Dec 29, 2010

The NY Daily News Is In Horrible Need of An Editor (And a Clue)

I don't have much to say on the Aishwarya Rai Bachchan/Elle "controversy," except that the entire cover looks washed out and I'm not willing to give Aish any props for having refused to endorse lightening creams when these ads are still out there for the world to see:

HOWEVER.  This morning the New York Daily News decided to tackle the topic.  Naturally the NY Daily News is a highly reputable (snicker) totally professional (chortle) error free (rollicking laughter) publication, but even so I was surprised (actually was I?  Hmm.) to see this crap floating around.

Let's talk about the three things that are wrong here.

1.  Her name is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.  Not Bachran.  This isn't just a typo, it was done consistently throughout the article and in the accompanying sidebar.  I was so frustrated by it that I had to tweet (TWEET! gah) a message to the NYDN to get them to fix it.  There's no excuse for misspelling a major celebrity's name--it's on the cover of the magazine in the picture they included for the story.  Can't spell her name?  Just look at the picture!  Lame.

2.  She did not "say she may take legal action" as the headline suggests.  The Times of India (in a typically obnoxious, vague, and poorly sourced article) said that "someone close to the actress" said that she was upset and "might do something."  The source never said she would sue and Aishwarya certainly has not given a quote to anyone about this.  So how about we try to be a bit more accurate in our headlines?

3.  "Consider" suing.  Not "conside" suing. That one was probably a legitimate typo but I'm feeling especially bitchy today.

Grumble grumble grrrr.

Dec 24, 2010

First Look at Saat Khoon Maaf

Bollywood Hungama has revealed the first release poster for Vishal Bhardwaj's Saat Khoon Maaf.  The film stars Priyanka Chopra as a woman who murders her seven husbands, and costars Naseeruddin Shan (squee!), John Abraham, Irrfan Khan, and Konkona Sen Sharma.

And the trailer to go along with it!

Dec 22, 2010

Trailer--Anaganaga O Dheerudu

I don't watch a whole lot of Telugu films, but I will absolutely make an exception for Anaganaga O Dheerudu.  It stars Siddharth, who I absolutely love, and though the story doesn't look like anything I'd normally be willing to watch, the production value and cinematography look top notch here, and the plot seems gripping.  I was so transfixed by this trailer (with English subs, woot!) that I watched it four times in a row, so I think that's a good sign.  :)

Dec 18, 2010

Yeah, I'm Obsessed

But, like, in a good way.


Ainvayi Ainvayi--The Many Faces of Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh

Living in the Middle of Nowhere, Tennessee (for.the.moment.) means that I will never get to see Band Baaja Baaraat in a theater.  The closest I've gotten to Bollywood on the big screen was a ticket I had to an early morning showing (who does that?) of Anjaana Anjaani.  Not being at my movie-going best at 8am (never mind that it was an hour long drive just to get to the theater), I gave it a pass.  From what I hear I didn't miss much.

So. Back on topic.  Though I can't see the film in theaters, I can watch the video for Ainvayi Ainvayi obsessively.  (Obsessively = 50ish times per day.  All those views the video's racking up on YouTube?  Yeah, that's me.)

Ainvayi Ainvayi is adorable.  And pulsating.  And exciting.  And eminently danceable.  But what I love most about it are those little moments sprinkled throughout the video that just make me smile--Ranveer's little head wiggle at "Hi-Fi" and Anushka's expression the first time she gets the "ainvayi ainvayi ainvayi ainvayi lut gaya" line.

In fact, I love Anushka's expressions everywhere in this song, so I figured I'd capture a few of them and share.

(All photos copyright Yash Raj Films.)

Put it all together and what do you get?

Ainvayi Ainvayi, my song of the day.  :)

Dec 17, 2010

Guessing Games

I spent the evening organizing all my screencaps for some upcoming reviews and had a few that just didn't fit anywhere.  Let's see who the fastest filmi fan is--name all four movies these screen caps come from.






Katrina Kaif In Pictures

In anticipation of the release of Tees Maar Khan, NDTV put up a gorgeous slide show of Katrina Kaif.  I might not think much of her in terms of acting or dancing, but there's no denying the girl's beautiful.  The full series of photos can be found on the NDTV website.  Here are a few highlights:

Post Boom and pre-nose job

Katrina and her sister, Isabel (soon to debut in Bollywood)

Katrina's many films with Akshay Kumar (not my favorite jodi but it's box office gold, so who am I to judge?)

Dec 15, 2010

Katrina and Akshay in Amritsar

It's pretty hard to find a pic of Katrina Kaif looking anything but glamorous, but photographers caught a few of her as she accompanied Akshay Kumar to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.  The two were in town to promote Tees Maar Khan and stopped to pay their respects (or further promote their film, who knows at this point) at the temple.

I'm going to assume this was taken fairly early in the morning and I get that it was chilly but Katrina's looking pretty rough here.  Minimal makeup, totally fine.  Bulky jacket, probably necessary.  But what on earth is on her head?  I'm sure it's meant to be a scarf but it looks like a beaten up do-rag that you'd wear when you were fourteen and on a basketball team and trying to look cool but you weren't quite pulling it off.  She's got a team of six trillion stylists and assistants traveling with her--couldn't they have come up with something better than this?  (Also what's going on with her lips...has she had them done again?)

My Minor Encounter With the Stars

I was cleaning up some of my picture files tonight and found this--it's from SALTAF 2008 in Washington DC (and not the greatest quality, mostly because I was too excited to take a non-shaky picture).

I'd been planning on going to SALTAF (the South Asian Literature and Theatre Arts Festival) for months prior to the actual weekend of the event, but I got a bit of a late start that morning and that combined with some nasty weather made me more inclined to want to just stay in my nice warm bed rather than trudge downtown to the Smithsonian.  In a bit of an effort to motivate myself to wake up I checked the website for the event again, as a sort of "Melissa!  Get off your ass and get out the door!" gesture.  And it's a damn good thing I did, because they'd updated their guest list overnight with some last-minute arrivals.  The first was Sooni Taraporevala, who is one of my all-time favorite screenwriters and who would be there to premiere her new film "Little Zizou."

The second was Boman Irani.  Boman Freaking Irani!  I don't have words to express how much I love that man.  Love love love.  He was flying in with Sooni to take questions about the film (which he starred in).

If there's anything that'll get me out of bed, showered, dressed, and onto a packed metro train at 7am, it's the prospect of meeting Boman Irani.  So off I went--and here he is, looking dapper and awesome in the only picture I took that came even remotely close to being decent.

Boman Irani, center, and Sooni Taraporevala, left.

Dec 10, 2010

Song of the Day--Zara Jhoom Jhoom (Tom Dick and Harry)

It's, uh, been about a month since I posted here.  I've got a ton of half-written posts lingering on my dashboard that I'm not quite ready to finish yet, so this post is mostly just me sending up an "I'm still alive!" flare from my island of unproductiveness.  (Shut up Firefox and your little squiggly red lines, "unproductiveness" is totally a word.)

I think this post is as good a time as any to insert an important caveat about my Song of the Day posts:  just because I call something my Song of the Day does not mean I think it's good.  I mean obviously I find the songs tolerable or I wouldn't have taken the time to seek out a decent vid of them, but this song is case in point.  Four or five years ago I thought this song was, like, totally badass.  "Look at those dancers!  They're wearing leather!  There are girls.  On motorcycles.  This is soooo MTV.  I am cool by virtue of listening to this song.  Himesh just really likes hats guys--I'm sure he has a full head of hair under there.  He just wears hats for street cred.  DUH."

Now I watch this video and sort of cringe a bit.  You probably do to.

