BETA ISSUE NOT FOR SALE
MAY 2010 | Rs.40/-
CINEMA, MUSIC & ART
‘i was always
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK Dear Readers! It was a great inaugural “Whats Brewing” event here in Chennai, where Mallika Sarabhai interacted with around 250 women at the savera Hotel. Ranvir Shah, an old friend of Mallika and art philanthrophist hosted the interview. And coming to the third and very hot edition of the brew...well, hot because we have Katrina, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna....all together in one issue. Can it get any hotter. And we have this amazing conversation piece with one of the finest actors in Hollywood, Morgan freeman and Matt Damon. In yet another conversation piece, I had the privilege of meeting two phenomenally talented individuals, Madhav Chari and George kurien on their collaboration of Jazz music and Martial arts. We have been hearing complaints that Justin Bieber is growing up too fast and not behaving well...nevertheless, he is a superstar and doing what he should be doing. Acting very mature for his age...there is a small feature on him plus a contest as well. Winners get the latest CD of his as prize. Write in quickly and win a Justin bieber CD....and theres lots more in this edition of The Brew. Enjoy reading while we keep brewing more! Cheers Sameer Bharat Ram Managing Editor. Sameer Bharat Ram specializes in brand strategy. He has had successful stints in large corporates such as HLL, Nutrine and Mahindra Holidays. He also has a strong advertising background having worked with O & M and Contract. His passion lies in building brands.
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nEW KID ON THE BLOCK
20 YEARS OF
MURKY DETAILS BEHIND THE BREAK UP
i was always a dreamer
MORGAN FREEMAN & MATT DAMON
THE BACK UP PLAN
MADHAV CHARI & GEORGE KURIEN
IN CONVERSATION @ BREW
- MALLIKA SARABHAI
EVOLUTIONARY BASICS OF
INDIAN CINEMA - SAMEER PURI
CONTRIBUTORS Mallika Sarabhai, Artist & Activist Educated as an economist and a business manager, Mallika Sarabhai is one of India’s best-known Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancers. She has taken her work and her company Darpana to not only over 90 countries around the world but also to the farthest parts of India.
Sameer Puri Sameer’s debut feature Delhi Boom! premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2007 . A Management Studies graduate, Sameer is a writer, director and photographer based in London. Sameer endeavours to make films that motivate people towards happiness and inspiration. He has wrapped scripting The White Room, is currently penning Ken Ghosh’s next feature and developing ND66, an action espionage remake of Delhi Boom!
Veejay sai is an award-winning writer, editor and a culture critic. He has written and published extensively on indian classical music, fashion, theatre, food, art and loves traveling, researching literary and cultural history. He is an editorial consultant with over 40 brands and designers in and outside india and is on the jury for several prestigious awards in the arts across the country.
Thota Tharrani is an Indian Film Art Director and a recipient of the National Film Award for Best Art Direction. He has won the award twice in 1989 and 1997. He has received the Padma Shri in 2001.
is a graduate from Delhi University. Passionate about writing she freelanced as a feature writer for ten years before switching to publishing. Author of a collection of short stories titled “IF” (Rupa & Co), Neeru is now working on two novels and a series of books for children.
Originally from Chennai, Pravin shuttles between Toronto, London and Chennai on his musical adventure. He has worked with a number of record companies in Australia including virgin, E.M.I, Sony music and secured a worldwide publishing contract with Warner Chappell, Australia. He has a number of album, film and session production credits with a wide range of music directors including A.R.Rahman
Acclaimed Interior designer wtih prestigious projects to her credit.She is also a writer and columnist with many national and international magazines. She has successfully diversified her brand into fashion as well with collections like “Sex with my Ex” and “I believe I can fly”
Teen Island star Justin Bieber’s newest single, “Baby” featuring Ludacris is the newest single from his forthcoming album, My World 2.0. “Baby” officially impacted at Pop and Rhythm radio formats on January 26th, and during the single’s first week at radio, it received over 1400 spins, and was the #1 gainer at both Pop and Rhythm. My World (released November 17th) crossed the RIAA platinum plateau in just seven weeks, for US sales in excess of 1 million units. The album contains his premiere quartet of Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits, “One Time” (certified RIAA platinum), “One Less Lonely Girl,” “Love Me,” and “Favorite Girl.” Justin is the first solo artist in history to send four songs from a debut album into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 prior to his album’s release. “Baby” is the first new track to be released from that upcoming CD. Meanwhile, Justin has surpassed 100 million YouTube.com video views (the first 50 million of them as an amateur starting in 2007, posting renditions of his favorite hip-hop and R&B songs). Born in Stratford, Ontario, Justin Bieber is a multi-talented pop/soul singer, and a self-taught musician on drums, guitar, piano, and trumpet. His manager Scooter Braun introduced Justin to the music industry in Atlanta two years ago. There he met multi-platinum superstar Usher, who signed the 13 year-old to his first professional deal and formed the RBMG joint-venture label with Braun and Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid, Chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group.
What is the name of Justin Biebers first single ?
Answer and Win Justin Bieber CD’s from Universal music sms to +91 99621 31185 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org MAY 2010
att Groening was sitting in the lobby of James L. Brooks, about to pitch an idea for a series of animated shorts when he realized that the idea he had wouldn’t be viable. He immediately came up with an alternative idea: a dysfunctional family named after his own, substituting his own name for Bart. What started as a series of shorts in the Tracy Ullman show became a half hour series on December 17, 1989 continuing till date continuing to capture the imagination of the entire world as The Simpsons. The Simpsons uses the standard setup of a situational comedy as its premise. The series centers on a family and their life in a typical American town. The geography of the town and
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again... aye carumba! 12
-by Satwik Gade
its surroundings are flexible, changing to address whatever an episode’s plot calls for. Springfield’s location is impossible to determine; the show is deliberately evasive on the subject, providing contradictory and impossible information. Family life for the Simpsons is a chaotic blend of cheeky outbursts and consequent mending, as Homer (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) and Bart (Nancy Cartwright) -- unwittingly or not -- undermine Marge (Julie Kavner) and Lisa’s (Yeardley Smith) good intentions. Bart finds joy in being a constant source of trouble. Homer earns his keep by falling asleep at the controls of Springfield’s nuclear plant and drinks beer after work with fellow barflies who make the cast of Cheers look tame. Through Bart and Lisa’s days at Springfield Elementary School,
the show’s writers illustrate pressing or controversial issues in the field of education. As it has gone along, accumulating anniversaries, awards (25 Emmys), and milestones (a 2007 movie, the inclusion of Homer’s “D’oh” in the Oxford English Dictionary), The Simpsons has marched off the map of what’s been done before. Is there a product in pop culture – from cereal boxes to Slurpee cups – that hasn’t received the Simpsons -theme treatment? Books on philosophy and religion, not to mention entire college courses have been devoted to gleaning lessons from the wit and wisdom of the show. THE SIMPSONS isn’t meant to be taken seriously; it’s a rollicking ride through a fantasy society, and it sati-
All right, let’s not panic. I’ll make the money by selling one of my livers. I can get by with one. rizes very human traits. Audiences will find this to be a treat during troubled times. How else to explain the success of something so inane yet so undeniably witty? Ultimately, one has to admit that The Simpsons’ scripts are terribly clever, and the cast portrays the characters with a sense of wit and care that has catapulted the series into TV legend. Just keep in mind that the show isn’t for the easily offended.
even though the ratings have dwindled over the years, the Simpsons Mania continues to peak and even though critics continue to talk about the show ending, Matt Groening said, “I honestly don’t see any end in sight. I think it’s possible that the show will become too financially cumbersome... but right now, the show is creatively, I think, as good or better than it’s ever been. The animation is incredibly detailed and imaginative, and the stories do things that we haven’t done before. So creatively there’s no reason to quit.” Two Simpsons movies have been released over the years to mixed reviews but the fans continue to lap them up like never before. With a wide panorama of memorable side characters like Mr. Burns, Krusty, Side-Show Bob, The Flanders, The Reverend and many
many more that can’t be mentioned here for no reason other than that of space constraints, The Simpsons celebrated its twenty years with its 450th episode(!) and is currently into it’s twenty first season. Its success can be concisely summed up in the quote of one of its die hard fans: The Simpsons has been so good for so long, it’s shattered every stereotype about the way television is supposed to work. For instance, The Simpsons is simultaneously one of the most successful shows ever on TV and one of the most subversive. The way that’s supposed to work is that a show can aspire to be one or the other, matter or antimatter. But both, at the same time? Never. That’s not supposed to happen, or even be possible!
The show enjoyed a record 13.6 million viewers in its intial seasons and
here’s something about Rihanna that never ceases to fascinate, right from her incredible voice, to her consistent ‘hit belting out’ abilities, to yes, even her weird hairdos. Rihanna does seem to have it all !! And to top it all of …… she’s from Barbados !! . . With such an exotic blend of beauty, talent and style one expects to be awestruck by the artist, and predictably so, Rihanna doesn’t disappoint!! In fact she surpasses expectations, and has achieved more than any of her contemporaries in just 5 years of her being in the music industry, The list of accolades she’s received over the past few years is as long and diverse as the persona that defines Rihanna itself . In 2006 she won the Female Artist of the Year at the Billboard music awards and in 2007 was nominated and won the coveted Favourite Female artist award in the Soul/RnB category at the American music awards. She repeated
-BY DARREN NETTO the same feet the following year and went on to win the favourite female artist in the pop category as well. Her hit single Umbrella featuring Jay-Z brought her the recognition that has helped cement her place as serious recording artist. It is clear the Rihanna has achieved tremendous success over the last five years and the awards she has been accumulating serve as testament to this, however life has not always been that rosy for this 21 year old pop sensation. Rihanna was born in Saint Michael, Barbados on February 20, 1988, to Ronald Fenty, a warehouse supervisor, and Monica Fenty, an accountant. Her mother, a native of Guyana, is Afro-Guyanese, and her father is of Barbadian and Irish descent. She is the oldest of three siblings ; two younger brothers, Rorrey and Rajad Fenty. Rihanna started singing from the age of 7, and was beginning to show real potential by the age of 14. Unfortunately her parent’s rocky
marriage and her father’s addiction to crack cocaine deeply affected her childhood . Despite her parents split, little Rihanna never gave up on her love for music. She formed a three member all-girl group with two of her classmates and as fate would have it her band was introduced to Evan Rogers, who was vacationing in Barbados with his wife. The group auditioned for Rogers, who said that “the minute Rihanna walked into the room, it was like the other two girls didn’t exist.” Under the guidance of Evan she recorded her first demo with featured what would become her first hit Pon the replay. Rihanna’s demo made its way to Def Jam, which invited her to audition for the label’s thenpresident, Jay-Z, who quickly signed her. Her debut album, Music of the sun was recorded in 3 months and was released in August 2005. It became a global hit where it peaked within the top ten across fifteen countries. The album reached number ten on the
Billboard 200, selling 69,000 copies in its first week. The album sold over two million copies worldwide and received a Gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album gave rise to the hit single ‘pon de replay’ that enjoyed extended radio play for months after the release. Rihanna served as an opening act for Gwen Stefani to promote her debut album. A month after the release of her debut album, she began working on her second studio album A Girl Like Me . The album was finally released in 2006 and reached number five on the Billboard 200 .The lead single, “SOS”, peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first number-one in the United States. The second single, “Unfaithful”, became a major worldwide hit as well, topping the charts in Canada, France and Switzerland. After the release of the album, Rihanna embarked on her first headlining tour, the Rihanna: Live in Concert Tour. She then embarked on the Rock The Block Tour and then toured with Pussycat Dolls from November 2006 to February 2007 in the United Kingdom. Her third studio album , good girls gone bad shows a more matured and raunchy side to the star who was once thought of as someone that only appeals to the teen segment . It yielded eight hit singles — all singles reaching the top twenty on the Billboard Hot 100 — including the worldwide number-one hit “Umbrella,” featuring Jay-Z. In addition to reaching number one in various countries, “Umbrella” was the number-one single in the United Kingdom for ten consecutive weeks. That the song is just plain good, regardless of genre, proves that Jay-Z and Rihanna, were dedicated to producing quality hits—however frivolous they may be. In 2009 Rihanna’s career took a major blow when a scheduled music awards performance was cancelled only hours before the show under very mysterious circumstances. As the murky details later emerged it was clear that Rihanna was badly hurt in an incident involving her boyfriend Chris Brown in
what seemed most likely to be a case domestic violence. Much to the horror and dismay of fans all around the world, the rumours were indeed true and confirmed when Chris Brown was taken into judicial custody voluntarily and disturbing visuals of the aftermath were made public via TMZ. Shrugging of the unfortunate incidents of the past and hopping to get her life back on track Rihanna started working on her fourth studio album Rated R, an album that was intended to be more upbeat and dance oriented than her last efforts .Released in 2009 The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Its first three singles “Russian Roulette”, “Hard” and “Rude Boy” peaked within the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Rude Boy” peaking at number-one. On April 5, 2010, Rihanna announced dates for the Last Girl on Earth Tour, which began on April 16, 2010. She’s currently on the European leg of the tour and despite recent injury scares at a concert in Zurich she moving through as strong as ever with sell-out shows in her trail. She also revealed that she doesn’t ask for much before a show, just some tea and honey. She said: “When you’re walking out you need a little bit of warming up of the voice, before you go out there and hit the stage. When it’s a festival you have to scream over them.” Rihanna also revealed her dream would be to work with 80s electronic band Depeche Mode and that her guilty pleasure was the new Miley Cyrus single Party In The USA. The singer will perform at Radio 1’s Big Weekend after she’s finished an eight-date UK arena tour with Pixie Lott. Rihanna seems like one of the busiest people in the world but as long as she keeps her fans happy, whose really complaining!!
Supermodel Nina Manuel, who has become famous for anchoring the TV show ‘Night Out’, reveals her Stylemantra. Mauli Singh, Bollywood News Service I am most comfortable in: Shorts and a T-shirt.
My boyfriend likes to see me: In really high heels.
The must-have in my handbag: My eyelash curler.
At home I wear: Shorts and T-shirt.
My favourite accessories: I am not much into accessories but I have really nice pairs of earrings.
I have fetish for: Everything -clothes, shoes, bags and wallets.
For a formal evening, I would like to wear: Trousers and a nice dressy top. I like to sleep in: La Perla. My favorite brand in jeans: Fornarina. My sari collection: I have only one sari. It is a Ritu Kumar which I bought a couple of years ago. And I have one salwar-kameez, which is from Fab India. My favorite Indian outfit: Lehnga. My favorite fabric: For me, what matters more is the cut of the outfit. My favorite colours: I like green, gold, black, white and purple. My wardrobe is incomplete without: Perfumes. My favorite perfume: Rock ’n’ Roll by Valentino. I shop from: I live in New York and mostly shop from there. I don’t shop from Mumbai. But for Indian clothes, India is must. Street shopping: The other day I bought gold Kolhapuri chappals from Colaba Causeway. My favorite brands: I like Anamika Khanna, Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani. Ellyn Park makes nice gowns. I avoid wearing: Long skirts. I don’t look good in them. I look best in: Short skirts. In shoes: I like all kinds of shoes. On a normal day, I wear rubber chappals. One thing that keep changing in my wardrobe: My clothes, shoes and bags.
The most expensive outfit I have bought: A Lanvin dress. Alberta Ferrari also cost me a lot of money.
“I have only one sari and one salwar-kameez.”
