Monday, June 29, 2009

Superstar’s new project with SUN TV

Shankar is leaving no stones unturned to wrap up Endhiran in style. According to the latest available reports, there are signs that the mammoth venture’s production budget might well exceed the set limits of 150 crores. That’s not to say that SUN TV is curbing the expenses. On the other hand, the excessive production budget is also being met with, according to sources by the production giant.

Latest in the series is that Rajini has agreed for another movie after Endhiran for SUN pictures. A local tabloid has carried news to this effect adding that Rajini has nodded his consent for the project. Only an official announcement can clear the air, however.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

The man who taught the world to dance

Prabhu DevaThe death of Michael Jackson, The King of Pop has sent waves of disbelief and dismay across the Indian film industry. Reactions are flowing in thick and fast from everywhere. Everyone who loves dance has been inspired or delighted by Micheal Jackson at some point of time or the other. Michael Jackson was nothing short of a star of stars, the one whose charisma is unmatched. World music will never be the same again.

The ‘Indian Micheal Jackson’ Prabhu Deva said that he was shocked when he heard the news. He recalled the time when he had Michael Jackson in person when he had come to Mumbai, a meeting that was considered the confluence of two of the world’s best dancers ever.

In the last few years of his life, Michael Jackson had been dogged by controversies and issues. That is perhaps why Jackie Shroff said that his son had felt that ‘it was right that he breathed his last’. The death of Michael Jackson at this time is even more painful because it robbed him of the opportunity to have one last hurrah on stage in front of billions of his fans waiting eagerly to see him perform. He was set to go on a series of concerts later this year to mark a comeback after quite a few years out of the limelight. But that was never to be.

Micheal Jackson will always be remembered as one of the world’s greatest musical legends, perhaps the first truly global musical superstar. He was the man who taught the world to dance. May he rest in peace.


AR Rahman recounts meeting with Michael Jackson

The sudden demise of Michael Jackson has put AR Rahman in deep grief. In his condolence message, the musician said that Jackson was a milestone in dance and pop music and his death was a shock to him.

Recounting his experience when he met the pop legend in Los Angeles, Rahman said that Jackson requested him to compose music for world peace and unity to which he had assented. Rahman added that Jackson was also concerned about the global warming and war issues and spoke in detail about these issues.

The musician also recalled the exhilarating experience of seeing the dance legend perform exclusively for him during the meeting.


Friday, June 26, 2009

AR Rahman: Jai Ho, MJ!

A R Rahman paid tribute to pop idol Michael Jackson in a statement. Take a look:

I am shocked at the untimely passing away of Michael Jackson, one of the greatest musicians of our time. MJ, for most of our generation was an icon who made uncompromising music. He pushed the milestone of pop music to unbelievable levels
through the 8os and 90s. I am yet to find an artist with that energy, perfection and vision.

I met him personally after the Oscars [ Images ] in Los Angeles and we vibed very well. He said that he loved India and the Indian people. He said he heard good things about me and he was praising the chord progression of Jai Ho's chorus.

He was bursting with energy and told me that every dance move he did, came from his soul and did a five second stunning example. It was like a lightning strike :)

He was concerned about developmental issues such as global warming and about wars and its damages to the human community.

He asked me to compose a unity anthem on the likes of We are the World for him. I nodded in awe ...!

He introduced me to his three lovely bright Kids. The kids told him "I love you dad" and he replied "I love you more" as a proud father. I wished him well for his concerts and he said "God Bless you".

After hearing the shocking news I wished it was another rumour which would fade away soon. It took me time to believe that he is no more.

I remember, my late sound engineer Sridhar had brought me a video of the premiere of Remember the Time when I was recording Kadal Rojave for my first movie Roja [ Images ]. Seeing it inspired all of us that afternoon.

Now, there is no Sridhar and no Jackson anymore.

I hope all of us value people's existence more and respect them when they are alive.

LIFE IS SHORT...! Artists and their art live for ever. Jai Ho, MJ ! We love you for your music, regardless of all the controversies!

25 June, 2009


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Priyamani's indirect Bollywood entry

After Asin, Genelia, Shriya and Trisha, yet another South Indian actress is entering Bollywood, albeit in an indirect way! She is none other than reigning rani Priyamani, who would be essaying a role in the Hindi version of ace Mani Ratnam's big budget bilingual Raavan/ Asokavanam, said to be a modern adaptation of the epic Ramayana.

It is heard that the National award-winning Priyamani is playing Surpanakha’s role in this film, produced by Mani Ratnam's sister Sharda under Ratnam's banner Madras Talkies. Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai are the lead pair in Hindi, while Vikram will play the lead opposite Aishwarya in Tamil.

Speaking about her role in Raavan, Priyamani said that she plays a powerful and tough character in Raavan, and accepted the offer without any hesitation. "It was an honour in itself to be called personally by Mani Ratnam, asking if I’d be interested in doing a role in his film. And why wouldn’t I? He is an institution in himself." According to Priyamani, few directors give artistic freedom, and Mani Ratnam belongs to that group.


Mani gifts Govinda a song in Raavana

For over two decades now, Govinda had made for himself quiet a bad reputation in industry circles of being a late latif. He was known to always come late on his film sets citing the silliest of excuses. He had changed this habit while shooting for David Dhawan’s Partner but apparently, post the film’s success he came back to his old whimsical ways. But now it is learnt that for the shooting of his Mani Ratnam directed Raavana, Govinda has been not only coming to the film’s sets on time but is also being the first artist to reach the location.

A source reveals, “During the recently concluded schedule in Ooty (which didn’t have Abhishek Bachchan n Aish) Govinda used to be ready to go to the location as early as half past five in the morning. Apparently, Govinda’s such professionalism left Mani Ratnam so much impressed that he has now decided to add a special song which will be shot on him alone. Mani had earlier been cautioned by many industry insiders about Govinda’s fussy habits during shoots and that it would be a hara-kiri taking him on. But Govinda not only was always on time but also showed lot of willingness and gave suitable inputs to make his character in the film better.

The film is supposedly a modern day take of Ramayana with Abhishek playing the title role. Govinda’s role in the film is the character based on Hanuman in the sense that he aids Vikram (who plays Aishwarya’s hubby in the film) to reach Abhishek.

Rajini on TV next?

If reports are to be believed, you could soon catch on screen, a face that has mesmerized millions of Tamilians with a voice and style that still remains inimitable. Yes, the Superstar could soon be on TV asking you, his fans, to catch him soon in Sun Pictures’ Endhiran The Robot'.

The Superstar, who is currently working in Shankar’s ‘Endhiran The Robot’ is said to have agreed to this unique means of promoting his film. He pairs with Aishwarya Rai for the first time in this film, which is being filmed at an estimated cost of Rs 180 crore.

With more than 60 percent of the shooting for the film being completed, the production house is said to be adopting never-heard-of methods to publicise the mega starrer, which also has Academy Award winning music composer AR Rahman working on the movie’s music.

