Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Gossip: Oh, so he wants to do REAL cinema edition!

It's snowing this morning! First snow of the year! Ah, no angry comments on my last post, which is nice. ♥ I do want to respond to Archee, who asked if shouldn't we just look at NPH's video as the equivalent of the whorey gori stereotype in Bollywood. But I don't think they are the same thing. IMHO, at least, Outsourced is more the equivalent of the whorey gori or Apu from The Simpsons. I don't think he's pretending to be desi but he is mocking an art form he's not even trying to understand. Not that Bollywood is perfect or un-mockable but that dismissive attitude towards a style of narrative that connects with a billion people (or more) worldwide is really arrogant.

Anyways.

On to relevant topics! We'll be getting Vishwaroopam this weekend but not everyone is so lucky. The film has been banned in Tamil Nadu for allegedly being offensive to Muslims. (And yet Thuppaki was okay?!)

Firstpost looks at what is behind the ban.

Even with some scenes deleted, Vishwaroopam will affect the social-harmony and peace in the state, M H Jawahirullah, MLA and TMMK leader has reportedly said. Supporters of the TMMK and other organisations have also staged a protest against Vishwaroopam in front of Kamal Hassan’s office, where they burned the posters of the movie and shoe-slapped his images.

Bollywood comes out in support of Kamal Haasan.

Shekhar Kapur: For a man facing a ban on his film and loss of over 60cr, Kamal Haasan has the calm look of a man who completely who believes in what he is doing. I stand up for Kamal Haasan right to show the world Vishwaroopam and let the people decide, especially after Censor Board has passed the film. You?

I'll be seeing it this weekend, so I'll be sure to report back on whether or not it negatively stereotypes Muslims.

April 14th for Rajini's Kochadaiyaan?

Sachi Kurl untangles the politics behind the Times of India Awards heading to Vancouver.

No matter which side of the political divide you're on, pictures with India's biggest celluloid stars are valuable currency to politicians wooing votes in the South Asian community. Or at least that's the thinking. In an age of global celebrity, there are elements of truth to it. The premier smiling with a Shah Rukh Khan or Amitabh Bachan trumps the Opposition leader smiling with a local community do-gooder on the interest-o-meter every time.

IIFA has already began offhandedly referring to the Times of India Awards as that copycat effort.

“The need for clarification was necessary following thousands of fans inquiring about IIFA celebrations following rumours of a few copycat efforts being attempted in international markets,” IIFA stated in a news release.

A scolding article from FirstPost about how they think Bollywood is doing sequels "wrong."

For Bollywood sequels are nothing more than business ideas fueled by marketing needs and driven by an over zealous publicity machinery. Most of them aren’t even sequels but signs of laziness where the producers leave no stone unturned to cash in on the brand name and therefore most of them resemble insipid products off some assembly line.

Right… because Transformers 7 is a real masterpiece of cinema. Personally, I prefer the Golmaal/Dhoom sequel model where with each iteration there is a new and bigger story with mostly the same characters.

The sequel model where you continue the story of the previous film assumes that there is a story worth continuing but if the story has a proper ending, then you can't continue it. In that case, why not just give audiences more of what they want - the same characters in a similar story but with just MORE MORE MORE of what worked?

Kirron Kher discusses her life and marriage to Anupam.

"Anupam started his entertainment company, and he would produce for tv… But he expanded it too quickly. He told me his plans. I told him, ‘Don’t do it…’ and so he stopped telling me. He hid from me the fact that he borrowed heavily to produce many shows simultaneously. Then, without warning eight of his shows were off the air in one month. TV bosses changed, the money did not cone in for months.

We were in a financial mess. And his own career was at a low, he was being typecast in wretched comedy roles. I had to start working in earnest for money."

Catch up with Subhash Ghai.

Which recent films have you enjoyed?

I liked English Vinglish and Vicky Donor for their new expression. I love watching today's cinema in Bollywood and admire Anurag Kashyap, Raju Hirani and a few others for their belief in their cinema. Though I believe in wholesome entertainment which caters to every section of society, I must also say something in my movie. There has to be a message. That is important for me.

The first look at Ayshumann-Kunal Roy Kapur's Nautanki Sala is out… and it doesn't look like my cup of tea but maybe some of you will be interested.

