Archive for March, 2012

To celebrate 30 years of making cinema, Vinod Chopra Films is having a retrospective of its films at PVR Cinemas. From 29th March to April 4th, VCF is showing almost all its films, from Sazaaye Maut to 3 idiots. Check out your local listing or you can check out PVR’s website.

– The films have also been digitally restored and their sound has been re-done in 5.1 Surround Sound.

– Screenings will be followed by discussions moderated by well-known filmmakers at PVR Juhu, Mumbai.

Here’s the schedule for the panel discussion –

1. 30th March – 5.30 – 6.30 pm : Discussion on Parinda.

Moderator – Anurag Kashyap and Sudhir Mishra.

Director : Vidhu vinod Chopra.

Cast – Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Nana Patekar, Anupam Kher, Suresh Oberoi

2. 30th March – 7 – 8 pm : Discussion on Parineeta.

Moderator – Sujoy Ghosh.

Director : Pradeep Sarkar.

Cast : Vidya Balan, Raima Sen, Dia Mirza

3. 31st March – 7 – 8 pm : Discussion on Munna Bhai MBBS + Lage Raho Munna Bhai.

Moderator – Sriram Raghavan.

Director – RajKumar Hirani.

Cast – Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Dilip Prabhavalkar.

Screenwriter – Abhijat Joshi

4. 1st April – 7-8pm : Discussion on Khamosh.

Moderator – Rohan Sippy.

Director – Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Cast – Shabana Azmi, Amol Palekar, Sudhir Mishra

5. 2nd April – 7-8pm : Discussion on 1942 – A Love Story.

Moderator – Imtiaz Ali.

Director – Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Cast – Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Manisha Koirala, Danny Denzongpa

6. 4th April – 7-8pm : Discussion on 3 Idiots.

Moderator : Ram Madhavani.

Director – RajKumar Hirani.

Cast – Cast -Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi.

Screenwriter – Abhijat Joshi

And here’s a nice video feature on VVC films

WHAT: IMAGING CINEMA 2012: An International Screenwriting and Filmmaking Course

DATES:  1-10 JUNE  2012

VENUE: IIT Madras

Resource people :

▪    Atul Tiwari (Mission Kashmir, Dasavataram, Viswarupam, forthcoming with Kamal Haasan)

▪    K Hariharan (Director, LV Prasad Institute of Film & Television Chennai)

▪    Rohan Sippy (Dum Maro Dum, Bluffmaster,  Taxi NO 9211, Kuch naa  kaho, The President is Coming)

▪     Shridhar Raghavan ( Screenwriter: Khakee, Dum Maro Dum, Apaharan)

▪     Sriram Raghavan (Director: Agent Vinod, Johnny Gaddar, Ek Haseena Thi)

▪     Anurag Kashyap (Dev D, No Smoking, Gulaal, That Girl in Yellow Boots, Shaitan)

▪     Patricia Gruben (Director, Praxis Screenwriting Programme, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver)

 COURSE :

Hands on training with experts in screenwriting and discussion of mechanics of screenwriting and direction with major industry figures.

– The course will be divided in four parts-

1. THE MAGIC OF CINEMA – This capsule in the first 3 days will introduce the participants to the magical world of Cinema, by making them go through a FILM-APPRECIATION module. How to read a film is the basic theme of this section.

2. THE MECHANICS OF CINEMA – This section for next two days will introduce the participants with the mechanics that goes into making a film including Camera, Lighting, Sound, Sets, Editing, Special Effects etc- to demystify and tell how the magic is created.

3. THE METHOD OF CINEMA– This section will introduce the participants to the most basic & important aspect of any film – the Blueprint, the Map, the Method behind the madness – THE SCRIPT. This will go on for next 4 to 5 days and the emphasis will be to make the students WRITE scripts and to dissect and discuss their work in class. It will be a group exercise where a group of 4-5 students will work together on mini-scripts to understand the process of film-script construction. At the end of this the groups will be ready with one short 3-5 minute executable script.

4. THE MAKING OF CINEMA – For Next 2 days – this will be very interesting hands on exercise with the students,  where they will have to shoot, act, record sound, edit, do post-production and be ready with their films within 48 hours. Candidates can bring their video cameras or use cell phone cameras.

5. THE MAJESTY OF CINEMA – The last day will be a ‘red carpet’ event where the films made by the student groups will be seen by all. A jury will then rate them and announce the AWARDS to the films – with
analysis – so that this too is a time to learn. The certificates will be given to all at the end of the event.

– An IIT-M CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION WILL BE GIVEN AT THE END OF THE COURSE

Fee structure:

▪  Rs 10,000/ for professionals

▪  Rs 9000/ for attendees of 2009 & 2010 events

▪  Rs 8000/ students with valid ID and documents

$250 for NRI’s and International Students/professionals.

