Thursday, November 13, 2008

rab ne bana di jodi - salim sulemaan ki... !

if anyone in commercial film music knows how to use harmonium in songs after AR Rahman - it has to be the jodi of salim-suleman.

O re piya from aaja nachle was an example they had set and now they have followed up with haule haule from rab ne bana di jodi.

Its so much fun to hear a well-tuned harmonium, add to it Sukhwinder's magical voice and the result is pure mesmerizing!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

the best coincident that ever took place in history

An interesting thought occurred to me today in the local train – George Bush and Kyunki Saas bhi kabhi Bahu thi both have left our lives for GOOD. And they both left it together. 5th Nov – Obama elected and 6th Nov – the last episode of the soap. Wow! How wonderful our lives will be without these two now.

And to add to this wonderful coincidence – now I recollect – they both made it into our lives almost together in the year 2000. The TV soap became such a phenomena that India, as a nation was never together glued to TV like this. And so was Bush – his acts affected the world like never before. The Bush regime was also almost like a family saga – the way Bush Sr. ruled US and also was the Chief of CIA - caused wars in Kuwait, made friends with Arab leaders and the Jr. continued with Iraq and so on and so forth.

I almost thought if there was one person in India who I could put it in place of Bush and the way he and his policies were – then that person would be Ekta Kapoor. Am sure the insiders at Balaji telefilms will agree with me on her policies and the way she chooses content for all her soaps. She Sucks big time and so did Bush.

One of these days - I read an interview of the soap queen – Ekta Kapoor – she said this and I quote “Television has reached where even Bollywood has not reached in India”. This probably is the most idiotic statement made in any interview – why does the soap queen forget that it is all courtesy Bollywood that the television has been surviving. So dear soap queen – Television has and will always remain a poor cousin of film – so please don’t open your mouth too much.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

mumbai moorings!

in suketu mehta's Maximum City - there is a character who when returns from his native place in Gujarat to Mumbai - feels extremely frustrated on seeing Virar station - thats how pretty much i too feel when i return to this megapolis -
but then half a billion people who go and come back hardly have a option - the city sucks u in...!

so here i am..back to mumbai - the karmabhoomi. Although like Suketu - i too once upon a time lived here for 11 years - before i left for good or bad - but now again coming back to this city - i dont feel the same love for Mumbai which i had for Bombay...:)

maybe it will take time. and as such the same city where you were once a school going kid and now where you are working your ass of - will never be the same...!

but am learning to love this city. and ya am in no mood to learn marathi!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kailash kher, the writer

Kailash kher is now into film music - he s composed for this film called Dasvidanya. But the more interesting part is that he also has written the songs for the film. So he is on his road to become music’s abbas tyrewalla - written, sung and composed. I observed an interesting thing in his writing. There’s a song on maa in the film Dasvidanya.
Somewhere in the start there is a couplet that goes:

haathon ki lakeerein badal jaayegi
gham ki yeh zanjeere pigal jaayegi...

Now this is where me thinks that Kailash- the writer borrows from the Sameer School of lyrics - which I think is not up there. Like what he is trying to say here is fake yet poetic - the way sameer has been all this while in industry since last I don’t know how many years - but wait - just before I conclude or write off Kailash, the writer - he comes up with this gem in the same song - a little ahead. Here is the couplet:

tu kaan pakadti hai
badi zor se lagtaa hai... (that is referring to his maa)

Now here is where he writes practical - stuff that happens in real life. No poetic shit and stupid nonsense rhyming like zanjeerein, lakeerein... - but that couplet is sincere and straightforward - ke maa sahi mei bahut lagtaa hai jab kaan pakadti hai uss tarah. This is where I term Kailash - the writer coming from a Prasoon Joshi or a Gulzar kind of school. Not that these 2 legends do not write poetic stuff - but I am not taking that now because Kailash is yet to reach to that level where I can compare his lyrics to the poetic gulzar or the poetic Prasoon.

And here’s more. Or maybe it’s just me reading too much into this song. There s a line that comes in the song where Kailash refers to maa as:

“tu hai amar ka jahaan...”

Now from the trailer of the film I know that the main protagonist in the film is called Amar. So maa is refered to here as she is “amar ka jahaan” - which I think is Kailash- the writer taking inspiration from abbas tyrewalla - to include the character’s name in the song - after all a song is as much a part of the universe of the film - So you see, Kailash - the writer has chartered the right kind of route for his writing - only thing I would suggest is that go less on sameer and go as high as possible on the gulzar road.

But yet the best part of the song comes from Kailash - the composer when he sings: pyaari maaa... mum... maa...” the way he sings “mum...maaa...” cant be expressed through the writing medium. So I suggest, you listen to this wonderful song and if possible sing for your mother - that would be truly wonderful. In the meantime, my only comments for Kailasa would be - Rock On..!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

india's political film

When was the last time we saw a hardcore political content in our cinema?
Our films have always been about mindless romances and stupid buffoonery - but then finally there s someone who really cares about the political scenario of the country and is quick to make a cinematic statement on it!
Ladies and gentlemen please open your arms for KRK - alias Kamaal R Khan - he is here with his extremely hardcore political statement called “Deshdrohi”.

It has dialogues that can send a chill down MNS’ spine.

It expresses the sentiment of North Indians living in Mumbai. And hey the best part is that it is expressing that sentiment in its very own language.

It has a hero that represents the common North Indian migrant. Someone who comes to the city and then follows a ‘rags to riches’ cult story.

Last heard KRK, the guy - he actually runs an export agency in Andheri East. But I guess the political scenario of the city must have compelled him to make a strong political film like this. And to top it all - he thought who better than himself to voice the fiery dialogues?
“kabhi UP-Bihar aake dekhna hum mehmaan ko bhi bhagwaan samajhte hai..”

And look at the star list he has on his film. - Yashpal Sharma, Aman Verma, Mukesh Tiwari, Gracy Singh etc - did u observe that every actor has once upon a time been a North Indian migrant - so am sure they share the sentiment with KRK.

