With The Cloud-Capped Star, Bengali director Ritwik Ghatak reinvented the melodrama. The story of a refugee family’s increasing dependence on self-sacrificing eldest daughter Neeta (Supriya Choudhury), the 1960 film makes innovative use of an array of striking techniques—including elliptical editing, off-balance framings, and varied performance styles—as its domestic tragedy unfolds. The video above is a clip from a supplement on our brand-new edition of The Cloud-Capped Star, in which acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss some of these devices and how they help endow the movie with its uncommon emotional power. Here, Mirza delivers an impassioned appreciation of the film’s “enhanced realism”—its dexterous interweaving of elements both expressionistic (the densely layered soundtrack) and naturalistic (Choudhury’s supremely moving lead performance)—while Shahani identifies a seemingly simple, vérité-like scene shot on the streets of Kolkata as one way that Ghatak draws viewers into the heightened reality of his pathos-filled story.
All About Mankiewicz
One of the most celebrated Hollywood writer-directors of his time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz offers a window into the way he sees his characters in this illuminating clip from an archival interview.
Charisma to Burn: Béatrice Dalle’s Incandescent Debut in Betty Blue
The young French actor didn’t require much direction for her first screen role. As the film’s director and cinematographer recall, she quickly proved herself to be a born star.
How Paweł Pawlikowski Reimagined His Parents’ Fiery Romance for the Big Screen
As the director explains to filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the love story at the heart of the Oscar-nominated drama Cold War has its roots in his own family history.
A Daytrippers Trio Looks Back on Their Indie Miracle
Director Greg Mottola reunites with two cast members of his debut feature—Liev Schreiber and Parker Posey—to reminisce about the joys and trials they experienced on the set of this shoestring marvel.