Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief

stephen%20alter%20book%20cover Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief

Though I picked up a mountain  of  books  in Bombay and Madras last month, I’m holding them for the moment and returning to Stephen Alter’s Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief:   Inside the World of Indian Moviemaking.   I had just started it in November and left it home when  I headed overseas.

It’s primarily a making-of account of Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespearean hit Omkara, but it opens with an overview of the film industry and some history, and it promises to be both a fun and informative read.

More later…

What’s Hindi for ‘deja vu’ ?

disney%20aaja%20nachle Whats Hindi for deja vu ?  

The New York Times reports today that Disney is going local to promote High School Musical 2, including having songs translated into Hindi (“Bop to the Top” = “Pa Pa Pa Paye Yeh Dil”).

Strangely though, the film has been rechristened Aaja Nachle.  

Give this catchy Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy song  a dekko.  

(I can’t get it out of my head.)

Twelve dollars ? ? ?

bheema%20blue Twelve dollars ? ? ?  

Somewhat rude awakening this afternoon in Edison, NJ: the cost of a ticket at Movie City has gone up to $12.

At that price, now I really am sorry I missed the opening credits of Bheema, so I could have squeezed every bit of entertainment from my twelve bucks’ worth of the experience.

Sadly, the increase in prices has yet to positively impact  the ladies’ room.       Ick.

Following Filmi News in Kabul

A friend brought me a copy of the Kabul Weekly, and when browsing through it, next to news of an Afghan film production, I was interested to see this:

 Following Filmi News in Kabul


 Following Filmi News in Kabul


 Following Filmi News in Kabul

Box Office Apple: Your Filmi Guide to NYC

 Box Office Apple: Your Filmi Guide to NYC  

(Note:   This is  a story I did that ran in India Abroad  in the December 14, 2007 issue.   On the day that I was in Brooklyn to take  pictures of the bridge, this tour bus swung around the corner, paused for a minute, then lumbered on.)

Shah Rukh Khan, clad in white, standing against a cloudless blue sky sings: “Har ghadi badal raha hai roop zindagi, chaav hai kahhi hai dhoop zindagi.”   The camera pulls back and he’s now leaning against a lightpost on a bridge, and he continues: “Har pal yahan, jee bhar jiyo jo hai sama, kal ho naa ho.”   The year was 2003 and the King Khan and John Augustus Roebling’s Brooklyn Bridge, two icons, both seen in countless films, were joined onscreen in an Indian Valentine to New York City, Kal Ho Naa Ho.

As you may have noticed in recent years, Hindi movies (and Tamil too) have used New York City and its environs as the setting for their stories.   For some (like Kuch Naa Kaho and Shakalaka Boom Boom) it’s just a passing, blink-and-you’d-miss-it thing, but for several others, New York is the place to be.   Most famously and recently, the entire cast and crew of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna took up residence in Manhattan in the autumn of 2005 to film the story of the two unhappily married couples.   This was double the time that Nikhil Advani’s Kal Ho Naa Ho team stayed in 2003.

The next time you’ve got friends or family visiting you in the U.S., and your travels take you to New York City, here’s a handy guide you can use if you’d like to visit the famous landmarks while also tracing the footsteps of Indian film stars who have shot on location in and around Manhattan. [Read more...]