CINEMA, MUSIC & ART WITH THE
MAY 2011 VOL 01 ISSUE 08 ` 40
StraIGHt talk with
KAPOOR Jennifer Lopez Multifaceted Diva Queen 40 years and the show is still on
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Dear Readers! Welcome to yet another exciting edition of The Brew. The Cover story was an automatic choice for the month after great public demand - Ranbir Kapoor, the most sought after actor in Bollywood these days. Even advertisers are chasing him to endorse their brands, the most popular endorsement of his being the one for Nissan Micra. I just love the car, not just for the fact that he endorses it, but because it’s also one of the finest cars in its segment. We have featured my all time favourite, Jennifer Lopez with latest exclusive pictures of her. If you have seen her latest single “On the floor”, you can surely see that this 40 year old mom can still do hot dance tracks, and no, this ain’t “Waiting for tonight”!
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You will also find an exhaustive tribute to the legendary British Rock band “Queen” on 40 years since their formation way back in 1971. Read on and you’ll know that there’s more to them than “We Will Rock You”, and that they are still the champions. I would like to thank Mallika Sarabhai for contributing a lovely piece on Rabindranath Tagore on his 150th anniversary. Lastly, don’t miss Lord Jeffrey Archer’s praise for the Indian team winning the Cricket World Cup in “What’s Brewing with Jeffrey Archer”. Enjoy The Brew. Until next time, Sameer Bharat Ram Editor
CINEMA, MUSIC & ART WITH THE
Creative Director Mihir Ranganathan Art Director Sibiraj Bastin Sr. Graphic Designer A. M . Suhail
CINEMA, MUSIC & ART WITH THE
MAY 2011 VOL 01 ISSUE 08 ` 40
StraIGHt talk with
Sub-Editor Manoj Sreekumar Photography & Marketing Manager Rathy
Jennifer Lopez Multifaceted Diva Queen 40 years and the show is still on
Production Srinivasan Circulation & Sales Senthil Kumar
Edited and Published by Sameer Bharat Ram, and owned by SM BrandMuni Consulting Pvt. Ltd, Published from No.609, Lakshmi Bhavan, Anna salai, Mount Road, Chennai - 600 002. Tel.: +91 44 4208 9392. Printed by K. Srinivasan at Srikals Graphics pvt. Ltd, No.5, Balaji Nagar, 1st street, Ekkattuthangal, Chennai - 600 032. Editor: Sameer Bharat Ram
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CONTRIBUTORS AND ADVISORY BOARD
Lord Jeffrey Archer Jeffrey Archer established himself as a literary force with the publication of his first novel, Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less, in 1975. His third novel, Kane and Abel became a number one best-seller in hardcover and paperback all over the world and has sold over 3.5 million in the UK paperback edition alone. Now, 36 years later, Jeffrey continues to defy his critics and delight his fans. Published in 97 countries and more than 37 languages, Jeffrey Archer is firmly established, with international sales passing 250 million copies.
Mallika Sarabhai, 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.
Gautami Tadimalla An apt example of a renaissance woman, Gautami has acted across Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and Kannada film industries. With over 20 years of experience in the film industry, she recently won the “Best Costume Designer” for her work in the movie Dasavathaaram. A multifaceted entrepreneur, Gautami also supports various social causes.
Neeru Nanda 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.
Veejay Sai An award-winning writer, editor and a culture critic. He has written and published extensively on Indian classical music, fashion, theatre, food and 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.
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VOL 01 ISSUE 08
Conversations at CafFe Pascucci - Rathy
The Very Fast and the Very Furious!
the Role of Schools & Museums - Pallavi Nandagopal
40 years and The Show is Still On! - MANOJ SREEKUMAR
with Lord Jeffrey Archer
I don’t think of myself as the sexiest bachelor in Bollywood
Art Education, Awareness and
on Tagore - Mallika Sarabhai
Triple threat to Hollywood
- Queenie Sukhadia
‘Age of Kali’
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Triple threat to
he is the highest paid Latina actress in history; one of the most successful singers and dancers in the world, and also owns a thriving fashion design and perfume company. Her salary per movie has soared past the $12 million mark and she has earned Golden Globe and Grammy Award nominations for her efforts. She has created an empire worth almost $300 million and has broken numerous boundaries and stereotypes along the way. Jennifer Lopez is, as they say in Hollywood, a ‘triple threat’. Born in the Bronx, New York, on July 24, 1970, Jennifer Lynn Lopez and her two sisters’ hail from Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodriguez and David Lopez. Her father was a computer technician, who continues to work for Guardian Insurance in New York City, and her mother was a kindergarten teacher. Both were born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, but met when they came to America as children. While they were not a poor family, Lopez recalls growing up in a small apartment. Her parents instilled within her a strong work ethic and stressed the importance of assimilation and being able to speak English. To keep their kids out of trouble, Lopez’s parents encouraged the girls to put on performances at home, singing and dancing in front of each other and their friends. At the age of 5, Lopez began taking singing and dancing lessons, touring New York with her school at just 7-years-old. She then spent eight years at Catholic Holy Family High School in the Bronx and another four years at the all-girl Preston High School. She excelled athletically rather than academically, competing in national track championships. When she was once asked what she got on her SATs, she replied, “Nail polish.” She also spent time performing in high school musicals as well as local productions of Oklahoma and Jesus Christ Superstar.
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Jennifer continues to set new standards in womenâ€™s fashion and lifestyles
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At 16-years-old, Lopez received her first chance to star in a film, working with Mary Stuart Masterson in My Little Girl. This was Lopezâ€™s first taste of Hollywood and she knew she wanted more. After graduating from high school, Lopez enrolled in Baruch College in Manhattan and took on a part-time job in a law office, but dropped out of school after just her first semester. She spent the next year and a half auditioning for acting and dancing roles, but found little
success. Meanwhile, her parents were disappointed with her career choice and so Lopez moved out on her own, working as a dancer in Manhattan nightclubs to support herself. Lopez was on the verge of giving up her dreams when she finally won a role in a Japanese tour of the musical Synchronicity. When she returned to the U.S., her luck was all about to change. After her third audition, Lopez at last received a role as a Fly Girl
on the successful In Living Color, the dance group whose routines opened and closed the show. This would prove to be the launching pad for the enormous success that Lopez would soon discover. After Lopez made the move to Hollywood, opportunities seemed to abound. She continued to star as a Fly Girl on the hugely successful In Living Color for two years, before deciding to move on to bigger and brighter things. She gained roles as a dancer in numerous music videos, including Janet Jackson’s “That’s the Way Love Goes”. She was even offered the chance to tour on Jackson’s world tour but turned it down. Lopez had greater ambitions. She landed a key role in The Crash of Flight 7, which she then followed up with roles in three other films: Second Chances, South Central, and Hotel Malibu. Lopez’s career was finally on the rise, taking more of the direction she saw for her. After winning an Independent Spirit nomination for her role in My Family, Lopez was offered a role in the high profile Money Train, co-starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. She then beat out other top-name actors to land a leading role in Francis Ford Coppola’s Jack. Lopez continued to receive opportunities to star opposite Hollywood hotshots, but it wasn’t until 1998 when her talents would truly be recognized by the world. Taking on the role of the young American Latina singer sensation Selena Quintanilla who was killed by the president of her own fan club, Lopez won a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Selena. Her film career continued to get bigger, landing starring roles in the successful Anaconda, U-Turn, Out of Sight, the animated Antz, The Cell and The Wedding Planner. Her interest in singing was also rekindled during the filming of Selena and a bidding war soon ensued between record companies, with Lopez finally signing a recording contract with Tommy Mottola’s Sony. She first appeared in a music video for Puff Daddy, and later recorded a duet with
Marc Anthony. In 1999, Lopez and Sony agreed that she was ready to release her own album. On the 6 was an instant hit in all of the hip-hop, Latin and pop markets. She followed this up in 2001 and 2002 with “J.Lo” and “This is Me…Then”, respectively. As Lopez’s salary for each movie topped the $10 million mark, she decided to venture into the fashion business, creating Sweetface Fashion and launching both a cosmetics line and her Glow by J.Lo and Live perfumes. She also opened a Cuban fare restaurant in Pasadena, Madre’s. But, she managed to maintain a balance between entrepreneur and actress/singer, continuing to make such smash hits as Angel Eyes and Maid in Manhattan and the less successful Gigli, Jersey Girl and Shall We Dance. 2005 would prove to be a similarly busy year for Lopez. While her film Monster-In-Law was a success, An Unfinished Life was barely picked up by the critics or the public. She released a fourth album, Rebirth, but it was not as successful as her first three. Her perfumes continued to be a success, but her clothing line was suffering from attacks by PETA for its use of fur. Most recently, Lopez has completed two films, Bordertown and El Cantate, both of which have received critical acclaim. She also created her own production company, Nuyorican Productions, whose name was chosen because of the mix of her New York and Puerto Rican upbringing. A relatively new venture, Nuyorican produced her 2006 films and continues to involve itself in general television and film production. With numerous blockbuster movies, smash hit albums, a clothing line, a cosmetics line, fragrances, a restaurant and a production company under her belt, Lopez has demonstrated not only her strong ambition, endless energy and entrepreneurial spirit, but also her knack for understanding what it takes to be successful under any circumstance. In June 2010, following the departure
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of Ellen DeGeneres from American Idol, it was reported that Lopez was in talks to join season ten’s judging panel. However, it was then reported that Lopez was out of the running due to “outrageous demands”. Something which returning Idol producer, Nigel Lythgoe responded to by saying “[Jennifer] is in no way a diva, I’ve worked with her on quite a few occasions and I have never yet seen her be a diva.” He did not confirm or deny reports of the contract negotiations between Lopez and the other Idol producers.