In bags I have: Both big and small bags. I have clutches. I have silver and golden bags. I have bags in every colour. In my opinion, the best-dressed actor and actress is: Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra. They don’t follow trends. My tips on clothes: It’s nice to follow trends but you have to keep in mind your body shape. It’s not necessary you have to buy designer stuff. You can mix and match. You should work on developing your own style.
Hair My hair care routine: I oil my hair once in a week. I do deep conditioning once a week. I am using this shampoo from Keratin. I had once coloured my hair plum-red; I will never do it again. My hair stylist: Janet, she comes to my house. My hair care tip: You should deep condition your hair and don’t use too many sprays on your hair.
Make up: In make-up I prefer: Nars. The feature I like to highlight: My eyes. My make up when I am not shooting: Nothing at all. My make up tip: Moisturize your face in the morning and night and see a good dermatologist.
the Murky details BEHIND the bREAKup
-BY DARREN NETTO Have you ever heard of a band that inspired a whole new vocabulary to be churned out of almost nothing? Ever heard of the term Beatle-Mania !! ? , The Fab Four? Seen a Beatles haircut ? Beatle boots ?? Do the names John, Paul , George and Ringo ring a bell ?? On the Radio .. TV .. at least internet ? Have you heard of a band whose drum patters and guitar hooks would form the basis of modern rock n’ roll and popular music as we know it today, whose songs and ideology would serve as inspiration for bands to come over the years ? , if your answer is ‘No’ to all of the above, well my friend . . . you may have to get yourself checked for a serious case of …… ear block !! For those of you who ‘do’ know who the Beatles are, this would certainly make interesting reading and besides, it’s never too late to rediscover timeless music. Newcomers are you listening?
While describing the Beatles it is rather easy to run out of superlatives so simply put the Beatles are the best-selling musical group of all time, estimated by EMI to have over one billion discs and tapes sold worldwide !! They have notched up the most multi-platinum selling albums for any artist or musical group (thirteen in the U.S. alone). The Beatles have had more number one singles than any other musical group. Ironically, they could easily have had even more number ones, but they were often competing with their own singles. For example, the Beatles’ “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” were released as a “double A”-sided single, which caused sales and airplay to be divided between the two songs instead of being counted collectively. Even so, they reached number two with the singles. The Beatles’ “Yesterday” is the most covered song in history, appearing in the Guinness Book of Records with over three thousand recorded versions. The list of achievements is endless, and with space being a limiting factor it is safe to say that The Beatles have achieved more than any other band in modern history that their success has been used as a benchmark to which other bands are compared. It all started back in 1958, when 4 not so serious lads got together to form a skiffle group called the Quarrymen . While we all know that John , Paul , George and Ringo make up the Fab-four , this wasn’t exactly how it began , In fact Ringo was a replacement drummer !!! that’s right , he actually replaced Pete Best in the formative years of the Beatles and -not known to many- has actually not played on Love me do !! In fact in the early years of the Beatles , John and Paul would handle lead and rhythm duties , while Pete Best handled the drum set . Interestingly enough Stuart Sutcliffe was originally
on bass and not Paul Mccartney !! , Thought provoking given that Mcarthney is considered by many , a pioneer in modern rock n’ roll bass playing . Though Stuart’s contribution to the band musically was short-lived and trivial, he did contribute two little things before his departure and that turned out to be not so little after all … the famous Beatle hair cut that would define their image and set them apart from the competition and of course …..their legendary name itself !! The tragic death of Stuart would lead to Paul symbolically picking up the bass guitar . Ringo was roped in as a studio replacement for Best and George Harrison rounded off the set up as lead guitarist on Paul’s insistence. Very few people knew at the time that this ensemble would be history in the making and what was in store for these four young lads . In the years that followed the Beatles led by the astonishing song writing team of John Lennon and Paul Mccartney would go on to belt out hit after hit , it what seemed almost like an unstoppable juggernaut ! In the wake of the moderate success of the single “Love Me Do”, their first album “Please Please Me” met with a more emphatic reception, reaching number two in the UK singles chart after its January 1963 release. Ten songs were recorded for Please Please Me, accompanied on the album by the four tracks already released on the two singles. Recalling how the band “rushed to deliver a debut album, bashing out Please Please Me in a day”, an Allmusic reviewer comments, “Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh, precisely because of its intense origins.” Lennon said little thought went into composition at the time; he and McCartney were “just writing songs à la Everly Brothers, à la Buddy Holly, pop songs with no more thought of them than that— to create a sound. And the words were almost irrelevant.”. Released in March 1963, the album reached number one on
the British chart. The band’s third single, “From Me to You”, came out in April and was also a chart-topping hit. It began an almost unbroken run of seventeen British number one singles for the band, including all but one of those released over the next six years. On its release in August, the band’s fourth single, “She Loves You”. It became their first single to sell a million copies, and remained the biggest-selling record in the UK until 1978 when it was topped by “Mull of Kintyre”, performed by McCartney and his post-Beatles band Wings. The popularity of the Beatles music brought with it increasing press attention. They responded with a cheeky, irreverent attitude that defied what was expected of pop musicians and inspired even more interest. But as the years went on and a few albums later things started to disintegrate and go horribly wrong . The once inseparable bunch of lads started fighting over every little thing as drugs, women and artistic differences got in the way . Till this day the exact reason for the break up is uncertain however some point to the death of their manager Brian Epstein in 1967 , leaving the band in financial and legal conflicts to be one of the major causes . Johns wife at the time Yoko played a significant role in the break up and was well documented by the media . Although McCartney may have been the first to be exposed to the other forms of artistic developments and trends, Lennon began to develop a more intense interest in one artist in particular, Yoko Ono. A Japanese-American conceptual artist, Lennon met Ono at one of her exhibitions in 1966. The pair maintained a platonic relationship until the spring of 1968. In May 1968 they spent time together in his home studio while his wife, Cynthia, was away on holiday. They recorded an avant-garde tape that would eventually be released as Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins, before consummating their new relationship. From that point on, the two were rarely apart, including when
Lennon was working with the rest of the band in the studio. This violated a previous tacit agreement between the members not to let wives or girlfriends into the studio. However, as Lennon’s artistic infatuation with Ono grew, he desired that she would be allotted artistic input into the band’s recordings. Frequently, Ono would comment or make suggestions in the recording studio, which only served to increase the discontent between Ono and Lennon’s band mates . Conflict arose from differences between each member’s artistic vision as well. Both George Harrison and Ringo Starr temporarily ‘left’ the group at various points during 1968-1969 and all four band members had begun working on solo projects by 1970 as the appeal of working together as a group began to wane. Ultimately, animosity made it impossible for the group to continue working together and Paul McCartney made the breakup public knowledge as part of the press release for his first solo album, McCartney.The Beatles gave their last public appearance on top of the Apple building on January 30, 1969. Their “Let It Be” album was deemed un-releasable and the Beatles broke up in 1970s ,the Band members found their own new individual way to the music thereby George Harrison embraced Indian culture and Hinduism in the mid 1960s, and helped expand Western awareness of sitar music and of the Hare Krishna movement. Ringo Starr achieved solo musical success with several singles and albums, and Mccartney became a prominent song writer who entered Guinness world of records in multiple categories.To conclude Beatles were the True Legends and break new ground of genres in music to pertain happiness and joy with their compositions. They will always be alive in the hearts of people with the harmonious sound of ecstasy.
Katrina is in the vanguard of Bollywoodâ€™s gleam team, thanks to a long string of hits in the last three years. While Namastey London established Katrina as a star, her recent hits such as New York and Ajab Prem Ki GHazab Kahani has further enhanced her image and given her the patina of an actress. The glamour doll of Partner, Welcome and Singh Is King is now being challenged as an actress in the forthcoming Raajneeti. Career highs have become a regular feature for Kats; the trajectory of her journey has brought her from London to Mumbai while she was still a teenager. Katrina played a college girl in New York, yet strangely she has never been to college in real life. Over the last seven years she has worked hard to achieve unprecedented success.
