May 29, 2006

Kabul Express

The Trailer for Kabul Express is online at indiaFM and Yashraj. I don´t understand too much yet, but it sure looks promising. Another release I´m looking forward to.

I love the tagline: Two Indians, an American, one Afghan and a Pakistani on on a journey together

Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge

I like Salman. Bas. And I like him even more after this. Actingwise its the best I´ve seen of him in the last months (Tere Naam and Khamoshi are to long ago to compare).

Vir (Salman) does not remember anything thats longer ago then 3 years. But there are some strange incidents that hint at some darker secrets from his past. So he goes to Mumbai to solve these riddles. And there Salman can cry and fight and break other guys necks, with or without shirt. Its great.
Some facts:

  • yes Beth, this is the same mosque thats in that "right here right now" shot in Bluffmaster!

  • Salman so has the best body in Bollywood (NO Hrithik has not!! Oh please - compare the proportions and then come back to apologize)

  • Bollywood has great Foley artists. They are especially good with the sound of breaking bones and necks.
  • Sush must not wear lilac lipstick

  • Jonny Lever is still annoying
  • Diya Mirza can be really sweet without being childish

  • All in all a cool massala flick with a great fight at the end and a really cool, romantic, emotional, funny Salman. And two very nice heroines: the etheral Sushmita Sen and the cute Diya Mirza (or however she is spelled these days. I hate numerical astrology)

    May 28, 2006

    Revisiting Friends

    I have about 20 DVDs that wait to be watched, but somehow I don´t feel like new stories today. Instead I decided to revisit some friends. Special friends:
    Road to Ladakh and Little Terrorist

    "Road to Ladakh"

    is a short film (48min) with Irfan Khan. Its a road movie (as the title suggests) about a cocain sniffing female NRI journalist and an indian guy with some sort of agenda who meet on their way to Leh.
    I first got or better met it about 6 months ago as a very bad copy (with the audio running 4 minutes behind) But now you can get it from nehaflix on the Little Terrorist DVD. Its very strange, very quiet, has Irfan in it and I love it. Somehow other people must have loved it too, as it might be made into a feature film now with the same cast.

    "Little Terrorist"

    Actually I am not really into short films. Especially short short films. I love long detailed stories. Complicated sidelines. Sumptuous details. All that stuff which you cant squeeze into a 10min film.
    This is the one that won the Oscar 2005 for best live action short. And its sweet. Pakistani boy changes into India by accident and needs to hide in a village as borderpatrol mistake him as terrorist. During its 15 min it does not offer more then a snapshot of life at the Indo/Pak Border but, as good shorts go, it leaves you wishing for more. More insight on the characters lifes. More on the background. Just More.

    May 24, 2006

    Is it all P.R.?

    Indian media tell us that the Fanaah release is facing some troubles. First you have the Gujarati Multiplexes banning the movie because of Aamir Khans support for the Narmada dam opposing groups and second it might be in trouble because Yashraj is demanding a higher share of the ticketsales in Multiplexes all over India which might cause them to not play the movie as well.

    Somehow all of Aamirs movie openings in the last year had PR "nightmares" before opening. The trouble MP ran into was that it was feared that the figure of Mangal Pandey was shown "historically" incorrect (which was weird because there is not much known about Pandey apart from his military records anyway) then RDB ran into controversy because of animal rights activists complaining to the censor board and there were the - false- media reports about problems with the indian army. Now we have the BJP threatening to "tear down" any theatre in Gujarat that shows a movie with Aamir in it.
    It all looks a bit fishy to me. My knowledge of indian cinema is still only limited to Hindi cinema so I don´t follow news about the south indian movie industry. But my guess would be that there are similar PR stunts.
    Let me as an total western outsider ramble for a bit. Indian Politics run on a high emotional scale. Undereducated people will always listen to polemic paroles. And films, the film industry and its stars are easy targets for P.R. hungry politicians. So the explanation for the Gujarat trouble is easy. But are the threats the only reason? I don´t think so. My guess its just about money and PR.
    What really would interest me (and so far my knowledge of indian media processes and relationships is still to sketchy) Does the press - which obviously is the key element in pushing this kind of PR - hype it deliberately? Are they compensated? Is it institutionalised or are there just some few journalists or publishers gaining from bagging stuff like that? And most important is the indian public really led by news of this kind or are the media again overplaying these events, so that news is producing the news?
    So is Fanaah really in trouble?

    EDIT 25/5/06: surprise, surprise...Fanaa will be playing at the multiplexes (except for Gujarat I guess)

    oh, and here´s a link to the Aamir-Kajol in conversation about Fanaa show...PR bla bla mainly. The only interesting bit for me was to hear that Aamir is taking a 6 months sabbatical now.

