Monday, February 23, 2009
Is it time for Bollywood -- as India's huge Mumbai-based film industry is called -- to come to America?
"International cinema comes in cycles in the United States," said Frank Lovece, a film critic with Film Journal International. "Now, it's Bollywood's time."
But "Slumdog" is a far cry from the lavish movie musicals made by Bollywood, which releases nearly 1,000 films annually. And it's not authentically Indian -- it was directed by Briton Danny Boyle, and the leading actor, Dev Patel, was born and raised in England.
However, the film is a celebration of India -- from the slums to the Taj Mahal. It pays homage to Bollywood by incorporating many of the industry's norms -- vibrant colors, fast-paced editing, a fairy-tale love story and a feel-good musical dance ending.
"Hindi film and Bollywood, in particular, is a profoundly political cinema about the crisis of the day," she said. "Today, the typical American feels like the poor in the world. ... This sense of vulnerability is what the film is able to capture."
Hollywood often has used international styles and filmmakers to its advantage. In its early days, the U.S. film capital embraced European directors such as Fritz Lang and Jean Renoir. The 1960s saw the influence of French New Wave cinema. Japanese films inspired "The Magnificent Seven" and "Star Wars"; Hong Kong works inspired Hollywood blockbusters such as "The Departed" and "The Matrix."
"Slumdog" isn't even the first film centering on India to attract Hollywood's attention
India's movie stars are essentially the country's ambassadors," said Gitesh Pandya, box-office analyst and founder of BoxOfficeGuru.com.
From Ray to Rai, Indian influence in American cinema is vast. Many Hollywood films also have been influenced by Bollywood. Baz Luhrman's 2001 musical "Moulin Rouge," a tragic romance told with song and dance, borrows heavily from Bollywood.
"These big, epic numbers are very reminiscent of Bollywood," Newman said, also referring to "Chicago," "Mama Mia!" and "West Side Story." "Musicals have always been part of the tradition of American cinema, and Bollywood really just took it to the next level."
Hollywood films such as 2008's "The Love Guru" and 2005's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" --which ends with a musical dance number -- also borrow from Bollywood.
"India is still clinging on to its social values, which explains Bollywood's success everywhere but in America," she said. "Bollywood films don't have any kissing in them or tend not to. Warner Bros. used to make movies like this in the past. ... If it's ready to ready to return to its roots, then it's ready for Bollywood."
American audiences may want to explore Bollywood films after seeing "Slumdog Millionaire," Pandya said, but it is unlikely that they will find another film like it.
"The film is obviously very successful, but it is its own entity so it doesn't necessarily mean that people in this country will wake up to Bollywood overnight," he said. "Bollywood is not for everybody. ... People who love to see Adam Sandler movies are not going to line up to see Bollywood films."
Filmmakers have been enamored with Bollywood," he said. "They're investing over there, like [Steven] Spielberg." But in American cinema, "for the most part, there will be little tinges of Bollywood.
Elton John's Oscar party raises nearly $4 million
Elton John, in a show of gratitude, sang a couple of songs with the featured singer of evening Raphael Saadiq.
A good Hollywood party these days combines certain indispensable elements: a beautiful room filled with beautiful people, good food and drink, efficient valet parking -- and a cause.
At this year's Oscar parties, the cause element was especially important. (Oscar host Hugh Jackman wasn't the only entertainer who noticed that Oscar was throwing a glittering bash in hard times
Whether you're trying to channel the rumpled, Brit rock-star look (a la Chris Martin, perhaps), the David Beckham dad-on-the-go vibe (roomy jeans, work boots, white tee -- that expresses hip opinion -- and a toque) or the jet-set guy who toggles between tailored glamour and basketball-court casual (George Clooney, you middle-aged babe) -- it's about finding your footing and sticking with it. So if you feel like you're caught in a rut but still need to keep the budget in check -- accessorize. Man scarves, newsboy caps, aviators, vests -- anything that adds a guy-ish garnish will go a long way without looking like you're trying too hard. And remember to only rock one (maximum two) at a time. The best guy dressers keep it simple, slick and loaded with sex appeal.
Children with severe peanut allergies given small daily doses of peanut flour were able to build tolerance to the nuts, according to a study. The small trial aimed to slowly build immunity to peanuts in people with the common allergy, the team at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge said on Friday.
Keeping the good looks at all sizes
When large women walk into a clothing store, they generally don't expect to find something that fits them -- let alone something that is stylish and affordable. "Most large ladies simply can't find clothes in regular shops," says Jennifer Hill. "Most of the specialty stores get really expensive." This is why Hill decided to open the Sidney Fashion Exchange in Victoria. "As soon as we opened the doors we were busy . . . We have more than 900 consignors and the majority of our customers are regulars," she says. While plus-size fashion is on the rise -- with more designers expanding their size range and fashion maven Anna Wintour singing the industry praises --come by.
GQ’s Top 10 Most Stylish Men In America
1.Justin Timberlake (Pop Star, Actor, etc)
2.Mark Ronson (DJ, Producer)
3.Alexi Lubomirski (Photographer)
4.André Balazs (Hotelier, Scene Magnet)
5.Kanye West (Pop Musician, Aspiring Designer)
6.Sid Mashburn (and staff) (Haberdasher, Southern Gentleman)
7.T.I. (World-class MC)
8.Glenn O’Brien (GQ’s Style Guy)
9.Jason Schwartzman (Actor, Indie Rocker)
10.Ed Ruscha (and son, Eddie) (Artist, L.A. Icon
Do you agree with the list? Noticed now GQ consciously avoided picking other obvious names in the Hollywood and Music biz besides JT, Kanye and T.I.?