Cafe Dissensus Review of Films (CDRF)

Here you will find links to all the pieces we have published on films. We are planning to move gradually to in-depth, long-form reviews, interviews with filmmakers, and essays on films. In future, the films section will be called, Cafe Dissensus Review of Films (CDRF).

Films Editor: Murtaza Ali Khan, an independent film critic based out of Delhi, India. He is the editor-in-chief of A Potpourri of Vestiges and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. He has also contributed to The HinduThe QuintWittyfeed, etc. He is on the guest panel for live discussions on the television channel News X.

Submission Guidelines for the Films Section

Café Dissensus Review of Films (CDRF) intends tooffer social, political, and aesthetic perspectives on cinema. We are interested in all kinds of cinema, including Bollywood, Indian regional films, the cinema of developing nations, Hollywood films (old and new), European films, and British films. We cater to erudite, intelligent, and curious readers who are knowledgeable about both art and politics. We intend to present complex ideas and arguments in a lucid and accessible manner. The CDRF is inclined to long-form pieces, such as feature articles, reviews of single movies, review essays, interviews, etc.

Familiarity with our editorial policies and publishing history is a must for authors. Here are some guidelines for authors, reviewers, and filmmakers to keep in mind when sending or reviewing films as well as writing pieces for the Films Section of Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus magazine.

Send in your submissions to our Films Editor, Murtaza Ali Khan:

Areas of interest:

Film Reviews: We invite reviews that focus on current films. The reviews should be critical and include larger discourses surrounding the film, and locate the film in a particular genre or sub-genre. At the beginning of the review, the author should incorporate a very short synopsis of the plot for those who have not watched the film. We are concerned with critical as well as aesthetic aspects of the film text. We expect reviews to be between 1000-1500 words in length. Please specify production details and distribution source  information with your review.

We don’t restrict ourselves to any specific film but our priority is Bollywood, regional films, and world cinema, which have larger political and cultural importance.

We would also like to publish reviews of recently re-released classic and vintage films on DVD and Blue-ray. The approach of the analysis would be the same as the film reviews. Here the author should include information such as the technical quality of the transfer, etc.

Feature Articles: In feature articles, the authors should focus on the complex social and political issues depicted in films.  While analyzing the content, the authors should address the aesthetic dimensions of films as well. We expect the authors to emphasize on the larger social position and political implication of the film, despite knowing that sometimes films contain innocuous, formulaic plot and generic format. We don’t restrict ourselves to a particular theme; we prefer to create an assemblage made up of what our writers and contributors are thinking and writing about. The length for feature articles is in the range of 2000 to 3000 words. Interested writers may send an email of enquiry to the Films Editor, which must include a detailed proposal, specific themes, and his/her critical approach.

Interviews: We also welcome in-depth, long-form interviews and conversations with directors, writers, producers, actors, composers, distributors, technicians, or anyone else, who is involved in the creative or business side of filmmaking. On the one hand we prefer cheerful and agreeable conversations; on the other, we welcome challenging, hard-hitting questions posed in an unconventional way.  We are precisely interested in:

  1. In-depth career interviews with major film personalities
  2. Medium length interviews on film-makers’ current or recent project

After transcription, the interviews must be edited, condensed and, if necessary, rearranged to bring major themes into focus and to support the flow of the conversation. The author should write a brief introduction to the interview, offering a background on the filmmaker, and a suggested title.

We are also open to audio and audio-visual interviews. In case, you are considering submitting one, do send us the final edited version. Audio-visual medium is one of our preferred modes and we encourage submissions in this medium.

Submission: We welcome articles, essays, and interviews which would cater to the above mentioned categories. The most frequent reason we reject material is because the length, style or subject matter is clearly inappropriate for us.

We are a completely voluntary venture and we are unable to pay our writers at this stage. (Hopefully, someday! Who knows?)

We don’t accept previously published articles; please don’t send us something that you have already published on your personal blog.


Film Reviews: 

Film Review: Shujaat Saudagar’s Rock On 2
Film-Review: The Politics of Role-Playing in Kaushik Ganguly’s Bastu- Shaap
Film Review: Sohail Khan’s Freaky Ali
Film Review: Shoojit Sircar’s Piku
Film Review: Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do
First Impression: Leslee Udwin’s India’s Daughter
Natasha Raheja’s Cast in India (2014)
Film Review: Michel Khleifi’s Wedding in Galilee (1987) and Israel-Palestine Conflict
Documentary: Muzaffarnagar Bleeds: A Reenactment of Gujarat Riots, 2002
Film Review: Anurag Khashyap’s That Day After Everyday
Film Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Director – Mira Nair

Essays on Films, Television, and Filmmakers:

The Fascinating Journey of SRK
How and why does Bollywood promote stalking?
Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi – The great leveler
The Decline of the Bollywood Heroine
Melody in film: The Hindi film song as a cultural product (Part III)
Melody in film: The Hindi film song as a cultural product (Part II)
Melody in film: The Hindi film song as a cultural product (Part I)
Downton Abbey: A Journey of Womanhood
Indian Television has regressed
Hindi Cinema and Feminism
A Chapter in World Cinema: Essence of Nature in Three Anime of Isao Takahata
Shyam Benegal’s Manthan: Verghese Kurien and the Social Churning
A Chapter in World Cinema: Ebbing Innocence in Theo Angelopoulos’ Landscape in the Mist
A Chapter in World Cinema: The never-ending search for ‘home’ in Wong Kar-Wai’s movies
A Chapter in World Cinema: Enchanting Disenchantment in Eran Kolirin’s The Band’s Visit
The Mars Club Member’s Daughter
Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy: Celebrating Life Through the Vision of Death
A Short Film on Communalism and Manto

Interviews with Filmmakers:

An Interview with Filmmaker, Ajay Raina, on Kashmir Oral History Project
An Interview with Actor, Nandita Das
An Interview with Mr. Amit Khanna, Ex-Chairman, Reliance Entertainment
An Informal Conversation with Jayan K. Cherian, Director, Papilio Buddha
Rendezvous with Shyam Benegal
Rendezvous with Kabir Khan