Posts tagged Director
By Subhash K. Jha, October 29, 2010 – 11:17 IST
Maverick sound designer Resul Pookutty who was propelled to international fame with his skilled use of sound in Slumdog Millionaire is all set to turn director with a film starring Amitabh Bachchan.
Though Resul is reluctant to reveal details, it is apparently an emotional father-son story that Resul has been scripting for some time.
When asked about it Resul says, “It’s something that I’ve been toying with for a long time. But to turn director I need to set aside my work in sound and devote myself entirely to that one thing. At the moment, I’m working on the sound for my second international project after Slumdog Millionaire.”
The film entitled The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to be shot in Rajasthan and other parts of India gives Resul a chance to work with the young Slumdog star Dev Patel once again. But it is the film’s director John Madden that Resul is most excited to be working with.
Says Resul excitedly, “I’ve been in love with Madden’s film Shakespeare In Love for years. And now I’m getting to work with him and some of the most accomplished British actors like Dame Judi Dench, Julie Christie, Tom Wilkinson and Peter O’Toole.”
Resul is the only Indian in the crew. “Fox Searchlight who had produced Slumdog Millionaire specially asked for me. It feels like a great honour. For the first time since Slumdog…I’ll be doing live sound mixing.”
With projects like these coming his way, Resul finds it hard to wrench himself into a different direction.
About his debut as director, Resul says, “It’s really too early to talk about it. But yes it is a very emotional father-son subject. I’m a great fan of the work of Ritwitck Ghatak and by extension a fan of Ghatak’s disciple Sanjay Leela Bhansali. My film would be from that school. I love the melodrama that underlines the life of characters on screen.”
Resul says he immediately thought of Amitabh Bachchan for the father-son theme. “You can’t blame me for thinking of the best, can you?” says the sound designer currently enjoying the success of his sound design in Robot.
Sajid Khan and Stoneman Murders director Manish Gupta had an ugly spat at the MAMI forum in Chandan Cinema on Sunday afternoon.
Talking to Mumbai Mirror, Manish says, “Yes, Sajid and I had a war of words. I didn’t like what he said about scriptwriters in our country.”
What exactly did Sajid say? Alleges Manish, “Sajid said that we don’t have good scriptwriters in India, which is why Indian filmmakers tend to copy Hollywood films.”
Manish says that he retaliated. “I told him that there is no lack of courage in Indian writers. It is just that directors in India don’t treat writers very well and even underpay them, which is why many writers like Abbas Tyrewala, Anurag Kashyap, Aneez Bazmee, Rumi Jaffrey, Milap Zaveri, Sanjay Chhel and Manoj Tyagi move on to become directors.”
Manish further alleged, “What Sajid said to that, he shook me up very badly.
He said that all the names that I have quoted are directors who know nothing about what the audience wants, whose films have flopped, and who have consequently gone back to writing.” The argument then got uglier and the mike had to be taken away from Manish. “Yes, I was very upset and angry,” said he.
While a friend of Sajid said, “It was a forum and there are bound to be discussions,” Sajid himself remained unavailable for comment. He must have been renting the latest Hollywood DVD.
Director of Hisss, Jennifer Lynch, also accuses the film’s producers for having taken the project away from her much before the pre-production stage
This was meant to be the international collaboration: David Lynch’s daughter Jennifer Lynch directing Mallika Sherawat in a film about a snake-woman. But guess what? Lynch left the project and India before editing the material.
A source close to the project says, “What Jennifer shot is very different from what we finally see in Hisss.” Apparently, the film’s co-producer Govind Menon, who directed a couple of duds with Sherawat (Khwahish and Kis Kis Ki Kismat) put together the final material in Hisss.
When contacted, Jennifer Lynch reveals, “Hisss was taken away from me in the edit. I have no idea what the film looks like. I came close to a directors’ cut, which Mallika, Venus and producers (Govind Menon and Vikram Singh) referred to as ‘European, languid and sensual’ all the things I thought were compliments.
Apparently, that did not make them happy. I have no idea what is out there. Good or bad, I cannot take credit for it. Aside from shots and performances that I pray have not been butchered.” We’ll let the critics clarify that last bit for her.
Jennifer wanted to make the film a love story. She added, “They took the songs out; they wanted more horror.”
Despite all this, the director hopes to return to India someday. Will bygones be bygones for her? She says, “My name is all over it (the film). I can do nothing. But I want to come back.”
