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DIFF

The third edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival begins on October 30th, 2014 with Rajat Kapoor’s acclaimed feature, Aankhon Dekhi. Rajat will also be present to introduce the film.

- The festival will also welcome several filmmakers along with Rajat Kapoor: Chaitanya Tamhane with his award-winning Court; Geetu Mohandas with Liar’s Dice, Q with Nabarun, Shabnam Sukhdev with her documentary, The Last Adieu; Pushpa Rawat with Nirnay; Tibetan filmmaker Tenzin Tsetan Choklay with Bringing Tibet Home; Finnish-Tibetan filmmakers Donagh Coleman and Lharigtso with A Gesar Bard’s Tale; and Swiss-Kurdish filmmaker Mano Khalil with The Beekeeper.

- Gitanjali Rao, one of India’s best-known animation filmmakers, will introduce her new film, True Love Story, and has also curated a series of animation films from India and internationally.

- Fest includes an Indian short film selection curated by reputed filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni.

- A highlight this year is the exciting package of films from the Middle East: Sundance and TIFF award-winning The Square by Jehane Noujaim; Return to Homs by Talal Derki which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance; A World Not Ours by Mahdi Fleifel; and Hany Abu-Assad’s Cannes 2013 Jury Prize-winning Omar, which was also nominated for the Oscars.

- DIFF has also announced a series of Special Programmes that include an exploration of the world of sound, a visual journey through anonymous and powerful Tibetan voices, and a tribute to German artist and filmmaker, HarunFarocki, who passed away earlier this year.

a) Soundphiles is a celebration of listening. Curated by Samina Mishra and Iram Ghufran, the first edition – Many Echoes, Many Words –features filmmakers, artists, journalists and arts students who combine a diversity of worlds and forms of sound. The series draws the audience through the rhythm of the textile mills of Malegaon, broken sounds from the contested streets of London, a deafening bombing in Iran, scratchy magnetic tracks of old Hindi films and more.

b) In collaboration with the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection, DIFF 2014 presents Unattributed, a video art series showcasing anonymous Tibetan artists living in Tibet and in the diaspora. The presentation explores the tension between an ancient culture’s unbroken artistic tradition and the personality-driven world of contemporary art.

c) In collaboration with the Goethe Institute, DIFF 2014 will present a retrospective of Harun Farocki’s films. Three films that capture the essence of his work will screen at the festival: Inextinguishable Fire (Farocki’s first movie after leaving film school); Videograms of a Revolution (in which he collects amateur video and material broadcast on television and chronicles the fall of a dictator in Romania); and Workers Leaving the Factory (an exploration of the factory worker through 100 years of film history).

- DIFF Film Fellows initiative; a programme was launched this year to nurture upcoming filmmaking talent in the Himalayan regions. The winners are Akee Sorokhaibam from Manipur, Khanjan Kishore Nath from Assam, Kombong Darang from Arunachal Pradesh, Munmun Dhalaria from Himachal Pradesh and Smanla Dorje Nurboo from Ladakh. The five DIFF Film Fellows were selected from 28 applicants through a rigorous process by a jury of eminent film personalities – Hansal Mehta, Anupama Srinivasan and Bina Paul.

The five winners will have the opportunity to be a part of DIFF 2014 and to engage in special mentorship sessions with the jury and attending filmmakers.  They come from varied backgrounds, brought together by a shared passion for filmmaking.

- The 3rd edition of the Dharamshala International Film Festival will take place in McLeod Ganj, Upper Dharamshala, between 30 October and 2 November. Longtime residents of Dharamshala, Indian-Tibetan filmmaking couple Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, initiated the film festival with the aim to bring high quality independent cinema to Dharamshala, encourage local filmmaking talent and create a meaningful platform for engage all the communities in the area.

- For more : DIFF House, Opposite Norbulingka Institute, PO : Sidhpur, Distt : Kangra, HP 176057

- Email : info@diff.co.in | www.diff.co.in

- FB page is here

DIFF2

We saw the film Sulemani Keeda at last year’s Mumbai Film Festival. To repeat what we had said, it’s the bonafide Versova indie – of versova, by versova, for versova (and hopefully beyond). It’s honest, charming, funny, and tells all those Versova tales which hardly travel beyond the walls of Aaram Nagar. If Luck By Chance was the big budget portrayal of the bollywood insanity, Sulemani Keeda is the opposite – of those who are on the fringes, of writers and their struggle with actors, producers, landlords.