Reports say the production house plans to do this personal invite from Rajinikanth and already has the Superstar’s nod to the project. And given Sun Pictures aggressive promotion campaigns for all their films, it is no surprise that they have come up with such a grand plan to promote their first direct production.


A R Rahman working secretly

Ever since he has bagged the two Oscars, the Chennai Mozart A R Rahman has been going through a lot of changes in his life. Known for his low key nature and the private person that he is, there has been a extensive media coverage and Rahman is unable to get away from the press photographers and other media arc lights.

So now, it is being said that Rahman has decided to move secretly to his work places and sources close to him have been keeping his movement in tight wraps.

Rahman has also taken up few international projects and so he is now travelling across countries composing music but all this is said to be happening covertly.

Call it the price of being a celebrity folks??


Kailash Kher goes international

Singer Kailash Kher is all set to make his musical debut in Hollywood alongside Oscar-winner A R Rehman with the film 'Couples Retreat' even as he gears up for the worldwide release of his third album 'Kailaasa, Chaandan Mein'.

The singer, who will also begin his first international tour later this year said that he is excited about performing at coveted platforms like the Hollywood Ball in Los Angeles.

"I have been invited to perform at the Hollywood Ball and at the San Francisco and Brooklyn music festivals," Kher who was in the city to promote his third album said in an interview.

The 33-year-old musician has sung in the 'Couples Retreat' which is Rahman's first international project after 'Slumdog Millionaire' and stars Hollywood A-listers like Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman.

"I have sung a 'tarana' in the film for Rahman and working with him is always a unique experience," said the singer while adding that he is open to other offers from the west but will only accept work of quality.

"I will not accept a project just because it is coming from the west. It should be interesting work that gives me creative satisfaction," said the artiste.

Kher said that the deal for his third album's global release fell into place after a successful show in New York.

A.R. Rahman inks with UMPG

A.R. Rahman, the singer-composer who walked away with two Oscars for his song and score work in "Slumdog Millionaire," has inked an exclusive, worldwide publishing pact, excluding India, with Universal Music Publishing Group.

The deal with Rahman -- whose Indian credits exceed 100 films and whose pic scores and soundtracks have sold more than 100 millions units worldwide -- includes large portions of his catalog as well as new music. Rights to the "Slumdog" music will be included in the UMPG deal.

"That fact that he is a two-time Oscar winner has really elevated his visibility and notoriety globally," David Renzer, chairman and CEO of UMPG, told Daily Variety.

The Rahman deal, Renzer said, fits the company's strategy of film and television music being "one of the key areas that we are focused on."

Rahman, who previously did not have an overall publishing deal, is finishing the music for Universal's "Couples Retreat," starring Vince Vaughn, and will soon be going into the studio with producer Jimmy Iovine, chairman of UMG label Interscope Geffen A&M Records, to create the music for an album featuring guest vocalists.

I’m desperate to work with Rahman: Singer Anushka

From Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to Vishal-Shekhar, pop star-turned-VJ-turned-playback singer Anushka Manchanda is working with all the big composers in the industry, but she is desperate to work with one man - Oscar winning music maestro A.R. Rahman.

“I’m desperate to work with Rahman. He makes super songs and his music is not only different, it’s amazing too. I would love to sing for him. I am working with all the top music directors in the industry but I haven’t been able to work with him till now. I hope it happens soon,” Anushka told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Anushka was a member of an all girls pop band “Viva” and ventured into playback singing in Tamil films after the band split.

In 2006, she got her first big break in Hindi films for “Golmaal”, in which music was composed by Vishal-Shekhar. This was followed by several other songs in the films like “Ugli Aur Pagli”, “Cash”, “Chak De! India” and “Chandni Chowk To China” among others.

The 24-year-old, who has big banner films, including “Luck”, “Kites” and “Aladdin” among others in her kitty, says she had initially wanted to be in the advertising field.

“I never thought that I would become a playback singer for the simple reason that I thought I didn’t have it in me to be one. To sing in films, you need versatility and I always thought that I don’t possess that.

“But now when I have made it, I want to sing every day of my life. I am very happy that I have got opportunities. There are so many others who are good singers but are still struggling to get a chance. So it makes me feel great that I have come this far,” said Anushka whose “Golmaal golmaal” became a chartbuster.

Anushka is critical of herself and says she was a very bad singer five years ago, but has learnt a lot since then.

“I think, I was a pretty bad singer five years ago, but now I have become better… I have matured, I understand music much better… I’ve learnt in these years and will continue to do so,” she said.

So which heroine would she like to sing for in future?

“I want to sing for all the famous heroines. I want to become their voice. If you sing for big films and famous heroines then that helps you.

“I never thought that my voice would suit Kareena but when I sang ‘Tu sala’ (’Golmaal Returns’), it became hugely popular and my voice completely suited her. So now I think my voice will suit most girls,” said the singer.

When asked whether formal training is a prerequisite to become a successful singer, she was quick to reply: “I don’t think so. It helps if you sing songs which are completely classical based, where I take more time, but it’s not something you can’t do without. Kishore Kumar never had formal training but he was a great singer and hugely successful.”


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam – First look

Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images


Chennaiyil Oru Mazhai Kaalam - Movie  Images

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shankar’s line up for Endhiran

Director Shankar is known to give importance to comedy in his all films. In fact the director has followed this trend right from his Gentleman. The director also makes sure that the theme of all his films revolve around a major social issue.

This time around, for Endhiran, Shankar has ensured that there is adequate comedy in the film. While he had roped in Santhanam to take care of the comedy, there is Kalabhavan Mani who will be a comical villain.

Endhiran is a mega budget film produced by Sun Pictures and has impressive line up of star cast including Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Danny Denzongpa.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Two biographies on AR Rahman

Two biographies on AR Rahman will hit the stands. While one is an unauthorized version - AR Rahman: The Musical Storm - penned by journo Kamini Mathai, the other biography, which is expected to be released in 2010, will be written by Nasreen Munni Kabir. Incidentally, Rahman had decided to endorse the biography penned by Nasreen Munni Kabir.
AR Rahman: The Musical Storm will have interesting anecdotes of AR Rahman and will cover various facets of his life. The author has managed to get these details from Rahman, his mother and sisters apart from several of his acquaintances.

AR Rahman

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Asin injured while practicing Kalari

Actress Asin Thottumkal got injured during a 'Kalari' fight practice session for her yet to be launched 19 Steps in which Kamal Hassan plays a crucial role. Directed by Bharat Bala and produced by Walt Disney Productions, the film will be launched soon in Chennai. Japanese actor Tadano Asano is playing the male lead role. In 19th AsinStep, Asin plays the role of a princess who is expert in Kalaripayattu, the Kerala form of Martial Arts.

Now the actress is busy practicing the arts in proper manner. An expert from Kerala is teaching the art to the actress in Chennai. During one of her recent practice sessions, she accidentally slipped and fell while trying to jump from a certain height injuring her leg in the process. But she hopes to be back in action soon and resume practice. According to the sources, the shooting of the movie will be begins at the second week of July in Chennai.


Gowariker picks new composer over Rahman for...Rashee?