Meanwhile, Mallika, her brother Vikram Singh and Govind Menon were busy giving interviews on Hisss. But Ratan Jain of Venus was nowhere to be seen.
Despite having major financial stakes in Hisss, Jain has been in London for the past two weeks.
When asked about his apparent lack of interest in a project that reportedly cost him close to Rs 50 crore, Jain says, “How can I take personal interest in every film we produce? I’ve a strong team in Mumbai looking into the project’s progress.”
So Jain is all for teamwork, but a source tells us, “Soon after Ratan Jain decided to fund Hisss, he knew it was a dubious project. Mallika Sherawat’s buddy Govind Menon and brother Vikram Singh had joined hands, only to promote her and give themselves a foothold in the industry.”
When asked if Venus came on board because of Mallika, Ratan Jain says, “No. It was the whole snake theme. Our audience loves movies about nagins. Also a very distinguished British director David Lynch’s daughter, Jennifer, was directing the film.”
‘Was’ being the operative word.
To learn the ropes of cine-journalism, your reporter enrolled for a crash course at F.A.L.T.U University, a film set in Mauritius. It is also incidentally the same university where Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was shot
A déjà vu strikes you at this tiny tropical airport. It could almost be Goa. The endless stretch of sugarcane fields remind me of Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan canoodling in the sprawling saffron meadows of Punjab in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge.
On reaching we leave for the University of Mauritius, situated in Reduit. It is the same university where the Shah Rukh-Kajol-Rani starrer Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was shot. This is in fact one of the highlights for Remo, the director of F.A.L.T.U, and Vashu Bhagnani, its producer. “Vashuji wanted to get the whole crew together at one place so that there are no hassles like the unavailability of a star. We also wanted to fake a university called F.A.L.T.U, which is situated near Pune or Lonavla,” says Remo.
Lawns, varied shades of bougainvillaea and a prominent tree with purple blossoms almost give F.A.L.T.U a resort-like aura, but it is the gray-and-white painting design that lends it the seriousness of a university. Thank God. I was worried how the students might concentrate on their studies. Right outside the premises a blue board with the name and emblem has been erected: Fakirchand And Lakirchand Trust University.
As we went inside, one part of the college is full of extras doubling up as students. We proceed to have lunch on the sets with the cast of the film: Ritesh Deshmukh, Jackky Bhagnani, Arshad Warsi, Sanjay Khan, Chandan Roy Sanyal and others.
Chandan Roy Sanyal aka Mikhail of Kaminey looks far more handsome than what I’ve seen of him. I feel like Shobhaa De when he introduces me to his colleagues as “the one who took my first interview.” People around ooh and aah. Ritesh compliments Niharika Khan’s sartorial sophistication for Sanyal’s appeal. “Ye Chandan toh transform ho gaya hai. Ekdam italian lag raha hai.” Deshmukh is eager to inform us of other developments in his career. “I am working with Arshad Warsi in the sequel of Dhamaal as well as this film. Both of us share a great rapport with each other. In F.A.L.T.U, I play this guy who shows students the right way to live their life.” After this gyaan, he leaves.
In about 15 minutes, Jackky arrives. One could hardly recognise him after his debacle debut of 2009 Kal Kissne Dekha Hai. Crew cut hair, eyes hidden under brown shades, a well-sculpted body (he was 135 kgs almost 4 years ago, he claims). Showbiz. Is he dating someone? “No, I am not.” He points to his orphaned cell phone, “If you are dating someone, you don’t leave your phone like that.” He talks about how unfortunate he was to have such a bad director for his first film and how fantastic Remo is. “Our frequency matches.” You’re not a radio, Jackky. “He understands me so well that now we don’t even have to say anything to each other. We read each other’s minds.”
Later, Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky’s dad, enters with a long red tika on his forehead. He has just visited a Shiv temple and is astounded by what a pandit has told him. Wonder what the big secret is.
At night, Jackky reveals over drinks, “It was Zayed Khan, my best friend, who encouraged me to work hard on my body. Four years ago, when I was fat, he asked what I wanted to be and I lied saying, I wanted to be a director. He told me that I was lying and that my craving for being an actor was written all over my face. Then I worked hard on my body.” Jackky, it turns out, is a diehard fan of the entire Khan clan. He feels that royalty is in their blood, which is clearly expressed in their body language.
