Archive for May, 2012

Ashim Ahluwali’s Miss Lovely and Anurag Kashyap’s two-parter Gangs of Wasseypur premiered at Cannes Un Certain Regard and Directors Fortnight section respectively.

This post is to track all the buzz from the Cannes – reviews, interviews, videos and more. For the Cannes buzz of Vasan Bala’s Peddlers, click here.

Starting with some generic news links.

– Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of the Directors’ Fortnight, talks about the new wave of Indian cinema. Click here.

– VIDEO : Tom Brooks’ Cannes edition of Talking Movies starts with Indian films. Click here.

MISS LOVELY

– Review published in the Screen International is here.

– The Hollywood Reporter’s review is here, which describes it as Bollywood meets Boogie Nights in stylized retro-sleazy thriller.

– Variety’s review is here. You need account to read it. But if you are too curious, go close to the screen, squint your eyes and you will be able to read through the black screen.

– A small review in Sight and Sound is here which says the film is mesmerising for the first hour or so, during which, the echoes of Boogie Nights aside, I found myself thinking of Wong Kar-Wai, Scorsese, Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah and even Irma Vep. Unfortunately the film then palls somewhat – director Ashim Ahluwalia can’t hold onto a story, or develop characters. But while it’s good it’s very good indeed, and had it been that touch better (and shorter) it could have been a game-changer for Indian cinema.

– A french review is here which is not too complimentary. Use Google Translate (GT).

– Ahluwalia makes ‘Lovely’ impact, says Saibal Chatterjee in The Sunday Indian. Click here.

– New York Times piece on the film is here.

– Ashim’s interview in Another mag is here.

– Ad Vitam has picked up the French rights of the film. News link is here.

– VIDEO : Anupama Chopra’s interview of Ashim Ahluwalia is here.

GANGS OF WASSEYPUR

– Review in Screen International is here which says, this Tarantino-tinged Bihari take on The Godfather has what it takes to cross over from the Indian domestic and Diaspora markets to reach out to action-loving, gore-tolerant theatrical and auxiliary genre audiences worldwide.

– The Hollywood Reporter review is here which calls it a dizzying explosion of an Indian gangster film, whose epic structure and colorful, immoral killers capture the imagination for over five hours..

– Review on desi site DearCinema is here.

– In Italian. click here. Use Google Translate (GT).

– Long piece in french edition of Huffington Post is here. Use GT.

– Coverage on BBC website.

– Saibal Chatterjee’s report in The Sunday Indian is here.

– VIDEO : Anupama Chopra’s interview with Kashyap and Bala is here.

– Click on the play button to watch the official video of the screening

If we have missed any links, do post it in the comments section. We will keep on updating the post with new links.

Sandeep Mohan‘s directoral debut, an indie feature titled Love, Wrinkle-free is releasing this friday.  It stars Ash Chandler, Shernaz Patel, Seema Rahmani, Sohrab Ardeshir, Ashwin Mushran, Marianne Borgo, Arika Silaichia, Giju John and Theron Carmine.

Making an independent film is a difficult task for sure. But releasing it is almost impossible. Thanks to PVR Directors Rare section, the film is getting a limited release. But what is the director thinking? Will he survive? Over to a casual conversation between his Right Brain (RB) and Left Brain (LB).

LEFT RIGHT LOVE WRINKLE FREE…

Right Brain Sandeep (RB):

Hey bugger, heard that your movie Love, Wrinkle-free is releasing today or something?

Left Brain Sandeep(LB):

Yeah man, labour of love of 2 years…

RB:

…even I have a story….you wanna listen…see it is about racism, discrimination between white dogs and black dogs…

LB:

Not today ya…you know, I worked bloody hard on Love, Wrinkle-free for 2 years..do you even know what that means…two fucking years of my youth…

RB:

ok, now you are telling me that you are in your youth?!!

LB:

See, precisely why i wanted to make Love, Wrinkle-free…how can one stay young forever…why this obsession to photoshop every damn wrinkle out of your butt..i mean why…

RB:

but why blame Adobe Photoshop bugger…they are not like some Taliban…

LB:

love, wrinkle-free is for people like you…Seriously man, Love, Wrinkle-free is the Hyderabad Blues of this generation…

RB:

it is good to be an optimist, but don’t be stupid bugger…

LB:

What stupid…If a middle class guy like me could make a movie, things are changing in india and Indian films…

RB:

Yeah but the roads to the Love, Wrinkle-free theatres are full of craters…

LB:

Fuck roads ya…roads will soon be obsolete…helicopters will be the norm…people will go to watch movies in helicopters soon…

RB thinks about it…

RB:

Are you planning to make a Love, Wrinkle-free part 2

LB gives him a cold stare…

LB:

i hate sequels…the only sequel i liked was Waisa Bhi hota hai part 2! in any case, does life have a sequel?

