Feb 9, 2013

Bollywood's Future Market


It is often said that Bollywood is India’s greatest brand ambassador all over the globe perhaps even giving the Taj Mahal a run for its money. However, South Korea has been largely left untouched by Bollywood thus far. This is likely to chage in the coming years.

 Many Indians viewing the South Korea-filmed Gangster were enthralled by the exotic locales and jazzy trains that looked far different from anything Bollywood had used as a backdrop in the past. This was the first Bollywood movie that was filmed in Korea – it was also the last.

 Last week I had an engaging discussion with Charm Lee, head of the South Korean Tourism Organization, and five of my colleagues. Lee, a tall, well-built German who now calls South Korea home, seemed taken aback by the number of Bollywood questions I presented him with. He conceded that the South Korean government was seriously considering the possibility of promoting Korea as a film shooting destination, though the West and even Southeast Asian countries had a clear lead over South Korea in the contest.

China too is already known to have started work on developing an entire island as a film shooting hub, something Lee asked his advisors to take note of. Lee also conceded that a major issue plaguing the effort was the acute shortage of hotel rooms in Korea, which limited its ability to attract big functions like Bollywood’s IIFA awards that are usually held in Macau.

Brand Bollywood’s penetration of the South Korean market is an idea whose time has come. Films like Krissh, Kal Ho Na Ho, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Rang De Basanti have earned millions of dollars from overseas markets, and among Bollywood films are already catching on among the PSY-crazed South Korean youth, who know Bollywood actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan quite well. 

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Jun 15, 2011

Norwegian Wood (2010) : Review


This Japanese adaptation of Haruki Murakami's bestseller is gorgeous and sensual, says Peter Bradshaw

Forbidden love is the sexiest kind, and love of death the most forbidden kind, in this emoish erotic tragedy from Franco-Vietnamese film-maker Tran Anh Hung, based on the bestselling 1987 novel by Haruki Murakami.

It is set in Tokyo in the late 1960s – a world of student dorms, going for walks, getting letters from your girlfriend, sitting in your student room looking at LP sleeves while the record is playing; it's a world of sexual and romantic excitement that is a cousin to widespread political unrest. Watanabe (Kenichi Matsuyama) is a student who begins a relationship with Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi), a beautiful, delicate young woman whom he knew a year before, in high school. But while Watanabe works towards his degree, Naoko is in a remote psychological facility, suffering from a breakdown, able to receive Watanabe only infrequently as a visitor.

What binds them together – in a dark ecstasy of despair – is an inexpressibly painful event in their past, a terrible, mutual loss. It is holding them back in life, and threatens to smother and paralyse them. But Watanabe and Naoko find themselves trying to forge a conjugal, sacramental bond with this past and, perhaps, with death itself. Attempting to fall in love with each other, as damaged souls, is a way of giving a narrative purpose and a moral grandeur to their lives, which another, more uncomplicated kind of dating could not possibly achieve. Their relationship almost attains the status of a suicide pact in which both partners are left alive.

As if the situation were not complicated enough, Watanabe also finds himself attracted to Midori (Kiko Mizuhara), a smart, sexy, free-spirited girl on campus who appears to represent a healthy and psychologically unencumbered future. However, Midori is cool, a little cruel – a flirt and a tease. She, too, has her secret world of pain. When she suffers a loss, she demands that Watanabe take her to a porn film to dull the pain. But for Watanabe, perhaps, this is not exactly the point. The pain is the porn.

This movie is gorgeously photographed by Ping Bin Lee, and has a plangent, keening orchestral score by Jonny Greenwood. It rewards attention with a very sensual experience, although there might be some who, understandably, find it indulgent. Having watched it now a second time since its premiere at last year's Venice film festival, I find the film that came into my mind – apart of course from Twilight – was Wong Kar-Wai's romantic classic In the Mood for Love (which Ping Bin Lee also shot), about two people drawn together by their respective partners' infidelities. That has the same tragedy, irony and romance which combine to create a doomy eroticism. Norwegian Wood ignites its own fierce, moth-attracting flame. [www.guardian.co.uk]

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Jun 14, 2011

Il Postino (1994): The Postman


Mario Ruoppolo (Massimo Troisi) is the gentlest of men, a lonely soul resigned to the monotony of life on a quiet Italian island. All that changes with the arrival of Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret), who suddenly becomes the island's resident celebrity. Exiled from his native Chile for political reasons, Neruda has a transforming effect on the ruggedly beautiful setting where "The Postman" ("Il Postino") takes place. He becomes an unlikely friend to Mario, who blossoms so beautifully under Neruda's influence that he discovers the idea of poetry as if it were new.

¶ As a rueful, warmly affecting film featuring a wonderful performance by Mr. Troisi, "The Postman" would be attention-getting even without the sadness that overshadows it. This Neapolitan actor, also a writer and director and much better known to Italian audiences than to viewers here, postponed a heart operation while he finished work on this pet project. He died (at the age of 41) the day after principal photography was completed.

¶ Succinctly dedicated "To Our Friend Massimo," "The Postman," which was directed by Michael Radford, is an eloquent but also wrenching tribute to Mr. Troisi's talents. The comic unease that he brought to this performance clearly has a component of real pain. But that hint of unease suits Mario's wide-eyed, wistful look and his slow, often dryly funny demeanor. When Mario is first hired to deliver Neruda's mail, he has so little else to do that he spends time breaking in his postman's hat so that it won't give him a headache.

¶ "That's a little trick of ours," he says knowingly to his father, a fisherman, who is one of the main reasons there has not been much poetry in Mario's life. They live together in bleak, drafty quarters, where Mario probably dreams of better things while his father slurps soup out of the pot.

¶ So the younger man is delighted to find a low-paying, not-too-promising job delivering mail to Neruda, who is the only local resident literate enough to be getting letters. Mario must bicycle to see Neruda at the remote hilltop outpost the writer shares with a woman, whom he treats grandly and addresses as "Amor."

¶ "He's a poet," Mario confides to his sole post office colleague once he overhears that. "That's how you can tell."

¶ At first, Mario's expeditions to see Neruda are cautious and polite, with Mr. Troisi engaged in amusing rehearsals for each brush with greatness. (Behind this handsome actor's hangdog expression and leisurely manner, there is slyly superb comic timing.) Then the postman begins to grow bold. He'd like a better autograph than the "Regards, Pablo Neruda" that his first request elicits. He'd like to know what makes Neruda tick. He might even like to be a poet himself.

¶ Naturally, this story is too good to be true. "The Postman" is based on a novel, "Burning Patience," by Antonio Skarmeta, in which the postman was a teen-age boy. Anyway, the postman is a fiction, and Neruda's real home during the early 1950's (when the story takes place) was on Capri, a less undiscovered place than this film's delightfully sleepy setting. But what's most clearly a fiction here is the effect that Mario's lovely naivete has on Neruda himself. Touched by the younger man's guilelessness, the writer is moved to show Mario that life on the island doesn't need the services of a visiting poet. It already has a poetry of its own.

¶ "The Postman" would be awfully cloying if it hammered home that notion too insistently. In fact the thought is expressed with gentle grace, and it is tempered by other, wittier effects of Neruda's presence. There's a sweetly romantic subplot about Mario's insistence that poetry have some practical application. He wants it to win him the beautiful Beatrice (Maria Grazia Cucinotta), who's not much of a reader but likes being compared to a butterfly.

¶ There's the hilarious way Beatrice's aunt is scandalized by such tactics, which she doesn't quite understand but does know are dangerous. And there's the sobering moment when Mario grasps what he must look like to a man of Neruda's celebrity. "I lived in complete solitude with the most simple people in the world," Neruda eventually tells a newspaper interviewer. Those simple people aren't entirely flattered by that description. Mario's reaction is more complicated, with a disillusionment that is also the measure of how profoundly Neruda has changed him.

¶ Mr. Noiret, the superb French actor who is such a sturdy presence, has so much of the right lumbering gravity for Neruda that his performance is hardly hurt by being dubbed into Italian. He accomplishes the major feat of making Neruda's side of this tale plausible, and gives his love of poetry real immediacy on screen.

¶ And Mr. Noiret is magnetic enough to account for the villagers' debate about the essence of Neruda's appeal. Mario and his postal superior spend a lot of time noticing how many female correspondents this outspoken Communist poet and politician seems to have. Mario thinks this must make Neruda "the poet loved by women," but his boss finds that embarrassing and staunchly corrects it. Neruda, he proclaims, is "the poet loved by the people."

¶ Still, neither he nor Mario nor anything else about "The Postman" can resist the romance of Neruda. And those letters from the ladies just won't quit. The boss is finally forced to modify his position. "Even the women are interested in politics in Chile," he concedes.

¶ THE POSTMAN (IL POSTINO) Directed by Michael Radford; written (in Italian, with English subtitles) by Anna Pavignano, Mr. Radford, Furio Scarpelli, Giacomo Scarpelli and Massimo Troisi, based on the novel "Burning Patience" by Antonio Skarmeta; director of photography, Franco Di Giacomo; edited by Roberto Perpignani; music by Luis Enrique Bacalov; production designer, Lorenzo Baraldi; produced by Mario and Vittorio Cecchi Gori and Gaetano Daniele; released by Miramax. Running time: 113 minutes. This film is not rated. WITH: Massimo Troisi (Mario), Philippe Noiret (Pablo Neruda), Maria Grazia Cucinotta (Beatrice), Linda Moretti (Rosa) and Renato Scarpa (Telegraph Operator). [source] check out this film at imdb

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Movies about Writers & Writing


Are you a writer, or anyone who likes writing? Here are ten films that have something real to say about what it means to write. These following list was listed by a member of Amazon.

1. Sylvia DVD ~ Gwyneth Paltrow
"about the lives of sylvia plath & ted hughes"
3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

2. Il Postino DVD ~ Massimo Troisi
"Pablo Neruda"
4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (120 customer reviews)

3. Wonder Boys DVD ~ Philip Bosco
"A dysfunctional story of a writer suffering writer's block"
4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (198 customer reviews)

4. Henry Fool DVD ~ Thomas Jay Ryan
"About a writer trying to write an epic poem"

5. Elling DVD ~ Per Christian Ellefsen
"an agoraphobic finds his way in the world through poetry"

6. Mrs Parker & Vicious Circle [VHS] VHS Jennifer Jason Leigh
"about Dorothy Parker"

7. Kafka [VHS] VHS Jeremy Irons
"Soderbergh's film about Franz Kafka"
4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

8. Naked Lunch [VHS] VHS Peter Weller
"haven't seen this yet: Cronenberg's view of William S Burroughs's famed book"
4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

9. Barton Fink [VHS] VHS John Turturro
"haven't seen this yet, either"
4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

10. Beloved Infidel [VHS] VHS Gregory Peck
"about F. Scott Fitzgerald"
3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Jun 10, 2011

On the Road (2011)


On the Road is a film adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel of the same name directed by Walter Salles and starring Sam Riley as Sal Paradise and Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty. It is being produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Filming began on August 4, 2010, in Montreal, Canada, with a $25 million budget. The story is based on the years Kerouac spent traveling America in the 1940's with his friend Neal Cassady and several other figures who would go on to fame in their own right, including William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

Directed by Walter Salles

Produced by Francis Ford Coppola
Rebecca Yeldham
Nathanael Karmitz
Charles Gillibert

Written by Jose Rivera
Jack Kerouac novel)

Sam Riley
Garrett Hedlund
Kristen Stewart
Kirsten Dunst
Viggo Mortensen
Amy Adams

by Gustavo Santaolalla
Cinematography Eric Gautier
Studio American Zoetrope

Distributed by
DreamWorks/Touchstone Pictures (US/Worldwide)
Icon Film Distribution (UK)
MK2 (France)
Country United States

Language English

Budget $25 million

more info please visit http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337692/

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Jun 8, 2011

I Am an S+M Writer


Based on a novel by Dan Oniroku, probably best known for Flower and Snake, I am an S&M writer tells the story of Kurosaki and his much younger wife Shizuko. Kurosaki, Osugi Ren, at one point during his writer career wrote a type of literature termed junbungaku, pure literature, which distinguished itself from taishibungaku, popular literature.

In Japanese terms Oe Kenzaburo would fall into the realm of pure literature while Haruki Murakami, although he straddles both types of literature because of the various themes in his body of work, would fall into popular literature.

For a more Western view think of Thomas Pynchon being in the realm of pure literature while Stephen King falls into the realm of popular literature. Anyway, although Kurosaki set out at the early point of his career to write important works of pure literature the sells were dismal so he and his young wife led a less than ideal existence. However, a door apparently opened for Kurosaki to write erotic S&M fiction and soon he and his wife owned a large, beautiful home and seemed to have all the material comforts that life had to offer, however, was he and his wife truly happy?

I am an S&M writer opens with Kurosaki and his assistant working in his home study. However, the type of work that they are doing might strike some as quite odd. Apparently Kurosaki is a very visual person, because within the confines of his study his assistant Kawada, who is also a master at erotic rope binding, has tied up a bargirl named Kyoko in a less than flattering position. Observing how the bondage effects both Kyoko's emotions and body, Kurosaki dictates his story to Kawada. All seems to be going pretty well until Shizuko walks in through the door. There is no great fight, but that night Shizuko states that she will begin sleeping in another bedroom away from the "pervert." However, things soon escalate and Shizuko strikes up a relationship with a foreigner and soon afterwards asks Kawada to her up also.

Despite the English title of this film, the Japanese title is Futei no kisetsu or Season of Infidelity, the S&M aspect of the film does not go beyond rope bondage, instead the film delves more into the power of the imagination. When Kurosaki learns that his wife is being unfaithful, he instead feeds off of this infidelity to feed his creativity and he seems to become more attracted to the conception of his wife as an adulteress instead of her actual blood and flesh being. This theory is given strength when Kurosaki himself engages in an act of adultery with the bargirl while listening to a tape of his wife with Kawada.

While no means a great film, I am an S&M Writer is a short glimpse inside the filmic world of Hiroki Ryuichi who also directed such films as Tokyo Trash Baby and Vibrator.

check more about this movie at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266568/

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Apr 7, 2011

Moonwalking with Einstein Will be Filmed by Columbia Pictures


The true story of a journalist who decides to participate in a competition testing the most acute memories in the United States will find its way to the big screen thanks to Columbia Pictures. They’ve just optioned the rights to the recently-released best seller Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer. The book follows Foer, a science journalist covering the U.S. Memory Championships, who learns the tricks of the memory trade and decides to compete against the best of the best. Read more about the book and the film after the break.

In a news release, Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures said the following:

This is a very special book which transcends the already fascinating subject of memory. By explaining in personal and entertaining fashion a great deal about how our brains work, Joshua has written a book that sheds light on how memory is connected to humanity.

Added producer Matt Tolmach, who is currently producing The Amazing Spider-Man for the studio:

At a time in our lives where we have outsourced so much of our memory to technology, Josh goes on this incredible journey into the inner workings of our memory. What he discovers is stunningly universal and profound.

Moonwalking with Einstein Synopsis:

Moonwalking with Einstein chronicles Foer's real-life experience as a science journalist covering the US Memory Championship who decides to become a participant in the event. As he covers the competition, Foer is astounded to discover that those with the best memories aren't geniuses or savants but regular people who had trained their minds using ancient techniques. Though he's just a guy with an average memory, someone who can't remember where he put his car keys (or even his car), Foer shows that the tricks of the trade are available to anyone as he learns to harness his own brain power and win the memory competition.

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Matt Damon to Play Julian Assange


Hollywood actor Matt Damon has been named as the bookie's favourite to play WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a new film.

The 40-year-old Bourne star and Russell Crowe, 46, are reportedly first in line for the role, with odds of 6-1, followed by other big names including Jude Law and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Speculation about who will star in the film about the controversial website creator has been rife since Steven Spielberg won the screen rights to WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War On Secrecy.

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Mar 31, 2011

10 Best Actors of All Time


Depending on who you ask, the list of the ten best actors of all time can vary greatly and include actors from bygone generations all the way up to those appearing on the silver screen today. However, according to the website of one well-respected organization, the American Film Institute, the ten best actors are:

1. Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart is an American cultural icon who starred in memorable movies such as Angels with Dirty Faces, Key Largo, Sabrina, Casablanca and The African Queen. After the success as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest in 1936, Bogart continued to cast gangster roles until his break-through came as leading man in 1941, with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. Bogart is perhaps best known for his trademark performance in the 1942 classic Casablanca as the cynical and ultimately noble Rick Blaine.

2. Cary Grant

Cary Grant, and English-born actor who made women in America swoon, is number two on the list. This award-winning actor’s most famous film credits include The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, To Catch a Thief and An Affair to Remember.

3. James Stewart

Stewart was an actor on both Broadway and in film. He was nominated for five Academy Awards and starred in a long list of movies today all considered classics, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, Harvey, Rear Window, Vertigo and It’s a Wonderful Life.

4. Marlon Brando

No list is complete without Marlon Brando, who many identify with Vito Corleone of The Godfather. However, the actor performed for more than 50 years and also shined in A Streetcar Named Desire, Apocalypse Now, Superman and many more.

5. Fred Astaire

Hollywood’s famed suave dancing gentleman, Astaire astounded audiences with his voice and moves for many years. His career as a film and Broadway actor and dancer, choreographer and singer lasted more than 76 years and through 31 musical films. Among his most famous titles were Funny Face, Royal Wedding and Swing Time.

6. Henry Fonda

Fonda began acting in 1935 and his career took off after his famous performance in The Grapes of Wrath. His long and impressive career also includes movies like 12 Angry Men, How the West Was Won, Jesse James, On Golden Pond and Jezebel.

7. Clark Gable

Who can forget Clark Gable’s smoldering turn as Rhett Butler in the classic Gone With the Wind? He became known as The King of Hollywood and won an Academy Award for It Happened One Night. He was nominated for awards for Mutiny on the Bounty, and his last film was The Misfits with Marilyn Monroe.

8. James Cagney

Cagney was a well-decorated and acclaimed actor known best for playing tough guys on the screen. His top film credits include Angels with Dirty Faces, Frisco Kid, The Oklahoma Kid and Yankee Doodle Dandy. The film The Public Enemy quickly became one of the top gangster movies of the time, and catapulted Cagney into stardom.

9. Spencer Tracy

Tracy appeared in 74 films, but got his start in the Broadway play The Last Mile. While he is known for his lasting affair with actress Katharine Hepburn, Tracy starred in acclaimed films including Adam’s Rib, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Father of the Bride and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

10. Charlie Chaplin

Chaplin is the only silent film star to make AFI’s list of top actors. He broke onto the screen and rapidly became one of the top film stars in the world. His comedic routines involved miming and slapstick comedy, and his most famous role was The Tramp from the Keystone comedy Kid Auto Races at Venice.

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Mar 30, 2011

Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actors


From Johnny Depp to Ben Stiller, the stars who command a couple more zeroes than everyone else in Tinseltown.

Before 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean, no one would have pegged Johnny Depp to become the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. The quirky leading man was best known for starring in offbeat movies like Tim Burton's Ed Wood and the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

But it turns out mixing Depp's oddball performance tendencies with a big-budget Disney ( DIS - news - people ) concept is a recipe for success. The first Pirates movie earned $654 million at the global box office. The franchise has gone on to earn a total of $2.7 billion, and a fourth film is slated for 2011 (in 3-D, natch). Depp's most recent star turn for the studio, a 3-D update of Alice in Wonderland, has brought in $1 billion at the box office.

His ability to almost guarantee a big box office (even Public Enemies earned $214 million) means studios are willing to pay whatever it takes to get a bit of the Depp magic. Between June 2009 and June 2010, Depp was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning a total $75 million.

This year's top 10 highest-paid actors banked a total of $349 million between June 2009 and June 2010. To figure out earnings, we talked to agents, managers, producers and lawyers to determine what the stars earned as upfront pay on movies they are currently shooting, as well as back-end pay earned after a movie hit theaters. We also looked at any money actors might have earned from doing ads.

Ranking second behind Depp is Ben Stiller with $53 million. The comedian earns big bucks for films like Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and the upcoming third installment in the Meet the Parents franchise because those films pay out at the box office. But Stiller has also started doing smaller, more personal films. This year's Greenberg, about a lonely man rapidly approaching middle age, earned only $6 million.

In third place: Tom Hanks. Between June 2009 and June 2010 the actor earned $45 million. Much of that came from movies like Angels & Demons and the upcoming Larry Crowne, which co-stars Julia Roberts. But Hanks also earns from films and TV shows he produces. He was behind HBO's recent mini-series The Pacific and produced 2009's Where The Wild Things Are.

Adam Sandler ranks fourth with $40 million. His most recent film, Grown Ups, started slow but is now Sandler's third-highest-grossing film of all time at the box office with $230 million in ticket sales worldwide. The fact that his humor can bring in fans over time, in the U.S. and abroad, means studios are willing to pay him a hefty salary.

Leonardo DiCaprio ranks fifth with $28 million. The star went through a period with underperforming films like Body of Lies and Blood Diamond, making it increasingly difficult for DiCaprio to justify his large payday.

But he's recently turned that around with Shutter Island and Inception. The latter (which hit theaters after our June deadline) is now DiCaprio's second highest grossing film, behind Titanic, with $700 million so far. DiCaprio will end up making at least $50 million from the film, which should rank him much higher on next year's list. [source: www.forbes.com]

check it out>> In Pictures: Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actors

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