The Other Banana
By The Other Banana
A generation of impostors brought up on cinema. The Other Banana podcast is primarily Deepauk M(@complicateur), Aditya(@gradwolf), Anantha(@anantha), and Ashoka(@ABVan).
We discuss films – mostly Indian – and analyse them in turn, roughly on a bi-weekly basis.
We discuss films – mostly Indian – and analyse them in turn, roughly on a bi-weekly basis.
Raj B. Shetty's Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana
As the title suggests, Raj B. Shetty's latest Kannada film Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana contains its share of mythological undertones. But the film is more than just that almost reinventing the gangster drama at an epic scale with very curious passage of character developments. Set in Mangaluru, it tells the story of Hari (Rishab Shetty) and Shiva (Raj B. Shetty), the backstory of how they climb up the ladder of crime in the city and the eventual souring of the relationship. The film's conspicous homo-eroticism was noticed by many and how well it does what it does with it and the film's complete disregard for women in its universe has been topics of debate. For this episode, we have full house of The Other Banana team - Aditya, Deepauk, Anantha and Ashoka discuss the setting, the relationship between Shiva and Hari, what the film does well and what it does not, the character of Brahmmaya played by Gopal Krishna Deshpande, the writing and filmmaking in Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana. Episode edited by Anantha Links: The Raj B. Shetty interview with Baradwaj Rangan Our episode on Raj B. Shetty's Ondu Motteya Kathe
January 23, 2022
2021 - The Year in Review
Its a full house for the last pod of the year; all 4 of us talk about movies/series of 2021: what we watched, what we liked, what we didn't and what we hope to see more of in the coming year. It is a freewheeling chat covering regional content from South India and a lit bit from around the world. ...oh and a Happy 2022 from the crew! Participants: Deepauk Ashoka Aditya Anantha Episode edited by Ashoka.
December 28, 2021
Vijay Kumar's Uriyadi
This episode is brought to you by MUBI, a curated streaming service showing exceptional films from around the globe. Every day, MUBI premieres a new film, each one thoughtfully hand-picked. From new directors to award-winners. Beautiful, interesting, incredible movies—there is always something new to discover. In this episode, we talk about Vijay Kumar's 2016 film Uriyadi. A debut film as actor, writer and director for Vijay Kumar the film had several debutantes in its cast along with Mime Gopi, Citizen Sivakumar among others. The film, set in and around an engineering college outside Trichy, touched upon many issues like caste outfits, caste violence, clashing ideologies and transformation of such outfits into political politics. The film is visceral in its depiction of violence and though it does not name names, Tamil Nadu has a storied history for us to join the dots and talk about the various topics associated with the theme of the film. Joining Aditya and Anantha for this episode are Niranjana, urban researcher working on everyday life of cities at London School of Economics and Political Science and Vignesh, researcher at King's College London focusing on democracy and politics of mobilization. Along with the thoughts on the film we also talk about the history of caste outfits in Tamil Nadu, the mobilization of such organizations, history of Vanniyar Sangam and PMK as an example and how the Dravidian movement morphed through the decades. You can try MUBI for a hugely discounted price by signing up on https://mubi.com/theotherbanana or click here. Participants: Niranjana Vignesh Aditya Anantha Episode edited by Anantha.
December 14, 2021
Mani Ratnam's Iruvar
This episode is brought to you by MUBI, a curated streaming service showing exceptional films from around the globe. Every day, MUBI premieres a new film, each one thoughtfully hand-picked. From new directors to award-winners. Beautiful, interesting, incredible movies—there is always something new to discover. After 102 episodes on South Indian cinema, The Other Banana Podcast has finally chanced upon a film by Mani Ratnam. In this episode we discuss Mani Ratnam's polarizing Iruvar - his take on the friendship between the real life figures of MG Ramachandran and M Karunanidhi, two stalwarts of that heady concoction - cinema and politics. We discuss both the aspects of the film - the form and aesthetics, and Mani's depiction of the Dravidian politics and the various characters in its inception and implementation. You can watch the film with subtitles on MUBI. You can try MUBI for a hugely discounted price by signing up on https://mubi.com/theotherbanana or click here. The film stars Mohanlal, Prakash Raj, Aishwarya Rai, Nasser et al. To talk about Iruvar, we are joined by a special guest - writer, researcher, author Suchitra Vijayan who runs the independent research and journalism organization The Polis Project. Her new book Midnight's Borders: A People's History of Modern India came out this year. Participants: Suchitra Vijayan Deepauk Aditya Shrikrishna Episode edited by Anantha You can listen to the episodes referenced in this podcast here: Vada Chennai Andha Naal Music/BGM Courtesy: Iruvar Soundtrack by AR Rahman/Pyramid
November 09, 2021
Director Series: Padmarajan's Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal
This episode is brought to you by MUBI, a curated streaming service showing exceptional films from around the globe. Every day, MUBI premieres a new film, each one thoughtfully hand-picked. From new directors to award-winners. Beautiful, interesting, incredible movies—there is always something new to discover. At The Other Banana, we continue our series on Padmarajan with his 1986 film Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal (Vineyards for Us to Dwell In). You can watch the film with subtitles on MUBI. You can try MUBI free for 30 days at https://mubi.com/theotherbanana or click here. The film stars Mohanlal, Shari, Vineeth, Thilakan et al. To talk about Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal, we are joined by special guests - filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar and film critic Aswathy Gopalakrishnan. Participants: Bejoy Nambiar Aswathy Gopalakrishnan Aditya Shrikrishna Episode edited by Anantha You can listen to the other episodes in the Padmarajan series here: Kallan Pavithran Deshadanakkili-Karayarilla
October 11, 2021
Anudeep KV's Jathi Ratnalu with Rahul Ravindran
Comedy and romantic comedy is thriving in Telugu cinema. It's not the case with other industries of similar size. This year, cinema theatres briefly opened before the second wave of the pandemic in India and a small film that no one saw coming made a huge splash. It became one of the biggest hits critically and commercially. Maybe it was the timing, maybe it was the nature of the film or the absolute abandon with which it was made, the audiences couldn't have enough of it. It is indeed Anudeep KV's Jathi Ratnalu, a comedy that pushes the genre in every fashion, may it be the dark part of it or the silly. Jathi Ratnalu is streaming on Amazon Prime. The film stars Naveen Polishetty, Rahul Ramakrishna, Priyadarshi, Faria Abdullah, Murli Sharma et al. Aditya and Anantha are joined by writer, director, actor Rahul Ravindran. Rahul made one of the best romantic comedies in recent times - Chi La Sow - for which he won the National Award for Best Original Screenplay. We talked about our favorite sequences from the film, why comedy and romcom are doing great in Telugu cinema, Naveen's career arc so far, whether the film translates well for non-Telugu audiences and more. Listen on.