And here’s the good news – PVR Director’s Rare will release the film on November 28th, 2014. Do check out the trailer.

Official Synopsis:

In this slacker bro-mantic comedy, writing partners Dulal and Mainak dream of shaking up the Bollywood with their script “Sulemani Keeda”. When they’re not being rejected by producers who refuse to read their script, they lurk around bookstores and poetry slams shamelessly hitting on girls. They find some hope when the drug addled, cat-obsessed Gonzo Kapoor, the son of a famous B movie producer, hires them to write an art house film billed as “Tarkovsky with orgies” for his directorial debut. All seems well until Dulal meets Ruma, a beautiful photographer who makes him question his choices in life.

Cast & Crew:

Title: Sulemani Keeda

International title: Writers

Writer & Director: Amit V Masurkar

Countries : India, USA

Year : 2014

Language : Hindi

Runtime : 90 minutes

Producers : Datta Dave, Chaitanya Hegde

Associate Producers : Deepa Tracy, Sailesh Dave, Suresh Mhatre

Production company : Tulsea Pictures in association with Mantra/Runaway Entertainment

Cast: Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, Aditi Vasudev, Karan Mirchandani, Krishna Bisht, Rukshana Tabassum

Cinematography: Surjodeep Ghosh

Editor: Khushboo Agarwal Raj

Sound Design: Niraj Gera

Music: Arfaaz-Anurag

Location Sound: Shailesh Sharma

DI: Post Blackbox

Line Producers: Deepak Arora, Arvinder Gill, Rakesh Singh, Navit Dutt

First Assistant Director: Omar Nissar Paul

Marketing Consultant: Rahul Merchant

Publicist: Mauli Singh

The first look of the film X is out.

The film will open the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) which runs from Nov 18-23, 2014. Interestingly, it’s 1 film with 11 segments directed by 11 filmmakers. The directorial bunch includes Sudhish Kamath (Good Night | Good Morning), Q (Gandu), Nalan Kumarasamy (Soodhu Kavvum), Suparn Verma (Aatma, Ek Haseena Ek Khiladi), Raja Sen, Sandeep Mohan (Love Wrinkle-Free), Pratim Gupta (Paanch Adhyay), Hemant Gaba (Shuttlecock Boys), Abhinav Shiv Tiwari Sankhnaad (Oass), Anu Menon (London Paris New York), and Rajshree Ojha (Aisha, Chaurahen). And this includes 3 film reviewers. If you don’t like the film, well, you get the drift.

 Check out the first trailer of the film. And scroll down for detailed synopsis, cast & credits.

Official Synopsis :

Is man meant to stick to one woman? Is film meant to conform to one genre?

X is a one-of-its-kind film because eleven Indian filmmakers with disparate styles of filmmaking have come together to make different parts of the same film. In strikingly different styles as a bridge between the various cinemas of India. Mainstream, Arthouse, Popular, Underground, Regional and Global – all at the same time. NOT an anthology but a single story.

The story of K (Rajat Kapoor), a filmmaker with a mid life crisis, who meets a mysterious young girl (Aditi Chengappa) who reminds him of his first girlfriend at first, and subsequently, of every woman in his life. Who is she? Is she real or imaginary? A stalker or a ghost? His past catching up or a character from the script he is writing?

Each episode, directed by a different filmmaker (since every woman/story required a different genre) unravels the role of a different woman in his life. Every woman is different and through the lens of different filmmakers, X hopes to explore the role women play in shaping our lives.

What is it that makes us tick or stop? What is it that keeps us anchored or free falling? What is it that makes us move or let go? Are we products of our past or present? What is that X factor that defines who we are?

X Cast & Crew

Cast: Aditi Chengappa, Bidita Bag, Gabriella Schmidt, Huma Qureshi, Neha Mahajan, Parno Mitra, Pia Bajpai, Pooja Ruparel, Radhika Apte, Richa Shukla, Rii Sen and Swara Bhaskar with Anshuman Jha and Rajat Kapoor

Directed by: Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Anu Menon, Hemant Gaba, Nalan Kumarasamy, Pratim D Gupta, Q, Raja Sen, Rajshree Ojha, Sandeep Mohan, Sudhish Kamath and Suparn Verma

Written by: Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Anu Menon, Hemant Gaba, Pratim D Gupta, Q, Raja Sen, Rajshree Ojha, Sandeep Mohan, Sudhish Kamath, Suparn Verma and Thiagarajan Kumararaja