I think this is a strong statement issued against the Shiv sena and MNS - and you know the best part. KRK knew that no one in bollywood will have balls to put their money in such films - thus he himself produced it! Man this guy has balls! Ask Anurag Kashyap how he must have got the finances for Black Friday? - Am sure if it was not the book - he would have had to face severe problems to get the film released. But KRK - u rock man...u have captured Mumbaikar’s imagination by putting up your posters on local train stations. Am just waiting for Deshdrohi’s release - 7th November - boys and girls - don’t forget!

Monday, October 27, 2008

on Shyam babu's Welcome to Sajjanpur...!!

Shyam babu has fallen into pits - resorting to the awkward treatment he gave to Welcome to Sajjanpur.. no doubt the film was fun - but i didnt go just for fun when i read Shyam Benegal on it.
Better to watch Suraj ka Satva Ghoda again on the DVD. whatta film that was by the way!

p.s: Fatih Akin is hitting Bombay Multiplexes, can there be greater news than that...?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'The Homecoming' is ready!

Those special things in life:

- the fond memories of childhood...

- a doting mother's precious gift

- the evening walks to the garden

- that awkward college atmosphere for a fresher

- getting introduced to a new music group

- an unexpected smile from a stranger

- a new relationship

- spending time together

- coming home at the nick of time

- secretly observing the daily activities of a group

- a short dream

- a romantic evening

- a rainy night

- running towards home

- coming terms to a conflict within you

- passing through the adolscence

a slice of a wonderful life! -
The Homecoming

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the unique uncle at Osians!

that irritating, white-hair, black t-shirt uncle was again present at Osians - infact he made his presence felt. how? here it is:

Bhaand Group presents The adventures of Uncle Arse! (read Uncle ours)
as, we all were waiting for the Indonesian film - Leaf on the Pillow to start, - the lead actress was present there - and a few guests were still trickling in - the time for the film to begin was 12 45pm. and suddenly from nowhere our Uncle Arse shouted "its already 12 45, when will the film begin?" - to which one of Osian's big head replied back - "just a minute" - and my eyes with that loud voice searched where it originated from? and there he was white-hair, black T-shirt clad Uncle Arse! - infact i stared at him and found that he had a Press pass with him - which essentially means "free Entry"and moofat ka khaana ad faaltu words while socializing - so the likes of Uncle Arse at Osians use such typical lines: here they are:

- "the film works on a metophorical level" (whoever speaks this is bound to be a near Cousin of Uncle Arse)

- "for me the film works at a very personal level" - complete bull shit or rather wrong use of words.

- "the use of symbolism was wonderful" - agai, bullshit spoken to make the audience feel as if they missed something...

- "the new wave of directors are very creative" - statements like these are to be banned

- "i am enjoying films that have a certain ethereal quality to them" - god knows what is this!

- "use of handheld camera is for the dynamic nature of the lives of these human beings" - oh bahut poorana ho gaya ma'am ab kuch naya boliye

basically at these fests - no one speaks their heart out - except Uncle Arse who shouted at the right time. But why is he shouting? saala free mei dekhne aur khaana khaane ko milta hai ar upar se tere jaise film buff ko film bhi dikhaa rahein hai - sab kuch mooft...

i guesss - these so called Press and Guests are te ones that are causing the troule to film festivals - the queue of Guests/Press is always more than the people who actually buy tickets - stop this business Osians - mere paisse pe Uncle Arse aur unke jaisse logon ko mat khilao and pilao - use our hard-earned 30 rs for better acuisition of prints in Siri fort 3 and 4. else Osian rocks!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Osian adventure

so then have been having films for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Osian's cinefan in delhi - watched Lemon tree, Brick Lane, Halla, Sparrow, the Terrorizers - phew! - all in one day.

but my blog today is about an interesting incident - i hate getting late into films - esp it takes out the fun when the film has started - so tanmay - my Osian co-mate and me reached 2 mins late into a taiwanese film - the Terrorizers - as the volunteer helped us locating our seats - we saw them and were about to proceed to them and on our way we had to cross an uncle - whose vision got blocked for a fraction of a second - he was pissed - rightly so - we were late! but he commented "yeh koi hindi film nahi chal rahi hai ke late aa sakte ho - ! " and i snapped back and to my delight - the whole audi heard it - even my film faculty heard - of whose presence i was completely unaware.

i replied him or rather shouted at him "hindi film mei bhi late nahi aana chahiye uncle"

he was a typical film fest attending psuedo-intellectual, who thought an ordinary taiwanese film would be an intellectual choice and a hindi film belongs to dogs!

why doesnt Osian have an automatic scanner to sort out such bufoons? saale ko koi jaake samjhao - ke Hong kong ka directr aake idhar apne cantonese mei baat karta hai aur hum ek ghante tak usse sunte hain aur tu saala yeh samjhta hai ke woh sahi hai - lekin humare hindi counterparts bakwaas banate hain? do hell with u uncle - u dint learn enough from life...hell - u cant be allowed to watch cinema also!

anyways Osian is a huge change - i love attending the films and sitting in one corner - watching the delhi socialites exchanging fake smiles, plastic words, cold gestures - but who cares when the 24 frames take u each step higher with each passing second!

Monday, June 30, 2008


i love cinema which is about eccentric guys - and which is about details - and the cinema that can be done and over in a month - get a small crew - shoot in Alibaug farm house - ek mahina, baat khatam - film release kar daalo.. no money to be wasted on huge sets and star tantrums - thats what Mithya is all about - a sleeper hit - as it was called of 2008 - as much as i loved the actors - i thought it was also an example of lazy writing. i dint get what did the writer want to prove by killing the main protagonist in the end? i mean thats the most literal thing to do - once the kind of situation he was in - i mean surprise us by ideas! surprise us by the street smartness of VK - of where he can realistically make a fool of the whole gang.. and please Harsh Chaaya as the underworld guy is a case of bad casting! Naseer wasn't given meaty lines - else i am the last one to tell what he is capable of given some good roles.

It was fun to watch Ranvir - who is quite a natural actor and can speak the lines with the right effect - he does excellent in that scene where he complains about the daal to Vinay Pathak and then the 3 of them break into a kind of arguement. thats what i called good actors are all about.

Mithya had some really good writing in the initial part - look at the details about VK in first half - brilliant - the lines - "yeh kya andheri local ka maafik idhar se udhar ho raha hai.." they speak so much about the character.

but hey the climax i still stand dint come as near to what i wanted it to be - its good to take the audience on a trip and then give them a jolt..but probably this wasn't the way. It was just too lazy writing in the end.

But i still prefer Mithya over a hundred hindi films - carry on the good work - give us at least 4 films from Rajat Kapoor's team every year.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

U, Me aur Gam

ya the title says that the film is on the emotional side.

but what made ajay devgun and his team think of such a bad first half! its outrageous. u cannot sit through the film's first half - it is quite frivilous, the jokes are nothing short of disaster. although the big fat boy was occasionally funny.

but then wait for the second half - it will tell u why Ajay has got 2 national awards in his kitty. my throat choked when towards the end he gets frustrated and blurts "arrey yaar galti ho gai!".

its simple and straightforward. thats what happens when its a clash between husbands and wives. The film has its moments. But even when the script is getting tighter towards the end - what was the need of that "saiyaan" song! complete waste.

Ajay Devgun shows his true colors only towards the 2nd half of the film. but the colors are vibrant enough to sit through the dull first half.
With Aseem bajaj on the lens - there was enough scope for a few "wow" frames and he delivers them.

If it was not for the wonderful climax, the film was a disaster debut for Devgun - but somewhere he has pulled the right strings and lets hope like many directors who failed to deliver the 1st time - this too is a case in point for Ajay Devgun.

Brand New DTC experience!

today for the first time experienced the new DTC's (delhi transport corporation) low floor bus. needless to say its a wonderful experience after those bloody blueline buses and more bloodier their conductors!

had always thought that BEST in Bombay was always the best. how did bombay BEST drivers manage to drive in those narrow lanes that go up the hill and come down in midst of all the shanties. and even after all of this the conductor would always give you the remaining 25 paise back. (in Delhi if u get 1 ruppee back from the conductor - i will say u are lucky). Anyways, Delhi still has wide roads where the broad new DTC buses can travel. and i dont mind these broad roads getting divided into bus lanes. after all bus is a public transport. well - my politics for BRT lanes will be explained later.

But ya the new low floor buses has a smooth pick up and is completely noise-free. it only stops at the alloted bus stands (which i think is quite new for delhities to get adjust to). Also it features an automatic door close and open system - again unique for people in India - who are accustomed to hang outside the main door with their one foot managing a square inch on the steps. And the most wonderful part about this bus i experienced is that in an extremely interesting way it cuts through the traffic, even when the BRT lane is not there. I experienced this near the busy Nehru Place.

anyways me thinks that every car wallah should take these buses every week at least once. in a world of rising oil prices and conjusted traffic jams - this is a neat option - at least once a week - who 's asking those CEOs?. let those bloody idiots travel in their AC cocoons, but the ordinary upper middle class guy can surely experience the new low floor DTC once a week.!

wikipedia's interesting info

while going through the wikipedia's long list of "film genres" which included several such film genres that you may never have heard of. But interestingly...u may have seen those films but would have never known that this particular film belongs to say the Wuxia genre and so on.

But among these different genres they had named a genre - "cinematic style of Abbas Kiarostami" - Wow thats a different genre altogether. A film genre that is named after a director - who could have done that. so then that fact takes me back to my favourite line by Jean-Luc-Goddard - "cinema begins with DW Griffith and ends with Kiarostami"

what remains on my list to be seen is his first film "The Traveller". and the rest of this genre have been experienced!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

bahut nikle mere ARMAAN

now the title is obviously misleading...

i have always thought that Honey Irani's film Armaan's music by Shankar,Ehsaan,Loy is the most under-estimated music of the trio. if u recollect it had some amazing numbers - "tu hi bata" - by roopkumar rathod- o how it causes ebb and tide in emotions when i hear it. the use of saxophone and violin in the jugalbandi between the father and son. The use of that spanish claps (i dont knnow what do they call them) in the Chitra song "mere dil ka tumse.." and then there is this arabian feel to that song...coupled with those claps...super...

and to top it all u had the use of beautiful strings in "mei gaoon tum gaaon..." and then the well-sung, multiple-singers - "aao milke gaien aisa gana..."... superb songs they were....

and then there were those 2 soft numbers -one where Sonu sings - "meri zindagi mei aayen ho..." and another "jaane yeh kya ho gaya..." with shankar himself

Armaan was a masterpeice missed by a lot of music enthusiasts i feel. download its music now to know what u missed. Its like the Andaz apna apna- when relaesed people dint care to see and when it was gone - it became a cult on video.

The Trio's bravo effort...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dombivili Fast....and furious!

"There are no good and bad movies, only good and bad directors." said Truffaut

Nishikant Kamat was a bad writer once, he wrote Julie, but look at the turnaround - he directed "Dombivili Fast"

An excellent work of our times, Dombivili Fast is a must watch not just for any Bombayite or maharashtrians but for each of us who has had a bad time with the 'system'.

Agreed its a purified version of Ghayal - but look at the detail - a man who daily commutes in local trains, dreams of the window seat. This is what he wants!

One day the local train will be empty enough for him to run and grab that coveted seat...

Nishikant Kamat has made a masterpiece....

Bottomline is never underestimate anyone, even someone who has written Neha Dhupia starrer Julie...:)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dissolve Dharm

a film that looks good on paper isnt always translated into a great visual work.
The example is right here. Dharm - with Pankaj Kapoor in lead and the kind of script - the director had - am sure anyone would have been fascinated to put their money into it, but alas i dont understand the several number of dissolves put inside this 90 minute film - the dissolves almost seem like they are done to save the film from heading towards a disaster in narrative. So what if the singular shots look really beautiful, but they dont make sense half the time - agreed Benares is the most photgraphed city in the whole world yet - the frames should speak something rather than - "o wow- thats a nice frame!"

as far as i am concerned i dont give a damn to a nice frame untill it is adding something to the narrative. Rajkumar Hirani says - the gift of a cinematographer is that if he is able to tell the story along with the director without letting us know the presence of camera - is true cinema technique. Never should the audience be able to tell - "o, look at that..."

When ViDhu Vinod Chopra was having a battle with Bhavna Talwar - the director of Dharm - i subconsciously took Dharm's side as it was not being allowed to go for Oscars - but thank god it dint go - ya it has India in its captive beauty and a script that talks about religion in contemporary India but they have not been brought to sync. The film almost looks episoidic in nature. And Sonu Nigam's voice is just overused till the point u say "o please now... i know u are better than Mohd. Rafi (which i guess he isn't)

For me Dharm only works in parts - esp. Pankaj Kapoor's style of walking - fantastic, just uber cool. U know here is an actor in command but he isnt been given good lines. The hoarseness in his voice in the climax hwen he calls for the kid - that sound is enough to conclude that wow.. this is what i call - great acting...

else Dharmn is all about dissolves/fade ins/fade outs and Benares.

But ya i am happy for the fact that here is a woman filmmaker in Hindi Cinema trying to make a point and is diverting our attention to something very essential in our society. More such women required immediately in Indian cinema scene.!

On Kite Runner - the Book and the Film

the difference between a film and a book is a drop of tear that comes out of your eye!

When i had read the last page of The Kite Runner while on a train i closed my eyes and a tear started from my eye and travelled till my chin, when i watched the film - The Kite runner by Marc Forster - as the credits came the tear appeared at the eye but it stayed there...

but having said that - by no means was the film any lesser than the book - its just that the time spent with the later was more.

The film has some extraordinary photography of the flying kites and the moment when Hassan runs for the kite is simply beautiful - u feel like cheering him... "Run Hassan Run..."

A must watch - The Kite Runner
and more importantly a must read - the book.

"For you, a thousand times over..."

u made a marc - Mr. Forster!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Through The Olive Trees

The film's ending is open to interpretation and reminds us that movies are only windows into another reality, and it's possible for them to close at the most inopportune times.

- James Bernadelli on Kiarostami's film

Ray's best

There’s something about the classics.. they always give u several reasons to appreciate. And the best part is that every individual finds a different reason to appreciate the film. Watched Ray’s Charulatha – known as his best work (at times even better than Pather Panchali) – undoubtedly Charulatha has frames to die for. Excellent compostions, extraordinary placements of characters in frame, splendid camera movements – Charulatha is Ray’s best work indeed. Although I am far from completing his filmography yet having seen a certain amount of World Cinema - Charulatha can stand tall amongst all. The camera is as efficient as it was of Greg Toland in Citizen Kane. And ya I am damn sure when I make this statement – albeit there are a few technical errors – like a bit of focus here and there – the zoom ins could have been a little smoother but apart from that Charulatha has some amazing camera moments and movements. Critics have appreciated this film for Ray’s perfect adaptation of Tagore’s story but sincei have not read it I cannot comment on that but Ray’s technical and story-telling achievement came together in Charulatha – a musssssst watch anyday!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Roll over Roy's writings

"to not say something is as political as to say something"
- Arundhati Roy

so true in the context of life i am living now...

"when you’re writing fiction, the world is different because you, sort of, come home with sentences like other people come home with shopping"

"There’s such a polarisation and hardening of things in the world around. There are other languages in my head now. It is not the English-speaking world I move in all that much anymore, even though I do think it’s necessary to engage with it and not lose that feeling of continuing to journey between these worlds.Less and less of us are doing that."

and for more who roll over roy's writings, here's something to savour

Vivek's masterstroke

Vivek's written an article on India-Aussie series and in midst of his article he came up with this masterstroke...

"Sometimes, a question alone assumes more importance than any possible answer. I am very happy to be a part of the question itself and not delve any further into finding answers because there are no “correct” answers to these questions."

waah dost.. khush kar diya.. poorane din yaad aa gayye... keep writing....

Monday, March 3, 2008

Where is Kiarostami's home?

Kiarostami is GOD!

had thought that i had seen all of his works..but recently saw "Where is the Friend's Home?"...and i am blown away by it...

If film students think Majidi's Children of Heaven is the best of what Iran has to offer, re-edit your list guys....

Dear Mr. Kiarostami,

if films are life, you are its oxygen!...

Friday, February 29, 2008

self reflexive filmmaking - part 3

in Rajkumar santoshi's film Damini, Aamir Khan appears for a cameo in a dance performance with Damini's main lead - Meenaxi Seshadri - but Aamir appears as film star Aamir Khan itself - so after the dance gets over - a journalist comes around him and asks "aapki nayi film "andaz apna apna" kab aa rahi hai"?

and eventually Rajkumar Santoshi's next film starring aamir Khan was the legendary "Andaz Apan Apna"...i am sure Santoshi must be simultaneously shooting both the films....

PVR cinema sucks! big time!!!!

how would u feel, if every other fashinable lady is allowed with her hand bag inside the multiplex but u are not allowed to take your shopping bag because u are having a carry bag of that place where u shopped from...?

how would u feel if u are asked to submit your helmet to a nearby pan shop, who will in-turn charge u 10 bucks for the helmet? all this coz, the multiplex authorities cant take care of your helmet, or more they cant have a counter where they can keep their helmets? so u pay 7 rs/- for parking your bike, then u pay 10/- bucks for your helmet at the pan shop (out of which i am sure PVR, Anupam must be having its commission)- thus u almost end up paying 20 more bucks in addition to your ticket of rs. 175/-

unbelievable, the way we allow corporatization to intrude our lives? but then why would i go to a fuck-all cinema hall like PVR, Anupam - only bcoz they were playing "there will be blood" much for a film...ooof!!!

