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Bollywood is terribly boring: Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on January 5, 2008

Bangalore (PTI): Acclaimed film-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan on Friday slammed television serials for “corrupting” the new generation even as he dismissed Bollywood movies for being “superficial” in entertainment.

The award-winning director said the younger generation, which grew on television, is exposed to “terribly bad education” on the small screen.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Bangalore International Festival Film, Gopalakrishnan said before the advent of television, film audiences had some kind of expectations from movies.

Today, film goers are a “terribly vitiated audience”. “They have been corrupted by a wrong kind of stuff (on television) in the name of entertainment”, he said.

Before television became a vogue, film practitioners hoped that the visual medium (tv) would prepare the audience better to appreciate the works of film makers such as documentaries and features. But that was not to be, Gopalakrishnan said.

Asked if he believed television is driving away audience from films, he gave a cryptic reply: “it (television) is preparing bad audience for bad films”.

On Bollywood films, Gopalakrishan said “they say that these films entertain. But (actually) they are terribly boring”.

Questioning Bollywood’s style of entertainment, he said his view is that when one does a film, the audience should get to learn about life and get exposed to new experience.

Entertainment in Bollywood films is “superficial, banal kind of scratching on your itching wound. That’s not entertainment”, Gopalakrishnan said.

He also took a dig at a section of the media for focusing only on stars and starlets, giving film-makers a go-by in coverage.

Earlier, the media used to feature film-makers also along with stars during movie promotion.

“Now, we only read about stars. Any newspaper you take in the morning, the front page itself you should have scantily-clad starlets….some stars…you have to have. Otherwise, you can’t have morning tea. That’s the norm now”, Gopalakrishnan said sarcastically.


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Tare zameen par!!!

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on January 4, 2008

Aamir Khan’s directorial debut Taare Zameen Par has been appreciated by one and all and no wonder Aamir is on top of the world. The good times continue for this wonderful actor – director as news comes that his film has now been declared tax-free in Mumbai for a period of six months. The film, currently running in its second week, had earlier got a tax- exemption in the capital and now this surely comes as even more good news for all those associated with the film. Here’s wishing that the film continues its victory march, even in the weeks to come.

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Jiah Khan Jealous Of Asin?

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on January 3, 2008

Nishabd girl Jiah Khan is playing the character that Nayanathara played in Ghazini in the Bollywood remake of Ghazini. Jiah might be new to the industry, but this happening, young actress is capable of standing up for her rights. For instance, she didn’t think twice before revolting against her mentor, Ram Gopal Varma. Her rebellious streak added charm to her personality and won many admirers. The list of admirers included none other than superstar Aamir Khan, who decided to cast her in the remake of Ghajini.

A girl with loads of attitude and a sense of style was exactly what he was looking for. But little did Aamir know that the same attributes of Jiah that had impressed him, would later turn out to be a cause for worry. Apparently Jiah is unhappy that her debutante co-star, Asin has a more prominent role at least in the first schedule of the film. She even complained about this to Aamir. However even though Aamir was tied up, it seems as if a persistent Jiah has made her point; it’s over to Asin now

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Tom Hanks goes to war

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on January 3, 2008

Can this really be Tom Hanks, all-round cinematic good guy? Forrest Gump, for goodness sake? In an LA hotel suite Hollywood’s King of Clean laughs wryly: “Yes, I went into this career specifically so I’d end up naked in a Jacuzzi with a bunch of naked strippers.”

The nice-guy reputation irks him at times, yet he recognises that it is most likely deserved. He is too straight-laced to indulge in coke-fuelled badinage with real-life strippers. For what he has just said playfully refers to the hedonistic tableau of the opening sequence of his new movie,Charlie Wilson’s War, the spa baths and strippers filling a scene that introduces Wilson, a US Congressman with a penchant for the high life – emphasis on “high”.