Directors of Photography: Anuj Dhawan, Aseem Bajaj, Dinesh Krishnan, Gairik Sarkar, Katyayani Mudholkar, Maeve O Connell, Q, Ravi K Chandran, Sandeep Mohan, Siddhartha Nuni, Sidharth Kay and Viraj Sinh Gohil

Edited by: Sreekar Prasad, Vijay Prabakaran, Vijay Venkataramanan, Biplab Goswami, Gairik Sarkar, Dhritiman Das, Shreyas Beltangdy, Ankit Srivastava, Ninaad Khanolkar

Post Production Management & Grading: Siddharth Meer

Sound Mix: Gita Gurappa

Lyrics: Pratyush Prakash & Raja Sen

Music: Maitreya

Additional Screenplay: Thiagarajan Kumararaja

Executive Producers: Shiladitya Bora & Sudhish Kamath

Produced by: Manish Mundra

Mumbai Film Festival – Our annual movie ritual is on. And like every year, we are going to cover the Festival like nobody else does it. Team moiFightClub will bring you all the day’s reccos and reviews. We are also involved with the fest this year – helping wherever you can to make it better.

Our Day-1 Wrap is here.

Amma and appa

What’s the time in your world?

(Dir: Safi Yazdanian, Iran): A rare Irani film that paid more attention to aesthetics, form, and style over plot. And what a delight this anomaly turned out to be! Dealing with memories of Goli (played by enchanting Leila Hatami of ‘A Separation’ fame) who has returned to Iran after many years in France, the film opens up more into a poetry piece. Abstract imagery, dialogue that feel like snatches from a dream (non-sequitar, funny, puzzling), stunning frames & playback music, and the bitter-sweet play of fractured memories – all combined to make it a demanding but genuinely rewarding watch. Goli meets a man (played by Ali Mosaffa, the lucky real-life husband of Leila Hatami) on her return who seems to remember a lot about her while she doesn’t recognise him at all and most of the film is about the relationship these two people share – which to me looked like our relationship with nostalgia. The way we avoid the past and the way it still pops out from every corner of a city that was ours once but not anymore is portrayed through multiple metaphors.

The film reminded me a bit of another Leila Hatami starrer, Ali Mosaffa directed ‘The Last Step’ which I watched at Osian’s Fest a few years ago. Another abstract (though that had a well-defined plot), stylised, brilliant Irani film which never made it to the (as Mihir Fadnavis puts it) ‘communist shores of torrents’.

- @varungrover

Vessel

Diana Whitten’s debut documentary Vessel is a empowering story of a bunch of women helping women to have safe abortion on ship lead by the rebellious Dutch Physician Rebecca Gomperts under the pro abortion rights organization ‘Women on waves’.  These women challenge and fight law (that makes abortion illegal in most of European countries), society, religion and God that doesn’t allow a woman basic human right of what is happening with their bodies. As they sail with the ‘Murder Vessel’ through shores of Ireland, Poland, Portugal they face extremes reactions by the church, the ‘pro life human’, older and younger men and women, and negative publicity by the press citing their practice as illegal. The Portuguese government even forbids them from entering their national water because they are ‘threat to the country’. The meltdown moments are when you are exposed to real words of women who are begging to get rid of life within them that only means suffering in their respective circumstance. As one says ‘I feel terrible.. Am I a monster? I cant have the baby’. Some are raped, some deserted by man, some don’t want it. Their choice.

No! Abortion is not murder and these women are not fascists and terrorists, the sobriquet awarded to them. At what point in this patriarchal society did man convince women that she can be as emancipated as possible, but eventually a child makes her life complete, even in the liberated first world. The high point in the film is when the fiery Gomperts states, ‘to change the world, you have to be offensive’ and struts her SAFE ABORTION banner right under the nose of The Virgin statue at El panecillo. Yes! Mary, the virgin mother.

My body! My right! So f*** you if your religion and law has a problem with that.

Elephant Song

Charles Biname adapts Nicholas Billon’s play ‘Elephant song’ in an engaging suspense drama that tells an intriguing tale of a lunatic patient, Michael playing a psychological game with an Asylum psychiatrist when a colleague goes missing. The story unfolds to explain why “hope is the worst thing you can give a child if you can’t keep up your words”. A traumatic childhood incident explains Michael’s fascination with Elephants. A song that reminds him of his mother that ignored him for better things in life.

He lets her die and sings the Elephant song to her in her last moments. The translation to Elephant song would be my favorite words by Poet Philip larkin’s ‘This be the verse’

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another’s throats.

