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on 2008/5/21 15:51:13

Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford talk about Indiana Jones

If George Lucas had had his way, the new Indiana Jones movie would be called "Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men From Mars," and the iconic archeologist adventurer would be battling space aliens instead of Communists.

But both Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg firmly rejected the idea. So Lucas went back to the drawing board, and the wrangling between these three powerful, opinionated men continued for the next 10 years or so.

"There was a point where I thought George [executive producer for the film] and I would never agree on the story, and I was fine with that," recalls Spielberg. "George and I are best friends, and we always argue, and we always debate. That's been the nature of our relationship since we met in 1967."

Harrison Ford, who at age 65 has now donned Indiana Jones' fedora and leather jacket for the fourth time, says dryly: "It takes time to get Steven, George and me on the same page. George is very stubborn with his ideas."

The star and the director of the massively successful Indiana Jones franchise spoke in Los Angeles shortly before leaving for the Cannes Film Festival and the first public screening last Sunday of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." The movie will be released tomorrow.

Unlike the previous adventures, which were set in the 1930s, the new movie acknowledges the passage of time. It is set in 1957, and the villains are not Nazis but Soviet agents.

Spielberg admits that for five years after the release of the most recent adventure, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989), he thought the saga had ended for good. "I shot Indiana Jones riding a horse into the sunset because I thought that brought the curtain down on the story," he says.

But Ford pushed to resurrect the screen hero for another outing.

"Harrison presented me with the Best Picture Oscar for 'Schindler's List' in 1994, and when we went backstage, he said he was ready to make another Indiana Jones movie," says Spielberg. The development started soon afterward.

"It had to be right," says Spielberg. "I wanted to recapture the magic that we were able to achieve in three movies in the '80s. I wasn't trying to improve on Indiana Jones; I was just trying to reanimate the character. My goal was to make this movie a blood relative of the first three."

There followed 14 years of script rewrites and dashed hopes.

Finally, writer-director David Koepp, who worked with Spielberg on "Jurassic Park" and "War of the Worlds," produced a screenplay that jettisoned aliens in favor of crystal skulls while retaining what Ford calls "the mysto-crypto stuff that's part of every Indiana Jones movie."

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  • Skull': Sit Back And Enjoy The Thrill Ride
  • Good or bad, Indiana star Ford won't read reviews
  • 'Indiana Jones' tops box office on long holiday weekend
  • Meet the world's worst archaeologist: Indiana Jones
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    Critics hail the return of Indiana Jones

    2008/5/19 12:38:11

    Indiana Jones returns 19 years after his last adventure, and early reaction suggests the majority of Cannes film festival's notoriously picky critics are happy the whip-wielding archaeologist is back.

    Harrison Ford reprises his most famous role in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", a high-octane fantasy set in the 1950s when Jones no longer faces Nazis but a KGB agent after the ultimate Cold War weapon -- mind control.

    There are plenty of jokes about 65-year-old Ford's age, and he reunites with Karen Allen, co-star in the first Indiana Jones movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" released in 1981.

    "Not as easy as it used to be," Jones mutters early on.

    His young sidekick Mutt Williams, played by Shia LaBeouf, at one point bluntly asks: "What are you, like 80?", and there are strong hints he will take over the mantle from Ford.

    Australian actress Cate Blanchett, with severe fringe, dark hair and over-the-top Russian accent, plays evil Soviet agent Irina Spalko who races Jones to the secret of the crystal skull.

    "I apologise to the entire Russian populace for my Russian, but hopefully it will be dubbed," Blanchett, her hair back to blonde, joked at a press conference.

    Warm, though not loud applause broke out as the credits rolled at the first press screening ahead of a glitzy evening red carpet event, and early online reviews were mostly positive.

    "Nineteen years after their last adventure, director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford have no trouble getting back into the groove with a story and style very much in keeping with what has made the series so perennially popular," wrote Todd McCarthy of trade publication Variety.

    But Kirk Honeycutt of Hollywood Reporter told Reuters: "They (the audience) got a rollercoaster that didn't seem to want to stop for nearly two hours and they didn't get much story, or character, or wit or plot.

    "We're all kind of bewildered about what they thought they were making."


    Thousands of people, many wearing Indiana Jones-style hats handed out for free, crowded outside the Grand Theatre Lumiere cinema in a sun-kissed Cannes to get a glimpse of the stars.

    The film, conceived by George Lucas, is a familiar recipe of thrilling chases, spectacular stunts, mystical symbols, ancient civilisations and jokes about Jones's fear of snakes.

    But it also ventures into the realms of extra terrestrials and parallel worlds, and tackles issues including McCarthyism in the United States in the 1950s, the destructive power of nuclear weapons and even the disappearance of forests in the Amazon.

    Ford told reporters he was more worried about the reaction of the public than that of the critics.

    "I expect to have the whip turned on me. It's not unusual for something that is popular to be disdained by some people and I fully expect it and I'm not really worried about it.

    "I work for the people who pay to get in," he added. "They are my customers and my focus is on providing the best experience I can for those people."

    The first three Indiana Jones movies made over $1 billion at the global box office in 1980s dollar terms, and DVD sales have been huge since.

    Asked if he, Spielberg and Ford planned a fifth Indiana Jones movie, Lucas replied: "Harrison, Steven and I haven't talked about it. We can't do it unless I can come up with a good idea, which I haven't."

    Hollywood News : Critics hail the return of Indiana Jones

    Skull': Sit Back And Enjoy The Thrill Ride

    2008/5/23 9:59:24 Indiana Jones, the macho, whip-flinging archaeologist with the granite fists? Well, yes, him. Or Harrison Ford, 65, still rangy, still cool in a '30s fedora, still believable snapping a lash across a chasm and riding Tarzanlike from here to there while commies blast away? Yes, that one, too. Or what about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, director and writer-producer, who reinvented American cinema in the '70s and '80s by infusing it with a high-octane squirt of energy from such dead forms as '30s serials, swashbucklers, sci-fi and monster attacks combined with cutting-edge action and lacerating wit? Yes, they're back, too.