I promptly correct mine.
|Chandan Roy Sanyal with Niharika Khan||Jackky Bhagnani|
The late Keshu Ramsay produced 13 of Akshay Kumar’s films, but the superstar dumped him after Family: Ties of Blood, alleges brother
Keshu Ramsay, the third youngest brother of the seven Ramsay brothers, passed away tuesday night. The 55-year-old filmmaker suffered from a massive attack and is survived by three sons Dinesh, Mayur (Aryaman) and Sagar.
The actor-director-producer-cinematographer produced Family: Ties of Blood, Insan, Khakee and also Akshay Kumar’s Khiladi films Khiladi 420, International Khiladi, Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi, Sabse Bada Khiladi; directed films like Ashaant, Khoj, Mahal, Saaya, Mera Shikar, Dak Bangla; and did the cinematography for Saboot, Darwaza, Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche. Guest House (1980), in which he was involved, was a remarkable cinematic feat.
His demise has come as a shock to the family because he was healthy and hearty. Informs the aggrieved son, Aryaaman, “It happened suddenly last night at 1 pm. There was nothing wrong with him. He went to a family gettogether and was having a good time. Raj Sippy was also there.
He was dancing and he collapsed a party and died on the spot.” He adds, “His last rites will be performed the day after. We are waiting for my brother who lives in Canada, to come.”
Late Keshu Ramsay’s elder brother, Tulsi Ramsay, says, “He was great. He is the only producer to do 13 films with Akshay Kumar. Their association started with Saugandh and lasted till Family: Ties of Blood. Tulsi Ramsay sounded quite disappointed with the Khiladi actor though, adding, “Keshu was with Akshay through his struggling days but sadly Akshay did not help him after Family flopped. Keshu’s last few films flopped.
As a result he was in distress, but Akshay didn’t bail him out of the situation. Keshu was planning a film with Raj Kumar Santoshi and Akshay. He had even given signing amount to Santoshi also, but he was made to wait endlessly.” He also adds, “ It was my brother who took Akshay to Canada.
Akshay used to stay in Keshu’s bungalow there. Akshay has now become a brand ambassador of Canada tourism.”
When we contacted Akshay about the late Keshu Ramsay’s demise and Tulsi Ramsay’s accusation, the Khiladi actor replied, “My sincere condolences to the Ramsay family. They are all in my thoughts and prayers.”
Nandana Sen on matters close to her heart
Priyanka Dasgupta (BOMBAY TIMES; October 8, 2010)
There is an enigma surrounding you. How much of an intellectual is the real Nandana?
Hmmm… I think, I am more geeky than “intellectual”. I love to read books, yes, and I like to write too, but that’s just one part of me. There are so many other parts that are just as alive and urgent — that love to eat, to dance, to cook, to preen, to ride my bike, to play with my niece, to sing film songs (badly), to get drenched in the rain, to buy a pink suitcase, to be hugged by my mother, or be enchanted by a love letter…
Have you ever found yourself being objectified? If yes, how did you handle the situation?
Any woman in showbiz is lying if she says she’s never felt objectified. In fact, any woman — period. I have always, with no exception, rejected any role I felt would objectify me. But let’s understand one thing — being objectified is totally different from choosing to express one’s sensuality. In fact, they are absolute opposites. The former robs you of your humanity, while the latter celebrates it. Incidentally, men are equally objectified in our business. In a way, isn’t the whole entertainment world about turning a person into an object — a product or a “brand” — even if you are SRK?
You’ve been in a relationship for quite sometime now. Do you have any reservations about the trend of talking/advertising partners?
I think, it’s entirely up to the individual. I don’t believe in lying about it, even though that’s the norm for girls in this business. If I am in a relationship, you would never find me saying, “I am single and ready to mingle!” or “We’re just good friends”. But nor do I believe in making every detail public. In some ways, I am a very private person. But that’s just me.
Your on-screen character in Autograph is in a live-in relationship. Both on-screen and off it, do you think marriage is really very important in today’s age?
It depends entirely on the couple in question. In Autograph, the young lovers are best friends as well as passionately in love. Their dynamics show an intensely real, contemporary, non-‘filmi’ face of urban romance. Off- screen, I believe making a commitment to the one you love is very important — whether private or public. Just as a live-in relationship can have every strength and loyalty of a perfect marriage, I have seen marriages where spouses are happy to live separate lives, emotionally and/or sexually. I’m no prude, but a marriage like that would never work for me. I’m a die-hard romantic and would always prioritise loyalty and trust over a nominal social or public status with no true commitment within. That said, do I think I’ll get married one day? Absolutely!