- @shazarch

Amma & Appa

Stop motion, Illayaraja’s music, German bride & Tamil groom, Love marriage, candid Meet the Parents situations, 8mm footage, a real story. A hybrid documentary with beshumaar entertaining, endearing moments & more masala than some of our films. Take a bow Dear Franziska & Jai. Jaykrishnan. Jay’s mother should be cast NOW in more films. Highly recco’d.

Elephant Song 

Though everyone criticized Xavier Dolan’s acting, I didn’t particularly find his performance as ‘hammy’. A psychiatrist has to work with a patient to unearth info about a missing colleague, while the film also intercuts to flashbacks, multiple pov and an interrogation. This one was pretty riveting thriller with twists unfolding at each turn. Though I felt Bruce greenwood could have been a ‘stronger’ character. And it’s always a pleasure to see Carie Ann Moss & Catherine Keener.

Field of Dogs

The mindfuck trailer notwithstanding – this film delivered little as compared to the promises it made. Politics, Literature, Dystopian lifestyle, Dreams, impressive visuals (especially like the hal chalana scene in a supermarket alley – capitalism ki maa ki aankh probably) – the film has so much going for it but it crosses the line and becomes over indulgent and soporific. I will be grateful to someone who explains me the point of this film.

United Passions

The making of FIFA federation – from it’s inception nearly a century ago to 2010 where South Africa was nominated as the venue of the next World cup – this one is an episodic film with three protagonists -a passionate Gerard Depardieu, Sam Neill (yes yes Jurassic Park wala banda) and a greasy Tim Roth. With montages punctuating the screenplay, it is hard at times to follow the ‘story’ and one cannot help but marvel at the production design and scale of this big budgeted biopic of sorts. As someone who is not a football fan, I quite enjoyed this film – however disjointed it might have been.

- @nagrathnam

Field of Dogs

Lech Majewski’s follow up to the masterful “The Mill and the Cross” is an absolute disappointment. The indulgence is not even the problem here. The problem in my opinion is the verbose nature of philosophising randomness to form a story. Visually as well as thematically it had a lot going for it but sadly it’s a mess.
Optional end: What a waste of time (and for many others, joints)

- @mihirbdesai

The Good Lie

The story of Africa is not one that can be told simply. Neither is it a simple story.The Good Lie unfortunately tries hard to simplify it and even achieves that. Communities and families are destroyed in the Second Civilian War of Sudan while a bunch of kids manage to escape and find shelter in a refugee camp where they spend 13 years waiting for an opportunity to get away to better pastures. They are finally sent to the US where they are helped with home and jobs. And after a point family reunions as well. Melodramatic, simplistic and populist, the film takes no stand moral or political to the closer conflict or the larger context of colonisation. What begins as a hopefully refreshing and Chinua Achebe-like empathic peek into the lives of native Africans quickly becomes a tear-jerking saga of poor Africans needing to be saved by the white men. The only difference is in the past it was the British, now it is the Americans. The film seems to have bought the white man’s burden so seriously it even shifts points of views completely at one point and turns the African into a Suppandi-like simpletons, poor archaic villagers totally clueless of the awesomely progressive and modern Western world – the Holy Grail. I could have forgiven the populism and melodrama and even simplistic nature of writing if not for this, because the performances and relationship dynamics were indeed moving. But, then there are somethings that cannot be excused and one of them is a warped world-view.

Beloved Sisters

A long drawn-out but meticulously crafted rhapsody of love, longing and betrayal. It is based on the speculated relationship between German writer-poet Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) and the Lengfeld sisters. An out and out period piece that does not allow the limitations of its genre to constrict its form and hence making it a delightfully rich film. It is set in the post-Enlightenment period of Europe and the society is in transition. Education is increasing and literature is flourishing as technology is advancing. This constantly changing backdrop makes for a fabulously apt context for the love-lifes of the sisters and Schiller, all three in love with the idea of love and its consequent pain that travel its arduous ups and downs bravely. The long-winded film (and the length does get taxing after a point) traces the relationships of each, the almost incestuous passion of the sisters for each other, and their relationship with Schiller over time gently and with care, never taking sides and never easing a blow, be it in portraying the intensity of passion or pain. It is gorgeously mounted, almost like an Impressionist painting without overdoing the glamour or allowing it to overpower the content which is beautifully supported by its lead actors. However, and this is a grouse, a film about letters and of men of letters takes words too seriously and speaks to us a lot, first through third-person voice-overs then first person and even resorting at one point at having the characters speak to the camera (which is actually interesting especially for a period film.) After a point, there is too much information and too much of talking for us to really feel the grandness of the love between the three or the pain of the lost promises never to be fulfilled..

