Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday news plus bonus rant on the Batman Shootings!

I'm sure everybody has heard about the horrible event that took place in Aurora, Colorado where a gunman shot up a crowd of people at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. It's a really sad story but I've been frustrated with the response.

Nobody is talking about what really matters. The shooter was clearly mentally ill and, due to America's notoriously poor safety net for the mentally ill, he was allowed to sink further and further into psychosis until he snapped. And because of our nation's lax gun laws, he had no problem arming his psychosis with some powerful weapons.

THAT is the story of Aurora, Colorado. It's the same story of the Gabby Giffords shooting and the same story of the Virginia Tech shooting. We all expressed outrage and shock after those, too, but did nothing but posture.

What troubles me even more about this current murder is the very real potential for corporate interests to use this as an opportunity to install "Security Theater" at cineplexes and malls across the country. Already, we've seen that New York City put police at screenings of Batman - a fact that really infuriated me. While real, unglamourous crime goes on in poor parts of the city and real, complicated crime happens on Wall Street, New York's tax payer dollars are... providing security theater so Warner Brothers doesn't lose money?

It's outrageous and disgusting.

You guys know me and you know that I take my pop culture a little too seriously but there comes a time when the real and unreal need to decouple and this incident is one of them. This incident had NOTHING to do with Batman and everything to do with America's rotting core.


Bollywood news below the cut!

* The essays on Rajesh Khanna keep trickling out.

It’s strange how films speak to you when you are young. I didn’t watch Anand, I grew up with it. When my mother didn’t understand me, when my heart broke for the first time, when someone died, when I felt unloved, when I was low for no real reason, he was there. Always. If I have to die young, I would often think, it should be to lymphosarcoma of the intestine. I knew how to play that part. He had taught me.

* A lovely takedown of Oprah's visit to India.

So Oprah trooped into one of our vintage slums to meet a family – parents and three children – who live in a 10 square foot room. Now I’m not surprised that Oprah was surprised to see an entire family living in such tiny quarters. Although I’m sure she could find cramped ghettos in the States. What surprised me was the amazing lack of sensitivity to the children’s feelings or the feelings of the parents who’d opened up their home to her. All the children go to school, and were extremely well-mannered and seemed happy and quite carefree like children their age are meant to be. They didn’t seem to realise that their home was smaller than the homes of others. Or that their father didn’t earn as much as he could.

But not for long. Once Oprah got through with them, they must have committed seppuku.

* Here's a interesting little niggle - Yash Raj is demanding that distributers book as many screens for Untitled Yash Uncle and Shahrukh Revisiting Their Glory Days Project With a Couple of Young Girls as there were for Ek Tha Tiger... which leaves the film that most of your single screen viewers probably WANT to see - Son of Sardaar - hurting.

* Shashi Kapoor has cataract surgery.

* Ganesh Acharya choreographed Bebo's Halkat Jawani.

* I suspect Tusshar Kapoor is overthinking Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum.

"You can call it an alternate film. It is a comedy but with a different kind of humour. So this shock value is probably working to the advantage of the film. Some people tried to copy this formula, but they flopped," he said.

Wait... people tried to copy the formula of the film that hasn't been released yet?

Tusshy and Ritesh will be on Jhalak Dikhla Jaa .

* Cocktail's Diana Penty was in the running for Rockstar...

“As I am not from a film background, I had no prior experience of acting. So I started from the scratch and took training in acting, had script reading sessions, learnt different forms of dance, took diction and voice training. So basically, I got the best training in all the fields that was required to prepare for this role,” she says.

* Dara Singh's brother in law will replace him as the protagonist's father in Dream.

* Will Sujoy Ghosh be able to please Naseer and Amitabh with his script for Badla?


Dr. Dang said...

hi Filmy Girl
this is a question i asked on my facebook status update..there is a larger issue of some kind of unknowing lax attitude spurred from a prejudicial profiling that may be we are ignoring or not suspecting certain people. Here is my post and there is something else that I have noticed in the past 16 years but on that later.'How does someone in post 9/11 era manage to buy military grade ballistic neck cover. groin protector, A.K 47, other military grade stuff and go unnoticed. What happened to if u see something, say something or is that reserved for our perceived stereotypes.'

Filmi Girl said...

@Dr. Dang You are right about stereotypes in the US... It's very possible that if the shooter had been from the Middle East or South Asia somebody might have said something - but in that case I think the authorities and media would have tried to tie him to "global terrorism." That is another problem, I think.

One of the big problems with gun laws that came out with the "Fast Five" leaks is that our ATF agents cannot stop somebody from LEGALLY buying guns. We don't know yet how this shooter bought his guns but it's very likely he did it legally and, in that case, even if people had tried to say something like they thought he was troubled, there is nothing authorities could do, even if they wanted to.

Bombay Talkies said...

"This incident had NOTHING to do with Batman and everything to do with America's rotting core."


I've heard so many variations on "if the people in the theater had their own guns (and more Jesus) then everything would have been fine."


(The guns were legal, according to the Guardian.)

Totally unrelated but I had reason to Google the phrase "Avoid yaar" this morning and guess who's wearing the Google Crown of Win on that one? ;)

Filmi Girl said...

@bombay talkies The responses to this incident have been 99% delusional... what is wrong with this country?

And LOL! That is hilarious. Queen of AVOID YAAR! :D

Chrism929 said...

Brilliant rant! Thank you.

Dr. Dang said...

hi Filmi girl..yes thats what i thought. Now here is the touchy other issue that I have observed for the past 16 years. Read carefully before commenting. We all know that terrorists tend to be overwhelmingly from the islamic faith and there has always been call to the muslim community to do some introspection on this and rightfully so. Similarly I have noticed that overwhelmingly with few exceptions these kind of lone insane massacres tend to be committed by while males. Please note not white females, not black men (there are exceptions), not chinese men (there are exceptions), not indian men but yes a huge majority of them are white men with few exceptions. Do you think its time for white community as a whole to ask what is wrong with their men ?

Moimeme said...

Re the Colorado shootings: I went to India a few years ago - in fact right after the Mumbai terror attacks - and one thing that completely blew my mind was that every shopping center, every theater*, heck, every restaurant, had a metal detector that you had to walk through. So I don't think that installing a metal detector at theaters is necessarily to protect Warner brothers, but to protect the attending audience and staff of the theater.

Now, what is really interesting/ironical, which I learned yesterday in various news accounts is that Colorado is already a "conceal and carry" state -- but, the theater is a "gun free zone" (as was Virginia Tech). So the real question to my mind is, how did someone in such a getup not get noticed in a "gun free zone"? Metal detectors would certainly have helped to pick him out. But, on the other hand, guns are not the only way to create havoc.

*At the big multiplex theaters I went to, you not only had to walk through the metal detector, but also get frisked and have your purse examined by a security officer.

(And, oh, yes, some famous temples I visited (high on the tourist list) also had metal detectors.)

Thelondongirl said...

too bloody right Dr. Dang. that however will never happen, because then it becomes a blame game of who's worse, etc. blacks v whites, christians v muslims. there is never an owning up. though i'm sure in some intellectual circles there are momentary discussions over statistics and heated debates, but does it just become a moment to practice semantics or to effect real change unlikely.

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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