RB:

deepak chopra thinks so…

LB (ignoring him):

…the reviews have just started coming in yaar…

RB:

Does it matter if they say good or bad…you still have to take care of your 2 year old daughter when your wife goes to work tomorrow no?

LB (ignoring it again):

The initial reviews have been pretty good…

RB:

Come bugger, don’t stress yourself, let’s go and have a fruit salad now

LB:

Here I am talking of my dreams, and you are thinking of Fruit Salad?!!!

RB:

…why can’t you dream of Angelica Jolie’s bee stung lips instead?!

LB:

Movies are my passion idiot…passion…you know what that word means?!!! Bee stung lips it seems?!

RB:

Eating fruit salad is my passion…what is wrong?!

LB:

…my movie, I am setting her free today to be judged by the world….i feel naked…

RB:

Put on some edible lingerie….

LB smacks RB on his head.

LB: i hope…Word of mouth is going to take Love, Wrinkle-free to a lot of people. It is a fun film man…and there have been so few fun films in the indie space…

RB(Moaning):

Who do you think you are…some kinda indie-saint to spread happiness all around…anyways, don’t worry, not many know about your movie? There is not even a bloody hoarding…even underwear companies have hoardings these days

LB:

Love, Wrinkle-free is not an underwear…it is my movie…my dream can’t be hung up there in some bloody hoarding for all and sundry to stare at…

RB:

You are losing it bugger, big time you are losing it…

LB:

I can feel it…lakhs of people are waiting for the Box Office to open tomorrow, and just like when the new version of the iPhone hits the stores, there will be a stampede to buy tickets…I can feel it…there is like a love, wrinkle-free wave out there…

RB(looks around):

Where?!

LB feels the air around him. Closes his eyes

LB:

Feel it…and you can feel it only when you stop talking…

RB closes his eyes and tries hard to feel it

RB:

..ok ok…now let’s go…even your bloody uncle Woody Allen never said that you can’t have feni or fruit salad on the day of the release..

LB:

Watch your words!!! And don’t get Woody Allen into this mess man…

RB:

…Everyone should pick their own nose….or Everyone should wear their own underwear

LB:

What is that?!

RB:

i have quotes too…like Allen

LB:

Allen is classy man…you are cheap…

RB:

Hey how are you guys related?!

LB gives him that look….and walks away hurt

RB:

Bugger, I was just kidding of course,…chill ..where are you going?

LB:

I am going home…I think I have some edible lingerie at home…i am starving…

RB:

Got some feny?

LB nods. RB runs after him and joins him…

RB:

…you did your best bugger…put your heart, soul, brain and groin into the film, now let’s have some feni and edible…whatever that thingy is…, dig into your next script, and soon you will be into your second film mode….c’mon man…this is the 21st century, you gotta be cool..

So who will have the last laugh – Sandeep Mohan’s Right Brain or Left Brain? It all depends entirely on you.

To know more about the film, you can click here for its FB page or click here for its website.

And here’s the list of theatres and the show timings for Love,Wrinkle-free:

City Theatre Show-Timings
Mumbai PVR Juhu 8:20 PM
Mumbai PVR Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel 8:30 PM
Mumbai PVR Goregaon 8:40 PM
Mumbai PVR Mulund 8:40 PM
Mumbai Cinemax Versova 5.00 PM
Mumbai Metro Big Cinemas 2.15 PM
Mumbai Fame Malad 4.05 PM
Delhi PVR Director’s Cut, Vasat Kunj 8.30 PM
Delhi PVR Select Citywalk 8.30 PM
Goa Inox  Old GMC, DB Road 9.30 AM
4.30 PM
Pune City Pride Kothrud 10.45 PM
City Pride Abhiruch 2.00 PM

If you have been following this blog for sometime, you will know that music review means it’s time for Rohit to take over. So over to him. But before you read the review, you can check out all the songs here.

Also, click here to read our earlier post in which lyricist Varun Grover introduced the two hit songs of the album – jiya ho Bihar ke lala and I am a hunter, the foot-tapping and fun song, which i feel, is dying to have a music video. Mr Kashyap, do it. The song has great potential. You are sitting on a goldmine. Explore it!

The post also has lyrics of six songs – Jiya ho Bihar ke lala, I am a hunter, Ek bagal, Keh ke loonga, O Womania and Humne ke chhori ke.

Back to the music review.

