First Day First Show | 69th National Film Awards, ‘RRR’ bags six honours

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Around Tinsel Town

>> ‘RRR’, ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’, ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ win big at 69th National Film Awards

The 69th National Film Awards were announced with RRR, Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, Gangubai Kathiawadi andSardar Udham winning inmajor categories. Telugu star Allu Arjun was adjudged best actor for his larger-than-life performance in Pushpa: The Rise (Part I). Alia Bhatt and Kriti Sanon were named best actress for Gangubai Kathiawadi and Mimi respectively. Meanwhile, The Kashmir Files, directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, won the Nargis Dutt award for best film on national integration.


Kareena Kapoor Khan’s streaming debut titled ‘Jaane Jaan

Veteran actor Seema Deo passes away at 81

Sunny Deol’s ‘Gadar 2’ makes a killing at the box office

Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Kennedy’ closes Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2023

Kajol and Kriti Sanon-led ‘Do Patti’ goes on floors

Tiger Shroff wraps up futuristic actioner ‘Ganapath: Part 1’

Neeraj Pandey’s crime thriller series ‘Khakhee’ renewed for new season

Mani Ratnam says he hasn’t seen ‘Dil Se..’ since release

Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s ‘Haddi’ to stream from September 7


Zack Snyder hypes extended director’s cut of ‘Rebel Moon’

‘Dune: Part Two’ postponed due to Hollywood strikes

‘This Is Us’ actor Ron Cephas Jones dies at 66

‘The Peripheral’, ‘A League of Their Own’ cancelled by Prime Video due to Hollywood strikes

James Gunn denies ‘Superman: Legacy’ is an origin story

Jennifer Aniston criticizes cancel culture

‘And Just Like That…’ to return with season three on Max

Regional Cinema

Dhanush, Arun Matheswaran to reteam after ‘Captain Miller’

Mari Selvaraj to helm ‘SOS – Straight Outta Sunnambu Kaalvai’ series

Mohanlal, Jeethu Joseph’s ‘Neru’ goes on floors 

Arya, Gautham Karthik begin shooting for ‘Mr X’

Mammootty’s next, ‘Bramayugam’, goes on floors

Chiranjeevi, director Vassishta to team for their next

Nidhhi Agerwal joins Prabhas’ ‘Raja Deluxe

‘777 Charlie’ adjudged best Kannada film

Darshan, Prem to collaborate after 20 years

World Cinema

Fawad Khan leads Netflix’s first Pakistan-themed original

Tony Leung Chiu-Wai to star in ‘Silent Friend’ by Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi

Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa to star in ‘Blue Beetle’ director’s next


Ravi Teja aims for pan India reach in ‘Tiger Nageswara Rao’ teaser

Anushka, Naveen promise a hearty, relevant, and fun rom-com in ‘Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty’ trailer

Kim Kardashian, Emma Roberts pilot a pregnancy horror in ‘American Horror Story: Delicate’ teaser

Gael García Bernal packs a punch in ‘Cassandro’ trailer

Trailer of ‘Reptile’, starring Benicio Del Toro, Justin Timberlake, out

Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s ‘Haddi’ trailer out; film to debut on ZEE5 in September

Babil Khan leads this coming-of-age story in ‘Friday Night Plan’ trailer

Vemal brings action-heavy masala entertainer in ‘Thudikkum Karangal’ trailer

Teaser out of Bejoy Nambiar’s new series ‘Kaala’

Trailer of Yogi Babu’s ‘Lucky Man’ out

New in streaming

New on Netflix in August: Manga series adaptation One Piece, Raj and DK’s crime comedy Guns & Gulaabs, Depp v. Heard docu series and more

New on Disney+ Hotstar in August: Season 1 of Ahsoka, Season 4 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Cuando Frank Conocio a Carlitos, and more

Coming to Apple TV+: Season 2 of Invasion, Joseph Gordon-Levitt-starrer Flora and Son, documentary Wanted: The Escape of Carlos Ghosn, and more

New on Amazon Prime Video this week: Nostalgic family drama Aachar & Co., jazz documentary Wayne Shorter: Zero Gravity, and more

Essential reading

1) Shooting Rajinikanth: ‘Jailer’ cinematographer Vijay Kartik Kannan on the technique behind the fanfare

>> The cinematographer talks about reuniting with Nelson for Rajinikanth’s ‘Jailer’ and why he wanted each frame to resemble photographs

2) Vijay Deverakonda: I learnt words like ‘misogyny’ and ‘feminist’ only recently

>> The actor on his upcoming film ‘Kushi’ with Samantha Ruth Prabhu, and if he identifies as a feminist

3) Dulquer Salmaan on ‘King of Kotha’ and why he became a movie producer

>> The star talks about his upcoming big-budget film, breaking the ‘romance hero’ tag, and more

