Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday Post: On Par With Hollywood Edition

I actually was planning on skipping an update post today because I have a ton of errands and things to do today but a quick browse through the day's news changed my mind.

There are some pretty epic East Meets West stories worth pointing out.

First of all, Forbes reports on Spielberg's trip to India and shares some interesting tidbits I didn't see elsewhere.

The partnership with Reliance which has so far involved a cash infusion of $525 million by Ambani, has proved to be a boon for DreamWorks after it parted ways with Paramount. The two sides first met in Cannes and inked the deal after a year of tough negotiations. In 2009, Reliance Entertainment paid $325 million for a 50% stake. Last year, the Indian company forked out a further $200 million to fund the studio.

In other words, this trip of Spielberg's was Anil Ambani's way of showing that Spielberg - and the Bollywood directors who came to kowtow before him - are just his dancing monkeys. I almost can't decide which I find more embarrassing, that Anil Ambani is pushing so hard to be "on par with Hollywood" despite the fact that HE is the one holding the purse strings or all the directors who showed up to kowtow in front of Spielberg, as if he is some great visionary instead of just a guy who excels at making movies that please the contemporary American middlebrow palate.

And now everybody is falling over themselves because this guy might make a movie about the India-Pakistan conflict… to be "adapted" from a Hollywood film? Great. Everybody get ready for some daddy issues and oversimplification of complex politics presented in a way that makes the audience think they know something. You know, like Lincoln.

I'll mostly interested in watching Irrfan Khan and Anil Kapoor campaigning so hard for a role that they sprain something because if this DOES take place you can bet on two things.

a) the leads will probably be either American or British.

b) there is going to be an explosion… of poorly researched articles by Western entertainment journalists talking about the border.

----

Our second Holly-Bolly story is Knock Out losing a copyright case.

It seems Hollywood has finally managed to smack down unauthorized remakes. While I loathe American copyright law, I'm actually kind of glad about this because it will mean remake kings will have to turn to different sources for material… like Sunny Deol's upcoming Soviet ripoff film.

I'll be waiting for a Bollywood version of one of my favorite Soviet films - Brilliantovaya ruka. It would be a great film for Ranvir Shorey!

----

Frieda "International Icon Only in Her Own Mind" Pinto and Irrfan "Needs A Separate Passport For His Ego" Khan vomited forth some hilariously clueless things at the India Today Conclave.

Both felt that while Bollywood was interested in marketing and making it big, Hollywood looked more at developing interesting offbeat characters.

Pardon me for a moment… *ROFLING FOREVER*

----

And Jeffrey Archer, hack writer of airport novels, is getting asked his opinion on Bollywood for some reason.

You're quite the Indophile. Any Bollywood films you've watched?

I loved Lagaan, I thought it was very well made. I read in the newspapers that Steven Spielberghad praised 3 idiots, and now I've got myself a copy of the film, and I intend to watch it soon. But what I find ridiculous about your films is how a group of people, without any provocation or reason, break into a dance routine. This senseless prancing about baffles me.

Almost as much as the never ending cliffhangers and HITLER IS ALIVE IN ARGENTINA or whatever in Jeffrey Archer's books baffle me.

Tomato-toMahto.

----

Moving on, The Globe and Mail has a thorough report on the Times of India Film Awards.

However, a government bureaucrat, familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Times of India event was chosen over the International Indian event, “because the timing was more applicable for the government’s agenda. They didn’t want to have an event that was after the election.“

You know, for all that recent Bollywood films want to connect with diaspora audiences's money, I don't think that Bollywood really understands or cares about issues that I hear friends and acquaintances talking about. For example, that the TOI would so blatantly be willing participants in a boondoggle event like this, an event that was planned to pander to the South Asian community - as if their votes could be bought for the cost of bringing Dia Mirza and a handful of B and C-listers to Vancouver - and an event that is guaranteed to bring backlash against the South Asian community.

I'll be very curious to see who actually turns up to this thing.

----

Wow... um... kind of negative post today. Sorry, guys! To make up for it, please have this:

VIDYUT JAMWAL DOING STUFF!!! YAY! Really, I love movies, I do! It's just that my bullshit tolerance meter keeps creeping lower and lower and lower the longer I read the filmi trade papers.

11 comments:

Moimeme said...