Under this umbrella corporation, she has since expanded her sportswear line to create a complete lifestyle brand. Sweetface now incorporates products in eleven different categories, including Girls, Swimwear, Fragrances, Eyewear, Hats, Gloves, Scarves, Jewelry, Outerwear, Handbags, Lingerie, Watches and Footwear. By July 2002, Sweetface had begun a process of international distribution.
The media reported that she had accepted an offer to become a judge on season ten of Idol. The announcement was made official on September 22, 2010. MTV said “the deal was mutually beneficial to all those involved” whilst CNN reported that Lopez was viewing it as a decision to revive her career while Idol producers believe Lopez and Steven Tyler’s appointments will strengthen viewing figures. She had been nominated for a Grammy Award for her singing and a Golden Globe Award for her acting, but it wasn’t until 2001 that Jennifer Lopez says she truly fulfilled one of her biggest dreams. That was the year that JLO by Jennifer Lopez was launched – the Latin diva’s very own signature collection of sportswear. Now, women across the world could have access to her unique sense of style and fashion. The same year that JLO was launched, the artist teamed up with Andy Hilfiger, brother of the American fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger, to establish Sweetface Fashion Company.
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contemporary brand, also called Sweetface. Today, JLO is the most successful fashion line by any artist in history. “Jennifer continues to set new standards in women’s fashion and lifestyles,” says Hilfiger. “We are committed to the expansion and growth of the JLO brand under the Sweetface umbrella and will continue to take the brand to new levels of success. Sweetface will continue to expand the brand as a fashion authority with virtually limitless opportunities.” This year JLO will be rebranded as the fashion line JustSweet, which will also see the introduction of a wide new range of clothing and fragrances. However, as the company’s success continues to grow, so too has its unpopularity with various groups, including the well known People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Because her products frequently use fur, PETA questions Lopez’s concern for animal rights. Anywhere between ten to one hundred PETA protesters can usually be seen at her movie screenings and other events in which she is in attendance.
Two years later, the company joined forces with Crocus International in opening the first JLO boutique in Moscow, Russia. The brand’s popularity continued to grow after its showcase at Olympus Fashion Week in New York City. The response following the event was so positive that Lopez decided to launch a new women’s
“You can’t take life for granted,” says Lopez, who has followed her own advice and occupied her every second with pursuing new ideas and venturing into new businesses. “I’m not the type of person who feels you only have to do one thing or choose between stuff that you love doing…Whatever you want to do, do it!”
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Conversations at Caffe Pascucci Rathy
Actor Prashanth talks about his latest movie, his interests and future projects
ctor Prashanth had just had a great comeback through his epic movie Ponnar Shankar. This movie directed by his Father Mr. Thiagarajan shows Prasanth in a dual role. We met Prasanth at Caffe Pascucci for conversations over coffee and were pleasantly surprised to see a fresh Prashanth with an extra beat in his step and mild humor in his words. Who is Actor Prashanth when he is not acting? He is a guy who has a huge appetite for knowledge and tries to learn about everything under the sun. He loves to meet new people, read about science, world politics, and latest gadgets and so on. Most of my time goes in watching movies & sports and hearing music. He is into horse riding, boating, and practicing martial arts and archery. He loves to play mridangam, drums and piano. Ok, what is that you don’t do? Reading the mind of a woman! That I
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certainly can’t do and definitely don’t do. You were quite a hit in the late 90s. Do you think you still have that kind of charm among your fans? I think I still do. When I started acting I was a 17 year old teenager. But then progression happened. I have progressed a lot with my physical appearance. My body and my face structure have both changed. I take up roles that suit my physical structure. I can’t do a baby faced teenager role now. And regardless of the spectrum I try to deliver to all of my fans irrespective of whether they are 8 years old or 80. Will you categorize yourself to a certain genre? Like an action hero, a comedy actor, or a romantic hero? I like to cater to everyone. If you see my movies, they will have everything in a balance. Even my latest movie Ponnar Shankar has a balance of romance, action, comedy and drama. At the end, everything has to be in the
right meter. Let us talk about the actresses you have worked with. Who is your most favorite and who would you like to work with again? If you see my movies, you will notice that each movie has a new actress. My job as an actor is to act. The heroine of the movie is the choice of my director and/or producer. So I can’t say anything there. How’s your relationship with your father, Mr.Thiyagarajan out of cine
Photography: Rathy Location: Caffe Pascucci
field? I should say that I am a lucky guy. My father has always treated me as a friend. I can share anything and everything with my friend and even those that I canâ€™t share with my close friends. I have learnt a lot from him. He has this no ego, easily approachable character. Lots of people approach him with ideas. If it is good, he takes them. If it is not, he explains them why it is not possible. He has always been a lovely father and a great friend.
You did Ponnar Shankar recently and your next project is Mambitiyan. Name one epic or a legend that you would love to recreate as a movie: After Ponnar Shankar and Mambitiyan, there is nothing more legendary. There can be nothing bigger than that. You can say Malaiyoor Mambitiyan was a desi version of Robin Hood. He is worshipped a demigod. He is a legend who existed in the 60s. You have folk songs on him even today all because of his valor and kindness. That is how
big Mambitiyan is. He was a great inspiration for Veerapan. After a cult movie like Mambitiyan or a legend like Ponnar Shankar, I donâ€™t think there is anything bigger than that. How different is working in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam industry? I had an opening which no other actor had. I started with a Tamil film followed by Malayalam, Hindi, and Telugu and did a Tamil film again.
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I am in love with someone. I am waiting for my Lady Luck to say yes. Every language is a different experience. Every film is different. Every sequence is new. Every day is different. You will have good days and bad days. So everything is a different experience for me.
What are your future projects?
I am someone who you can call Chupa Rustam. I am very romantic at heart. My mom and dad fell in love and got married. So I want to fall in love.
We spent 4 years on Ponnar Shankar. After proper pre-planning the project took off in July 2009. It was released to theaters on April 9th, 2011. The movie had huge sets, gigantic stars and 2 very big war sequences. Even the costumes took a lot of time to be decided and coordinated. In reality the movie was never rushed. The coordination took its time.
Right now, I am in love with someone. I am waiting for my Lady Luck to say yes.
We are happy that we are appreciated for our hard work. It feels nice that our hard work has not gone waste.
