Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Zoya Akhtar has a naughty tongue; Players is still causing trouble in New Zealand; the Oscars; Bigg Boss; release dates; RAJINIKANTH; and MORE!

* Govinda's sister has passed away. My sympathies to Govinda and his family.

* O ho! New Zealand Film and Video Technicians Guild is unhappy about Indian productions bringing their own crews to work in New Zealand.

Techos’ president Alun Bollinger comments “John Key seemed blithely unaware, on the Mumbai set of Bollywood film 'Players' earlier this year, that this particular production had left New Zealand with damage to locations and thousands of dollars in outstanding debts. Mr Key chose this visit to posit the government's intention to make it easier – through changes to immigration policy – for such productions to come in to work in NZ.”

* This story has been percolating in the background for a little while - the film selected to represent India at the Oscars, once again, pleases nobody except a handful of media pundits like Baradwaj Rangan. Adaminte Makan Abu has been abandoned by the Malayalam film industry and the filmmakers are seeking help from Aamir Khan.

It worth quoting from the first piece linked to:

Why is Endhiran on this list? Why is the heavily derivative Guzaarish on this list? No One Killed Jessica is a fine film for an evening at the multiplex, but haven't Oscar voters seen these fight-the-System dramas a gazillion times? Why would they be impressed by yet another feisty variant? Aadukalam, I can understand, but considering the films the director himself listed at the end as his inspirations, can we expect the Oscar voter to be as impressed as we were?

Oh, GOD! Bhardwaj assumes that Oscar voters choose films based on his idea of artistic quality and originality which I can assure him is not the case. (Shakespeare in Love, anyone?) A film like No One Killed Jessica has a story that Oscar voters can easily understand and follow; you can't underestimate the importance of that. Fight the system dramas are eternally popular and win ALL THE TIME at the Oscars.

* See also: 3 Idiots: Big in China.

* Here is the infamous profile of Katrina Kaif, that alleges that she isn't Indian at all. I've heard that rumor, too, from a pretty reliable source. At this point, though, do audiences really care?

* By all accounts, Jimmy Shergill is amazing in Saheb Biwi aur Gangster. I cannot wait to see it. Next we'll see him in Dangerous Ishq with... Lolo!

"My journey has been slow and steady. I have always tried to find a balance, from a commercial set of films to unusual ones. Sometimes you get a lot of acclaim from the unusual films and I think that kind of films helped me grow as an actor," Jimmy told IANS.

* I'm actually looking forward to Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge. The kid making his debut apparently used to be a software engineer!

"I am a software engineer. My dad is an engineer and he was the role model for doing engineering was expected (of me). I was working with Wipro as a software system engineer and I was there for about five months when my brother who is in Army asked me take part in Grasim Mr India competition, in which I was the first runner up. This was the beginning of my journey in the industry," Nishant told PTI in an interview.

* Big Boss has started and I kind of want to start watching it. Thirteen women - including a serial killer's jailhouse wife, Miss Afghanistan who is BANNED in Afghanistan for wearing a bikini, and transgender activist Laxmi Tripathi - and that casting couch enthusiast... Shakti Kapoor.

* Ra.1 isn't content with taking over your news feed, now they want to merchandise.

"For Ra.One, back-to-school, miscellaneous and cool gadgets merchandise, we have let out the license to different companies. For instance, since G.One draws his energy from the sunlight and is environmentally friendly, we thought of a range of high-end solar charged power decks. Of course, there are the regular magnets, danglers and toys. G.One will be soon converted into a superhero for kids and we are trying to build a franchise property of the character. To increase its shelf life, we are also developing a free social game that will be integrated with a digital comic book. For women and kids who want to take it easy, there will be a casual and relaxed game with a miniature G.One," informs Shailja, adding, "We also plan to publish a shorter version of the digital comic book, have a simpler version of the game on DTH services and a game for feature phones."

Is this a threat? The words "franchise property" sent chills down my spine... and not in a good way.

* Oh... I know I promised to stay away from Ra.1 news but I can't help it!! This stuff is everywhere. Shahrukh on superheroes.

“Why should it be that it is only America that has superhero films? We (India) are the largest film-producing country in the world and I feel we need our own,” he said. “We need to make Harry Potters, Supermen and Spidermen here, just like we did earlier in films like Krrish or Drona.”