PVR needs to place a counter for helmets/handbags, even their competitors Satyam multiplexes have it... so why go all the way to saket, when i can watch films at Nehru place.. Fuck u PVR!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Little Miss Sunshine...

if there was any film that would have slapped hard on the face of American moralistic values and the western culture and the influence on their kids, then it was Little Miss Sunshine.

there is this thing in which i believe...if u want to show someone a mirror show him such a huge large mirror that the person gets a little terrified...! u know its like when society starts thinking that a few things are not to be seen or shown in society...its only then when u exaggerate more and show it back to them, they are a little shaken from their grounds. Something what the Urdu writer Sa'adat Hasan Manto used to do! To show the naked face of human dignity, he depicted his characters and stories with such rawness that it was almost frightening for society.

somehow i find a strange parallel with Manto's stories, when the last sequence of "Little Miss Sunshine" comes - the little 7 or maybe 8-year old girl - to everyone's complete disbelief starts doing a striptease act. Man...would you believe that...but then if u see all those little girls in the beauty pageant, you feel as if "what is being done to htese little souls?" - in the first place why is there a beauty pageant for 5 to 8 year old girls...? but such is the state of the state of America that anything like this is passed as a part of a so-called "mature" society..and to counter this - there was this stud sitting there, to whom Olive's father asks? "are u a parent?" and he casually asks "first time in the pageant?.. to which the father doesnt have a reply!
i almost thought that, that guy was a child molester out there for hunt, but looking at Olive's performance...where everyone almost walks off, he s the one who genuinely stands up and applauds the performance...

(i maybe wrong in this interpretation but thats how i thought bout it)...

hail sunshine guys...!!! its a beautiful film...

and then there are these wonderful one-liners:

- You know what? Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another. School, then college, then work... Fuck that. And fuck the Air Force Academy. If I want to fly, I'll find a way to fly. You do what you love, and fuck the rest.

- Dwyane: I wish I could just sleep until I was eighteen and skip all this crap-high school and everything-just skip it.

Frank: Do you know who Marcel Proust is?

Dwayne: He's the guy you teach.

Frank: Yeah. French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he's also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he uh... he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, 'cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn't learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you're 18... Ah, think of the suffering you're gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don't get better suffering than that...

self reflexive filmmaking - part 2

In the film 'Bawarchi', Amitabh who is introducing the film and the characters in the begining says this about Jaya Bhaduri:

"yeh shivnathji ke doosre suputr ki beti.. Krishna hai... badi pyaari, chotti si "Guddi" si bachchi hai..."

thats a cute one hrishida!

self reflexive filmmaking...part 1

apropos to my post about Film within films...and my confession for great love on this genre called self-reflexive films - from now on i have started a self-reflexive filmmaking series wherein i will showcase some trivia about directors who almost in some or their other films have shown this great art of self-reflexive behavior!

the first in the series is micheal haneke..the next best thing to Amadeus Mozart from Austria. Haneke has had a wonderful take on self reflexive filmmaking!

picture this: (courtesy:
here we are talking about his film 'Funny Games'
Haneke employs a number of self-referential devices to, as the director once said, “rape the spectator to independence.” Halfway through the film, for instance, one killer winks into the camera and subsequently asks the viewer, “what would you bet that this family is dead by nine o'clock tomorrow?” The film thus plays with the spectator just as the young men play their “funny game” with the family. The killer Paul later explains why he can't possibly stop his abuse: “we're still under the length of a proper feature film.”

The ironic self-referentiality reaches its apex when a character actually rewinds the film. When the mother manages to grab a gun and shoot Paul's accomplice, Paul grabs a remote control and rewinds the scene, thus securing control over the film's outcome.

WOW!!!! man that is the kind of filmmaking i would go nuts for! haneke u can employ me for my whole life - for free.. i will mop and sweep your sets happily....

Monday, February 25, 2008

where's the 'Gaon" in 'Gurgaon'?

facts please:

- almost all the corporates that exist in India have a glass-walled office in Gurgaon

- a parking space acc. to one of my friends cost 2 lacs, forget the flat/pent house - this is just the cost of parking space for ur car.

- the new state-of-the-art delhi-gurgaon expressway was just inaugurated, which has 21 bucks as toll tax for a single vehicle's entry on just one side!

- India's biggest real estate giant (who is on a virtual tour to grab India's prime land) DLF has a almost 50% hold over the gurgaon city land.

i was on a Haryana Transport bus called Delhi to Rewari.
So most of the occupants who were travelling in the bus were people who belonged to the lower strata of the society. when the bus crossed airport, almost all fo them turned left to see the flights taking off, one of them said: "woh dekho..aeroplane!"
wow! when did i last hear "Aeroplane" - i loved the sound of it! "Aeroplane" - and they were all so awestruck by the sight of 3 or 4 planes that it almost made me felt like that fevicol ad about the aliens coming on earth and the expressions on the faces of those actors. And as u go ahead, the expressway makes u feel like a runway. So, for those people the bus was giving them the experience of an aeroplane in the price of a bus fare! Thats development! :)

When the bus enters Gurgaon, it is a sight to be seen. Huge glass-walled buildings, Shopping Malls, Corporate offices, skyscrapers, never-before-seen design on buildings and what not! (one of the advertsing boards say: India's longest shopping mall now with a 1 km long shopping floor!) Woosh! are they going to have cabs now inside the malls?
imagine u coming out of Pantaloons and you ask the cabbie "bhaiyya next stop Shopper's Stop.!, wahi thodi der rukne ke baad, hum Tommy Hilfiger jaayenge!" But your kid will insist to go to Playstation joint, so u ask the cabbie wala, "jab tak hum Shopper's Stop mei ho, tab tak tum isse PlayStation ghooma ke leke aana" wow! i can see this... it will soon happen!)
bloody 1 km shopping mall!

the people in bus didnt have any option. a few must have closed their windows in disbelief and a few were still trying to figure out "whether the bus has taken a different route?", well i am exaggerating -

everyone knows and have heard about what Gurgaon has become - but never did they expect such a huge concrete jungle! I am sure, the residents of rural haryana are almost in a state of shock!

But the shocker comes now! half of delhi daily commutes to gurgaon but then there is
no such thing called Public transport! Its almost like a poor is not allowed to travel or live in gurgaon.