After working with Oscar-winning music maestro A R Rahman in three of his hits—Lagaan, Swades and Jodhaa Akbar, director Ashutosh Gowariker has roped in Sohail Sen for his romantic comedyWhat's Your Rashee? set to release on September 25.

Sen, who has earlier worked on multi-starrer film Sirf in 2008, has composed 13 different songs for the much-awaited movie. Lead actors Priyanka Chopra and Hurman Baweja are both vouching for the quality and variety of songs that the new music director has composed.

Priyanka, who essays 12 characters in the movie, said: "Given that there are 12 characters belonging to different backgrounds and different zodiac signs in the film, it's amazing how Sohail [Sen] has beautifully brought all of them together with a range and mixture of distinctive sounds."

"Each song is extremely unique and true to depicting each character's story. I am anxiously looking forward to the launch of the music from the film," she added.

Meanwhile, Hurman too is all praise for the composer.

"Imagine hearing an album and finding it impossible to choose a favourite track because every track you hear becomes an instant favourite. That's just what Ashu sir [Ashutosh Gowariker], Javed [Akhtar] saab and Sohail have created—13 distinctive compositions in one addictive album," he said.

What's Your Rashee? is Gowariker's first romantic comedy and is based on a Gujarati novel, Kimball Ravenswood, by Madhu Rye.

The plot revolves around a young Gujarati man in pursuit of his dream girl with the catch of finding her within 10 days to save his family from an unforeseen ordeal.

The movie is jointly produced by UTV Motion Pictures and Ashutosh Gowariker Productions.


“I have heard everything Rahman has ever composed”

New-York based Wayne Sharpe was introduced to Bollywood six years ago, when a chance meeting with producer-director Prakash Jha landed him with the responsibility of the background score for Jha’s provocative movie, Gangaajal.

Apaharan followed in 2005, where Sharpe again got it right, with darkly lilting music. Sharpe’s Bollywood journey now seems to be getting bigger, as he prepares for the forthcoming Katrina Kaif- Ajay Devgan starrer Rajniti. “I’m doing the background score as well as a song for Rajniti. It has a very epic feel to it—which can support large and full background music,” says Sharpe, who is preparing for Jha’s arrival at his NYC studio, to work on the themes, sounds and a song that he’ll be composing for this film. “Like my other scores for Prakash, this too will have a very western sound with some Indian instrumentation,” he says. Sharpe works with a huge library of samples of Indian music and instruments.

And though he has heard a lot of Indian Classical music over the years, Sharpe still has to get the hang of Hindi. “Ab main kya kahoon,” he jokes, barely faltering. He acknowledges, composing for films made in languages he doesn’t understand has its own complications, but he’s learnt to work around them. “I’m learning Hindi, not through a real program though, but I spend a lot of time with the filmmaker who conveys the story and emotions to me, verbally,” says Sharpe, who is planning to take proper lessons to learn the language. In Hollywood, Sharpe has done the music for the Donnie Wahlberg-Amanda Peet starrer Southie and Pokemon among other film and television projects. And though his Indian visits are not so frequent, he keeps in touch with Indian filmmakers via the Internet. It was through emails and the phone that he worked from New York and LA on Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan’s forthcoming Lahore, a film set in India and Pakistan that deals with sports and

<p>nationalism. “I composed half the music before even meeting the director since I was sent the script in English,” he says. Sharpe’s musical influences have been Peter Gabriel, Bill Laswell and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan but the musician he reveres is the iconic A R Rahman. “I first heard his score in Taal and I was blown away. It changed my thinking entirely about Hindi music. He blended the Western sound so beautifully and since then I have actively sought out everything he has ever done,” says Sharpe. While in the US, he’s found time to work on another crossover film with singers Sonu Niigaam and Sunidhi Chauhan for Basmati Blues. This American is here for the long run.


Jinxed ‘Raavan’ in trouble again as director Mani Ratnam falls ill

Mani Ratnam’s ‘Raavan’ appears to be jinxed right from the start. The film, which stars the Bachchan couple Abhishek and Aishwarya, seems to fall in trouble every now and then. Recently, when all was going well with the film, director Mani Ratnam fell ill severely. This scared the cast and crew of the film and they decided to invoke the gods to ward off evil eye.

A source said to a news daily, "Raavan has faced problems from the very first day of shooting. However, people started getting worried when they continued. It didn`t seem like a coincidence. Everyone was convinced that someone or something was jinxing this project and they needed divine intervention.
"It was after Mani`s health scare that someone from the crew suggested that they have a puja. This has been the most difficult film Mani has made in his career. Apart from shooting the Hindi and Tamil versions simultaneously, Mani also had to deal with several bureaucratic issues ranging from getting permission to shoot in places to making way for logistical support in the jungles," added the source.
"Mani was not present when it happened; but he was aware of it. Although he is not very religious, at this stage he wants to make sure the film isn`t delayed anymore and he agreed, for the sake of others. One of the unit members even suggested Mani to change the title of the film as it has mythological significance," the source further stated.
Well, apart from the pre-release problems, there may be post-release issues also as the film’s title and concept seems controversial. More troubles ahead for Mani!

Sivamani, Bollywood bound?

Sivamani is back to work after cheering the Chennai Super Kings in South Africa. But is he not watching the T-20 cricket world cup?

“I am missing cricket,” he says, but then, he quickly switches to a philosophical mode and adds, “It’s like music. If you keep listening to it non-stop, you will not enjoy it. You need to give it a break and then continue to absorb its beauty and essence. Similarly, after the hectic South African schedule, I’ve decided to give cricket a break and am now busy with music.”
After the success of his album Mahaleela, he is busy working on Mahaleela-II. “It’s again very personal. This time, I have incorporated what I couldn’t in my first album. The recording at Rajasthan palace will be the highlight. I am proceeding to Manasarovar to do some recordings there too,” he muses.
He’s also working with AR Rahman in his Hollywood project. But Sivamani regrets that he could not be present at the Oscar ceremony. “I had a show for Shivarathri at the Mookambika temple and was praying for Rahman. The next morning, it was a double treat for me. My sister called me to inform that Rahman had won the Oscars and that the Tamil Nadu government was to confer the Kalaimamani title on me,” he recalls.
When I could not attend his post-Oscar show in Kerala, Rahman sent me a message saying ‘Don’t ditch me next time.’
Sivamani says that he will be joining Rahman in the shows that are to be held at Dubai, Kolkata and Chennai.
Known for his ability to innovate, he says, “I am busy rehearsing with my boys, especially for the show.”
Having achieved so much, what’s he looking forward to? “I am trying my hands at music direction in Bollywood. I’ll soon have an announcement to make,” he smiles.

Ghajini profits to be withheld?