Tell us about your personal life.
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Now I have 6 projects under my belt right now. I am someone who believes in doing one movie at a time. When the right time comes, I will talk about my next project. Whenever we see you, you are the same person, be it troubled times or happy times. It should be tough in the present competitive world. How do you do it? My foundation was laid strong. I have a rock solid family. They are part and parcel of my work and success. Their support and love has made me go through every phase. They taught me to look at life and take it head on. I have great fans and well-wishers who always wish the very best for me. This is rare. This love is my major strength. At troubled times, my family and fans support me a lot. I owe my success to them. I love my life, my profession and I love everyone.
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Art Education, Awareness and the Role of Schools & Museums
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Museum of the Madras Movement at the Cholamandal Centre for Contemporary Art
n this article, I would like to address the question as to why the average Indian citizen appears relatively uniformed and unaware of masters of visual art and art movements in comparison with his/her counterparts in Europe and America. This, perhaps, can be attributed to the disconnect that developed during the British rule in India when the British encouraged the European way of looking at painting and sculpture. Indian music and dance, however, remained largely unaffected by these influences as it was strongly embedded in the religious and societal structure. As a result, in the field of visual arts, the common man seems to have lost the ability to see the links between the traditionally and historically significant paintings and sculptures and today’s contemporary Indian painting and sculpture. They do not see the possibility of developing Indian art that is “world-wide contemporary, yet Indian in spirit”. The Ajanta & Ellora cave paintings and the Mahabalipuram rock sculptures for instance have come to be viewed as isolated and independent creations, while in reality what they try to convey is the significance of the rich Indian cultural tradition where both craft and art co-existed, enriching each other to form a unified whole. It is noted by art historians that in any great age, the dividing line between art and craft is very thin. Examples are the
Renaissance in Europe and the Chola and Pallava periods in India. It was this disconnect that irked some of the questioning minds in India. Certain art institutions such as the Govt. College of Arts and Crafts, Madras sought to address this issue from the 1950s by incorporating teaching and exposure to craft along with art teaching in the curriculum of art education. The College for instance had excellent departments peopled by master craftsmen in the fields of carpentry, metal work, ceramics, pottery, etc along with teachers of contemporary art. The attempt was significantly rewarded when the students started drawing on the rich cultural resources to develop their own personal style of painting and sculpture which evolved over two decades to what is now known as the Madras Movement in contemporary Indian art. With exposure to a wide range of visual art forms and the skill and techniques involved, the students were encouraged to bring out their individual potential involving both traditional and contemporary elements from Indian and world art movements. Students could make informed choices when they attempted to express themselves through a painting or sculpture.
However, this kind of exposure was limited to certain art institutions and self-searching artists, while over the years, the gap between tradition and folk art on one hand, and contemporary Indian art grew, with the general public seeing these as two distinct and almost polar opposite. Often, the public views folk and traditional art as an extension of our rural heritage, while contemporary art is seen as an urban elitist purely western-derived domain. This is mainly due to the lack of exposure to different art forms of the country as well as understanding possible interlinkages between them. Therefore, an exposure to world art movements as well as contemporary and traditional Indian art, places students in a position to be able to view artistic creations in their contexts and draw upon these to address their personal
Here, one may cite the examples of two schools run by the Krishnamurti Foundation India (KFI) that incorporated art and design studies. The creation of the Valley School Art Village at the Valley School of the KFI in Bangalore was motivated by the belief that art education is not to be confined to the gifted and talented alone. The school views art and craft( which is skill in action) as integral parts of a total aesthetic experience and holds that the educator has a responsibility of awakening a sensitivity that is in every child – the sensitivity to form, colour, space, etc. The curriculum of the art village encourages rural-urban interaction by involving rural artisans and craftsmen.
It is important to understand in this context, the role of visual art museums in providing public, and children in particular, an exposure to works of art of great masters from significant art movements in the art history of the country. A sustained exposure of such a nature should make a qualitative difference in the aesthetic sensibilities of especially the younger generation. One may mention here, that in the American system, every state has a museum displaying some works of American masters in painting and sculptures. Children in particular, from a very young age, are taken from schools and by their families to such museums where they spend sometimes a whole day moving around, sitting in front of a work of art, sketching and imbibing the visual experience. These museums attempt to make the atmosphere inviting, convenient and interesting for people of various age groups with interactive and other facilities. In modern day India, with its different states, many languages and large rural-urban divide, an attempt of this kind to facilitate exposure to visual art forms can be a very challenging one.
The other school called The School of the KFI in Chennai developed a regular course in Design Studies in
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2003 at the levels of classes 11 and 12, of which I was one of the students from the first batch. The intention of the course was to imbibe an attitude of design in everyday life - in thinking and in doing. The course included work and projects that would help improve critical thinking, establish meaningful connections between products, people, spaces, technologies, etc using design-based teaching strategies. State museums that exhibit folk art and craft as well as contemporary art and out- reach programs involving rural schools are also means of awakening interest in visual art and evoking creative sensibilities in students. In this context, the Cholamandal Artists Village with its newly established Cholamandal Centre for Contemporary Art is a case in point. Cholamandal, located on the East Coast Road in Chennai, is today one of the major cultural institutions which has evolved over the last forty years. The Centre today houses a 10,000 sq ft. museum of the Madras Movement in contemporary Indian art and an international sculpture garden with works that have been contributed by artists during international sculpture camps held at the Village. Two commercial gallery spaces at the Centre offer opportunities for artists from any part of the world to exhibit their works screen art films, etc. The motivation for establishing Cholamandal Artistsâ€™ Village in 1966 emerged from the need of a small group of contemporary artists, who graduated from the Govt. College of Arts & Crafts in Madras, to address the question of how to pursue creativity without making undue compromises in earning pursuits. It was also understood that certain minimum material conditions were necessary to pursue creativity in freedom. The Cholamandal artists, nearly 40 of them who had graduated from the Govt. College of Arts & Crafts, Madras, addressed this challenge by establishing a community where they could live and work as self-employed
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artists who applied themselves initially to a congenial art craft to supplement their income and eventually evolved into self-supporting and self-employed artists with their own individual identities. The sense of community they imbibed by living close to each other in a community provided the moral sustenance, especially in the initial stages of search and struggle. Spread over 10 acres of land with artistâ€™s houses and their studios, a small gallery to display their works and some open spaces for interactive activities, Cholamandal sustained itself practically on its own without any support from the Govt or other organisations for four decades. Thus, Cholamandal marked a new way of life in Indian contemporary art. As the artists and their art evolved over a period of time, with the Madras Movement in contemporary art occupying a significant space in the Indian contemporary art scene, the need was felt among some of the established artists of this movement who are also members of Cholamandal Artists Village, to preserve for future generations and showcase this significant movement in Indian art history. This initiated a process of transformation and revival at Cholamandal, with some significant corporate entities, who envisaged the value of such an enterprise, contributing to the establishment of the Cholamandal Centre for Contemporary Art. The 10,000 sq ft Museum of the Madras Movement, opened in February 2009, is the central attraction of the Cholamandal Centre set amidst a one acre expanse of trees, a walk-through international open-air sculpture park, and an inviting quaint Iranian cafeteria. A few of the artists who had travelled abroad and visited museums in the U.S., U.K. and Europe, were instrumental in providing guidance in the design and execution of the museum and its premises. During the constructive stages of the Centre, I was away in the U.K. doing my masters, and had the opportunity
to visit prominent museums such as the Tate Modern, the British museum, etc. and saw the immense potential of such centres in the new sociocultural context of emerging countries like India. I observed that museum visits were not confined to just art enthusiasts, collectors, artists and tourists, but formed an increasingly important part of the education process of schools in this region. I witnessed many groups of students of various age groups as well as parents with their children being brought to museums that provided the setting for exposure and greater understanding of visual cultures. It also meant that children at a young age were given the opportunity to look at masters of painting or sculpture, identify differences in styles, medium, forms, etc. A visit to a museum of this kind was not a dull, dreary affair, but one that evoked a sense of wonder, fun and interaction. This exposure and experience made me aware of the scope and potential of such newly established centres such as the Cholamandal centre in providing an environment to enhance art appreciation especially among the younger generation and thereby kindling the creative spirit in them at a young age. At a practical level, this will also help children see art, design, beauty and aesthetic elements in everyday life and enrich their sensitivities. It is heartening and encouraging to note that since its inception in February 2009, the Cholamandal Centre has had over 1000 school students from various schools in Chennai, ranging from classes 7 to 12, visiting the place. Art appreciation of this kind aims at increasing peopleâ€™s appreciation and understanding of the visual culture. It is meant to look at the masters, consider differences in style, genre, in medium and form. This also addresses the issue of sustainability in art and creativity. Therefore, by encouraging children to appreciate art, we inspire a whole future generation. Art and aesthetic sensibilities then gradually get embedded in the learning process.