More shocking part, as i enter a high-rise building where my friend rents a flat - there is no electricity for the next 3 hours! so what are u suppose to do, but talk about the dichotomy...

what have we all made our cities to be?
there is multiplex, malls, offices but no transport or electricity.

i can see what rapid urbanization is doing to our country and this is just happening in the capital's neighbourhood. wonder what the other parts of the country has to say?

my series of blogs on gurgaon will continue with the frequent trips I make there!

to be continued...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Zoom in to Director's Cut!

well, somehow i caught up with TV today - something herzog really hates...and well, TV in India is not any better..but there is this gossip page 3 channel called Zoom TV - they have managed to come out with a fresh piece of program called Director's Cut.

i was just surfing channels at my friend's place and i heard this:
When Pradeep Sarkar was asked that how do u feel being a film director he said:
"Nasha jab pesha ban jaaye, toh life mei mazaa aata hai..."

Pradeep Sarkar has done 1500 ads and several music videos for Euphoria and other wonder he came up with this fantastic line....

will make it a point to watch this program from now on...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

herzog on herzog was a superb read...even the excerpts made my true he is when he says "A pianist is made in childhood, a filmmaker at any age"...

he is so damn right that filmmakers do not come from any particular background...they come from the school of life.. he became a welder..and he took it up so that he could fund his first film.. .one really needs to be so deep into the madness called films that he can take up anything that comes into his route...if only a few fools understood this...

cinema comes from within u, the more the experiences you absorb the more you will be able to express....

time to catch "Rescue Dawn"

delhi dilemmas

why isn't the capital city among the best cities to do business? the reason is simple.. the spirit of business among its people is so amiss! i am sure delhi can never ever become the best business district of our country. the VCD shop guy to whom i regularly go... i am stressing - to whom i regularly go..will not give me my money back since the CD dint work on my comp. It is even more generous to expect that the shopkeeper can sense the mood of the customer that the CD has not worked and he s back within 20 minutes to my shop, since he is upset and wants to return the CD, let me take the VCD and return him his money along with the deposit. but instead he wouldn't even care about that aspect and start trying to justify himself by showing that see the CD works at my place. arrey yaar, if the CD hasn't worked this time and the customer is back in 20 mins, why dont u just take the CD back and return the money? he s a regualr customer, he comes once a week - why to spoil the business just because of 1 film - but No! - delhi's traders and its shopkeepers are known for their cunning behaviour...

almost all of my relatives had warned me before going to this city that - delhi is known for its thugs...."aisse he film ka naam dilli ka thug nahi rakhaa gaya tha..." true they were... and this is not my first experience - on countless instances, the customer has been treated like this...and when the customer has been treated royally - i make sure i ask the origin of where the trader belongs to and in most cases it turns out that he s a non-delhite...

the people who think belong to delhi and rightfully own delhi are the ones who are causing problems to the city. A normal ordinary migrant is contributing to the city and in a certain way is also benefitting from the metro - but then i think if delhi will be ruined than it will be because of its people and not the migrants or travellers or some fly-by-night people like me - who have just come here to spend 2 years and not a single day more!

delhi's majority of business class stinks! heavily!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

bombay ड्रीम्ज़

रात जब मुम्बई की सड़कों पर,
अपने पंजो को पेट में लेकर
काली बिल्ली की तरह सोती है
अपनी पलकें नही गिराती कभी
साँस की लम्बी लम्बी बौछारें
उड़ती रहती है खुश्क साहिल पर!
- gulzar

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Something that fascinates me about megalopolis like Delhi and Mumbai are its traffic jams. With developing fly overs, metro rail, underpasses, and other infrastructure - we permanently find that the “work is in progress”, and our multiplying needs make sure that these boards don’t go to a locker, instead once a particular infrastructure is completed, they just shift their places to other areas. Thus a particular group of sign boards never are able to take rest! While amidst a traffic jam, we see a hundred thousand brands of cars lined up and inside each of them is a story - when I look inside a plush Skoda, I find an old gentleman (or maybe he was not old - he had deliberately whitened all his hair) reading “economic times”, as I look ahead I observed a driver adjusting his underwear in a Indica and on the left there is a group of salesman with the logo of their banks on their bags - all together, yet on different bikes - they are always in hunt for that small little gap between cars - through which they can sneak and make sure that the carwallahs give them a grudging look. Behind me is an extraordinarily dressed woman who is probably off to shopping, she takes pity on a kid selling Vogue and obliges him, but me thinks she would have picked even if a drunkard was selling the mag. 2 more cars ahead there is a middle-aged uncle, ya you guessed it - on a bajaj trying to insert the ringing mobile from the small gap available between his ears and the helmet - oh but there is more, due to winters he also has a monkey cap between his ears and helmet - now he gets fed up from trying the mobile to get through, coz the caller may cut, at last he removes his helmet, lifts his monkey cap and shouts “arrey traffic mei hu!”. A few students are crossing the road infact cutting the traffic jam by playing a car maze kind of game, where they pass, then stop, then figure, then again walk, then turn and finally before another car can reach they jump to the pavement. next topic through the lens is delhi traffic....have to capture something on my camera...have to...have to...

P.S: had written this before the start of the shoot of my second film.

Filmmaking is essentially a medium through which one tries to tell different stories. But then, in my case its just the 2nd film (logically the third – the first was a premature baby) and in both the films, there is an element about filmmaking always shouting it from the top and intelligently or foolishly it is a part of the main script. Why? How? Well, while writing this I am trying to find those reasons. Am I trying to show off, while I show filmmaking as a part of my film?, well lets assume yes – when you have made a film, after its complete, you are done with it, it no longer remains just with you and that film will be seen by a particular audience, anywhere – thus when 'filmmaking' comes in between the story or is the story I try to show that see this is where I am in the film. Thus I somehow try to prove the point that see even in my profession – the profession which I was never suppose to take up in my life – I somewhere leave a mark of myself – call it a self-obsessive gimmick! Or should we see this in a different perspective – that since it is our inception in this particular field as we are a part of a film school – that we are so enamoured by it that we are bound to create stories around it. Stories, unless you are not adapting, come from within yourself and when it comes from you, it has a part of you. However hard you may try – if you are the mother who gives a birth to the story – it is bound to have your features in it. And like birthmarks, the story too once it is out of you leaves certain impressions about those particular characters with you, which is again dangerous, coz when in reality you do meet a character like that you tend to force your way of thinking on to it.