September 17, 2021
Balu Mahendra's Sandhya Raagam with Balaji Tharaneetharan
We made it to 100. Thanks to all our listeners, no matter if you've listened to one episode or stuck with us this long since 2018 for every one of them! We've enjoyed doing this for the last 3 years and wish to continue the rewarding endeavor. To celebrate the century, we thought the film, the filmmaker and the guest must all be special. So we asked filmmaker Balaji Tharaneetharan to talk about a film by the director who's inspired him the most - Balu Mahendra. Aditya and Deepauk join Balaji Tharaneetharan to talk about Balu Mahendra's Sandhya Raagam (1989). Balu Mahendra considered Veedu and Sandhya Raagam as his best films, two of his most uncompromising works. Balaji spoke about Sandhya Raagam, broke down some shots and moments from the film, his favorite scenes and what affected him the most. And the discussion wasn't confined to Sandhya Raagam. He talked to us about Balu Mahendra, what makes the director-cinematographer a singular Indian filmmaker, how he once visited the director when he was filming and what struck him the most, and other such anecdotes. Balaji also talked about his dream to do away with digital and make at least one movie using film. A big thanks to Balaji Tharaneetharan for joining us for this episode. Related links: Sandhya Raagam on Youtube Our director series on Balaji Tharaneetharan - Episode 1 and Episode 2 Our episode on Balu Mahendra's Veedu
August 23, 2021
Sarpatta Parambarai: Writer Tamil Prabha and Editor Selva RK
At The Other Banana Podcast, we felt that the writing and editing of Pa. Ranjith's latest feature Sarpatta Parambarai (streaming on Amazon Prime) were two of its strongest suits. While every department of the film has worked in wondrous ways in this once in a generation film, we thought it will be fun to get Tamil Prabha (we discussed his novel Pettai in an earlier episode), who collaborated with Pa. Ranjith on the script and editor Selva RK to talk about the technical aspects of editing, how they all worked together in terms of writing, filmmaking, shot making, dialogues to deliver the film we see today. Starring Arya, Pasupathy, John Kokken, Dushara Vijayan, John Vijay, Kalaiyarasan, Shabeer Kallarakkal, the film tracks the boxing clans (parambarais) of the mid to late 70s, their history and landscape and the larger politics that surrounded and impacted their personal lives. Please use headphones/earphones! Show notes: Baradwaj Rangan's interview of Pa. Ranjith Tamil Prabha's post on Pudhupettai Our earlier episode on Tamil Prabha's Pettai with Arivu and Kavitha Muralidharan + Tamil Prabha on Pa. Ranjith's Madras.
August 09, 2021
Director Series: Mysskin's Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum
We return to our Mysskin series with his 2013 film - Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum or The Wolf and the Lamb starring Sri, Mysskin, Shaji Chen, Adithya, Baby Chaitanya, Angel Glady et al. The film is a truckload of Mysskin goodies, the Madras after dark shining through as the entire film is events over the course of a single night. It throws up and answers a lot of questions - what is right and what is wrong, good and evil with everything in between, how situations and decisions contextualized to the events determine more about oneself than we might assume. The film is ripe for both mining Mysskin's aesthetics and his philosophical musings. It might just be Mysskin's best film so far. To talk about the film, we have with us Angel Glady who wears many caps - actor, playwright, theatre activist, dancer etc. She plays the role of Bharati in Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum, credited as vanadevathai (forest fairy). She shares with us her thoughts on the film, working with Mysskin and some great anecdotes from the time of filming. Glady is joined by Deepauk, Anantha and Ashoka. Listen on.
July 26, 2021
Ilaiyaraaja : A Musical Movement (8)
In this episode we dive into one of the first true fusions of Carnatic and western classical music to come out of India - Ilaiyaraaja's 1986 independent album How To Name It. We discuss the context for the album and what may have been Raaja's artistic intent in attempting this album. Additionally we dive deep in to 2-3 specific pieces and what Raaja has been able to achieve in terms of composition there. Topics Covered: What was perceived as fusion at the time How To Name It was released? A detailed breakdown of the title track and what it achieves in terms of melding the Carnatic and Western classical forms What is fugue and why did Raaja choose this form for a piece in the album? What was Raaja's artistic intent in pursuing this effort? How has the album panned out in an overall evaluation and would it be different if done now? Participants: Mahesh Deepauk Bala Chidambaram Musical References East meets West Veedu BGM Simhendra Madhyamam Shanmugapriya Marainthirunthu Paarkum Raajathi Raaja Kaathal Kasakkuthayya Art of fugue The How To Name It Album Image courtesy Karthik Srinivasan for Vijay TV
July 12, 2021
Director Series: Mysskin's Yuddham Sei
At The Other Banana Podcast, we begin another series on Director Mysskin. Unlike the earlier director series we'll be delving into a handful of what we consider important or landmark films of the director, not all of them. The series starts with Mysskin's 2011 thriller Yuddham Sei starring Cheran, Dipa Shah, Jayaprakash, YG Mahendran, Lakshmy Ramakrishnan et al. It has music and score by K, who had joined us in our podcast for one of his films, Annayum Rasoolum. A lot of ideas Mysskin's films would grapple with found a winning combination here and therefore the decision to start with Yuddham Sei. Joining Aditya and Ashoka is independent journalist Ashameera Aiyappan. If you follow Tamil cinema closely enough, you couldn't have missed her reviews and interviews. She was previously with Cinema Express where she continues as a columnist. Listen on.
June 30, 2021
The Family Man: Lead in to season 2
Back in January Adithya and Deepauk discussed The Family Man with series writer Suman and actress extraordinaire Devadarshini about season 1 and the impending release of season 2. Topics Covered: - Writing for the longer form and influences - Choices made to create a truly pan-Indian show and how the politics play out - Casting for season 2 and how the South Indian supporting cast was pulled in - The early stages of Devadarshini's career on TV and how they came about - Why have the dynamics of - What can we expect in Season 2? (NO SPOILERS!)
June 03, 2021
Ilaiyaraaja : A Musical Movement (7)
In this episode we dive into the various forms of western classical music explored by Ilaiyaraaja, especially in his independent non-film albums. We focus specifically on the concerto form and how the Nothing But Wind album utilizes this form to highlight the virtuoso flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia. Topics Covered: What are forms and how do we talk about them when discussing music? What is the historical context of Indian music being fused with western forms? The concerto, its various components and how the great composers of the west have utilized this form How does the concerto get used in Ilaiyaraaja's Nothing But Wind? Participants: Mahesh Deepauk Bala Chidambaram Musical References: Composers breath Ravishankar and George Harrison Beatles and Yehudi Menuhin Mahavishnu orchestra Vivaldi 4 seasons Concerto Beethoven Violin Concerto (Perlman) Beethoven Violin Concerto (Hilary Hahn) Ravishankar London Philharmonic Concerto Sangeetha Megam Unsuk Chin - Cello Concerto Singing Self Ravishankar at (Woodstock) John McLaughlin & Shakti Summer Storm - Presto Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto Brahms Double Concerto (for Tutti) Interviews: Raaja in Podhigai TV
June 01, 2021
Balaji Tharaneetharan's Oru Pakka Kathai
In this second episode of the Balaji Tharaneetharan series we discuss the recent direct to OTT release Oru Pakka Kathai. @gradwolf & @anantha are joined by special guests @equanimus & @milified to discuss: - The fantastical nature of the topic and how it presents its social commentary - What is the film trying to say about science, religion, and how both interact? - What is the portrait it draws of the children in the film? - Is the film pro-life? How do Balaji's films portray women? - Female centric films in the male gaze - Ranking the 3 films Balaji has made thus far A huge thanks to our guests for joining us in this engaging discussion!
May 25, 2021
Balaji Tharaneetharan's Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and Seethakkaathi
For the first series of episodes we take a look at Balaji Tharaneetharan's first 2 films (in release order) - the iconic Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and the polarizing Seethakkaathi. @gradwolf & @anantha are joined by our recurring guest @equanimus to discuss: - Why Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom's humor was such a draw - Where Balaji draws his stylings from and the influence of Balu Mahendra - How the troubles with Oru Pakka Kathai may have given rise to Seethakkaathi - The reflexive look at the craft of cinema and the economic dynamics of the Tamil film industry in Seethakkaathi through its writing and other formal elements - How Vijay Sethupathi has built his "actor for hire" brand through conscious supporting and guest role choices Oru Pakka Kathai will be discussed in greater detail in part 2 of the series!