    But the boy who's really back is our old friend, the hero.

    That's the true pleasure of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." The movie celebrates this in loving, iconic shots of the man, his hat, his whip, in shadowy profile or as he soars through this or that obstacle course while John Williams's music, so full of the smell of popcorn and butter and Jujubes enameled to the ceiling of old movie palaces, instructs our respiratory systems to get with the program.

    The movie, like its three predecessors, follows Jones (Ford) on a quest rooted in archaeological voodoo. Its plot is simply a series of quest contests between good Yanks and bad Russkies, first for an alien corpse in America, then for a crystal skull in Peru and finally for the site of the crystal skull, a magic city in Central America. The joinery between each segment is mostly chewing gum, baling wire and spit.

    Almost on the template of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Crystal Skull" ends with an invocation of awesome power even as it connects with another '50s theme of paranoia in one of those grandiose special-effects sequences for which Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic shop is so well-known. Does it pay off? Maybe not quite, but the movie sends you out as it should, exhausted and happy, and you won't begin to think about its flaws for hours.

    -- Stephen Hunter

    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull PG-13, 126 minutes Contains mild violence and scary images. Area theaters. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull PG-13, 126 minutes Contains mild violence and scary images. Area theaters.

    Hollywood News : Skull': Sit Back And Enjoy The Thrill Ride

    Good or bad, Indiana star Ford won't read reviews

    2008/5/20 12:34:06

    Good or bad, Harrison Ford will not be reading reviews of the new Indiana Jones movie, which divided the Cannes film festival's notoriously picky critics.

    "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" had its world premiere at the annual festival on Sunday, and initial reaction was positive.

    But with more time to reflect on a blockbuster that cost an estimated $185 million to make, reviews have become more mixed.

    "I suppose it would be interesting, but I don't read reviews," Ford told Reuters in an interview to promote the film.

    "I don't want to believe the bad stuff and I don't want to believe the good stuff. It doesn't really matter," added Ford, who reprises probably his most famous on-screen role as the whip-wielding archaeologist at the age of 65.

    In Crystal Skull, he teams up again with Karen Allen, his co-star from the first Indiana Jones film in 1981.

    They are up against an evil KGB agent, played by Australia's Cate Blanchett, who is seeking to harness the power of a skull which leads them on a high-octane adventure that includes an encounter with extra terrestrials.

    Reviews appearing on the Internet within minutes of the end of the press screening in Cannes were largely positive, and on critic rating site on Monday, 34 out of 45 opinions tracked were "fresh" as opposed to "rotten."

    Several, though, have questioned the wisdom of resurrecting a successful franchise which last hit the screens 19 years ago.

    "There's a reason the previous Indy film was called 'The Last Crusade'," wrote David Gritten of the Daily Telegraph. "Now it's ... time to entomb this elderly series once and for all."


    Cannes, which is a major showcase of independent film making but thrives also on the star power Hollywood brings, has a fearsome reputation among actors and directors.

    "They can kick your butt here and will if they're not happy with the movie, so I think we got a pretty good reception," Ford said, referring to the world premiere screening.

    Blanchett added that veteran director Steven Spielberg was not immune to a negative response.

    "Steven was wanting to throw up before he went into the press conference he was so nervous about the response and I think it's because he cares," she told Reuters.

    For Ford, the cinema-goer, not the critic, matters most.

    "It's the people who pay to get in, and whether they are getting satisfaction for their dollars spent," he said.

    Even critics underwhelmed by the latest Indiana Jones venture conceded that it would make little difference in terms of the box office, which they predicted would be strong.

    Studio Paramount would have preferred more unanimous praise for one of this year's biggest movies, but they were also most likely to be breathing a sigh of relief that it avoided the critical mauling another recent blockbuster had in Cannes.

    "The Da Vinci Code" was universally loathed in 2006, and while it went on to make an estimated $760 million at the global box office, it was an uncomfortable opening.

    (To read more about our entertainment news, visit our blog "Fan Fare" online at

    Hollywood News : Good or bad, Indiana star Ford won't read reviews

    'Indiana Jones' tops box office on long holiday weekend

    2008/5/28 11:16:32

    "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" schooled the competition over the long Memorial Day weekend, as the fourth appearance of Harrison Ford in the role of the adventuring archaeologist raked in nearly $127 million at the North American box office, contributing to an estimated $312 million worldwide.

    The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Monday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Tuesday by Media By Numbers LLC:

    1. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," Paramount, $126,917,373, 4,260 locations, $29,793 average, $151,958,445 (includes $25 million opening on Thursday), one week.

    2. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," Disney, $29,810,163, 3,929 locations, $7,587 average, $97,855,173, two weeks.

    3. "Iron Man," Paramount, $26,111,130, 3,915 locations, $6,670 average, $258,278,546, four weeks.

    4. "What Happens in Vegas," Fox, $11,363,713, 3,188 locations, $3,565 average, $56,609,605, three weeks.

    5. "Speed Racer," Warner Bros., $5,272,202, 3,112 locations, $1,694 average, $37,481,539, three weeks.

    6. "Made of Honor," Sony, $4,240,435, 2,393 locations, $1,772 average, $39,901,734, four weeks.

    7. "Baby Mama," Universal, $4,208,105, 2,158 locations, $1,950 average, $53,016,250, five weeks.

    8. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," Universal, $2,269,775, 1,073 locations, $2,115 average, $58,798,745, six weeks.

    9. "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay," Warner Bros., $1,163,460, 750 locations, $1,551 average, $36,152,416, five weeks.

