Here are the top stories of the week!
Six days into the complete shut-down called for by the Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council (TFPC), the production assistants who keep film crews well fed and hydrated on location, are in need of sustenance themselves.
Malayalam cinema was passing through a lean phase when the Telugu star stormed into the picture in 2006 with the dubbed version of Arya. The dubbed version established Allu Arjun as a superstar in Kerala too, at par with the reigning stars such as Prithviraj and Jayasurya. His contemporaries in Tollywood, Anushka Shetty and Ramcharan Teja, also have a considerable fan following in Kerala, but it’s 34-year-old Arjun who tops them all.
Jhanu Chanthar’s two trusty guitars, the ones with which he’d strummed “Neruppu Da” for Kabali, are named Mohini and Malar. His musical instruments have always been given female names, he says.
Watch any Tamil movie down the ages, and you’d surely recognise a scene or two, if not more, shot in Madras/Chennai. Endless railway platforms, a bridge that leads to the sea, the expansive beaches, Colonial-era buildings….filmmakers have so much to choose from. Earlier, a ‘Madras’ shot ideally meant a long shot of the brick-red Chennai Central railway station or the Marina Beach. Not any more. New filmmakers celebrate the many aspects of the city that make it so special.
A few minutes into Netflix’s latest documentary, Wild Wild Country, naked bodies clutch each other in an airy room, like animals in heat, heaving and making noises sans any inhibition. Vignettes such as these appear at regular intervals in the series, with some featuring people – clad in comfortable-looking red and saffron robes – screaming, in fear or ecstasy, it is hard to say.
The Polish film The Art of Loving is based on the life of Dr Michalina Wislocka (played by Magdalena Boczarska), a famous gynaecologist and sexologist in Communist Poland. The film revolves around her struggle to publish her book, a guide to improve sex life, which paved the way for more open discussions on sex and family planning in Poland.
Political biopics make interesting stories, be it Ben Kingsley’s inspirational Gandhi or Mani Ratnam’s gripping Iruvar. Films help decode the complex political movements and humanise the personalities behind it. Making political biopics, especially in a country like India comes with the trappings of censorship, political interference and coercion, and presenting historical facts without tailoring it to suit the mood of the nation. And political biopics are currently the flavour of the season.