Then, apart from these 2 there are other reasons for me which leads to include the aspect of making films about 'filmmaking'. One of them is that the audience throughout these years have been watching all story-based films – so the audience knows now the kind of stories that come and given a particular character's mental journey – what will happen in due course of the film – thus they expect a particular kind of twist and turn in the main plot. Thus Syd Field comes up with the kind of screenplay format – where he tries to say that 2 plot points are important for a good script. But is Syd Field the only one to tell us that this is the 'formula' for a superhit screenplay – I give you the skeleton and now you fit your story into it. Thus, when the audience knows or expects a particular kind of story – me, who has has the privilidge to learn about films and filmmaking – let me take the audience on a tour and show them how actually films are made – what does it go to make a film – and what can go wrong while making a film. Hmmm…this sounds interesting to me. Show them what you do all 'day for night'. But does a doctor show the operational procedure to the patient or its relatives? Does a railway engine driver invite passengers to show how she/he drives? Does a architect show the steps of constructing a particular building? Well, sometimes they do…like a husband is allowed to watch and at times even help to see the baby come out from the mother. then that's what I do – if my story has an aspect about filmmaking, which I include while I make a film – then is there anything wrong? Truffaut and Godard have done it, Lynch, Fellini and Woody Allen did it. Hrishikesh Mukherjee did it in Guddi and Ram Gopal Varma did it in Rangeela. And there couldn't have been better examples then Mahabharata and Ramayana – where the authors themselves come into the story to tell an essential part of the story. But then it is important to know that not in every film did Truffaut, Verma or Godard did this. Agreed, if we see their repertoire they are the ones who have highly experimented with the forms and styles and the ways to tell a story. But then probably till the time I am in film school and am learning about the tools of film making that I am enamoured by it. As time passes, I would give birth to stories that will be able to have an identity of their own and not as if "Oh here it comes again from this guy!"

But then I wonder till the time I am studying about films, am I on some kind of road towards a trilogy about filmmaking? Coz at MCRC, jamia, we are allowed to make 3 films (of varying durations ) as a part of the course. The third is of course upto your capability to handle the film as a medium. So, even if I manage to get that – will there again be a filmmaking angle into it or would I finally break free from the kind of thinking that filmmaking is not the only aspect the rest of the world is interested in!

meeting K

so then....K stands for what... K for Kafka...( K for the K-series...(well..not there...) K for the K-syndrome in hindi films...(rubbish..!!!) K for ....hmmm... K for... Kan it be Kashyap.... ??? (yyyyyeaaaahhhh..... u are there...) so then.. today we finally meet, as Lynch would term in his Lost Highway symbolism..."the Mystery Man" - Anurag Kashyap.... good lord that i met him in this birth else i would die with a few questions in my mind about his film and my soul would not go to rest in peace....but then.. as Baba bangali says... "aatma hai toh sharir ishwar hai.. aatma nahi toh sharir nashwar hai.." ok i guess my ramblings are not making sense...but am proud of it.. after all this is my first blog and am free to write the way i want.. neither K, nor any A to Z cares about it.... But then let me pour out my heart K - man u are awesome.. in the shallow pools of mediocrity there is a frog who jumps high and man what a leap he takes in form of "No Smoking" - "a small step for K is a giant leap for our indian cinema" and then K is so approachable... K has a photographic a kid he was going ga-ga over his "emotional hathyachaar". and after all was done.. he could sit in front of us with his lappie, when we were having lunch... and make us hear his forthcoming!..i was floored.... K introduced us to Fatih Akin - the turkish-born German director with his films like Head-On, Edge of Heaven...etc... K my interpretations on No smoking are as follows....they maybe wrong but they are mine K..and "Nobody tells me what to do..." :) Take Smoking as a metaphor for Filmmaking... now whats new.. everyone knows that...ok lets go ahead...

1. the "the Dead Factory" - is of course RGV's now dead production house...

2. The Prayogshaala - (A) is a big production house ala Yash Raj studios who beat, whip and make people do from them what they can be any other production house... hint: when baba bangali says "salaam Namaste MBBS"... both films written by Abbas tyrewala..he is directly refering to how abbas was made to write stuff... (B) the Prayogshaala can also be a Censor board - cause that is how they try to confine filmmakers and restrict their freedom to think. they decide and we make...

3. and if the concept B is true for Prayogshala, then the ZERO Hour is a film festival where there is no Censorship and people are free to watch whatever they want to - there are no certificates like U or A.. its free for everyone...

4. the character of Alex - La Fidal Castrated... is like a Sanjay Gupta character who brings stuff from outside to sell it in India. They way Sanjay Gupta rips the foreign film DVDs and sells it in India - in the name of his own....

5. the 2 fingers of K that are shown cut in the end are the 2 banned films of K - Paanch and black friday....

6. the 2 versions of a same woman are of course the 2 ways a man wants to see a woman - as a devoted wife and as a seductress in office... (but then i loved it when Ayesha Takia's chartacter says that - he married her secretary who is now her she kind of fits in both roles..but then in first half after K tells to the old lady to take the stairs - he asks in his office that where is the secretary on which he is said that she is on a leave today... well...? there i go again....

7. and then there is this wonderful hint given before everything is to begin... the eunuch comes and gives change.. and tells to K.. he may need it...