    10. "The Visitor," Overture Films, $940,037, 270 locations, $3,482 average, $4,591,262, seven weeks.

    11. "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!," Fox, $625,105, 488 locations, $1,281 average, $152,076,723, 11 weeks.

    12. "The Forbidden Kingdom," Lionsgate, $556,015, 487 locations, $1,142 average, $51,358,618, six weeks.

    13. "Then She Found Me," ThinkFilm, $503,004, 150 locations, $3,353 average, $2,181,214, five weeks.

    14. "Young at Heart," Fox Searchlight, $425,820, 212 locations, $2,009 average, $2,510,297, seven weeks.

    15. "Nim's Island," Fox, $397,290, 426 locations, $933 average, $45,794,492, eight weeks.

    16. "College Road Trip," Disney, $360,438, 283 locations, $1,274 average, $44,275,094, 12 weeks.

    17. "Drillbit Taylor," Paramount, $346,197, 218 locations, $1,588 average, $32,537,768, 10 weeks.

    18. "Son of Rambow," Paramount Vantage, $323,617, 152 locations, $2,129 average, $939,530, four weeks.

    19. "Prom Night," Sony, $253,294, 287 locations, $883 average, $43,818,159, seven weeks.

    20. "Roman De Gare," IDP, $201,142, 35 locations, $5,747 average, $706,277, five weeks.

    On the Net:


    Hollywood News : 'Indiana Jones' tops box office on long holiday weekend

    Meet the world's worst archaeologist: Indiana Jones

    2008/5/17 16:35:20 A UC Irvine professor is among many experts who would urge Harrison Ford's character to find a different line of work

    Indiana Jones stinks as an archaeologist.

    Put him on the faculty at the University of California, Irvine, and Indy would be spending all his time writing grant proposals to try to get a new job, said Bill Maurer, a professor and chair of the anthropology department. The fedora and the whip don't work in the real, un-swashbuckling world of academia.

    "He's terrible," Maurer said of the mythical world-saving star of three of the most popular movies in the history of cinema. "He steals things. He has no respect for the people whose objects he is stealing."

    The beloved Indy may have saved humanity – several times – but that's not part of the job description.

    "Where do you put 'Saved the World' on a (resume)?" Maurer said. "I guess you could list it under 'Community Service.' If I were his department head, he would drive me crazy."

    The stuff Indiana Jones does on his expeditions is a virtual checklist of things a good professor or archaeologist doesn't do. He regularly breaks, knocks over, smashes, or otherwise destroys all kinds of really old stuff. He has romantic flings with his assistants.

    Also, Indy shoots bad guys. Apparently, that is a big no-no.

    "I frown on shooting people," Maurer said. "I'd probably make Indiana Jones take some courses in archaeological ethics."

    Maurer also questioned the hero's academic work ethic.

    "He only does a couple of lectures a year and gallivants around the rest of the time," Maurer said.

    Maurer, himself, doesn't wear a fedora or crack a whip, but he is a huge fan of the Indiana Jones movies.

    "I imagine I would look quite fetching in a fedora," Maurer said. "But swashbuckling is a word that has rarely been applied to me."

    Indiana Jones managed to retrieve the trinket he was after in the opening moments of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." He pretty much wrecked everything else in the ancient South American temple where the little gold idol had rested for millennia.

    Though he preaches research and good science in the classroom, the world's most famous archaeologist often is an acquisitive tomb raider in the field with a scorched-earth policy about what he leaves behind. While actual archaeologists like the guy and his movies, they wouldn't necessarily want to work alongside him on a dig.

    Indy's bull-in-a-china-shop approach to archaeology will be on display again May 22 with "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," in which he's sure to rain destruction down on more historic sites and priceless artifacts.

    "It wouldn't be quite as much fun if you followed protocol, I think," said Karen Allen, who is reprising her "Raiders" role as Indy's old flame Marion Ravenwood. "Crystal Skull" reunites Allen with Harrison Ford as Indy, director Steven Spielberg and executive producer George Lucas.

    In a career spanning 27 years and three previous films, Indy has been both a blessing and curse for the musty world of archaeology, fanning interest in the field beyond academic circles but doing a Hollywood number on how the job actually works.

    Although Maurer said the current Fox television hit "Bones" inspires more students who want to dig things up.

    In 1989's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," nerdy Professor Henry Jones Jr. tells students that 70 percent of archaeology is done in the library and advises them to "forget any ideas you've got about lost cities, exotic travel and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and 'X' never, ever marks the spot."

    Trading his classroom tweeds for his leather jacket and fedora hat, his alter-ego Indiana Jones then proceed to smash through crypts, kill scores of Nazis and desecrate a grave by using a human leg bone as a torch. And, in one scene, 'X' literally does mark the spot.

    The reality of archaeological field work is not a lone hero dashing into hidden chambers with a bullwhip and a pistol and coming away with a priceless relic. It's large groups of academics and students painstakingly sifting through grids to retrieve artifacts as mundane as pottery fragments.

    "It is rather adventurous in a way, because for the most part, you're going to some exotic country and delving into their past. But it's not an adventure with a whip and chasing bad guys and looking for treasure," said Bryant Wood, an archaeologist with Associates for Biblical Research.

    "You're working at one site tediously, probably for many, many years and spending more time processing the finds and writing reports than you do actually digging at the site. But that wouldn't make for a very good story, spending 70 percent of the time in a library."

    The most exciting thing that happens to many archaeologists in the field might be battling dysentery or coping with a lemon of a Land Rover.

    "I spent a lot of time walking in cornfields and soy bean fields in the Midwest, and nothing very dramatic ever happened while I was out looking for artifacts," said Rose of the Archaeological Institute, whose trustees include Indy star Ford.