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Q. After the success of Fast & Furious everyone was looking forward to the next film of the series. Yes, but I don’t like making sequels in a reactionary way just because the previous film did well. I wanted to map out the story first.
Mark Sinclair Vincent, a.k.a. Vin Diesel, is a film actor, writer, director, and producer who used his muscles and imposing persona to rise to Hollywood stardom in the late ’90s and early 2000s in films like Saving Private Ryan, The Fast and the Furious, and The Chronicles of Riddick series
Q. How did Fast Five come together then? After The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift they asked me to come back also as a producer and take the franchise into another direction. We envisioned three more stories: the first two to take place chronologically before that film and then another one later. So we released the first one and called it Fast & Furious, which was sort of a way of saying, we were restarting the franchise again. Then we made Fast Five and if all goes as planned, we will start shooting the next movie soon. Q. How did you embrace the idea of all the characters from the franchise reuniting for Fast Five? I loved the idea of us all coming together but it had to make sense. The characters had to be stronger. Q. Where is Dominic Toretto in this movie? My character is in somewhat of a transition phase in Fast Five. He doesn’t necessarily have his own direction because at the end of the last film he didn’t think he would be going on. Brian and Mia took matters into their own hands and sacrificed themselves for his freedom. Q. What do you enjoy about playing the character? First of all, it’s any kid’s dream to be in a fast-driving film. I also believe
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there is a little part of Dom in me in terms of having a crew and friends and being sort of the “Padrino” in a way. I enjoy the brotherhood that playing that character allows. I don’t have a lot of characters in my filmography that have that feeling. Q. And you work again with Paul Walker. What would you say you have in common with him? Paul and I are very similar in a lot of ways. We have no tolerance for bullshit and really care about this franchise. What people don’t know is that my twin brother looks just like
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him! Q. Dwayne Johnson comes on board the franchise in this film. We were so lucky to have him play the role of Hobbs. Dwayne is a great guy and a very good friend of mine. It was important that we were friends because we had to create a riveting fight sequence together that took us almost a week to shoot. We worked very hard on it. It was also great that we were friends because we had each other’s back. Q. How important is Dwayne’s role in
Fast Five? It’s very important! The role was initially designed for a Tommy Lee Jones kind of actor. But as we were developing the character, we entertained the idea of getting someone opposite from that type and who was as formidable as Dom Toretto, or even bigger… Q. And what do you believe Spanish actress Elsa Pataky, another newcomer in the series, brought to the movie? Elsa brought something very special to her character. When she auditioned
you could tell she wanted to devour her role and give it her all. She just took it! It’s interesting to see the chemistry between Dom’s character, who is in mourning over the loss of Leti, and hers in the film. Q. Fast Five was filmed in different locations. I think after shooting the short film Los Bandoleros in the Dominican Republic our audience wanted more visceral and tangible locations than they had seen in the past. At the same time, the studio was more encouraged to go on location.
Q. Most of the action was shot in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is incredible! It is a wonderful island and a great place to shoot. Q. And you also went to Atlanta. It was a great location for all that rich green screen we needed to do. Q. The third location was Brazil. I have always been intrigued by Brazil but I had never been there before. It was imperative for us to go to Brazil
for the authenticity and integrity of the movie. There is something very beautiful about Brazil. Q. How was the experience of shooting in the favelas of Rio? Being able to shoot in the favelas is pretty cool. You won’t see a lot of Hollywood films made there. Q. What do you think makes these films special and so successful all over the world? Our approach was to let the studio come up with all the bells and whistles first to set up the most explosive action. Then we focus on the drama and the character relationships. We do it in a way you wouldn’t expect from the typical action movie. I like to think there are themes we play with in this franchise that other action films are not able to pull off. Q. Which themes are you referring to?
The theme of family is at the core of the franchise from the very first film. Dom was a criminal with a strong sense of family. The idea of family and the loyalty that comes with friendship are essential to the whole story. Q. What do you believe Justin Lin has brought to this franchise as director? Justin won me over initially with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift because he let me play the song Los Bandoleros at the end of the movie when I come on to do my cameo, which spoke to me so much. He is a true
collaborator. He has a real comfort with cars and in creating intense, dramatic action scenes. In this movie you will see his signature on the action in a very cool way. Q. Where did you discover the song Los Bandoleros? I was riding my bike down a street called El Malecón in the Dominican Republic when I met a kid who opened up his shoe-shining box where he had all these mixed tapes. I bought them and discovered this song. Q. What do you like about speed? There is something about the element of danger in speed that makes it so attractive, as your life is reduced to seconds. That’s what makes it thrilling! Q. What do you drive in Fast Five? I think this is the first movie of the series where I drive a car you can actually buy, which is a new Charger.
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Show is Still On!
nce while on a drive, I remember turning on a CD which was a collection of hits. My friend, who was travelling with me, was instantly attracted to the music being played. The songs rolled out-one after the other. ‘We will Rock you’, ‘We are the Champions’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Another one bites the dust’, ‘Somebody to Love’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘Crazy little thing called Love’, ‘I want to break free’, ‘ A Kind of Magic’, ‘The Show must Go On’…to name a few. I could see that my friend was ‘having a good time’. Ultimately, she enquired who the artists of all those songs were. I replied that they were
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all by the same band. Her immediate response was “Impossible! No musical artist/band can produce so many hits! And no band can have so much variety in their music!” I could only react by laughing. All I said to her was “Welcome to the world of QUEEN. And Yes, All that you’ve said is possible!”
live concerts, a legendary Guitarist, a multi-faceted drummer, a unique bassist and a phenomenal vocalist/ frontman-check,check,check. Awards and Accolades? Ha! By the ton! There is absolutely nothing left for QUEEN to achieve-they have literally been there, done and seen it all.