Knowledge can sometimes be a baggage for an actor. Do you find it difficult to become a mould of clay in the hands of a director?
As an actor, I believe that nothing is more important than surrendering totally to the director’s vision. I may have questions, I may need to understand something better or differently, but I will always trust the director completely to make the right choice.
BOMBAY TIMES (October 4, 2010)
If there’s one man who’s flying high on the roaring box office success of his debut venture Dabangg, it’s producer Arbaaz Khan. And what’s success if it isn’t shared, right? Echoing this sentiment, Arbaaz recently gifted the film’s writer and director, Abhinav Kashyap with a top of the line, swanky white SUV.
“It’s a small way of saying thanks to Abhinav for being a part of this amazing journey. It’s as much his success as it’s mine. He’s been there right from the inception of the film to it’s going on floor and the entire shooting process. It was but natural that I shared it’s eventual success, too, with him. Also, we both started our careers with this film, he as director and me as producer so it’s an even more memorable success,” says a visibly elated Arbaaz.
Talking about their experience of making Dabangg, Arbaaz says it was a learning experience for both. “We both had plenty of ideas and an all consuming passion to make the film. That apart, both of us also had elder brothers who are already big names in the industry and we knew that we had to carve a niche for ourselves. Thankfully, our film sensibilities were perfectly in sync and the results are there for all to see,” he says.
So how did Abhinav react to this surprise gift? “He’s definitely overjoyed. It’s not something that he desired or expected. But it’s something from the Khan family, especially from my side, apart from his remuneration,” Arbaaz says.
The successful duo will definitely be working together in the future. “I’ve already signed Abhinav up for a future project, but we will only work together on the right film and at the right time. We are morally committed to working together but it will have to be a venture that excites both of us,” says Arbaaz.
Play it as it lays, they say. Here is a no holds barred, angry response on his film being sidelined in the official entry race for the Oscars
Sanjay Singh, producer of Udaan is mighty upset as his film is not the official entry to the Oscars while Aamir Khan’s Peepli Live is. Singh feels that the film has only been selected because of the mighty star power of Khan.
Sanjay Singh said, “Aamir Khan is a very talented and respected actor. His film Peepli Live is good but to say that it is deserving of India’s entry to the Oscars is open to debate. While the subject of farmer’s suicide was dealt with in an interesting way, the media issue has been seen in some 100 odd movies these days.
There was nothing new in it. Only merit plays an important role in the selection of films for the ‘Best Foreign Language’ film category in the Oscars.”
Singh further said, “The last five years have seen Rang De Basanti, Eklavya, Taare Zameen Par, Harishchandrachi Factory and Peepli Live as India’s entry to the Oscars. Three of these movies have Aamir Khan in them in either acting or producing roles (even one directing role). Does this mean that there is no other good cinema being made in India? Is Aamir Khan the only ‘creator’ of good cinema in one of the largest film industries in the world? Why are movies being judged because of the presence of an actor? When will we realize that in the West it is the director and the script that plays an integral part in defining a film’s success?”
Speaking about Udaan, he said, “It’s a coming-of-age film that defied popular genres and was both critically and commercially successful.It even got selected in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ at the Cannes Film Festival competing with the likes of filmmakers such as Godard etc. But since my film does not have any stars, it found its way to the netherworld of the awards category in India. We have to think differently.
We can’t keep sending commercially successful movies to the Oscars. Movies without stars don’t do well in our country but there are good movies still being made. For example Harishchandrachi Factory was a well made intelligent Indian film without stars and it was rightly selected for the Oscars. But such examples in the last 10 years (barring Shwaas) are few.”
He finally said, “India’s entry to the Oscars is not about pandering to certain egos or filmi cliques. It is about representing India’s best from across the length and breadth of the country. Similarly there are good movies still being made out there, with or without stars. So let us please get over this fixation on stars and move on.”