4) Shivarajkumar interview: On his cameo in Rajinikanth’s ‘Jailer,’ and letting his eyes do all the talking

>> The Kannada superstar opens up on sharing screen with Rajinikanth and why gangster roles are a natural fit for him

5) Rakshit Shetty: ‘Sapta Sagaradaache Ello’ marks a new beginning in my acting career

>> The actor along with Hemanth M Rao talks about making an intense romantic drama, and why they split it into two parts

6) Mrinal Sen, the contrarian: A son’s perspective

>> An interview with Kunal Sen on his new book ‘Bondhu’, which offers an intimate portrait of his late father

7) On ‘The Kashmir Files: Unreported, ‘Gadar 2’ and ‘OMG 2’: The anatomy of hate narratives and a reason for hope

>> A piece on the detrimental influence of negative and propagandist media content and the urgency of positive narratives

8) Director Clax: ‘Bedurulanka 2012’ is an entertaining social satire, not an experimental film

>> The debutant on the varied inspirations behind his feature, ranging from Seven Samurai to Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead

9) Team ‘Behind Your Touch’ on the K-Drama’s ‘com-rom’ tag, understanding their characters, and more

>> Korean filmmaker Kim Sok Yun and team talk about their latest collaboration and how it came to fruition

10) Reinventing Mona Singh

>> The multi-faceted actor talks about slipping back into the limelight with the second season of ‘Made in Heaven’

11) Director Amit Rai on ‘OMG 2’ and living with the djinn

>> The writer-director talks about how he turned a provocative subject into an entertaining and educative experience

What to watch

1) Dulquer Salmaan’s gangster flick ‘King of Kotha’ is held down by its script

Read the full review here

2) In ‘Gran Turismo’, a decent underdog story gets bogged down by cliches and product placement

Read the full review here

3) Ayushmann Khurrana dresses and messes with a garish glee in ‘Dream Girl 2’

Read the full review here

4) ‘Adiyae’ is a campy sci-fi rom-com that keeps getting worse

Read the full review here

5) In ‘Akelli’, Nushrratt Bharuccha gets lost in a predictable maze

Read the full review here

6) ‘Star Wars’ spin-off series ‘Ahsoka’ is bright, tight and terribly thrilling 

Read the full review here

7) ‘The Queen Mary’ flounders in a murky sea of B-movie clichés

Read the full review here

8) Safe, sweet thrills in YA series ‘Harlan Coben’s Shelter’

Read the full review here

9) ‘Detective Conan: Black Iron Submarine’ finds comfort in the familiar

Read the full review here

10) ‘Kayo Kayo Colour’ is a striking debut feature by Shahrukhkhan Chavada

Read the full review here

11) ‘RDX’ delivers no-holds-barred action and nothing more

Read the full review here

12) ‘Retribution’ makes for a fun ride with Liam Neeson

Read the full review here

13) ‘Gandeevadhari Arjuna’ is well-intentioned but needed a smarter script

Read the full review here

14) ‘Bedurulanka 2012’ is partly amusing, partly patience testing

Read the full review here

15) ‘Toby’ is a stylised, dark revenge saga that grapples with predictability

Read the full review here

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The View from India | The reign of Erdogan continues

(This article forms a part of the View From India newsletter curated by The Hindu’s foreign affairs experts. To get the newsletter in your inbox every Monday, subscribe here.)

Before the May 14 general elections in Turkey, most opinion polls stated that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s Islamist leader who has been in power since 2003, was in trouble. Turkey was struggling with hyper-inflation and the lira, the currency, was in free fall. Some 50,000 people were killed in an earthquake in February, which raised questions about the government’s building permit policy. The opposition, which has been in disarray ever since Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) rose to power, came together and put up a united candidate. But still, they failed to defeat Mr. Erdogan. In the first round, Mr. Erdogan won 49.5% vote, while his main rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a former bureaucrat, secured 44.9% of votes, pushing the race to a second round. In Sunday’s run-off, Mr. Erdogan won 52.1% of the vote, against Mr. Kilicdaroglu’s 47.9%, extending his rule for five more years.