The film, directed by the legendary Mike Nichols, who made The Graduate and Catch 22, and written by Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing, tells the remarkable true-life tale of how Wilson played a key role in the outcome of the Afghan war of 1979-89, pushing US funding for the Afghan resistance from $5 million to $1 billion a year and facilitating a morale-crushing defeat for the Soviet Union. It has grossed $40 million in the US since its release on December 21.

“Wilson may have lived his life in a certain way, but to give him his due, he severed the Achilles’ heel of the Soviet Union,” Hanks says. “It was just nine months after they pulled out of Afghanistan that the Berlin Wall came down. And one of the reasons it fell was that the Soviet Government knew that the cream of its armed forces had been decimated by a bunch of people in a place called Afghanistan. That meant that they couldn’t defend their borders in East Germany and Poland. That has Charlie Wilson all over it.”

The film, which also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julia Roberts (who has Charlie Wilson all over her), may sift through the political scheming that supplied the Mujahidin with the funds and technology required to neuter the Soviet assault, but it is neither war movie nor political allegory. “You can be sure there will be editorials written blaming Charlie Wilson for the war in Iraq,” Hanks says. “People will be saying, ‘Well, if Charlie didn’t arm the Mujahidin we wouldn’t have al-Qaeda – that’s horseshit!”

While recent politically minded movies such asLions for LambsorA Mighty Heart struggled at the box office, Charlie Wilson’s War is simply snappy and sophisticated entertainment. It has a serious backdrop but a glamorous visage. The film has been nominated for five Golden Globes, and its Best Picture nod comes in the comedy or musical category. “Mostly, political films are designed to tell a lesson and to communicate the opinion of the film-maker,” Hanks says. “But I don’t need somebody’s movie to tell me the truth about what is happening. A lot of movies educate and enlighten us, but only if they reach us on a very personal level. It cannot be like school or a history lesson; to succeed it’ll have to be enjoyable enough for people to go and see it.”

Whether the allure of the talent on show in Charlie Wilson’s War – both in front of the camera and behind it – is enough to command significant returns at the British box office remains to be seen, but Hanks clearly revels in the role. The 51-year-old Californian is widely perceived as the nicest guy in Hollywood – although Will Smith must be hot on his heels – and, like a latterday James Stewart or Gary Cooper, he carries his easy, everyman charm into many of his roles.

“I’m in an interesting position there with the nice guy thing,” he says, “and the problem is that I cooperate. I could sit here with you and be some miserable surly guy, but why do that? This is how I am; it’s what I’m like when I get up in the morning. But that means that if I play a guy who shoots someone in the head and then machineguns everyone else in the movie, everybody still says: ‘Yeah, but he’s still such a nice guy.’

“Same if I play an executioner, and it’ll be the same now that I’m playing a guy who f**** everyone he can, goes to bed drunk every night and snorts coke. People are still going to say that I’m a nice guy.”

He’s on MySpace. “I did my site myself. I don’t update it very often and I only do it to subvert the poor job that the mass media do.” He laughs. “I reply to a lot of stuff on there too, apart from the people who write, ‘You’re an asshole, Hanks’, or, ‘Hanks, you queer’.”

In films such asRoad to Perdition, Green Mile or Charlie Wilson’s War, Hanks has proved himself willing to gamble with his affable image – indeed he confirmed his place on the Hollywood Alist by playing a lawyer dying of Aids in Philadelphia (1993), and then starring as the speedy and simple-minded Forrest Gump a year later, a potentially perilous double that paid off with back-to-back Oscars for Best Actor, a feat not achieved since Spencer Tracy’s wins for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938).

He even went so far as to make Cast Away in 2000, a film that gave us more than an hour of nothing but Hanks. It took nearly $500 million (£250 million) at the box office. His last major outing, the critically reviled Da Vinci Code (2006), nonetheless took more than $750 million, while he and Ron Howard, who directed him in Apollo 13 (1995) are reuniting for another Dan Brown adaptation, Angels & Demons.

