Mark Boal went to Iraq and was part of the EOD team for months, went on for live missions and comprehended their dangers in person. That’s how he developed three main characters of the film. ‘The film follows three EOD technicians, in the US Army as they make their way through the last month and half of their tour in Iraq.’, says Mark Boal. He risked his very live for crafting the realistic portrayal of ground realities of EOD Techs. He won the well deserved Oscar for best writing/original screenplay for Hurt Locker. He continues to risk for acquiring stories of brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for greater good of the nation.

The very beginning of the film sets the tension as the opening shot is of the Bot’s POV in locating an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) or road side bombs. They are typically made up of conventional military bombs detonated by trigger. And the tension sustains as not all the bombs are diffused because of the fact, the insurgent who triggers stands in close proximity disguised as civilians, watching EOD technicians attempting to diffuse, and they eventually trigger the bomb, sometimes get themselves killed.


Typically, war movies are geopolitical, exploring the ideologies of those involved in combat. However, Hurt Locker is an exception. Its apolitical. It does not reason the invasion nor propagates the insurgency. The film is more of an introspection and exhibition of psychology of the EOD tech, Staff Sergeant William James, played by Jeremy Renner. ‘ I was captivated by the character. I look back and Its been the most spectacular experience that I have done as a man, and not as an actor.’ says, Jeremy Renner. The character is sort of a rowdy boy kind, wild, reckless, yet emotional and cares humans. He has disarmed humongous number of 873 bombs. One bomb is sufficient to take lives of many. Its because he understands the psych of bombers and operates in similar fashion. He is asked by a senior, ‘ What’s the best way about disarming the bomb?’, he says ‘ The way you don’t die sir.’

The tour starts with Bravo’s company rotation for 39 days in Iraq. During the tour  some missions succeed and some fatally fail. His team realises that he is obsessed about being an EOD tech and derives pleasure from putting his life on risk. When asked about it, he says ‘ I don’t know, why i  am the way.’ The tour gets completed, and gets back to his family of wife and infant in America. He cannot lead an average civilian life nor as a husband and father.  He always mentions of the need for more of EOD technicians to his wife. The film ends with him making the epic walk again. wearing the suit, going towards disarming a bomb. Now, can you imagine the number of days of tour. Whopping, 365 days! ‘ 365 days left in Delta Company Rotation’. Does he survive the tour? Its left unanswered.

Arguably, if there is one film that needs to be watched even without a line of recommendation, then, it certainly is The Hurt Locker. PERIOD!

It was a direct contender of Avatar at Academy 2010, outperformed, and won unprecedented 6 Oscars including Best Picture, Direction, Writing/Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Editing.

Authored by: BT, Film Theorist

Tag: The Hurt Locker, Kathreyn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Jeremy Renner, Oscars, Best Picture, Direction, Writing/Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Editing.


Star wars is the one of the greatest films ever made in the history of cinema. And, it has the largest fan base ever. It is not a science fiction, fantasy, alien or time travel film. Its an emotional drama between father and son in the backdrop of intergalactic conflicts between good and evil.

Where and when does the story happen?

The time period, where travelling at the speed of light is made possible. Therefore, exploring galaxies is not a challenge anymore. Trade is flourished between the occupants of galaxies. The nature is referred as ‘Force’, and it has good and dark side (evil). People, derive strength from force. Therefore, the most famous quote ‘ Let the force be with you ‘ is abundantly used throughout the series.


Though, the film has multiple characters, only two characters are of paramount importance. They are Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker. Who are they. They are father and son. Let’s dissect them first, and comprehend their characteristics, which would help us in getting better understanding of the plot.

Anakin Skywalker –

He is a child prodigy, the sole fastest pilot in all of the galaxies. He leads his life in harmony with his mother. His expertise is exhibited in a competition and needed by the good side of the force to combat dark side.  In meantime, his mother is murdered by the dark side. Subsequently, he joins the force and fights the evil. In the process, he also finds his partner and marries her. When all seems to recover for him, a series of personal tragedies happen again, his wife goes through difficulties in surviving the pregnancy, he is deprived of peace and love. And he has to make a choice between fighting for the good side of the force and embracing the dark side as the evil has already promised to save his wife. Eventually, he is completely poisoned and joins the dark side and transitions to Darth Vader ( the captain of the dark side/evil).