Last date of application : April 30

Application Forms can be dowloaded from Application form IIT Madras Screenwriting Filmmaking Course

– Limited rooms available in IITM guest house (AC), based on the date of applying.

– Few rooms available in hostels (Non ac).

– The course fee does not include accommodation payment.

– Application form duly filled in can be mailed to : draysha@iitm.ac.in

– For daily updates, visit www.imagingcinema.wordpress.com

It was supposed to be Mallika Shehrawat’s international debut. The director had a world famous surname – Lynch. But by the time the film got released, the director, Jennifer Lynch claimed that she didn’t make Hisss. She was nowhere in sight too. During the release, it was Mallika and her good friend Govind Menon (director of Khawish, Kis Kiski Kismat, Bachke Rehna Re Baba) who handled everything. So what really happened? Did she quit or was she forced to? And if so, why and how?

A new documentary, Despite The Gods, seems to have all the answers. Penny Vozniak’s making-of documentary will premiere at HotDocs in Toronto.

Here’s the description from the official release..

Upscale Font Jennifer Lynch, daughter of cult film auteur David Lynch, made her auspicious directorial debut in 1993 with Boxing Helena at the Sundance Film Festival. A box office disaster, the film was viciously mauled by critics and became the focus of multiple lawsuits. Fifteen years later, a recovering addict and hard-working single mother, Lynch returns to the director’s chair with an ambitious project that will test her skills and the entire crew’s sanity.

Despite the Gods brings us behind the scenes on the set of Lynch’s Bollywood/Hollywood action film about a man-eating snake goddess. Out of her depth shooting on location with an Indian crew and two top Bollywood stars, Lynch turns her production into a vehicle for her own self-actualization, paying no regard to timeline, budget or reality. As the story in front of the camera derails, the story behind the camera explodes.

And the trailer. Do watch.

Via Slashfilm

Why so serious? asked a friend of ours. It’s just a film. What happened to all the fun? And then he introduced us to GossipGirl, an insider in B-town and a new member to the club. And so we are back with “Aao Guess Karein”. Do welcome the Gossip Girl and over to her now. Read on.

This once A-lister female actress who has been out of work for a couple of years after a failed serious relationship with an illustrious member of Bombay’s financial fraternity, has taken very seriously to drugs. Once a household name for her ferocious independence and vivacious image, she is very quickly and steadily descending into the “forgotten” category.

The story goes that her come-back vehicle,  a cheesy romance film, which she is producing herself,  being shot  in  Europe, with a new model turned actor for the hero, has been running into major production trouble.

70% of the crew has quit in the very first schedule and are known to have been demanding to be flown back to India due to the lack of organization, a number of heads of production fired – there is nobody to take the blame, because apparently madam producer has frequent foul mood swings and is constantly taking short breaks to run to the bathroom or to her trailer (sniff, sniff), and appears soon after as a completely different person, but there is no real brain coordinating the production of the film. The crew that has quit has been receiving calls from the hapless director and the lead actor of the film, almost begging them to return to salvage whatever little they can from the situation.

It is to be believed that in the rushes of the film the actress is looking almost 10 years older than her real age and the script doesn’t seem to be holding itself together, all combined with this new model /actor opposite her gives out the aura of a premature mid life crisis that the actress maybe going through.

Sources from an international film that the actress was a part of a few years ago, suggest that she was pulled up for her constant sniffing by the director (she would appear with white powder trickling from her nose) – she was immediately barred from all narcotic activities on set.  The film however, was a flop, adding another feather to the actress’ dwindling career.

Other industry sources claim that she comes from a group of elite socialites, that include other A-list actors , that are known for having wild parties with generous supplies of good quality drugs at the venues which are usually the bungalows or homes of these people, some even suggest that her ex-boyfriend used to be the one supplying (due to political & business connections at high places) to the elite coke-heads of Bombay.

This a small insight to the otherwise dark, drug-laden, insecure place that the Bombay film industry stands for, it is too well decorated for anyone to see the real dramas of the existences of so called super stars in this day and age.

Another case of drunken misbehaviour by an actor
He is a common face on prime time television, has been around in the industry for almost two decades – after a failed beginning in Bollywood in the 80’s , this actor in question stayed afloat by providing security services,  to other Bollywood Stars, he is cashing in on a recent spate of  good luck with a few off beat, award winning  Indie films.  A good actor and a  decently behaved human being otherwise he has been witnessed losing himself when he hits the bottle.

Recently, the news about a drunken driving accident involving the actor were also doing the rounds, but were quickly hushed up.

Story goes that on the sets of an International multi-starrer (a film that is most likely to cause extreme political controversy when it is released)  being shot on the coastal shores of a southern country in the subcontinent, the actor in question (who is married  with a kid) picked up a local questionable lady during one of his drinking binges at the local casinos in the city.

This lady was then brought as his  guest to an evening party that the crew was hosting – apparently the actor, was insisting on pushing one of the senior heads of department into the pool, and when he resisted, the actor got immensely angry and started tossing the furniture into the pool, his local lady friend tried to intervene but was brusquely pushed aside (and got slightly injured) by the out of control actor and if that wasn’t enough, the actor then inappropriately grabbed the chest of a female crew member.

Now for the sake of continuity, the man had to be tolerated by every one on crew. Incidentally he is playing the role of a violent alcoholic  in the film and sources close to the renowned director of the film suggest that his performance is standing out and shining – talk about drawing inferences from private life, just pray that you are not in the path of this actor when he is drunk!

If sources are to be believed, a certain perfectionist star- whose films are always being awaited with high anticipation,  has suddenly pushed the release date for his upcoming  and anticipated Suspense film, to the latter end of 2012- because of screechingly close similarities in the story line of a recently released woman centric twist in the tale drama, that is getting all the  applauds and accolades and has been declared a super hit,  (a third in the row for the actress/star of the film).

The perfectionists film, directed by a close friend of the star’s wife- was earlier supposed to release in June, it seems that they are forced to eat humble pie and delay the film  to make necessary changes to the narrative and structure  to steer as far away from similarities as they possibly can at this point when the film has already been shot.

The star of the film, who is known to be interfering and controlling in every aspect of any film that he is involved in has recently had a spate of ill luck, as a television show that he’s supposed to host, that has been in the making and research for a few years now, broke into a fire.
Let’s see what a midas touch can do to the lack of originality in this industry.

Agent Vinod was one of the most anticipated films of the year. Those who know the filmmaker and love Ek Haseea Thi and Johnny Gaddar, they know what #JaiSriram means. So did he score a hattrick? The Matunga Fanboy is disappointed for sure.

“Hey! Johnny, matlab hi hai aasli yaar…”

Greed, vengeance, love, doom, betrayal, survival.

With little budget and a story to tell, it was all packed in awesomely in his earlier attempts. With more resources to film, more chases and explosions, and a lead actor/producer with adequate passion to “make-it-large”, there was little to tell and a lot to show in quick cuts.

Agent Vinod dangerously fell into the “we-got-a-Great-Title-now-what-to-do” films/PROJECTS. With everything sounding great at the onset – Title, Concept, Cast, Budget, it seems a kick-ass script was the only thing that was left. Probably keeping that as the last thing to do without any other worry puts too much pressure on the one most important thing to begin a film with…and that being kept last, with everything being taken care off, “shayad joote pasand nahi aaye” – One might not be able to pin point what exactly is going right as the support and resource is right there. Tough task and especially for a super self-critical person, that must have been one exhaustive task. It shows. It’s complicated and ironic how one manages with little resource and more imagination and…

A mild mannered middle-class Matunga boy with loads of pulp movies and literature consumed, and some-corner-room-twisted perspectives could add his mild humble magic to anything he touches with his “not so sure” demeanor beneath a killer observer. RABTA being just one Single Shot example of that. The simplicity of those couple of minutes completely overshadows the rest of the Millions spent on the quick cut Peter Hein action.

60% of the times I was either looking at a Peter Hein shot or a second unit exotic pick up shoot. I sorely missed my Desi Jim Gordon’s smooth humble touch to it. There were glimpses of it. But far and few, or maybe when it’s someone who grants some access inside his “Hard-Case” Adventureland gates only once in 5 years, it better be all him – A 100% Sriram Raghavan affair.

Plus, when you have a great title, why not exploit it? Casino Royal played it quite well with “Bond James Bond” coming just about when the End Credits began to roll but then that was the 21st Bond film. Why not use Agent Vinod to full effect throughout the film? It’s anyways a kickass name, why guise it, guard it and hold it and not let it breath? As Vinod says, he wants to go back for those 8 minutes on the cable, I too just wanted that feel of those 8 minutes and not the entire film to be about those 8 minutes. What makes Bond and Bourne is that they push me precariously close to those 8 minutes but then get me out and show me more of what happened before and after. Where we cherish those 8 minutes and treasure them, we wanted Sriram to give me those 8 minutes (Rabta give me a couple for sure) not Peter Hein.

Waiting for the next.

MatungaFanboy

If you haven’t seen Kamal Swaroop’s cult classic Om dar badar, you still haven’t seen the best of Indian cinema. And if you are friends with him on FB, his wall is like a pandora’s box for visual art.

Tehelka Tv has been doing an interesting series called “Cinema & Me” where they talk to filmmakers of life, cinema and philosophy. The new video features Kamal Swaroop. Must Watch.

Finally! It’s been a long wait for Ashvin Kumar’s film, The Forest. It stars Jaaved Jaffery, Nandana Sen and Ankur Vikal and is all set to release on 4th May under PVR Directors’ Rare. The makers have just released a new poster for the film which is quite striking.