May 17, 2021
Director Series: Padmarajan's Deshadanakkili Karayarilla
Episode Trigger Warning: Suicide After a long break, we are back with our Director Series on Malayalam auteur Padmarajan. This one is on his 1986 film Deshadanakkili Karayarilla starring Shari, Karthika, Urvashi and Mohanlal. Deshadanakkili Karayarilla might be one of the popular mainstream films in the context of any language, with big stars, but it is also one of the earliest Indian films to talk about a lesbian relationship, confronting the world of queer subjects and the hardships the LGBTQ+ community faces in public and private spaces, what it means to be queer in the confines and threat of heteronormativity and how this subtext can be approached directly with formal elements of cinema while remaining a film that's about female companionship at the surface level. For this episode Aditya is joined by two guests - Darshana Sreedhar Mini, Asst. Professor at University of Wisconsin - Madison's Department of Communication Arts and Affiliate - Gender and Women's Studies, Center for South Asia and Center for Visual Cultures. Our second guest is Rajashree Raju, Board Member of Kerala based LGBTQI+ welfare organization and activist group Queerala. She's been associated with the organization since 2016. Here is the link to watch the film on Youtube. Unfortunately there are no subtitles but it is worth watching even without it as the cinematic elements make sure the subtext is eloquently conveyed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHaQY1xgac4 Here is a link to the book Unruly Figures: Queerness, Sex Work, and the Politics of Sexuality in Kerala (Decolonizing Feminisms) by Navaneetha Mokkil that has a chapter on the film and is discussed in the episode.
March 22, 2021
Ilaiyaraaja : A Musical Movement (6)
This episode continues to explore how Raaja uses frameworks from western classical music - particularly harmony. We discuss the form and function of harmony and explore, through varied examples and genres, how Raaja deploys them to create his musical experiences. Topics Covered: What is harmony? What do we mean when we talk about tone, note, and timbre? Using Harmony to set the tonal center, create tension, dissonance, and resolution Examples of the usage in Ilaiyaraaja's music Participants: Deepauk Bala Chidambaram Musical References: Vanthaal Vanthaal (Opening) Mandolin Srinivas: Maha Ganapathim Shenbagame Opening Unna Nenachu (Psycho) Vellai Pura Ondru Vaanaththu Thaaragaiyo (Closing)
March 08, 2021
The Great Indian Kitchen: With Director Jeo Baby & Cinematographer Salu K Thomas
Once again, an early contender for one of the best films of the year comes from Malayalam cinema. The Great Indian Kitchen, written and directed by Jeo Baby, filmed by Salu K Thomas and edited by Francies Louis hit the exclusive Malayalam OTT platform Neestream last month. Starring Nimisha Sajayan and Suraj Venjaramoodu, a film rich in visual flourish, edited with finesse that uses pure imagery to convey its story, theme and politics, The Great Indian Kitchen hits right where it hurts. It was a great pleasure to have director Jeo Baby and cinematographer Salu K Thomas join Aditya and Deepauk to talk about the film, how it was scripted, shot and edited and what were the influences behind the making of this film. Jeo and Salu touch on several things like having a script with editing patterns written down, improvised dialogues, finding the right house for filming, the influences of KG George's Adaminte Vaariyellu (1984) and Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Elippathayam (1981). Listen on. You can find Adaminte Vaariyellu on Youtube here and Elippathayam here.
February 21, 2021
Long before JD and Bhavani of Lokesh Kanagaraj's Master, there were Shiva and Bhavani (and a JD on the sidelines) in a college setting in Ram Gopal Varma's directorial debut Shiva. Combining student politics along with a ruthless gangster played memorably by Raghuvaran, Shiva set new standards for filmmaking and South Indian mass cinema. It was the arrival of Ram Gopal Varma as a reckoning and cult sequences featuring Nagarjuna, paired with Amala. Max is joined by writer (The Family Man), author, stand up comedian Suman Kumar and Atlasdanced to talk about the various aspects of Shiva that hit home - the Steadicam, the Telangana dialect, a more realistic portrayal of college and the incredible sound design. And of course, Amala. Listen on. Link to the video of 25th anniversary celebration of Shiva that is mentioned in the episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg4V2smAC6c
February 10, 2021
Michael Madana Kama Rajan - Part 3: Form and Technique
Hello and we are back with our final part in the Michael Madana Kama Rajan series. In this episode, we talk about form and technique, the filmmaking that has gone behind the making of this brilliant, everlasting film and how a lot of the methods used are so inconspicuous that they rarely come to the fore when discussing the film. In this episode we have a new but familiar guest. Dagalti joins us to talk about MMKR along with Deepauk, ABVan and Equanimus. Listen on to find out how the team that gave Pushpak and Aboorva Sagodharargal did not simply regurgitate a familiar theme but wanted to build and go one up on their previous efforts purely with form and writing. And how the double action or quadruple action is achieved with masking or otherwise.
January 21, 2021
Michael Madana Kama Rajan - Part 2: Characters
And we are back with the part two of the series on Singeetam Srinivasa Rao's Michael Madana Kama Rajan. In this episode we take a deep dive into the characters of MMKR beginning with the four Kamal Haasans - Michael, Madan, Kameshwaran and Raju followed by the other characters who are all equally memorable but then we are never objective in our likes and dislikes, are we? Listen on to find out why we unanimously chose Raju as our favorite Kamal and what we like about the other characters. Once again Aditya, Deepauk and Anantha are joined by Equanimus.
January 11, 2021
Michael Madana Kama Rajan - Part 1: Tamil Cinema History & Influences
One never tires of watching or talking about this landmark film in Tamil Cinema starring four Kamal Haasans, Nagesh, Khushboo, Urvashi, Nassar, Roopini, SN Lakshmi, Delhi Ganesh, Manorama et al. Singeetam Srinivasa Rao directed film of a Kamal Haasan screenplay with dialogues by Crazy Mohan, a truly collaborative mammoth effort - Michael Madana Kama Rajan - came into being in 1990 and has been etched in Tamil cinema lore forever. It's a film that merits more than one episode and we are approaching each part focusing on one detail around the film. In the first part, we talk about MMKR's folktale origins, other cinema and histories that it has taken inspirations from and its tribute to doyens and history of Tamil cinema. Equanimus joins Aditya, Anantha and Deepauk for this series on MMKR. Linked here & here are the interviews of Singeetam Srinivasa Rao mentioned in the episode.
January 05, 2021
Ilaiyaraaja : A Musical Movement (5)
This episode begins to pull back the curtain on how Raaja uses his training in Western Classical Music. What do the frameworks he learnt there provide him? How does he employ them in his music? We go western classical in this episode! Topics covered: Melody and its key structural features Why grasp of melodic structure is critical to constructing a countrapuntal texture Contrapuntal theory and use in Ilaiyaraaja's music Instrumentation and the classical guitar What it means to really use classical guitar (Tremolo/Arpeggio/Polyphonic Texture) and manifestations in Ilaiyaraaja songs Participants: Deepauk Bala Chidambaram Video Clippings: Violin Prabhakar Raaja explains Counterpoint Poonthalirada by Rohan Skanda Ilaiyaraaja Musical References: Poonkattinodum prelude Poove Ilaya Poove Poonthaliraada Valaiyosai Mugilo Megamo Poomalaiye Paadavanthathor Nilave Vaa Siriya Paravai Ninaivo oru paravai Vaa Vaa Manjal Malare Devanin Kovil En Kanmani Intha Maan Appa Theme Poove Sempoove Malliga Mottu Manasa Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai Ennulle Ennulle Unna Nenachu (Psycho) Vetri Vizha Other Musical References: Brandeburg concerto 5
December 24, 2020
Balu Mahendra's Sathi Leelavathi
While the anniversaries - 10th, 25th or 30th - of many films were celebrated this year, one title probably got ignored by a large section of the media. Balu Mahendra's Sathi Leelavathi released 25 years ago. It had Kalpana, Ramesh Arvind and Heera Rajagopal in the lead with cameos - more like star attractions - from Kamal Haasan and Kovai Sarala. We thought of revisiting this very funny film that deals with a serious issue and reevaluate what works and what doesn't. Max and Anantha are joined by Suman Kumar and Jestme. Jestme is a returning guest of our podcast. Suman wears multiple hats. He is a novelist, stand up comedian and screen writer. He co-writes the Amazon Prime web series The Family Man.