You are an integral part of commercial cinema. Would you call Raajneeti with a different filmmaker like Prakash Jha a risky venture? Raajneeti is a very popular subject. The film is not only about the politics happening in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha etc but also about the raajneeti happening in life. There are ten reasons why I did this film but one of the main reasons is that in Raajneeti, I have been shown as a nice girl who is unable to get the person she loves. Often when you play the heroine in the film, you are technically the pretty young girl, who gets the boy and he fights for you. But in life, the person may like the other girl and not me. These things happen. Raajneeti’s promos reveal that you have spoken a lot of Hindi and worked hard on the film. Achha … I thought I was speaking in Hindi in my last 10 films; but I guess I wasn’t (laughs). Raajneeti is a more serious film, so people think that more work has gone in, but to make a successful film is the hardest thing. By the grace of God, I have put in an equal amount of effort in every film of mine -- be it Ajab … or Singh is Kinng or New York or Rajneeti. Moviemaking is serious business; there is a lot of money riding on it. When I first came to Mumbai, not knowing Hindi affected
my work. It gave me an incentive to learn Hindi faster. I have been very fortunate to have reached where I have. But there’s absolutely no substitute for hard work if you want to achieve your goals. How did you prepare yourself for the Hindi speeches you had to deliver at the political rally in the film? When I enter the political arena, I have to learn my campaign speeches and understand the body language of a person in front of a large crowd. Prakashji gave me a lot of videos to see for reference. The speeches were given way in advance. Since I have a very good memory, there was no problem.I had to read out some of the speeches. However, I had to prepare myself for the emotional scenes. Whose videos did you see? I saw a lot of videos of Priyanka Gandhi, she is a very strong person, and she is a perfect blend of modern values, morals and ethics. Also she is young, but the character is not based on her. But it has been rumoured that your character is based on Sonia Gandhi. People should know that I’m not playing Sonia Gandhi in the film; otherwise they will come with a different mindset. I have spent a lot of years in London and Sonia Gandhi Ma’am also
“However far and long this journey lasts, one thing is definite -- it has been very memorable.” has a foreign connection, she wears a saree and so do I … so there is a connection. Now people will say that she lost her husband and even my husband dies in the film, but there are so many widows in Parliament. Was it difficult to work with Prakash Jha? Prakash Jha is a very intelligent man. He goes beyond what our cinema has shown. He is from the interiors of India and he has got great knowledge – about mythology and politics, and he understands people. Do you think Raajneeti will be a turning point in your career and help you gain the ‘serious actress’ tag? Whenever I hear that, it sounds like a warning bell … you should never do a film thinking this will be the turning point. I can put my hand on the Bible and say that all I want from Raajneeti is what I wanted from my earlier and forthcoming films. I just want people to see the film and make it a success. Someone said Raajneeti was my ticket to a National Award etc etc … not that I don’t … but I just want to do good films and show people what all I can do. You have achieved a lot in a short while. How do you evaluate your career? My contemporaries have done far more diverse roles, whereas I have been doing a certain genre of films … so people will now see me in more diverse roles. Now is the time is to do other kinds of films like a remake of Seeta Aur Geeta, roles wherein I have more responsibility. Like Ajab Prem Ki … had more responsibility for me. So does Raajneeti, but you also have to know that there are six other heroes in the film who will have their own story and their responsibility. Who has supported your ascent in films? Oh, there are many. I can write an entire book. I will be indebted to them for life, for what they have done for me. Often, there are people who have the right connections but still can’t make it. I say it is your destiny. Someone can plan
that they will come to the industry and do these films but can you plan that those films will be successful? The miracle in my life is the success of my films. Salman was there to guide me; I didn’t know anything. He had always said that I would reach the level of success that I’m at or will be reaching. At that point it was very far off, I couldn’t see a single movie ahead. He is not someone who would say anything just to keep you happy. Akshay helped me too; he took a gamble when he acted opposite me in a couple of films. Why don’t you do more films with Salman? If we do any film hereafter, it should be unusual. Do you make friends very easily? Since I am a Cancerian, I’m very trusting, I never look for ulterior motives. How do you deal with living in a fish bowl? My mom is very internet savvy. She loves to go to Google Alerts and check things out. I feel very bad when certain things are said and written about me because mom is a really nice person. What did you want to become when you were a child? I was always a wanderer and a dreamer, I have always lived in my fantasy world, more because we traveled a lot and didn’t have a base. It might sound foolish now but I wanted to be a firefighter, a stunt woman. I wanted to go to NASA.
Will that film be Anurag’s biography on Kishore Kumar in which you will be playing Madhubala I have a two-film contract with UTV, so they will discuss the films with me. It was reported that you were not well while shooting for Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan. There are more reports than truth ... luckily, I’m good. I had one of the most hilarious times shooting with Farah; I think she should do more films. One more rumour – apparently you are dancing to Madhuri Dixit’s ‘Dhak Dhak’ song in Tees Maar Khan. No, I’m not dancing to any of Madhuriji’s song. The style is very similar to what she has done in her Indian songs, but mine is a totally new composition. Fellow A-lister Priyanka Chopra is doing ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’. Have you been approached for some show by a rival TV chanel? My small screen exposure is limited to my ad films which I love doing. When do you plan to marry?
Right now, she is in the US still studying.
I think I may get married in two years, but I still think I have time so let’s see. As the saying goes, ‘Man proposes, God disposes’. Every time you make a plan, God comes and changes it. So let’s wait and watch. It takes a great deal of character and confidence for two people to commit to marriage; and that’s what makes it very special.
Moving on to your forthcoming films, were you offered Anurag Basu’s next, Silence?
You say ‘Man proposes, God disposes’. Can one infer that you don’t believe in planning and strategizing?
I’m offered at least three films a week, but I cannot do all of them. The basis on which I choose a film is purely professional. Anurag and I will definitely do a film together.
I have learnt not to make plans in my life because often you make a plan and it is not what is meant for you. So I try to just do my work. I try to be true to my work, because if you do, God will definitely give you what you want.
Your sister Isabelle was supposed to join the industry.
From director Clint Eastwood, Invictus tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of the sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team, the Springboks, to encourage them to win the 1995 World Cup Championship match. Co-stars Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman talked at the film’s press day about working with the iconic Clint Eastwood in bringing this important and uplifting story to the screen.
Lori [McCreary] and I—my producing partner at Revelations—we were trying all this time to develop A Long Walk to Freedom into a script. Couldn’t happen. And then, in ’06 I believe, we got this book proposal from John Carlin and it’s perfect. We bought it. We got a script written and this was the role to play to give the world an insight into who Mandela is and how he operates. It’s perfect.
Q. Morgan, you have wanted to play Nelson Mandela for a long time. Can you talk about that journey? MORGAN FREEMAN: Nobody else is going to get a chance to talk. (Laughs) This started out with Madiba [Mandela] as his heir apparent, so to speak. When he was asked during the press conference at the publication of his book, Long Walk to Freedom, “Mr. Mandela, if your book becomes a movie, who would you like to play you?” He said, “Morgan Freeman.” So, from then on, it’s like, “Okay. So, Morgan Freeman is going to be Mandela somewhere down the line.” So, we spent a lot of time,
Q. Matt, what was the challenge like to play a real life sports hero that’s unknown, at least in America? MATT DAMON: Yeah, well, the first thing I did when I read the script is I called Clint [Eastwood] and I said, “I can’t believe this happened. I can’t believe this is true.” And he said, “I couldn’t either. But this is true.” So, I went immediately and looked up François online. And I said, “Clint, this guy is huge. We’ve never met but I’m 5’10”.” I told him on the phone. And he started laughing. He said, “Oh, hell. Don’t worry about that.” I said, “All right.” He said, “You go worry about everything else”. I said, “All right, I’ll worry about everything else. You worry about the fact that I need to grow six inches to play the guy.”