Music – Sneha Khanwalkar

Lyrics – Varun Grover, Piyush Mishra

इतना दिन से इन्तेज़ार था. पूरा उत्तर प्रदेश और बिहार में लोग बाग कोई गाना नहीं सुन रहे थे. चलो ज़रा देखें ससुरा इन्तेज़ार के लायक था या नहीं?

1. Jiya ho Bihar – The song starts with faint ‘thaaps’ as if a traditional song but soon is joined by electric guitars and then the techno arrangement leads us to the very desi Manoj Tiwari. The song makes no bones, thanks to excellent Manoj Tiwari and some real catchy lyrics (Tani Taan kheech ke taansen kehlawo rey bhaiyya, for example). The backup vocals are excellent. Somewhere in the background you will hear shehnai as well. Yes. The marriage of techno sound with Manoj Tiwari is just brilliant. There is a constant ‘bhaiyya bhaiyya’ in the background! Just too good a touch!

There is always that song from which you associate a movie, This one will be the image of Gangs of Wasseypur).

If interested, you can get the lyrics here.

2. I am a hunter – (पापी लोग का नाम है – वेदेश सोकू, मुन्ना ओर रजनीश) The song starts with a ‘Heyllllo’(and TRUST ME!, you will repeat the ‘heylllo’ to hear if it is actually said the way it is said) and then something that we all have done while growing up! (Listen and tell me if you can find it, not telling it here). Special mention must be made for Sneha. This is a fun song and trust me, the song has 2 funny moments per second. Be it the laughter in the background, be it the interplay between vocals along with the constant Caribbean beats the song has ‘fun’ written all over it. Yes, it’s a tad naughty. Still, the words like ‘bhokali’ will ensure that this is played by guys (And girls, may be!) in bonfires. Yes. Up till now Patti rap was THE song that got guys (and sometimes girls together) in a gathering. Now, that place belongs, rightfully to ‘I am a hunter’. Best.Bakchod.Song.Ever.

You can check out the lyrics of the song here.

3. O Womaniya Live (Performed by – Khushboo Raj, Rekha Jha ओर उनकी सहेलिया) Singers start this song in a way that will remind the people who have grown up in north India, those ‘sangeet’ settings that happen during marriages wherein the ‘ladies’ (pronounced as – lay-deej) sing and poke fun at the new bride or may be her ‘in laws’ or may be her ‘bridegroom’. The words are pure ‘North’ and are laced with lot of fun (and naughty-ness). People who will have tough time trying to find the meaning of the songs will get the ‘fun quotient’ when the backup vocal singers will go ‘o o o ho ho ho’ Very naughty! The music setting is very ‘drawing room’ like and even when backup singers giggle you get the feel that they are sharing a joke! Singing is just incidental to the setting. Kudos Sneha! Kudos for reading this very rare, Very, very rare genre. The words of this song in particular have a flavor of north. Big time. Varun Grover, take a bow! Also the singer will remind you of that one character in such family settings who is the ‘leader’ and repeats certain words in order to poke fun at the bride, डबल अर्थ wala fun. (case in context – Patna and satna. ‘Satna’ means when someone sits uncomfortably close to someone else)

4. Keh ke loonga – Night. That’s what the ‘itchy’ start of this song reminds you of. Sneha gets behind the microphone and gets on with it. Accompanied by Amit Trivedi, the ‘graveyard’ feeling of the song gets scarier when the intentions are reflected in words. No matter where you are, I will dig you up and ‘teri keh ke loonga’. It has a very ‘Ghar mein ghus ke maroonga’ feel. Still, it’s not loud. The song just stares at you with the coldness of a dead body. We need Sneha Khanwalkar to sing more. Much more. Much, much more. She is THAT good in the song. Composed by Piyush Mishra and arranged by Sneha. Amit Trivedi is in his usual brilliant self! The resonating sound of howling might not be liked by all. Dark. Scary. This sums up the song.

5. Bhoos ke dher mein – Manish J. Tipu and Bhupesh start the song and will actually lead you into believing that it’s a sad song. Suddenly, an ‘all male’ group of backup singers (accompanied by harmonium and brass band), get into your ears shouting ‘Na milihey’ (you shall not get). This song has a message. More like the songs that you associate with the wanderers who gives out message about life in their songs. The difference? There are way too many singers (and at times a barking dog in the background if I heard it right!). Situational song. Has a very ‘chadhta suraj dheerey dheerey dhalta hai dhal jayega’ (A qawwali-sque song by Aziz Naza, very popular up North). Won’t be a chartbuster. May be that’s exactly what is needed. Let’s see.

