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When there is no competition, you generally don’t get good products, because sooner or later, producers of those products would hallucinate and think they are Gods, and their consumers are insignificant. This theory fits perfectly when we think of film music in our country. If you don’t believe me, try to remind yourself of 5 film albums which you liked last year. Got my drift?

We live in times when everything should make money for the makers. Music has to be catchy enough for caller tune. Who cares if people forget about the music 3 days after the promos end! Last year, it was Haider, a music album that enveloped the feel of the film and not compromising with the melody in the process. The first quarter of this year has ended and Dibakar Banerjee has given us Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.

The album starts with immensely talented Madboy/Mink jiving on Calcutta kiss. I don’t know about you but I never thought we will witness such vibrancy and joie de vivre in a film song. The song kicks it and does a kick ass job at it. It has a deliciously flirtatious vibe, and my God, it is amazing! Saba Azad is a Goddess and I love the way she economizes her vocal spend on Hindi film songs. A wise man told me long time back that Sneha Khanwalkar might create good sound but she has a long way to go for making a melodious song that sticks in your head. Now I don’t know how they will use all songs in the film, but if used well, I challenge you to come out of the hall and not have ‘Bach ke bakshy…tu jhoootha hai makkaar playing in your head. With this song, Sneha builds a villa on the already cemented spot that she occupies – one of the few, very few good musicians of our times whose songs will outlive us all and future generations will try unsuccessfully to find out the ‘formula’ behind the varied sounds she produced in her lifetime. I don’t know Sneha but I would love to know the questions she asks the maker when she is given the brief on the song that she has to make for a particular film. She gets it right every time!. Double pat to the lyricists of the song (Sneha and Dibakar, we are told)…whoever came up with beh gaya jo khoon uska kya blood type hai?!! The ‘bach ke bakshy tu jhootha hai makkar‘ has the same deadness to it, which some of us would remember experiencing when we heard kiley ka rahasya‘s title song.

I have always had a bone to pick with the non-film music scene in India, which has more often than not tried hard to bollywoodize itself to get validation (read recognition and money). The almost disgusting attempts at aping our innovative and rich neighbors’ music scene have failed because we try to put a bollywood touch to everything, and the sound gets hijacked. In comes ‘Byomkesh in love‘, and you feel not everything is wrong after all. The song has been fused well and in spite of English words in between, you will surely smile at the thumri-sque complaints of the singer asking her beloved to stay with the ‘other’ woman. The only other time it was done so beautifully was when Ram Sampath created this beautiful song. That was 13 years ago. In spite of somewhat average lyrics, what will arrest your attention in jaanam’ is the tripping Synth arrangement in the song. Suryakant Sawhney does a great job at giving us a retro but not dated love song.

There was a time when to make your film song ‘hep’, you had to have a song from Suraj Jagan. It worked but not totally, may be because the songs always wanted mass acceptance from Bollywood music lovers who are overfed with silly items songs and template of rondu-rotlu songs. Thankfully ‘Life’s a bitch’ by Akshay De is NOT at all like that. The song doesn’t try to pander to ‘General population’ and keeps the death metal ( is it?) feel alive. Akshay de is angry and his rough (yet never out of tune) singing makes it up for a song which you will either love, like I do or hate! Nothing grey here. Chase in Chinatown marched passed all of us in the first trailer of the film. The music and the mood of this track is elevated a great deal by Vyshnav Balasubramaniam. The rap is rough and much like ‘life’s a bitch’ this might not be everyone’s cup of tea but the track is trippy and one that fits the stealthy title to the T. Yang Guang Lives – is a meandering track that has interesting sound to it.  IJA has created this more like a background score with occasional commentary. Thanks to the superb pace of the entire O.S.T., this track might wear you out because it breaks off a lot in between. It won’t be wrong to conclude that the track is more a film piece than a song piece. That said, the track will give multiple orgasms to bass junkies.

Dibakar got 7 composers to make 7 songs. I am not the most vocal advocate of bringing hajaar composers in one O.S.T because I feel that the sound of the film gets compromised and doesn’t stay uniform. Thankfully, it is not the case here. For all we know, Dibakar would do a ‘kahaani’ and not include any song in the film. Even then, every note that you encounter in this album wraps itself around the feel of the film so well that it makes you want to see the film immediately!

