Vanity Fair

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NAME, PLACE, FILMMAKER

A long while ago Dev Benegal gave a certain generation of Indians their first dose of sweet, funny English- speaking angst in English, August. Then he gave us embarrassment in English with Split Wide Open whereupon we fickly blamed him for things like Everyone Says I’m Fine. Somewhere along the way Bollywood became cool and we had amnesia about Benegal. Now he returns with the punctuation of that first hit to a new movie: Road, Movie. The movie stars Abhay Deol who has set a new generation of ‘alternative’ hearts afire in his earlier movies. Shall we prepare to watch Deol, a touring cinema and ‘interesting characters’ drive across Rajasthan? Cross those fingers.

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Aviatrix
Hilary Swank in Amelia

FLYING QUEEN

So alright Hilary Swank does spookily resemble Amelia Earhart. And realistically who else was going to be offered Amelia — this casual stroll to the Oscars? That doesn’t mean we have to like it though. Earhart was the first woman and second person to fly solo across the Atlantic. She was also a ready mix package for celebrity (with nothing less than personalised clothing lines and brand endorsements) which her unexplained disappearance over the Pacific in 1937 only helped. Are we really ready to watch Swank make a strong yet vulnerable female lead out of Amelia? We want an Amelia who is strange, eccentric and erotic. Meera Nair, you hold our belated hopes in your transatlantic hands.

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SUPERMAN TRAINING

Don’t know about the meek but those-whogrowl- while-beingbeaten is clearly setting out to rule the world. Anurag Kashyap,once the underdog, now has four movies coming out with UTV over the next three years. The best news is that superhero film Doga (played by Kunal Kapoor) is on the anvil now with a Rs 60 crore budget. Kashyap is doing a course in working with special effects as part of his preparation for directing Doga.

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ROCK AND MOCK

If there is a tattooed person in your life here is a way of winning their affections. Alert her or him to the imminent (well somewhat) arrival of British band Porcupine Tree in India. The progressive rock band will be playing on December 21 at the Mood Indigo festival in IIT, Mumbai. Having made an excellent impression with this piece of information we urge you to not go and ruin it by mentioning that Mr Big was in town recently.

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Compiled by  Nisha Susan


My parents were shocked I chose acting’

Nandana Sen, Actor

What’s your earliest memory?
My mother smiling down at me, her long hair falling over me like a waterfall.

How was it growing up in a family so academic?
My parents did expect me to go into academia since, unfortunately, I happened to be a top student and initially they were quite surprised when their shy, geeky daughter chose to go into acting. Yet, they’ve been amazingly encouraging throughout. I think because both my parents were so academic and on the outside I was also rather cerebral, it was a transformative discovery for me to find this way of expressing myself where I had to rely most on my emotions. In our family we are so used to working off our intellect that it was quite an epiphany for me to see that sometimes intellect is just redundant – instinct matters most. Seriously, I think if my family had been from the film world, acting wouldn’t have been such a revelation for me.

How have your parents influenced you?
They’ve always had a great deal of trust in me. I think because in their areas, both of them have challenged the rules and mapped out their own terms, they always assumed I would find my own way even if it’s rocky and they could be of no help. I’m very close to Ma and a lot like her too, both emotionally and temperamentally. For instance, as long as I’ve been able to spell, I’ve been writing something or the other and I’ve had some book surgically attached to my hand! Baba too has inspired us to be creative. He gave me a big fat orange notebook on my fourth birthday. On my last trip to Kolkata, Ma showed me my first unfinished novel, written when I was seven. Guess I got juvenile writer’s block halfway through – or learnt to ride the bicycle or something!

What’s your take on marriage?
It’s beautiful. If we cannot honour those vows, we should not make them. That said, I believe verbal promises are never as deep as the commitment one makes from deep within one’s soul, with or without marriage.

What/who do you turn to in times of trouble?
My family. Poetry. The sea outside my window. I watch it change colour throughout the day. And I tell myself, this moment too will pass.

Are you religious?
I believe in God. I believe we are accountable for our actions – to ourselves, to the world, to God. And I hate any kind of intolerance in the name of religion.

ISHA MANCHANDA

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