Making the impossible possible. Sounds clichéd. But that is exactly what comes to mind when you discuss QUEEN. Epic, Grand, Huge, Gigantic, Crazy, Awesome, Sheer Variety are some of the words used to describe their music. And they’ve done it all! Multi-platinum album sales, too many hit singles, legendary music videos, the biggest and the most powerful
THE ORIGIN The origin of Queen goes way back to 1968, when ROGER TAYLOR, then a young dental student answered an advertisement on the college notice board that was placed by Guitarist BRIAN MAY. The successful audition resulted in the formation of the group SMILE. Enter FARROKH BULSARA, a
MANOJ SREEKUMAR Parsi born in Zanzibar and who grew up in India until his mid-teens. During his schooling at St. Peter’s School near Mumbai, he began to call himself ‘Freddie’. A friend from the time recalls that he had “an uncanny ability to listen to the radio and replay what he heard on piano”. While attending Ealing Art College where he earned a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design, he joined the members of SMILE and encouraged them to change their name to QUEEN. When asked about the name, Bulsara explained, “I thought up the name QUEEN. It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid. It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had
a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it”. The band had a number of bass players during this period who did not fit with the band’s chemistry. It was not until February 1971 that they settled on JOHN DEACON and began to rehearse for their first album. Around this time, Freddie changed his surname to ‘MERCURY’ inspired by the line “Mother Mercury, look what they’ve done to me”, in the song My Fairy King and thus…a legend was born. THE SAGA BEGINS-THE 70s. In 1973, the band released their
debut album, QUEEN, an effort that was a mix of heavy metal and progressive rock. The album though received well by critics; did have a mixed opinion with some calling it ‘superb’ and some calling it an “above average debut”. The album drew little mainstream attention and the lead single “Keep Yourself Alive”, a Brian May composition, sold poorly. The band was back in 1974 with their second release QUEEN II. The album became the first Queen album to chart in the U.K. at #5. This was also the album which laid the blueprints of how Queen would evolve and take their musical journey forward. The Freddie Mercury written “Seven seas of Rhye”
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was the band’s first hit. The real gem from this album would undoubtedly be “The March of the Black Queen”, a 6-minute epic which lacks a chorus or song structure. The album being the band’s heaviest and darkest release was replete with long complex instrumental passages, fantasythemed lyrics and musical virtuosity. QUEEN II even today remains a favourite among the band’s hardcore fans, and it is the first of three Queen albums to feature in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Their third album SHEER HEART ATTACK was released in 1974. It was # 2 in the UK, and went gold in the US. It gave the band their first real taste of commercial success. The single “Killer Queen” reached number two in the British charts and became their first US hit. The heavy metal gem “Stone Cold Crazy” which many believe to be the precursor to speed metal also featured in the album. This was also the first song to be credited to all the four members. It is also the second of three Queen Albums to feature in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In late 1975 Queen recorded and released A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, taking its name from the popular Marx Brothers movie. At the time, it was the most expensive album ever produced. Like its predecessor, the album features diverse musical styles and experimentation with stereo sound. In “The Prophet’s Song”, an 8-minute epic, the middle section is a canon, with simple phrases layered to create a full-choral sound. The highlight of the album was undoubtedly “Bohemian Rhapsody”, considered as the all-time classic of the band. It was written by Mercury with the first Guitar solo composed by May. All pianos, bass and drum parts, as well as the vocal arrangements, were thought up by Mercury on a daily basis and written down “in blocks” on a phonebook. The other members recorded their respective instruments with no concept of how their tracks would be utilized in the final mix. The now famous operatic section was originally intended to be only a short interlude
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of ‘Galileos’ that connected the ballad and hard rock portions of the song. The entire piece took three weeks to record, and in places featured 180 separate overdubs. Despite being twice as long as the average single in 1975, the song became immensely popular, topping charts worldwide and is now widely regarded as one of the most significant rock songs in history. It was number one in the UK for 9 weeks, and is the third-bestselling single of all time in the UK and has been voted numerous times the greatest song of all time. The video of the single is generally considered to have been the first ‘true’ music video ever produced. This also marked the beginning of the famous Queen videos, as they were the first band to utilize the format of music videos to promote their music. “You’re my Best Friend” composed by John Deacon was another hit single from the record. The most beautiful song on the record was “Love of my Life” written by Mercury for his girlfriend at the time, Mary Austin, and is one of Mercury’s most covered songs (covered by Extreme, Scorpions and Elaine Paige). It was such a concert favourite that Mercury frequently stopped singing and allowed the audience to take over, a tradition that continues even today, wherever it is performed in the world. The album was very successful in Britain, and went triple platinum in the US. The BBC said of the record, “A Night at the Opera remains their finest hour”. In 1976, Queen released A DAY AT THE RACES, which is often regarded as a sequel album to A Night at the Opera. Again borrowing the name of a Marx Brothers movie, the album was by both fans’ and critics’ standards a strong effort. The major hit on the album was “Somebody to Love”, in which Mercury, May and Taylor multi-tracked their voices to create a 100-voice gospel choir. The album also featured one of the band’s heaviest songs, Brian May’s “Tie your Mother down”, which became a staple of their live shows. During the same year, Queen played one of their most famous gigs, in Hyde Park, London. It set an attendance
record, with 1,50,000 people confirmed in the audience. The band’s sixth studio album NEWS OF THE WORLD was released in 1977, which has gone four times platinum in the US, and twice in the UK. The album contained two of rock’s most recognizable anthems, “We will Rock You” and the rock ballad “We are the Champions”, both of which became enduring international sports anthems that are played constantly in any sporting arena of any sport even today! In 1978, the band released JAZZ which included the hit singles “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Bicycle Race”. The word ‘Jazz’ was not used in a strict sense and the album was noted by critics for its collection of different styles, jazz not being one of them. Notable tracks from the album include “Dead on Time”, “Don’t stop me now”, “Let me Entertain you”. The most underrated and often unheard song of Queen “Mustapha” was also on this album where one can hear Arabesque melodies uniting with the rock guitar. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding this song as the lyrics of this song does not feature in the inner sleeves of the album. The lyrics consist of English, an Arabic language, Persian and possibly a number of invented words. The band’s first live album, LIVE KILLERS, was released in 1979 going platinum twice in the US. They also released the very successful single “Crazy little thing called Love”, a song done in the style of Elvis Presley. The song made the Top 10 in many countries and was the band’s first #1 single in the US where it topped the charts for four weeks. THE 80s. Queen began the 1980s with the release of THE GAME. It featured the singles “Crazy little thing called Love” and the John Deacon written “Another one bites the dust”, both of which reached #1 in the U.S. the latter being a favourite especially at Boxing Championships. The album also marked the first appearance of synthesizers on the record. Also in 1980, Queen recorded the soundtrack for the science fiction movie FLASH
In 1981, Queen began touring in South America playing 5 shows in Argentina, one of which drew the largest single concert crowd in Argentine history with an audience of 3,00,000 and two shows in Brazil where they played to an audience of more than 1,30,000 people in the first night and more than 1,20,000 people the following night. The same year, Queen performed for more than 1,50,000 fans at Monterrey
In 1982, the band released the album HOT SPACE, which was a departure from their classic 70’s sound and paving way to a mixture of rock, pop rock, funk and R&B. While “Under Pressure” was included on this album, the other mentionable songs are “Las Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love)” and “Body Language”.
and Puebla, Mexico.
successful singles “Radio Ga Ga” and “I Want to Break Free”. The songs are remembered more for their iconic music videos and are a part of clubs and dance parties even today.
Queen worked with David Bowie who happened to drop by the studio while Queen were recording and their jamming together resulted in the classic ‘Under Pressure’. Upon its release, the song was extremely successful, reaching #1 in the U.K. The opening bass line of this song was incorporated by rapper Vanilla Ice in his super hit Grammy winner “Ice Ice Baby”. Later in 1981, Queen released their first compilation album, entitled GREATEST HITS. It is the best-selling album in U.K. Chart history, has spent 450 weeks in the U.K. Album chart, is certified 8 times platinum in the U.S. and has sold over 25 million copies
In 1984, Queen released the album THE WORKS, featuring the highly
In January 1985, the band headlined two nights of the first ROCK IN RIO festival at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, playing to over 3,00,000 people! The highlights from both the performances were filmed and were released in May titled QUEEN LIVE IN RIO. But the crowning glory of their career was on 13 July 1985; when Queen performed at LIVE AID, held at the prestigious Wembley Stadium. Queen belted out some of their greatest hits at this show. The world got to know who Freddie Mercury was as they saw him
perform at his best, the charisma, the force and power of Freddie’s vocals charging up the entire stadium with the 72,000 people who had attended the show. This was voted in 2005 as the greatest rock performance of all time. Queen had literally stamped their authority and had established their supremacy in the music world. Said Freddie Mercury-“We’re the Cecil.B.DeMille of rock and roll, always wanting to do things bigger and bigger”.
