Omar Ahmed

Film Scholar & Curator

Voted for

Meghe Dhaka Tara1960Ritwik Ghatak
Pickpocket1959Robert Bresson
Uski Roti / Our Daily Bread1969Mani Kaul
AMMA ARIYAN1987John Abraham
KUMMATTY1980G. Aravindan
Gangs of Wasseypur Anurag Kashyap2012
Court2014Chaitanya Tamhane
Thief1981Michael Mann
After Hours1985Martin Scorsese


Meghe Dhaka Tara

1960 India

Ghatak’s rebelliousness is infectious, and so are his films.


1959 France

Bresson’s films continue to mesmerise with their simplicity.

Uski Roti / Our Daily Bread


The real aesthetic break in Indian cinema was the spatial/temporal innovations of Kaul’s work, one of the most authentic, unpretentious of his generation and a creative high point of Indian Parallel Cinema.


1959 India

Guru Dutt’s opus is drenched in a melancholic bitterness that should be viewed side by side with Pyaasa.


1987 India

Malayali filmmaker John Abraham’s staunchly Marxist Third Cinema political opus is the one I return to so that I can remind myself what is at stake politically.


1980 India

Aravindan is the best kept secret in global cinema, and the tactile, impressionistic visual poetry of Kummatty places it alongside the best of Tarkovsky and Malick.

Gangs of Wasseypur

Anurag Kashyap

Wasseypur is the epoch of New Indian independent cinema but also one of the most nourishing, gut punch genre films of our age.


2014 India

One of the most astonishing debuts in recent memory, Court explores the politics of caste through sublime tableau.


1981 USA

Any Mann is accomplished but Thief (early Mann) seems the leanest.

After Hours

1985 USA

After Hours is my favourite Scorsese; a nightmarish Freudian satire.

Further remarks

Everything is relative. While I have lots of films rummaging around in my mind each week, I feel I have reached a point where I have nowhere left to store them. So, where am I right now? Well, I am currently writing a book so most of my current connections and sentiments to film are rooted in Indian Parallel Cinema, the most sustained and creatively innovative film movement (from the global south) you’ve never heard of.

It pains me to omit films by Hitchcock, Ozu, Fincher, PTA, Edward Yang, Francis Coppola, Saeed Mirza, Kumar Shahani, Abbas Kiarostami, Satyajit Ray, Leone, Kubrick, Anand Patwardhan, John Ford, Spike Lee, Jarmusch, Kaneto Shindo, Ken Loach & Kieślowski whom I cherish dearly.