Killa

Shall I call it heart-warming? Moving? Funny? Intuitively innocent yet understanding? There isn’t one word because Killa is so much more than these words. It is the journey of a boy grappling with the death of his father two years back and the consequent constant change of environment. It is the story of his mother, a single woman, gritty and upright, determined to ensure she is now the father and mother to her only son. It is also the story of struggle and survival fo very common people-children and aged alike, of human triumph, of courage, friendship, loyalty and finding light at the end of the tunnel…Beautifully shot and heartfelt in every detail, Killa is a fabulous directorial debut of Avinash Arun, a cinematography graduate from FTII who is known back home for his humility and gentleness among other things. And among peers in the industry for his cinematic acumen and talent. I will not shy away from saying I was proud to be watching a sparkling debut of one my alumnus but rest assured, the cheering was strictly because it was so well-deserved.

 – @Fattiemama

National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) has announced 32 finalists for the Co-Production Market to be held during Film Bazaar in Goa from November 20-24, 2014.

The 32 finalists in the Co-production Market, hoping to attract funding and distribution from potential co-producers, distributors and sales agents from across the globe, include 18 projects from India and 14 from overseas.

 Among the 18 Indian finalists, six are from the Screenwriters Lab 2014:

  • By/Two – Directed byDevashish Makheja and produced by Dutta Dave
  • The School Directed by Suchita Bhhatia and produced by Vivek Kajaria
  • Blossoms (Pallavi)- Directed and produced byNila Madhab Panda
  • Nuclear Hearts- Directed by Bornila Chatterjee and produced by Tanaji Dasgupta
  • Seven (Saat)- Directed byAshish Bende and produced by Suhrud Godbole
  • Medium Spicy- Directed by Mohit Takalkar and produced by Nikhil Mahajan
  • The Invisible One- Directed by Amit Datta and produced by Anjali Panjabi
  • Ashwathama – Directed by Pushpendra Singh and produced by Sanjay Gulati
  • Rainbow- Directed by Shona Urvashi and produced by Raman Lamba
  • Overcoat- Directed by Abhijeet Singh Parmar and produced by Rishebh Batnagar
  • Mantra- Directed by Nicholas Kharkongor and produced by Rajat Kapoor
  • The Indian Prisoner -Directed and produced by Shashwati Talukdar
  • The Boyfriend– Vidur Nauriyal and Ashim Ahluwalia
  • Winter- Aamir Bashir
  • Char Log Kya Kahenge– Hitesh Bhatia
  • Flow – Vandana Kohli
  • All about Her– Ruchi Joshi
  • The Sunset Club– Karan Tejpal

The 14 international projects to be showcased in the eighth edition of the Film Bazaar Co-Production Market include two films from the US, two from Sri Lanka,  a film from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Norway, France, Germany, Singapore and United Kingdom and an IFP project which is selected through NFDC collaboration with Independent Filmmaker Project, USA.

 

  • Three and a Half- Produced by Mira Nair and directed by Sooni Taraporewala (USA)
  • Interpreter of Maladies – Produced and directed by Amitav Kaul (USA)
  • Minefield- Directed by Shiladitya Bora, the PVR Rare head and produced by the award winning Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage (Sri Lanka)
  • Womb – Directed by Nishantha Shanthadeva and produced and Rasitha Jinasenaby (Sri Lanka)
  • The Judgement- directed by Sabiha Sumar and produced by Sachithanandam Sathananthan (Pakistan)
  • Summer with Azita- directed by Fazila Amiri and produced by Paul Lee (Afghanistan) 
  • Abomination- directed by Karan Shrestha and produced by Kshitiz Adhiraj (Nepal)
  • No Land’s Man -directed and produced by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Bangladesh)
  • Gilded Cage -directed and produced by Vijay Chandran (Singapore)
  • What Will People Say (Hva Vil Folk Si)- directed by Iram Haq’s and produced by  Maria Ekerhovd (Norway)
  • Goa directed by Jamie Mateus-Tique and produced by Luc Bossi (France)
  • Once Again- directed by Kanwal Sethi and produced by Holm Taddiken (Germany)
  • End Game directed by Geetha J and produced by Ian McDonald (United Kingdom)
  • Colony – Pulkit Datta (IFP Project)

 

The schedule of this year’s Mumbai Film Festival is out. Click here and go to SCHEDULE to access it. It’s according to the venues. And so like every year, good ol’ Kartik Krishnan spent hours and did the Date wise schedule for us. Trust us, date wise schedule is much easier to navigate if you are going to be regular at the fest. Try it. You will thanks us.