“Sure, there’s been success, but right now I am in my child-raising years,” says Hanks. “I’d like to direct again, but I can’t. It’d take me away from my kids, and that’d be inexcusable. I have to work as an actor, but if you choose carefully sometimes a job for an actor can be a vacation. You set up home in some place new with the whole family.”

That family constitutes his second wife, Rita Wilson, and their two boys, Chester, 7, and Truman, 2. His first marriage, to Samantha Lewes, also yielded two children, Colin, 30, and Elizabeth, 25. Colin has already taken his first steps in Hollywood – indeed, father and son recently co-starred in The Great Buck Howard, due to be screened at the Sundance Film Festival this month. Hanks Jr also featured in an episode of Band of Brothers, the TV mini-series produced in part by his father and Steven Spielberg.

This distinguished pair first came together on Saving Private Ryan (1998), going on to work as actor and director of the crime caper Catch Me if You Can (2002) and The Terminal (2004). Now they are overseeing a sprawling TV production, filmed in Australia and set in the Pacific during the Second World War. “We’re about halfway done with The Pacific,” he says. “It’s a monster of a shoot, ten episodes with about six different directors, and we have massive logistics, plus all the bugs and the snakes. Honestly, we have guys running through the jungle up in Port Douglas in Australia, and we have 12 of the most poisonous snakes in the world! With the Second World War the stories have been told so many times, so here we really wanted to go to a much deeper and darker place, otherwise we’re wasting our time.”

Hanks is also co-producing the big-screen adaptation of Times writer Ben Macintyre’s book, Agent Zigzag. Whatever he does, or whoever he plays, everyone still believes that Hanks is a terribly nice guy. But, he claims, “I’m not the guarantee that a movie’s going to be successful or that a movie will touch the Zeitgeist. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will be news if it does and news if it doesn’t.”

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Taare Zameen Par get Best position in 2007

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on January 3, 2008

We’ve never had 26 films worth talking about in a single year in a very long time. 2007 has yielded a rich harvest for Hindi cinema. While rating them, not only the primary function of Indian cinema – that it has to entertain a diverse audience – is taken into account but also factors such as intention of the filmmaker, originality, repeat viewing and fatigue, quality of writing, inventiveness of story-telling, devices employed, scale of production and star appeal.

No.1 Chak De India

The girls are amazing. Because Jaideep Sahni has written a script that combines girlpower, women’s liberation and the importance of team-spirit in a convincing underdog drama with authentic sporting action, gorgeously shot. Near flawless but for the predictability associated with the sports genre.

No.2 Taare Zameen Par
Films are where reality meets fantasy and no other film in a long while has walked these two worlds at the same time, often blurring the lines associated with the distinctively different genres while also tripling as an effective social commentary. No Indian film has ever captured childhood like this before

No.3 Om Shanti Om

Has there been a more irreverent film in the history of Indian cinema? One that does not take anything, including itself, seriously while paying tribute to an era of implausible plots, melodrama and revenge themes. Just by sheer quantity of laughs and goofs and quality of style and choreogcinema raphy, Om Shanti Om, despite the silly twist in the tale towards the climax, is a colourful musical that celebrates cinema.

No.4 Jab We Met

This is Dilwale Dulhaniya’s sequel in spirit. If Dilwale tried to define Indian-ness by procuring parental consent for love, Jab We Met goes deeper into the heartland of the country and tries to understand relationships in the context of a highly self-centric India where love blurs right and wrong.

No.5 Johnny Gaddaar

Here comes a quality suspense caper after ages. What’s more, it’s slick and stylish. It’s a rollercoaster of a mind-game. Never has a tribute film been this exciting with all the cheeky referencing. Not only is it unpredictable, it also has a brilliant ensemble cast. Also, because it has Dharam Paaji show us what a fantastic actor he is even today.

The Others

No.6 Namastey London – A surprisingly endearing Katrina-Akshay romantic comedy

No.7 Bheja Fry – But for Vinay Pathak’s brilliance, a shameless rip-off

No.8 Partner – Govinda-Salman work their magic in this remake of Hitch

No. 9 Dhamaal – is a Bollywood film directed by Indra Kumar and starring Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh, Aashish Chaudhary, Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffrey.