My favorite part was if you click on to page 2 of the article, it's just a single line saying that this was a promotional piece. HONESTY IN MEDIA FTW! (That tag was suspiciously missing from this article, however.)

Ayshumann also says he wants to play REAL characters not heroes. As if it was easy or meaningless to be a hero… I hate this attitude. There's nothing wrong with preferring one type of cinema but why turn it into a value judgement? As if there something inherently more noble about a film like Vicky Donor just because he sang a song in it than one like Rowdy Rathore.

"I have Shoojit Sircar's film Hamara Bajaj' where I play a tourist who wants to be an actor. So that is also real. The best part is I am getting to play real characters. I don't want to try and become a hero or somebody performing out of scale. I would prefer to be real and subtle in films," he said.

Vidyut Jamwal. Wireless action stunts. Yes.

Salim Khan demands to get paid for the Zanjeer remake, as well he should! He wrote the damn screenplay!

Some small relief for Salman Khan in the Black Buck case. (I originally typed "bluck case," which sounds more accurate.)

And the first poster for Ram Leela which looks (and I mean this positively) like the cover of a bodice ripping romance novel. OH SLB PLEASE GIVE ME UNIRONIC ROMANCE! How long have we gone without a nice rom minus ANY embarrassed "com"?

YAY! Akshay doing stuff!

4 comments:

odadune said...

Heh, I'm actually looking forward to Special Chabbis, but I won't lie to you: watching him roll his shoulders and swagger is a nice change from the promos implying that he does nothing all movie but stride purposefully about in Totally Appropriate Business Attire. ;)

Moimeme said...

FG, did you read that First Post article that you linked to? It clearly gives the history of this political party that has got Viswaroopam banned. Specifically, this same party also agitated against Vijay's Thupakki and got several changes made. It's also the party that brought a mob of 2000 to vandalize the American Consulate in Chennai when the internet video "Innocence of Muslims" was being rioted against in several Muslim countries. But the point to note is that this is not a group of "protesters" rightly or wrongly upset about Kamal's film, but a well-established political party, flexing its muscles for political gain.

You have in the past been very mindful of not misunderstanding/misinterpreting Indian culture, which I fully appreciate. Now I think you need to realize that you may be misunderstanding Indian politics, and be careful on how and what conclusions you draw from news reports. Especially in Tamil Nadu, politics and cinema are inextricably intertwined, and that fact should never be forgotten. Again I urge you to read that First Post article, as it really does summarize the background quite well.

Incidentally, I have read elsewhere that the scenes this party is objecting to are that characters in the film are shown to be reading the Koran and performing prayers, and later engaging in terrorist activities. Since this part of the film occurs in Afghanistan during the time of the Taliban, what exactly is wrong or unfair about this depiction?

Filmi Girl said...

@moimeme I did not read it all that carefully, you're right! If that's the case, then that is pretty bad... I don't think I said it was unfair to ban the film but I am withholding judgement until I see it.

However, if the party did also protest against Thuppaki, that doesn't bode well...

Moimeme said...

@FG - maybe you didn't say it was unfair to ban the film, but I'll say it. :) As many commentators have noted, the film has been viewed and certified by the Censor Board in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai (for the Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil versions), and, it has been give the release certificate by the Central Board of Film Censors (which is the national body), and therefore is deemed fit to be exhibited in the entire country. Since one of the things the censor board is on the lookout for specifically is content that can lead to "religious disharmony", the question arises, what good is the authority of the Censor Board, if any two bit outfit can hold any film hostage for its own purposes? Also, Kamal Haasan has shown the film to a group of representatives from several Muslim organizations, and they had no objection as well. So what exactly is a filmmaker supposed to do to get his film released on time? How many hoops is he supposed to jump through, if anyone and everyone, with no authority, keeps setting up new ones? This stay by the court to ban the film from being shown in Tamil Nadu (its primary market) for two weeks, is obviously meant to kill its prospects, despite the judge in the case saying that it makes no difference if the film is released two weeks later, after the court has had time to view it. It has already been viewed by close to 50 people with both the responsibility and special concern to worry about its content, and passed all their scrutiny. This is utter idiocy, to put it politely. Those who want to make Indian cinema "on par with Hollywood" would do better to understand how freedom of expression is protected in the U.S., instead of figuring out how many swear words or bare bodies they can squeeze into their film.

Note from Filmi Girl:

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.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl