Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
01 October 2010

I Love ‘Endhiran’…Rajni Saar

Rajni Saar: The Big Daddy of Entertainers!

Review of Endhiran'Endhiran', directed by Shankar, is a Rajnikanth Express that transports you to a world you can't envision.


Rajnikanth's feats are legendary by now. In 'Endhiran', he goes a step further. The Robot in 'Endhiran' not only follows orders of his creator, but also cooks, fights, romances and wonder of wonders, has a lengthy conversation with a mosquito and scan loads of books/magazines and an entire telephone directory in a second. Yes, you read it right!

That's not all, this Robot is Superman + Spiderman + Terminator + Godzilla, all rolled into one. There's more to this Robot. It can replicate itself, wage a vicious battle, turn into an Anaconda or a monster ball and wipe off an entire army. Whew! Known for larger than life canvas, 'Endhiran' is Shankar's most expensive and if we may say so, his most imaginative film thus far. And who better than Rajnikanth for the pivotal role!

Final word? A Rajnikanth film is an event and this combo's [Shankar - Rajnikanth] new outing 'Endhiran' is sure to strike like Tsunami. Let us make it short-n-sweet. If you miss 'Endhiran', it's YOUR loss!

Review of Endhiran

Location: Chennai 2010. Mission: Creating a robot Chitti. Purpose: To help the society. Development time: 10 years. Special Features: A human who is not born, but is created. He can dance, sing, fight, is water and fire resistant. He can do all that a human can and more. He feeds on electricity. He takes instructions literally. Where a human can lie to save himself, this robot cannot lie.

Where he has a razor sharp memory and can memorize an entire telephone directory by just running through the pages, he cannot understand human emotions. Dr. Vasi upgrades Chitti's processor and simulates human emotions without realizing the repercussions. Chitti gets transformed. He can now feel and the first feeling that he discovers is Love. Will this love come in the way of Dr. Vasi's purpose of creating Chitti? Will Dr. Vasi's own creation destroy him?

A title like 'Endhiran' automatically puts tremendous responsibility and pressure on the director's shoulders. And 'Endhiran' is not merely a display of VFX, but it also has soul, a story to tell. At first, 'Endhiran' comes across as a clash between the virtuous [Rajnikanth] and wicked [Danny Denzongpa]. But 'Endhiran' changes gears in its post-interval portions as the focus shifts to the creator [Rajnikanth] and his creation [Rajnikanth].

Review of Endhiran

It's a Rajnikanth film and it would be incomplete if his loyal fans don't get to watch his stylish actions and feats. Thankfully, 'Endhiran' showcases it all. He can glide on the railway tracks, run horizontally on a moving train, transform into an Anaconda, can swallow helicopters and even fire at people with his fingers, without using a pistol. These are truly clap-trap moments!

Even otherwise, the screenplay is really well penned and absorbing. While the film is a super ride from start to end, it's the penultimate 25 minutes that leaves you awe-struck and speechless. You can't imagine a Hindi film having such an out of the world climax.

Only thing, Shankar could've controlled the length of the film. It could've been shorter by at least 10 to 15 minutes, which includes doing away with a song or two. Of course, like all Shankar movies, the songs are filmed most imaginatively on exotic locales, but what's the point of having songs if they act as speed breakers?

Review of Endhiran

That Shankar ranks amongst India's best directors is well known by now and 'Endhiran' only cements the fact. His vision and execution of the difficult subject deserves the highest praise, in fact distinction marks. He not only dreams big, but the outcome is incredible too. A.R. Rahman's music doesn't compliment the content of the film, but like we pointed out earlier, every song has been filmed exquisitely. The action and chase sequences are outstanding [Yuen Woo Ping, action choreographer in the 'Matrix' and 'Kill Bill' sequels, was the stunt coordinator]. Visual effects are spectacular [Stan Winston Studio, the studio behind JURASSIC PARK, PREDATOR, TERMINATOR, IRON MAN, AVATAR, provided the animatronics technology]. Cinematography captures the grand production values with precision. The locations of Austria, Machu Picchu in Peru, U.S.A. and Brazil only enhance the visual appeal of the film. The sets are mind-blowing. Dubbing is near-perfect.

'Endhiran' is a Rajnikanth show from start to end. And no other actor, not from Bollywood at least, would be able to do what he does with such amazing ease. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looks stunning and acts most convincingly. Danny Denzongpa is efficient, as always. The remaining actors enact their parts well.

On the whole, 'Endhiran' is a crowd-pleasing and hugely mass appealing tale of android revolution with a thrilling plot, rich and imaginative screenplay, super action, astounding effects and most importantly, Rajnikanth, who is the soul of the film.

Source: Bollywood Hungama

24 July 2010

'Inception': 9 Surprising Sleep Facts From the Movie

"Am I a man dreaming I'm a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming I'm a man?" Chuang Tzu asked 2,300 years ago. In Christopher Nolan's stylish sleep thriller "Inception" he answers we're both -- butterfly and man.

Yet the science behind Inception is more surreal than the film, whose lovingly layered plot still underplays the wonderfully weird wildness of dreams. So, dream thief Mr. Cobb, what about your job is science fiction and what's science?

(Spoiler alert: plot elements are revealed)

Is Time Altered In Our Dreams?

Does time speed up in dreams so that 10 minutes "outside" becomes an hour during the dream? Yes, but not like in the movie, where time geometrically and precisely expands with the dream's depth. We can do far more. In real dreams infinite time may occur within seconds of "outside" time.

What Kinds Of Dream States Occur In Inception?

Not much you or I might recognize. In Inception, people are immediately sedated into designer dreams that appear to be REM sleep. However, virtually all present-day sedatives suppress REM, while Inception's designer drugs also negate real REM effects.

Is Constructing Dreams Out Of One's Memories Dangerous?

No, just necessary. REM sleep is a critical driver of brain development, and literally rebuilds the brain. As movie plots are constructed out of old movies, so does REM and other stages of sleep remix new information with old memories, forming a huge part of our identity. Just like in science fiction movies, we wake up each morning with different memories than the person who went to sleep.

Do The Layer After Layer Of Dreams Seen In Inception Happen In Normal People?

Yes. It is not uncommon for people to dream themselves inside another dream. In fact, sorting it out may become as complicated as understanding Inception's plot.

Can Someone Enter Into Another's Dream And Change It?

Scientifically, no. Not even close, unless you're a Tibetan dream yogi or the local shaman.

Is It Impossible To Place Content Into Someone Else's Dream?

No. This happens all the time -- consciously. Lucid dreamers do it with great relish, and I'll show you a way you can do it, too, at the end of this piece.

Can People Become Addicted To Their Dreams?

Can people become addicted to their dreams? The answer is no, athough some psychotics and a few political commentators can't tell the difference between dreams and reality.

Are The Matrix-esque Scenes Of Negating Gravity Realistic?

Yes. In REM dreams, position sense gets turned off, and we can and do go anywhere in space and time -- one reason 99 percent of people fly in their dreams.

Can The Lucid Dreaming Heroes Of "Inception" Take Over The Dreams Of Others?

No. However, they can take over and control their own. In fact, director-writer Nolan has been lucid dreaming since he was 16.

What Can You Do With Your Dreams?

Plenty -- you can pre-dream. Try this:
1. Write down an old, favorite dream or experience in three to four sentences.
2. Add two sentences that remake that dream's plot you the way you want.
3. Visualize the new dream three to four times a day a minute each time.
4. When you wake, record your dreams.

19 July 2010

A Geography Lesson

By Nandini Ramnath

Lamhaa is only the latest film to remind us that the Kashmir problem demands the attention of the film-going public
India has no shortage of conflict zones. Almost every state in the North-East, especially Manipur, continues to challenge Delhi’s authority. Although Punjab has put the horrific 1980s behind it, members of the Babbar Khalsa militant outfit continue to emerge out of the state’s mustard fields at periodic intervals (perhaps their peace has been disturbed by the number of Bollywood crews that have descended on the place). The Maoists are here, there and everywhere. Yet Bollywood remains most worried about the fate of Jammu and Kashmir. Lamhaa is only the latest film to remind us that the Kashmir problem demands the attention of the film-going public.

The renewed surge of police firing and stone pelting in Kashmir has given Lamhaa the kind of publicity that cannot be bought. However, film-makers don’t seem as exercised about Manipur, home to regular blockades, extra-judicial killings, and one of the most searing protests ever captured by cameras in the history of independent India. On 11 July 2004, 32-year-old Thangjam Manorama was gangraped, mutilated and killed, and the evidence pointed to an Assam Rifles unit. On 15 July, 12 women marched under the banner “Mothers of Manipur” and stood naked for hours outside the headquarters of the Assam Rifles in Kangla Fort screaming “Indian Army come rape us”. Few national newspapers and magazines had the guts to print the photographs. Not even the most imaginative screenplay writer could have come up with such fierce and tragic imagery.

The North-East has always been a foreign land whose inhabitants are racially and culturally removed from the rest of India. A favourite past-time during summer holidays used to be the “Guess the capital of the state” game. Even class-topping cousins would invariably confuse Aizawl for Kohima and Shillong for Gangtok. An entire chunk of the Indian map fell off from view so long ago that it requires serious political commitment to rediscover it. Besides, the problems of states such as Nagaland and Manipur are so complex and involve so many parties and tribes that only historians and journalists can be relied upon to make sense of the situation. Kashmir, despite harbouring several Hurriyat Party members with similar appearances and long-winded names, is far easier to comprehend.

A few film-makers have dared to shift the gaze away from Kashmir. Kanika Verma’s Dansh (2005), based on Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, explored militancy and ceasefire efforts in Mizoram. However, Verma inexplicably got Kay Kay Menon, Aditya Srivastava and Sonali Kulkarni to play Mizos. Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se, about the Assam insurgency, at least had Manisha Koirala play a suicide bomber. Assam has produced some fine actors on the stage and in the movies (Seema Biswas, Adil Hussain), but North-Eastern faces are still too exotic to be treated on a par with the rest of India.

Kashmir will always be deemed as the prickliest thorn in the side of the Indian state, especially because India has gone to war with Pakistan over Kashmir. Besides, nothing stirs the soul more than a paradise lost. Kashmir provides ready contrasts of beauty and brutality. A soldier’s protruding gun in the foreground, a gaggle of rosy-cheeked children in the background. Shimmering mountains sheltering Kalashnikov-wielding insurgents. The state’s sad journey from tourism to terrorism will never stop inspiring headlines, poems, documentaries and movies. If Kashmir ki Kali reminds us of what we once had unfettered access to, Roja warns us of what we have lost. If there is a shooting paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.

Lamhaa released in theatres on Friday.

**Nandini Ramnath is a film critic with Time Out Mumbai
16 July 2010

SNEAK PEEK: Angelina Jolie in 'Salt'

Check out the stills of the Hollywood flick 'Salt'. Directed by Philip Noyce the film stars Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor

The accused?
Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, accused of being a KGB sleeper agent, on the run to try to clear her name.

Liev Schreiber
Ted Winter, Salt's friend and colleague.

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Peabody, a young CIA agent who works for Winter and is mentored by Salt

Jolie spent time training before filming to perform a lot of her stunts herself.

On May 29, 2009, filming was temporarily halted after Jolie suffered a minor head injury during filming an action scene. She was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure and was released the same day with no life-threatening injuries.

Angelina replaces Tom Cruise
While Tom Cruise was initially secured for the lead, he was unable to commit to the role because of commitments to other projects, and the script was ultimately rewritten for Jolie.

Innocent until proven Guilty
In the film, Angelina's loyalty is tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. She goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture.

The doubts
Salt's efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives.

Who is Salt?
As the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: 'Who is Salt?'

The film is all set to release on July 23, 2010

24 June 2010

China's Sexual Revolution

By Grace Wong

Sexual revolution: A scene from "Red Light Revolution," a Mandarin-language comedy about sex toy shops in China.

Sexual revolution: A scene from "Red Light Revolution," a Mandarin-language comedy about sex toy shops in China.


  • China's sexual revolution has resulted in a plethora of sex stores
  • "Red Light Revolution" is a comedy about a Beijinger who sets up such a shop
  • Director aims to release film in China and around the world before the end of the year
  • He calls the Mandarin-language film China's first sex shop comedy

Now that he has finished filming his latest movie, director Sam Voutas doesn't know what to do with the boxes and boxes of sex toys he has accumulated during the course of filming.

"The first thing I've got to decide is what to do with all the toys. I'm looking forward to getting them out of my apartment," he told CNN recently.

Let's back up.

The film in question is not pornography, but a Mandarin-language comedy about China's adult sex shops. "Red Light Revolution" tells the story of a down-and-out Beijinger who decides to open a sex toy store in his neighborhood.

When Australian-born Voutas, who did double duty as writer and director, moved to China five years ago, he was stunned to find sex stores "on every corner."

"This was surprising from a Western perspective, something I hadn't seen on TV and I wanted to pursue that," he recounted.

The result is a film -- Voutas calls it China's first sex shop comedy -- that shows a side of China that, he said, rarely gets covered in the mainstream media.

Attitudes towards sex have been liberalizing since China legalized adult sex shops in the early 1990s; just look at the booming manufacture of erotic toys and the scores of shops that stock them, said Voutas.

"Everybody is on the internet and sex is one of the things people talk about on blogs and Chinese websites," he said.

But it is still a sensitive topic, one that reflects "tradition colliding with modern commercial interests," Voutas explained.

Older generations are unlikely to speak frankly about sex, he said, noting that the lead actress in "Red Light Revolution" chose not to tell her parents the premise of the movie.

And even though they are common, there is a stigma associated with frequenting or operating stores that stock blow-up dolls, supplements and other sex aids.

That is what this (film) is about -- how you balance traditional values with what you want to do.
--Sam Voutas, director of "Red Light Revolution"

"People who open these shops are taking a risk -- what will their parents and friends think? The concept of face is important.

"That is what this (film) is about -- how you balance traditional values with what you want to do," Voutas said.

Despite its provocative topic, Voutas said the film, which was shot in China, received a surprising amount of local support.

The cast, who have acted in quite big movies in China, including "Mao's Last Dancer" and "The City of Life and Death," were keen to be involved, he said.

One of China's biggest adult shop chains, no doubt seeking an opportunity for publicity, also backed the film, providing products that were used in the film.

The fact that local actors and actresses wanted to work on the film is a sign of changing sexual attitudes in China, Voutas said.

Although, he noted, using humor allowed him to broach the topic in a more innocuous manner. A personal story about an everyday guy, "Red Light Revolution" is in the style of a Woody Allen film, addressing sex more through dialogue rather than graphic displays, he said.

The fact it is a comedy may also help when it comes to getting the film released in China, where movies are subject to strict censorship control.

Voutas said he most likely will have to make a separate version for authorities, one that cuts select shots of imagery or dubs over explicit language.

That is a common occurrence in China, he said, pointing out that a modified version of Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" was released in the country.

Voutas, also the director of documentary "Shanghai Bride" and an actor, started writing the screenplay for "Red Light Revolution" in 2006.

It was nominated for Best Unproduced Screenplay at Australia's Inside Film Awards in 2008, which gave him the impetus to get the movie made.

Voutas believes the comedy, which is currently in post production and which he wants to release before the end of the year, has universal appeal.

It is set in China and the cast speaks in colloquial Mandarin. That is likely to make it fresh for Chinese audiences, who "certainly haven't seen anything like this," he said.

At the same time, he added, he wrote the screenplay with a Western sensibility and believes it will resonate with a Western sense of humor.

"I hope audiences will say it's an entertaining picture and at the same time come away from it saying they haven't seen a Chinese movie like that before," he said.

[ via CNN ]

15 June 2010

'Karate Kid' Crushes 'A-Team' In Battle Of The Remakes Angeles, Jun 15 : "The Karate Kid" has won a 1980s showdown at the box office against "The A-Team."

Sony's remake of 1984's "The Karate Kid" debuted at No. 1 for the weekend with a whopping $56 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The big-screen adaptation of the 1980s TV series "The A-Team" came in at less than half that, the 20th Century Fox release opening in second place with $26 million.

After three weekends at No. 1, DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek Forever After" slipped to No. 3 with $15.8 million. The animated hit raised its domestic haul to $210.1 million, becoming the fourth movie released this year to top $200 million.

With a relatively modest production budget of $40 million, "The Karate Kid" far exceeded the studio's expectations. Early on, Sony executives would have been happy if the movie opened to half its $56 million debut weekend, said Rory Bruer, the studio's head of distribution.

Those expectations began to rise once the studio realized it had a crowd-pleaser on its hands, Bruer said.

"It's just an unmitigated grand slam hit," said Bruer, who also worked on distribution for the 1984 version. "I loved the original `Karate Kid,' but they took this beloved title, and they made it relevant, fresh and absolutely exciting."

The big opening for "The Karate Kid" gave Hollywood a boost after a weak start to the summer season. "Iron Man 2" opened big the first weekend in May, but the box office has lagged since then.

According to box-office tracker, overall revenues came in at $153 million, up 11 percent from the same weekend last year, when "The Hangover" led with $32.8 million.

"The Karate Kid" stars Jaden Smith as an American boy who moves with his mom to China, where he takes on a bully under the guidance of an unassuming martial-arts master (Jackie Chan).

Story continues below

With his first lead role, 11-year-old Smith had an opening weekend that stacked up well against the track record of his superstar father, Will Smith, who has had only two debuts bigger than "The Karate Kid" ("I Am Legend" at $77.2 million and "Hancock" at $62.6 million). Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are producers on "The Karate Kid."

"It's like, `Who's the biggest star now, dad?'" said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for "It proves the box-office apple doesn't fall far from the money tree in that household."

"The A-Team" features Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel in a tale of former Army Rangers trying to clear their names after they are framed for a crime they did not commit.

Chris Aronson, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox, said the momentum of a strong weekend should benefit "The A-Team," which received high marks in exit polls from the under-25 crowd.

"It's good that the industry finally has an up weekend, so it's nice to be a part of that," Aronson said. "We're very optimistic that we're now in an upswing in the business and that we're going to play and play as our word of mouth spreads."

Hollywood looks to build on its momentum next weekend as Pixar Animation goes back to its roots with "Toy Story 3," the latest sequel to the 1995 hit that was the first feature-length computer-animated film.

In limited release, IFC Films' documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" opened strongly with $171,500 in seven theaters, for an average of $24,500 per cinema. That compared to a $15,288 average in 3,663 theaters for "The Karate Kid."

Also debuting well in limited release was Roadside Attractions' drama "Winter's Bone," which took in $87,000 in four theaters for a $21,750 average. The top dramatic prize winner at January's Sundance Film Festival, "Winter's Bone" stars Jennifer Lawrence as a teenager desperately searching for her missing father in the backwoods crime culture of the Ozark Mountains.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "The Karate Kid," $56 million.

2. "The A-Team," $26 million.

3. "Shrek Forever After," $15.8 million.

4. "Get Him to the Greek," $10.1 million.

5. "Killers," $8.2 million.

6. "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," $6.6 million.

7. "Marmaduke," $6 million.

8. "Sex and the City 2," $5.5 million.

9. "Iron Man 2," $4.6 million.

10. "Splice," $2.9 million.

[via Hollywood ]
09 June 2010

Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun to be Played by Indian Actors in Bollywood Film

Adolf Hitler would be turning in his grave – if he had one.

He is about to be played by an Indian actor in a Bollywood movie about his love life.