    "To be honest, it's a lot of drudge work. You can end up producing a 600-page Ph.D dissertation, and it's important and useful and it's good that someone has done it. But it's not going to be made into a major motion picture anytime soon."

    Paul Zimansky, an archaeology professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, once had an adventure reminiscent of Indy's fear of snakes. Zimansky had to drive at breakneck speed to get a colleague to a doctor after he was bitten by a viper in Iran.

    He may have a gun and a whip, but he doesn't have a notebook.

    "I wish he'd take more notes and things. What's his publication record?" Zimansky said. "But I don't think anybody ever bought the ethos of Indiana Jones as a real career track."

    Adds Jane MacLaren Walsh, an anthropologist for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History: "Some people would like to think of themselves as Indiana Jones, but nobody I know really fits the bill at all."

    Other than Indy's brief classroom scenes, the closest thing to authentic archaeology in the "Indiana Jones" flicks is done by the bad guys, whose elaborate, systematic digs in "Raiders" resemble actual excavations.

    "Not a whole lot of what we know as archaeology goes on in these movies, except what the Nazis do. They seem to be doing some real archaeological work," said Walsh, who wrote the cover story in the May-June issue of Archaeology magazine examining the real history of crystal skulls featured in the new "Indiana Jones" movie.

    Jaime Awe, director of the Institute of Archaeology in Belize, is a big fan of the "Indiana Jones" movies but shows them to students as "examples of what not to do," he said.

    "I tell them the only difference between Indiana Jones and myself is he always gets the goodies and gets the beautiful women and gets paid a lot of money, and I don't get any of that," Awe said.

    "But I have a hell of a lot of fun just like he does, and it's just as much an adventure. Most of us do archaeology because we love the opportunity to explore, to discover, to search for clues," said Awe, who appears on the Sci-Fi Channel documentary "Mystery of the Crystal Skulls," premiering May 18. "It's like having a big sandbox. Like Indiana Jones, we keep being kids at heart."

    Hollywood News : Meet the world's worst archaeologist: Indiana Jones

    Amrish Puri's last film ready for release

    2006/9/12 16:55:34

    Nearly 20 months after the death of actor Amrish Puri, Bollywood's favorite villain, his last film is ready for release in Indian theaters, a newspaper report said Tuesday.

    Puri plays a jail superintendent in ``Kachchi Sadak,'' or ``Rough Road,'' shot against the backdrop of an 18th century fort in the desert town of Jodhpur in western India, the Asian Age newspaper reported.

    ``In the film, Amrish Puri fights crime both inside and outside the jail,'' said Sanjay D. Singh, the movie's director.

    The film also stars Bollywood actors Rahul Dev, Aman Verma and Madhoo, an actress who uses one name.

    Puri died In January 2005 in Mumbai, earlier known as Bombay, which is the hub of India's entertainment industry popularly known as Bollywood. He had been suffering from a neurological disorder and died from a brain hemorrhage. He was 72.

    Puri acted in some 220 Bollywood movies after his 1971 debut in Hindi films, often in a villain's role.

    He was one of several Indian actors to land roles in British and American movies. He played a minor role in Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning 1982 movie ``Gandhi'' as Khan, the nonviolent leader's Muslim sponsor in South Africa, where Mahatma Gandhi began his fight against injustice.

    Puri shaved his head for the part of the villain Mola Ram in Steven Spielberg's ``Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'' in 1984.

    Before joining the Hindi film industry, Puri had acted in Indian theater and did voiceovers for advertising campaigns.


    Bollywood News : Amrish Puri's last film ready for release

    Can Shyamalan play Quidditch?

    2006/7/28 15:55:48

    M Night Shyamalan isn't done just yet.

    Despite all the critic flak following his latest release Lady In The Water, Shyamalan is still an A-list director -- and potentially the man helming a future Harry Potter production.

    While Lady made a disappointing $25 million in its first week in the US, the film certainly isn't a flop. It cost nearly $60 million, half the budget of most major studio releases. Once overseas and DVD revenues are added in, the film is likely to make a small profit.

    A flop or two often forces prominent directors to recapture box office glory with a bigger film. Steven Spielberg, for example, followed The Color Purple and Empire Of The Sun with the mammoth Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. British magazines are abuzz with the speculation that Shyamalan, currently hoping for better reviews abroad, wants to take on a Harry Potter film.

    In London to promote Lady In The Water, Shyamalan told that a Potter film was on the cards.

    "You know, that Harry Potter dance has gone on a long time. The problem is that it is a living breathing thing now, all by itself. When it comes over to my camp, it needs to be kind of handed over, adoption papers and everything. That's a tricky move."

    He also revealed that the first Harry Potter film, The Philosopher's Stone (eventually directed by Chris Columbus) was offered to him. But that conflicted with his Unbreakable. "I would definitely look into directing a Harry Potter film, but I think probably before that I would adapt a book. I've gotten close a few times to adapting books,"

    One hopes Shyamalan, ever so secretive of his scripts, knows that Harry Potter author JK Rowling has final approval of every screenplay based on her bestselling books.

    The director might also have the last laugh on Disney production chief Nina Jacobson. Jacobson turned down the Lady In The Water script, but ghosts of awful flops she had greenlit over the years (The Alamo, among others) returned to haunt her. Jacobson was unceremoniously given the boot a couple of weeks ago when Disney cut over 600 jobs worldwide.


    Bollywood News : Can Shyamalan play Quidditch?

    Exotique Productions

    2008/5/31 12:44:30

    Exotique Productions was started by two entrepreneurs, V. Jayaraman and Gautam Kurup, and the company has been rocking ever since its inception. It provides end-to-end solutions in film-making, right from budgeting/ scripting/ planning to marketing of the film or its audio.

    Gautam Kurup is one of the eight best directors selected in a contest run by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett. Unknown Justice, a short film directed by him for the contest, is in the race for a million-dollar prize.

    They have worked for many Hollywood projects as line producers. The proof of their talent and efficiency are Hollywood films like Travels of Shakamuni, Genesis of Healing, Are we there yet? and World Adventure. They are also representatives of Kevin Pike (a great special effects specialist who worked with Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, David Fincher, and John Schlesinger) in Asia.

    In India, they have worked in Vaaranam Aayiram in Tamil and Kargil in Malayalam as line producers. Gautam Kurup has also worked as an associate director in Kargil.

    Exotique Productions have thousands of readymade scripts, screenplays and storyboards for these scripts too. In a nutshell, Exotique Productions can produce a big hit film for any investor willing to make a film but has no knowledge about film production at all. Such is their film production prowess.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Exotique Productions

    I assisted Francis Ford Coppola: Vishal Bhardwaj

    2006/9/30 17:03:53

    Vishal Bhardwaj Speaks To Subhash K Jha on Assisting Coppola

    Q: How did the opportunity to do two days' direction for Francis Ford Coppola come about?
    A: We've a common friend named Mathew Robbins (who wrote Steven Spielberg's first film) whom I met when I was at worshop for Mira Nair in Campala. I was one of the mentors, and Mathew was handling the mentors.

    We became friends and remained in touched on the e-mail. He's part of a creative gang in Hollywood that includes George Lucas and Coppola.

    Q: So how did they think of you?
    A: During one of their Sunday lunches Coppola mentioned to Mathew that he needs to shoot in India for two days but has no contact. Mathew recommended me to Coppola. He then mailed me to tell me to expect a mail from Coppola.

    Q: And then?
    A: Then I actually received a mail from Coppola. Incredible.

    Q: Had Coppola seen your work?
    A: No. Since he and Mathew have been friends from childhood Coppola just took his word for it. Now I've sent two of my DVDs to Coppola. When I started getting mails from Coppola every day I was very excited.

    I wrote back and told him, 'You don't know what you mean to us filmmakers in India.' When he discussed money I told him not to worry about it. But somewhere it became, 'So what if it's Coppola?' in my heart.

    Q: But to do work for Coppola!
    A: Come on, it's not such a big deal. It wasn't really any tedious work. It's Coppola's DOP (director of photography) who had to do the shooting. We had to provide the production support. I can't reveal much of the actual shots. But those people came and shot quietly as per Coppola's vision.

    Q: Is Coppola making an India-based film?
    A: Not India, But a part of the script is located India.

    Q: Do you think this kind of proxy shooting is a good trend?
    A: Of course! We should trust our assistants and technicians and work in separate units so more work is covered. As soon as he's ready I'm going to produce my Assistant Director Abhishek Choubey's first film. In Hollywood they've a tradition of working in separate units. We'll also start doing the same in Bollywood. In *Omkara* we had two camera units.

    Q: Did you tell Coppola you're inspired by him?
    A: Why only me? The whole of Bollywood is inspired by Coppola. But yes, only I have access to him. I never imagined my career as filmmaker would be going the way it is.


    Star Interviews : I assisted Francis Ford Coppola: Vishal Bhardwaj

    Priyanka Chopra to Flag Off Malaysian Grand Prix

    2007/4/6 13:23:20

    This Sunday's Grand Prix in Sepang, Malaysia, will have Bollywood's sizzling beauty and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra flagging off the event along with Hollywood director Steven Spielberg and actor Leonardo Di Caprio among others.

    Apart from getting the season's second F1 event off to a roaring start, Priyanka has been personally invited by Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Ahmad Badawi of Malaysia to attend a grand sit-down dinner that's happening tonight prior to the event.

    Priyanka has been a frequent visitor to Malaysia as she has shot for several of her films there and the people of Malaysia too are extremely taken up by her. Priyanka will also attend a grand formal sit down dinner along with some high profile people prior to the event.

    Priyanka was extremely honoured to be invited for the event and says, “I am very excited to be invited to Malaysia for such a grand event. It is also special since the invite has come straight from the Prime Minister, I feel very humbled.”

    Priyanka will also get to hobnob with Hollywood stars and she says, “I am also excited to meet Steven Spielberg and the other Hollywood personalities.”

    Priyanka is fond of Formula 1 racing, but unfortunately the actress does not get much time to watch the sport. Priyanka’s brother though is a great fan of the sport and keeps her updated.

    Priyanka considers Malaysia and the people out there close to heart as she has done many films in Malaysia and she says, “I have been shooting here for my films and Malaysia is like my home away from home.”

    Priyanka shot for Don extensively in Malaysia and recently she also attended an event for women, where she was asked to speak about her career.

    Bollywood News : Priyanka Chopra to Flag Off Malaysian Grand Prix

    Spielberg to make ‘Tin Tin’ animation film

    2011/6/4 12:14:16

    Noted Hollywood director Spielberg who stormed the world with his breathe taking films like Jaws, Jurassic Park and many others is a great fan of children’s comic books and cartoon films. His ambition is to make his favorite comic story ‘Tin Tin’ as 3D animated film.

    Noted Belgian painter and story writer Georges Prosper Remi, popularly known as Herge is the author of the comic book-The adventures of Tin Tin. He is also a great fan of Spielberg. Quite surprisingly, he also thought that only Spielberg is capable to upload his comics into big celluloid screens. So, both of they have planned to make a 3D animated film of Tin Tin adventures. But, unfortunately Herge died in the year 1983 and their project was shelved.

    Later, Spielberg obtained the rights from Herge’s wife and tried to make a film on Tin Tin in year 2008, but due to some problems this project also shelved. However, Spielberg has completed his dream project recently and his animation movie is releasing before end of October or first week of November.

    Telugu Cinema News : Spielberg to make ‘Tin Tin’ animation film

    'Tintin' earns Rs.7.35 crore, highest Spielberg grosser

    2011/11/15 0:21:01

    New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) Animation movie "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn" has earned about Rs.7.35 crore over three days, making it the highest opening for any Steven Spielberg film in India.

    The film released with over 350 prints in both English and Hindi in the 3D and 2D formats. Apart from the big cities, this is the first movie to open simultaneously in smaller centres like Alwar, Gwalior, Akola, Amravati, Madurai, Salem and Trichur.

    "Not only is the animated genre gaining ground amongst all age groups in India, but Tintin is unique in the sense that the franchise is enjoyed and appreciated by a very wide audience right from kids to adults who grew up on Tintin," Kercy Daruwala, managing director, Sony Pictures India, said in a statement.

    "There is an amazing passion for both the franchise and the film in India with even celebrities like Aamir Khan giving the film an enthusiastic thumbs-up. The film's collections have increased day upon day and we expect to see the film sustain strongly based on excellent word of mouth," Daruwala added.

    "Tintin" fans can't stop heaping praise on the animated franchise and term it an intelligent film.

    "There is not a dull moment in the movie. You never feel you are watching animated characters because they are so true to life. And at the same time it doesn't not step away from the Tintin cartoon," said Brishti Ganguly, a young school-going fan.

    Praising the film, Anand V, another Tintin fan, said: "Spielberg has not made a predictable film. He has merged three-four Tintin comics in the movie in a very intelligent way. The characters are fantastic - Captain Haddock is lovable. All the characters live up to their images."

    Bollywood News : 'Tintin' earns Rs.7.35 crore, highest Spielberg grosser

    Walters: Jones going through 'difficult time'

    2008/5/10 9:12:09

    Barbara Walters says she refuses to engage in a debate with Star Jones, who accused her of revealing a past affair with a senator just to sell books. Walters said despite the public rift, she prefers to hold onto the good times the former co-hosts shared on "The View."

    "Star is going through a very difficult time right now, and I'm going to have very happy memories of how wonderful she was on the program," Walters told AP Radio on Friday. "I don't want to add to her difficulties."

    Jones is going through a divorce from banker Al Reynolds, whom she married in 2004.

    Jones lashed out at Walters after the veteran journalist wrote in her autobiography "Audition" that the women of "The View" were forced to cover up Jones' gastric bypass surgery as she swiftly lost weight ahead of her wedding. Jones maintained at the time that she was eating less and doing Pilates.

    "We lied for Star," Walters told AP Radio. "She was our colleague. She didn't want to discuss it, we didn't force her to. Was that a mistake? I don't know. ... It was Star's decision."

    Earlier this week, Jones criticized her former boss for writing about her, and for including revelations of an affiar with former U.S. Senator Edward Brooke in the 1970s.

    "It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters, in the sunset of her life, is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair and speaking negatively against me all for the sake of selling a book. It speaks to her true character," Jones told Us Weekly magazine.

    Walters said her intention was to give the book historical perspective.

    "I put it in to show in great part how race relations have changed," Walters said. "This was 30 years ago, it was an African-American prominent man. And it would've desroyed his career, and mine. Today it would have almost no impact."

    Hollywood News :  Walters: Jones going through 'difficult time'

    Cannes 2008: Lots of stars, and some movies, too

    2008/5/27 10:11:12

    France - Indy made his comeback at Cannes, and Woody came back as usual. Angelina showed off her baby bump on the red carpet, and Madonna sold off everything in her handbag at a charity auction.

    This year's Cannes Film Festival, which ended Sunday, had plenty of celebrities to please the star-watchers — but moviegoers were more disappointed.

    There were few real favorites in the lineup of Cannes' showcase competition, and with a few exceptions, the films were mostly dark and gloomy. Set in locations such as a prison, a slum and a porno theater, the films tackled subjects from murder to angst to hopelessness. And it didn't help that Cannes' weather was rainy.

    As the festival drew to a close, jury president Sean Penn admitted to Le Monde newspaper that he wished there had been more comedies in the bunch.

    So it was no wonder that Penn's jury gave its top prize to the charming "The Class," a look at big and small dramas inside a French school and a surprise hit at the end of the festival. Though it tackles the often-pondered subjects of immigration and identity, Laurent Cantet's film seems fresh because the teenage actors are so true to life — endearing, funny and obnoxious.

    The movie was filmed with real students in their high school in a working-class Paris neighborhood. The jury's decision to give it the main prize was unanimous, and Penn called it "a seamless film."

    "All of the performances: magic," he said. "All of the writing: magic. All of the provocations, and all of the generosity: magic. It's simply everything that you want film to give you."

    Once again, the top prize slipped away from Clint Eastwood, who has had five films in competition here, including this year's missing child drama "Changeling." In Cannes, Eastwood also attended a special beach showing of 1971's "Dirty Harry."

    "If you have trouble recognizing me, I'm the man with the brown hair and lots of it," he told the crowd. Eastwood and French actress Catherine Deneuve took special prizes to mark the festival's 61st anniversary.

    Two movies about Italy's dark side were also winners. Cannes Matteo Garrone's "Gomorrah," about Naples' mob scene, took the second-place grand prize, while Paolo Sorrentino's "Il Divo," about former Premier Giulio Andreotti and allegations of his ties to organized crime, won the jury award.

    Benicio Del Toro seemed a logical choice for best actor for his portrayal of revolutionary Che Guevara, though some critics snoozed during Steven Soderbergh's 4 1/2 hour "Che."

    The best actress pick was a surprise. Brazil's Sandra Corveloni won for the ensemble drama "Linha de Passe" — she played a cleaning lady and mother of four in her first feature film. Angelina Jolie had been a favorite in the category for her portrayal of a distraught mother in "Changeling."

