Get a taste of films on the Internet before you decide to watch them, K. JESHI reports

“At the centre of Unnale Unnale lies a fundamental problem. There is no story,” writes film buff Nandhu Sundaram on his blog http://phoenixflicks.blogspot.com. “Harris Jayaraj has composed some great music…but I thought I heard Bon Jovi at some point…movies like this do the worst damage when it comes to reinforcing gender stereotypes….does candy floss entertainer mean a hare-brained film?”

Elsewhere a reviewer on another popular film site www.mouthshut.com writes “The plot of Unnale is predictable….lots of scenes are lifted from movies such as Hum Tum (which is lifted from When Harry met Sally) and Dil Chahta Hai.”

Shimit Amin’s Chak De, raises this comment: “The patriotism dose is just about right….a brilliant effort.”

Content matters

These are the new age film lovers. They are a demanding lot. Style and substance matter to them.

Access to an incredible amount of information on the Internet has brought in them a new taste for films. And, it is the meaty content that is getting the thumbs up.

“What the Internet has done is that it has brought specialised knowledge, that once only film critics had, in the open arena. I don’t have to remember every movie of John Wayne anymore. It’s available tome at IMDB.com,” says Nandhu.

Be it the world cinema or regional cinema, information about films, their background, history, their directors, etc., helps in appreciating films better. “I am writing the review of Shawsank Redemption for Rasanai, a monthly Tamil magazine. To get authentic details about the cast and crew, the background score, all I need to do is run an online search,” says artist V. Jeevananthan, who writes reviews on mouthshut.com.

New taste in films

Today, the film buff can read a review of almost any foreign film worth watching, on the Net.

“Also, taste in films is being driven by the Internet. But, it is still a long way before the Net becomes a one-stop destination for Indian films that reviews both Bollywood and regional movies,” Nandhu adds.

Among the recent Tamil films it is Venkat Prabhu’s Chennai 600028 and Shimit Amin’s Chak De that has won appreciation from youngsters, on the Web.

But one has to be discerning. There are several discussion groups available online on cinema.

Yahoo alone hosts hundreds of such groups. One of them is http://movies.groups.

yahoo.com/

group/a_film_by/

This website’s primary focus is films as art, from an auteurist perspective.

Wealth of information

“Though I was introduced to good cinema, French new wave and masters like Bergman, Kurosawa in the late 70s, it was not easy to get access to adequate reading material and films of many other masters. Today, the Internet has opened up innumerable possibilities. The wealth of cinema information is unbelievable,” says S. Anand, who eats, sleeps and breathes films.

“Thanks to the internet I was introduced to legendry European film makers like Jacques Tati, Bela Tarr, Chris Marker, Manoel de Oliveira…," he says. Anand participates on the discussions, polls and debates on the forums http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.movies.past-films/topics

and http://groups.google.com/

group/rec.arts.movies.

current-films?lnk=sg

For K. Sekar who is associated with film societies, Internet is the one stop shop for building their database. “Be it Battle of Algiers (French), Road Home (Korean), or Born into Brothels (a documentary), we source the information from the Internet,” he says.

For film connoisseurs

Access to rare film scripts is made easy now. For students and film connoisseurs, websites such http://www.dailyscript.com/movie.html

http://www.weeklyscript.com/

http://www.movie-page.com/movie_scripts.htm allow them access to some of the rare film scripts, arranged in alphabetical order. A movie fan, N.K. Jarshad says: “People are relying more on the Web for cinema based news and reviews. The news is fast and there are no geographic boundaries. So, a person wanting to read about Sivaji in Kerala can read about it as fast as someone in Chennai.

Serious cinema

“With web-based reviews, the final opinion does not belong to any one reviewer. People have a collection of websites or discussion groups that offer reviews that help them decide whether they should watch a particular movie or not."

As Nandhu puts it: “The Internet has great potential to instil a taste for good, serious cinema in masses, who are otherwise stuck with usually escapist fare”.

USEFUL LINKS

http://www.mastersofcinema.org/

http://www.sensesofcinema.com/index.html

http://www.criterionforum.org/forum/

http://www.filmref.com/

http://daily.greencine.com/

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/movies/

http://www.combustiblecelluloid.com/

http://www.cineaste.com/main.htm

http://www.filmeducation.org/secondary/concept/index.html

http://www.filmeducation.org/filmlibrary.html

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