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  • Lifetime Achievement Award winner at MAMI, Zhang Yimou talks about making films in China and how his bleak childhood influenced his films

    Zhang Yimou, China's most celebrated director received a standing ovation as he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony of the 14th Mumbai Film Festival. His films such as 'Hero', 'Raise the Red Lantern' and 'Ju Dou' were nominated for Oscars.

    Born to parents of 'dubious' background, Zhang brought his first camera by selling his blood and the turbulent times he grew in left an impact on him and his cinema. Growing up in a class dominated China made him work in farms and factories before he plotted his way to the university.  Pictures clicked with his camera helped him get an admission in the cinematography department of the Beijing Film Academy. Despite censorship, Zhang has managed to work around it and has gained international acclaim.

    Excerpts from the interview:
    How did you get into film making?
    I grew up in

    Read More »from ‘Can’t avoid censorship in China’
  • Best of Yash Chopra

    What made his films unforgettable was his uncanny ability to create magic on screen. Here's a look

    Waqt: Though Yash Chopra's directorial debut was Dhool Ka Phool, it was Waqt which got him the best director award for the first time. According to Bollywood trivia, B R Chopra had originally planned the film with Prithviraj Kapoor and his three sons, Raj, Shammi and Shashi. Eventually, only Shashi Kapoor was cast in the film.

    Daag:The hit pair of the seventies Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore teamed up together in this drama about a polygamous man living a dual life. At that time, Rajesh Khanna was a superstar and everybody wanted a piece of him. Sources say that the leading ladies of the film never spoke to each other for years after a fight over Rajesh Khanna.

     Deewar: The film contains all the stock-in-trade elements of a Bollywood masala potboiler - Brothers who are poles apart, the wronged mother, a taut script ( one of the best from Salim - Javed), the powerful dialogues and above

    Read More »from Best of Yash Chopra
  • Cast: Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Rishi Kapoor

    Director: Karan Johar

    Rating: ***1/2

    Karan Johar does what he is best at; create a glossy fairytalish world revolving around love, friendship and mush. Infact, KJo manages to steer clear of heightened melodrama and actually packs in a little message, floundering on the logic once in a while but never on the slick production qualities.

    The film is quite obviously inspired by Mansoor Khan's classic 'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar', where the inter-school competition has been replaced by an intra-school Triwizard Tournament - like (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) contest that will decide on the 'Student of the Year'. Fortunately for us the plot is focused on the spirit of competition with a romantic interlude and keeps manipulation and vindication to the bare minimum. KJo insists on taking a short digression to show a Bollywood-style Big Fat Indian Wedding but we can make allowances for a little indulgence. What will all the

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Student of the Year
  • Rani Mukerji and Prithviraj in 'Aiyyaa'Sachin Kundalkar's 'Aiyyaa' is a curious film to review, neither can you completely diss it as a bad one nor can you overlook its obvious flaws. There are moments in the film that will make you smile much after you have left the theatre and then there are others that just had no place in the final cut.

    Baradwaj Rangan has titled his review, "Aiyyaa"… Curiouser and curiouser:

    Throughout Aiyyaa, we are left turning between a lovably loud Hindi film and a more dreamlike French romance that might have featured Audrey Tautou — and the effect is whiplash. A musical sequence like Dreamum wakeupum — an expertly staged parody of the Padmalaya ethos — belongs in the first kind of a film, but clashes horribly with the sensibilities of the other film. And a song between two supporting characters — Maina (Anita Date, who's made to look like a cross between Olive Oyl and a Folies Bergère entertainer) and Meenakshi's brother Nana (Amey Wagh) — is staged like absurd theatre. It has no business in a

    Read More »from Y! Meta Review: Aiyyaa
  • A still from Aiyyaa
    Cast: Rani Mukerji, Prithviraj

    Director: Sachin Kundalkar

    Rating: **1/2

    To enjoy a film like 'Aiyyaa', logic and rational definitely have to be left behind. Sachin Kundalkar creates a funny, slightly eccentric, filmi protagonist but he expects her charm to carry a film that is saddled with a ridiculous plot and side characters who are intended to be amusing but border on the annoying.

    Meenakshi (Rani Mukerji) loves melodrama and is crazy about typical Bollywood films and music. Needless to say she also aspires to have a classic Bollywood romance rather than settle for an arranged marriage. Coming from a typical middle-class family, she has no choice but to go through the routine of meeting prospective grooms with their families, complete with a tray of poha and sreekhand. Despite several rejections, Meenkashi manages to find a perfectly eligible candidate. However, she is not too keen about the alliance because she finds herself insanely attracted to a very intense-looking Tamil

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Aiyyaa

  • Mr Ding Dong in action
    The very mention of Subhash Ghai is enough to spring up images of the amiable floppy-hatted filmmaker who would make decided cameos in all his films. Having survived the industry for four decades, he has an impressive filmography to his credit. From the suspense classic ‘Karz’ to masala blockbuster ‘Ram Lakhan’, Ghai has tried his hand in everything. ‘Kisna’, ‘Yuvraj’ and ‘Black and White’ may not have tremendous recall with audiences but he defends them, saying that they were misunderstood and were ahead of their times. Ghai has been missing from action for the last few years given the legal hassles pertaining to his film institute, ‘Whistling Woods’. But now that he admits to have resigned from the institute, handing over the baton to his daughter, Ghai is all charged up to return to his first passion: making films. Between recording sessions of his untitled next, he was happy to spare some time with us to talk cinema and how he it has evolved in the last decade.

    Firstly, what have
    Read More »from I hate the Subhash Ghai of the last decade

  • The many moods of Esha Gupta
    When Esha Gupta first faced the celluloid camera, some were quick to note her resemblance to Angelina Jolie while others called her a poor man’s Lara Dutta. Her carefully sculpted jawline, her sparkling eyes and her supermodel body was enough to ensure that she bagged a couple of Bhatt films. But like every model who has attempted acting, she wasn’t spared from being discarded for being, well, just a pretty face. Two films old in the industry, Esha Gupta is awaiting the release of her most promising and challenging acting performance ever, in Prakash Jha’s next, ‘Chakravyuh’. In this film, she plays an astute cop who manages to keep her calm even when she is ferociously angry. Want to know more about how Esha managed all this? We did too. That is exactly why we caught up with her for a quick chat. Here is a transcript of the conversation:

    So what was the most exciting thing about ‘Chakravyuh’ that made you consider this film?
    Let me be completely honest. For me the most exciting
    Read More »from ‘Honestly, I was bad in Jannat 2′

  • In a free-wheeling chat, director S.S Rajamouli talks about 'Makkhi' and how the idea was born out of his father's story sessions

    'Makkhi' is an action animation film about the revenge of a super fly. Originally named 'Eega' in Telugu, the film was an instant success and was also released in Tamil as 'Naane' and 'Eecha' in Malayalam. The film is the result of a story which S. S. Rajamouli heard 16 years ago from his father. "At that time I wasn't even an assistant director," he says. After churning out blockbusters (Vikramarkudu' which has been remade in Hindi as 'Rowdy Rathore' and 'Maryada Ramanna' (2010) which has been remade as 'Son Of Sardaar'), Rajamouli wanted to try his hand at something which will appeal to all generations. "I wanted to take the audience by surprise with a brand new concept. After much hard work, the result was this film." What came out of that experiment was a film that became super-hit when it released. Having reached to audience in 1103 screens in India

    Read More »from ‘Makkhi was born 16 years ago’
  • Celebs at 'English Vinglish' premiereGauri Shinde's directorial debut has been welcomed with thumping applause not because 'English Vinglish' says an extraordinary tale but because it makes a simple story so special.

    Anupama Chopra in her review says:

    English Vinglish is that rare thing — a Hindi film that creates a heroine out of a homemaker. Shashi, played by Sridevi, is a beautiful, accomplished woman who efficiently manages her home, husband, mother-in-law and two children. She also runs a small business making ladoos.

    Shinde's narrative resonates with the audience because they can identify with the emotions that are not extreme and overwhelming but merely sensitive. Baradwaj Rangan writes:

    There's no hate here; it's just that the love has dimmed — otherwise, we couldn't be hearing a song that went Piya bin dil lage na as Shashi gets ready to go abroad all alone (for her niece's wedding), with the rest of the family following her after a few weeks. Shashi doesn't like it when Satish hugs a female co-worker. She

    Read More »from Y! Meta Review: English Vinglish
  • Photos: Sridevi's all new avatarCast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou, Priya Anand

    Director: Gauri Shinde

    Rating: ****

    When buzz got around that Sridevi was making her Bollywood comeback after 15 years, I was a little wary. 'Return of the (once) divas' after marriage, childbirth or a brief hiatus, marked with lot of publicity and fanfare, hasn't historically set the cash registers ringing (remember, Madhuri's 'Aaja Nachle', Rani's 'Dil Bole Hadippa' and more recently, Karisma's 'Dangerous Ishq'). However, Sridevi has chosen a director who manages to competently exploit her craft and she delivers with poise and aplomb.

    Like the promos have made it evident, 'English Vinglish' is about a housewife whose only handicap is that she does not know English. It's a small problem but it has huge ramifications for Sashi (Sridevi) who feels isolated and disconnected from her own family because of the language barrier. When we inadvertently make fun of people's accents and pronunciation, we operate on the premise that

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: English Vinglish


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