October 9, 2008 |
If you're walking in Center City this weekend, near 16th and Market streets, don't mind the FBI helicopters overhead or the sounds of gunfire. "Don't be concerned, it's just a movie," said Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. And it's not just any Hollywood movie. The feature is a Bollywood production - straight from Mumbai, India. It marks the first time a major Bollywood film production has shot on the streets of Philly. Thus, the men shooting blanks are not "SWAT agents" and the helicopters will be made over to appear as FBI aircraft.
July 8, 2005 |
Surely Jane Austen never envisioned lavish Bollywood dance numbers and scantily clad R&B kitten Ashanti in any interpretation of Pride and Prejudice, her 19th-century novel of manners. But no one can accuse director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) of not having a heck of a good time channeling modern-day India in her bubbly re-do, Bride and Prejudice, now out on DVD. Witness the burst-into-song musical sequences, the cross-cultural cast, and the family-friendly wholesomeness.
April 20, 2012 |
It's another edition of Global Tattle and we begin in India, where — don't let the kids read this one — Bollywood beauty Meenakshi Thapar was kidnapped, strangled and beheaded while shooting her latest film, "Heroine. " According to the London Telegraph, Thapar's killers were two actors she met on set. She had allegedly been bragging about her family's wealth when Amit Jaiswal and his lover Preeti Surin decided to invite her on a trip to see the Buddhist temples of Gorakhpur.
April 25, 2004 |
Toward the middle of the first act of Bombay Dreams, Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest brainstorm on Broadway, a host of dancers in dazzling, acid-sherbet Indian costumes burst into a full-fledged production number. As they are singing "Shakalaka Baby," a catchy dance song from a hit 1999 Indian film, giant fountains start to gush gallons of water, flooding the stage and wetting the actors into see-through slickness. The sequence is Lloyd Webber's version of a Bollywood musical number - in this case, the provocative "wet sari" standard.
April 4, 2008 |
Asha Bhosle is to Indian music what Ennio Morricone is to the Italians - a titan of that country's cinematic film soundtrack landscape as well as its pop charts, whose music transcends all literal and figurative borders. Whether it's movies familiar to fans of Bollywood, duets with the likes of Kronos Quartet, Michael Stipe and Boy George, or her sinewy sound as sampled by Black Eyes Peas and Sarah Brightman, there's more Bhosle going around than you can imagine. A lot more.
January 7, 2010
A few things that Mumbai, India, ingrains in you: a taste for Bollywood, a tolerance of traffic, and a love of chaat , the street food of old Bombay. So I lit up when I saw Desi Chaat, a tiny, West Philly take-out storefront. The samosa had spent a little too long under the heat lamp. But the papri chaat (distinguished by boiled potatoes and chickpeas) made me smile. Your typical chaat employs a mixture of savories, in this case tossed with mango and pomegranate seeds and dotted with yogurt and mint, tamarind-date and plum sauces that you stir into crispy bits made here from (slightly oily)
July 6, 1998 |
It's the climax of Major Saab, a feature produced by and starring Amitabh Bachchan, an icon of the Indian film industry, the leading man in the 1970s and 1980s. In a comeback role as a major at a military academy, Bachchan has just taken a cadre of cadets past the ed goons guarding the mansion of an underworld king. Their mission is not political, but romantic. Rifles cocked, the cadets watch as the gangster's son circles a fire, seven times, with a woman hidden under the folds of a pink sari.
July 12, 2013 |
Chaka Khan has won 11 Grammys and has, for the last 40 years, been a presence on the American music scene. At 60, she prides herself on being able to sing pop, dance, R&B, funk, soul, jazz, gospel, classical, and country. But what about Bollywood? A few years ago, the promoters of an Indian-themed show in Central Jersey listed on a handbill the array of performers scheduled to appear at a live event at a theater in Middlesex County. Among other Bollywood movie singers was one Chaka Khan.
May 21, 2010 |
Thought exercise: Imagine Romeo and Juliet. Next, Bonnie & Clyde. Next, Thelma & Louise. OK. Now, reimagine all these doomed romantics on the same plate, add a dollop of Showgirls, a side of Dirty Dancing, a Scarface chaser and many, many, many Dukes of Hazzard car chases, and you have Kites, a Bollywood musical/gangster/melodrama romance in Hindi, Spanish and English. Preposterous? Oh, yeah. Preposterously entertaining? You bet. The principal attractions of this film are its gorgeous stars, Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan and Japanese-Uruguayan-Mexican bombshell B?rbara Mori, who have matching jade-green eyes and pearly smiles.
April 26, 2002 |
As the old saying goes, "War is hell. " And modern war movies such as "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down," two outstanding films of the genre, go a long way to illustrate this. However, war can also be mundane when in the hands of inferior storytellers, as two films new to video this week ably - or not so ably - demonstrate. "Behind Enemy Lines" (VHS: priced for rental; DVD: $27.99) is so commonplace in so many ways that it is extraordinarily ordinary. Owen Wilson, who's about as believable playing a hotshot Navy pilot as Steven Seagal would be portraying a linguist, crash lands in Bosnia and has what must be the entire Serbian army after him. Gene Hackman is the commander back on ship who disobeys orders and tries to rescue him. Not even an actor of Hackman's range can make credible the silly plot developments, poor characterizations and formulaic action scenes.