The producer of the Tamil version Ghajini has once again filed a suit in the Madras High Court pleading for the deposit of Rs. 230 crores in a nationalized bank until the issue is resolved.
Earlier, Salem Chandrasekar filed a suit against Geetha Arts, the producers of the Hindi version Ghajini that the he holds the rights of the film and hence Geetha Arts should share the profits with him. Following this, the Madras High Court ruled that Geetha Arts must deposit Rs. 5 crores and release the film. After the film’s release the court ordered that Salem Chandrasekar can realize the amount. Geetha Arts appealed to the Supreme Court against this decision. While this suit is still pending at the SC, Salem Chandrasekar has once again filed a petition requesting the High Court to direct Geetha Arts to deposit the entire profits Rs. 230 crore until the issue is resolved. The case has been posted for hearing on July 2nd.


Rahman to be present at Micheal Jackson's last!

By Behindwoods Visitor Gautham Daamodhar

The views expressed in this column is that of the visitor. doesn't hold responsible for its content.

Everybody interested in Tamil cinema are talking about the serious drought in the number of hits, super hits and blockbusters. They are talking about the audiences changing, poor quality of films, reckless film making techniques, recession and stuff. Well, I would say just leave Kollywood and Bollywood and even Hollywood for that matter. There is one extremely interesting and extravagant event ever to be hosted in the ‘World Historical Calendar’ and in the ‘History of World Music’. A concert tour that is worth around 10000 crores! One world, One legend, One Genius, One Pop Icon, 22 Grammy's, Highest

Micheal Jackson

sold single and double disc album in the history of world music, 8 multi platinum albums, 50 shows, 90000 spectators per show. England welcomes the King of Pop - Michael Jackson for his last and final Stage performance at the Millennium dome O2 arena in London.
Known as MJ or wacko Jacko, he plans to release his final album "This Is It" at the Millennium dome arena. MJ's comeback is under extreme conditions where he has 100 million USD debts, battling skin cancer, and various other odds. Madonna, Britney Spears, Akon, Fergie, Kanye West, William Black eyed Peas, Coldplay artists are all expected to join the King Of Pop on stage. Once the shows were announced, 7 million tickets were sold online within a record breaking 4 hours making it the "fastest ticket selling concert" in the history of world cinema. A.R.Rahman himself is to watch the King of Pop perform live on stage at the O2. With over 5000 crore pieces of his album sold all over the world in over 200 languages, he becomes the 3rd artist after BEATLES and ELVIS PRESLEY to achieve this distinction. The show is sponsored by AEG live and is turning out to be the biggest grosser in the history of world concerts. Britain's Prime Minister and US President Barrack Obama are expected to watch the KING in action at the O2 arena. Once the shows were announced, The re-release sales of his 1983 release Thriller and 1996 release HISTORY albums raced ahead of Madonna's platinum album HARD CANDY and Britney's latest platinum record CIRCUS stunning the world and the International Music Industry. As quoted by Britney, "He is the only artist in the world capable of pulling off something like that." MJ's last concert was for the WORLD HISTORY TOUR in 1997. After which he was plagued by Child Abuse Allegations that were proven false and he was declared innocent in 2006. Celebrating the 25 years of Thriller Era, an album appreciating his efforts have been released called KING OF POP which is the remixes of his latest hits by Akon, Fergie, Kanye west.
MJ desperately in need of money is performing for the final time where he is expected to earn around 50 million pounds per show. He said he would donate the final leg of his money to the "HEAL THE WORLD FOUNDATION" started by him for educating orphans, kids and destitutes. As the world watches in awe for the final time at the KING OF POP for his lightning fast dance steps, amazingly gifted vocal actions, and a screen cum stage presence not surpassed by any artist so far, tune into your TV sets to watch him and his achievements in action for the final time.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rajini and Shankar wait for Endhiran

The Rajinikanth - Aishwarya Rai starrer Endhiran has created a lot of expectations among the movie buffs. While news about this film was flowing in constantly, there seemed to be a sudden lull in the developments. However, the latest we hear from the Endhiran camp is that the first schedule has been completed. 

Our sources say that director Shankar and Rajini are keen on getting a glimpse of the film shot so far and hence sent it for computer graphics work. Once this work is completed, the team will proceed with the second schedule. The next schedule is expected to commence, probably during the second week of July. Following this break, Rajini and Ash seems to have got a well deserved respite


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jodhaa Akbar bags 10 awards at IIFA

jodhaa akbar

Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodhaa Akbar shines bright at IIFA bagging 10 trophies. Hrithik Roshan won the best actor award for the film while Priyanka Chopra took away the best female actress for Fashion. AR Rahman was given away the best music director award for Jodhaa Akbar and singer Javed Ali was felicitated for crooning Jashn-e-bahaara in Jodhaa Akbar.

Ace lyricist Javed Akhtar won the best lyricist award for penning the song Jashn-e-bahaara for Jodhaa Akbar. Art director Nitin Chandrakanth Desai won the award for designing the historical set of Jodhaa Akbar.

Among the other winners is Kangana Ranaut, she won the best supporting actress award for Fashion and Arjun Rampal honored with best supporting actor award for Rock On! Akshaye Khanna received the best actor award in a negative role for Race and the best actor in a comic role was given away to Abhishek Bachchan for Dostana.

Aishwarya Bachchan was given the special award for an outstanding achievement in international cinema. Veteran actor Rajesh Khanna was honored with lifetime achievement award. Best debutante award went to Asin for Ghajini.

Rock On received the best cinematography award. Neeta Lulla was awarded for designing the clothes of Jodhaa Akbar and Madhav Kadam received the best make-up award for Jodhaa Akbar.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mani Ratnam working overtime

It is a well known fact that Mani Ratnam is a strict disciplinarian.
Mani RatnamThe director doesn’t mind pulling up even big stars if they don’t follow the schedule. His shoots begin and end on time. But if the deadline is not met, Mani makes it a point to finish the schedule no matter what. Something like this happened with Govinda’s and Nikhil Dwivedi’s shoot recently. Govinda and Nikhil are playing key roles in Ratnam’s Raavan that also stars Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan.
A unit member informed us, “Mani was shooting crucial scenes with Govinda and Nikhil at Pollachi in Tamil Nadu. The shoot got slightly delayed and Mani shot with Govinda and Nikhil for 34 hours continuously, thus completing his schedule on time.”
The shoot began at 4 pm on Wednesday evening and ended at 6 am on Friday morning. “Of course, Mani did allow the unit a short break of three hours, but it was hardly a break. Govinda, Nikhil and all the unit members had to start shooting soon,” said our source. Govinda and Nikhil were amazed at Mani’s high energy levels. “Mani, who had just been hospitalised, left his actors completely impressed. Also, Govinda kept Nikhil and other unit members in splits with his humourous one-liners thereby keeping stress at bay.”


When Rahman rubbed shoulders with Michelle Obama

Being voted one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine has seen his popularity soar. Oscar-winning Indian composer A.R. Rahman not only got an opportunity to share the same platform with US First Lady Michelle Obama, he also had the whole audience in New York chanting “Jai ho”.

“At the function I was on the same table as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and the CEO of Time magazine. When I went up to the stage, a chant of ‘Jai ho’ (the Oscar-winning song from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’) went up in the house.”

