Monday, November 29, 2010

Break ke Baad? Boredom, yaar!!

Enjoyed an arty Sunday after a long time. First halt was at the Jehangir Art Gallery where Viveek Sharma was hosting his one man show. I have been following this young man's work for over five years and have enormous faith in his future. Today, he is represented by top galleries in Europe and is in residency programmes at various international universities . I am really happy for him. Recognition has come to Viveek at the right time. The current show titled 'My City.... My Dreams', is his tribute to Mumbai. Viveek, a nocturnal creature, captures the city after midnight in a series of 'electrifying' paintings - almost neon. Born in 1968, Viveek resembles a modern day Christ, speaks fluent Marathi, and is good looking enough to make it as the global face of a top fashion brand.He values his work but is realistic about pricing it right. I told him to rechristen himself - "Why not Gandhi-man?" I suggested, after he told me about his Gandhi paintings which sell very well across Europe. And we all know how hot the Mahatma is right now!


The other art experience was less direct. I was talking to Margaret Mascarenhas, my coolest friend from Goa. She has just finished curating Prison Art - a show she has been diligently working on for more than a year. Inmates of the Aguada Jail in Goa have produced the most unexpected images, writings, even performance art, that goes on display in Goa on 9th December. I'll be right there. It is a part of Raj and Dipti Salgaocar's charity- linked art initiative, and frankly, anything Margaret undertakes, has to be pretty damn good!


"This appeared in Bombay Times today...

Jaago Mumbai, Jaago….

Strange how impassive and unmoved the average Mumbaikar was during the second anniversary of the 26\11 terror attacks. A foreign journalist who had come over for an interview the same afternoon, mentioned she had gone to Marine Drive in the morning to watch the Police Parade. Shocked at the miserable attendance, poor participation and obvious indifference of citizens, she asked why we are such an apathetic lot in a city that remains as insecure today as it was two years ago ( latest scam involves state ordered speedboats that aren’t bullet proof!). She also mentioned her disappointment at the parade itself which was listless and far from impressive. If anything, it showed our cops in a shabby light. They looked ill equipped and far from smart… hardly an inspiring image to project in a vulnerable city. But then, that is how we are. Accompanying the journo was another person who was staying at the Taj ( she’s a regular there) and talking about feeling spooked with all the gunmen ( security forces) prowling around in the corridors while the windows in her room were being covered with black out papers. Obviously, no chances could be taken that crucial day, especially since aerial attacks had been mentioned in the past. Even at this sensitive venue, our cops were just about visible.Unless they were in plainclothes and pretending to be guests. Perhaps our apparent lack of interest in our own safety has to do with frustration and deep disappointment . The average Mumbaikar is a highly disillusioned person, who believes his\her fate is now in the hands of the Almighty, since clearly, nobody in government ( state or at the centre) is treating Mumbai’s security as a top priority. C.M.s come and go – they change as frequently as the unpredictable weather. The brand new Mr. Clean has yet to do or say something of any consequence. He seems more particular about keeping his hair neatly combed during photo ops. The deputy C.M. is being watched closely by those who aren’t sure about his moves, given the history ( Uncle Pawar and Cousin Supriya looking over his shoulder). While all these political and family dramas are being played out, the Mumbaikar waits for some good to emerge and may even have started to actually envy Nitesh Kumar’s Bihar and the Biharis!!! Who knows…. if things continue to deteriorate at this speed in Maharashtra, soon we’ ll see a reverse migration – out of job, angry Maharashtrians heading to Bihar in search of better opportunities!! Now that would be something. Right, Raj?

I like Bhansali’s ( SLB to you) attitude. He claimed in a recent interview, “ I don’t make money, I make movies.” Spoken grandly like a great master with an authentic oeuvre a la Fellini. Antonioni.Polanski.Ghatak.Ray. If there are besotted financial fans of a film maker out there willing to shell out crores for someone’s monumental ego and self indulgence, nobody should grudge the generous gesture. But I always thought commercially released movies were about attracting an audience, recovereing the huge investment involved, and heaven help us - even raking in profits!Movies are a shared
experience in which the filmmaker draws the audience into his \her world.If it’s personal cinema Bhansali is referring to, then you make home movies for family and friends. In which case, money ( someone else’s at that!) is not the objective . Bhansali reminds me of authors who claim airily that they don’t write ‘commercial books’. If a book is published, put into book stores, and has a price tag on it, it automatically becomes a ‘commercial’ book. Or else, why not write memos to yourself, keep diaries?

Break ke Baad? Boredom, boss. Break ke Peheley, bhi.


Anonymous said...

Labor shortage very soon maybe will happen as one of friend having small scale industry within Delhi said those migrated earlier leaving towards their hometown - Bihar now-a-days And not coming back. This will lead to be rise in labor per day amount.
But Madam, ji reverse migration???
for the said to happen Bihar need industries - correct?
If industries starts it is good if not still Bihar is good for tourism - Gaya for Lord Budhha, Gaya for Pind Daan, Pawapuri for Lord Mahavir, Hajipur ka Kela, Muzaffarpur ki leechi And Aaloo

Re.: Bhansali ji
I don’t make money, I make movies
Will say: Sir ji, please please make more & more movies...

Anonymous said...

Readers and audiences are not one uniform group. You can make a movie or write a book for a small like-minded group rather than a large mainstream population.

cmpershad said...

`And we all know how hot the Mahatma is right now!

How happy he would have been to know this :)

Plum Penguin said...

I was expecting an answer to the comments made on the KWK show last week. Are you planning on a good retort, or will you just ignore the elephant in the room?

Mukesh Bhatia said...

For me it is not the mumbaikars who are disillusioned but the government in itself. It must be like passing marks required to be promoted. Whichever party rules the govt., the bare minimum has to be in place. People are really tired about talking of every issues like security, development, education, etc. These all the things shud b in place. Extra ordinary then could be achieved.

For Bhansali, its definitely money, though his movies are epic, but the end is money. Movies are bound to be forgotten. But money does matter for next project...

Uncommon Sense said...

bhansali has reached the phase that subhash ghai is now in.. out of date

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Ramachandran said...

It is so unlike you to talk about a film without seeing it first!
I strongly recmmend that you see"Guzarish".
It is a rare cinematic experience, and will stay with you long after you have seen it.
I am not a Bhansali fan, but had to see this film if only for Hrithik.
It is truly a masterpeice!

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Anonymous said...

Just returned after watching "Guzaarish" And I wish to talk:

Will say:
The story - excellent And The major strength of the movie.
Hrithik Roshan act incredibly but initially it was the same Hrithik voice as we have heard within Koi Mil Gaya but as movie grows The voice improves.
The director able to create water within eyes with the story-line but the success is if maybe those water drops And once the movie is over we feel lighter but that doesn't happen. Whenever the moment was there the movie lost the connection/control.
And Aishwarya little over-weight or double-chin. Suhel Seth-great performance.
Altogether must watch movie but I guess Director who has given us great movies such as Hum Dil Chuke Sanam/Devdaas our expectation are high with you And for this story-line you could have done much much better job. Kahi par thoda sa emotions kam tha within the movie as per story-line. What say? Anyways, it is always next time. Sir ji, please please make more & more movies...
Must watch movie-in-short.

Karen SK said...

Guzarish is not a bad movie as Bollywood movies go (it's all relative!) but Aishwarya has really nailed her coffin with her silly giggly talkshow appearances and interviews. SHe comes across as extremely fake and terribly self-conscious, her jokes fall flat and everybody looks awkward, not knowing how to react. Abhi is laid-back, seems very genuine in interviews, but also comes across as an entitled brat. Can't really see the chemistry between these two really. Imran and Deepika are insipid actors, not doing much for any of the movies of theirs that I've seen. No screen presence really.

Layman said...

I make films, not money.
Haha.. At least make good films SLB. Nice post madame.

spYder said...

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Anonymous said...

Bhansali Mania
Unlike Mr.Ramchandran I'm a Bhansali fan.
But his depressing music of Guzaarish put me off(after backing his equally depressing Saawariya's score) and made me think

"Is, passing on the -ve vibes of a depressing life to all people wise?
"Isn't it an obligation of a movie-maker to think about the wellness of audience?
"Shouldn't Censor board further classify audience and tag a movie with it? or it really isn't necessary since the audience are smart enough to choose a movie for watching in this promo-intensive entertainment industry.

If the answer of above two questions is majorly affirmative then I think Bhansali has an obligation to socialise more,come out of his thought-closet which will eventually lead him make pro-life movies minus depression.

He has preoccupations
But then when he says that "I make movies and not money" I think he's being true to his heart.He would definitely rejoice the success of his movie.But in case, the movie flops, it becomes his close-to-heart handicapped child just like an ordinary parent.All this b'cos when he thinks of making a movie he doesn't think COMMERCE or MONEY all he thinks is his EMOTIONS. Very unlike a "Gujju".

P.S. He doesn't try to strike a chord with popular audience, He tries to connect with grief striken & unfortunates with his movies ala Danny Boyle kind-a cinema.

Rhett said...

Well slb sure makes great news!

Rhett said...

if not good movies

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