No.10 Salaam-e-Ishq – This mushy overdose worked for Valentine’s Day

No.11 Apne – This boxing drama has Dharam Paaji’s heart

No.12 Saawariya – Strictly for world-class cinematography and some of the music

No.13 Dil Dosti Etc – A daring gutsy anti-thesis to Dil Chahta Hai

No.14 Aaja Nachle – For Madhuri Dixit alone.

No.15 Ek Chalis Ki Last Local – A rare whacky neo-noir comedy

No.16 Life in a Metro – A ‘Closer’-like candid look at relationships

No.17 Loins of Punjab – Have you ever laughed more this year?

No.18 Honeymoon Travels – A refreshing, modern look at marriage

No.19 Cheeni Kum – But for the climax, this offbeat romance ought to rank higher.

No.20 Apna Aasman – Promising debut conveniently resolved.

No.21 Manorama – If this weren’t a remake, this mystery would rank higher.

No.22 Khoya Khoya Chand – Soha’s miscast in this time machine to the 1960s

No.23 Black Friday – Though authentic, loses pace structured like the book

No.24 Water – Talk of bad casting and location ruining a great script

No.25 Dharm – Pankaj Kapoor, you are God!

No.26 Eklavya – The cinematography is sheer poetry

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Pirates favour TV shows over movies

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on January 2, 2008

The number of illegal downloads of TV shows in 2007 reflected a much higher demand for programmes such as Heroes and Top Gear over box office movies, according to popular weblog TorrentFreak which reports on peer-to-peer file sharing service BitTorrent. A report on behalf of the Motion Picture Association estimated that major Hollywood movie studios lost US$6.1bn through piracy in 2005 alone, with 38pc of this attributed specifically to internet piracy.

While piracy seems to have a devastating effect on the movie industry it appears to play a different role for producers of some television shows.

Website last year reported that one anonymous studio employee purposely leaked an episode of Pushing Daisies by uploading it onto a peer-to-peer file sharing network to drum up excitement prior to broadcast.

TorrentFreak said that while there were over 2.4m ‘torrents’ or channels made available for the TV show Heroes, the number of actual downloads would be much higher considering one file can have several torrents.

While Heroes was the top pirated TV show of the year, Top Gear came in at number 2 with 1.2m torrents followed by Battlestar Galactica and Lost.

BBC’s iPlayer, a service which went live on 25 December and which allows UK viewers to download the channel’s programming for a period of 30 days before it expires, is a move by the company to provide easily accessible programming over the net and combat piracy.

According to the BBC website, Auntie hopes that “providing high quality programmes over the internet legally, easily and at no cost will discourage illegal downloading.”

“We use streaming and DRM software to prevent illegal copying and distribution of BBC programmes to protect the rights of the people who make and appear in them,” it states.

Transformers was the top illegally downloaded movie with over 569,000 torrents or download streams, followed by US comedy Knocked Up. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End made it into the top 10 pirated movies also, but I’m not sure if Captain Jack Sparrow would approve of only making number 4 in the list.

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Few more years of Earl, says Jason

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on January 1, 2008

Despite becoming an increasing presence in Hollywood with movies like Alvin And The Chipmunks, Jason Lee reckons there’s still a few more years of hit US TV series My Name Is Earl left in him.

“There will be an ending of course, maybe in a few more years, but not yet,” he says. “We’re making better TV in some ways than we are movies.”