The music maestro, who won two golden statuettes for his compositions in British filmmaker Danny Boyle’s underdog drama, says the awards have had a huge impact on his life.

“The impact of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ has been tremendous. The western perception of Third World countries has changed. Earlier when some of the most talented musicians of Asia would approach western companies, they’d encounter stumbling blocks. Today that has changed. The west is ready to listen to us,” Rahman told IANS in an interview.

Rahman admits that dealing with the huge amount of attention after the Oscars has been unnerving.

“Yes, the Oscar changed my life. I can’t even attend places of prayer without being recognised. Even when I’m at malls in the US, kids freeze in recognition when they see me. I need to concentrate on my music. I’m not the kind of guy who can pull himself away from my music, attend functions, give interviews and get back to what I’m supposed to do. It’s like entering and leaving new cities,” he said.

Ever since the Oscar happened, the music maestro has been doing extensive travelling.

“It’s been a full roller-coaster ride for me in the past week… from New York to Dubai to Calicut, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai… every day I’ve been in two cities. Can’t be helped. Everywhere they want to felicitate me and I can’t say no. How can I? Everyone was excited about my Oscar and wanted to share their excitement with me,” said Rahman, who will be conferred an honorary doctorate by the Aligarh Muslim University June 7.

He admits he is not able to spend time with his children.

“Luckily all three of my children are into music. So my kids and I are on the same wave-length. My wife dreamt of walking the red carpet with me to the Oscars. She can now dream of walking to the Oscars with our children,” said the 43-year-old.

“I’m slowly getting back to normal now,” said Rahman, now blocking away the Oscar euphoria to focus on his current work.

His forthcoming films are “Blue”, “London Dreams” and S. Shankar’s Tamil film “Endhiran”, which has Aishwarya Rai and Rajnikant in lead roles.

Raavan shoot halted after smoke effect makes forest officials see red

The shoot of Mani Ratnam's Raavan in an Ooty forest came to a smokin' halt, Monday night. Excessive use of the smoke effect (created artificially, without burning stuff up) drew the attention of forest officials in the area.

Stuck: Govinda and Mani Ratnam

A source reveals, "Mani was shooting an action sequence with Govinda. The scene required a heavily smoked-up effect. The shoot started at around 8 pm and was stopped within an hour when forest officers reached the location. The thick smoke-filled location had the officials seeing red.
The shoot came to an abrupt stop and everyone was instructed to pack up. Mani then spoke to the officials for over an hour and assured them that no harmful chemicals would be used."
The source continues, "The shoot began by 11 pm. Govinda, who ironically plays a forest officer was enacting his action sequences with action director Sham Kaushal. Earlier action director Peter Hein was on board, but since he has fractured himself, Sham was taken as a replacement. The shoot goes on till the wee hours in the morning. The cast and crew rest in the day and start work at night."
This is not the first time the unit has run into problems with the forest officials. Earlier, the Kerala Forest Division had asked the cast and crew to move out due to illegal construction in one of their forests. Govinda remained unavailable for comment.


Rahman’s Blue on T-Series

The music of the mega-budget Blue has been bought by T-Series (Hindi language rights). The film is produced by Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd. and directed by Anthony D’Souza.

This action-packed adventure movie stars Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Zayed Khan and Rahul Dev. Katrina Kaif and Kylie Minogue make special appearances in “item” songs.
The music is by A.R. Rahman with lyrics by Mayur Puri, Abbas Tyrewala.


A R Rahman to compose music for Vijay

Vijay is making sure that nothing goes wrong with his 50th flick. He has roped in Thamannah in her desired amount of 50 lacs. Sneha is yet another actress who would be seen in the movie. There were a lot of discussions about who will direct the film and finally Perarasu was zeroed in. Thouigh not confirmed by any team member, it has been heard that music maestro and Oscar winner A R Rahman will be composing the music for this flick.

It seems like Vijay is all set to make his 50th flick a memorable one


AR Rahman slams the writer of his unauthorised biography

Success comes at a price and it seems, to have cost AR Rahman his much-treasured privacy. The Mozart of Madras, who has the world grooving to his winning anthem ‘Jai Ho’ from Oscar favourite ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, is a peeved man these days and it’s all owing to the unending media glare and notorious individuals trying to cash on the reticent musicians’ success.

After several political parties used or rather abused his creation ‘Jai ho’ for their own political vendetta, it’s the musician’s much anticipated ‘authorised biography’ that is giving him sleepless nights.
The book titled ‘AR Rahman: The Musical Storm’ had been widely publicised as the singer’s biography and has made numerous headlines for being the singer’s only biography till date. But according to Rahman, the so-called ‘authorised biography’ is completely unauthorised as the writer Kamini Mathai has not received his consent.
Speaking to media a visibly piqued Rahman said, “The claim that it’s an authorised biography is wrong."
The singer is reportedly not amused by this cheap stunt used by the involved individuals to capitalise on his success.
A news daily even quoted a source as saying, “Though Rahman is oblivious to the outside world and doesn’t understand the commercial aspects of his superstardom, he isn’t oblivious to the ‘Cash in on Rahman’ factory that flourishes far and wide.”
And for a maestro, who is known for his originality, Rahman will be writing his own biography thereby, giving a first hand account of his life.
Now, that’s a read we are all looking forward too.


Prithviraj to complete Ravan soon

Prithviraj has been experimenting with roles ever since began acting. He has done many regional films with distinct subjects. At the moment, he is busy shooting for Ravandirected by Mani Ratnam and according to sources, will complete his part in the film very soon.

He has also signed up for Raghupathi Raghav Rajaramdirected by Shaji Kailash, in which he plays three roles. It is believed the director is searching for three new heroines.

Since he is planning to assist the director during the shoot, we may soon see Prithviraj emerging as a director.

Raghupathi, Raghav and Rajaram are the names of Prithviraj's three characters. The shoot is expected to begin in July.


AMU confers honorary degree to AR Rahman

Oscar winning music director A R Rahman was on Sunday (June 7) conferred an honorary doctorate by the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for his contribution to the field of art and music. Rahman, who created history by becoming the first Indian to win two Oscars for his composition in 'Slumdog Millionaire', was honoured along with noted Urdu scholar Gopi Chand Narang at the 59th convocation of the historic institution.
Overwhelmed to have joined the likes of former presidents Zakir Hussain and A P J Abdul Kalam and freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, who are among the earlier recipients of the award, Rahman urged Indian youth to work towards building "a strong, harmonious India". "I urge young people to continue learning and to participate with me in building a strong, harmonious India and world," Rahman said. Crediting his success to Indian traditions and philosophy, Rahman said: "it is only with these values that my success has been realised both nationally and now after the 2009 Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe Awards, internationally."
Describing art in general, and music in particular, as "a transcendent language that all can understand", he said the country needed more people who enter the fields of art, culture and media. "We see a majority of people in our country desiring to become engineers, doctors and lawyers, but we need more people in creative fields of media and art. “In a world of mass killings, genocides and terrorism, we need more positive emotions," Rahman said.
Ending his address with his trademark "Jai Ho", Rahman said, “The trip to this institution had helped firm my belief that education is the key to eradicate poverty and address underdevelopment.” Narang, who also received an honorary D.Lit, for his contribution to Urdu, said, the language of "plurality and openness" was a major factor in shaping his beliefs that reject all kind of totalitarianism.
West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who was the chief guest of the event, said youngsters should lead the country into rejecting all kinds of extremism, and advocated adherence to moderation. The AMU awarded PhD degrees to 291 students, while 1,490 students received their master's degrees and 251 students got bachelor's degrees during the convocation function. The varsity also presented 43 gold medals and 160 university medals.