In early 1986, Queen recorded the album A KIND OF MAGIC, containing several reworkings of songs written for the film HIGHLANDER. The album was very successful, producing a string of hits, including ‘A Kind of Magic’, ‘Friends will be Friends’, ‘Who wants to live forever?’, and ‘Princes of the Universe’. Later that year, they went on a soldout tour titled The Magic Tour, whose highlight was at Wembley Stadium in London and this resulted in the live double album, QUEEN AT WEMBLEY. They could not book Wembley for a third night, but they did play at Knebworth Park. The show sold out within two hours and over1,20,000 fans packed the park for what was proved
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Having attended Art College, Mercury also designed Queen’s logo (often called the Queen Crest) shortly before the release of the band’s first album. The logo combines the Zodiac signs of all four members: two lions for Leo (John Deacon and Roger Taylor), a crab for Cancer (Brian May) and two fairies for Virgo (Freddie Mercury). Said Freddie Mercury, “You know, I designed the Queen Crest. I simply combined all the creatures that represent our star signsand I don’t even believe in astrology”.
to be Queen’s final live performance with Mercury. More than 1 Million people saw Queen on the tour4,00,000 in the U.K. alone, a record at the time. The band released THE MIRACLE in1989 featuring the hits ‘I Want it All’, ‘Breakthru’, ‘The Invisible Man’, ‘Scandal’ and ‘The Miracle’. THE 90s. After fans noticed Freddie’s increasingly gaunt appearance in 1988, rumours began to spread that Freddie was suffering from AIDS. He flatly denied this, insisting he was merely ‘exhausted’ and too busy to provide interviews. The band decided to continue making albums. Despite his deteriorating health, Freddie continued to contribute. In 1990, Freddie Mercury made his final public appearance when Queen collected the BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. Following this, in 1991, they released INNUENDO which featured the hits ‘I’m Going Slightly Mad’, ‘Innuendo’, ‘Headlong’, and ‘The Show Must Go On’. The band also released GREATEST HITS II, in the same year. On 23 November 1991, in a prepared statement made on his deathbed, Freddie Mercury confirmed that he had AIDS. Within 24 hours of that statement, he died of bronchial
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pneumonia, which was brought on as a complication of AIDS. His funeral service on 27 November in West London was private and held in accordance with the Zoroastrian religious faith of his family. At 6PM on April 20th 1992, Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon took to the stage of London’s legendary Wembley Stadium to announce the start of one of the biggest events in rock historyThe FREDDIE MERCURY TRIBUTE CONCERT. The atmosphere of emotion, mixed joy and sadness, shared by stadium audience, worldwide television viewers and performers alike, was an experience that will never be forgotten. Queen had invited some of the greatest musical talent in the world to join them in paying tribute to Freddie. The aim of the concert was to celebrate Freddie’s life and work, but also to increase public awareness of the awful disease which prematurely ended his life. The guest artists included David Bowie, Gary Cherone, Roger Daltrey, Joe Elliott, Bob Geldof, James Hetfield, Ian Hunter, Tony Iommi, Elton John, Annie Lennox, George Michael, Liza Minnelli, Robert Plant, Mick Ronson, Axl Rose, Seal, Slash, Lisa Stansfield, Paul Young and Zucchero. All the guest
artists offered their participation for free. The concert was broadcast live on television and radio to 76 countries and all proceeds, then and now, goes to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, a charity formed at the time whose charter is the relief of suffering from AIDS throughout the world. Freddie Mercury’s earlier quote was so apt for this concert –“I like people to go away from a Queen show feeling fully entertained, having a good time”. The concert is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as “The largest rock star benefit concert”, as it was televised to over 1.2 billion viewers worldwide, and raised over 20,000,000 pounds for AIDS Charities. The 72,000 people who were fortunate enough to see the concert live did so in front of a stage 370 ft wide and 90 ft deep flanked by scaffolding towers over 80 ft tall, and crowned at the centre by a giant Phoenix-a symbol
from Queen’s Crest designed by Freddie in 1969, and now the emblem of The Mercury Phoenix Trust. Since 1992, The Mercury Phoenix Trust has been responsible for donating more than 7 million pounds in the fight against AIDS making over 500 grants to charities worldwide. The Trust is following the latest developments in drug therapies and adapting funding policy to the changing needs of those affected by HIV/ AIDS. Queen’s last album featuring Mercury, titled MADE IN HEAVEN, was finally released in 1995. Made from Mercury’s final recordings in 1991 plus material left over from their previous studio albums, it included the tracks ‘Too much Love will kill you’ and ‘Heaven for Everyone’. The album reached #1 on the U.K. charts immediately and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. In 1997, Queen recorded “No-one but You (Only the Good Die Young)”, which was released as a bonus track on the QUEEN ROCKS compilation album. In 1997, Queen performed ‘The Show Must Go On’ with Elton John and
the Berjart Ballet marking the last performance and public appearance of John Deacon, who chose to retire. In 1999, a GREATEST HITS III album was released. By this point, Queen’s vast amount of record sales made them the second best selling artist in the UK of all time, behind The Beatles. 2000 and BEYOND In 2002, Queen was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was named by the Guinness Book of Records in 2002 as the top British single of all time, and in 2004 was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2002, a musical based on the songs of Queen, titled WE WILL ROCK YOU opened at the Dominion Theatre on London’s West End. The musical was written by Ben Elton in collaboration with Brian May and Roger Taylor and was produced by Robert De Niro. It has been staged in many cities around the world. In 2004, May and Taylor announced that they would return to touring with Paul Rodgers (lead singer of FREE and BAD COMPANY). They were featured as ‘QUEEN+PAUL RODGERS’. Between 2005 and 2006, they toured successfully in Europe, Japan and the U.S. They also released an album titled ‘QUEEN+PAUL RODGERS: THE COSMOS ROCKS’. Following the album’s release, they again began touring across Europe and also in Ukraine in front of 3,50,000 fans. A live DVD of the show was also later released. Queen and Paul Rodgers officially split up without animosity in 2009. In April 2006, Brian May and Roger Taylor appeared on the American TV show ‘American Idol’. Each contestant was required to sing a Queen Song during that week of the competition. Taylor and May again appeared on the same show in May 2009, performing ‘We are the Champions’ with finalists Adam Lambert and Kris Allen. In November 2009, May and Taylor performed ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ live
on the British TV Show ‘The X Factor’ alongside the finalists. In 2009, ‘We will Rock You’ and ‘We are the Champions’ were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the latter being voted the world’s favourite song in a global music poll. In May 2010, May and Taylor announced that they were quitting their record label EMI, after almost 40 years. They are now signed up with Island Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music. As part of Queen’s 40th anniversary celebrations, Universal is now re-mastering all the albums of Queen and will release them with a whole lot of extras in them. The ‘Design a Queen T-Shirt’ is
planned and full details would be out over the months to come. As Brian May said Queen’s next moves will involve ‘studio work, computers and live work’. The uniqueness of Queen was the musical genius of all of its members and their equal importance in the song writing process. In fact they are the only band where all the individual members have composed a Top 10 Hit single. Said Roger Daltrey of The Who-“When we lost Freddie, we not only lost a great personality, a man with a great sense of humour, a true showman, but we lost probably the best, the really, the best virtuoso rock n’ roll singer of all time. He could sing anything in any style. He could change his style from line to line and, God, that’s an art. And he was brilliant at it”.
Brian May announced in 2010 that Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for his comedic character Borat, had been chosen to play Freddie Mercury in a film about his life. The motion picture, which is being co-produced by Robert De Niro’s Tri Be Ca Productions, will focus on Queen’s formative years and the period up to the celebrated performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert. Filming is due to begin sometime in 2011.
“Brian May was the harmony master. He came up with these huge parts that sounded like string sections, flamboyant orchestrations. And he was doing it all on guitar”-James Hetfield, Metallica. Metallica covered ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ as a tribute to May and also won their first Grammy for their version of the Queen classic. Brian May explored a wide variety of styles in guitar, including sweep picking, tremolo, tapping, slide guitar and melodic parts. Aided by the uniqueness of his Guitar-The Red Special- May was often able to create strange and unusual sound effects that many thought a synthesizer was being used. In fact, Queen used a “No synthesizers were used on this album” sleeve note on their early albums to make this clear to the listeners. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005 for ‘services to the music industry’. He also earned a PhD in Astrophysics from Imperial College in 2007 and is currently the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. He was ranked 39th in the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’.