The fact that the opposition forced Mr. Erdogan to go into a run-off itself showed that his brand of politics, a blend of Islamism, welfarism and nationalism, was ageing. But the opposition was not strong enough to beat him. Now that he is reelected, Mr. Erdogan’s balancing foreign policy would continue. Turkey, a NATO member, has cultivated strong ties with Russia in recent years. After Russia invaded Ukraine, Turkey has sent armed drones to Ukraine, but refused to join western sanctions against Moscow. Turkey has also held a veto over the accession of Sweden into NATO. Mr. Erdogan also tried to shift the focus of Turkey’s engagement from Europe to the Arab world. At home, he is accused of suppressing dissent, discriminating against religious and ethnic minorities and Islamising society. What is the enduring allure of the AKP leader? In this profile, I try to trace Mr. Erdogan’s rise to power and his powerful ideology that continues to keep him as Turkey’s most powerful leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The fall of Bakhmut

This image taken from a video shows a damaged building in the Belgorod region, Russia, on May 22, 2023.
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After 10 months of fighting, Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced last week that its troops have taken control of Bakhmut, in their first major territorial gain since January when they took neighbouring Soledar. Ukraine claims that its troops continue to defend a small area of Bakhmut and is advancing on its flanks, but has admitted that the eastern city “is effectively in Russian hands, for now”. The Russian gain comes at a time when Ukraine was preparing for a counteroffensive with advanced weapons they got from the West. In recent weeks, Ukraine also carried out a number of attacks inside Russia. Now all eyes are on Ukraine’s counteroffensive. The battle of Bakhmut was costly for both sides. Both sides lost men and weapons. But eventually, Ukraine lost the city as well. In December, Ukraine President Zelensky had said that if Bakhmut fell, then it would be an open road for Russia to march to other cities in the east. Now that they have list the city, the pressure is on Ukraine to make gains in their counteroffensive to turn the tide of the war. In this edit, After Bakhmut,The Hindu writes that “As both sides are determined to continue the war, there is no hope for peace or talks on the horizon.”

China watch

China is continuing to expand the network of model villages or ‘Xiaokang’ (moderately prosperous) villages opposite the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Middle sector and Eastern sectors of the border. In addition, new posts are also coming up about 6-7 km from the LAC in the Middle sector, according to official sources and, in some areas, the frequency of patrolling has gone up significantly, reports Dinakar Peri. Opposite Barahoti, which has seen face-offs in the past, the Chinese are building villages at a rapid pace, sometimes as many as 300-400 houses in multi-storey blocks within 90-100 days. Officials said PLA patrols have been observed in 15 days or so compared to once in a season earlier, which is about three or four months. Small patrols are also being seen in Mana, Neeti and Thangla areas.

Meanwhile, China and Bhutan held their 12th Expert Group Meeting (EGM), which oversees the actual boundary talks, in Thumpu, reports Suhasini Haidar. “The two sides expressed their confidence in the Three-Step Roadmap and reiterated the importance of increasing the frequency of their meetings to make further progress in its implementation. They agreed to hold the next EGM in Beijing at an early date,” said the joint statement issued by Bhutanese and Chinese Foreign Ministers after the conclusion of the talks on 24-25 May.

Xie Feng, China’s new Ambassador to the United States, speaks to the media upon his arrival at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in the U.S., on May 23, 2023.

Xie Feng, China’s new Ambassador to the United States, speaks to the media upon his arrival at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in the U.S., on May 23, 2023.
| Photo Credit:

In another development, China appointed a new Ambassador to the U.S., filling a post that unusually remained vacant for close to five months and heralding what some observers see as a possible sign of a limited thaw in recently frosty relations, reports Ananth Krishnan. Veteran diplomat Xie Feng, who has spent much of his career dealing with the U.S., told reporters after landing in Washington that he had “come here to enhance China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation, and I take this as my important mission”. Beijing is also yet to appoint a new Ambassador to New Delhi for almost seven months, another unusually long gap amid a continuing chill in ties. The former envoy, Sun Weidong, left his post in October and took over as a Vice Foreign Minister in Beijing. It is understood that Beijing as of this month had not yet proposed the name of a successor to New Delhi.

The Top Five

Pakistan’s establishment has an Imran Khan problem: A bad situation is likely to become worse for Pakistan, with four institutions at work pursuing different endgames, writes D. Suba Chandran.

A ‘middle kingdom’ dawns on India’s west: With the emergence of Saudi Arabia as the main arbiter of the Arab world’s agenda, India needs to realign its strategy, writes Mahesh Sachdev.

In Nepal, a fledgling political outfit gives traditional parties a run for their money: The Rastriya Swatantra Party, founded as an anti-corruption platform last year and surged to become the fourth largest party in the Nepal Parliament, seeks to upend the political status quo in the Himalayan country, Sanjeev Satgainya reports from Kathmandu.

 Malaiyaha Tamils | Two hundred years of struggle: Sri Lanka’s hill country Tamils, who are commemorating the 200th anniversary of their ancestors’ arrival in Ceylon, continue to fight exploitation and discrimination, writes Meera Srinivasan in The Hindu Profiles.

A belligerence towards Beijing that is unsettling: Washington’s hostility towards Beijing may bring benefits to India, but a breakdown in China-U.S. ties would be catastrophic for the world, writes Manoj Joshi.

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