Budd Schulberg Dies at 95

schulberg-portraitBudd Schulberg, an American screenwriter, television producer, novelist and sports writer, known for his 1941 novels, viz-‘What Makes Sammy Run’ and ‘The Harder They Fall’ and Academy-award-winning screenplay for ‘On the Waterfront‘ died at 95 at his home in Westhampton, New York. He is survived by his fourth wife ‘Betsey Langman‘ and five children-Victoria (by first wife), Stephen and David (by second wife), Benn and Jessica (by fourth wife)..

Born as Seymour Wilson Schulberg, he was the son of B. P. Schulberg, head of Paramount Pictures and Adeline Jaffe-Schulberg, sister to agent/film producer Sam Jaffe. Known as the first American servicemen to set free the Nazi-run concentration camps during world war-II, Schulberg had interest in politics as well.

Along with other young intellectuals, Schulberg was a member of the American Communist Party from 1936 to 1940. In 1939, he teamed up on the screenplay for Winter Carnival, a light comedy set at Dartmouth, where one of his collaborators, F. Scott Fitzgerald, was fired because of his alcoholic binge during a visit with Schulberg to Dartmouth.

Schulberg attended Deerfield Academy and after that went to Dartmouth College that awarded him with an honorary degree in 1960. He was actively involved in the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern humor magazine at the college.

Besides his writing career, Schulberg  also had a strong sense of social conscience that led him to set up the Watts Writers Workshop in the aftermath of the 1965 Watts riots, an event he recorded in his Emmy-winning TV special, The Angry Voices Of Watts.

Apart from this, Schulberg is also remembered for his passion of the fight game-‘boxing’ clearly seen in his novel The Harder They Fall later adapted into a Bogart-starring noir. He continued to work as a boxing correspondent throughout his life and was inducted into the Boxing Hall Of Fame in 2002.

“Jail” Preview, Movie Stills and Video release

AP Photo/Vincent Yu
AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Starring: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Manoj Bajpai, Mugdha Godse
Director/Writer: Madhur Bhandarkar
Music: Shamir Tandon, Sharib and Toshi Sabri
Release Date: October 23, 2009

Madhur Bhandarkar’s new entry in the experimental cinema category will either take it to an altogether new level of aestheticism or receive flak from Bollywood pundits and masses for Neil Nitin Mukesh’s jail scene where frontal nudity has been prominently featured. But Madhur’s previously realistic outlook towards his subjects has always invoked enough curiosity, critical clap and praise from a select class of viewers. Hopefully, Jail will be as well received as his earlier film like Fashion, Page 3, Corporate, etc. The movie is slated to be released on October 23, 2009 with Neil Nitin Mukesh and Mugdha Godse in the leads.

Preview:  Parag Dixit (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is enjoying all the perks that life has slated for him. An ambitious career plan charted for himself and a loving girlfriend Manasi (Mugdha Godse) by his side to support him in his every move. But life takes an ugly twist with a series of unfortunate events that lands Parag in jail. The authenticity of Indian jails and inhumanitarian treatment subjected to its inmates forms the crux of the story. Politics, corruption and tortured prisoners which include him shatter Parag’s soul. He now has only two choices; either be submissive and be blind to the going ons or retaliate and fight against the system!

Theatrical Trailer of ‘Jail’

Movie Stills:

jail-movie-montage

‘Dil Boley Hadippa’ goes to Toronto

rani-dil-boley-hadippa-4It really needs courage for an actress to portray an altogether deglamourized role though it is a part of their job and acting skills. Bollywood’s  A-list actress Rani Mukherji’s ‘Dil Bole Hadippa’ will be premiered at  the Toronto International Film Festival-2009 (TIFF) along with Ashutosh Gowarikar’s ‘Whats your Rashee’ in the prestigious Gala Presentations section of the festival as a World Premiere  that will be held this year from September 10-19.

The much awaited ‘Dil Bole Hadippa’ being produced by director Aditya Chopra with Debutant director Anurag Singh, stars Shahid Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee in lead roles that will have a worldwide release on September 18, 2009.

The Yashraj romantic comedy also star actors Anupam Kher, Dalip Tahil, Rakhi Sawant, Sherlyn Chopra and  lots of drama and music with Tabu in a cameo role.