The 40th Anniversary is still being
Roger Taylor, drummer and occasional
also something that is the subject of everyone’s attention. May and Taylor would choose the winning design from designs submitted from all around the world.
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lead vocalist is known for his “big” unique sound and is considered one of the most influential rock drummers of the 70s and 80s. As a songwriter, he contributed songs to the band’s albums from the very beginning, composing at least one track on every album. He also wrote 4 of the band’s hits, including ‘Radio Ga Ga’, A Kind of Magic’, ‘The Invisible Man’, ‘These are the days of our Lives’. He also plays multiple instruments, including guitar, bass and keyboards. John Deacon, bassist and often regarded as the silent band member also wrote a number of Queen’s hit singles, including ‘You’re My best Friend’, ‘Spread your Wings’, ‘I Want to break Free’, and the band’s biggest selling single in the U.S., ‘Another One bites the Dust’. He also played rhythm and acoustic guitars on several albums as well as occasional keyboards, synthesizers and programming. Across the various articles, blogs reviews and opinions that one can come across on the internet, the following truly sums up the greatness of Queen from a young fan. “I’m 16 years old. I was born in a generation where good music is kinda rare, I guess. I started listening to Queen 2/3 months ago. I wondered why were Queen so famous, and why everyone was saying that Freddie Mercury had such a great voice, and why was everyone so sad for his death. Well, now I know why. Every time I listen to Queen, I feel sorry for not having the opportunity to see them in a concert and though I’ve never met Freddie, I miss him. You are still the King”. In closing I would like to say that there has never been and there never will be a band like QUEEN. 34 | MAY 2011 | Cinema, Music & Art with the Brew
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I don’t think of myself as the sexiest bachelor in Bollywood.” Ranbir Kapoor, the hottest youngster in Bollywood, talks about his dreams, guitar lessons and directorial ambitions. With his soulful dark eyes and his well chiseled looks, he cuts a very dashing image. Let’s face it; Ranbir Kapoor’s face is now being stapled over the walls of teenage girls across India. Despite a string of films getting ready for release, actor Ranbir Kapoor takes a break to answer some offbeat questions.
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ince you seem to be in between movies currently, what is your daily routine like?
I get up, brush my teeth, and have breakfast. Later, if my parents are at home, I lunch with them; I watch films, go to the gym, return home in the night, watch DVDs on my Panasonic Viera television and then go to sleep. You are sporting a stubble; is it your look for the Anurag Basu-directed Barfee? No. I have been unemployed since the last one month. There is no work. I am short of movies. So I try new things because I get bored of my face. This is not a ‘look’. I had kept my clipper on charge and the electricity went. So some stubble is left; I will remove it when I get home.
Much is expected from your next film – the Imtiaz Ali-directed Rockstar. Is the shoot complete? Rockstar is complete. I am very excited about its release. I am very happy I got an opportunity to work with a good human being like Imtiaz Ali. We spent 50 days in Delhi and whatever food that we can eat there, I ate. Will we see you play real guitar in this film? Yes, absolutely. For my character, I have learnt how to play the guitar. So I hope that when you see the film you don’t feel that I am bluffing. You look like you have lost weight. No, I have not reduced. Since Saawariya, I am in continuity -- I have never lost or gained weight. It is very difficult for me to build muscles because of my body type. I can lose weight easily but it is very difficult to
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The Micra is a class-defining product and I am particularly excited, as it has been designed for city driving. It boasts of many features that are first in its class. I am confident that this product will redefine mobility for many in India. I look forward to an exciting journey with them.
put on muscle. I hope if I get an action film at some point, I can build my body and muscle and look real -- if I hit a villain, it should look as though I have actually hit a punch. A lot of film actors are on the small screen. When are you going to take up a TV show? No, I believe that I should just be settled as an actor. I have just started. I am three years old in this industry. I can think of television once I am settled. Right now, I am a film actor and I am very happy being a film actor. Everyday we read about your linkups and break-ups. Does it affect you? See, I am a film actor. My job is to act and I endorse the brands I believe in. And I truly believe that the audience will like me if I am a good actor and my movies are good. But when everyday, I am linked with this one or that one, I feel bad. I am sure my parents are also a little embarrassed by it. You have to understand that the person’s life is getting affected. Now, I feel scared that if I go out for dinner with my friends, I will be linked to them too. Please don’t link me up with each and
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every person. And the news is not true. If I am in a relationship, I won’t hide it. If I have a girlfriend, I will directly call you and tell you that I am in love and I am getting married. Reportedly, you are upset with Priyanka Chopra because she made a few jokes about your image. No, it is baseless. I can never be upset with Priyanka; she is a very beautiful and talented actress. If I am upset with her, I have no scope in life. Do you think you should have been offered Dhoom 3? If there is another Dhoom after Dhoom 3, I would love to be a part of it. Of course, given that the script is good. Three years into the industry, do you have a dream role? Every film brings in a new dream role. Like when Rockstar was offered to me, it was a dream role for me. Barfee is also a dream role and Ayan’s new picture also has a dream role for me. I only wish that I work with good
directors; you have to grow with every movie. Do you consider yourself the sexiest bachelor in Bollywood? I don’t think of myself as the sexiest bachelor in Bollywood. I am an actor. If you tell me that I am a good actor then it would be a very big compliment for me. If you call me a sexy actor, then it is a compliment to my parents because they have made me, it was their genes. Speaking of genes, what are your plans for the RK banner? I am proud of this family; and it is an utmost priority to make a movie for RK films. It’s not that they have passed on the reins to me but I truly hope that I get an opportunity to make a movie, and the audience like the film and RK is resurrected. I think RK has always been and continues to be deeply imprinted in a lot of people’s hearts and minds. I am just going to continue the tradition of the Kapoors.
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The Eye of Faith Can Often See Much Queenie Sukhadia A travelogue penned by the famous author William Dalrymple, this book, as is reflected by the title, is written in a rather dark vein, pondering the dismal state of affairs in the Indian subcontinent. Ten years’ distillation of travel around the Indian subcontinent has culminated in a book which explores everything from the practice of sati in remote parts of India to the dirty politics played by the Rajmata of Gwalior. The Age of Kali is a book which emerges from Dalrymple’s uneasy sense that religion is slipping into the most fearsome of all epochs in ancient Hindu cosmology: “the Kali Yug, the Age of Kali, the lowest possible throw, an epoch of strife, corruption, darkness, and disintegration.” Dalrymple’s feel for this country and his attachment to every element of it makes itself pronounced in every word, every sentence, making all the chronicles of political corruption, ethnic violence and social disintegration all the more poignant. This panorama of the Indian subcontinent is poised between chaoses, westernization, and immoral tradition and even manages to dabble into the lives of the likes of Benazir Bhutto, Imran Khan and the Tamil Tigers. The scope of this book itself is awe-inspiring and instead of simply making it ‘drab’ and ‘a long uninteresting read’ as most non-fiction books are characterised, Dalrymple manages to weave these tales from the different corners of India into a beautiful, although sinister patchwork quilt.
A Review on William Dalrymple’s ‘Age of Kali’
As one turns the pages, one gets more and more caught up in the pulse and fray which is ‘Age of Kali’. No section is dull, no piece monotonous. Every page is coloured in a different hue and tone of black, an art only Dalrymple’s adept pen can manage and still there is a certain power in his words, a compelling force which drives you to turn the next page and the next, as you embark on a sojourn from the bloodbath of Bihar to the ‘Mills and Boon’ fan, Benazir Bhutto. No words are minced and nothing seen through rose-tinted glasses. Everything is presented as it is, tongue-in-cheek as it may be, facts strung together in the form of a story. This book is definitely a stimulant for all those who have fallen into complacency about our world today, and although written in the 1990’s, every issue that has been discussed in these 394 pages is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. Thoroughly researched and unbiased, this Indophile has created an amalgam of action and fervour, affected airs and transparent genuineness, every contrast that can possibly be seen in a book. ‘Age of Kali’ is indispensable for an understanding of the subtle undercurrents and cultural onion-layers of Indian society. This book brings colour to the mundane and takes pleasure in things that don’t even feature in our happiness lists anymore. A book which hurtles you from north to south of this extraordinary country, a book which fascinates you with its insights, a book which takes you behind doors you had never dreamed to open, The Age of Kali, erudite, engaging and entertaining, is a take on the tough questions facing the Indian subcontinent today.