Priyamani on her Ravan experience!

Priyamani got rave reviews and accolades for her performance in Paruthiveeran. She has also acted in several Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films and is fluent in all the four South Indian languages.

After several films in other languages, she was called by ace director Mani Ratnam for Ravan, which also stars Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Speaking about her experience, she said that she plays a powerful and tough character in Ravan, and accepted the offer without any hesitation. According to Priyamani, there are few directors who give artistic freedom, and Mani Ratnam belongs to that group.

Her first film was Kangalal Kaidhu Sei directed by Bharathi Raja, followed by Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam directed by the legendary Balu Mahendra, because of which she got noticed for her ability to essay strong character roles.

The actress has two other films in her kitty: Ninaithaale Inikkum and Aarumugam. Both will be released soon and Priyamani is hoping for the best! This National Award Winner has recently signed up for the comedy Raam. She also won the Mathrubhumi Best Actress Award for Thirakkatha in Malayalam.


AR Rahman backs out of Abhi-Ash starrer

Months after Dhoon was announced, we heard that AR Rahman would not be composing the music for it any more. Dhoon is cinematographer Rajiv Menon’s Hindi directorial debut vehicle.

Toplining Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan, the film, produced by Eros Entertainment, is a musical based on a couple whose professional lives affect their personal relationship.. and how they eventually sort out their differences.

According to an industry source, the work on the music was scheduled to start by now. Rahman had agreed to score the music for Menon’s film before Slumdog Millionnaire and his Oscar Awards.

“But after the Oscar nominations, Rahman had to commit to a couple of projects, which were priority over his films. But he hasn’t yet started composing for them,” our source informed.

The same source added, “After that, Mani Ratnam developed a heart problem and had to be hospitalised for a few days. Consequently, Ratnam’s Raavan with Abhishek and Aishwarya was delayed and Rahman had to reschedule a couple of his other assignments.”

In the interim, Menon was working on the final draft of his film and was scheduled to commence work on the music a little later. Now with Rahman’s dates being rescheduled, Menon is worried that the project will get delayed indefinitely.

So, he is considering other composers who will step into the Oscar winner’s shoes.

“Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Vishal-Shekhar are some of the names under consideration although Menon still hasn’t had a formal discussion with them,” our source added.

Menon refused to comment on his change of plans. All he said was, “It’s too early to say anything definite. Perhaps, in a month or so, I will be able to divulge some details.”

More about Sultan!

Sultan The Warrior, the animation film produced by big Pictures and Ocher Studios and directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth, has quite a number of specialities. What are they?

Rajinikanth, who appears as a king in this film, displays a six pack physique. In order to show nuances of his appearance and movements effectively on screen, 48 cameras have been used to capture his every movement. The graphics work is so complex that every twitch in Rajni's face is the result of  200 muscles in the facial area moving, as would happen in real life. Vijayalakshmi plays the Sultan's wife; but she also has a villain's role to play.

In addition to all South Indian languages, Sultan will also be released in English and Japanese. Music is by A.R. Rahman. Above all, Sultan has also uttered his signature style punch dialogues in the film. What are these dialogues? The dialogues have been composed by his daughter Soundarya.

All await the release of this remarkable production, the costliest Tamil film made till date.



Priyamani playing a negative role

The latest upcoming movie ‘Ravana’ is directed by maverick movie maker Mani Ratnam and there is a strong grapevine that the sexy bombshell Priyamani is playing an important character in this one.

Now the latest news is that she is playing Surpanakha’s role and definitely this will be contrast to her glamour. Now it has become a big surprise for everyone why she is doing this role.

But no one can miss the opportunity to work with such a big name as Mani Ratnam. Meanwhile, sources close to Priyamani say that she does not have any restrictions on the role as long as it creates an impact in the film and guess that’s what fetched her the National Award.


Mani Ratnam shoots in Ooty!

47 days after getting a heart attack and being hospitalized, Mani Ratnam is up and shooting for his magnum opus Raavan in Ooty.

Mani sir in fact spent his birthday (June 2) quietly in the cool climes of Ooty, doing what he likes best, directing a film!

A new schedule of the film has started from June 1, in and around the hill stations and surrounding forest areas. Mani has a doctor on call at the location, and everybody is careful that the ace director does not exert himself unnecessarily.

On the first day, he shot the Tamil version with Karthik and others. Vikram, Aishwarya Rai, Prithviraj are expected to join the unit in the next few days. Santosh Sivan, who replaced Manikandan as the cameraman will be givingRaavan a new look. Mani and Santosh are one of the finest director- cameraman team who has made Ooty popular among film makers and the audiences.

Their romance with Ooty started with that spectacular dream song inDalapathy featuring Rajinikanth dressed as a Samurai warrior and singing out to his lady love Shobhana- Sundari Kannal …, in the voice of SPB and S.Janaki to the mesmerizing music of Ilayaraja.

Those days there was no DI (Digital Imaging) , still Santosh and Mani gave Ooty an orange hue and it looked like it was shot in a European country.

The soft romance between Mohanlal and Aishwarya Rai in Iruvar was also filmed in Ooty. Who can forget the duo’s greatest song, Chaiya, Chaiya…, tuned by the master A.R Rahman picturised atop a running train on Shahrukh Khan and Malaika Arora?

The song was superbly choreographed by Farah Khan, and many feel it was a great tribute to Nilgiri’s mountain rail, and easily one of the best song picturisation in Indian commercial cinema.

Now the master and his favourite cameraman are back in Ooty to give it a all new look.


Madhushree sings for 'Endhiran'

Madhushree, who sang the chartbuster "Vaaji Vaaji" in 'Sivaji, the Boss', has crooned a number for 'Endhiran, the Robot'. The singer, reportedly one of the favourite singers of AR Rahman, was very delighted to get another opportunity to sing in a Rajni starrer, directed by Shankar.
After the recording at A.M. Studios in Chennai, Madhusree posed for photographs with Rajni and Shankar. Our sources say that all the songs for the movie have been recorded and the film is progressing at a brisk pace.
'Endhiran', the costliest Indian film ever with a budget exceeding Rs 150 crore, is being produced by Sun Pictures. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays the female lead.


Rahman's success only Indian gain from 'Slumdog': Ghai

The success of multiple-Oscar winner 'Slumdog Millionaire' notwithstanding, film-maker Subhash Ghai feels that the emergence of music-director A R Rahman as an international artist was the only positive that India could claim from the film.