    Pregnancy has never looked so glamorous as when Jolie, carrying twins, walked the red carpet in a low-cut emerald green gown. Jolie was in Cannes for two premieres, "Changeling" and "Kung Fu Panda," which wasn't competing for prizes but provided some comic relief. Jack Black, who voiced the martial arts-loving title character, hammed it up at the beach with 40 people in panda suits.

    Black summed up Cannes this way: "The food, the people, the boats and the movies. Last night I had a foie gras lollipop. I'm not even kidding. Pretty amazing."

    Meanwhile, Madonna the Material Girl showed her humanitarian side with a documentary she produced on Malawi's AIDS orphans, "I Am Because We Are." She also auctioned off a white guitar, a private mini-concert and the contents of her purse at a benefit for the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

    Woody Allen was back for more love from Cannes, where he has shown 10 films over the years. Critics enjoyed his new love triangle romance, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, which wasn't competing for prizes.

    Neither was "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," which got a mixed review from Cannes' tough critics, 19 years after Indy's previous installment. Nonetheless, star-gazers and paparazzi turned out in force for a glimpse of Harrison Ford in a formal attire, strolling up the red carpet as the series theme song played

    Hollywood News :  Cannes 2008: Lots of stars, and some movies, too

    Aadesh Srivastava to compose for Norah Jones

    2007/6/25 14:19:57

    After being associated with Wyclef Jean for an album, music composer Aadesh Srivastava will compose music for a track that features Norah Jones.

    According to Aadesh, Norah Jones has recorded a song for Wyclef Jean and he will be adding symphony to her track. He also informed that he will be contributing to a track by Shakira. He also wishes to make veteran singer Lata Mageshkar part of this album.

    He has also agreed to score music for a Hollywood movie which will be produced by the makers of 300. Aadesh is busy with his album and two Hollywood projects. He further informs that Wyclef will come to India to shoot three music videos with him.

    Bollywood News : Aadesh Srivastava to compose for Norah Jones

    US director Sydney Pollack dies

    2008/5/27 10:02:18

    US film director and producer Sydney Pollack has died of cancer, aged 73.

    He won producing and directing Oscars for the epic romance Out of Africa, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, in 1985.

    He also directed Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, and The Way We Were, in which Redford partnered Barbra Streisand.

    He died on Monday, surrounded by family members, at his home in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles. He had been diagnosed with cancer 10 months ago.

    While best remembered as a director, Sydney Pollack started out as an actor, and continued performing throughout his career, appearing in his last film, Michael Clayton, in 2007.

    Working with stars

    From the start, his career was identified with the big names and big studios of Hollywood.

    The Slender Thread, his first feature film, starring Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft, was released by Paramount Pictures in 1965.

    In later years he collaborated with the likes of Burt Lancaster, Jane Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Al Pacino, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, and Nicole Kidman.

    Out of Africa garnered 11 Oscar nominations, and won seven.

    He compared the Hollywood greats to working with thoroughbred horses, they were tempermental and he sometimes got thrown, but when they preformed the experience was thrilling.

    But critics said as well as working with crowd-drawing stars, he also produced passionate and intelligent films that respected their audiences.

    Later in his career, Pollack teamed up with British film-maker Anthony Minghella at production company Mirage Enterprises to become a prolific producer of independent films.

    Their films included Cold Mountain and last year's Sketches of Frank Gehry - a 2007 documentary which was the last film Pollack directed.

    Born in Indiana on 1 July, 1934, Pollack had developed a love of drama at school and opted to enrol at drama school in New York - where he studied for two years under Sanford Meisner - rather than going to college.

    Hollywood News :  US director Sydney Pollack dies

    We get angry louder, cry louder and laugh louder: SRK

    2008/2/10 13:49:25

    Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan sang the praises of cheesy song and dance numbers and bell-bottom slacks Friday in an impassioned defence of Indian commercial cinema at the Berlin Film Festival.

    In town to promote his 2007 blockbuster Om Shanti Om, Khan argued that the gratuitous musical numbers and melodramatic plot twists that often turn foreign audiences off his films were, for him, their greatest strength.

    "It's kitschy. There's no denying that," he said. "It's a lot of colour. It's a little louder than loud. But that's the kind of people Indians are. "We do express ourselves a little loudly. We get angry louder, cry louder and laugh louder." It's kitschy. There's no denying that. It's a lot of colour. It's a little louder than loud. But that's the kind of people Indians are. We do express ourselves a little loudly - King Khan on OSO.

    Om Shanti Om, which was showing out of competition at the Berlin festival, is a joyfully over-the-top parody of Hindi musical melodramas of 30 years ago, with cameo appearances by a Who's Who of Bollywood past and present.

    Khan plays a struggling extra who dies attempting to prevent the murder of an idolised heroine in the bell-bottomed 1970s. The second half of the film sees him reborn 30 years later as a film star destined to recall his past life and seek revenge.

    "We wanted people to know that our movies are like this and we're very proud of it," Khan said. "I would like to introduce different aspects of my country, without apologising about the fact we make a certain type of cinema." I'm 42 years old. I'm a little bit brown. There is no space or place for me. It's not like I land in New York or Los Angeles and Steven Spielberg's waiting for me. He's not - King Khan on his Hollywood prospects.

    Known as "King Khan" to his fans, the 42-year-old idol is still one of Bollywood's most bankable stars, with an appeal that extends far beyond India to the Gulf region and the South Asian diaspora in the United States and Europe. Rather than mainstream Indian films learning from Hollywood, he believes Western blockbusters should consider borrowing from Bollywood, and put storytelling before special effects.

    "Cinema is on the brink of getting eaten up by technology," he said. "I love Spiderman, Superman ... but sometimes there is nothing beyond the special effects.

    "Maybe our stories would be interesting to take on." Khan said he had no illusions about his prospects of ever getting a Hollywood role, and confessed no real interest in even looking for one.

