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AR Rahman- Oscars 2008

AR Rahman- Oscars 2009

A R Rahman, now know as Mozart Of Madras,  picks up three Oscars  for his work in Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire. Rahman is the third Indian to win an Oscar, after costume designer Bhanu Athaiya for her work in Gandhi in 1983 and director Satyajit Ray in 1992.

“I just want to thank again the whole crew of Slumdog Millionaire, especially Danny Boyle, for giving me such a great opportunity,” he said, while accepting the award.

Slumdog Millionaire took the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars today, including director for Danny Boyle, whose ghetto-to-glory story paralleled the film’s unlikely rise to Hollywood’s summit. It was a big winner at the Golden Globe Awards. It won film of the year and two other awards at the Richard Attenborough Film Awards, voted on by British critics. The movie has British director, producer, writer and studio. Nevertheless India has claimed it as its own perhaps because of the cast, crew, and location.

Here is the script of the film Slumdog Millionaire.

However the film has not been much loved in India. Not only did the film failed to capture the imaginations of Indian film goers; it’s also been dogged by controversy over its name and the treatment of its child stars. Some have called it poverty-porn.

Residents of a Mumbai slum show their displeasure over the name of the hit film Slumdog Millionaire in a protest outside the office the film's co-star, Anil Kapoor.

Residents of a Mumbai slum show their displeasure over the name of the hit film Slumdog Millionaire in a protest outside the office the film's co-star, Anil Kapoor.

“If ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ projects India as Third World dirty underbelly developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations,” leading actor Amitabh Bachchan said in a posting on his blog  from Paris, France. “Its just that the ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a westerner, gets creative global recognition,” he added.”The commercial escapist world of Indian cinema had vociferously battled for years, on the attention paid and the adulation given to the legendary Satyajit Ray… and not a word of appreciation for the entertaining mass-oriented box office blockbusters that were being churned out from Mumbai. “Ray portrayed reality. While, the other – escapism, fantasy and incredulous posturing. Unimpressive for Cannes and Berlin and Venice (film festivals),” he explained.

Smile Pinky; Best Documentary Short Subject

Smile Pinky: Best Documentary Short Subject

While Slumdog Millionaire won eight  Oscars, it’s not the only film shot in India that was nominated and won. A 40-minute documentary about an eight-year-old girl Pinky Sonkar from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, Smile Pinky by American filmmaker Magan Mylan has also been nominated for Best Documentary.

Pinky had stopped smiling, even stopped going to school because she was ashamed of her cleft lip, a deformity 35,000 children are born with in India every year. Then this year, The Smile Train arrived in Pinky’s village and her world changed forever. The story was captured by American filmmaker Magan Mylan for the world in a film he called Smile Pinky. While Pinky was getting ready getting her passport and visa ready to walk on the red carpet, she did not know why. Pinky’s mother could not watch the Oscar ceremony since she does not have access to television set.

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Sanjay Dutt Joins Samajwadi Party
Sanjay Dutt Joins Samajwadi Party

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Satyajit Ray at 5

Satyajit Ray at 5

This was published in India Today in January 1979. The text of the article in India Today :

Bright Ray

As a child, Satyajit Ray, the world famous filmmaker, never once thought that he would make films. He grew up in his ancestral mansion in Calcutta, drawing and painting. He would doodle the long summer afternoons away hoping that his attempted portraits and cartoons would appear in his family’s famous children’s magazine Sandesh. As a Brahmin, his family regarded the cinema and theater as frivolities.

His first boyhood wonder was his father’s printing press. He remembers having been lifted up to look through the ground-glass view finder of the tall halftone camera. He often visited Shantiniketan where he played with Rabindranath Tagore’s grand-daughter.

He has fond memories of the florist’s shop in New Market and stately horse-drawn carriages giving way to automobiles. As a child, all he wanted when he grew up was to be a painter.

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It is a Rs 22 crore movie. Expectations were high for other reasons. One, it was Aditya Chopra’s comeback after eight years of Mohabattein and thirteen years of Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge . Well, that does not come as a surprise. After giving a hit like (DDLJ), one is virtually competing against oneself! Not sure if there is a follow up formula to the ‘love’ formula.

Two, it is a Shahrukh Khan movie. He did have sole responsibility in holding the storyline. In fact it is two Sharukh Khan movies in ONE.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Released Today.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Released Today.

Set in Amritsar around the Golden Temple, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, touches everything that is normal, everything that is way of life in ordinary people’s lives, nothing that you do not know or have not seen in your everyday lives. In fact at times it feels that it has been shot close to home.

The movie starts off on a very old and beaten road- groom does not show up, father finds the first possible match for his daughter from the crowd assembled for the ‘other’ wedding. There starts the one sided love affair, the life of a mismatched couple Surinder Sahni (Shahrukh Khan) and Taani (Anushka Sharma).

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