Saturday, January 29, 2011

Endhiran Does It Again!

Super Star Rajnikanth’s Endhiran, which had made heavy collections worldwide, was screened at the prestigious Thromso International Film Festival in the Arctic Region. So far no Indian film has been given this much of importance here.

Thromso, a city in Norway, is a snowy place situated at the North Pole of the world. This prestigious film festival is one of the important International Film Festivals and is held for six days every year.

Around 55000 people from around the world participated in this festival. This festival was started in the year 1995 and this year’s fest commenced on January 18th 2011.

This year the only Indian film which participated in this festival was Endhiran which had Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles. This film, directed by Shankar, was screened for two days with English subtitles. The international audience who saw this film appreciated it very much. Though many Indian films were recommended for this festival it was Endhiran (Tamil version) that finally made it.

There was a good response for this film which was screened on 19th and 20th January.

Exclusive: Rajini's Next Film

Just when news about Endhiran is subsiding, brand Rajini is making news again: Not for his next (animated) movie Hara but for his next project with director KS Ravikumar. The news is official now that Rajini and KS Ravikumar have agreed to work on a project together which has been titled "Rana". The USP of the movie is that Rajinikanth will be acting in three roles in the movie. The last time we saw Rajinikanth in three roles was in Moondru Mugam.
Rana will be co-produced by Eros International and Ocher studios. The multi-lingual, which will be released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, will have music by AR Rahman who also scored music for Rajinikanht's last movie Endhiran. Editing will be done by Anthony and Ratnavelu, of Endhiran fame, will be the cinematographer. Art direction will be taken care by Rajeevan while The technical & special effects director will be Soundarya Rajnikanth and Charles Darby of Eyeqube Studios. The shooting is expected to commence in March this year and the film is expected to be released in 2012.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A. R. Rahman: Best In The Biz | Synthesis

By Rachel Hwang

Under-appreciated artists must have their own patron saint somewhere.

This isn’t self-promotion for once. I’m thinking of men and women who do beautiful work in the public eye, and get shafted in favor of celebrity breakup gossip. So if you don’t know who A. R. Rahman is, listen up.

If you haven’t seen it, 127 Hours is Danny Boyle’s latest claim to fame, and it’s a worthy follow up to Slumdog Millionare. Boyle tells the true story of Aron Ralston, a colorful but reckless mountain climber who winds up trapped by a boulder alone for more than five days. It’s a remarkable story remarkably well executed. But just like with Slumdog, I went home singing praises about not just the direction, but also the soundtrack. It’s not just any film that makes a song as overplayed as M.I.A.’s Paper Planes sound fresh and somehow appropriate in rural India. Danny Boyle uses popular music brilliantly in his films, and the wizard-of-Oz-like (double Academy Award winner, I might add) mystery man behind the magic is A. R. Rahman.

If you’ve ever watched a silent film, you know how easy it is to overlook the effect a good soundtrack has on our experience. What would Darth Vader be without his foreboding theme music? How about Jaws? How about Mulan without “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”?!

The winning formula this time includes Bill Withers, Sigur Ros, Chopin and a slew of original songs from Rahman. Peeking at the tracklist, none of these should work together. There’s tremendous variety here: experimental pop, classical, soul… But oddly enough, this grab bag is anything but random. This Swiss Army knife of very diverse, yet solid stand-alone songs is surprisingly cohesive, even enjoyed sans-movie. I’m not sure how they’ve done it, but the spirit of the film is there somehow.

Highlights include the appropriately cheeky “Never Hear Surf Music Again” and an interesting mix of woodsy acoustic guitar and synth in Rahman’s original track “A Touch of Sun.” Also be sure to check out “If I Rise,” featuring Dido, which is making quite a splash amidst film awards organizations for best original score.

However much critical and popular attention this album gets, it won’t be as much as it deserves. Boyle and Rahman have created gestalts in their film, showing us once again how music and images can work together to strengthen each other. It’s incredible.

How do you film an adventure movie about a man who can’t move? How do you put the survival instinct to music? Quite in the spirit of the film, if there’s a will there’s a way.

Rahman`s `Jai Ho` concert goes to Singapore

After performing in countries like the US and Canada, now Indian-music maestro A.R. Rahman is set to enthrall his fans in Singapore with his 'Jai Ho' concert.

Organised by Marina Bay Sands with Base Entertainment here, the four-night gala will be held at the 2,155-seater Marina Bay Sands Grand Theater March 17-20 for which Rahman has teamed up with creative director Amy Tinkham, best known for stage collaborations with Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey.