We dont know what the film has in store for us. All we have got so far is just an eerie anticipation of something sinister which is about to unfold and the music just enhances that feeling. I cannot ask for anything more from an O.S.T..

Super like!

Let us know which song worked for you and which one didn’t.

- @rohwit

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Here’s the good new for film buffs. If you missed Chaitanya Tamhane’s much acclaimed debut feature, Court, at Mumbai Film Festival, you can catch it in theatres now. The film is all set to release on April 17th, 2015.

A new terrific trailer of the film is out too. Have a look.

It’s been doing the fest rounds for quite some time and bagged some of the international prestigious awards at Venice and other fests. At the recently announced National Awards, the film has been adjudged the Best Feature Film. For a debut feature filmmaker, this is a dream run and it can’t get better than this.

Cast & Crew

Cast: Vira Sathidar, Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane
Directed by: Chaitanya Tamhane
Produced by: Zoo Entertainment
World Sales: Memento Film International – Artscope

Official Synopsis:

A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.

POTD : Tumhare Paas Kya Hai?

Posted: March 24, 2015 by moifightclub in cinema
Tags:

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Via Sanjana Kapoor on FB.

flyer-bigPITCH YOUR STORY/SCRIPT TO PRODUCERS

Do you believe that you have a wonderful story or screenplay? Either for a film or a TV serial or an Animation film, documentary or a children’s film? Or even a gaming idea? And are you keen to pitch it to leading production houses?

The Film Writers’ Association (FWA) and FICCI FRAMES bring you an opportunity to do so in a programme called ‘Frame Your Idea’.

- Venue: FICCI FRAMES, Renaissance Hotel, Powai, Mumbai.
– Dates: March 25-27

MARCH 25: PITCHING FOR FILMS
MARCH 26: ANIMATION, GAMING, KIDS PROGRAMMING
MARCH 27: PITCHING FOR TV PROGRAMMES

Production houses who will listen to your pitch are:

* Film
Dharma Productions
Disney India Studios
Excel Entertainment
Sikhya Entertainment
Phantom Films
ROMP pictures

* Animation
CFSI
Cartoon network
Pogo
Nickelodeon
Disney kids
Sonic
ZeeQ
Discovery kids

* Gaming
Reliance Games
Nazara

* TV
Star Plus
Zee TV
Life OK TV
Channel V

- Our advice is that you should have at least a written story before you decide to pitch it at these producers. (If you already have a script, all the better. But, at least a story.)

- You will get 10 minutes to pitch your story to each producer, before you move on to the next producer.

- Do remember that you will have to pay a registration fee. FICCI has to meet its cost, and it is their rule. So, make sure that you extract maximum value by throwing your best work at them.

Here’s what you have to do:
1. First go online and register for Ficci Frames. (Registration charges for ‘Frame Ur Idea’ are actually Rs. 5000/- per day. However, for FWA members there is a 50% discount. So, for FWA members, the fees are Rs. 2500, plus service tax.)

2. Fill the ‘Frame Ur Idea’ form online, and receive a confirmation email.

3. Turn up at Ficci Frames on the day of your pitch and go for it!

- Online registrations close at 7 PM on March 23.

- If you’re unable to register online, then just land up at the venue on the relevant day at 8.30 AM, and register on the spot. Bring your membership card along.

- For those who are unsure about how to pitch, FWA has organised a Pitching Workshop where senior writers will guide you with the help of examples. At FWA office, on March 23, 5-7 PM.

- For any further queries, write to the Film Writers Association filmwritersassociation@gmail.com and they shall forward your mail to the relevant person.

- For more info, click here

NH10 : Girl, Interrupted

Posted: March 14, 2015 by moifightclub in bollywood, film review, reviews
Tags: , , ,

NH10

SPOILER  ALERT

So i watched NH10 at the 2:50 show at PVR Phoenix mills yesterday. The hall was almost 60% full.  I was extremely excited about Navdeep Singh’s second directorial venture after Manorama Six Feet Under, so i armed myself with a large popcorn and coke, i munched my way through the national anthem and the anti tobacco campaign waiting with impatience and anticipation for the movie to begin.