6. Ek Bagal – Flute and Sitar talk between themselves and put you at ease immediately and then the strong bass creates a perfect platform for Piyush Mishra (PM) to start what is probably the most powerful song (in terms of effect that it will leave on you) of the film. The excellent use of electric flute deserves a repeat mention. It is THAT good. There is no doubt that this song is penned by PM himself and composed by him as well. The song has a little ‘jis raat sheher mein khoon ki baarish aayi thee’ feel in between. I suspect this song will find a place in the second part of the film as well. Minimalistic ‘arranged’ music. Authentic is the word. 2 thumbs up!

For lyrics, click here.

7. Bhaiyya – This track, performed by the musahars of Sundapur, is another avtaar of a folk song but is music heavy. My guess, this is a background song again. It ends too soon. Didn’t touch me. May be you will like it.

8. Tain Tain – A good harmonium along with at least 10 other sounds suddenly start this song. Then it all settles down. The beat continues and so does a siren! And then Sneha Khanwalkar goes ‘tey tey tey’. Before you figure out what’s happening, the brass band arrests your attention! Ok, too much happening at the same time! This has to be a background sound. This track is just a mix of a lot of sounds (whistles, vocal ‘ta ta ta chu chu ley ley lu li’ and so much more!). Remember the track ‘dol dol’ from ‘Yuva’? This track, in principal is the same, BUT is very DESI. This track grow on you and somehow satisfies the ‘constant casio synthesizer beats wali bhookh’ in me.

9. Suna kar ke Gharwa – performed by Sujeet (From Gaya ओर उनके दोस्त भाई लोग). The song uses a slow tabla and ‘manjeera’. Very folk. But too short. सब लोगों को नही समझ आएगा. It has a sound of a ‘folk singer’ closing his eyes as he connects with self and the powers that be via his singing.

10. Aey Jawanon – Yes, some shayari. Some ‘UP-Bihar’ style shayari about how people are selfish. The stop-and-go and stop-and-run music arrangement completely reminds a ‘northie’ like me of the roadside ‘nautanki’ music. To you, it might remind of ‘pintya gela’ (from shaitaan) in essence, because the instruments used are completely different but the linear tune is somewhat ‘pintya gela’ like.

11. Womaniya (Remix) – Starts exactly like the ‘live’ version but the bass and trance effects soon take over. Something that I haven’t heard ever. Something Desi…real wala desi mixed with ‘mehengai dayan’ like remix (from Peepli Live). The naughty feel of the song is retained. At times I felt some excessive instruments were used but I won’t be surprised if this is played in pubs and people go ‘OMG OMG’! There is a brief romantic exchange of words between shehnai and electric guitar…Just too damn good! मुहझौंसा and what not! This remix grew on me!

The pronunciation of ‘womaniya’ as ऊमनिया is just too adorable (in both the versions)

12. Mann Mauji – Probably one of the best romantic songs this year. Iktaara, algoza and so many other beautiful sounds along with the singer Usari Banerjee is a touch of pure genius. Even the singing style has a touch of vintage in it! ‘Khula hai bajuband phata hai kaaj sambhal ke chalna hoga’. Composed and penned by Piyush Mishra, arranged excellently by Sneha, this song has a sweet vintage feel. Hear it. The ‘secondary vocal’ (at times algoza, at times violin) that constantly accompanies the singer is so so so vintage. Brings back the days of कुएँ के किनारे गाना और नाचना.

13. Loonga loonga (Remix) – The roadside shayari about life (Along with constant beats and ‘loonga loonga’ in the background) starts the song. A faint ‘siren’ (The one that you associate with IPL when a bowler bowls a No-ball and free hit is about to be executed. This is a short version and thankfully so, because the music arrangement and the overall sound of this song is in contrast to the theme of the album. Passable.

14. Humni ki chhoree ke – (Sung by Deepak Kumar – मुजफ्फरपुर वाले) – With just the harmonium and very पक्का ओर रिसा हुआ गला the singer gives us a flavor of a very, very touching song. It’s a folk bhojpuri song and many a singers have sung it already. We could come across Pawan Singh and few others (Check them out on youtube) but this version, with minimalistic music arrangement, has everything that will make you very sad, lump in throat stuff. Even if you don’t understand the meaning of it. Magic of good music, isn’t it? Highly recommended!

Overall a fantastic album! The music stays true to the overalls of the film. Even though 2 remixes are included (to make the album appeal to the ‘non small town’ पब्लिक) फिर भी, This will go down as a फसाद मचाने वाला album by Sneha Khanwalkar and Piyush Mishra. Comparisons will be made with the OST of Omkara, Dev D, Gulaal and so on, but this album will stand it’s ground. Quite easily.