But does India NEED superheroes? When you have Amitabh and Rajinikanth, what is the point of some guy running around wearing red underwear and a giant S on his shirt? When Chulbul Pandey can send bad guys flying with a punch line and flex of the pecs, why do you need Batman? India already has HEROES, many of which are extremely SUPER. I liked Krrish and Kantiswamy as much as the next person - and probably liked Drona more than than most - but it didn't seem like they were filling some long, unrealized niche. If they had, there would have been MORE superhero films being made. Nothing succeeds like success, especially in Bollywood.

Shahrukh is trying to sell on Ra.1 national pride and identity, we'll have to see if the film warrants it.

* I can't wait to read the insider novel Bombay Duck Is Not A Fish.

The film sets are like hilarious comedy shows, Kanika says. "The energy is crazy, timelines are chaotic and people are is definitely an out-of-the-body experience. Very rigorous and very tiring...Sometimes we lose touch with reality when we shoot a movie. For even 100 days - depending on the length of the shoot - we eat and breathe movies."

* Ali Zafar to do action films?

* Mahesh Babu to try his hand in Bollywood? I feel like these stories circulate about EVERY South Indian hero these days. We'll see what happens...

* Sanjay Dutt to do a cameo in Student of the Year... he had better be playing a parent.

* The police were called to break up Deepika Padukone's housewarming party.

* Shooting dates for Rajini's Rana to be announced in December.

* Release dates for Housefull 2 and Rowdy Rathore are set for next spring.

* Is Zoya Akhtar teasing us...?

What is the weirdest thing that ever went into your mouth?

One girl’s weird is another girl’s delicacy...


Sal said...

Bardwaj is hardly a media pundit; he is perhaps the only film critic in India who writes consistently intelligent pieces about Indian cinema. Furthermore, I agree with him; the Academy likes its foreign films to have form as well as content. Most of the Best Foreign Fil winners in recent years have been very strong, often visually original films, and NOKJ, while a lot of fun, is too straightforward and "been-there" to actually get nominated. Above all, he is questioning the process of selection, not lambasting popular films. The Malayalam film is apparently brilliant, and just the sort of small but worthy effort that needs championing. I would have thought your ire would be directed at the Malayalam film industry which is allegedly ignoring the honor one of its own is getting (for a film that has already been feted and acknowledged as excellent). I really don't get your eye-rolling about his piece, FG.

Filmi Girl said...

@sal I'm eye-rolling at the prestige he is assigning to the Oscars. So many middling films get nominated and so many deserving films get overlooked. I didn't like the off-handed way he dismissed all those films as "unworthy" of the "honor" of being nominated. You can't downplay the factors of familiarity and expectation have on Oscar voters.

I think No One Killed Jessica would have had a great chance with Oscar voters - because of that familiarity of story, a Westernized style of filmmaking, and tons of socially liberal and social-media related themes, which Oscar voters love.

Why does he need to run down all the other films out this year in order to make a point?

I haven't seen the Malayalam film in question so I can't comment on it.

What the nominees get is exposure and, hopefully, an influx of money from more screenings. A film like No One Killed Jessica would surely find a nice spot on the art house film circuit here in the West, so I don't understand the need to dismiss it as "been there done that."

That was my point.

Sal said...

Bardwaj has actually written more than once about how the Oscars, or any set of awards for that matter, are totally not the barometer by which one would measure the quality of a film. Also, I didn't read his discussion of the other films as dismissal. I read it as a questioning of how those films ended up on the list of contenders. Guzaarish *is* derivative and Enthiran wouldn't have a chance, just like a similar big-budget, crowd-pleasing effects-heavy film from the west - Iron Man, for instance - wouldn't have a chance. At the end of the day, it's about how one reads it, I suppose.

Deewani said...

Happy Birthday Filmi Girl! I've been a longtime reader of your blog (and one who is usually too lazy to comment.)

But you should know that I adore your blog and your sense of humour. You are definetely my favorite source of information for all things Bolly and beautiful!

And great post, as usual. I love the Zoya Akhtar interview, she's one of the very few women in the industry with an actual personality that comes through in her interviews.

Have a wonderful year and stay fabulously filmi! :-)

Bollywood Ki Rani

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
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