Category — Entertainment Business
Former Miss India Tina (Munim) Ambani and her husband, billionaire Anil Ambani were in town for the Oscars. Ambani invested $300 million for joint control of Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks Pictures, in a process that started in 2008. The first products from this partnership hit theaters in 2011.
Octavia Spencer won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her performance in The Help which was funded by Dreamworks since the Reliance investment.
Two other Reliance DreamWorks titles — War Horse and Real Steel — were nominated. War Horse and The Help were in the fray for the best film award, which went to black and white silent film The Artist. War Horse was also nominated for sound editing, sound mixing, original score, art direction and cinematography. The Help, featured in the nomination line-up for best actress ( Viola Davis) and best supporting actress (Jessica Chastain and Spencer) Hugh Jackman-starrer sci-fi thriller Real Steel was on the list for best achievement in visual effects.
March 5, 2012 No Comments
Oprah Winfrey is in India to film a segment of her new show, “The Next Chapter,” staying at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in south Mumbai. She is virtually unkown in India since her erstwhile show did not air in India.
Wearing an orange sari, Winfrey, visited the home of the Bachchan family, to meet aging megastar Amitabh and his daughter-in-law, former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her husband Abhishek. The senior actor drove the group himself in his Rolls Royce to a party hosted by Ms. Paramsewhar Godrej and featuring the Bollywood gliterrati. Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Imran Khan, Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi and Farhan Akhtar were there mostly to meet one another since they have little to do with Oprah.
Winfrey was seen later, shopping in Mumbai on Martin LutherKing Day.
What this means
Precious little to India or to business with India. In the USA, I guess it means that everyone is making a beeline for India, whether relevant or not.
January 22, 2012 No Comments
While working at my first professional job, in Bangalore India, I discovered the Bangalore Little Theatre; at the time they were performing The Norman Conquests, a hilarious triology set simultaneously in different rooms of the same house. That’s how I discovered Tom Stoppard and his work.
So I am pleased to report that Stoppard comes to India to speak on adaptation in plays and films next week. Stoppard will team up with leading Girish Karnad, David Hare and Annie Proulx at the Jaipur Literature Festival Jan 23 to address a session.
“It is extraordinary that we have on our panel Oscar-winning playwright Tom Stoppard known for his screenplay, ‘Shakespeare in Love‘. It is among the most complex and intelligent screenplays and one of my favorites,” William Dalrymple, co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and himself a renowned author of numerous books about India, such as White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India.
The writer said the Jaipur Literature Festival was lucky to have Girish Karnad too on same panel. “Girish Karnad is to India what Stoppard is to the West,” Dalrymple said. The way Stoppard has been able to adapt Shakespeare’s plays and life in ‘Shakespeare in Love’ may find an echo in Vishal Bharadwaj’s ‘Omkara’ a hit Bollywood movie based on Othello in an Indian setting,
The 74 year old Stoppard his early life in the country as a student of Mount Hermon American Multi-Racial School in Darjeeling, West Bengal after his family fled the Nazi occupation of Europe. He later renewed his ties with India through “Shakespeare Wallah” – following Stoppard’s romantic liaison with Felicity Kendal, sister of Jennifer Kendal (wife of actor Shashi Kapoor)
January 16, 2012 No Comments
Simi Garewal, (known in the West as the courtesan Kamala in Conrad Rooks’ Siddhartha, 1972) currently hosts India’s Most Desirable on News Corp.’s Star network channel Star One. Lady Gaga was a guest, in her first appearance on an Indian talk show, “I have seen a few Bollywood films and I love how theatrical they are, and that’s my favorite part – that they are so surreal and full of fantasy.”
Recorded in Singapore, Gaga dressed in black with a neon green hair-do, fashion icon Lady Gaga complimented Garewal – the veteran Bollywood actress turned TV presenter who usually dresses in white — for her fashion sense, “You are so stunningly gorgeous. We all gasped when you walked in.” Gaga may visit India as early as October for her first concert. She has previously admitted to loving Indian food and culture.
In the meantime, Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan has approached her to sing a song for his next home production Ra One. This would not be unprecendented: Snoop Dogg, recorded Indian’s #1 Hit, as recently as 2008, Singh is Kingg.
What this means:
India’s movie and entertainment culture is sampling the west in a bigger way, driven now by the appetites of its audiences to experience the West beyond simply an exotic venues in its movies. After the 1960′s and the Beatles’ fascination with yoga, sitars and marijuana, India had been absent on the global pop music until just five years ago. The trend is now irreversible.
September 4, 2011 No Comments
18 years ago, British spy James Bond was filmed as the Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur, India. Roger Moore played Bond in the 1983 thriller which also featured India’s Kabir Bedi and Vijay Amrithraj (tennis star, who now lives in Malibu).
Now India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry has given shooting permissions for the next James Bond installment – directed by Sam Mendes – to film in multiple locations including Delhi, Goa and near Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The Daniel Craig-starrer has been given permission to shoot in locations in North Goa. Similarly near Ahmedabad, the production has sought permissions to shoot in an area that is close to certain power and fuel installations. Quoting a source, the report said, “We have suggested that these vital installations be avoided during the shoot in this area.” In the capital Delhi, the Bond production is expected to shoot in the crowded old bazaar area of Daryaganj and in the Sarojini Nagar flea market popular for its many clothing stalls and shops while Mumbai is also expected to be on the agenda. Set for release in 2012, Bond 23 (the movie has not been named) marks the 50th anniversary of the successful franchise.
A number of foreign films have been shot in India in recent years – the 2008 Oscar winning hit Slumdog Millionaire being the most prominent. Others are Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, and the Julia Roberts-starrer Eat, Pray, Love. Michael Winterbottom’s new film Trishna, starring Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto, was also shot in India earlier this year.
What this means:
India is fast becoming a mainstream destination for big-budget movies and top name stars, from Angeline Jolie, to Julia Roberts, to Daniel Craig. Singers such as Lady Gaga are also expected in India.
September 4, 2011 No Comments