Wednesday, August 13, 2008

in which RGV writes and talks to enthrall

It's always fun to listen to RGV talk even though the films he's produced and directed of late have comprised some choice zingers and stinkers -- veritable challenges to the faith of his fans and those who still believe in him as a director. PFC snags a slice of the maverick filmmaker's time and gets him to go voluble on reel matters and familiar subjects. The fragments are a delight and one wishes they'd uploaded more material. One of the things that comes up a couple of times is the tussle between craft and content. The Breathing Method contained what has now become a classic Stephen King line (he even uses it to open Different Seasons, the collection containing the story): It's the tale not he who tells it. Arguably, the teller is inextricable from the tale (consider Satya directed by Karan Johar as an example -- It's all about loving your shooting). RGV brings it up too, noting that if people noticed the craft in his movies, he probably wasn't working with subject matter that was strong enough to hold the attention of the audience. The craft exists to bolster the content. That along with why he thought Om Shanti Om was the most honest film he had seen.

Meanwhile, back at his blog, a new post talks about the genesis of Rangeela and offers some fine words about Aamir Khan; it also casts an arc light on the cause of the famous tiff between the two while dropping an all-too-familiar name in the process. It takes a great deal of courage to write some of the things he's written there and the closing block says it all:

And before some minds out there jump to this conclusion that this is an effort on my part to patch up with him in order to do a film with him I want to categorically state here that I will never ever do a film with him and the reasons for that are:
(a). I am not as sincere or as committed as him.
(b). I don't have his patience.
(c). Above all I truly think he is a far better filmmaker than me.

One could be forgiven for mistaking all that he has said and written as some sort of sop to all his critics (although there's enough evidence that he doesn't care much either for sycophantic bearers of praise or of sprinklers of caustic bile), but there really can't be any denying his ability to entertain as an interview subject. Few Bollywood filmmakers can manage that.

[august 16, 2008]: Elsewhere, Baradwaj snags an interview with the man and watches how RGV turns the tables and takes control. It's also interesting to see (as BR has noted as well) how some of the things RGV echo his statements in the PFC interview (not to mention stuff on his blog).

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