A RED CENSOR CERTIFICATE set up the mood for what was to come.

Before everyone is up in arms about similarities with Eden Lake, the plot line is applied to a completely different context and therefore doesn’t account as plagiarism because artists are allowed to steal because  “its not about where things are taken from, but where things are taken to” (Jim Jarmusch said it so you can take it up with him),  From utopia to dystopia, Navdeep takes us for a creepy drive through Haryana, the experience of which we are unlikely to forget for a long time to come. All the moments are familiar yet original and the result is a stylish, contemporary and brilliant piece of storytelling.

Navdeep creates  a  mature modern Indian heroine that one can relate with and look up to.
Anushka’s look is fresh, dewy,  her face does not look ducky and she has taken this role by the balls and performed the hell out of it. I have never been an Anushka fan per say, initially, put off by all her bubbly cockiness.
But i am a true blue convert now because she makes the rest of the lot of the leading ladies look childish, glossy and superfluous. With one bold stroke she has knocked Kangana down to number two in the list of brilliant  mainstream female actors.

Anushka’s portrayal of Meera was so nuanced and balanced, and her descent into darkness was so effortless and easy that it is truly laudable. She was vulnerable yet steely, sensitive yet power packed. She is a heroine you are rooting for from the word GO. In comparison, her husband’s character makes me want to whack him a few times for being so silly and immature.  I hated the villians, which means there were absolutely effective.

It is fantastic to see a film of this caliber coming from a  “male director”. Especially in the wake of  all the high brow debates , Navdeep sets an example  with this work.
Now the people who are stereotyping and generalizing all Indian men, can shut up. The film entirely dealt with the idea of male gaze and yet there was no male gaze in the showing of the film at any point. There was respect for every character from its creators which is rare to find in a Hindi film.

The starkness of the rural urban divide, and the multiple manifestations of patriarchy are handled in an almost video game kind of manner.
Things get progressively harder and harder for Meera’s avatar, its almost like she takes on a virtual reality in the film, the banal is bizarre and things are just about hanging between real and surreal at all times. The moments are hellishly entertaining and suspenseful with just the right amount of comedy (mama-ji gets left behind!) which truly is a superb achievement in the Hindi film context.

I loved that there was minimal dialogue and great use of sound, all the information was relayed and never spoon fed and the images looked just right. Everything looked authentic and beautiful and dark- almost to a Hitchockian pitch.The added bonus was that the interval point came at the right time. The pace of the film was maintained with finesse through the second half and the film ended on the right pitch, without going into the “melodrama and maatam” over her husband’s death that could have followed.The loose reference to republic day where the cross-dressers are performing (to a homophobic audience), which is also Meera’s birthday in the story, and references to Ambedkar and the constitution, are interesting. Meera is a Salim Sinai kind of character. Everything revolves around her in a nationalistic kind of way, though i am glad that all this information  is just there and wasn’t pressed further. I didn’t think it was a matter of convenience on the part of the director as some reviewers have put it, but cleverness, this is a great example of a pulp film, a true ode to anime and Amar Chitra Katha.

I was not a huge fan of the music, apparently it is a demand of the industry, but one could’ve totally done without it, or maybe something other than what was.

In the end, i was happy that she got to kill those bastards with relish, i am happy she mowed them with her own car and beat them with their own sticks. There was karmic retribution, tragedy, hope, albeit it was bleak and dark but real life is much worse. I was sucked into the zone, and i’m yet to shake it off.
My experience as an average film viewer was truly satisfying,  and as a hopeful film maker, it was inspirational. The cast and crew deserve every accolade and more!