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JeffREy Archer J
ust completed the 8th draft of the second of The Clifton Chronicles, and am back in London for press interviews in the run-up to the publication of book one, Only Time Will Tell, next week. In the past few days Iâ€™ve done interviews for Germany, Malta, Dubai, New Zealand, Malaysia and Spain, and of course here in the UK. Several interviewers seemed to be fascinated by the fact that the book had to come out in India first (where it has been No.1 for the past 9 weeks - which for me is a new record), but this is because of the piracy problem there. Another hot topic was e-books, and, following a recent Sunday Times article, the possibility that people will be able to download books for free in the way they do with music, which would of course bring the industry to its knees. So what with piracy and theft, will we even have a book industry in ten yearâ€™s time?
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What an amazing victory for India in the World Cup, and well deserved. India was everybodyâ€™s second team, and so will be delighted with the result. Perhaps the most exciting thing was that the giants had an off-day, and the captain and his other men nobly came to stand in their place. We all look forward to India coming to England this summer, and in particular to Lordâ€™s. What a wonderful venue that would be for Tendulkar to get his hundredth century.
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Tagore Mallika Sarabhai
It was with a sense of wonder then that I read the following passage from Rabindranath Tagore, quoted in Tagore: The Myriad Minded Man by Dutta and Robinson. “I feel that once upon a time I was at one with the rest of the earth, that grass grew green upon me, that the autumn sun fell upon me and under its rays the warm scent of youth wafted from every pore of my far-flung ever green body. As my waters and mountains lay spread out through the land, dumbly soaking up the radiance of a cloudless sky, an elixir of life and joy was inarticulately secreted from the immensity of my being. So it is that my feelings seem to be those of our ancient planet, ever germinant and efflorescent, shuddering with sun-kissed delight”. What a contrast to the rapacious way in which we view the earth today. A few months ago I was interviewing the woman considered the mother of Indian nutritional sciences, Dr Vijaya Venkat. Talking about the need for sustainability in food production and consumption she said, “Unless we understand that we and the environment are one and the same, there is no solution”. What a profound idea, I thought. It is only because we, as humans, believe we are the superior race, with the world and its wealth as our plundering ground that we are in the sorry state of want and degradation of the earth, soil, water and air that we are in.
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In talking of Tagore in this year of his 150th birth anniversary, how many of us know of his passion for science and its use for what we call social development today? In fact in foreseeing the need for scientific thought and technology in third world development he was probably one of the earliest people. In his scheme and understanding of things, imposed solutions and imported technology could never last. He felt that the developer and the development had to adapt to the local scenario. “It was not the Kingdom of the Expert in the
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midst of the inept and ignorant which we wanted to establish –although the experts’ advice [is] advisable” he is quoted as saying in Dutta’s book. His first experiment started with his own farm, near his home, in 1920. With the help of an American heiress and the British, Leonard Elmhirst, he started experiments there. Though they in themselves were not hugely successful they inspired much further thinking along those lines, including amongst the newly independent India’s decision makers. The Elmhirsts went on to set up the unique Dartington Hall in Devon, till today a home for radical and free thinkers and home to many of Tagore’s paintings and original manuscripts. Tagore wrote about science from an early age and felt that science had to serve society and not vice versa. He even had a disagreement with Albert Einstein about this, where he felt that the latter put science at the center of the Universe rather than the human being. Strangely, it was nearly a century later, in 1984 that Nobel winner in Chemistry Ilya Prigogene is said to have acknowledged the poet’s prescience in demanding that science serve humanity. (As Vikram Sarabhai’s daughter I was brought up on this, and saw institutions like ISRO and PRL fighting for ways to serve some of the most endemic of our problems as a developing nation. I still remember the early experiments at Pij with TV programming aimed at educating millions of farmers in their own homes.) For too long we have seen this amazing man as a bard. For too long Bengalis have made him their icon (though this happened only after his death – during his life time he was more often reviled than idolized there!) and have purloined him for Bengal. He was the rarest of men, one the likes of which this nation has not produced since. Let us celebrate then, this multifaceted genius in all his splendor.
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Cinema, Music & Art with the Brew | MAY 2011 | 49
In the most exciting twist yet to manâ€™s favourite second skin, Basics 029 shifts gears to the fashion season with its rich new genre in denim clothing. Over the years, the couture ethic at Basics has stood true to the brand name - keeping the basics perfect. Which meant the fabric quality, the fit, comfort and originality in design have been a few exemplary notches above the other jean-makers in the market. This season, keeping such distinctive trademarks intact, Basics brings a striking new design philosophy to the denim lineage. Experimental, rebellious, or plain avant-garde- you choose the superlatives; but this is one makeover that guarantees to up the count of eyeballs you poach. From revolutionary new concepts in fits and washes, right down to styling on pockets, the new Basics 029 denim range leaves no stitch untouched. Thought you owned every possible shade of blue denim? Prepare to be shaken to reality by lively new hues like icy blues, mid blues, rinse blues, plus some sprightly newcomers in grays and blacks. And
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sure enough, the funky additions in washes - classic rinse to mild sprays to distress vintage; arenâ€™t just fancy-sounding names but swears to present a whole new denim experience to even the most discerning customer. In line with the latest in trends and creating a few, Basics 029 also launches two new fits for the streets: Torque and Pistol, by mixing and matching the skinny and slim fits with a vintage treatment. And whatâ€™s more, value additions in fabrics like stretch, mercerized denims for better wash results and new age special effects like tinting and mending give it that chic, refined finish. The innovations never stop at Basics, as the edgy new designs and differentiated pockets will hint to you, not so subtly. The original artworks on inner pockets add to your innate swagger and ramps up your apparel attitude. New branding concepts in labels and metal trims, enhancements in tapes and fabric, and the fitting homage to the denim of the good old is complete. The range is priced Rs.1700 onwards. This season, unleash your fashion animal and indulge in some love for the denim.
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Congrats to Sudhamsu Hebbar on winning the Coffee at Caffe Pascucci contest. He wins a gift voucher worth Rs. 250 sponsored by Caffe Pascucci at Express Avenue, Chennai. Congrats to Neha Bakshi for winning the ‘Win latest music CD of Iron Maiden’ contest. She wins a CD of the Iron Maiden Album “Final Frontier”. Follow our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ thebrewmagazine to participate in many more exciting contests.
Contest of the month Win the CD “Who’s that girl?”, a stunning collection of Female hit song’s of 2010, by answering this simple question.
Q: By which song was Stefani Joanne Germanotta inspired to create her stage name (Lady Gaga)? st
Rush in your entries before May 31 to firstname.lastname@example.org. The right answer will win the CD.
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Cinema, Music & Art with the Brew | MAY 2011 | 53
Asks the Possible of the Impossible, “Where is your dwelling-place?” “In the dreams of the Impotent,” comes the answer. – Rabindranth Tagore
“Women are like modern paintings. You can’t enjoy them, if you try to understand them.” - Freddie Mercury
“I have discovered with advancing years that few things are entirely black or white, but more often different shades of grey.” — Jeffrey Archer
“It’s a shame to call somebody a ‘diva’ simply because they work harder than everybody else.” - Jennifer Lopez
Metallica won their first Grammy Award for covering which song of Queen?
Which music video did Jennifer Lopez first appear in?
Who is the author of Tagore: The Myriad Minded Man?
Where was the short film Los Bandoleros filmed at?
What is the next project of Actor Prashanth?
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“It doesn’t matter if you win by a second or a mile, winning is winning!” - Vin Diesel
Trivia Treasure Hunt
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Published on May 15, 2011
Published on May 15, 2011
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