But let's not lie:  in secret we're all totally jamming to this song.  ;)

Nov 11, 2010

Conan O'Brien Does India

This is pretty much my new favorite thing.  It's an extended version of Conan's Amex ad, shot in India and it's beautiful.  I think I've watched it about twenty times tonight and still crack up when he starts gossiping with the women doing their laundry.  Check it out.

Sep 22, 2010

Sridevi--My Top 5

Another belated Sridevipalooza post!  I amassed a pretty decent number of vids during Sridevi Week and thought I'd organize a few and do my own little Sridevi countdown.  What would your top 5 Sridevi videos be?  Here are mine...

(A drumroll would be appropriate here I think...)

Dhak Dhak Jiya Kare (Joshilay)

Tandav Dance (Chandni)

Main Tere Dushman (Nagina)

Morni Baagha Maa (Lamhe)

Mere Hatoon Mein (Chandni)

Sep 21, 2010

Jelena Karleusa, or "The Reverse Pritam"

Every once in a while I like to take the opportunity to take a little jab at Pritam.  Bless his crazy beard, I love him, but he's got a pretty well-known track record when it comes to writing "totally original, I swear!" music that sounds, note for note, like stuff previously recorded by other groups.  He notably stole half of the Jab We Met soundtrack from an Indonesian rock band, thinking that audiences in India would never make the connection.

Well.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered (and by discovered I mean "joined what are surely many many other people in learning") that Pritam has a bit of competition in the "composer of dubious originality" award.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Jelena Karleusa (seen here in the most modest picture of her that exists on the internet).  Karleusa is a Serbian pop star who has been nicknamed "the Queen of Lust."  I can't tell you a lot about her music because that would require me to watch more of her videos than the one I'm about to show you, and frankly I don't think I've done anything in my life to deserve having to go through that torture.  Suffice it to say that she dabbles in the pop/rock arena and seems to exist mostly as a silicon-stuffed sex symbol.

In 2010 she had a big hit with a little song called "Insomnia."  The video was one of the most viewed of the year on Youtube, and featured a strange little Alan Cumming lookalike.  Here, take a listen:

Sound familiar?  Wondering where you've heard that song before?  Ah heard it here:

That's "Dance Pe Chance" from the hit film "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi."  But this time, rather than an Indian music director ripping off an international musician, an international musician ripped off an Indian music director.  Namely the team of Salim-Sulaiman.  "Dance Pe Chance" came out first, and is the original.  When I first noticed this, the only information I could find online were some accusations posted under Youtube videos and on somewhat obscure Serbian pop forums.  As Karleuse's song grew in popularity this line appeared in her Wikipedia entry:

"Jelena's last song, 'Insomnia', featuring Mirza Hamzić, was downloadeded 1.5 million times from her website, just a day after its official premiere on the final night of the famous reality show Big Brother. 'Insomnia' also took the third place on the world list of most viewed videos on youtube, with over 4.000.000 views for 2 weeks. The song is a makeover of the Bollywood mega hit sang by Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (RNBDJ) - Dance Pe Chance. Jelena's PR confirmed that the copyrights were bought from the original author, and that plagiarism accusations are false."

This is the only "official" acknowledgement of the similarity between the songs. I've yet to find a website or forum which didn't quote that sourceless assertion as proof that Karleusa didn't plagiarize "Dance Pe Chance." The scant liner notes of the album which features "Insomnia" give no credit to Salim-Sulaiman.

I'm going to go ahead and call this one what it is: outright plagiarism.

At least it wasn't Pritam again.

Sep 20, 2010

Sridevi Could Sell Me Anything

Because a late Sridevi post is better than no Sridevi post, here's a small collection of the star on the small screen--specifically her brand ambassador work in commercial spots.  I get a real kick out of seeing the stars do these tv spots and hope you will as well!

I love this ad, particularly for the play on her role in Sadma. How cute!

Sridevi selling Shanti Tamil!

And here, looking stunning for Alukkas Jewelry
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