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Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par – a masterpiece

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on January 1, 2008

THE DIRECTORIAL debut of Aamir Khan has sent waves around Bollywood providing an answer to ‘can actors be good directors?’Well they truly can, this is what Aamir has proved, setting an example for the whole industry with Taare Zameen Par. The movie has not only received high critical appreciation, it is also one of the best movies of 2007, an otherwise not a very successful year for Bollywood.
Known for doing films once a year, Aamir has shown why does he do so by going deep into the subject of the script and then coming out with award winning movies. Aamir has brilliantly portrayed the mysterious, magical child who suffers from dyslexia.
The movie has beautifully shown the inner world of the curious child, whose world is beyond books. It also brings out how insensitive parents can get their children become involved in the rat race to be among the top rankers in this world, where competition is the norm and regimentation the principle.
But Taare Zameen Par is so vast and meaningful in its script that the film not only depicts the life of a single child but takes all those children into its ambit who struggle in this world to survive and who want to explore but their curiosity is killed because of the same old theoretical way to teach children. One cannot judge that Aamir is better as an actor or as a director.
The story is straightforward and instantaneously gels with each grown-up person and kid in the theatre. Even as the high point is unsurprising and plays closely on your sentiment, but what pushes the film is its very plain, and sensitive storyline and the acting. The script is not traditional, which has some bad characters. It is the depiction of Ishaan (Darsheel), who trapezes between problems of dyslexia and his wonderful world of imagination. And holding it all together is Aamir Khan, who delivers a spell bounding performance as a teacher.
Despite all the praises, the movie does get repetitive in the second half where the scripts needs a bit of taut editing, the trauma of the lonely child seems a shade too prolonged and the treatment simplistic but the overall mesmerising effect nullifies the so called negatives of the film, because of which the film never stops tugging at our heartstrings.

With movies like these, Bollywood has a taken a giant leap and has proved to make meaningful cinema, which is so widely appreciated by all. I strongly recommend compulsory screening of this movie for all students, teachers and parents.

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Will Aamir Khan be ‘Over the Moon’..When his ‘Taare’ hits the ‘Zameen’..?

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on December 19, 2007

tare zameen par movie monarch salman akhter

So when the ‘Taare’ hits the ‘Zameen’ on Friday the 21st, Aamir Khan would be ‘over the moon’ because the outstanding feedback his movie is gaining before its release will definitely put his movie to stand strong in a dire competition with the ‘Welcome’s talent brigade.

Hold your horses, its time to watch Aamir, the Ace Khan, who may have been called fondly as ‘Kachhua’(tortoise)Khan by his favourite Producers, because he listens, thinks, convinces himself & take plenty of time to follow his intuitions, but now, he is all ready to prove and win the race as in the age old maxim of Rabbit and the Tortoise.

When Aamir Khan Productions launched TZP, everyone within the film industry assumed Aamir is somewhat looking forward to make a docu-drama kind of children movie, so nobody took keen interest on it, Amol Gupte was the Writer-Director of the movie, it was later amicably decided that Aamir Khan will call the shot as Director for the betterment of the project.

As I wrote in my earlier article about Aamir Khan’s courage to always swim against the tidal waves like his earlier home production ‘Lagaan’.I again would like to analyze his working style after ‘Fanaa’, where any other Star would have chosen to go for bigger than ‘Fanaa’ project, he selected TZP.

Movie Monarch Aamir Khan Salman Akhter

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Police dismiss reports of extortion call to Shahrukh

Posted by jahanzaibmemon on December 16, 2007

Mumbai, Dec 13: Police on Thursday dismissed reports in a section of the media that claimed Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan had received an extortion call for Rs two crore from gangster Bunty Pandey.

“Shahrukh has not recieved any such call,” said a senior officer from the crime branch.

Asked about interviews a person, claiming to be Pandey, has been giving to some television news channels since morning, the officer said “may be he is doing it just for cheap publicity. To become big in the gangland. Undue advantage is being taken of the media.”

Pandey was earlier aligned with the Chhota Rajan gang but later broke away and reportedly targets bollywood personalities for extortion.

Pandey’s name was in news recently after he gave an interview to a private news channel claiming to be behind the murder of NCP Corporator Devidas Chowgule in the neighbouring satellite city of Navi Mumbai.

Bureau Report

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