    May 22, 2006

    Can´t wait

    Just saw the first official PR pics of "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" and the short CNN-IBN interview with Preity in Cannes. Ohh, I so cannot wait for the release of this movie. Get the Taglines from the posters: A Film About Relationships, A Film About Love, Love That Broke all Relationships...

    During the interview one can catch a glimpse of the trailer with Abhi shouting at Rani... hmmm sounds like a lot of teary heartbreak for me. Nice.
    Just what I am waiting for. Highgloss, lots of Kleenex, heartbreak, Abhi and Dad, SRK with kind of longish hair. My kind of movie. And I dont care if its a ripoff of Closer or whatever. I dont expect Karan Johar movies to show a solution for world peace or giving bold socio-economic statements. Or defining new artistic hights. I just want beautiful people with heartwrenching problems so I can have a good cry even on the fifth pass and I´m sure he will deliver.

    Edit: had to remove the link, since indiaFM has pulled the pics from its site..

    May 21, 2006

    "Geraftaar" or smoking kills and mustaches can be irritating

    This has to be one of the trashiest smoking scenes in history. Husain (Rajnikanth), policewala and Karans (Amitabh Bachchan) foster brother, is being ambushed on the initiative of mustache guy (Kader Khan). Its just so cool. There is this 5 minutes fight during which Husain keeps a lit cigarette in his mouth. All the time!!

    All through some somersaults, some neat kung-fu moves and right until his last breath. He has even the time to take a pull while he stumbles around fatally wounded.
    What a guy!

    Oh yes, mustache guy is great too.

    Geraftaar is pure 80ies trash with some cool moves from Amitabh and Kamal Hassan. The story is just another masala "brother looses/finds brother and together they right the wrong". But there are also some weird jewels like Michael Jackson riffs in some of the songs. I believe to have heard "wanna be startin´ somethin´" and "Billie Jean". To top it off you get a little (sort of scary) flashdance thingy and this:


    May 17, 2006

    Will somebody please feed me?

    I hate movies with great food. Well no, actually I love them, too much to be precise and I always get so hungry watching them. And that I hate. Because its 10p.m. and having a late night supper is totally out of the question. Just finished "Ramji Londonwaley". Film is so-so-la-la (Greencard with sermon about home, responsibility, yadda-yadda and a cool cameo) but the food looks fantastic. I would not mind having Madhavan standing in my kitchen and preparing this award winning sugarfree carrot halwar thingy. Though at the moment some dhaal and roti would suit me just fine too.

    Please feed me! Now!

    Whistling Woods

    Since Subhash Ghai seems to have started another PR round for the Whistling Woods Institute for Film, Television & Media Arts, I need to put in my two cents. Why? Call it professional curiosity. For those who don´t know I´m the technical manager of a private college for media technology. We teach sound engineering, the whole range of web and offline design and anything concerning the technical aspects of filmmaking (camera, lights, animation, postpro etc).
    So there is quite some crossover in the courses offered.
    And here start the two cents. The Iqbal DVD by Murkta Arts has a commercial for Whistling Woods on it. And it sucks. Big time! If I were a competitor and released that thing you could sue me for slander.
    It starts with the usual Censors Board Certificate and while it is shown the sound crackles and hisses like an 45" from the 20ies. Well could be an artistic statement. To show how movies used to sound. Nope. The crackling continues right to the end. To top that you see Subhash and a big part of the A-List of Bombays Directors and Producers give statements why it is so cool that Bombay finally gets the best Film Institute there can be. But its hard to understand as most of them sound as if the were talking from under a thick blanket. My favourite parts are the bits with Karan Johar. You can´t see his freaking face! The lighting makes him look like those camouflaged guys in the Jerry Springer show that don´t want to be recognised. There is a big black shadow right over his whole face!!

    How can they do that? If you go to their website and look at the tuiton fees and how they try to present themselves. I just don´t get it. I remember last year we made a 30 second Cinemaspot and I almost killed my staff to get it as professional as possible even with our very tight budget.

    Indian film productions made a big leap in technical aspects since around 1998. If that commercial was from 1990 I would not have thought anything but 2005?

    May 15, 2006

    Feel edgy? Watch Iqbal!

    Sometimes sundays can drag on forever. You don´t want to do anything productive, reading books is a drag and the TV programm makes you want to throw heavy things at the screen. To sum it up: you are feeling really bitchy. In case that happens here´s the perfect movies to soothe your nerves: Iqbal

    Iqbal is the 18 year old dumb and deaf son of a poor farmer somewhere in rural India. He, his mother and the little sister have only one passion: Cricket. His father hates even the word, he wants his son to work on the fields with him. But Iqbals dream is to bowl (pitch for the baseball knowing) for the Indian national team. So he is herding the families´ buffalos and secretly observing the training of the local cricket academy with his sister translating the coaches directions to signlanguage. One day Iqbal gets the chance to train there. And he is great until he gets kicked out of the academy for injuring another player. But he can pesuade the town drunk, whom he recognizes being a former Cricketpro to train him.

    Iqbal is not a big movie. The story is the classic underdog story. But it is executed in such an endearing way. Iqbal is probably the most sympathic hero in movie history. And the whole cast is great. Naseruddin Shah is exceptional as the disillusionate drunkard. Shreyas Talpade shines as the deaf and dumb Iqbal without overplaying it.

    Go and watch it! It´s fun. It´s sweet. It will make you cry. You will love it. And bitchy sundays will be a thing of the past.

    May 13, 2006

    I´m getting old

    As far as I remember going out all night and "dancing the night away" used to maybe result in a slight hangover. Somehow sometime ago that must have changed. I don´t remember when my knees and hip hurt that bad. Pathetic. A little Bhangra, some hours of Bollywood style dancing and I almost could not walk down the stairs from the bedroom Saturday morning. Friday night we went to "pure Bollywood" one of the two bi-monthly Bollywood clubbings here in Vienna. And before that we had our weekly danceclass. For those interested we later did our "Bole Chudiyan" choreography when the song was played during the evening. We did not bump into each other this time. So that´s an improvement. And nobody laughed. Let´s specify. Nobody laughed about us. They laughed with us. I´m sticking with that. Bas!

    May 12, 2006

    The Bluffmaster! Trivia Post

    I just finished watching "Bluffmaster!" again. For only the 10th time. Or so. And after reading Beths review I found it was time to try and really find as much innuendos (is this the right word?) as possible.
    Here we go - oh and beware this might contain spoilers

    #1 During the conversation between Roy and the Doc in Cafe Leopold (yes, I´ve read Shantaram - but we won´t go into this now) you can hear a woman in the background talking about "Dhoom"
    #2 the Film playing in first cinema scene is "Kuch Naa Kaho", the one playing during the second cinema scene is "Shaan"
    #3 there is a picture of Nana Patekar and Ram Gopal Varma on the wall of Dittus room
    #4 So far I only could read the titles of three of the DVDs lying on top of the TV in said room - "Do aur Do Paanch", "Hera Pheri" and "The Sting"
    UPDATE 9/13/2006: the 4th DVD on Dittus TV is "Catch me if you can"
    #5 right before the last scene Roy is running by Rohan Sippys house and Riteish names its adress in the commentary track - what is it with Rohans personal contact infos being given out by "friends" (like Abhi telling Rohans mobile number during "Coffee with Karan")?
    #6 the Taxi in which Roy chases his own car has the number 9-2-11 checked it with my copy of "Taxi No 9211" and it is indeed the same cab


    the cinema where Shaan is playing is the Maratha Mandir. That´s the theatre that has been playing DDLJ since1995.(UPDATE 9/13/2006)

    #8 during the 2nd negotiation between Roy and Chandru Bhai about the price for the jewelry, the language, mimic and pose from Roy is straight out of Namak Halaal (UPDATE 10/26/2006)

    one last thought:
    "Dekho boss, Devdas ek idiot tha" oh, truer words never been spoken

    May 02, 2006

    The Shahrukh Dilemma

    It has been at least four weeks since I last watched a SRK movie. Why? I haven´t got a clue. Whenever I watch SRK Movies I love him. But then I go and fall for other guys. One tends to forget how really cool this guy is. You watch Sanjay or Salman or Anil or the Bachchans and they are fantastic and somehow your Shahrukh memories fade and you start to think stuff like "oh well he´s not that special anyway". And them Wham! you catch a glimpse of him in the Saathiya Promotrailer that is playing on RTL2 at the moment and go "Wait a minute, how could I forget you?"

    So guess who´s making his comeback on my TV tonight?

    May 01, 2006

    Eight and counting...

    Hum Tum, Taxi 9 2 11, Virasat, Tezaab, Dushman, Sajaan, Daud and FINALLY Chori Chori Chupke Chupke.

    That is the list of this weekends DVD Marathon. Yes, I finally made myself watch CCCC and loved it, of course. Isn´t Preity sweet? I really hated the end. Why does she have to leave? Don´t lecture, I know she has to - lekin kyu? She really ought to have stayed with the family or left with Salman. Just my thoughts.

    On another note. I do have an hair issue. Such! Meine jhuth bolna nahin! I liked Anil´s hairstyle in Virasat and even more in Tezaab. I don´t even want to start with Sanjay. Dushman - a muscleshirt and his hair. Aye Rabba! Then Daud - almost as good and now Sajaan - Sanjusaab wins hairdown against Salman. Though of course I liked his hairstyle too. What is happening here? Can somebody please help me? Or on the other hand please don´t help me, I sort of like it.