The film is story of a city-bred guy Rohan (Shahid) who goes to a Punjab village to start a cricket team and Veera Kaur (Rani Mukerji) who hails from a village where girls don’t play cricket. In order to fulfill her dreams, Veera puts on a turban and beard and becomes “Veer Pratap Singh” where her brilliance on the field earns her a place in Rohan’s (Shahid Kapoor) team through a roller-coaster journey.

Rani will grace the red carpet along with the other cast & crew which is scheduled to take place on September 13, 2009 in Toronto, Canada. The Toronto Film Festival  is world’s one of the biggest publicly-attended film festival where around 400 films are screened at approximately 23 screens in venues across Toronto with an annual audience of almost 300,000 plus from public and industry people.

Just have a  Look of Rani’s new getup for ‘Dil Bole Hadippa':

rani-hadipaa-1rani-dil-boley-hadippa-2rani-dil-boley-hadippa-31rani-dil-boley-hadippa-5rani-dil-boley-hadippa-7
rani-dil-boley-hadippa-1

District 9

district-9_poster2district-9_poster1

Directed By: Neill Blomkamp
Produced By: Peter Jackson, Bill Block, Ken Kamins, Paul Hanson, Elliot Ferwerda
Written By: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
Starring: Jason Cope, Robert Hobbs, Sharlto Copley
Release Date: August 14, 2009

Fiction films somehow, I have always found to be abrupt may be the films that I have seen haven’t followed the natural course of story telling. For me fiction may be untrue, but the movie should be as realistic as possible, so much so that when you come out of the theatre, you start doubting your capability of not initially believing in the story. The Da Vinci Code had created such ripples and I wish to concentrate the same belief in District 9 as well.
Alien films have mostly been based on the thought process that human race has been attacked and held captive. Not really has the other part of the story been explored, where aliens have been restricted to an area, being treated as slaves and dismissed the right to return to their home.
District 9 is based on a short film ‘Alive in Joburg‘ by Blomkamp himself, it explores the existence of aliens in a secluded area in South Africa where they were held captive and made to work as slaves.
In the movie aliens arrived on earth 28 years ago preceding to the start of the film where they were not in the dominant position to control or attack humanity. People waited with baited breath for their second destructive stroke or a possible technological know-how beyond the reach of human intelligence. But none came, as the aliens were refugees themselves and the last existing survivors of their planet. They are set up in a temporary residence in District 9 in South Africa where nobody knew what exactly their future is. As time flew by their control istransferred to Multi-National United (MNU) an organization who has no interest in the alien’s rehabilitation. They instead are concerned in controlling the alien weaponry which is possible only through their DNA.
This releases a round of frustration and tension amongst humans and aliens where things come to a stage when the head of MNU Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) contracts a mysterious alien virus that starts altering his DNA. His physical form starts changing as he grows an alien claw in place of hand that has the power to operate alien weaponary.
He is now the most wanted man on earth and everybody and anybody are searching for him to trap his physical being and knowledge to unlock alien secrets. Special mention for Koobus (David James); MNU’s chief and the film’s villain. He takes refuge in District 9 where is comes in contact with Christopher (Jason Cope); the alien and the reason for his state.
The film which is being released on August 14 is being promoted excellently if you visit their multiple official sites and watch the official trailer.
Sometimes you wonder, is what we see the truth ? or sometimes we need to release out our mental blockages to go beyond the said truth.
The picture has been official rated as “Restricted” by MPAA for bloody violence and pervasive language

Official Sites:

District9movie.com, MultiNationalUnited.com, MNUSpreadsLies.com, MathsFromOuterSpace.com

Official Trailer:

Alive in Joburg by Neill Blomkamp:

Exclusive filmreview.com footage on Roland Joffe’s “There Be Dragons”

tbd1The British filmaker Roland Joffé, director of the Oscar candidates The Killing Field(1984) and The Mission(1986) is in Buenos Aires (my hometown) shooting a new film:  There Be Dragons.

The film takes place largely during the Spanish Civil War and focuses on the figure of Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer,  founder of Opus Dei – The Catholic Church  controversial institution.

This is a joint production between Spain, Argentina and the United States that addresses the research that a young journalist embarks on a candidate for canonization.

Red Cliff II

redcliffiiGenre: Action / Adventure
Cast: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Takeshi
Action: Corey Yuen Kwai, Dion Lam Dik-On
Writer: John Woo, Chen Han, Sheng Heyu
Screenwriter: John Woo, Khan Chan, Kuo Zheng, Sheng Heyu
Director: John Woo
Producer: John Woo, Terence Chang
Rating: 3/5

After directing the stylish The Killers and Face Off, John Woo puts his hand on Chinese history which indeed is one of his best directions. The movie features full entertainment accompanied with a lot of action, emotions and of course acting. Hosting some remarkably striking and excellent battlefield action in a rich historic epic, the Red Cliff II is the most expensive Asian film financed till today.

The movie revolves around the final days of the Han Dynasty wherein the astute Prime Minister, Cao Cao persuaded the capricious Emperor Han to proclaim a war on the Wu (South) and Xu (East and West) kingdoms in order to unite China. Several battles of wit and strength results both on water and land eventually lead to the battle of the Red Cliff. Much better than Red Cliff I, Red Cliff II does not let the audiences leave their chair for a minute, unless you are not an action lover and wish to go in for romantic movies as a choice!

Red Cliff II, when compared with its first part, moves a bit faster, first providing its backside and then moving in straight towards plan and action. Sun Xiang-Shang (Vicki Zhao) makes an unaware friend while spying after the enemy lines on Cao Cao’s forces whilst Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang work out some brainy ways to attain their unfeasible tasks. As the eve of the battle arrives, everything seems to go under Cao Cao’s favor along with the wind that puts up a fire attack indicating a bad sign for the partnership. Zhuge Liang, who can read the weather, infers that there will be a change in the wind. The ploy apparently becomes excellently interesting until the right time for attack.

Lin Chi-Ling’s Xiao Qiao does a bit more as compared to her role in Red Cliff I by making herself appear to be in danger of fitting herself for the Red Cliff’s Helen of Troy with the clue that Cao Cao was heading on towards a war for her. This indication does not get confirmed throughout the movie but does tenders Xiao Qiao a chance to get herself involved in her amazingly tense key role during the final war.

The side effects of the honor, homoeroticism and brotherhood themes can make you giggle a bit, but overall, the movie takes you in an enjoyable journey to 208 A.D China. Something difficult to categorize, the movie is neither a minute classic nor a classical commercial.

Rob Marshall to direct next sequel of ‘Pirates of Caribbean’

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Disney Pics)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (Disney Pics)

After Gore Verbinski who stranded the ship of Pirates of Caribbean in April, Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney were in a search to captain their next production and are betting their stakes on choreographer-cum-director Rob Marshall of “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Chicago” fame.

Mostly known to direct musicals, Rob Marshall may sound a little odd for an action film, but hopes are high on him for steering the ship carrying Johnny Depp as Captain Sparrow.

The last Pirates version “The World’s End” was released in April 2007 with the trio of prequels grossing over $2.67 billion worldwide till now. It’s confirmed that Rob Marshall will be directing ‘Pirates of Caribbean’ next installment, so much so that the studio has started sourcing for new actors for the film,

Marshall’s immediate release will be a musical “Nine” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson and Sophia Loren. It will be released on November 25th by The Weinstein Co.

66th Venice Film Festival line-up announced

Venice Film Festival Statuettes
Venice Film Festival Statuettes

On 30th July 2009, Paola Baratta President of Venice Biennale and Marco Müller; Director Cinema section announced the line-up for the 66th Venice Film Festival to be held at Venice Lido from 2nd to 12th September.
Here are the official line-ups divided into official and independent sections.

Venezia 66 – International feature films

36 vues du Pic Saint Loup, Jacques Rivette : France
Accident, Cheang Pou-Soi : China-Hong Kong
Baaria, Giuseppe Tornatore : Italy – Opening Film
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Werner Herzog : U.S.
Between Two Worlds, Vimukthi Jayasundara : Sri Lanka
Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore : U.S.
La doppia ora, Giuseppe Capotondi : Italy
Il grande sogno, Michele Placido : Italy
Lebanon, Samuel Maoz : Israel
Life During Wartime, Todd Solondz : U.S.
Lo spazio bianco, Francesca Comencini : Italy
Lourdes, Jessica Hausner : Austria
Mr. Nobody, Jaco van Dormael : France
Persecution, Patrice Chereau : France
Prince of Tears, Yonfan : Hong Kong
The Road, John Hillcoat : U.S.
A Single Man, Tom Ford : U.S.
Soul Kitchen, Fatih Akin : Germany
Survival of the Dead, George Romero : U.S.
Tetsuo the Bullet Man, Shinya Tsukamoto : Japan
The Traveler, Ahmed Maher : Egypt
White Material, Claire Denis : France
Women Without Men, Shirin Neshat : Germany

Out of Competition

Anni Luce, Francesco Maselli : Italy
Chengdu, I Love You, Fruit Chan, Cui Jian : China – Closing Film
The Hole, Joe Dante : U.S.
The Informant!, Steven Soderbergh : U.S.
The Men Who Stare at Goats, Grant Heslov : U.S.
Napoli Napoli Napoli, Abel Ferrara : Italy
L’oro di Cuba, Giuliano Montaldo : Italy
Prove per una tragedia Siciliana, John Turturro, Roman Paska : Italy
REC 2, Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza : Spain
Scheherazade Tell Me a Story, Yousry Nasrallah : Egypt
South of the Border, Oliver Stone : U.S.
Yona Yona Penguin, Rintaro : Japan

Midnight Movies

Gulaal, Anurag Kashyap : India
Dev D, Anurag Kashyap : India
Brooklyn’s Finest, Antoine Fuqua : U.S.
Delhi-6, Rakeysh O. Mehra : India
Valhalla Rising, Nicolas Winding Refn : Denmark

Golden Lion For Lifetime Achievement

John Lasseter And The Disney|Pixar Directors
Toy Story 3-D : New Version, John Lasseter : U.S.
Toy Story 2-D : New Version, John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon : U.S.

Horizons

Francesca, Bobby Paunescu : Romania – Opening Film
One-Zero, Kamla Abou Zekri : Egypt
Buried Secrets, Raja Amari : Tunisia
Tender Parasites, Christian Becker and Oliver Schwabe : Germany
Adrift, Bui Thac Chuyen : Vietnam
Crush, Petr Buslov, Aleksei German Jr., Borisd Khlebnikov, Kirill Serebrennikov, Ivan Vrypayev : Russia
Repo Chick, Alex Cox : U.K.
Engkwentro, Pepe Diokno : Philippines
The Man’s Woman and Other Stories, Amit Dutta : India
Paraiso, Hector Galvez : Peru
Io sono l’amore, Luca Guadagnino : Italy
Cow, Guan Hu : China
Judge, Liu Jie : China
Pepperminta, Pipilotti Rist : Switzerland
Tris di donne e abiti nunziali, Martina Gedeck : Italy
Insolacao, Daniela Thomas and Felipe Hirsch : Brazil
1428, Du Haibin : China
I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You, Marcelo Gomes and Karim Ainouz : Brazil
Once Upon a Time Proletarian: 12 Tales of a Country, Guo Xiaolu : China
Villalobos, Romuald Karmakar : Germany
Il colore delle parole, Marco Simon Puccioni : Italy
The One All Alone, Frank Scheffer : The Netherlands
Toto, Peter Schreiner : Austria

Horizons Events

Program 1

The Death of Pentheus, Philip Haas : U.S.
Faces of Soul, Gina Kim : U.S.
La Boheme, Werner Herzog : U.K.
Mudanza, Pere Portabella : Spain

Program 2

Deserto rosa – Luigi Ghirri, Elisabetta Sgarbi : Italy
Reading Book of Blockade, Aleksander Sokurov : Russia
Armando testa – povero ma moderno, Pappi Corsicato
La danse – Le Ballet de l’Opera de Paris, Fredrick Wiseman : U.S.
Hugo en Afrique, Stefano Knuchel : Switzerland
Via della croce, Serena Nono : Italy

Controcampo Italiano

Poeti, Toni D’Angelo
Negli occhi, Francesco del Grosso
Il compleanno, Daniele Anzellotti, Marco Filiberti
Dieci inverni, Valerio Mieli
Cosmonauta, Susanna Nicchiarelli
Hollywood sul Tevere, Marco Spagnoli
Il piccolo, Maurizio Zaccaro

Controcampo Italiano Events

Giuseppe De Santis, Carlo Lizzani

Controcampo/Retrospective Events

Lola, Giulio Questi
Hotel Courbet, Tinto Brass

Love Aaj Kal

414px-love_aaj_kal_movie_posterDirector: Imtiaz Ali
Producer: Saif Ali Khan, Dinesh Vijan
Star cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Rahul Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Florence Brudenell-Bruce
Release Date: 31/07/2009

Love stories has always been the centre of bollywood, be it Yash-raj flicks of 80s to the present day budding and experimental directors like Kunal Kohli, Karan Johar or the more recent one-Imtiaz Ali. With ‘Chor Bazaari’ & ‘Twist’ running over almost all the FM channels from past few weeks, Love Aaj Kal endorses music by Pritam where the film’s lingo travel multiple continents and different eras off course.

Saif Ali Khan’s debut production ‘Love Aaj kal’ is directed by film director & writer Imtiaz Ali, known for his run-away hit ‘Jab we met’. The movie stars Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles where Rahul Khanna and Rishi Kapoor are in supporting roles with Neetu Singh in a guest appearance  in the climax.

Storyline of the film is divided into two eras ‘Love Aaj'(2009) & ‘Love Kal'(1965), where  Saif  plays two characters – Jai Vardhan Singh in the previous one and Veer Singh, a Sikh (the younger version of Rishi Kapoor) in the latter.

Jai and Meera are very practical lovebirds of  today’s  age with modern thoughts who part from their relationship of two years as Meera want to go back to India for her career in restoration and Jai has plans to fulfill his long awaited passion of getting an entry in golden globe, Sanfrancisco.On the other hand Veer’s love for Harleen is a typical love story where traditions, customs, norms of culture and fear to go against the elders wishes to get married fails and evokes veer to get his girl that makes him travel long distances all the way from Delhi to Kolkata only to catch a glimpse of her where the grace of god helps him win her hand from her mother. Ultimately, both the two stories end up on  the realization of true love as the ultimate happiness of life and gives us the message that love of 1965 and that of 2009 has remained the same.

As both the stories run parallel, it sometimes become  tricky to understand the plot, but an attention to the theme and a flashback of the events narrated by paji (Rishi Kapoor) certainly helps to co-relate what the script-writer has actually intended to say here.

Love Aaj Kal is an off-beat story like ali’s previous creations viz – ‘Socha Na Tha’ & ‘Jab We Met’ where a novel idea of a break-up with a celebration in presence of  buddies  becomes difficult to digest, but the consensus of both the partners in not departing on a sour note like the usual regular ones and further constantly reminding each other of the dos & don’t s just after the breakup provide us with food-for-thought. The concept of  a love couple  departing their ways happily, the daring to confess and speak the truth about their true feelings for each other and all those things which they actually didn’t liked about each other are really appreciable and appears more real. This is Imtiaz’s specialty of handling the true emotions also depicted in his earlier flicks i.e. between Viren & aditi of  ‘Socha na tha’ and geet & aditya of  ‘Jab we met’ that actually connects the audience with the characters of the film.

Besides this, Delhi is  rediscovered again as the land of ‘love’  by means of a legendary wedding band called as ‘Jea Band’ which is Delhi’s one of the oldest wedding brass bands. Also the vintage cars, proper attire & the city’s beautiful roads along with places like Mandawa, Rajasthan, Patiala & Punjab captured by the cinematographer gives the essence and feel of Sikh culture.

Old bollywood hits like ‘Man dole tan dole’ from ‘Nagin’ and ‘Jhumka gira re’ from ‘Mera Saaya’ linger in our ear bud while ‘Aahun Aahun’, a Punjabi-English-Hindi fusion captivates our mind where Saif appears unique in one of the getups of Rock-n-Roll legend Elvis Presley.

Love Aaj Kal is basically a commercial flick that earlier witnessed protest for saif’s trimmed beard by the Sikh organizations.

Theatrical Trailer

Sneak Peek : Fantastic Mr.Fox

fantastic-mrfoxKiddies are gone have more fun as they glue their eyes to the comp to watch the first trailer of Fantastic Mr.Fox an animation movie based on a children’s book written by Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl has previously authored the book, ‘Charlie & the Chocolate Factory’ that has broken many records all around the world and the movie version is still a hit among children as well as adults. The voice overs for Fantastic Mr.Fox have been given by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Jason Schwartzman.
Story: Mr. & Mrs. Fox are leading a perfect life with their son Ash and nephew Kristopherson. But after 12 years, his wild instincts start showing up as he gets bored of his idyllic ways. He returns back to his cunning self of a devious chicken thief thereby endangering his family and colleagues. His neighbor farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean are all ready to trap him at any cost and it’s up to Mr. Fox and his friends, who are trapped underground, to fight against them and save themselves.

Video: