Cruel Cinema: New Directions in Tamil Film 

1/30/11 to 2/19/11

This selection of films demonstrates that a Tamil new wave is underway, a movement steeped in cinephilia that presents an unflinching view of the intimate cruelty of family, wanton murder on the streets of Madurai, and the brutality of evil gang lords.

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Past Films

  • Naan Kadavul

    • Saturday, February 19 3:00 PM

    Bala (India, 2009). Director Bala has carved a name for himself by marching against all prevailing sensibilities in the Tamil film industry-his films speak of madness on the margins and the grotesque tragedy that accompanies it. Naan Kadavul follows a teenage orphan who has grown up amidst the madmen of the holy city of Varanasi. (150 mins)

  • Subramaniapuram

    • Saturday, February 12 3:00 PM

    Sasikumar (India, 2008). Offering an unvarnished look at the friendships among five men living in a Madurai neighborhood, this film was hailed for its careful mounting of a mise-en-scène set in the 1980s: longhaired men, wide-legged trousers, and droopy collars. (160 mins)

  • Paruthiveeran

    • Sunday, February 6 2:00 PM

    Ameer Sultan (India, 2007). An arid landscape of a village on the outskirts of Madurai is the setting for this tortured love story, which has more in common with the escalating violence of Peckinpah's border westerns than typical pastoral films. (162 mins)

  • Pudhupettai

    • Sunday, January 30 2:00 PM

    Selvaraghavan (India, 2006). Selvaraghavan's box-office smash follows the unlikely rise of Kokki Kumar (Dhanush) from petty criminal to powerful gang lord in the slums of Chennai. “The look of the film is amazing . . . I would compare it to City of God, Amores Perros….Dhanush has the energy of a young Pacino” (Toronto International Film Festival). (168 mins)