Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Gossip!


Today in gossip Shiney's Ghost co-star confirms that he is a TOTAL douchebag; Anupama Chopra explains herogiri to the Los Angeles Times; Vikram's new film; Sanjay Leela Bhansali explains himself; and whoever paid for Chirag Paswan's debut film is about to lose some money...

* Check out Anupama Chopra trying to explain the decline of the yuppie NRI hero to the Los Angeles Times, most of whose readers probably think a Hero has to wear tights and with his underwear on the outside.

Not surprisingly, large swathes of viewers, especially in smaller towns and villages, found these narratives so foreign that they switched to regional cinema where the old rules still held. "The problems of the nonresident Indian didn't translate to the masses," said actor Ajay Devgn, who plays Singham. "They look at a guy sitting in a leather jacket in New York and wonder what problems could this guy have."

* The Times of India provides some context for the R*.* [edited for my sanity] copyright case.

Increasingly, there have been cases of screenwriters commissioned to write by a producer, who takes over the script or gives it to another writer and then cheats the original writer out of money and credit. Writer Sonal Mehta, who was supposed to write and direct Rann, filed a case against Ram Gopal Varma for not giving her credit. The director, who initially declared that she was trying to gain mileage, later made a substantial out-of-court settlement.

What's interesting to me is that when cases like this are filed in Hollywood, I feel like it is usually a matter of the collective unconscious - two writers come up with a similar project on their own but one script gets made into something big and the other sits on a desk somewhere until the writer gets frustrated with the success of the first script and decides to sue.

But considering the loose standards Bollywood filmmakers have towards intellectual property, I do give more credence to claims that scripts were reappropriated.

Writer Yash Patnaik says he pitched the idea to Shahrukh in 2006.

Patnaik sought an injunction against the release of the film on October 1, this year. He claims he registered the concept with the Film Writers Association on December 26, 2006. “Our first hearing was on October 12,” he says, adding that “he wants to be paid only if the makers refuse to give him credit in the film.”

We'll just have to wait and see if this is a case of stolen ideas or the collective unconscious at work. If I was a Bollywood reporter in Mumbai, I would be down at the Film Writers Association demanding to see that script! Come on, guys!!! Stop writing fawning articles about how much money R*.* is going to make and go do some real reporting!

* Speaking of the collective unconscious - two films about star-crossed lovers coming out? Issaq and Ishaqzaade! Talk about coincidence!

* Thank you, media, for alerting me to a future Outsider in Bollywood candidate who appears to have been tapped for maximum whorey gori appeal.

* The story of VIKRAM starrer Karikalan is revealed!

* Check out a lengthy interview with Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

What do you think of Bollywood and its current aspiration for urban gritty realism. Do you feel you need to re-examine your aesthetic?

Khamoshi, the first film I made..., during those days Hindi cinema was making films like Saajan. Khamoshi was new. Nobody knew what to do with it. Some thought it was fabulous, and some felt it was crap. So I felt I had set my own bar.


Although I do disagree with his statement that nobody understood Saawariya. I understood it; I just thought it was abominable.

* Veena Malik to play a prostitute in an upcoming film.

* Allu Arjun is coming to Bollywood with a Hindi remake of Arya 2.

* Fact: SHINEY AHUJA IS A CREEPER. We all knew it but it's been confirmed by his Ghost co-star Sayali Bhagat.

Sayali claims that the crew of the film also noticed Ahuja's advances towards her. "During a scene wherein I teach him how to chop vegetables, he asked me to feel up his arms at least ten times, so much so that even the light-man threw the lights and left the sets out of disgust. Then while our shots were getting ready, Shiney would often whisper into my ears that he can't resist me suggesting that we should hook up. All this continued even after the shooting of Ghost was over and done with as I would receive text messages and calls from Shiney at odd hours," says the actress.



And check out the trailer for Chirag Paswan, who is co-starring with his limited acting ability and his dead eyes in Miley Naa Miley Hum.

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I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

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