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Siraj Syed


Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for FilmFestivals.com and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 

 

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Reviews, G5A-NYIFF screenings: Agli Baar, Absent, El’ Ayichi

Reviews, G5A-NYIFF screenings: Agli Baar, Absent, El’ Ayichi Devashish Makhija is a Kolkata boy who was so shattered by his mother’s death that he got on to a Mumbai-bound train, in an unreserved compartment, and has been living here since. After a stint in advertising and after assisting debutant director Anurag Kashyap on Black Friday, he decided to go solo. Black Friday was about the Mumbai blasts and was stuck with the censors for years. But for an unreleased Oonga, all his e...

CommunicAsia 2016: Huawei’s Cloud Communication journey, and debut

CommunicAsia 2016: Huawei’s Cloud Communication journey, and debut Founded in 1987, Huawei is a Chinese multi-national, headquartered in Shenzhen. At CommunicAsia 2016, in Singapore, Huawei made its debut in the field of Cloud Communication, an E2E communication solution for Personal, Home, Enterprise, and Vertical use. Cloud Communication helps operators implement network evolution, service innovation, and business model transformation by means of all cloud, full openness, and redefined ...

Lightware opens China Operations Center

Lightware opens China Operations Center Lightware Visual Engineering Limited, the Budapest, Hungary  based manufacturer of professional digital video and audio signal management solutions for DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, 3G-SDI, HDBaseT, fiber, caters to the needs of the Corporate, Hospitality, Medical, Military, Education, and Live Events markets. The inventor of digital matrix switching, Lightware entered China to provide world-class video switching for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games openin...

CommunicAsia 2016: Accelerate Digitisation--Building a Better Connected World

CommunicAsia 2016: Accelerate Digitisation--Building a Better Connected World  By Alan Marcus, Head, ICT Agenda In this article, Alan Marcus, Head of ICT Agenda, Member of Management Committee, World Economic Forum, and Speaker, Asia ICT Innovation Forum 2016, at CommunicAsia, shares his thoughts on some of these changing dynamics, as well as rule-making opportunities in the digital world. Rapid advancements in digital technology are redefining society. The plummeting cost of advanced ...

Reviews, G5A-NYIFF screenings: Velutha Rathrikal (White Nights)

Reviews, G5A-NYIFF screenings: Velutha Rathrikal (White Nights) Inclement weather (read incessant rains) and no means of transport deprived me of the opportunity to catch-up on For the Love of a Man, screened on 28th June, as part of the G5A-NYIFF film festival, currently underway at the Foundation’s Black Box, located in a creatively designed facility in an erstwhile industrial estate, close to the iconic Famous Mahalaxmi studio and office complex. Earlier in the year, I had seen only ...

The Legend of Tarzan, Review: Gorillas in the Midst

The Legend of Tarzan, Review: Gorillas in the Midst Remember the immortal lines, “Me Tarzan, you Jane”?  Now try this, "He's Tarzan, you're Jane. He'll come for you," says her captor to Jane. He sure will. He’s been coming on to the screen for the last 98 years, in 41 movie and 57 TV outings. Adds up to 98 again. The Legend of Tarzan, preceding the character’s on-screen centenary by a whisker, is a slightly over-written exercise, without too ...

Patil-Dayal’s say all: Producer-director Mrunalinni wants her daughter back

Patil-Dayal’s say all: Producer-director Mrunalinni wants her daughter back After living on the edge for nine years, Mrunalinni has gone to the police, called a press conference and met a lawyer, all in the past week, to complain about mental and physical torture and death threats, by her separated husband, actor-producer Amitabhh Dayal. They have one son, Shivam, and a daughter, Amruta. Amruta is the source of Patil’s grave concern—she has accused Dayal of exposing Amruta t...

Independence Day-Resurgence, Review: Anniversaries and aliens

Independence Day-Resurgence, Review: Anniversaries and aliens It takes four presidents of the USA to battle a here and now alien invasion—five if you count the first one, in 1996--but the battle is not over yet. German director Roland Emmerich, who gave us the original Independence Day, agreed to helm Independence Day-Resurgence, despite being a self-confessed sequel sceptic. Now, since the end has been left open, he might even return for a trequel or a prequel. However, if they do make...