    "I'm 42 years old. I'm a little bit brown. There is no space or place for me," he said. "It's not like I land in New York or Los Angeles and Steven Spielberg's waiting for me. He's not."

    But with mainstream Indian films receiving more exposure abroad particularly through high-profile festivals like the Berlinale, Khan acknowledges that his industry will be forced to make some compromises for the overseas market. Hindi films regularly run to more than three hours in length and foreign audiences are often thrown by the sudden switches to a foreign location for a song and dance routine that bears little or no relation to the plot.

    "Our films need to be shorter and I can see the musical element becoming a little more logical," Khan said. "But we'll still wear the bell-bottoms. We like that."

    Bollywood News : We get angry louder, cry louder and laugh louder: SRK

    Shyam Benegal to direct Hrithik Roshan in a film based on Gautam Buddha

    2007/12/26 11:21:32

    Beyond Dreams Entertainment Limited's CEO Yash Patnaik and Light of Asia Foundation Chairman Mr. Navin Gooneratne are all set to produce a historic film to be directed by esteemed filmmaker Shyam Benegal based on Gautam Buddha. Talks are also on for roping in actor Hrithik Roshan for the film.

    �This is a historic moment for South Asian Cinema. We are about to tell the story of a man who was born in Indian Subcontinent and redefined the way the world thinks- Gautama Buddha. The impact of his philosophy can be measured by the fact that hundreds of millions of people across the globe have embraced it and made it a way of life. Buddha's philosophy is more contemporary today than ever before", pronounced Beyond Dreams Entertainment Limited's CEO Yash Patnaik.

    After working on the project for almost eight months Beyond Dreams Entertainment Limited, Mumbai and Light of Asia Foundation of Colombo have build a multi-million massive film project.

    Noted screenplay writer Atul Tiwari has been roped in to write the story, screenplay and dialogue of this epic. Tiwari has written many landmark movies like BOSE, THE FORGOTTEN HERO, MISSION KASHMIR etc. Professor Nimal D'Silva, leading Buddhist scholar in the South Asia region has been appointed to head the research along with scholars from China, Japan and Korea.

    An Indian delegation headed by Patnaik has already done a location study along with Mr. Benegal and Tiwari. During the trip Benegal and Patnaik visited the President of Sri Lanka His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakshe who gave his full hearted support for the project.

    "The message of the film Buddha gives answers both to the global crisis of conflict and environment," says Goonaratne, while describing his biggest dream of making a film on Buddha, a dream he has been nurturing for the past 20 years.

    Chandran Rutnam, reputed international film maker who has been associated with some of the biggest ever movies made in Hollywood in the past four decades from INDIANA JONES to Bo Derek's TARZEN to BLOODSPORT series is ecstatic about the project. "I have worked with many Hollywood greats from Copala to Spielberg� but this project is the closest to my heart." He further adds, "A film on the philosophy of the Lord Buddha's teachings which in this time of need, in this hour of turmoil could be an excellent vehicle using the medium of cinema to spread the Buddhist philosophy throughout the World." Hollywood has always endeavored to reach to the masses throughout the World, and this is an opportunity to bring an important subject to the World."

    Gooneratne has already acquired over 1000 acres of land near Colombo where a massive set will be build to recreate the era for the filming of the epic.

    The film is expected to go on floor around mid-2008 and slated for a mid-2009 release.

    Bollywood News : Shyam Benegal to direct Hrithik Roshan in a film based on Gautam Buddha

    Bharadwaj serves director of The Godfather

    2006/9/18 16:33:05 Here is the scoop of the month. So we talk about Indian’s going international in the film world. Well, now the tables have turned and how much they have turned.

    Francis Ford Coppola, director the probably the best gangster film of all time The Godfather needed some outsourcing to be done for his latest film Youth without Youth. Apparently some scenes had to be shot in India but Coppola could not make it here and so he asked none other than Vishal ‘Omkara’ Bharadwaj to shoot certain scenes for him. Bharadwaj along with his team as well as Coppola’s second unit shot the film in Mumbai from September 6 to 8.

    Bharadway was very happy with this development and when Coppola had asked him how much remuneration he would charge, Bharadwaj politely declined and said it was an honour to serve you.

    Three cheers to you Vishal!

    Youth without Youth is a pre-WWII drama where a major incident turns a professor into a fugitive.


    Bollywood News : Bharadwaj serves director of The Godfather

    Hindu groups seek ban of Myers film "Guru" in India

    2008/5/14 11:26:33

    "The Love Guru" has not received a warm welcome from some Hindu groups, who reportedly have requested that India's Central Board of Film Certification and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ban screenings of the Mike Myers comedy in India.

    In March, U.S.-based Universal Society of Hinduism president Rajan Zed was one of the first to protest the film when he said it "appears to be lampooning Hinduism."

    Media reports Tuesday quoted Bhavna Shinde, a representative of Mumbai-based Hindu organization Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality as saying that the censor board should "stop distributing or screening the movie till Paramount has made necessary changes ... so that it will not hurt the feelings of the worldwide spiritual and Hindu community."

    "We have officially not received any request from any Hindu organization regarding 'The Love Guru,"' a spokesperson at the Mumbai-based Central Board of Film Certification told The Hollywood Reporter.

    The film has not yet been submitted by its distributors for censor clearance.

    "A release date has not yet been finalized as we have various other films slated for the summer, such as the latest 'Indiana Jones.' We haven't yet decided when we will submit the film for censor clearance as there is still time," said a spokesperson at Mumbai-based Paramount Films of India, the film's distributor here.

    Promoted with the tagline "His Karma is huge," "Guru," directed by Marco Schnabel, also stars Ben Kingsley, Jessica Alba and Justin Timberlake and includes a cameo by New Age guru and author Deepak Chopra.

    Hollywood News :  Hindu groups seek ban of Myers film "Guru" in India

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