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Top Stories Of The Week: Safety Of Crew On Film Sets; Actress Padmapriya On Author-Backed Roles & Emmy Special

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The Film Employees Federation Of South India (FEFSI) strike may be over, but not all its issues are done with. The organisation’s next big focus should be the safety of its members on the sets.   

The Tamil film industry has no dearth of unions. FEFSI oversees about 24 of them. It has very little performing artistes under its umbrella, and for the most part, represents the needs of workers with the least power and influence.

As such, this representation does extend to some influence over wage control and basic healthcare. Insurance, though, is still an unexplored area.

Read here: When Danger Lurks On Sets: Are Film Crew Protected And Insured Against Potential Hazards?

It’s been 25 years since Mohanlal’s Yodha released. The film is now an intrinsic part of Malayali popular culture. Its songs sound fresh even today, and its humour continues to crack people up. The gibberish words that the film contributed — Pokhra, Akosoto and Kuno — are now part of the Malayali vocabulary. 

Read here: ‘Yodha,’ The Indiana Jones Of Mollywood, Turns 25

Meanwhile, a recent Mohanlal film (that failed to impress critics) gave India it’s latest earworm. ‘Jimikki Kammal’ – a song with absolutely no purpose, and catchy ruled over social media. Even Jimmy Kimmel was impressed. Yes, seriously.

Read here: Jimikki Kammal Is The Nation’s Latest Earworm

Chef actress Padmapriya wonders at the lack of author-backed roles for women on-screen and says that she makes a conscious effort these days to stay away from cliched characters.

Read here: The Padmapriya Interview

As The Emmy’s approaches, we take a look at some of the more popular series in play for that coveted award. Master of None, a show on a not-so famous man, with not-so many skills, is a particular favourite. A regular show on a regular guy, and his regular adventures. Just like any Caucasian man/woman’s show on life and whatnot.

Read here: Here’s Why Netflix’s ‘Master Of None’ Should Win Again

Big Little Lies with its too-perfect star cast and simmering tensions is a solid competitor as well. With award-worthy performances from Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and actor Robin Weigert (who plays counselor Dr Reisman), Big Little Lies is the surprise series of the year. At a time when much of television is dominated by dragons, surgeons and crisis consultants, it is indeed a gamble to focus on mothers and the kind of ‘serious mothering’ they do these days. For showrunner David Kelley and co though, it is a gamble that seems to have paid off.

Read here: ‘Big Little Lies’ Is Our Pick For The ‘Best Limited Series’ Award

Julie Louis-Dreyfus’s Veep, meanwhile, continues to enchant audiences with its biting humour. With Louis-Dreyfus as the fictional Madam Vice President (Veep in short) Selina Meyers, Veep is a master class in satire. Each 30-minute episode revolves around the incompetencies of the leader and is packed with wry humour and meme-worthy punchlines. The political climate portrayed on the show almost scarily mirrors the current state of affairs in the United States. 

Read here: Selina Meyers May Not Be The Ideal ‘Veep,’ But You Still Want To Root For Her

Nerd drama Silicon Valley, however, continued to be the most under-appreciated series on television right now. Written by Alec Berg and Mike Judge and with incredible performances from lead Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller, Zach Woods and Kumail Nanjiani, Silicon Valley is what The Big Bang Theory could be. It wears its nerd status proudly, and offers the audience a rare peek inside the world of tech giants and the million Davids who rise up to battle them time and again. 

Read here: Why The Under-Appreciated ‘Silicon Valley’ Deserves More Credit

The Crown may have ruffled quite a few feathers at Buckingham Palace, but it did more than fire up the audience’s imagination. A fascinating look at Queen Elizabeth II’s initial days as monarch, the series offers an intimate view of Elizabeth’s often troubled relationship with Prince Phillip, and the many personal conflicts she faced in her first few years as Queen.

Read here: Championing The Crown’s Cause

Ranjith Jeyakodi’s Puriyatha Puthir was completed in 60 days. But never in his wildest dreams did Jeyakodi imagine that it would take three more years to release the film. Initial frustration aside, the directors reveals that he ‘accepted the phase’. “I couldn’t help it, it was out of my control. As a director, I’d done my job, but there was nothing I could do about the delay,” he says, “I completed 48 days of shoot two years ago, and to wrap up the remaining 12 days of shoot, I had to wait for a year and a half.”

Read the interview here: “I Learnt The Art Of Waiting While Making ‘Puriyadha Pudhir’”: Director Ranjith Jeyakodi

In Ambai’s Velippaadu, Bramma read about the number of dosas women make in their lifetime.  He moved on to other books, a National Award-winning movie Kutram Kadithal, and started working on his next, a women-centric film. That was when the dosais floated out of the recesses of his memory.

The teaser for Magalir Mattum struck a chord with most women, and men too. Social media was full of photos of men making dosais for their wives. Bramma says he was thrilled at this initial response to his film, and makes more interesting revelations in a special interview.

Read the interview here: “I’d Like To Experiment With Every Format Of Filmmaking”

Of the films that released this week, Thupparivalan had several scenes that were eerily reminiscent of Pisaasu.  In a particular frame, Mysskin plays with positions, employing abrupt jump cuts for visual drama. Vishal, still brooding, appears and disappears at will within the frame. During an instance, he’s seen at the far end of screen, and in the next, he is ‘jumped’ up front.

Read the review here: Thupparivalan Review – Sherlock Holmes For The Tamil Audience

Meanwhile, Jyothika’s female centric Magalir Mattum, with its crowd pleasing tendencies and simplistic narrative, nevertheless, did deliver many lessons on gender sensitivity. 

Read the review here: Magalir Mattum Review – Delivers Much-Needed Lessons In Gender Sensitivity; The Crowd-Pleasing Tendencies Can Be Forgiven

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