Reviews, G5A-NYIFF screenings: Highway, Ek Selfie Aar Paar & Cities of Sleep

Reviews, G5A-NYIFF screenings: Highway, Ek Selfie Aar Paar & Cities of Sleep If you’ve missed these two, you have missed a lot. While the former is fiction of the first order, treated in a documentary style, made by a trained and acclaimed young director the latter is a near feature-length documentary that explores a killer topic, and is enlivened by some remarkable central characters. G5A Film Festival is indeed lucky to have such impactful films to flag off its month-long screeni...

NYIFF package comes to India

NYIFF package comes to India Like “Nasa”, they pronounce the acronym “Nyiff/nife”. And it is indeed ‘nice’ that a selection of films shown at NYIFF 2016 is being screened in Mumbai, during 21 June-21 July. It took the dedicated efforts of a team led by architect/interior designer/film producer Anuradha Parikh’s G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture to make it happen. With a warehouse, a forum, a ‘citylab’, a film society, a co-presenter...

CommunicAsia 2016, Preview 4: Smart OTT is the new normal

CommunicAsia 2016, Preview 4: Smart OTT is the new normal (BroadcastAsia2016 exhibitor, Peter Löfling, Director, Asia Pacific from Edgeware AB, who has been with the company since 2008, shares his predictions and imperatives for the broadcasting industry, in 2016. Löfling is based out of HongKong and has been in the IT industry for 22 years. Broadcast Asia2016 is part of CommunicAsia 2016, being held during 31 May-03 June, at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore) “Living in an on-dema...

Alice through the Looking Glass, Review: It’s Hatter Time

Alice through the Looking Glass, Review: It’s Hatter Time When the Mad Hatter meets Alice in Lewis Carroll’s first book, he says, “I’ve been stuck at this tea party since last March, when Time and I quarrelled.” Now, bring in the fertile imagination of a writer and a director, and you have created a brand new character, Time himself, worked out in great detail, and playing a pivotal part. Alice, Hatter, Time, Iracebeth, Hamish...Alice through the Looking Glass is...

Waiting, Review: Coma dilemma

Waiting, Review: Coma dilemma Death is the only inevitable reality in life. It is also ‘the end’ that leaves the deceased at ‘eternal peace’, or at least at no risk of further physical or mental trauma, while family, friends and others who knew him/her, cope with the loss in a variety of ways. While it can be argued that some people cope with the event more objectively, the vast majority suffer great pain, even shock, of a magnitude that does not quite compare with any...

CommunicAsia 2016, Preview 2: Broadband

CommunicAsia 2016, Preview 2: Broadband CommunicAsia 2016, Preview 2: Broadband Latest broadband technology and devices will be on display at CommunicAsia 2016. Some of them are worlwide or Asia launches, and include: ACRS2.5 is world's first 802.22 and 802.11x integrated TV White Space device. It provides excellent wireless connectivity due to UHF propagation characteristic and cognitive radio feature. ACRS2.5 simplifies the network infrastructure in providing last mile per...

CommunicAsia 2016, Preview, 3: Cyber Security

CommunicAsia 2016, Preview, 3: Cyber Security According to the 2015 Breach Level Index1, there were almost 900 data breaches internationally resulting in close to 246 million records being compromised. Visit CommunicAsia2016 to source for solutions that will help you maintain and grow your company's reputation and bottom line as a telecommunication operator. Why are Security & Cyber-Security important? *To hedge against the possible threats with the deployment of SDN. *For updating...

CommunicAsia 2016 Preview 1: Internet of Things (IoT)

CommunicAsia 2016 Preview 1: Internet of Things (IoT) During CommunicAsia 2016, Singapore, 31 May-02 June, one key area of interest is going to be the Internet of Things (IoT). 2016 Key Topics include • Architecting Internet of Things - Uncovering Case Studies and Challenges towards Delivery • Enhancing Security and Privacy While Managing IoT Data Generation in Enterprises • IoT Integration and Resultant Data Analytics for Smarter Cities • Developing User Define...

X Men-Apocalypse, Review: X-Men, Ex X-Men, ‘To be’ X-Men, and the 4 Horsemen

X Men-Apocalypse, Review: X-Men, Ex X-Men, ‘To be’ X-Men, and the 4 Horsemen In the ninth instalment of the X-Man Marvel comics’ series, we are confronted with a devil incarnate villain who lived thousands of years ago in Egypt, and surfaces in the civilised world of 1983. Nobody grovels at his feat in this eon, so he takes great umbrage. He is able to learn English by listening to a TV broadcast just once (if only he would share that technology/software with us humans), and...

Bilal--A New Breed of Hero, Review: Idol greed v/s rebel breed

Bilal--A New Breed of Hero, Review: Idol greed v/s rebel breed Here’s the first animation feature film coming out from the middle-east, and it makes you wonder what took them so long. It’s a new, breakthrough breed, and may the genre prosper! A thousand and four hundred years ago, a slave boy, Bilal bin Rabah, dreamt of becoming a great warrior. Instead, he found himself and his sister working for a wealthy merchant, in a land far away from home. Thrown into a world where idol wo...

Money Monster, Review: Spend on it

Money Monster, Review: Spend on it Money makes the world go round. It can also drive a man round the bend! Jodie Foster’s financial thriller, Money Monster, juxtaposes TV ratings and credibility with Wall Street stock fixers. It also pitches a John Doe like victim against the establishment, in a battle of wits, and of lives. Heart-rending and irreverent in varying measures, the film is well worth investing your time and money in. Cable TV’s cocky Wall Street financial guru Lee Ga...

Buddha in a Traffic Jam, Review: Political pottery

Buddha in a Traffic Jam, Review: Political pottery “If we need to become a strong country and wish to shine, we need thousands and millions of Buddhas who can fight the traffic jam.” — Vivek Agnihotri, writer-director, to an Indian publication. He was trying to explain the meaning of the title, which has nothing to do with either Budhha or traffic, but maybe something to do with jam. No, the scene where a man says that he cannot leave the post of the worshipper at a mini-t...

Pelé-Birth of a Legend, Review: Exciting draw

Pelé-Birth of a Legend, Review: Exciting draw Whenever a football match begins, all three possibilities are in place: a win for side A, a win for side B or a draw. Wins are exciting, draws not really the desirable result, in the high voltage sport, the most popular game in the world. Pelé-Birth of a Legend, a docu-feature on the Pérola Negra (Black Pearl) of Brazil, promises a lot, delivers much less and results in a draw. To be fair, it is not a tame, goalless draw, but ...

Captain America-Civil War, Review: Danger...Us?

Captain America-Civil War, Review: Danger...Us? Emerging from the 2006 Marvel Comic storyline, Civil War, this is a top heavy assembly, where the heroes get divided into two camps and battle it out, before realising that unity in diversity must come first, and egos should take second billing. It is about two superstars taking opposing, dictatorial stances, but with so many characters doing their bit for the fans, the film is a democratic treatise. Villains, by comparison, are poorly delineate...

Mother’s Day, Review: Mom Com

Mother’s Day, Review: Mom Com Mother of two sons and a dedicated wife, philandering husband falling for sexy new babe, grieving widower raising two daughters, an aging couple who discover that they have an Indian for a son-in-law and a woman for the other daughter’s partner, an out-of-wedlock abandoned child of a mother who is now a TV celebrity...all set for a Mom Com, made for, and aimed at, Mother’s Day. Well, it could have been a Rom Com, except for the fact that so many...

10 Cloverfield Lane, Review: Hollowcaust

10 Cloverfield Lane, Review: Hollowcaust Ultra-thin story line, with some slick moments in the first half, is how one can sum up 10 Cloverfield Lane. A psychological, science fiction, holocaust, suspense tale, the film needed a rock solid unravelling. Instead, it goes off on an indulgent tangent, and you come out wondering, “So this was what it was all about?” It is the second film in the Cloverfield franchise. The film was developed from a script titled The Cellar, but while und...

Sujata Mehta: Teaching grandma to suck eggs

Sujata Mehta: Teaching grandma to suck eggs Yesteryear film actress and popular stage performer Sujata Mehta is someone known to me from the 1980s. Her husband, Latesh Shah, is known me perhaps a little longer. Both were stage actors, with Latesh also being a gifted director. Both won prizes at inter-college short play competitions, including those organised by the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), where I had occasion to serve as judge. Sujata got film breaks, like Pratighaat...

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of FilmFestivals.com and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.


Bandra West, Mumbai

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