Wednesday, January 30, 2008

RIP bharat gopi

Veteran Malayalam actor Bharat Gopi passed away at the age of 71 on January 29, 2008. Although he's got an impressive list of performances in films by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and G. Aravindan (among others), my immediate memory is of Paadheyam (starring Mammootty), which he had produced as well. You will be missed, Sir.

elsewhere: Shobha Warrier article for

Monday, January 28, 2008

quote libet

One of the numerous sops to the media for Gowariker's forthcoming period opus Jodhaa Akbar (rejected tagline: when doves cried) casts a shadow of doubt on the nature of the intended audience of the film and the presence of brain cells in the marketing/PR department; it also offers quiet assurance that Bollywood has a long way to go before it acquires a new approach to movie marketing. I have shown my body in Jodhaa Akbar too screams the headline for a collection of responses from the film's star Hrithik Roshan in response to a bunch of questions that came from the WeThinkWeRCool department:

Will youth identify with this film?
If it doesn’t the film will be a failure. It's a love story and people should like it.

No body show in Jodhaa Akbar like in Dhoom ?
I have shown my body in Jodhaa Akbar ! (smiles)

Meanwhile Anjaan's son Sameer crows about his work on Saawariya while griping that he's been accused of playing to the gallery. Some people just don't know their worth:

'For a recent film, 'Phir Hera Pheri' I wrote 'All day, all night' which was in four languages - Rajasthani, English, Hindi and Punjabi - that's the effect of globalisation on our cinema and music. That is how today's youngsters speak. That's the spirit one has to capture in our film songs,' he added.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

is this good or bad for atlanta's public transit?

On Wednesday, January 23, 2008, a 22 year-old woman robbed a Wachovia Bank, ran across the parking lot to a Quizno's, got sprayed with orange ink when a dye bomb exploded, tried to store her sullied clothes and the money in a women's bathroom in a Publix nearby, changed her clothes and ... wait for it ... went to the MARTA bus stop at Dunwoody Place and Hope Road to wait for a bus. She was spotted and arrested, thus being denied of tasting the success she had with a similar move before. [sanitised AP report that mentions no names | AJC report with more juicy details]

The question now is: does this represent something good (look, she got arrested only because she was waiting for a bus instead of driving away in a car ... imagine if we had more buses around; we'd be able to catch more people while they're waiting for a bus to make a getaway) or something bad (there you go; didn't I tell you that having buses around is going to cause more crime?) for public transportation in Atlanta?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

announcing: RMIM Puraskaar 2007

It has been amiss of me to delay this post. Vinay is back with the second edition of RMIM Puraskaar. Voting closes tentatively on January 31, 2008.

The announcement's also posted on the giitaayan blog.

related: announcements hereabouts for the first edition and its results.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the last laugh

Heath Ledger was found dead on Tuesday afternoon in a Manhattan apartment. He was 28. After fame with Brokeback Mountain, he was all set to make another role his own -- that of The Joker in The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's follow-up to Batman Begins, the eminently satisfying boost to the film canon that had suffered from a descent into high camp reminiscent of the Adam West-Burt Ward days. Ledger had been signed on for Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, on which production began in December 2007 (one wonders how much work Ledger clocked for the film). Nolan's film seems slated to mark what might be Ledger's last complete screen appearance (the entry in his filmography indicates that the film is in post-production); Ledger's death will also lend a very ominous air to the character of The Joker, a character slated for much more recognition than anyone might ever have hoped for.

addendum [January 30, 2008]: Christopher Nolan shares his thoughts on working with Ledger on the film.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

julia, O, and a new blog for vishal bhardwaj

One of the closing flourishes of the last year came fromJR in the form of a blog dedicated to all things Vishal Bhardwaj. He graciously asked me on board as well. This means that straight news on the happenings in the cinemagic world of Vishal will go over to that blog, including notes on the mysterious state of Julia, the possibility of a prequel to Omkara (he could dispatch the script to RGV's Factory and the next Vishram Sawant could churn out O (Meerut Maharaja)) and his travelling to Pune (passing by Das Auto Works[1], no doubt) to work on a script. Both Sudarshan and LL pounced on that news bit when it showed up online.

[1]: an element from the detailed texture of Sriram Raghavan's delicious pulpy Johnny Gaddar

zed's dead baby; zed's dead

Farah Khan's moolah-raking Om Shanti Om owes an obvious debt (no pun intended) to Subhash Ghai's Karz. After much ado, the next one in line features He Who Has Deigned To Unleash His Tresses. Astrologically stammering at the tip of a delay pedal, Karzzzz is reportedly going to sport an interesting casting choice. Instead of a see-saw of the Singer of Snotty Song, audiences might now see the mongrel who shot to fame by being the face for the voice of The Nose. Urmila Matondkar will get to bump off Emraan Hashmi; Emraan Hashmi will be reborn as Himesh Reshammiya. Enraptured by the sight of uncapped hair, the audience is slated to shell out rupees, dollars, pounds and more while the tinny sound in the ears refuses to go away.

A fragment of Anand Bakshi's lyric became the title of his grandson's directorial début starring Emraan Hashmi; the film made a star of Hashmi and The Nose's songs became a rage. A couple of years later, one sees more connections. An industry whose product has thrived on narratives built from coincidences owes itself such a rich tapestry. "Vengeance is back" screams the poster. Soon the audience will scream. A star will be reborn.

elsewhere: JR explores one interpretation of the title.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

14 years since pancham passed away

image courtesy: The Hindu
and the tributes and reminiscences seem have dwindled to a trickle. Over in Pune, the PanchamMagic guys have effected yet another wonderful tribute show. The drying puddle of skeletal articles offering little new in substance is offset by the announcement of Brahmanand Singh's labour of love: A film called Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hai that collects a host of people who lived and worked closely with the late music director and offers a thaalii of delectable memories, anecdotes and musically rich nostalgia. Some extracts can be relished in a CNN-IBN feature as well a longer fragment hosted by IndiaFM.
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