Click here to download it directly. Or click on the icon below.

 

If you have scribd account, we are uploading it on scribd too. Click here to go directly on the site.

(Btw here’s the scribd trick – You just need to upload any random document there to get downloading access)

BOLLYBOOK

It’d been a long time since I laughed out loud while reading a book. A really long time. But Diptakirti Chaudhuri’s latest book has just about managed that. I laughed, chuckled, and nodded my head several times in the midst of reading the book. “BollyBook – The Big Book of Hindi Movie Trivia” is Diptakirti’s third book, the first one being one on cricket, and the second being the precursor to BollyBook, “Kitnay Aadmi Thay” (KAT). It was a genre shifting Bollywood book in the sense that it did not chronicle the travails of film making or profile some specific stars, but it just focused on Bollywood trivia and did a fine job of that.

BollyBook is expected to release in October, 2014. The initial idea, as Diptakirti says on his blog (diptakirti.blogspot.in), was to pitch BB (indulge me as I acronymize the book titles) as a sequel to KAT, but then his publisher at Penguin suggested the idea of a combining the two as a comprehensive and definitive book rather than having a sequel. And thus, BB was reborn in a new avatar. Just like some Bollywood characters do, some would say.

With 19 sections and nearly 460 pages that are packed with interesting trivia and more, the book can definitely live up to the claim of being the definitive book of Bollywood trivia. Good, bad, funny, dark, all sorts of trivia make up this book. Written in his inimitable style, often sparkling with humour and wit, the book is a paean of sorts to Bollywood.

Today I may count myself a fan of filmmakers such as Scorscese, Linklater, or Fincher, but my first introduction to cinema came through the works of Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra, and others. Back then, we didn’t have a VCR or DVD at home. There were no multiplexes. Going to the movies meant walking to the neighborhood theater, 15 minutes away from home, standing in queue for “first day first shows” or “matinee shows” for a 10 or 20-rupee ticket. Satellite (cable) TV was not yet introduced in my little town. Regular TV broadcast used to a mix of very old to medium old movies. Religious festivals often heralded special community-screenings in an open-air environment where a projectionist would “show” the picture on a vertically mounted white chaddar. Regardless of the venue or the medium, we watched in awe as those larger-than-life stories unfolded on the screen. Chitrahaar, the weekly programme showcasing hit Bollywood songs, was our reason for going “TGIF”! This, in essence, is what Diptakirti would call a pre-credit backstory compression (hint: see the book to understand what this term really means) to explain my fascination for Bollywood.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s kid. The book has something for everyone. The earlier generations will nod their head at the various retro references, while the newer ones will easily connect with the new age trivia. Although the table of contents mentions lists, the book isn’t packed with boring ones, instead many trivia are presented in anecdotal form, with a surprise twist here and there. Did you know for instance that the Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalitha acted as second lead opposite Dharmendra in a movie named Izzat? Or that Dev Anand was an employee of the Indian Postal Service and perchance grew to know of Gurudutt who lived in the same chawl as him and became thick with him? Many more such interesting nuggets fill up the book including those about movies you thought you knew in and out, only to discover that you actually don’t.

A remarkable trait of the book is that it isn’t restricted to mentioning trivia regarding only actors and actresses, but also takes a good look at the others who play an important part in a movie’s success. In a chapter covering regional superstars, for example, the last para brings to fore the most successful crossover by a regional musician who has gone on to make a name for himself in the international arena. A. R. Rahman. That’s who.

bollybook2There’s also a whole chapter devoted to films within films, called Meta. The amount of research the author must have undertaken for this book can be gleaned from this chapter alone where he not only recounts meta and self-referencing films/directors but also points out bloopers!

All trivia and no interestingness makes a dull book. And Diptakirti is no dull author. He makes neat use of quizzes, Honorable Mentions and little Alerts (Eg, Subtle Mythology Alert) to break the pattern now and then. Chapters are also occasionally peppered with photos and posters.

All in all, for Rs. 370 – paperback or Rs. 318 (Kindle), this book packs quite a punch, just like some of our Bollywood films. If you count yourself as a Bollywood fan, this book is a must-have for your bookshelf.

Footnote: Our very own mFC finds a small mention in the section on low-profile debuts of actors.

- @SilverlightGal

(pic courtesy – from Diptakirti’s blog)