The film, called ‘Dear Friend Hitler’, will concentrate on the Fuhrer’s relationships in the last days of his life, particularly that with his mistress Eva Braun.

Cast: Indian Bollywood actors Anupam Kher and Neha Dhupia are to play the Fuhrer and Eva Braun in the new film
Cast: Indian Bollywood actors Anupam Kher and Neha Dhupia are to play the Fuhrer and Eva Braun in the new film

Miss Braun – who Hitler married in a brief civil ceremony just hours before they killed themselves on April 30, 1945 – will be played by Neha Dhupia, a former Miss India.

Anupam Kher, who once played Ghandi in a celebrated TV series screened on the sub-continent, said he is ‘really looking forward’ to playing Hitler.

‘I think he's one of the most interesting characters of our times,’ he said.

‘It will be a unique opportunity to play such a different role. Like Ben Kingsley played Gandhi, I will be playing Hitler.

‘I had played Gandhi on a TV show years back, but this would be the first historical role for a movie.

Secret relationship: Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler married just 40 hours before killing themselves
Secret relationship: Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler married just 40 hours before killing themselves

‘I have watched a couple of movies on Hitler and am also reading some books. The film is being made on a really large scale and it's important I try and read up as much as possible.

‘For me, he‘s just another character and I approach it like that. I have played so many negative roles in my lifetime, and all have just been different characters for me.’

Both main characters are planning to head to Germany for research before filming starts this summer.

Reports have suggested that the script includes a scene where Hitler and Miss Braun are in bed – although this has not been confirmed.

Their relationship was kept a secret from the German public until after the Second World War.

Rakesh Ranjan Kumar, director of Dear Friend Hitler, said about his film: ‘It will be a romance but not in the typical sense.’

He told The Times: ‘As a leader he was successful. I want to show why did he lose as a human being. What were the problems, what were the issues, what were his intentions?’

The movie will not feature musical routines.

Although the Nazi swastika was taken from an ancient Hindu symbol, Hitler looked down on non-whites as inferior. 

But he lavished praise on Indians during the war as he sought to woo them away from loyalty to their British masters.

The bodies of Hitler and Miss Braun were burned but the remains discovered by the Russians.

In an odyssey spanning many graves and years, they were finally disinterred one last time by Russian secret agents in 1970 from a military base in Magdeburg, burned and the remains scattered in a small river.

[ via Dailymail ]

22 April 2010

Distant Rumblings From Nagaland

National award winners Distant Rumblings & Antaheen part of film fest

A poster of Antaheen

Kohima, Apr 22 : The Indian Panorama Film Festival 2010 will begin here from Friday. The three-day event is being jointly organized by the Nagaland government and the Directorate of Film Festivals, Union ministry of information and broadcasting.

Of the 14 films to be screened, four are from the Northeast, including three from Nagaland.

Apart from Ilisa Amagi Mahao which is a Manipuri film directed by Ningthouja Lancha, the three other films of the region — My Brother Jack, directed by Kivini Shohe, World War II as I Remember directed by Vikeyielienuo Chielie and Metevino Sakhrie and Distant Rumblings by Baniprakash Das — are from Nagaland.

Das said Distant Rumblings, a documentary, includes scenes of real incidents of World War II in Kohima and Manipur.

“It all happened when we (I and Rongsenkala, the producer) saw a wreckage hanging from a tree at Noklak. We were told that it was a World War II wreckage.”

Thus began a research work and it took them three years to make the documentary of 22 minutes and 22 seconds. During the course of the research, they met many war veterans and their relatives who shared with them the agony they had faced during the war.

Distant Rumblings bagged the National Award for the best investigative film and also the Karim Nagar Jurist Special Mention Award. The film was screened at the prestigious Mumbai International Film Festival, Kerela International Film Festival, Germany, Paris and the Indian Panorama Film Festival Goa. The film will be screened on Friday at the State Academy Hall, Kohima, after the inaugural function at 3:30pm.

Other films to be screened are Vithal, a Marathi film, The First Leap, an English film directed by Haobam Pawan Kumar, Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye (Hindi), Land Gold Women (English and Urdu), Kutty Srank, Malayalam, Ekti Kaktaliya Golpo (Bengali), The Prince and the Crown of Stone (English), Antaheen (Bengali) and Gabhricha Paus (Marathi).

These films will depict the region’s society and economy.

Bhupendra Kainthola, director, Indian Panorama, the Directorate of Film Festivals, said the aim of the film festival here was to provide the Naga people the opportunity of watching good movies.

“This is going to be a very exciting for the people of Kohima,” Kainthola said.

A. Lassa, the additional director general of field publicity, government of India, said each film was unique and she was all praise for the team of Distant Rumblings .

She said the objective of the film festival is to forge a bond between the Northeast and the rest of the country.

“Cinemas create an emotional integration too,” she said, adding the films would have socio-economic themes. “The door of opportunity is opened for the Naga people,” she said.

“I am sure there will be some people to make films both documentary and feature films after this festival,” Kainthola said, adding the Indian Panorama had given ample opportunities to the filmmakers and would continue to encourage the people.

Every year there would be an Indian Panorama Film Festival in the Northeast, he said.

At the inaugural programme, R. Tohanba, parliamentary secretary for information and public relations, economic and statistics, will be present to watch Distant Rumblings and Dev D, a Hindi film.

[ via The Telegraph India]

24 March 2010

View From The Margins

By Sangeetha Devi Dundoo

Passing by Film-maker Kavita Joshi's images of Manipur disturb and engage viewers

In focus Documentary film-maker Kavita Joshi

Manipur is no strange land for documentary film-maker Kavita Joshi. Though based in Delhi, she grew familiar with Manipur while making a film, Some Roots Grow Upwards. The documentary, based on the works of Manipuri theatre director Ratan Thiyam, required her to travel to the state frequently.

Voices of women

This familiarity with Manipur made her relate to the plight of Manipuri women when news of trouble broke out with the custodial killing of Manorama Devi and the naked protest by the mothers of Manipur. “Many video clips of those protests were circulating in Delhi at that time, and I too saw those.

What we saw was horrifying — people being beaten simply because they protested and women protestors being shoved into trucks and dumped miles away from the city. But if you lived in Delhi you hardly ever got to see any of this in mainstream news channels. It was bitterly ironic that so much video coverage of the protests existed in Manipur yet little of it made it to 24 hour news,” she says.

That moved Kavita to make a short film, Tales from the Margins, in 2006. Her film captures the protests, especially non-violent protests by women. The film has since been screened across India and abroad.

Kavita Joshi was in Hyderabad to screen her film at the SN School of Communication and at a screening organized by Moving Images.

In the last four years, screening of the film, she observes, has helped build awareness about the conflict in Manipur. “A lot more can be done and I hope that more people will keep wanting to engage with the situation in Manipur,” she says.

As an independent film-maker who conducts workshops on film-making for students, Kavita contrasts the screenings she had at the University of Hyderabad and Moving Images and says, “Students were keen to know about the nuances of film-making while at Moving Images, there were more questions pertaining to the ‘issue'.” She has been to Hyderabad several times but this visit comes after a gap of a decade.

Talking about her choice of films, she says more than an issue, it's the deeper connect that she feels with an issue that triggers moviemaking.

“In the case of Manipur, it was my personal relationship with the place and the people that drove me to make Tales In Some Roots Grow Upwards,” she says. Now, she is working on a personal narrative about her own family.

14 February 2010

The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited is a good film with both comedy and drama, a mix I very well like. The Darjeeling limited is a story of 3 brothers and there journey across India in search of spirituality and there mother.

Wes Anderson has a unique way of telling this story through original ideas and new structure, both of which should be praised. This makes for an interesting story which contains both humor and drama.

The comedy isn't over the top and allows for some touching dramatic moments throughout the story.

As the story moves past the comedy and into the drama and emotional theme the audience is given a glimpse of the deeper more dramatic part of the film.

There are glimpses of personal feelings that show a much deeper and human side to the comical characters.