Sakshi Bhatia

Exactly two years ago, the crew of Coffee Bloom was doing their last minute prep in Coorg, to prepare for the shoot. Within me the moths in my stomach were ready to be butterflies soon, as it will probably the first time in my life I will be calling the words “Action” in front of a professional crew. Looking back, with a perspective of an outsider, I am really a nobody who had got this opportunity to make a feature film, thanks to Harish Amin and Sharath Parvathavani. It feels too good to be true that an outsider without any experience of making films or assisting anyone, besides few DIY short films, managed to be on that shoot calling action. Thanks to an incredible team who gave me a fair chance and believed in the script we wrote. Over the next two years with many passionate creative arguments and reworks, Coffee Bloom gradually assembled itself part by part, thanks to a producer, who unconditionally continued pumping money into it believing in the film. We all knew as a team, it wasn’t perfect, there were issues we were all aware, but with whatever resources we had given it all and the film that was ready to go out. We had done our best with whatever we could do.

The MAMI screening gave us a lot of encouragement, but the beast called Distribution was sleeping on our path. When things had hit a lull, Shiladitya Bora, one day sends me an SMS saying, he wants to see the film. The next thing I know within weeks we were getting a release, Shiladitya along with Harish Amin, was on ground tackling the beast and clearing the path for us to move. Is it for real? I am probably living a dream, and the dream had goodies, it included US and Canada release. Very soon, the PR and marketing activity started, giving back to back interviews, cluelessly posing in front of flashbulbs to screwing up the first media interaction fumbling for words. Seeing your own name on the hoardings, makes up for the all the silly little struggles, that every film maker complains of. All this while, I kept pinching myself, it’s a dream ok no maybe it’s real, regardless enjoy the ride dude. The committed cast (Arjun, Sugandha, Mohan and Ishwari) and crew members, pull all stops to make a premiere happen and before you know, it is the morning of March 6th. So far the flight was fine, but rough weather and turbulence is part of every journey.

The reviews started pouring in, for your first film to be called Awfully pretentious, self indulgent, “Shouldn’t have been funded”, to some glowing reviews from the best critics who saw merit in the film calling it “well acted drama”, poetry in motion, “complex relationship film that couldn’t have been smoother”,” with an arresting soul” and comparison to Ray etc. it was emotionally overwhelming from where I come from. They say you have to be thick skinned, I admit my skin needs to get thicker, cause this emotional roller coaster has changed a part of me forever. I sincerely hope it never affects my writing or film making. Many comments and feedback were genuine, many people called personally to tell me, a part of them had connected with the film and they were not able to shake off the experience. Every time I see any merit in the criticisms, be it good or bad, a part of me wishes I want to relive these two years of my life and rework things. I always regretted I couldn’t go to film school, I still do have plan to go in future, but Coffee Bloom has been the best film school, I have experiences and lessons for life. To all my family, friends and fraternity, it happened because all of you gave the film a fair chance and I am again and again forced to repeat the most cliche words sincerely, cause there is no better way to say it “Thank you from the bottom of my heart” for helping me get the buzz out there to taking the effort to making it to theaters and personally sending your feedback and love.

Every morning is a high, to know the film you worked on is playing in theaters. As Oscar Wilde puts it, “Life is never fair and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not”, the dream may soon end, by Thursday,economics will decide the fate of the film. It may or may not cross the Thursday bridge, the number of shows might go down, life is unfair, it’s probably a secret message from the universe, “do better dude”, internalise the lessons of Coffee Bloom, the weapons for the next battle is already being polished with this message. To those who haven’t caught the film, I am hoping you will give me the privilege of your time and a part of you over the next three days cause the ride will soon end. Thanks in advance smile emoticon

Humbled, Sincere Love and Thanks to all who were closely and remotely part of this journey (Yes, this moment I am living “now” is bigger than any award in this world.)

- Manu Warrier

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Whenever there has been a film worth having a conversation, we have always tried to get the creative heads involved, and get them talking. We have been waiting for a long time to get Sriram Raghavan do the same. Finally, we got him for post-screening Q & A of Badlapur. Much thanks to Sriram, who not only obliged for it at a short notice, but he also got his co-writers Arijit Biswas and Pooja Ladha Surti for the discussion, whom we rarely get to hear.

Thanks to PVR Cinemas and Shiladitya Bora for the venue.

And a big thanks to Mihir Desai, Aniruddha Patankar & Anusha Singhania who recorded the entire event in poor light, edited it all, managed all the sound fuckups, and uploaded the videos for you all to see.

(PS – If you like our blog and are film fanatics like us, do like our FB page for all the cool cinema related stuff and discussions)