December 17, 2020
Director Series: Padmarajan's Kallan Pavithran with Kani Kusruti
We are back with a new director series! For a long time, we've been mulling about a series on acclaimed director Padmarajan, who's made some of the best Malayalam films of the 1980s and remains an important name in Malayalam cinema of that era. We asked actress Kani Kusruti, the recent winner of the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Biriyaani, what is a Malayalam classic that she'd love to revisit and talk about in our podcast. Padmarajan's Kallan Pavithran (1981), she said. And that was reason enough for us to begin a Director Series on Padmarajan. Kallan Pavithran starring Nedumudi Venu, Bharath Gopi, Subhashini, Beena and Adoor Bhasi is one of Padmarajan's early films based on a short story by the director. The film is about a petty thief Pavithran (Venu) and his nouveau riche status that has the town wondering what could be the reason behind his economic prosperity, especially Damayanthi (Beena), Bhama (Subhashini) and Mamachan (Bharath Gopi). Aditya and Deepauk join Kani Kusruti to talk about Kallan Pavithran, Padmarajan's craft and politics that evoke widely different reactions and some common themes and stylistic choices in his oeuvre. Listen on. Some of Kani Kusruti's short films linked below: Maa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lKk_5qYdkk The Discreet Charm of the Savarnas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJBkmtpu1sQ
November 26, 2020
Satyajit Ray's Pratidwandi & K Balachander's Varumayin Niram Sivappu
Satyajit Ray's Pratidwandi starring Dhritiman Chatterjee, the first of his Calcutta Trilogy, released in October 1970. K Balachander's Varumayin Niram Sivappu released almost exactly ten years later, in November 1980, and starred Kamal Haasan and Sridevi. The two films bookend an important decade in Indian history. Pratidwandi came at the height of the Naxalite movement in West Bengal and Varumayin Niram Sivappu was made in the immediate aftermath of Emergency and the Lok Sabha elections of 1980. A tumultuous decade for India, Congress and Indira Gandhi, possibly casting a long shadow in the political landscape of today. Deepauk and Aditya are joined in this episode by Sohini Chattopadhyay, an award winning independent journalist from Kolkata with bylines in New York Times, Al Jazeera, Mint, The Hindu and SCMP among others. Listen on. Some of Sohini's work in the context of the topics discussed in the podcast: Why Don't These Girls Work? Women and work in recent Hindi film https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/gW0RmkMUb27QUducQZaLIL/Why-dont-these-girls-work.html Work and recent Hind film https://www.livemint.com/news/india/full-time-romantics-in-a-nation-of-job-seekers-1549567469480.html Housework and women in Bengali film and Hindi film: https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/two-bengali-films-delve-into-the-emotional-cost-of-women-s-housework-like-no-hindi-film-has_in_5f5d1b9cc5b67602f605fa06 Looking at Work in Panga and Chhapaak: https://www.filmcompanion.in/features/bollywood-features/panga-and-chhapaak-what-happens-when-women-tell-womens-stories/
November 16, 2020
We are back with an episode on a Telugu film after quite sometime. In this episode Max, along with Amrita and Krupa Ge, talk about Shiva Nirvana's 2017 debut directorial Ninnu Kori starring Nani, Nivetha Thomas and Aadhi Pinisetty.
November 03, 2020
Ilaiyaraaja : A Musical Movement (4)
With the macro context set in the first three episodes of the series we shift focus into musical details - specifically Raaja's use of folk music. This episode focuses on Raaja's use of folk rhythms, the forms he employs, and touches briefly upon what Carnatic music provides to a composer like him. Topics covered: The need for analysis beyond personal aesthetic preferences Folk rhythms and their use in everyday life vs. in celebration Formalized folk elements and their impact in Raaja's compositions Santham and the use / placement of lyrics The personality of a Carnatic Raga and what it provides a composer Participants: Deepauk Mahesh Bala Chidambaram Speech Clippings Music academy speech Sundari kannal oru sethi (3:50) Gundello Godari clip ARR Oscar Felicitation Speech Musical References: Chiththirai Sevvaanam Nethiyila Pottu vai Vanthathe kungumam Etham ayya etham Poovil vaNdu kizhakkala suvathu pakkam Aayiram thamarai mottukale Naanoru sinthu Aila Re (for Yelae Nee Yettipo) Ending clip from Naatupurappaattu
October 20, 2020
Aayirathil Oruvan (2010)
Ten years ago Selvaraghavan came up with a film that had nothing in common with the films he had directed up until then. It was a mix of historic fiction and fantasy, with elements like prophecy, "chosen one", deliverance, revenge and black magic. Aayirathil Oruvan starring Karthi, Andrea Jeremiah, Reema Sen and Parthiban received mixed reviews upon its arrival but the film has found an intense following over the last decade. It's nuances are studied with care, subtexts of Eelam and Sri Lankan civil war all too obvious now, along with the most entertaining, confounding and fantastical latter progressions in a Tamil film in recent times. To talk about Aayirathil Oruvan, Aditya is joined by Ashoka with special guests - film critic Sudhir Srinivasan, Entertainment Editor, Cinema Express (The New Indian Express) and Nadika, who returns to The Other Banana once again after the Super Deluxe episode. Here is Arul Mani's article on Selvaraghavan that's discussed in the episode.
October 06, 2020
Tamizh Prabha's Pettai & Pa. Ranjith's Madras with Tamizh Prabha
Our new episode is not only a double bill but also something unique. For the first time we are talking about a novel. In this podcast, we talk about a one of a kind Tamizh novel. Pettai by Tamizh Prabha that was published by Kalachuvadu Publications in 2017. The novel deals with the history of Chinna Thari Pettai - modern day Chintadripet in Madras, India and the story of a host of interesting characters over the course of four decades till the present day. Aditya along with singer, songwriter and musician Arivu, and independent journalist Kavitha Muralidharan delve deep into the intricacies of the novel to mine the ways in which the author has captured the lives of the people of Chintadripet. No prizes for guessing where he's from. It's a Tamizh novel by Tamizh Prabha so only fair that this episode is completely in Tamizh. Followed by the discussion on Pettai, Tamizh Prabha talks to Aditya about Pa. Ranjith's 2014 film MADRAS, starring Karthi, Kalaiarasan and Catherine Tresa. He has penned the script of the next Pa. Ranjith film starring Arya. On Pettai with Kavitha and Arivu: 0 - 1:30:10 On Madras with Tamizh Prabha: From 1:30:11 References: Intro - Kalangal Kadanthu Ponathe Madras Suvar Theme S Ramakrishnan speech on Pettai referenced in the podcast
September 21, 2020
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, the Actor
In this episode, we talk about the legendary S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, the long career that he has had as an.....actor! One of the under-discussed aspects of the inimitable singer-performer, his talents in front of the camera have made a mark of their own, something that has even bled into his talent behind the mic. He could be the genial father or the sincere, bumbling cop. Or he could be your friendly, neighborhood family doctor. He remains Balu the singer in front of our eyes but he can also accede to the demands of the role. Joining Adi for this pod are regular guests Krupa and Equanimus. Listen on.