'A.R. Rahman has proved to the world that the Indian entertainment industry has come of age when he took home Academy and Grammy awards. We are proud to deliver what we promised the world, and that is that Marina Bay Sands will be a world-class entertainment destination bringing nothing but the best,' Thomas Arasi, Marina Bay Sands president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Ticket prices for the event are Singapore dollars 2,600 for 4 seats IN VIP Box; 375 for Jai Ho Seats; 265 for A Reserve; 195 for B Reserve; 145 for C Reserve and 95 for D Reserve.

Called the 'A.R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour', it kicked off June 11 last year in New York and has since toured cities like Washington, Texas, Toronto, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Zurich and Paris.

The concert in Singapore will include songs from the multiple Oscar-award winning 'Slumdog Millionaire' as well as from his Indian blockbusters like 'Lagaan', 'Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na', 'Dil Se', 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Roja'.

Not expecting more Oscars: AR Rahman

He lost out at the recent Golden Globe awards, but the country hopes that musician AR Rahman might repeat history by winning at the Oscars.

Ask him about this, and Rahman says in a telephonic interview from Los Angeles, “I think I’ve won enough of awards to feel the loss of one or hope for more. As for the Oscars, the fact that I won two in a go forSlumdog Millionnaire is enough for me. I am not expecting any more awards from anywhere. It’s time to concentrate more on my music now.”

Rahman recently unveiled the soundtrack of his second movie with film-maker Danny Boyle. “It’s always a pleasure to work with Danny.Composing the music for 127 Hours was greatly satisfying. I have seen the movie 40 times. It’s not just a film about somebody cutting off his hand, it is also a story of courage, grit and determination,” elaborates Rahman, who hints that he might team up with the film-maker again.

“I have not met Danny for ages now. We’ve been missing each other as we were in different locations,” informs the musician who’s been jet-setting ever since he won the Oscars and other international awards. He admits that it has its downside too. “It gets too stressful when you have to travel all the time and compose music for so many projects at the same time. I am drastically cutting down on my work and have decided to do only one movie a year,” he signs off.

You get success, then a movie gets ripped off: A.R. Rahman (Interview)

Indian maestro A.R. Rahman says that after the mega sweep of 'Slumdog Millionaire' at various awards, a solo win so far for the music of Danny Boyle's '127 Hours' has caused 'great suffering' to the entire team.

'It's so strange that when you get great success, the second movie gets really ripped off. It's been a great suffering for the whole team,' Rahman told IANS in a telephonic interview from Los Angeles.

This week he lost out at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards for '127 Hours' to 'The Social Network'. However, the Mozart of Madras, as he is fondly called, is happy with the people's response and nominations.

'But getting a nomination in itself is a great thing among all the extraordinary talent. It's got great reviews and people are loving the movie. I think it's been a good ride so far,' said the ace composer, who also has to his credit the background score of Vince Vaughn-starrer 'Couples Retreat'.

The shy musician has been nominated for the forthcoming British Academy of Films and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for original music in the biopic. This is the Chennai-based composer's second stint at Hollywood's prestigious annual movie prizes after 'Slumdog'.

'I don't think I'll get any award, but I'm grateful for the nominations. A lot of other movies are there and other very good talent, but I hope Danny Boyle gets the best director (award) and the film gets best film (trophy),' he said.

In 2009, the 45-year-old exploded on to the world stage with two gongs at the Oscars for the Danny Boyle-directed Mumbai-based underdog drama but is not sure he will repeat history with the British filmmaker's new film '127 Hours'.

'I'll be happy if I get nominations but I've got enough Oscars already for one lifetime. I don't think I'll get an Oscar. I'll enjoy the function and see it, but I don't think I'll be getting it,' he said, as the nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be announced Jan 25.

But will he attend the ceremony?

'If I get a nomination, I'll definitely attend,' said Rahman, sounding exhausted considering it was already past-midnight in LA.

Apart from its score, the soundtrack of '127 Hours' is also being praised for the popular song, 'If I Rise', a collaboration between Rahman and pop star Dido, and won the Indian composer the best original song at the 16th Critics' Choice Movie awards. So far this is the only win for the music of the movie.

Speaking of the score in '127 Hours', he said: 'The music itself is like driving emotions not in a way that is over the top where you feel irritated or you feel drowned but meditative and pushing it forward. It is a balance between trippy and meditative and pushing it forward - all three together.'

Getting another opportunity to work with Boyle came as a surprise for the Padma Bhushan awardee.

'I was very excited that Danny came (to me) for this movie. I expected him to take a pure American composer for this one,' said the composer, who was described by Time magazine as India's most prominent movie song writer in 2005.

Starring 'Spider-Man' star James Franco, '127 Hours' is a biopic about mountaineer Aron Ralston, who was trapped in a canyon for five days by a boulder that fell on his arm and freed himself by amputating the limb.

'The movie is about courage. Most of the people think it is about arm cutting, but it is about courage that anyone could face in the world. It requires sometimes to get out from a real big problem and sacrifice something and you have to look at the bigger picture,' said Rahman.

'Metaphorically in this movie it's about the arm. He had to take a decision whether it's his life or his arm. It is a very inspiring movie to watch,' he added.

Rahman's future projects include Bollywood movie 'Rockstar' and international animated project 'Monkeys of Bollywood' with Gurinder Chadha.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ranbir Cancels World Tour For Rahman

Asia’s sexiest chap Ranbir Kapoor has dropped his plans of world tour for the moment as his family members insisted for the change. Ranbir Kapoor was supposed to take on his world tour that was supposed to have hotties Katrina, Bipasha Basu and Mallika Arora shaking legs for their glistering item songs – ‘Sheila Ki Jawaani’, ‘Beedi Jalalaile’ and ‘Munni Badnaam’. But later Ranbir and his family members desperately started looking out for his perfect identity that will make his stage performance more enchanting. Obviously with his upcoming movie Rockstar hitting the screens this year, Ranbir feels that performing these songs (musical score of A.R. Rahman) will gain more momentum.

Rockstar brings filmmaker Imtiaz Ali (Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal) with academy award winner A.R. Rahman for the first time.

Rahman has now completed background score for the film and audio will be launched next month.

A.r.rahman Nominated For Oscars Yet Again!

The Maestro of Madras has done us proud once again. He has got not one, but two Oscar nominations this year. Rahman has been nominated under the category of Best Original Score for the movie 127 hours and Best Song for ‘If I Rise’ from the same film. Rahman, who won the Critics Choice award, lost the Golden Globe to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who scored music for The Social Network. Rahman also has a BAFTA nomination in his kitty. To add to the excitement the film 127 hours has also been nominated for the Best Picture. Rahman won two Oscars for the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire and the film itself swept 8 Oscars. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a BAFTA win and also a double whammy in the Oscars once again!

Ar Rahman’s Crystal

The Mozart of Madras AR Rahman is to add yet another feather to his cap! He will be conferred with the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum on January 26th, 2011 at Davos in Switzerland.

This five-day meeting will be graced by the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath and Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel, the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and business tycoon Mukesh Ambani from India.

Rahman will be honored in this meet which is to be attended by 2500 delegates from across 11 nations.


Friday, January 21, 2011

AR Rahman’s ‘Changing Seasons’ – A Revival

Mesmerising tune blended with heart whelming lyrics… That’s what AR. Rahman’s ‘Changing Seasons’ is all about. If you are wondering what it is, then let us put it in simpler way – it’s the song which was used in ‘Raavan’ during the ending titles, after Beera (Abhishek Bachchan) is shot and he falls off from the cliff.

The song “Uda Ja Re”, in which the Music Mozart had literally put his heart and soul, sadly didn’t feature in the movie nor people seldom remember it at as it was played when the end titles were rolling. Besides, the track wasn’t included in the film’s music album.

With a view to bring this beautiful track to people’s notice, Y M Movies along with Prinz Productions and Ganashankar Balachandran has come up with this music video, titled ‘Changing Seasons’ - featuring AR Rahman and glimpses of Aishwarya Rai’s scenes from ‘Raavan’. The video, which has both Hindi and Tamil versions, is directed by John Warner and edited by Abdul Quadir along with Warner.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rahman gets BAFTA nomination

Oscar-winning Indian music composer AR Rahman has been nominated for the British Academy of Films and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for original music in Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. This is the second time he is nominated for the BAFTA.

The composer, who lost out on the Golden Globe award for the film this year to "The Social Network", has been nominated alongside Danny Elfman (Alice In Wonderland), John Powell (How To Train Your Dragon), Hans Zimmer ("Inception") and Alexandre Desplat (The King's Speech).

Last year, Rahman was in competition for his Oscar-winning music in Slumdog Millionaire, and he won the prestigious award.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A R Rahman loses out on Golden Globe - movies

Oscar winning musician A R Rahman lost out the Golden Globe in the Original Score category to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won for their music in The Social Network.

The 45-year-old musician was up for his second Golden Globe for the Danny Boyle film 127 Hours and had just a day earlier bagged the best original song trophy at the 16th Critics' Choice Awards for his number If I Risefrom the film.

The musician, who had won his first Golden Globe in 2009 for Boyle's previous film Slumdog Millionaire, is in the running for his second Oscar with the song, which is a collaboration between him and British popstar Dido.

'A year ago I had no idea I'd have the opportunity to score a film. The idea of standing up here to accept this award is surreal,' said Reznor, who is the frontman of the rock group Nine Inch Nails, in his acceptance speech.

Rahman's music in 127 Hours, starring James Franco as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston, who cut off his arm to escape from beneath a boulder after being trapped for more than five days, had received good reviews for it's 'haunting tracks' and 'wonderful crescendos.'

The musician, known as the 'Mozart of Madras' had won two Oscars for his score in Slumdog Millionaire at the 2009 Oscars, taking the film's total haul to eight.

His song Na Na from his Hollywood debut venture Couple's Retreat, was longlisted in the Best Original Songcategory at the 2010 Oscars but failed to win a nomination.

Rahman, who was honoured with a Padma Bhushan last year, had enjoyed a golden run at the 52nd Grammy Awards, where he had again bagged two gramophones for his music in the Slumdog Millionaire.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Endhiran Wins Two Awards At 17th Annual Star Screen Awards

Endhiran has bagged its first ever award in the 17th Annual Star Screen Awards. It received two awards at the event. One is for special effects and the other is a jury special award for offering cutting age technology in movies.

Endhiran has created a history in Indian cinema by using some amazing special effects and its budget was also a record figure. It has become one of the most remembered films of Indian cinema. So, the film definitely deserves this award and many more in near future.

Srinivas Mohan, the special effects coordinator of the movie received the award for Endhiran. This Tamil film has gone much ahead of its time and shocked the viewers with some wonderful stunts and special effects. No other Indian film has used such advanced technology in any movie and this is a big achievement for the Indian cinema as a whole.

It took a lot of effort by the makers of the film to finish the pre-production works, which took almost a decade before they started shooting in 2008. Endhiran also became first Indian film to get such a big worldwide opening. So, it deserves to get the awards in all aspects.

–Sampurn Wire

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sultan to Hara to Rana

It was initially 'Sultan the Warrior'. The first animated movie starring Superstar Rajinikanth in the lead role was then buzzed to be renamed as 'Hara'.

And now, sources have it that the film directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth has been once again rechristened, and this time as 'Rana'. "But nothing is official till an announcement is made," they are quick to add.

"The film is currently in its final stages of shooting," they say, adding: "Some parts of the movie, where the real Rajini would appear, would be shot by K S Ravikumar, whose earlier ventures with the Superstar are blockbusters."

With Vijayalakshmi of 'Chennai 28' and 'Anjathey' fame playing the leading lady, the film was announced when the top actor's 'Sivaji' hit the screens. Music is by A R Rahman.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

‘Ponniyin Selvan' to come alive on celluloid

After making several films with contemporary themes but with elements of history or mythology, director Mani Ratnam is now set to embark on an ambitious venture of converting Kalki's epic novel ‘Ponniyin Selvan' into a film.

Sources involved in the project said it would be a big-budget film requiring over Rs. 200 crore and Kalanidhi Maran's Sun Pictures is likely to be the producer although the agreement is yet to be finalised.

Mr. Mani Ratnam is planning a full-fledged adaptation of the novel, instead of culling out a few episodes from the narrative. Industry sources say the director has roped in noted Tamil writer Jayamohan to pen the dialogues for the film.

Ponniyin Selvan, a fictionalised account of Chola King Raja Raja I, was serialised in the Tamil weekly ‘Kalki' by celebrated writer R. Krishnamurthy.

Later, the novel was published in five volumes.

A highly popular novel known for its colourful characters such as Vanthiyathevan, Alwarkadiyan, Pazhuvettaraiyar brothers and Nandini, the story has captivated generations of readers for the last six decades.

Though the title Ponniyin Selvan is a reference to the Chola prince Arulmozhi Varman who was later known as Raja Raja I, the novel depicts a cross-section of medieval Tamil society spread over Thondai Mandalam in the north, Chola Mandalam in the Cauvery delta region and Pandi Mandalam in the south, besides one impressive volume set in Sri Lanka.

Making the film has been the dream of many a director, even actor Kamal Haasan, as bringing to life the rich tapestry of characters, episodes and locales from 10{+t}{+h} century presents a huge challenge. The events dealt with in the story are set in the years 940-970 AD, just before the heyday of the later Cholas. Its characters included ambitious kings, brave warriors, enigmatic women, wily spies and committed political assassins.

DreamWorks swings with 'Monkeys of Bollywood'

DreamWorks Animation has gone ape for "Monkeys of Bollywood," roping in composer A.R. Rahman, Broadway lyricist Stephen Schwartz and husband-and-wife producing team Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges to fast-track the studio's first animated feature musical.

Hindu epic poem "The Ramayana" inspired the Bollywood-style animated musical. Mumbai-set project revolves around two monkeys who try to stop an ancient demon from conquering the world.

"As soon as I heard that DreamWorks Animation envisioned making an animated Bollywood movie, I knew I wanted to be a part of it," said Schwartz in a statement. "The fact that A.R. Rahman got involved made it an even more exciting project."

DreamWorks chief creative officer Bill Damaschke and development exec Chris Kuser will oversee "Monkeys of Bollywood."

Chadha and Berges have teamed for films including "Bend It Like Beckham" and "Bride and Prejudice." Rahman scored Danny Boyle's "127 Hours" and "Slumdog Millionaire." Broadway vet and "Wicked" lyricist Schwartz scored DreamWorks' "Prince of Egypt" in 1998 and has worked on TV series including "Glee" and "Army Wives."

Mani to make ‘Ponniyin Selvan’

IndiaGlitz carried a report in December last year itself that Mani Ratnam’s next would be a period film and the ace director, who last made ‘Raavanan’, was busy with the ground works of the project.

It is almost official now, with sources suggesting that the film will be based on Ponniyin Selvan, one of the greatest works of Tamil literature, penned by arguably the most celebrated writer, Kalki.

It is said that the movie would be made on a whopping Rs 200 crore budget and would be produced by Sun Pictures, breaking their earlier record ‘Enthiran’, which was reportedly made on Rs 150 crore.

Sources have it that popular writer Jayamohan will pen dialogues for the film. ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, a fiction on Raja Raja Chola, was a highly popular novel known for its grand theme and colourful characters. It is also Superstar Rajinikanth’s favourite novel in Tamil.

Rajini To Dub For All 4 Versions

Rajinikanth and daughter Soundarya, who is directing him in Hara, are keen on completing the film as soon as possible. Though this started as a full-length 3D animation project, Soundarya decided to include a 30-minute feature film portion and director KS Ravi Kumar has been roped in to direct this part alone.

Hara is a multilingual film and will be released in four languages – Tamil, Telugu, English and Hindi. Interestingly, Rajini will dub for all the four versions. The film’s heroine Vijayalakshmi and Prakash Raj have also decided to render their own voices, we hear.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

‘Enthiran’ scores century

October 1, 2010. Even before the day was dawned, it was like a festival in front of cinema halls all over Tamil Nadu. Because, the box-office God took a new avatar on that day, in the name of ‘Enthiran’.

Today, the Superstar Rajinikanth starrer, produced by Sun Pictures on a ‘never before’ budget and directed by Shankar, has successfully completed 100 days, a rare mark in Kollywood these days.

Even more than three months of its release, the film is still running in 10 theatres in Chennai alone, without taking into account cinema halls in suburbs of the city and the rest of Tamil Nadu.

Says a trade pundit, “Enthiran has clearly rewritten the rules of Tamil cinema. Budget is no more a concern now provided if a team like Enthiran is formed. The main reason behind the film’s success is Rajini with other factors adding strength to it.”

First Awards for ‘Endhiran’

The spectacular film of the Super Star Rajinikanth ‘Endhiran’ has opened it account for the excellence awards in the New Year. When the film was released in last October, the whole of India was in awe and the film went on to become one of the most successful films ever in Indian cinema.

The special effects and technology used for ‘Endhiran – The Robot’ were new to Indian cinema and considered a new beginning. In recognition of that ‘Robot’ has won two important technical awards at the ‘Star-Screen Awards’ held yesterday in Mumbai city.

Srinivas Mohan won the Best Special Effects Award and a Special Jury Awards for Spectacular Cutting of Age Technology was also presented to ‘Robot’.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

AR Rahman to launch new music video, with Dido?

AR Rahman has announced on twitter that he is going to world premier a new music video. “Hey Guys, watch out for the world premiere of my new music video…coming soon..” he tweeted.

He has also linked a picture that shows hm near a helicopter.

A R Rahman

Image: A R Rahman

AR Rahman, as we last heard was making a music video with international singing sensation Dido.

Rahman had earlier worked with Dido for the soundtrack of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours for the song If I Rise. 127 Hours, which tells the real-life story of a climber who became trapped by a boulder.

On 18th Nov, Dido had posted “I was working with ar rahman on something else at his studio and he asked me if i’d like to collaborate on this (If I rise) song, for his soundtrack of the film.”

Let us wait and watch.