So, I had about six months to get ready. And I worked hard on the accent and on training physically to kind of build myself up to try to pull off the illusion of being the captain of the South African rugby team. Ultimately, I just tried to look at every possible pitfall. When I’m way, way out, say, six months away, I look at what could possibly blow this illusion. What are the things? And then I start thinking about ways to solve those problems before I really get into it. So, I made my little checklist of things I had to do and just kind of planned it out. And then I got to South Africa, the very first day, François invited me over to his house for a gourmet dinner that he was cooking, invited me to meet his wife and two boys. And Morgan and I went and I just remember I rang the doorbell and he opened the door and I looked up at him. And the first thing I ever said to François Pinnear in my life was, “I look much bigger on film.” (Laughs) And he laughed and laughed. And he gave me a big hug and then took me into his house and that was it. And we were off and running and he was just an invaluable resource for me the whole time. I was constantly asking him questions, everything from what color is your mouthpiece
to what’s your philosophy on the Captaincy and on leading a team and on life in general. And he just is incredibly available and, as you’ll see, a very articulate guy. He was just incredibly helpful to me. Q. And your research included the accent? MATT DAMON: Yeah, well, François accent’s changed quite a bit because he went and played in England for so many years. And everybody—all of his closest friends, his wife, everybody— said, “Well, you know, his accent’s changed quite a bit.” And listening to any existing interviews from that day you can hear how it’s changed, but there was a good key to that because Tim Monich, the dialect coach, and I talked a lot about how a lot of people, when they do a South African accent, really overdo it and end up making somebody sound like Frankenstein. And it’s actually quite a beautiful accent. We talked about smoothing it out, because François speaks quite smoothly, borrowing some of that and trying to make it so that it’s subtle, so that it’s not totally over the top. You know, where you were just like, “Wait a minute. That’s a little big.”
to know him? Q. Morgan, you always describe acting as playing, which is nice to hear. I was wondering when you played Nelson Mandela, did it become more than that? MORGAN FREEMAN: No. No. It might have become more than that were I working with someone other than Clint Eastwood. He is so enabling. He is so out of your way, as an actor. He likes to watch actors play. And I don’t think I do anything other than that when I’m working. I’m just playing. Work is something else. Q. Congratulations to all of you. It is a beautiful film of a story that needed to be told. Matt, in 1990, when Nelson Mandela came to Boston and there were hundreds of thousands of us out in the common, do you remember that? You must have been young. MATT DAMON: Sure. Yeah, yeah. I wasn’t that young. I was 19. I was in college. Q. Matt, can you talk about what you most paid attention to in order to portray François after having gotten
MATT DAMON: Sure, well, there’s a lot. There are the things that are kind of more obvious physical things that I had to do to try to pull off that magic trick. And then, just talking to him kind of philosophically about certain things, you know, leadership. If you look at the structure of the script, it’s the greatest world leader of our time appealing to this other type of leader and forging a bond with him, and basically saying, “I need to use you to do this.” And the guy saying, “I understand exactly why,” and this team kind of exceeding its expectations. They’ve been asked to exceed their expectations and it’s a metaphor for what the country needs to do because everybody’s expecting them to not be able to heal. And, so, those were the things. It’s François’s integrity and leadership. But those were the kinds of things that I needed to get across with the role. And then the obvious kinds of attendant physical things, like lifting weights. Q. Matt, with The Bourne Ultimatum, you had an intense fight scene. Juxtapose that against the rugby scenes you had for this film.
Were you in a better condition? Or, how did you go into that, knowing what you had just gone through on Bourne? MATT DAMON: Oh, no. I was in better shape for this movie. There was a lot. I mean, I was in the gym every day. And François came with me to the gym a few times. This is his life. I don’t want to embarrass him. If Jason Borne looks a little flabby, that’s on me. (Laughs) This is the fictionalization of somebody’s actual life. I didn’t want to let him down. It was not going to be for any lack of effort; which really was what that team was famous for, actually. They were known for going the extra mile and for knowing themselves well enough to say, “Okay, we might not be the most talented team.” And the line is even in the movie. The coach says, “We might not be the most talented team but we’re going to be the fittest.” François talked me through the training regimen and it was just unbelievable what those guys did, all of them, every single guy. And it’s that great thing about a great team. It’s like when every single person commits to something and sublimates their own personality for the greater good of the whole team. And that’s basically,
again, the metaphor for that whole country. Q. Have you played rugby since you wrapped? MATT DAMON: Hell, no. (Laughs) Q. Was this before or after you made The Informant? MATT DAMON: After, after, yes. So, I had a good time and then a tough time reshaping the weight. Q. Matt and Morgan, would you explain to us why this is an important film? And for Morgan, Mandela’s one of the most revered people in the world. How did you go about developing and preparing to play him? And what was the most important thing that you wanted to get across in portraying Nelson Mandela? MATT DAMON: Well, for the first part, I’d say the film is telling a story that is a wonderful thing to remind everybody of in South Africa and all over the world. If we listen to the better angels of our nature, there are creative and good solutions to serious problems and it’s just an incredibility uplifting
movie. From the moment I read it I was excited about just being a part of the ensemble that told the story. I think it’s a good thing to put out there, particularly now. There’s not a lot of good news. So this is a nice thing to put out for the holidays. MORGAN FREEMAN: How did I go about preparing to play…? Well when he said that he would prefer that I be the one to play him in 90-whateverthat-was, I had to start then preparing myself to do it. So, I met him not long after that. And I said to him, “If I’m going to play you. I’m going to have to have access to you. I’m going to have to get close enough to hold your hand.” And, over the years, while we were trying to develop A Long Walk to Freedom, that is what happened. Whenever we were in proximity, like a city away, for instance, I would know about it. And I would go to him. And have lunch, have dinner, or sit with him while he’s waiting to go on stage for whatever. And during that time I would sit and hold Madiba’s hand. Now, that’s not for camaraderie. I find that if I hold your hand I get your energy. It transfers. And I have a sense of how you feel. That’s important to me trying to become
another person. I have a lot of pressure to bring a character like that to life in any kind of real sense. The danger, of course, is always at caricature. You start indicating what the person is like: I’m superman. And so, the biggest challenge I had of course was to sound like him. And everything else is kind of easy to do. To walk like him and he has a few tics and things that I noticed and I could pick those up. I didn’t have any agenda, as it were, in playing the role, other than to bring it as close to reality as I possibly could. The agenda is incorporated in the script. And all I had to do was learn my lines. Q. Mr. Freeman, back at the time of Unforgiven you said that Clint ran a very good set, a comfortable set. And you keep coming back to him, so I wonder if you could amplify on that. And Matt, how was your experience working on an Eastwood film? MATT DAMON: Well, Morgan and I were saying yesterday, maybe if we sit out for the next few years and let Clint get some more experience he’s really going to be a good director. (Laughs) We’re going to let him get some more films under his belt though. MORGAN FREEMAN: Three more. MATT DAMON: Three more he’ll be solid. [Laughs] No, it’s incredible, both of us having been on between us probably 100 different film sets. It doesn’t get any better than the way he runs it. And, as Morgan was saying earlier about him enabling and kind of allowing things to happen, Clint says, “Look, I hire the best people I can and I put them in a position to do their best work and I get out of the way and take credit for all their stuff.” (Laughs) And he’s got this crew that just is the top flight crew and every key and every person working under that key for every department. You walk on some movie sets and it’s like walking into an emergency room. And it’s like we’re just making a movie here. But that tension bleeds into the performances
and into the film itself. And Clint just runs an incredibly tight ship. It’s very laid-back. But everybody, because we all have experience working on other movie sets, everyone is aware that they’ve been given enough space to do everything they need to do. And if you need something, it’s given to you. If the key of a department says, “I need this”; the camera departments says, “I’d like a jib-arm for this or a little techno-crane,” it shows up. We’ve been entrusted to do our jobs. And then he’ll come over occasionally and give a little bit of direction. But it’s not a lot of chatter. It’s just a suggestion, a little suggestion here, a little suggestion there. And anybody who doesn’t want to hear a swear word, “John, plug your ears for a second.” Clint’s favorite saying is, after you do a take he goes, “Well, let’s move on and let’s not [mess] this up by thinking about it too much.” (Laughs) You hear it every day on a set with him. MORGAN FREEMAN: You don’t really want to go to Clint and say, “I’d just like to talk a little bit about the character.” (Laughs) Why? He
expects you to know what you’re doing. And he’s going to take two giant steps back and let you do it. I just have such deep appreciation for that part of him. And the other part is that, Matt says it’s a tight ship. I think it’s a well-oiled machine. Try to imagine yourself as the captain of a ship that really runs well. You don’t do anything. You just get credit for the fact that it runs well. The engine room does their job, the
steering does their job, deck crew do their job. It’s all done and done well. And they say, “Well, Captain, you run a very nice ship.” Thank you very much. So, that’s what Clint says he does. And
it’s wonderful. And everybody who works with him has this very same reaction to him. “Can I stay with you?” Q. Matt, you do a number of films that have some kind of social consciousness to them, like this film. Can you talk about doing films that have some kind of social meaning to them is for you? MATT DAMON: Sure, I think actors, we react to the material that’s out there. And I probably just react more strongly to things that I feel will have some social value. And I think this movie’s a great example. This is a really, I think, wonderful message to put out. It’s a completely non-partisan message and coincidentally this is about healing and coming together and it’s an incredibly uplifting story and I think that’s why it appealed to me. It wasn’t that I went and said I want to make a movie that’s about this. It’s that I read this terrific script and it was about the greatest world leader of the past 50 years. And he was being played by Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood was directing. It was a pretty easy decision for me.