September 10, 2020
The film that made Anushka Shetty a trailblazer and a legitimate superstar in the South. A film so mad, so crazy and so much going for it that you cannot take your eyes off it even if you'd cower just a little bit. Kodi Ramakrishna's Arundhati is a legendary film in Telugu cinema but even its very existence is couched in legends as Hemanth Kumar CR tells us in this podcast with anecdote after anecdote. Joining him are Max and Yamini. Listen on.
August 31, 2020
Kanda Naal Mudhal - With Director V. Priya & Regina Cassandra
We are super excited to present this episode on one of the most enduring and memorable romantic comedies of Tamil cinema. 15 years ago, a then little film called Kanda Naal Mudhal released and surprised everyone in the best way possible. Directed by debutante V. Priya, produced by Prakash Raj and starring Prasanna, Laila, Lakshmi, Revathy, Karthik Kumar, Regina Cassandra (also making her debut), the film had a great team of technicians as well - Thotta Tharani, Sreekar Prasad, PC Sreeram and one of the best music and background score by Yuvan Shankar Raja. The film is still considered to be everyone's favorite romcoms and, as we found out, has aged beautifully. Deepauk and Aditya speak to the two debutantes from the film - director V. Priya and actress Regina Cassandra as they take a trip down memory lane to talk about the making of the film, how the team came about, the scripting and production experiences, what the actors added to the film and the post release word of mouth that helped the film a great deal and continues to entertain 15 years later. Along the way, we get one great anecdote after another. Listen on.
August 16, 2020
Chandralekha (1997) - While You Were Sleeping (1995)
A new attempt at The Other Banana Podcast. We are taking two films - an original and a remake or plagiarized version of the same, and discussing about the merits, demerits and memories associated with the two. In this episode, we talk about the Priyadarshan's 1997 Malayalam film Chandralekha starring Mohanlal, Sukanya, Pooja Batra, Innocent, Sreenivasan, Nedumudi Venu et al and the film it was ripped off from - John Turteltaub's romcom While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman and Peter Gallagher. Deepauk and Anantha are joined by regular guest Amrita and they also rue the coma status of the romcom genre as a whole. Listen on.
August 05, 2020
Ilaiyaraaja : A Musical Movement (3)
What happened to the glorious traditions of classical music in the 20th century? How did film music capture the public consciousness in Tamil Nadu (even India)? What is the significance of Ilaiyaraaja's arrival? These questions form the discussion in the third part of our series. Though this episode stands on its own, you can listen to Part 1 and Part 2 for better context. Key topics covered: The impact of the world wars on classical artists Atonality and the recession of western classical music from the public consciousness Formation of the sabhas and musical theater traditions in the Indian classical paradigm The scope and space provided by film, a modern medium, for innovation in music The three phases of Tamil Film Music, and the inventiveness of M.S.Viswanathan Annakkili and the arrival of Ilaiyaraaja Participants: Deepauk Mahesh Bala Chidambaram Musical References: Ilaiyaraaja - Annakili Ravel's Bolero Shostakovich - Leningrad Symphony 7 Movement 2 Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire Parthu Kadan Kodungal - Gopalkrishna Bharathy Wagner - Ride of Valkyrie (OST Apocalypse Now, Da 5 Bloods) Stravinsky - Petrushka G.Ramanathan - Vaadaa Malare - Ambikapathy M.S.Viswanathan - Ammammaa Keladi Thozhi - Karuppu Panam C.Ramachandra - Eena Meena Deeka - Aasha Wynton Marsalis - Second Line M.S.Viswanathan - T.K.Ramamoorthy - Unnai Ondru Ketpen - Puthiya Paravai Additional References: Ilaiyaraaja Music Academy Speech M.S.Viswanathan on Charukesi and Ammamma Keladi Ilaiyaraaja Interview clip The impact of Sabha culture Bala's blogposts on music of the 20th century, Tamil film music
July 25, 2020
Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum
In this episode, we are joined by Niranjana Ramesh, urban researcher working on the everyday life of cities at the London School of Economics & Political Science. Aditya, Niranjana and Ashoka discuss Nalan Kumarasamy's sophomore feature Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum. Though not as well received as his debut Soodhu Kavvum or as well remembered, this film tried to break a lot of stereotypes associated with Tamil romantic films. It centers the film from the point of view of the woman, Yazhini played by Madonna Sebastian, along with the ever reliable Makkal Selvan Vijay Sethupathi as Kathir. Listen on.
July 17, 2020
In this episode we're joined by Dolly Kikon, Usham Rojio, and Anannya Baruah as we explore Nicholas Kharkongor's 2019 film Axone. The film is out on Netflix and we encourage everyone to watch! The film provides a great platform to understand some of the issues faced by people from the North East states as they migrate to cities like Delhi. However, the film misses the opportunity to have a serious discussion about a number of issues it raises in the effort to find balance. Participants: Deepauk Murugesan (Host) Dolly Kikon Usham Rojio Annanya Baruah Related Links: Nicholas Kharkongor interview Dolly's opinion piece in the Indian Express on Axone A discussion on Seasons of Life - Dolly's short film on food in the North East organized by Zubaan Books On Asha Stores, the shop with North Eastern delicacies featured in Axone Aribam Shyam Sharma and Ishanou Anannya Baruah on HuffPost
July 06, 2020
Anna Ben Interview
Baby Mol, Helen Paul and Jessy. In just the last one year, Anna Ben has emerged as one of the most promising newcomers and a confident performer on screen. With critically acclaimed films like Kumbalangi Nights (2019) and Helen (2019), and Kappela (2020) that dropped on Netflix a little over a week ago, Anna Ben is already a star and looks destined for greater heights. In this interview, Aditya talks to Anna Ben about her quick rise to stardom, her craft and how each of her three films has shaped her. Listen on.
June 29, 2020
Ilaiyaraaja : A Musical Movement (2)
We like to call this episode "A Brief History of Music." To understand where both music and its listenership stood at the beginning of he 20th century we trace the origins of music - with a specific focus on European and Indian music - across 4 key stages of evolution. We believe this fact base is critical to understand why film music and Raaja have the impact that they do on us today. Also here's Part 1 of this series you might want to check out. Key eras/aspects of music covered: The stone age (musical cue: Dr. Jean-Louis Ringot on the lithophone) Higher Civilizations - primarily the Greek and Indian eras The B.C. to medieval ages of music (musical cues: Gregorian and Rig Veda chants) The classical era of music (musical cues: Handel's Messiah and Raga Behag by Charumathi Raghuraman) Participants: Deepauk Mahesh Bala Chidambaram Related books, links and references: Raaja opening clip: Podhigai Interview with T.V.G Opening Music: Sangeethame from Kovil Pura Closing Music: Uliyin Osai A short history of music by Curt Sachs Shape of Ancient thought by Thomas Mcevilley Bala's blog post on musical history
June 15, 2020
Aha Naa Pellanta! (1987)
We look back at the genius of Jandhyala in taming societal issues with comedy. Aha Na Pellanta(1987) is one such gem that stands the test of time and tackles dowry. In this episode, @maxdavinci is joined by Yamini an editor from Mumbai, and @localteaparty returns as a guest to the podcast. Listen on as they talk about their memories of first watching it, Bramhanandam's insults, inspirations for Trivikram, and the staggering work of Rajendra Prasad in Telugu cinema.
June 09, 2020
Ilaiyaraaja: A Musical Movement (1)
Happy Birthday Raaja! Today we kickstart a new series on Raaja through which we attempt to construct a framework to approach, understand, and appreciate the phenomenon of Ilaiyaraaja. We dig deeper into his colossal career and try to make sense of how a composer with a classical approach achieved such immense admiration from the mainstream public. Through these discussions we ponder over how his staggering achievements could guide us in creating a better musical culture paving the way for a future where good music and hit music aren't parallel ideas, where classical music can once again attain its peak state as people's music. With such modest ambitions, do we start.... Participants: Deepauk Mahesh Bala Chidambaram Related links: Raaja's interview sections. The Guitar Prasanna article. Bala's blog series on Ilaiyaraaja.
June 01, 2020
How about some nostalgia for 90s kids? @complicateur, @gradwolf and @ABVan come together to talk about the superhit cult favorite of all Tamil cinema fans and importantly, Captain Vijaykanth fans - written by Mani Ratnam & directed by K Subash in 1990 Chatriyan. This neatly cut film with a background score to die for is an important evolutionary cog in the genre of Tamil cop movies. Everything you've seen later began here. Including non-cop films like Rajinikanth's Baasha. Not your usual movie review. How, you ask? Listen on.
May 26, 2020
In episode 63 of The Other Banana, after a long time, we move to the Telugu film industry. Chinizyaada and Amrita joined Max to talk about Allu Arjun's Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo directed by Trivikiram and boasting of a humongous star cast with Tabu, Jayaram, Pooja Hegde, Nivetha Pethuraj, Rohini et al. The film was a huge hit and Thaman's music is still ringing in everyone's ears, and thanks to David Warner, in the eyes too. It's streaming on Netflix. Listen on. Notes: The piece that Chini refers to in the pod is here: https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/srikakulam-dialect-to-the-fore-in-sittharala-sirapadu-from-ala-vaikunthapuramuloo/article30674308.ece
May 19, 2020
Director Madhumita on Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven
In this episode, Madhumita, who recently directed the wonderful KD (a) Karuppudurai joins us for a chat. We had asked her what's that one film she'd love to talk about and she chose Majid Majidi's 1997 film Children of Heaven, a film that turned her towards a filmmaking career. Madhumita chats with Aditya about the film and on topics ranging from her film KD, directing and writing children, on Satyajit Ray, Anjali, Asghar Farhadi and more. You can find Aditya's review of KD (a) Karuppudurai here. The film is streaming on Netflix.
May 12, 2020
Ayyappanum Koshiyum, Driving License & Ishq
We are trying something new with this episode. The Other Banana team is joined by Deepti to talk about not one, not two but three recent Malayalam films that may seem different at a surface level but have a common theme going - a clash between two men that we can either reduce to a form of ego or delve deep into the complexities that inform this clash. We try to do the latter. We talk about Sachy's Ayyappanum Koshiyum, Lal Jr's Driving License (also written by Sachy) and Anuraj Manohar's Ishq. Listen on.
May 01, 2020
Gantumoote - Interview with Director Roopa Rao
With this, we take a break from Tamil post the Vetri Maaran series and switch language to Kannada to focus on one of 2019's best Indian films - Roopa Rao's Gantumoote starring Teju Belawadi and Nischit Korodi. Joining us in this episode is Krupa Ge. Later in the episode, we have an interview with Roopa Rao, the director herself, to talk about her film, her fascination with the 90s, the process of writing and filming Gantumoote and the formal choices she made to tell a story.
April 15, 2020
(Director Series): Vetri Maaran's Asuran
Other Vetri Maaran films we talked about in the series: - Vada Chennai ft Aishwarya Rajesh - Visaranai - Aadukalam - Polladhavan In our final episode in the Vetri Maaran series, we are joined by lawyer and fellow film fan @subjudiced (https://twitter.com/subjudiced) to discuss how Vetri Maaran weaves the personal stories of Poomani's Vekkai into a tapestry of social commentary. The film spurred a discussion on some of the grave injustices that have been meted out to the Dalit communities through the poor allocation/misappropriation of what is guaranteed to them by law.
March 31, 2020
(Director Series): Vetri Maaran's Vada Chennai & Aishwarya Rajesh Interview
Continuing with our Director focus on Vetri Maaran, we talk about his 2018 film Vada Chennai. Not only mythical in its approach but also somewhat mythical in its inception, making, release etc considering the talk about the film started in the early 2010s and the film finally released in October 2018. We are not done with it yet. The sequels are coming. Or so one hopes. Bonus: We have a special guest joining us later in the episode - actress Aishwarya Rajesh who plays Padma in the film. She talks about her role, her audition and the stellar career she has had so far. Listen on. Aishwarya Rajesh Interview from 45:45 minutes.
March 17, 2020
(Director Series): Vetri Maaran's Visaranai (Interrogation)
We're joined by @equanimus as we discuss Vetri Maaran's third film Visaranai (Interrogation). Based on the novel Lock Up by Chandrakumar, this was Vetri's first foray into adapting previously written material for the screen.
March 02, 2020
(Director Series): Vetri Maaran's Aadukalam
Continuing with our Director Series, we talk about Vetri Maaran's sophomore film, Aadukalam, an auteurial effort that was a sign of things to come. For this episode, we are joined by independent journalist, translator Kavitha Muralidharan. Listen on.
February 17, 2020
(Director Series): Vetri Maaran's Polladhavan
At The Other Banana, we are changing track a bit. Instead of arbitrarily choosing a film, we have chosen a director and will be focusing on all (or the best ones) their films, dedicating an episode to each of their works. We begin with one of the finest we've got in Tamil cinema - Vetri Maaran. In this episode, we talk about his debut, Polladhavan (2007), that also marked the beginning of an actor-director combo we cannot get enough of - Dhanush and Vetri Maaran. Listen on.
January 21, 2020
Hello and Happy New Year from the team of The Other Banana Podcast! It's not got off on a happy note, mind you, what with the anti-CAA/NRC/NRP protests and the general discontent across the country. Much needed action, of course. Maybe there is hope in this fight. On that note, our first episode of 2020. We talk about an underrated, less discussed film. Anucharan's KIRUMI. It trains its focus on one man, Kathir as Kathir, who is unemployed and is hired as an unofficial hand by the police. Through his experience, we get to witness the power wielded by these unofficial henchmen and the larger picture of the state-police-criminal nexus comes into view. Consider the violence in UP/Delhi and yesterday's attack in the JNU campus, this film's storyline seemed topical. Listen on, we have full team attendance.
January 06, 2020
Ajith and Vijay. Thala Thalapathy.
Following Kaithi, our previous episode, we thought of getting deep into the masala genre. And for that, we must get into what makes 'Thala' Ajith and 'Thalapathy' Vijay tick. In this episode, we talk about their respective phenomenon with two of their marquee films as the angle - Vijay's Thuppakki and Ajith's Mankatha. Listen on.
December 05, 2019
Lokesh Kanagaraj's sophomore effort is an interesting triumph of combining riveting set pieces to inject some much needed life into the Tamil masala genre. Almost universally liked, in this episode, we talk about Kaithi, the genre, and the question of where Lokesh Kanagaraj goes from here.
December 03, 2019
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya
Swaroop RSJ and Naveen Polishetty get together to make a truly rollicking detective/suspense caper that is equal parts film noir and comedy, a mix that's as diabolical as it is fun. In our fifty first episode, @maxdavinci and Aditya are joined by film critic Hemanth CR to talk about Swaroop RSJ directed Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya, a film starring (and co written by) Naveen Polishetty, Shruti Sharma et al.
November 21, 2019
Kavaludaari with Hemanth Rao
We hit a half century! In The Other Banana's 50th episode, Anantha and Aditya talk to Hemanth Rao, director of Kavaludaari, the 2019 Kannada film. Kavaludaari is one of the latest entrants in Indian cinema's film noir. It combines the genre's trademark techniques to tell a compelling mystery story that spans decades. Director Hemanth Rao talks to us about the film, the challenges he faced in its making and his career in general.
October 31, 2019
The Other Banana Deepavali Episode
Hello, Every year, the Deepavali day is unambiguously related to Tamil cinema. So, the members of The Other Banana got together to discuss their Deepavali movie experiences ranging from early 90s to this day. We also sent out a tweet asking for others' experiences and we'll be reading out a few responses in the episode. Happy Deepavali! Happy listening. And hope you got tickets for your favorite films.
October 25, 2019
Two of us take a walk down memory lane with author, filmmaker, and film studies professor Dr. Swarnavel Easwaran to discuss AVM Productions' cult hit Antha Naal. Featuring (then) rising star Sivaji Ganesan, Pandari Bai, and screenwriter Javert Seetharaman in a crucial role. Dr.Swarnavel's book Madras Studios is a great primer of the studio system that existed in Thamizh cinema at the time and his film Kattumaram starring Mysskin is in the festival circuit garnering acclaim. His article on the cinematography and poetics of 1950s Tamil cinema (in particular Maruti Rao the cinematographer for Antha Naal) resulted in a shot from Antha Naal gracing the cover of Screen - one of the foremost film studies journals in the world. (Please email us if you would like a copy) We thank Dr.Swarnavel profusely for sparing time to connect with us. It was a particularly insightful and informative discussion on the politics and technicalities of cinema of the period. We hope you enjoy listening and let us know what you think!
September 30, 2019
This episode is more or less an ode to one of the finest films to come out the Malayalam industry this year (an industry that sets the standard high enough that this adjective is pretty high praise). Unda, Khalid Rahman's sophomore effort after Anuraaga Karikkinte Vellam, points to an evolution we hope continues on to many more films to come. Everyone on the crew enjoyed watching the film and we sincerely hope more people nationally and internationally stream it on Amazon Prime. Also read: @complicateur with his initial thoughts when the film first released.
September 24, 2019
The gang gets together to talk about the Manikandan favorite, Aandavan Kattalai. A lovely film that helps you see the lighter side of the completely heavy social issues it explores. Listen to our episode where we talk to the music director of Aandavan Kattakai, here.
September 10, 2019
The gang got together to discuss another instant classic from the Malayalam film world this year - Virus. Huge ensemble cast, complicated issue, and a number potential issues that could've derailed the movie and yet it is pulled off with such elan. A strong recommend from the crew!
September 02, 2019
In the final episode of our romantic comedy series, the gang gets together to discuss the representations of class and caste divides in the Thamizh film Meyaatha Maan. We are joined by journalist, and author @krupage (do check out her book River Remember on the Chennai Floods here)!
August 05, 2019
Om Shanthi Oshaana
Next in our series of romantic comedies (though not according to @maxdavinci) is the malayalam film - Om Shanthi Oshana. We're joined by long time blogger and cine enthusiast @equanimus to discuss how this atypical film makes our list.
July 29, 2019
On pod 2 of our Romantic Comedy series the crew invites guest Ideallaedi to discuss Mohan Krishna Indraganti's Sammohanam. We talk about how the film is different from the Hollywood rom coms of the 2000s as well as the characters and concerns of the film. ....We also wax eloquent for a bit on Aditi Rao Hydari....
July 24, 2019
As part of our #GRCA series on romantic comedies the gang discussed the decidedly middling Kannada film Katheyondu Shuruvagithe. Listen, and hopefully it will get you in the mood for romance as we have better films coming up for discussion!
July 05, 2019
The cabal is still a cabal but we are rebranding! We are now The Other Banana. Most of your feeds should be updated already but if you can't find it, please take a look at the About (The Crew) page for the updated feeds. Thank You. On to the new episode. We talk about one of Dhanush's seminal films - Velraj's Velaiilla Pattadhari or more popularly known as VIP (can you already hear the leitmotif in your head?). For this episode, we have a returning guest - Vijeta Kumar or @rumlolarum on Twitter, who joined us for Pariyerum Perumal earlier.
June 20, 2019
To Let / Veedu
The cabal attempts something different with a combo pod on Veedu and To Let. The films serve as a lens to discuss our own experiences with real estate, the era we grew up through and the one we now live in. It's hard not to think of Chezhiyan's To Let and Balu Mahendra's Veedu as companion pieces. We hope you all have as much fun listening as we did discussing and reminscing. The music for the pod, is from the wonderful piece named "Do Anything" from Ilayaraaja's album "How to name it".
May 27, 2019
The gang takes a little trip to the 80's Malayalam nostalgia by revisiting Chithram. We're joined on this pod by writer editor extraordinaire @supriyan to cover a seminal moment in the history of Malayalam cinema, Mohanlal, and the film's director Priyadarshan. Big thanks to Supriya for making the time out to talk with us! You can watch the film here, listen to that lovely Neha Nair rendition of Eeran Megham, and take a trip down memory lane with Charithram Enniloode as well.
May 14, 2019
C/O Kancharapalem - Part 2
Close on the heels of a win at the Critics Choice Film Award we're joined by Maha Venkatesh, the writer director of the film to discuss some of the behind the scenes aspects that went into the making of the film. Big thanks to Maha for making the time to join us and giving us his thoughts. Our continued love and support to him on his journey!
May 01, 2019
C/O Kancharapalem - Part 1
In part 1 of the discussion of the film, the gain delves into the key aspects that made the film Telugu cinema's cult hit of 2018. They try to get under the skin of the characters and the milieu before we bring on a special guest for part 2.
April 30, 2019
The cabal finally decided to sit down and wrestle with Super Deluxe this past weekend. We were ably aided in this quest by @NadikaNadja as we dove inextricable deeper and deeper into the universe created by Thiagarajan Kumararaja. While we've all tried to come to terms with what we experienced, I think we'll all be either watching the film in the theaters again or on some streaming platform as soon as it is available! Big thanks to Nadika for joining us! Look forward to everyone's feedback and having an open discussion with our listeners on their thoughts.
April 11, 2019
In this episode @complicateur and @gradwolf are joined by Ashwathy G to discuss Aashiq Abu and Syam Pushkaran's heart wrenching film - Mayanadhi.
April 07, 2019
In this episode, we take a look at one of the biggest hits in Telugu cinema for 2018. DIrector Sukumar's Rangasthalam starring RamCharan & Samantha. Our guests were columnist and friend of the podcast, @KrupgaGe and popular movie critic @crhemanth. Listen in as we talk about the politics that the movie captures and how it addresses a lot of issues thanks to some stellar performances by the supporting cast.
March 18, 2019
The Cabal does a bilingual film in its true spirit - with a bilingual guest. We are joined by LTP aka @localteaparty to talk about the L.V Prasad classic MISSIAMMA(1955), one of the famous films from the golden period, made in Tamil and Telugu with different casts.
February 25, 2019
96 with Chinmayi
The cabal had the wonderful opportunity to converse about the film with @chinmayi the voice of @trishtrashers for our Valentine's special on 96. Popular columnist and friend of the podcast @KrupaGe also joins us on this episode. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.
February 11, 2019
In a fit of nostalgia, the Cabal revisits the 1985 Thamizh film classic, Aan Paavam. It also gives one of our members the opportunity to wax eloquent on the phenomenon that is Ilaiyaraja. Big thanks as always to @jestme for joining the crew to discuss one of her favorite films as well! And all music in the pod composed by the indomitable Ilaiayaraaja.
January 28, 2019
We couldn't get everyone together when Kaala released and published a blogpost instead. With Petta releasing, we wanted to ensure we did not repeat the same. So we hauled in everyone last weekend and some of us had pretty diverse opinions in this impromptu discussion on the film. We cover everything from the film references to the politics of the movie in the discussion!
January 22, 2019
For our first venture into Hindi cinema, the cabal discusses the 2018 horror film Tumbbad. While most horror films tend to be morality tales, Tumbbad really differentiates itself by setting up mythology and universe that is entirely relatable. The gang loved watching the film and we hope you all do as well!
January 21, 2019
In this episode we talk about one of 2018's best Indian films, Mari Selvaraj's Pariyerum Perumal. And to discuss this tale of a youth's struggle with the power dynamics fueled by caste hegemony we are joined by guest Vijeta Kumar (@rumlolarum on Twitter).
December 25, 2018
This week the cabal talks about Thiagarajan Kumararaja's 2011 cult classic Aaranya Kaandam. The film is available on Hotstar (though mangled beyond recognition) - as always please watch the film prior to listening!
December 03, 2018
Virumandi - Part 2
The cabal continues its animated discussion on Virumandi in this pod. We cover the cast characters, specifically the women, the music, and the film's penchant for drawing from the real world in this session. We're joined by 2 special guests here; @jestme is on the pod again and the venerable @atlasdanced joins us this time with his unique brand of insights.
November 13, 2018
Virumandi - Part 1
For the 25th episode the Cabal (and our twitter followers) selected a Kamal Hassan fan favorite to revisit. We got so carried away with our discussion that we realized we needed 2 sessions to cover everything. Thanks so much to special guest @jestme for the time and insightful comments! Music for this episode from the phenomenal album for the same film.
November 01, 2018
In this episode, we talk about SS Rajamouli's 2010 action-comedy "Maryada Ramanna". The Cabal talks about everything that felt right in the movie and few that didn't. Here we go. Maryada Ramanna is inspired by Buster Keaton's "Our Hospitality". You can check it out on Youtube.
November 01, 2018
Sudani from Nigeria
In this episode, we discuss one of 2018's best Malayalam films thus far - Sudani from Nigeria. This is ostensibly a 'light' film, but we found that it sneakily packs weighty topics within the fluff. And everyone in the cabal liked it.
November 01, 2018
In the wake of Vishwaroopam-2 the gang decided to revisit @ikamalhaasan 's Vishwaroopam-1.... with mixed results. The gangs all here and it was still a fun discussion, so listen and give us feedback!
November 01, 2018
Lijo Jose Pellissery's Angamaly Diaries, was a much feted movie from 2017 that every member of the cabal loved. So it is no surprise that episode 21 of the podcast marked the return of the cabal back to full strength to discuss this feature.
November 01, 2018
This week the cabal talks about Attakathi and the Pa.Ranjith universe more broadly. We're joined by special guest @jestme and the group had a lot of interesting things to say. A fulfilling discussion on a truly unique voice in Thamizh cinema.
November 01, 2018
The Cabal talks about Fidaa, nay Sai Pallavi, with guest @Chinizyaada. Shekhar Kammula is good where he is comfortable and out of sorts in most other places. And of course, the discussion couldn't help but steer to that other romance that is set from the female POV, Om Shanthi Oshaana.
November 01, 2018
Things take a horrific turn... Ok fine, we're just being dramatic. The Cabal each came into the discussion thinking Pawan Kumar's third outing was a well executed film, but I think we were all genuinely surprised at what we ended up discussing. Hope you all enjoy this pod as much as we enjoyed discussing the film.
November 01, 2018
In a return to the true mainstream, we talk about the December 2017 Mohan Raja - Sivakarthikeyan - Fahadh starrer Velaikkaaran. We had a rather wide, ranging discussion about the movie as well as the meta movie within it. A film that really suffers from excess but is redeemed really by its inventiveness and the occasional sparkling dialog.
November 01, 2018
Interview with K - Annayum Rasoolum - Part 2
In this episode we talk to the music director of Annayum Rasoolum, his use of session musicians, the VGP recording theater in Chennai, #self , and end up "fanboy"ing both Rajeev Ravi and Manikandan. Big thanks to K for making time for us! Links to the music we discuss in the episode below: Lead in/Fade out music: Vazhivakkil from Annayum Rasoolum Kammattippaadam album on iTunes and Spotify
November 01, 2018
Annayum Rasoolum (Part 1)
The cabal (well at least 2 of the cabal) is/are taken in by the atmosphere, sound, and aesthetic of Rajeev Ravi's directorial debut. We loved it so much we decided to do this as 2 parts, with a surprise addition coming in part 2.
November 01, 2018
A look back at one of the many iconic films Sridevi made. Much like RGV's film, this pod is an ode to Sridevi the star.
November 01, 2018
Pickled sweet discussion on a lovely Marathi film. While being comfortably close to home the cabal also discusses the need to point out why such films represent a specific type of life.
November 01, 2018
The Cabal dissects a procedural and debates privacy, potential for scams and the state of personal data in India through the lens of the 2014 Tamil thriller Thegidi.
November 01, 2018
Ondu Motteya Kathe
Still in the post-Valentine hangover the cabal decides to go over the 2017 Kannada rom-com Ondu Motteya Kathe. We dive into the disparities of self-valuation vs. 3rd party valuation and the range responses the arranged marriage systems creates as a result.All in all this is a #GRCA certified podcast. Music, of course, sponsored by the great Rajkumar. (listen to the pod to find out why)
November 01, 2018
The Cabal addresses two primary criticisms leveled at podcasts - just a bunch of guys letting their friends speak for too long - by inviting some special guests to talk about Arjun Reddy; one of the most polarizing Telugu films of 2017. Much thanks to our special guests Krupa , Ranjani and Ideallaedi! Music from Sethu, as a precursor to Bala's slated remake of Arjun Reddy.
November 01, 2018
The Lewd Cabal discuss Dileesh Pothen and Shyam Pushkaran's 2017 stunner Thondimuthalum Dhriksaakshiyum. We arrive at some reasons why these 'slices of life' are hard to execute and potentially hide away interpretations from all viewers. Also covered is the near-perfect marrying of form and function across all of the technical aspects of the film.
November 01, 2018
Anukokunda Oka Roju
This week, the cabal tackles a film we had some trouble classifying; in the end we decided Anukokunda Oka Roju is either a "suspenseful comedy" or "just a comedy. Despite the genre issues, we all thought the film was worth a watch and employed interesting storytelling techniques. The film can be viewed with subtitles on Youtube
November 01, 2018
Aadhalaal Kaadhal Seiveer
The cabal watched Aadhalaal Kaadhal Seiveer and came out with different opinions. Director Suseenthiran has taken a done-to-death college romance and lead it down a slightly different path which culminates in a well-aimed-kick-to-the-balls ending. Note to the listeners: Please do watch the movie to understand the discussion better. The movie is available on Youtube, hotstar and many other platforms.
November 01, 2018
The Cabal goes a little more mainstream this week exploring the 2012 Malayalam hit Usthad Hotel. Bit of a guilty pleasure, this film brought some varied reactions from the group. But we could all agree on one thing - Dulquer and Thilakan were excellent!
November 01, 2018
This week the cabal discussed four generations and a funeral through the Kannada indie movie Thithi. We cover everything from why brokers hide behind xerox shops to funeral dancers while marveling at the ease with which people with no morality hang ups pass through life.
October 31, 2018
Maya Bazaar (Part 2)
We’re back with Part 2 of our conversation on MayaBazaar . The Cabal veers off into broader discussions on the Mahabharatha epic and why we should revisit films that were our childhood favorites.
October 31, 2018
MayaBaazar (Part 1)
This week’s exploration on the Lewd Cabal podcast, leads the crew members to the magical and mythical land of Mayabazar. You can catch Mayabazar(in Tamil, Telugu or Kannada) on Youtube.
October 31, 2018
The cabal turn nocturnally romantic and commit sacrilege by comparing this episode’s film Nila to Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Watch the movie on Netflix before getting started.
October 31, 2018
Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu
The Lewd Cabal(Pauk, Wolf, Max, Anantha, Van) ruminate, pontificate, articulate, pacificulate and antarticulate their thoughts on the laid back village phlows of Kumbalam. Watch the movie on Hotstar before getting started.
October 31, 2018