Re TOIFA, their "brand ambassador" is Shahrukh Khan, and he was scheduled to attend the show in Vancouver, at least before all the political fallout started.

Filmi Girl said...

@moimeme I wasn't too harsh, was I? Well, we all know King Khan is happy to play any venue for cash (doesn't he still do weddings, too?) so we'll have to see if the politics are hot enough to make him sit this one out.

Moimeme said...

LOL, FG, I would have been harsher. :) I'm absolutely revolted at the thought of Spielberg taking on a Partition theme for his supposed film. I hope it never happens.

Yes, SRK still does weddings, albeit only of the extremely rich. He may not be aware of the politics of the TOIFA. As you've noted, nothing about that subject is being reported in India. If he does come to know, he may or may not choose to show up. I think he probably will come, since he's contractually obligated, and he's quite diligent about that kind of thing. Unless the whole thing blows up in the BC government's face and gets canceled, he'll probably be there, along with a few other A listers (maybe Priyanka).

Actually what this shows is how totally clueless the BC Premier is. She had a much better chance getting out the "South Asian" vote (most of whom are Punjabis) if she'd invited the Deol family, or at least Akshay Kumar. :)

Jess said...

Will Akshay go? Isn't he like the unofficial mayor of Vancouver? Or it might be Toronto.

I think I must watch Commando, but I have a feeling I will want to skip any scene without Vidyut in it. WOW

Divya said...

Hi FG, MoiMeme

Why would it be so terrible for Spielberg to make a movie on the Partition. He has been accused of oversimplification and emotional manipulation with his movies, but to an Indian audience melodrama and emotional manipulation isn't a bad thing, why should it be. We definitely don't have a problem with movies that try and make you feel something.

As for oversimplification, the conflict is complex enough that anyone can just present their view point on it. There have been tons of movies made on the subject. Why can't Spielberg add his own. Whatever he does with the subject, he is going to offend someone :)

Filmi Girl said...

@moimeme :) I really hope this Spielberg movie is just hot air. I dread the tripe that would pass for a Hollywood-ization of the Partition story.

And I agree that SRK will definitely show up unless there is a backlash in India. Excellent point about the cluelessness. The TOIFA didn't even bother to schedule events in the South Asian suburb, if I was reading correctly. And LOL! Yes, she could have scheulded a Deol Family concert for much cheaper than 11 million dollars. XDDD

@Jess I forget... I think he was Brand Ambassador for Canada in general. Akshay Kumar-nagar... Toronto? Vancouver? I'll try to Google it.

Filmi Girl said...

@Divya

Well, personally, I think the issue is less Spielberg's sentimentality than the fact that he gets put on a pedestal as a some sort of genius filmmaker when he is not. This inferiority complex towards Hollywood just gets worse and worse...

And I just have a sinking feeling that Spielberg doesn't have enough knowledge of the issues and history to have any viewpoint, let alone one biased in any direction. The result would probably be like the dreadful Trishna, an English narrative plunked down over a Indian setting, highhandedly tried to comment on Indian society about which the director knows nothing.

It's not like I'm some great expert on India or anything either but then I'm not attempting to make a film on Partition. ;PP

Divya said...

FG,

Fair enough. I like him, his movies to me are more engaging than lots of the high brow stuff that Hollywood awards. I suppose my tastes are middlebrow. I don't think the movie will happen though, a movie on the partition would be of very little interest to the rest of the world, so the chances of Spielberg making it are slim to none.

CoffeeQueen said...

"She had a much better chance getting out the "South Asian" vote (most of whom are Punjabis) if she'd invited the Deol family"

LOLOLOL Funny and SO true!!!!

Divya said...

Also I agree about the inferiority complex. Bollywood would lose their collective minds if a movie like that took off. We would have endless praise and endless comments about how Bollywood has arrived on the global scene(it already had, the Middle East and large swathes of Asia already loved us in the 70's and 80's) .Spielberg would be treated like the second coming. That would definitely get on my nerves.

Filmi Girl said...

@CoffeeQueen She doesn't mince words. XDDD

@Divya I totally get where you are coming from. :) There is nothing wrong with liking Spielberg - he's not to my taste but we're all different.

Your second comment that hits the nail on the head about why this would be really annoying (for all of us!!)

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