"'Slumdog Millionaire' was a film made by a westerner, who had a plot and hired a few local actors for it. We cannot claim it to be an Indian film," Ghai said during an interaction with PTI.

"The only thing that we should rejoice is the success of Rahman. He won laurels for his music from the international community despite composing it in a language which was unknown to them," said the Showman, who is known for making films like 'Hero' 'Khalnayak', 'Ram Lakhan', 'Taal' and 'Pardes'.

However, Ghai feels that Rahman's Oscar-winning composition 'Jai Ho' is not his best work. "Rahman himself acknowledges he has given better music than 'Slumdog Millionaire'. Many have told me that his music for my film 'Yuvraaj' was much better than 'Slumdog...'," Ghai said.

Rahman's Oscar-winning song 'Jai Ho' was originally composed for Ghai's musical 'Yuvraaj' that hit the silver screen last year. But it wasn't considered good enough to be featured on Zayed Khan and was replaced by the peppy number 'Shanno Shanno'.


A surprise loan for A R Rahman

This piece of information may be surprising but it's true. The Oscar Award-winning music director A.R. Rahman has reportedly taken a loan of rupees 3 crores from Canara Bank. If you wonder what could possibly have prompted the music wizard to go for a bank loan, here is the backdrop to the news.

A team of officers from Canara Bank had called on Rahman to congratulate him on winning the coveted Oscar Awards. In a lighter vein, Rahman is said to have casually asked them whether they would be offering loan to 'persons like him'. The officers were taken aback at the maestro's question and got down at once to fill up the loan application form for Rahman. Within an hour, Rahman was presented with a cheque of 3 crores rupees (as loan, of course!).

Rahman was amused by the developments and told them that he didn't literally mean it when he 'commented' about whom would they be lending loans. The bank officials, however, completed the formalities and granted the loan to the music wizard.


ARR: One man, 4 cities, innumerable fans!

This best sums up the music legend of India Allah Rakha Rahman. People all over the globe have started looking at India, especially in the music and sound perspective. The music wiz who has been busy ever since he scored the music for his first film 'Roja' has become busier now.

Post the twin Oscars, Rahman has been getting quite a lot of offers from Hollywood. So it has become official now that the Mozart of Madras will now set a firm base in Los Angeles that is supposed to be the main base for Hollywood.

The musician, confirming his stay in Los Angeles, said he has been looking for a place of stay and now he will have four teams in four cities namely Chennai, Los Angeles, Mumbai and London.

Thanks to the demand post the Oscars the composer has been literally living out of his suitcases. Apart from the busy schedule of making music in India as well as abroad he also has his KM Conservatory, his music school to take care of.

We have seen a steady decline in the number of films ARR is doing in India now apart from the Kamal Hassan project 'Marmayogi' and Mani Rathnam's 'Raavan'. Reports indicate that Vince Vaughan has approached Rahman to do music for his Hollywood film. 

Great going ARR sir! Despite the number of Hollywood flicks lining at your doors we hope you lend you musical quotient to India as well!


Rahman among world's most creative biz people

Rahman, 2 more Indians, among most creative biz people

A R Rahman; Composer

Jai Ho, Rahman!

Allah Rakha Rahman, who won two Oscars for his composition in the film Slumdog Millionaire, has been ranked as the world's 47th most creative person in the business by FastCompany.

His superhit composition Jai Ho has been downloaded more than 100,000 times on iTunes and was re-recorded as a hit collaboration with the group Pussycat Dolls.

The 43-year-old Rahman began composing music at a very early age and soon became a sensation in India. He has won numerous awards for his extraordinary talent: 2 Oscars, 12 Filmfare awards, 4 National Film Awards, 1 BAFTA Award, and 1 Golden Globe.

He has been working in India's film industry for close to 2 decades and has had more than 200 million records of his compositions sold: that makes him one of the world's top-selling recording artists in history.

The 'Mozart of Madras,' as the Time magazine has dubbed him, has also been ranked as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by the same magazine.

Image: A R Rahman holds the Oscars for achievement in music for both original song and original score for his work on the film Slumdog Millionaire.
Photographs:Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Oscar changed my life: ARR

How life changes after one award. Ask our very own composing guru AR Rahman. After the Oscars ARR who had already been a busy man in India, has been receiving offers and accolades from left, right and centre. Rahman was also named as one of the top 100 influential persons in the world by the prestigious Times magazine recently!

For the Chennai-based music composer life definitely has changed after the Academy awards. When asked how he feels now after the world recognition, Rahman revealed that getting the twin Oscars was a very unnerving experience. The composer who cannot attend even places of prayer without being noticed feels he has to now concentrate more on his music because that is his first priority.

The Indian Mozart who has literally been living out of his travel bags (thanks to the adulations he has been receiving after the Oscars) literally broke his past records for traveling the past week. He was in New York, Dubai, Calicut, Chennai, Pune Delhi Mumbai, the list goes on!

There seems to be only one downside that the Oscars have brought into ARR's life. The composer is not able to spend much time with his children. But ARR is not complaining. All he says is that before the Oscars his wife had dreamt that she was walking the red carpet by his side. She can now dream of walking to the Oscars with our children, says ARR.

To a scribe's query on how he felt being voted as one of the top hundred influential persons of the world the music director said and we quote:  At the function I was on the same table as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and the CEO of Time magazine. When I went up to stage a chant of 'Jai ho' went up in the house

Wow! ARR sir it must have been a moment to cherish!

We at IndiaGlitz wish you the best in all your future endeavors and hope your music will be a note of love and peace to the entire world!


Shekhar Kapur waiting for Sultan- The Warrior

The Chennai International Screenwriting Workshop (CISW) organized by Kamal Haasan's Raj Kamal Films and IIT Madras was wrapped up recently. Shekhar Kapur, the top Indian film maker was down south to participate in this work shop and share his thoughts. After the final day events, Shekhar Kapur met the media.

Recalling his association with the Superstar, he said, I used to watch a lot of commercial Tamil movies. Rajnikanth was a newcomer then and had an extraordinary sense of style. I got in touch with him when he was experimenting with his career. We discussed a few scripts but then, both of us got busy that one film didn't happen. I heard that his daughter is making an animation film with him. He is a phenomenon and it should be interesting to see him as an animated character. As soon as Sultan- The Warrior is ready, I am going to go catch it!

Shekhar has now signed two movies with Hollywood production house. Apart from that he is now busy with 'Paani' which is a movie set in future and is about a city with a population of 30 million which faces acute water scarcity.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

AR Rahman and Aishwarya Rai’s IDEA-IIFA

AR Rahman and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be honored with the IDEA-IIFA award during the IIFA ceremony that is to be held this month. The two will receive this award for their outstanding contribution to the film industry.

In addition to this, Hrithik Roshan and wife Suzzane, for the first time, will walk the ramp at the IIFA Fashion Extravaganza. The couple will be showcasing the apparels designed by their sister-in-law Farah Ali Khan. Sonam Kapoor will also walk the ramp on June 12th at the IIFA Fashion Extravaganza. Designers that are a part of this show are Anamika, Farah Ali Khan, Rocky S, Manav Gangwani, and Chris Chang. The show will be hosted by Zayed Khan and Sophie Chaudhary.