8. when we come to know in the end that the hospital was inaugrated by Baba Bangali .. the date is 1st april... welll.... that means...we are being made fools....any guesses.... hmm.... now am tired.. will try to edit this post.. when i can.... till then K, u are a magnet....

thanks for letting us think....

first film

on my first film
there is something with the 'firsts' in life! your first day at school...your first love...your first wedding night...your first salary...n the first film - we all treasure these moments - thats what i experienced when rolling the film in the camera - bliss...
after talking incessantly on films with the utmost strangers from last so many years...i finally did make a film - so what if it didnt have sound n it was a silent film? - i am making it loud on orkut...:)
"bolo na...bolex"a hardik mukul mehta film

on OM Shanti Om

Aaaaaaaaah.. finally.. i m so relieved, just a few months ago i thought Farah Khan took away my excitement of paying a tribute to hindi cinema, but alas what she does is she Spoofs... n big time.....
there is a thin line between spoof and tribute, lot of directors have failed to understand this...
Om shanti Om is good in parts, infact enjoyable, the music is just too good for the film... the mohabbat-man and the dhomm tanna song rocks...but then the film doesnt have much more than a few laughs...
dear farah,u dont have to be of a hindi film lineage to pay a tribute to hindi films.. u need to be a true and an honest fan of hindi cinema to pay a tribute....
and in the hinterlands of india there are hundreds of such people who know hindi cinema more than u...
regards,An AVID hindi cinema fan....
(P.S: the editing of Om Shanti Om is nothing short of crap)

On saawariya

am confused these days...
are all the review writers a bunch of fools or is it my unconditional love for cinema...?
having said that i think Sanjay leela bhansali is an auteur in true sense...his films are like dreams... they do not have any specified time and space...what they do have is the language of cinema written all over...add to it his keen sense of music...its almost as if he is the music director of the film...
dear farah,
there is a difference between a 100 m race and a marathon! if u wanted to pay your tributes to cinema and hindi films, it would be really wise if u watch saawariya...the umbrella of Shri 420, the reels of Mughal-e-azam and the khota sikka of Sholay...and finally the dialogue of karz...
wow bhansali u make me dream more...

best'est' songs of 2007

As all tom, dick and harrys would be rating their favourite or best things of last' s my list of 10 best pieces of music in hindi films....Caution: (popular choices ahead)
1. O re piya – Aaja Nachle
2. Tere Bina – Guru
3. Jaan-e-jaan / Yoon Shabnami– Saawariyaa
4. Ajab si/ Mei agar kahoon – Om Shanti Om
5. Maa / Jame Raho – Taare Zameen Par
6. Bol na Halke halke – Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
7. Dil Kya karein (adnan sami version) – Salaam-e-Ishq
8. Tumse hi / Aaoge Jab Tum – Jab We Met
9. Beetein Lamhe – The Train
10. Maula Mere – Chak De India


yeh world hai na world... issme do tarah ke log hotte hai...ek jo saari zindagi mei ek he kaam karte rehte hain aur doosre jo ek he zindagi mei saare kam kar dete hai..."
it cannot be true for anyone else than Gulzar saab - writer, director, poet, playwright...and what not...
a few of my favourite Gulzarizations:
1. "Itna lamba kash lo yaaron ke dum nikal jaaye, aye zindagi sulgaon yaaron, gum nikal jaaye...
2. Oho zara rastaa toh do, thoda sa baadal chakhna hai..."
3. lambe dhaage dhuyein ke, saans silne lage hai, pyaas udhadi huyi hain, honth chhilane lage hai...
4. udti udti ankhiyon ke lad gaye pech lad gayye ve...
5. doston se jhoothi moothi doosron ka naam leke, phir meri baatein karna...
6. beedi jalai le jigar se piya, jigar ma badi aag hai...
7. jinke sar ho ishq ki chaav, pav ke neeche janat hogi...
8. Dhaagein tod laao chaandni se noor ke...
9. Nazrein uthaai aapne, toh waqt rook gaya, thehre hue pal mei zamaane beet gayye...
the 9th one is from thodi si bewafaai and a similar line comes in Jhoom barabar jhoom's bol na halke halke...
10. "woh ek din, sau saal ka, sau saal ki woh raat thi... kaisa lage jo chup chap dono pal-pal mei saari sadiyaan beeta de...."
what imagination....

O brother where art thou?

O brother where art thou?
- the Lumiere brothers invented cinema...

- on Oscar list of 2008, we see Coen brothers everywhere in each category...thus its the right time to remember our desi version of brothers... the Wadia brothers...
Homi Wadia and Jamshed Wadia- the forerunners of stunt films in 30s and the ones who brought Fearless Nadia to fame...

- like me they too had a fascination for trains... their films include Toofan Mail, Miss Frontier Mail, Punjab Mail etc...Their films had Nadia performing stunts herself with a horse who was always named "Punjab ka Beta" (seems they were the ones who started the punjabification in indian cinema and like all experiments they started with animals :) )
One of the most interesting charecteristics of Wadia brothers were their film titles:

Hurricane Hansa
Hunterwaali ki Beti
Diamond Queen
Lutaru Lalna
Toofani Tarzan
Hanuman Pataal Vijay

a tribute to all the brothers who were born to CineMAA!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

ghalib ki ghazal....

1:43 am.
it s wednesday morning and whatta morning i am having here...its always extra special when my friend tanmay is on guitar - but today the ghazal is acting more like the alcohol - it is just sinking in me.. dont know why..but the day and the happenings in day is the reason for it...

for a long while, i had never been on the receiving end.. i meant .. oh i meant that its always me who has to sing for people, but today i loved hearing someone sing this ghazal from mirza ghalib...

aah ko chahiye ek umr asar hone ke tak...

its like when u ask sachin to sit back and relax and watch lara making people run all around the park. ok! i dont mean that i am some sachin or something...

the other 2 gems that tanmay pulled out from his repertoire were:

1. kyun zindagi ki raah mei majboor ho gaye... - saath saath

2. wafa jo tumse maine nibhai...umr na muft mei sadko pe beetayi hoti...Daddy

its a wonderful feeling...i so love nights that are full of music, that strike so much melody between friends, that pluck the strings of your heart...hmmm... only thing: a nice coffee was missed....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The 8th wonder of the world

once upon a time...

all great or not-so-great stories have begun with these very words...truly, when i look back... i feel as if i was born here in this building called "munshi"...

On my last trip to munshi...i felt

- the walls were yearning to listen to our cacophony...
- the gardener still cuts the grass without any mercy...
- the loos still have our graffiti intact...
- the rooms are still as dirty as ever...
- and the tales of ragging are still heard in the corridors...

but a few things have changed for better or for worse...i dont know...

- the cycle stand now hosts a slew of motor cycles...
- the old telephone is replaced...
- the rooms have internet...
- there is TATA SKY in TV room...phew...!

am blessed i lived in an era when there was nothing but our own voice, our own guitar and our own's my tribute to that place....