In a saucy, hatke interview, Salman Khan unleashes his hilarious, wicked side
I keep an early alarm to wake up on time so that I can interview Chulbul Pandey aka Salman Khan. Zipping past the mad traffic to make it on time, I enter Mehboob Studio. Luckily the star hasn’t arrived. I wait for a few minutes and Sallu arrives with his entourage. The actor has his table-chair set outside his vanity van, where we sit under the hot sun discussing his new avatar as host on Bigg Boss 4. Excerpts from a fun rendezvous:
• If given an opportunity, would you go inside the Bigg Boss house and be locked up with the contestants with no connection with the outside world?
As long as there are no cameras inside, yes, I will.
• For how long can you remain disconnected from the outside world?
Let me see now.
• But will you experiment and go inside?
I have been in more difficult situations than the contestants of Bigg Boss can ever be in! And I have handled them pretty well I guess…So I don’t think it will be that much of a problem. It will be a party place for me. I like people, good people, great people.
• Who would be the first person you would make a call to apart from your parents after getting out?
(Thinks) Apart form my parents, I would call Ashvini (programming head of the channel) and ask her what to do next.
• The contestants discuss everything under the sun about their personal lives. Do you find it right?
That’s good na. It’s entertaining.
• Would you discuss your personal relationships in the house, seen and heard by everyone?
You guys discuss my personal life without even knowing it. That is what I find very amusing. So I don’t even react to it and nobody else also reacts to it. And now the fans have also stopped reacting to it. Now I am on Twitter ya, so whenever something comes up, they immediately tweet.
• Tell me five actors you would like to see in the Bigg Boss house together?
I would like Sanju to be here (Sanjay Dutt), Govinda, myself, Jackie (Jackie Shroff), Akki (Akshay Kumar). We all will have a blast.
• Five actresses?
Five names you choose. All are good.
• Five directors?
All the directors should remain outside and keep directing
• If you were locked in the house with Vivek Oberoi, John Abraham, Shah Rukh Khan, who would you eliminate?
Do I have to answer this question?
I have to? What if I don’t, then?
• You just have to say one person’s name!
I would eliminate myself.
• And if you are not in the house with them, who would you choose to eliminate?
(Loudly) If I am not in the house, I am not the Bigg Boss, then I don’t have the right to eliminate anybody. They can be in as longgg as they want.
• If you had Sangeeta Bijlani, Somy Ali and Aishwarya Rai in the house, who would you eliminate?
I would keep them all.
• You wouldn’t eliminate anyone?
(Long pause) I really really like Sangeeta and Somy. They are my friends.
• Which actresses, if inside, will have cat fights according to you?
I think the actresses nowadays are pretty chilled out. Because I have worked with most of them. They all get along. The way the heroes get along, the actresses get along.
• You mean actresses only get along on screen?
No, off screen also. Nobody is into each other’s work. They are all in their spaces.
• Every contestant is given a household duty to do? What duty would you take up?
I would take the duty of cooking.
• If given a chance, what would you cook?
Nothing! I’ll make such bad food for everybody that they will run away from my food.
• What is the hatke lingo you plan to use on this show?
I would use a lot of beep wali gaalis.
• Among the Hollywood celebrities, which star would you like to see as an inmate inside and why?
I have no idea. I don’t know anybody in Hollywood. I know my friends from here. This industry is Hollywood for me.
• Aren’t you disturbed that controversy never seems to leave you?
Doesn’t that disturb you guys?
• No, it doesn’t disturb us.
No? Then why should it disturb me?
• Why do people see you in a film and want to copy your style?
You are seeing what I am wearing (points out to his clothes). It is very easily affordable. Jeans, t-shirt, ek joota hai and my bracelet, kabse pehen raha hoon.
• Do you have any regrets from the past?
No, not at all.
Sona Jain, director of the critically acclaimed ‘For Real’ is a one woman army
Satyen K Bordoloi (MUMBAI MIRROR.COM; September 27, 2010)
Writer, director, producer Sona Jain’s exceptionality is not that she has articulated urban angst so maturely in For Real, or that she is a rare Indian ‘English’ filmmaker in recent past to have won so many awards, or that she indeed proved to be a one ‘woman’ army filmmaker.
Her greatest achievement is that she toiled eight years with a good script without a godfather in the film industry, and proved that anyone with a good idea, skill and a good dose of guts and determination can do it. Few men have survived such odds pitted against their cinematic dreams. Finding a woman is rarer. That she did it with such sensitive, restrained panache catapults her to the top of indie filmmakers of India.