How long, we asked, were his locks? “I cannot believe you asked me that!” he said. “It’s down to the hips.”…He’s removed the turban in movies like The Life Aquatic and Inside Man, but never for a photo shoot. So which fashion magazines would he take it off for? “Purple [He appears in the current issue.]. And I’d do it for L’Uomo Vogue. I believe in art, and I believe in ideas and concepts,” he said. So, no Men’s Vogue? “No.” What about Harper’s Bazaar? Waris pointed to his turban. “They get this.” — “You Can’t Offend Waris Ahluwalia”
Ahluwalia is scheduled to appear on the big screen this fall in vampire flick Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Undead. The film’s myspace page shares interviews with cast members including Ralph Macchio and Waris, who reminisces about his college freshman year interest in the dark arts. The interest didn’t go very far because he wasn’t ready to give up God—“We’re tight.”
The 2008 Indian Film Fesival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), starting tomorrow April 22-27, includes a tribute (Update: “Due to a family emergency, the Tribute to Madhuri Dixit has been canceled.”) to Bollywood dancing queen and Padma Shri recipient Madhuri Dixit who will appear in person for discussion. Two films released in 1997 will display her diversity, The Death Sentence (Mrityudand), set in a remote village in Bihar where class conflicts affect the personal lives of three women, and the dance dramedy My Heart is Crazy (Dil To Pagal Hai) featuring Dixit as a new dancer who falls in love with her troupe’s director (a pre-Lux SRK).
As usual, IFFLA has an impressive program of films to pique my curiosity (plus one that I can heartily recommend—the charmingly hilarious Loins of Punjab). Here are a few:
“Silent Hues.” Veteran actress and former child star Rohini provides an emotional peek into the lives of child actors in the Indian film industry in this documentary.
“Beast.” Tagline: There’s more to the mousy Indian girl in the next cubicle than meets the eye. This short is by Geeta Malik—you may have seen another one of her shorts, Aunty Gs. Also interesting is her short doc on South Asians (in the US) and skin color, “Not Fair, Still Lovely.”
“Quamar — Working to Live.” In this documentary short, Quamar, a 10-year-old girl who works with her mother making bangles tells her story directly and with heartbreaking knowledge that her childhood (and future) may already be lost.
Previously: IFFLA 2007.
Plus: “Bollywood Comes to Hollywood for Sixth Annual IFFLA” (LA Weekly); “Madhuri Mania in Los Angeles” (IndiaInfo.com); “I was introduced to India early, watching Indian films in Greece as a teenager” (ScreenIndia.com’s interview with IFFLA Founder-Director Christina Marouda).
Mukhtar Mai is scheduled to appear in Sacramento on December 11 for an event presented by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Credit Union League (see site for event details) and the Pakistani American Association of Greater Sacramento Valley. “An Evening with Mukhtar Mai: Building Schools of Hope Fundraising Event” includes a private dinner, public reception and opportunities to ask questions of Mukhtar Mai. Proceeds of this event go to the Mukhtar Mai School Fund to support the expansion, staffing and ongoing education of her schools.
Sentenced by tribesmen in Pakistan to be gang-raped because of an infraction supposedly committed by her brother, Mai rose to international acclaim in the years following by fighting back and testifying against her attackers and using her compensation to open schools in her village. She travels internationally to speak on behalf of women and continues to expand her schools.
Related: Mohammed Naqvi’s documentary on Mai, Shame, illustrates the international reception Mukhtar Mai has received as a cause célèbre. In this interview, Naqvi takes questions about the implications this international attention has had for her personal privacy and safety, as well as her mission of educating children in rural Pakistan.
At last month’s Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, film editor Geeta Gandbhir won one of the coveted winged statuettes for her work on Spike Lee’s HBO’ documentary “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.” She won the Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Picture Editing in Nonfiction Programming and shared it with supervising editor Sam Pollard and editor Nancy Novack.
The film, which received three Emmys, portrays New Orleans in the wake of Katrina’s destruction with powerful music, imagery and words. It includes interviews from 100 people selected from diverse backgrounds, including Louisiana’s Governor Blanco and rapper Kanye West and has been described as the “opposite of a Ken Burns documentary.” (NYT). Clips: 1, 2,3, 4.
Read on to learn how Gandbhir, who has worked in the industry for over 15 years, got her start in editing, her other projects, and why babies and Emmys don’t mix.
How did you get interested and started in editing?
I originally worked in animation for a Harvard professor, until I met Spike Lee. He gave me a job as an intern in the edit department on his film “Macolm X” and that was the start of my edit career. I studied art and animation in college and have always been interested in storytelling through film and theater, so editing seemed to be perfect for me – telling stories through a visual medium. Read the rest of this entry »
Abstraction-friendly rapper and producer Madlib has released a new album titled “Beat Konducta Vol. 3-4: In India,” released last month on the Stones Throw recording label and reviewed today in Dusted magazine. “In India” uses vocals, dialogue and music from Indian cinema, deconstructed and reworked into a pastiche that sharply differs from previous marriages of hip-hop and Bollywood. It’s unclear which track on the album matches the video below, but it’s still amusing and refreshing to see that there’s a little Tollywood, Kollywood and Mollywood in the mix.
While browsing movie listings over the weekend, I noticed that the cast of The Brave One, the latest Jodie Foster star vehicle, includes Naveen Andrews. As a Lost fan impatiently awaiting the next season scheduled for sometime never in 2008, this piqued my interest. Andrews plays Foster’s “sensitive, guitar-strumming male nurse” fiancé named David Kirmani. Or he does until he dies at the hands of thugs, an event that happens early in the film as the catalyst thrusting Foster’s character, radio host Erica Baines, into vigilante mode.
While Terrence Howard‘s role as a romantic interest and detective on the trail of the vigilante sounds like it would ameliorate the suspiciously UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT quality of Andrews’ early demise, that may be small consolation for us fans of Lost‘s Sayid looking to see more of Andrews on the big screen. Maybe we should rent Bride and Prejudice or My Own Country instead (actually, Netflix is nugatory on that last title, so maybe not). As for my ultimate choice of movie for last weekend? Rebel Without a Cause. No Naveen (just Dean) but rewarding nonetheless. 🙂
The comedic duo John Cho and Kal Penn reprise their roles as Harold and Kumar for a trip to Amsterdam in the sequel to their White Castle flick. That’s what the title of Harold and Kumar Go to Amsterdam would lead you to believe. But the recently released trailer highlighting their misidentification as terrorists on the plane and detainment in an interrogation room may leave you wondering if the pair ever makes it to the city of frites and canals, or if they end up at Guantanamo.
Also insane on the plane: Dishad Husain’s Viva Liberty! features a character named Woody Ali who is misidentified as a terrorist when he tries to go on holiday and ends up at a notorious US detention center.
More: While the passenger who freaks out at the sight of Kumar in the movie trailer may be an exaggerated caricature/plot device, a recent amendment seeks to shield from lawsuits airline passengers and others who report suspicious activity to authorities (“King bill aims to protect terrorism tipsters”). Proposed in response to the 2006 case of six Muslim imams removed from a plane after a passenger raised concerns about them, the bill has faced opposition from those who argue that it encourages racial profiling (NPR).
I’ve been seeing lots of commercials for the upcoming movie The Last Legion which is giving plenty of screen time to an ass-kicking Aishwarya.
Though not revolving around her, the movie follows the fall of Rome and the exile of young Romulus (played by Thomas Sangster, the adorable little boy from Love Actually) to Capri. He is rescued by Aurelius (Colin Firth) and along with a Byzantine warrior (Aishwarya Rai) and a wizard (Ben Kingsley) Romulus searches for the last legion of people who are still loyal to Rome.
See the trailer here. The Last Legion opens this Friday August 17.
Tipster M passes along this sighting of actress Katherine Heigl on hiatus from Grey’s Anatomy and wearing a sari for her upcoming film 27 Dresses, scripted by The Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna and directed by Anne Fletcher. The romantic comedy is the story of a single woman who has served as a bridesmaid 27 times, and takes the part once again for her sister’s wedding to the man Heigl’s character is in love with.
A closer look at some of the photos on Just Jared, the premise of the movie and the often heard bridesmaid’s complaint about hideous gowns all suggest that the film’s costume designer was shooting for somewhere below the stunning/elegant benchmark. Sari experts Nika and Natasha from the site’s comments section weighed in with their critique: Read the rest of this entry »
In the article, Jolie opens up about all of her children’s personalities … According to her, Pax is still learning that underwear and pants are not the same thing, Zahara knows how to get what she wants, Shiloh is just learning to walk and Maddox is really bonding with his father.
She also talks about preparing for her role in A Mighty Heart, the story of the Daniel Pearl tragedy. The movie, produced by Brad Pitt, was filmed in India and boasts tons of South Asians in the cast including Archie Panjabi and Irrfan Khan.
Of the intensity on set while filming the scene of the revelation of Daniel’s murder, she says:
A Mighty Heart opens in theaters nationwide on June 22.