The episodes I,II and III are about the evolution of Anakin Skywalker and his transformation to dark side as Darth Vader.

Luke Skywalker –

Luke is also extremely able and as good as his father (Anakin), but he does not know that Darth Vader is his father as he is grown by foster family, and his origin is deliberately kept as secret by good side of the force. When the dark side’s atrocities become intolerable, the good side of the force makes Luke to get trapped in series of circumstances to fight against evil. Still, he is not made known that Darth Vader is his father. Only the good side of the force knows that Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker is Luke’s father, and Luke wouldn’t kill his father, if he is made known. Eventually, Luke fights with Darth Vader. Instinctively, Darth Vader realises that his son (Luke) is the one who stands against him. So, hesitates to kill his son. The lord of the dark side realises it, and attempts to kill Luke. Darth Vader rescues his son, and kills the Lord of the dark side. In the fight, Darth Vader gets fatally injured, redeems his sins, and dies. The dark side is completely eliminated. Peace is restored in the galaxies.

Episodes IV, V and VI revolve around the conflict between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, destruction of dark side and restoration of peace.

So, what happens in Episode VII?

In brief, the plot happens exactly 30 years after destruction of dark side. The dark side of the force resumes again. Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts are not known as he feels morally responsible for training someone who has brought back the dark side to existence. The entire episode VII is about finding Luke Skywalker as he is the one who can again destroy the dark side. Towards the end, Luke Skywalker is found. Many new characters are introduced in this episode, but their origins are not revealed. Perhaps, more answers would come in the following episodes of VIII and IX.

Authored by: BT, Film Theorist

Tag: George Lucas, Star Wars, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Independent Films, Episodes I, II,III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX

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The production company of Leonardo DiCaprio Appian way has inked a pact with Paramount pictures. A three year collaboration for producing feature films and TV series.

As a part of the deal, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio unite for the fifth time for the adaption of one of the best selling novels ‘ The Devil In The White City ‘. Scorsese and DiCaprio had been partnered earlier for The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, The Wolf of Wall Street. Their combination always proved as critical acclaim and blockbuster as well.
The novel ‘ The Devil In The White City ‘ is written by Erik Larson, which is about an architect, who works to build up the 1893 world’s fair, while a serial killer uses the fair to attract and kill women. Its going to be tension filled, edge of the seat thriller for us to witness Leo as a serial killer, and being directed by Martin Scorsese. The novel has been screen adapted by the academy award nominated Billy Ray.

The novel is based on the real life characters and events happened in 1893, Chicago, connecting the stories of Daniel H.Burnham, the architect behind the World’s fair. Leonardo DiCaprio plays as Dr H.H Holmes, the serial killer who lured his victims to their deaths in his elaborately constructed ‘Murder Castle. He had built his ‘World’s Fair Hotel’ complete with a gas chamber, dissection table, and a crematorium to dispose of the bodies.

Leonardo DiCaprio bought the adaptation rights of the novel in 2010, and the film is going to be produced in association with Paramount pictures and his production company Appian way. ‘I’ve had the pleasure of working with Brad and the team at Paramount Pictures on numerous projects throughout my career. I cannot think of a better home for Appian Way as we continue our growth,’ said DiCaprio in a statement.

‘Leo is one of the great talents of our time, said Paramount CEO Brad Grey. ‘He is a masterful actor, storyteller and producer, with impeccable taste and skill that has shaped his extraordinary career. Our first project together was ‘The Departed,’ before I came to Paramount. Since then, working with the legendary Martin Scorsese, we have partnered on two wonderful pictures, ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’

The production of ‘ The Devil In The White City ‘ has officially started. However, the release date is not yet announced. In meantime, let’s anticipate in seeing DiCaprio as one of the most prolific serial killers in the history of America.

Complied and written by: BT, Film Theorist

Tag: Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese , Paramount Pictures, The Devil in the White City, Serial Killer,  Dr H.H Holmes, Appian Way


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- Balaji Thangapandian | BT Jason Bourne remains invincible and unprecedented, with perfect back stories relating to all the events of his past. The revenge...