Aishwarya Rai's


A R Rahman's biography out on June 10

Penguin India today said it will publish a biography on music composer AR Rahman [ Images ] titled A R Rahman [ Images ]: The Musical Storm on June 10.

This is the first authorised biography of Rahman to have been written by Chennai-based Kamini Mathai. The book talks about the death of Rahman's father RK Sekhar when Rahman was nine; his efforts as a teenager to keep the family afloat by playing sessions, missing schools; his reasons for embracing Islam and turning to Sufism; his discovery by Mani Ratnam and his subsequent ascent to fame, Penguin said in a release.

Earlier this year, Rahman created history by becoming the first Indian musician to win an Oscar.

A R Rahman: The Musical Storm is priced at Rs 499.


'Jai Ho' competes against 'Octomom' and 'Recessesionista'

'Jai Ho' and 'Slumdog' will compete with 73 other entries from around the world, including 'Octomom' and 'Recessesionista', to become the millionth word of the English language.

The English Language will cross the 1,000,000 word threshold on June 10, 2009 at 10:22 am Stratford-Upon-Avon time, the Global Language Monitor, an Austin, Texas-based firm said.

The Indian entries include 'Cuddies', a word used to refer to ladies' underwear or panties, 'Jai Ho', AR Rahman's [ Images ] globally successful title track from the Academy Award winning, 'Slumdog Millionaire' as well as the word 'Slumdog'.

"The Million Word milestone brings to notice the coming of age of English as the first, truly global Language," said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

"Due to the global extent of the English language, the Millionth Word is as likely to appear from India, China, or East Los Angeles as it is to emerge from Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's home town," said the firm's website.

The website said that the word with the highest PQI (Predictive Quantities Indicator) score will be deemed the 1,000,000th English language word.

Each word will be analysed according to the number of citations and geographic extent of word usage, as well as number of appearances in the global print and electronic media, the Internet, the blogosphere, and social media, such as Twitter and YouTube.

While OK is the most recognised English word across the globe, the French word with the least chance of entering English Language is 'le courriel' which means E-mail.

United States President Barack Obama's [ Images ] name is also in the race with the term 'Obamamania' along with 'Mobama', used to refer to the impeccable fashion choices of US First Lady Michelle Obama [ Images ].

The website, which has been monitoring the Queen's language since 2003, said that English appears to be adding a new word every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words a day. The recession has thrown up a gamut of words which are in the race, 'Financial Tsunami' [ Images ], 'Zombie Banks', 'Chiconomics' and 'Bangsters'.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Chaiyya Chaiyya makes it to American's top 10 list

There is a growing number of Americans, who are quite taken in by Bollywood, especially its music. Adding to this list is the name of Daphne Beal.

Beal, who set her well-reviewed 1998 novel In the Land of No Right Angles in America, Nepal and Mumbai's [ Images ] Falkland Road, wrote in The New York Times recently about her discovery of Bollywood music, and helpfully provides a list of dance-worthy Bollywood hits with links to the songs/videos.

Beal talks of how she had always been hooked onto Tibetan chants. It was while researching her 1998 novel, especially while meeting with Nepali prostitutes, that she was introduced to Bollywood songs and dances, and came to realise their 'transformative power.'

'When the girls got ready at dusk, they always blasted the film songs, reminding me of the way my friends and I played Madonna [ Images ] or Cyndi Lauper during our freshman year of college,' she writes. 'All the songs in this list are happy, hyper, get-up-and-dance numbers spanning the last half century, and I'm including the links to videos, because there's never been a music genre more tied to the filmic form.'

Beal's top 10 list includes two songs from the Shah Rukh [ Images ] Khan-starrer Dil Se -- Chaiyya Chaiyya and the title song. Chaiyya Chaiyya, it will be recalled, was a crowd-pulling feature of the Broadway show Bombay Dreams, and received an additional fillip when Spike Lee used it in his hit film Inside Man, during the opening credits and through a Punjabi MC remix as the end credits rolled.

Beal's list, meanwhile, is eclectic, and a testament to her deep immersion in the form. She goes all the way back to the 1950s to include the Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo number; her list also includes such favourites as the Aap Jaisa Koi hit from Qurbani; Dum Maro Dum from Hare Rama Hare Krishna; Rang Rang from Deepa Mehta's little noticed Hollywood, Bollywood; and Aaja Nachle [ Images ] from Mira Nair's [ Images ] Monsoon Wedding [ Images ].

A surprising entry -- and welcome nod to the fact that songs and dances are a characteristic of not just Bollywood, but of all Indian films -- is the listing of the hit Tamil song Kokku Para Para, performed by Tippu, Manicka Vinayagam and Rajalakshmi.

'This upbeat and highly hummable song is in fact from a 2005 Kollywood hit called Chandramukhi [ Images ],' she notes, while explaining the Tamil movie industry. Beal includes the song in her playlist, she says, because the film was dubbed into Hindi (and German!).

The list also has a few songs by non-Bollywood talent, but tied firmly to the Bollywood tradition: for instance, Aloo Chaat [Images ], she notes is written and performed by RDB (Rhythm, Dhol, Bass), a group of three Anglo-Indian Sikh brothers. 'This 2008 song is where rap, Bhangra and intentional camp meet, and it is impossible not to grin and move to.'


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Endhiran and Unnai Pol Oruvan: A status report

endhiran-unnai-pol-oruvan-03-06-09.jpgThe two most expected films in Kollywood at present are Endhiran and Unnai Pol Oruvan. While the former has Rajinikanth in the lead, the latter has his contemporary Kamal Haasan.

First let's check out the status of Endhiran. There had been news constantly about this film ever since it hit the floors. Even a slightest move from the Endhiran camp would make it to the headlines. However, things seemed to be cooling down with not much news coming in from this camp. Apparently, this could be due to the fact the team is shooting sequences that do not involve Rajini and Aishwarya Rai.

Moving on to Unnai Pol Oruvan, we hear that Kamal Haasan completed most part of the shooting. Perhaps, this is the reason behind the actor finding time to participate in various events, including the workshop for screen play writers that was held at IIT. A very interesting piece of information about Unnai Pol Oruvan is that Kamal has chopped of a few scenes to make it crispier than the original version.

Behindwoods will keep you updated about these two films.


AR Rahman gets Hollywood star croon to his music

a-r-rahman-04-06-09.jpgAR Rahman's next biggest project, Couple's Retreat, will have Vince Vaughn and Kristen Bell starring in the leading roles. The latest we hear about this Peter Billingsley's film is that Rahman had hummed a tune and Vince took to it like a house on fire. That is when Rahman decided to have Vince lend his voice for the song. 

Vince is also reportedly happy with the offer but it is still not clear if he would sing the entire song or just a portion of it. The song will be a romantic melody, it is said. Couple's Retreat is a romantic comedy. The film will hit the floors sometime soon, reports suggest.