Jennifer Lopez’s latest romantic comedy hits close to home. In The Back-Up Plan, she plays a woman embarking on single motherhood via a sperm bank. Then she meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin) who doesn’t know what he’s getting into. Lopez had just had her own twins, so she related to the script.
Jennifer Lopez MAY 2010
Q. What attracted you to this project? A. Well, I really enjoy romantic comedies; I love watching them and doing them, because that happy ending/fairy tale thing is part of who I am. And this one felt modern and had extra laughs. Q. In what sense is it modern? A. In the sense that it refers to an in-vitro pregnancy. That’s not something you would have seen 20 years ago. Q. What did you like about the script when you read it? A. I liked that it was edgy and very funny. Kate Angelo, who wrote it, had just had a baby herself and you could tell in the writing. And we both fought with the director and producers to put as much gross pregnancy stuff in it as possible. Q. Being a mother yourself, did you enjoy playing with all that pregnancy stuff then? A. It was a lot of fun because it was so fresh in my mind. I especially remember what it felt like to be so exhausted all the time and to be falling asleep in the middle of the day, when I don’t normally take naps. Q. How do you see your character, and how do you relate to her?
A. Zoe is very strong, brave and independent; but in a very different way than I am, as she didn’t grow up with a family like I did. But precisely because I grew up with a lot of love I also need it and rely on more people, whereas Zoe is different. And she is strong enough to make the decision to have kids on her own. I don’t think I could do that. Q. How does meeting Stan change Zoe’s life? A. It changes everything! She had this back-up plan for her life until she meets Stan. And I love that they both have to overcome what their lives were supposed to be to reach their true destiny. Q. But it isn’t easy… A. That’s because they have to get over their fears and obstacles. Q. What do you believe makes a good romantic comedy? A. It’s all about the journey. We know how they start and how they end, so it’s the meat in the middle that matters. A romantic comedy has to be funny and make you think about life; but the obstacle that has to be overcome is key. I like The Back-Up Plan because that obstacle isn’t typical. And chemistry is very important too.
5 Things You Don’t Know About Jennifer Lopez
“I don’t want everything to be white.” “There was this rumor that I needed white flowers and white linens wherever I went: ‘Everything has to be white or she won’t go in the room!’ That’s not true.”
“I am terrible with computers.” “I never go near one; I don’t like them. I barely know how to log on, so I’m never online.”
“I like the quiet, but I don’t like the dark.” “We have everything on dimmers so I kind of trick myself into the darkness. Marc always turns off the lights after he comes to bed. I’m usually sleeping—or he waits
till I fall asleep and then turns them off.”
“I love to read books about relationships.” “I am constantly trying to figure that out. It’s the never-ending question—what is the key to love?”
“Barbra Streisand is my absolute idol.” “I love what she does. She’s a singer an actress, she went into directing—she does it all. I sang Streisand’s ‘My Man’ to Marc at his 40th birthday party. It was a perfect song to sing to him. I even made him a recording so he could play it in the car.”
“Sometimes, I eat more than John!” You are known for your looks. But would you say that you are also smart? Everyone has seen me over the years; and you would have noticed that I have a good level of smartness. It is a tough job being an actor and one without any support system. To come from outside the industry and make your name here is not easy. If I hadn’t been smart or intelligent, I wouldn’t have been where I am as Bipasha Basu. It is very important to have a personality, after that everything about you is attractive. Summer is here; are you following a different diet in this season? In this season it is very important that we keep ourselves hydrated, so drink a lot of fluids. I also need to have curd with my food and keep my system cool. In India, it is very important that we wear clothes which are weather friendly, so thumbs-up on cotton -- any kind of cotton, linen pyjamas, linen dresses, shorts, ganji, sandals, flip-flops etc. It is said that a body is made in the kitchen more than in the gym. So how much do you eat? I eat a lot because my fitness is planned that way. Sometimes, I eat more than John! You have said that curves are in. In Bollywood which girl should have curves? I don’t believe in pointing fingers. You have to decide for your own self as an individual and think who you are and what you want to be. The idea is to be fit and not to be thin. A thin girl can also be fit, so you need to have the right perspective of what is fit and what is thin. Are you tired of the sexy tag? Where did I say that? I want to be a sexy grandmom, sexy at 100; so I don’t mind being sexy at all.
bipasha basu 44
Many factors influence the success of movies. In turn, success itself is measured in many ways. There are box office and DVD sales, critical acclaim, awards, ability to create rising stars, festival accolades, word of mouth, and so forth, any or all of which suggests a film of legendary proportion. But let’s start at the beginning of what makes a movie successful by any of these benchmarks, and fathom how they eventually succeed. Firstly, there must be a story to tell. This story is sincere and genuine where the writer and film maker understand the inner conflict their complex characters face in an engrossing story of external conflict. For these characters to remain conflicted, they must live within an imperfect world with many deficits. There is either not enough happiness, money, land, water, love, cars, or drugs. Subsequently all flawed characters must want what they cannot have by confronting each other in ways the ordinary person only dreams of doing. The genre of such stories could be anything from drama to comedy to science fiction, but the principles of conflict do not change. For example, the sleeper comedy hit The Hangover is a prime example of characters at odds with each other hell bent on a seemingly impossible mission, in a city they cannot fathom. As an audience, you like the characters, you even want to be some of them (or know similar ones). Finally,
Evolutionary Basics of
Indian Cinema Content to Distribution
-BY SAMEER PURI
eep inside the mind of every actor, director and writer is a discerning quest for the ultimate performance, canvas and story, respectively. The producer must ultimately form the missing link. Using his or her network and financial arsenal to distribute the movie through multiple mediums across diverse territories, from thousands of screens to millions of DVDs, he or she finds a way to fund and sell a 2-hour saga of fantasy and mind-altering drama. This, of course, represents the ideal situation. In the real world of Indian cinema, there are many milestones to bridge before Indian movies translate to global acceptance and success. Note, I said Indian movies, not Bollywood. In consideration of the depth of Bengali cinema, aesthetics and efficiencies of the Tamil and Telegu film industries, and mind-boggling diversity of brilliant stories emerging from Kerala, it is of little surprise that Bollywood’s two lone USPs, chiefly star power and marketing muscle, fail to drive a film’s success from concept to distribution. Big isn’t always good if it has no brains.
you want what they want: solution or absolution. The tight script leaves no room for your mind to wander to the cinema hall next door and the story does justice to the purpose of its creation: to satisfy. Secondly, there is the actual film making aspect. A stellar point many Bollywood directors fail to appreciate is connecting script with production. Often the film being shot bears little resemblance to the script it once represented. Frightening – but true. After a good shooting script is penned (usually this can be anywhere between four to six drafts that’s been worked and re-worked to perfection) pre-production must commence. Visually this entails a scene by scene storyboarding with detailed information on camera work and visual effects sequences. Logistically, the entire production schedule is planned, locations reconciled, costumes and props readied, cast and crew finalised etc. Planning leads to huge cost efficiencies, ensuring the film is produced on time and hopefully, may even cost less than the proposed budget, as director Clint Eastwood often achieves. This trademark astuteness of producers’ money and his team’s efforts has won the Oscar-winning actor immense respect as a film maker. With excellent pre-production, the shoot is a smoother, less bumpy ride as each page of the screenplay is translated from word to visuals in the shortest time possible. Not 2-3 years as some Bollywood films spend in the limbo of principle photography, but perhaps even less than 2-3 months as Tamil cinema or most international productions realise. Thirdly, performance. Yes, stars can sell films sometimes. But films with no story and a plethora of stars survive no
longer than a pedigree pup caught in Mumbai traffic. An actor who cannot perform or a character that is shallower than a glass of water takes your audience into the realm of theatrical suicide. Given a good plot, some seasoned actors, and a film maker who knows how to tell a story through his actors, a formula for success can be created. If the actor realises the script itself is a star, he or she may actually begin believing in its power and some of it may rub off on them. This is true star dust; the stuff between the lines of a good script, an intelligent actor, and a visionary director. The Farhan Akhtar starrer Luck By Chance is one such marvel to have emerged from the Hindi film industry. What could have turned out to be a silly, stereotyped, overhyped and mediocre film was unexpectedly a work of brilliant proportion. The contemporary insights into the workings of the film industry, coming together of jaded dreams and desperate propositions, and the subtle hint that outsiders aren’t permitted into the film ‘fraternity’ was handled with maturity and deliberation by Zoya Akhtar, and enacted as naturally as you or I would have lived the characters. The performance is brilliant because the script is exceptional. Another example is Aamir Khan’s Three Idiots which contains not a single wasted scene that does not renew the underlying theme of the film in some way. Aamir’s performance as a youngster is convincing from body language to dialogue, making it hard to believe this is the same actor who starred as a vengeful animal in Ghajini and an illiterate black marketer in Rangeela. Which brings us to the next point of style and storytelling.
How a director chooses to tell his or her story depends upon content. However, an individual signature style is what separates local pedestrian artists from the prophets of art. The Stanley Kubricks and Alfred Hitchcocks of cinema not only understood their material deeply, they knew exactly what storytelling devices to employ for maximum impact. Consider the abstract shots and reverse tracking to inflict fear in The Shining, or the claustrophobic build up of tension with no editing cuts in Rope. In The Green Mile, the entire story of human goodness and evil unfolds in a prison block, and in flashbacks, an old age home. The symbolism is brilliant; even when we are free, we are imprisoned emotionally. Our actions determine our futures. This powerful theme resonates strongly in the script, is performed convincingly by Tom Hanks et al, and narrated with an underlying belief in the goodness of humanity by Frank Darabont. When it comes to music, Indian producers must realise our tastes vary significantly from the rest of the world. Musicals such as Moulin Rouge are once-in-a-while entertainers in Hollywood. In Indian cinema, every film is a musical. This works great in India, where an original motion picture soundtrack is an essential marketing push. However, at film festivals and international cinemas, a song and dance sequence every ten minutes is as alien as Barrack Obama eating bhel puri at Bandstand. The trick is two-fold. Either cut out songs completely for foreign versions of Indian movies (much to the happiness of every foreign distributor I have ever met). Alternatively, why not work on a soundtrack
that translates easily into other cultures? Think Titanic. It did not matter who you were or where you were, once Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On broke the sound barrier, your heart realised it was alive with the melody of love. The final point is marketing and distribution, which includes print and advertising as well as everything else entailing boosting a film’s profile and sale using trailers, televisions spots, hoardings, virals, word of mouth, festival screenings to releasing a film in theatres, DVD, cable, video on demand, etc. A film’s positioning is so critical to its success that an inadequate marketing budget can shatter even a good film. Take the Abhay Deol starrer Manorama Six Feet Under. Good film, good performances (openly credited as a remake of Roman Polanski’s China Town), but a dismal marketing budget of under a crore resulted in one of the best films of 2007 tanking at the box office. By contrast, Dev-D had a four crore marketing budget. Do the math: Good marketing puts distribution of a good film on cruise control to success. Aamir Khan is one of the best minds in the business when it comes to aligning a film’s aesthetic values to commercial success. From Taare Zameen Par, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Ghajini to Three Idiots, the Khan’s astuteness in knowing how to get a big film seen by depraved cinema going eyes will one day become legendary. The conclusion? Eventually everything you ever need to know about the movie business converges to one teeny tiny statement: Make a good a film, then get people to see it
A gala screening of the new Robin Hood film in Nottingham will coincide with its premiere at the Cannes festival. The movie reunites Gladiator star Russell Crowe with director Ridley Scott in the story of how Robin became a famous outlaw. The Nottingham showing will be attended by local dignitaries and a live link-up with the French event is planned. Two exhibitions of props from the film have opened at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre and Nottingham Castle. The movie - which at one stage was to be called Nottingham - did not use any locations in the city but some scenes were filmed in neighbouring Derbyshire. The sheriff, who often is Robinâ€™s main foe in his adventures, only has a small role in the new version.
Robin Hood gets Nottingham
The city and county councils in Nottinghamshire have declared May as Robin Hood Month with a range of events planned to celebrate the medieval hero.
Who plays the role of the Karate kid? (a) Will Smith (b) Jaden Smith (c) Jackie Chan
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Sameer catches up with renowned jazz musician Madhav Chari and the very multi faceted martial artist George Kurien over coffee at TAJ MOUNT ROAD,Chennai. A very candid chat about getting together as a team and how it really works for them. Excerpts from the conversation. Q: First of all how did you’ll two meet? Madhav: How did we meet? Well, We actually met at a play It was a farewell for an outgoing Max Muller director. George: Ranvir actually introduced us. Q: What made you keep in touch?, You two seem poles apart as far as personalities are concerned.
George: For me it’s the fact that I don’t know anything about jazz, but I’ve always liked it. My understanding was very limited so it was a great opportunity for me to meet someone who has the technical ability to actually perform and articulate the grammar and energy of jazz music. Then we discovered in our conversation that we had interests that either were parallel or converged well. This came out in a lot of the collaborative ventures
like Mythology, body language and the differences between religion and spirituality. Madhav: In 2004, when I came back to India, The Aurobindos do not make sense and are falling short of the mark., Its all technical knowledge and not experiential knowledge after meeting George and starting to learn things about meditation first hand, I started discovering that even these
Photography: BABU PONNAPAN
so called great guys like Aurobindo , Vivekananda are falling short of the mark . Vivekananda is not Rama Khrishna Padhma, that’s a difficult category. Hence by interacting with George it spurred me on to go deeper into myself. By going deeper into myself- all sorts of self - spiritual and cultural, you start uncovering layers of being, the way you think. Just by doing that sitting in India I’ve become a better blues player. For me it’s fascinating, how George has simultaneous expertise in different domains, from 2004 to 2010 its been ongoing its been a learning process Did George’s mystic scare you? Madhav: No. I thing people get scared
because they’re insecure. They view it as alien or it’s so alien to their system that they view it as not real. “The most welcoming of all ethnic groups in the world, me being a jazz musician are the Afro Americans; the creators of jazz,” Q: Madhav, why did you want to come back to Chennai?? Madhav: Did I want to come back to Chennai?? Actually I didn’t want to come back to Chennai. I was in New York and after Sept 11th, the practical solution was for me to immigrate to Canada at the time. I didn’t like Toronto. Its was too ghettoized, despite it being
2002. I found the music scene too stale as well. Besides my parents and grand mom were in Chennai so I decided to come back. Q: When you came back did you like the Scene? Madhav: We’ll its not a jazz city, entirely. I think it has a good local music scene the Carnatic music scene. For some time I started goings to Katcheries, Sampling some of it . I don’t relate to all of Carnatic music by the way. For me in Indian music, I don’t like all aspects. For instance I don’t I love rhythmic aspects of dhrupad music, I love the rhythmic aspects of Carnatic whereas I love the melodic aspects of dhrupad music and not those of Carnatic . There’s not one MAY 2010
music form in India that really does it for me. Q: Have you ever felt you would have accomplished much more being in New York than you would have in Chennai. Madhav: Well much more all relative. If I would not have come to Chennai, I would not have met George and after meeting George I’ve become a better blues player. In those two years if the right lock had not been opened in my system it could have been going in
repetitive patterns. So you say that you’re in Chennai but you know it can also be the center of the universe for you. Wherever you are is can be the center. It can pull everything to it. Could I have grown In New York? I don’t know. I could have but that’s speculation, but have I grown from 2004 to 2011? Yes. And now with the new paradigm of looking at jazz music, you can go back into New York, and give a fresh birth that even New York people have not thought of. You never know. Q: So George what was it about Madhav Chari that made you want to work with him?
George: If you can get me someone, who can collaborate with me the way Madhav Chari does, I’ll be happy. Can you get me someone who doesn’t have an issue with being questioned? I question him a lot. We’re both very determined not to do fusion. We agree with each other on stage. I refer to his judgment when it needs to be referred to. So if you find me someone that works with me like that, I have no problems. Also the confidence that each of us have in our own ability helped the process.
Q: George you’re a Vis-Com student, so how did all this happen?? George: It s really about following your bliss. I wanted to be true to myself , Not compartmentalizing myself into compartments that someone else has all ready been in and in that journey of self discovery I always did what I enjoyed doing . I enjoyed Martial arts and meditation, it can also be in your genes so there’s a genetic memory that you partially act upon. It’s about pursuing you’re passion. I said, how do you make this work. It’s also about the joy of having serious fun.
Q: Taking about Marketing, one think I’ve seen is that both of you a very quiet about what you’ll do. Madhav: Not at all! George: We are not marketing ourselves in the traditional way. Its probably the old fashion word of mouth marketing, The way I look at it when things happen by chance I’m always open to it just like you’re here interviewing me , I welcomed it. Advertising and marketing is great, just make sure you’ve got a good product
along with that. There is a marketing element but not in a conscience way. If we don’t excel in what we’re doing, we can’t be where we are. Madhav: You can have as many facebook pages and advertisements, at the end of the day those that are passionate will keep coming back and telling other people. I have to keep performing.
53 *Conditions apply
ladson is an Adivasi living in the now war torn State of Jharkhand. When he was one, his family, prosperous farmers owning 20 acres of fertile land, were made homeless. Their ancestral land disappeared when a dam was built on the Chinda river. As compensation the family was
paid Rs 11,000. When they and their neighbours protested they were sent off to Hazaribagh jail. Could a family of six ensure food, education, housing, health care for their entire life with Rs 11,000? The family had no alternative but to head for the thick forests. They bought
a small piece of land, tilled it, collected forest produce and tried to make a go of it. Needless to say there was no way of recovering the prosperity they had enjoyed, but with the additional income from their livestock, they got by. The State however would not leave them alone. Cases were filed against his father as an encroacher (in spite of his having all the papers to show that he had purchased the land on which they lived) and was illegally felling trees. There was no school around so the children studied under the trees, and during the heavy rains, not at all. But Gladsonâ€™s father continued working for the betterment of their displaced community and taught his children always to fight for justice. When Gladson was 11 his parents, on their way to Simdega Civil Court were
brutally murdered leaving their four children orphans. Today as a human rights activist Gladson writes to his friends and supporters â€œThe worst thing is the culprits were not brought to justice. Can anyone tell us why the Indian State did not deliver justice to us, who snatched our resource in the name of development? Why there is no electricity in my village even today? Why my people do not get water for their field whose lands were taken for the irrigation projects? Why there is no electricity in those houses, who have given their land for the power project? And why people are still living in small mud houses whose lands were taken for the steel plants? It seems that the Adivasis are only born to suffer and other to enjoy over our graves.
After a long struggle, we all got back to life but my pain and sufferings did not end here. When I was working as a state programme officer in a project funded by the European Commission, a senior government officer and an editor of a newspaper (both from the upper caste) questioned my credentials saying that being an Adivasi, how could I have gotten into such a prestigious position? Similarly, when my friend had taken me to meet a newly wedded couple of the upper caste in Ranchi, I was not allowed to meet them saying that being an Adivasi if I meet the couple, they might become unauspicious and their whole life would be at stake. Was I a devil for them? However, when I joined another firm, I was totally undermined and not given the position which I highly deserved. I was racially discriminated against, economically exploited and mentally disturbed. Can anyone tell me why I should not fight for justice? Can those so-called supporters of the unjust development process, who have not given even one inch of land for the so-called national interest, coin me as the Maoist ideologue, sympathizer and supporter respond to me: why should I shut up my mouth and stop writing against injustice, inequality and discrimination? I have lost everything in the name of development and now I have nothing to lose therefore I’m determined to fight for my own people because I do not want them to be trapped in the name of development. I have taken the democratic path of struggle, which the Indian Constitution guarantees through Article 19. A pen, mouth and mind are my weapons. I’m neither a Maoist nor a Gandhian but I’m an Adivasi who is determined to fight for its own people, whom the Indian State has alienated, displaced and dispossessed from their resources and is continually doing it in the name of development, national security and national interest even today.” Why are these voices not heard by us? By Mr. Chidambaram? Why do we continue turning a deaf ear and a loaded gun?
Where Eagles dare!! • When the song “Take it Easy” immortalized Winslow, Arizona, in its lyrics, the attention helped pull the town out of a financial downturn. The town now has a “Standing on a Corner” park, with a statue of a musician standing on a corner and a mural of a girl (my Lord) in a flatbed Ford. • Guitarist Bernie Leadon left the band in late 1975 amid acrimonious creative differences within the group. He famously accented these differences by pouring beer over the head of guitarist Glenn Frey as he left. • During one legendary show guitarists Glenn Frey and Don Felder spent the entire performance issuing threats to each other about the fist fight they planned to have backstage after the final encore. • In 1998, the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame .For the induction ceremony, all seven Eagles members , past and present (Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Don Felder, Joe Walsh, Timothy B Schmit, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner) played together for two songs, “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California”. Several subsequent reunion tours followed (without Leadon or Meisner), notable for their record-setting ticket prices.
Back in black !! Bryan Adams and Andrea Bocelli to perform in world cup 2010
Rocker Bryan and Adams Blind opera star Andrea Bocelli are to team up to close the upcoming World Cup in South Africa.The Italian tenor and the Canadian will perform at Celebrate Africa, the Grand Finale spectacular in Johannesburg on July 9, two days before the World Cup final takes place.South African soprano Pretty Yende will join the two stars onstage. Alicia Keys and Shakira will headline a concert marking the opening of the soccer tournament on June 10. Proceeds from the opening concert are earmarked for a charity initiative building educational, health care and sports training centres in disadvantaged communities across Africa.