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.
A Subtler Side of the Hepburn-Grant Magic
Filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and critic Michael Sragow dive into the pleasures of Holiday, a romantic-comedy classic that has long stood in the shadow of The Philadelphia Story but has a poignancy all its own.
Wim Wenders Looks Back on the Digital Future He Predicted
From search engines to all-engrossing handheld devices, the technologies that the German director conjured for his 1991 opus Until the End of the World are now common features of contemporary life.
John Bailey Breaks Down a Tour de Force of Gothic Lighting
The veteran cinematographer takes a close look at the highly stylized and atmospheric lighting in one of the most pivotal scenes in pre-Code classic The Story of Temple Drake.
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.