The backdrop is more or less same (in terms of geography), so the sound influences could overlap. Still, inclusion of some pure folk songs of the region is a superb idea and makes the album more relatable. The effort in terms of penning the right lyrics (Piyush Mishra, Varun Grover and Vikas (for hunter – english lyrics), arranging and composing music (Piyush Mishra and Sneha Khanwalkar), singers and the sheer research about it all is praiseworthy.

Rough around edges, raw and melodious in equal measure, here is an unputdownable power album that deserves a listen.

In the days of ch**** Studio (इंडिया) and all those wannabe ‘EXPERIMENTAL page 3 types’, here is an album that gives you a sound and taste of what the sound of those places is like. Those places are called ‘Chowk’ in small towns – an open market area in a city at the junction of two roads.

Chowk Studio. Anyone?

वूफेर फाड़ दिया भैय्या!

My Picks – Entire album.

माने की पूरा एल्बमवा सुनियेगा एक बार. चीन जायेंगे आप, की हम का कह रहे हैं.

(PS – You can order the album on Flipkart also. click here.)

Osian’s Film House announces the return, after a sabbatical of two years, of the Osian’s-Cinefan Festival of Indian, Asian and Arab Cinema.

DATE/LOCATION : The 12th OCFF will be held in New Delhi between the July 27 and August 5 2012 with the Siri Fort complex serving as its main venue as in the past few years.

The fest will showcase the best of Asian, Arab and Indian Cinema, all within an all-embracing framework which focuses on freedom of creative expression and thought. First Features and Short films will be given special platforms. The art of creating Animation films will be intensively discussed and the ingenuous works will be presented for both the young and old. The new ‘7.4’ section on Environment films will be a precursor of a summit on natural and man-made heritage, which by 2013 will translate into a new film festival dedicated to this subject.

– Osian’s-Cinefan will this year salute the memory of Mani Kaul. Mani had been Creative Director at Osian’s since 2006 and was the Director General of OCFF 11 held in 2009. To mark the legacy of one of the most remarkable filmmakers of World Cinema, Cinefan will institute the Annual Mani Kaul Memorial Lecture. OCFF 12 will also hold a number of events that will celebrate not only his cinema but also his formidable contributions to music, literature and painting.

– Further, as part of the Festival a new annual CINEFAN FILM MEMORABILIA AUCTION will be held focusing on the finest and rarest artifacts and publicity material from Hollywood and World Cinema, to be held on 31 July at The Osianama.

– Also as part of the festival related events a major three-day Summit on ‘Delhi: The Next Film City’ will be organized. This summit is being held given the rapid developing interest of filming in Delhi. It is the right time to review the reasons underlying this rise of Delhi as a possible film city in all facets and to discuss the way ahead so as to consolidate the gains made and expand the possibilities of cinema in the city.

OCFF 12 PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS

FILM SECTIONS

In Competition:

1. Asian and Arab

2. Indian

3. First Features

4. Short Fictions

Out of Competition:

5. Frescoes – New films from Asian and Arab countries that showcase the richness and diversity of their cinemas

6. Short Fiction – A section consisting of packages of short films from all over the world and a competition for Asian and Arab shorts

7. The Freedom Of Creative Expression – A section dedicated to showing landmark films in cinema history that had at one time or the other been banned by authorities.

8. Sex & Religion in India: Silk Smitha, Sex Gurus and Indian Cinema – this section will screen films dealing with India’s version of the sexual revolution through the decades

9. Filmcraft: The Art of the Animation Film – This year Cinefan will begin its engagement with the history and contemporary practices of the animation film, a cinematic art that promises to become a major force in times to come

10. Launching of 7.4 – a Film Festival dedicated to films made about manmade and natural heritage along with short films and documentary cinema

11. Tributes & Retrospectives

More Than Films:

12. Infrastructure Building for Minds and Markets – IBM² Events – As usual Osian’s-Cinefan will organize talks, seminars, discussion panels, Q&As pertaining to the film program at the festival drawing in the best minds in the field from all over India and the world

13. The Osian’s archives the biggest of its kind in the world will mount a multimedia exhibition about the freedom of expression in all registers of human life – the political, the artistic, the magical and the spiritual.

14. Festival Summit: Delhi As India’s Next Cinema City – A three day summit will be organized that will bring together the governments of India and Delhi NCR, various cultural agencies, corporate organizations and the film industry to discuss the way forward towards making Delhi the next Film City of India

15. Cinefan @Osianama-Blue Frog – Daily events through the duration of the festival including Master classes, Panel discussions, film screenings and high-profile Q&As with festival guests. The evening will see festival guests converge at the site to converse and network at the ‘Cinefan Adda’. Especially curated musical and performance events will commence from 10 pm every night at the Blue Frog.

Deepti DCunha is programming for the 12th Osian’s-Cinefan Film Festival, 2012. The festival is to be held in New Delhi, India from 27th July to 5th August.

DEADLINE for submission is 10th June 2012.

– For more details, visit the official website here.

– You can also email at cinefan@osians.com or deepti.dcunha@gmail.com.

Vasan Bala’s debut feature Peddlers premiered at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival in the International Critics’ Week section. This post is to track all the buzz from the Cannes – pics, videos, interviews, reviews and more.

PICS

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Latest REVIEWS

– An early review in French is here. Rated it 3.5/5 and to sum it up – I think this is a young director who can go very far if he continues this way.  (Thanks to Google Translate)

– Bikas Mishra of DearCinema.com has reviewed the film here. Bikas is also on the Critics Week jury this year. To quote the last line few lines, Sidharth Diwan’s restless camera adds amply in capturing the life in the megapolis. Prerna Saigal’s editing is worthy of a special mention.

Vasan Bala’s Peddlers marks a very promising debut. I would be looking forward to his next.

– Another French review is here. To quote from the review, Bombay shines here in all its ambiguous charms , angles sometimes hard, dry, and always flattering that one has rarely seen. ( Again, via Google Translate).

– The Hollywood Reporter’s review is here.

– Film critic Christain Jungen tweeted his rating 3.5 stars. And calls it an atmospheric gangster movie from Mumbai, half Hollywood halfway Bollywood.

– Saibal Chatterjee reviews the film for The Sunday Indian. Click here. To quote from the review, Vasan Bala is clearly a talent to watch. The way he handles the characters, paces the narrative, uses music and creates the dark and disturbing backdrop against which the film plays out reflect the kind of grasp that augurs well.

The deft touches that he brings to the table lift Peddlers well above the level of run-of-the-mill gangster flicks. It isn’t, to begin with, a gangster flick at all.

– Another French review is here. This one is mixed.

UPDATE – 23/05/2012

– New French review which rated it 15/20 and to quote, That said, the director shows a sense of rhythm and creativity in the staging that might interest the Jury of the Camera d’Or. Peddlers is an Indian film that has nothing in Bollywood and is the work of a director in search of gallons, but already talented.

– To quote another review, Peddlers is located in-between a relative novelty in Indian cinema, somewhere between the sweet and colorful to a Bollywood film and the roughness of a gangster movie. Efficiency is “quasi American,” but the exceptional photography and the use of music we bring in a definitely Indian.

Latest NEWS/FEATURES

– The Hollywood Reporter interview is here – on How ‘Peddlers’ Reflects the Indie Spirit (Q&A).

– In Variety’s Spotlight on India cinema. Click here.

– VIDEO – Excerpt from Rajeev Masand’s interview for CNN IBN. Click here.

– Another interview is here.

– Another report in Hollywood Reporter – Indian cinema moves beyond bollywood.

We will keep updating this post as more reviews and features come out.

Click the play button to see the video of the screening and presentation.

Pics Courtesy – Siddarth Diwan (Film’s DoP), TheLostFilmCritic, Rajeev Masand

We haven’t seen the film. Don’t have much clue about the filmmaker also. So, over to Innuendo’s director Arvind Kamath for all the details. And if you are interested, you can help him and his film.

ABOUT ME – I always wanted to be a part of films as long as I can remember, but was stuck in an IT job and after 9 years of being in IT, I finally quit to get into filmmaking fulltime in Feb 2011. Couldn’t afford a fulltime Filmmaking course, so I started my filmmaking stint in 2008 where I started with attending workshops, (cinematography, writing, Editing etc) then graduated to making a few short films – one short was among the top ten films of 2010 PFC One film festival (here) & another one which I co-wrote won the 2nd place (here), which gave me the courage to do more. So I went on to organize the 2009 Bangalore Screenwriting Workshop which was a huge learning experience and then started making documentaries, corporate films etc.

In Feb 2011, when I quit my job, I setup a small edit suite and started taking post production orders which is my bread without butter today. So all these years while learning, I also wrote many concepts and scripts, some trash worthy, some forgettable and a very few that I was still excited about. I took up one such screenplay which took me 1.5 years to write and Innuendo was born. More of my self indulgent rant is here.

THE PROCESS – Initially I bounced this idea of making Innuendo to a couple of my close friends and they brushed it off thinking it’s just the initial excitement of a struggler. But I announced the project of FB and called for a script narration to people who would be interested to join me. Folks from the Bangalore Indie/aspiring film circle came down. My offer to them was “I can’t pay you any money & I want to make this film with the Rs 50,000 that I have, so join me only if you like the script or connect with my passion somewhere because it’s a lot of slogging for nothing in return really, and if at all the film makes any money in any form I shall share it with you all”. Some wonderful people started signing up, most of them were experienced. One of my closest friends & a very talented chap Bharath MC came aboard. You can see some of his work here.

He was to do the camera, background score, sound, VFX and co-edit the film with me. ADs with experience in few short films which have done the festival rounds, signed up as production controller, location Manager, art director, casting coordinator and sync sound recordist. Once the team was set, we called for an audition and got a decent response of 300 profiles on email and finally 60 people showed up at the auditions. We had our 20 actors selected from a pool of talented young TV/theatre actors active in Indie/short film circle.

ACTORS – Sanjeev & Sruthi went on to do a commercial Malayalam film called “Cinema Company” which will release this year and had done another Indie from Bangalore called “Kya Yaaron”, which will also release soon. Adithi too was a part of “Kya Yaaron” and is now in Mumbai working on a film with a very well-known and talented young director (I’m not supposed to divulge the details). Monish, Khuldeep, Naveen are some of the well known names in the Bangalore theatre circle. We had 2 days of acting workshop and 2 weeks of rehearsals along with a lot of pre-production work like location recce, art framework, shot breakdowns (3 versions of it), sourcing equipments or building them on our own, scheduling the shoot etc etc.

A team of 35 members started the shoot on September 9th and completed it in non-stop schedule of 25days with 3 more days scattered here and there. Then we started post production in the month of November and finished it in April. The film was screened on 21st & 22nd of April for a private audience on an invite only basis & a review by a Cinephile can be read here.

THE CHALLENGES – We too faced our fair share of challenges like every other Indie film. DOP calling in sick with typhoid just 2 days before the shoot, crucial locations which took time due to budget constraints, actors issues due to long hours of shoot, food issues when we were shooting in the middle of nowhere, cop issues during night shoots, health issues due to long schedules sometime 2days and nights continuously and all that jazz.

WHERE ARE WE NOW – We have completed the film and had 2 private screenings to get an initial feedback. Now aiming to send the film to a few festivals and see where it goes and also travel with the film to Chennai & Mumbai in the month of June to have a private screening for filmmakers, Bloggers, Cinephiles, Indie filmmakers circle, aspiring filmmakers and others.

WHAT SUPPORT ARE WE LOOKING FOR – I am looking for venues in Chennai & Mumbai which is cost effective so that I can bring my film there in the month of June. Anybody who could help us with venues which are cheap or free, that would be great. Also, I have created an online fund raising campaign on Indiegogo to raise money to help us send the film to festivals, which is our first benchmark and priority. If we make more money than necessary for festivals, I shall pay my cast & crew and settle the vendor bills.

DETAILS
Synopsis: – A single mother wanting to rekindle her relationship with her teenage son, trying hard to bridge the gap times have created. A failed writer trying to revive his creativity amidst external and internal conflicts. A group of friends meeting up for a celebration and end up trying to revive an unexpected situation. And how these characters cross paths willingly or unwillingly forms the storyline of the film. This film is an introspective take on life the way it is. It’s about communication issues, creative obsession & self destructive motives.

Genre – Drama

Duration – 125 minutes (festival ready cut)

Language – English & Kannada with bits of(Tamil & Hindi)

Format – Digital (HD)

Budget – Rs 44,700 (spent on production mainly, without paying anybody)

Writer, Editor, Producer & Director – Arvind Kamath

Co-Editor, Sound Designer, vfx & DOP – Bharath MC

Background Music – Bharath MC & Aveer Thakur

Crew – Madan, Kiran, Vishwesh, Prince, Poojitha, Supritha & Kempraju

Principal cast – Sanjeev Nair, Adithi Kalkunte, Kenneth Sebastian, Anjana Ajith, Monish Nagaraj, Khuldeepak & Naveen Kumar J

On IMDB.  On Facebook.

Indiegogo fund raiser campaign page is here.

OTHER LINKS

An experiment called Innuendo – Rediff

The Reel Mag interview is here.

Coverage on Madaboutmoviez, LongLiveCinema and Indieturf.

Ram Gopal Varma’s Department released last friday and as expected, had a disastrous opening at the box office. Well, that’s not new. He wrote an open letter to clarify his stand. That’s also not new. And then started blaming Sanjay Dutt and Dharm Oberoi for the debacle. Now, that’s a smart pitch for the potential producers.

I strongly believe that what Amitabh Bachchan is for directors, Ramu is for producers. Everyone aspires to direct AB in at least one film and every producer wants to make at least one film with Ramu. Just for good old nostalgia. But most don’t realise or are blind to the fact that both don’t have any box office pull now. What else can be the explanation for still giving shitloads of money to RGV? What kind of blind faith is this? Even if you forget box office, in terms of intangible gain also, it gets you nothing. Not even a single decent review. Or may be, he knows some kind of black magic to woo the producers. That’s the only talent he still has.

It’s hard to digest that someone will give him 27 fucking crore (via HT Cafe) for getting AB, Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubatti. And opening weekend collection is just 7.25crore – the lowest opener of 2012. And please don’t even to call it an indulgence – crotch cam is just being stupid and banal. That doesn’t qualify as cinematic indulgence by any rulebook.

Interestingly, Ishaqzaade – a film with newcomers managed almost the same amount in its 2nd weekend which Department collected in its opening weekend.

Going back to HT Cafe again, here are the opening weekend figures of Ramu’s last few releases –

Not A Love Story – Rs 2.1 Crore

Rakht Charitra 2 – Rs 1.25 Crore

Rakht Charitra – Rs 3.85 Crore

Rann – Rs 4.45 Crore

The list is quite long. To say that the man has lost it, will be putting it very mildly. And i can bet that the man is going to deliver ten more duds. Reason – he thinks he is making cult classics (read the open letter). He is dismissive of everything good or bad – it just happens by chance. And he is surrounded by yes-men. There was a time when he used to attract the best talent. Now it’s the opposite – anyone who is good, leaves him.

And here’s the bait for potential dumbfcks who will put money in his next films – his open letter which he tweeted yesterday.

I LOVE YOU TOO

I am not surprised at the hatred of some towards “Department” for the reason that when you do anything completely different from a beaten path many tend to pounce upon you with claws and knives. When Oliver Stone made “Natural Born Killers” most reviewers said it’s a piece of visual crap, exhibitionistic, he lost his head etc., which then in the later years came to be recognized as a cult classic. When DW Griffith cut to a close up they said how can a man be shown cut in half and when the camera moved in a Georges Melies film they said how can a point of view suddenly move.

Anyways the norm of critics these days is to bury the baby even before its born and kill the mother for giving it birth. It’s incredible to see the sadistic glee they take in running the Director down on a personal level even more than they run down the Film.

They accuse me of chaotic self-indulgence. I don’t know what that is but a Film eventually is a self expression of a subject matter which I as a maker chose to tell in a certain style and in Department I chose a graphic pattern in terms of angles and movements which were intended to represent the mindsets of the characters the film is dealing with.

A photographic image is a combination of the look of the location, the lightning, the costume, the make-up, the look of the actor etc. and any camera will only record whatever is kept in front of it. Then ofcourse there are the features of lensing, angles, movement perspectives etc., which would be employed as per the intended effect. In Department it’s the rapid swish pans and some hitherto unseen movement perspectives, which bothered some people, but the same were also liked by lots of others.

Also the rogue method I employed for Department is an alternative method I proposed but not as a replacement to a conventional method. The conventional usage of the cameras used for Department have been already used in “Slumdog Millionaire”, “127 Hours” and many other films the world over. In Department it’s their unconventional rapid movements, which created problem for some.

In “Department” I just attempted to do a realistic story with characters that intrigue and make one think rather than spoon feed and I attempted to package that in a never before seen visual style and some people got it and some didn’t.

It goes without saying that at the end of the day a Film’s likeability is about its content and its narrative grip and the technical style employed doesn’t matter to the viewer.

But having said that a constantly evolving innovative usage of the medium does add and sometimes also gives an emotional tone to the content and film eventually in its purest form is an emotional experience.

– Ram Gopal Varma

It seems like Subhash K Jha has converted this open letter into Q and A for Rediff. Click here.

And if that wasn’t enough, he has now put the blame on Sanjay Dutt and his manager Dharam Oberoi. You can check Ramu’s twitter timeline here or the snapshots here.

Wow! Some points for being candid at least.

Well, over to Dutt and Oberoi now.

Ram Gopal Varma doesn’t surprise and shock me anymore. He is the only filmmaker whose zero budget film was also a flop! You can’t beat that!

What baffles me is the fact there are “morons with money” who wants to blow it away by giving it to him. And at a time when films like Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani, Vicky Donor are re-writing the rules of the box office. If you have excess, just donate it. And if you don’t have a big heart, just burn them – That’s a better thing to do.

UPDATE (22nd May) – Sanjay Dutt and Dharam Oberoi have reacted to Ramu’s tweets. Click here to read Mirror’s report.

23rd May – Ramu drags Abhishek Bachchan into it and blames him for getting Dutt into the film. Click here to read.