Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Memories of Madras Week

Took me a while to get my thoughts in order about all the events I had attended/heard about, and give a precis of what exactly happened during Madras Week 2007. Most events were interesting, some were repeats, while a few were outstanding. Be warned, you’re in for a long post.


In the beginning, it was a gathering of a few like-minded friends who cared a great deal about the city. Then, it grew to a series of meetings. More came to know of what transpired during these sessions, and signaled their interest to join. In 2006, it exploded into existence as one of the most happening occasions – and now it is the premier event of Chennai, eclipsing all else in August to the point of exclusion, with more than 60 events happening all over the city, put together by a number of organizations and Chennai-lovers. Le Madras Week, 2007.

i, a festival of independent films

The Indian Independent Filmmakers Foundation is holding a festival of films called i at Sathyam Theatres. Already Apna Aasman and Framed have been shown yesterday and today respectively. Three more shows to go. A package of students films from L.V. Prasad Academy, Chennai 600028 and Hari Om, directed by Bharat Bala. I attended the first day’s event. I am so sorry not inform readers in Chennai on time. If you are interested you still have three days left. If you are a film buff, I am sure you will enjoy the panel discussion that follow the movies. The festival ends on September 7. It ‘s on at Six Degrees in Sathyam Cinemas. It starts at 9.00 am every day. Be there on time. The organisers tend to be on time too!

Thiruvanmiyur on a Sunday

Where the helmets have gone?

With effect from June 1, 2007, the Government of Tamilnadu implemented the law for mandatory wearing of Helmets by the rider and the pillion rider. Within 2 days of introduction, the Government backtracked by saying that the police are not to implement the rule vigorously. Now the Government says that the person driving the two wheeler has to wear the helmet and the pillion riders, women and children are exempted from wearing the helmet. In Chennai nobody seems to worry about the present regulation on helmet wearing. The two wheeler riders without helmet spotted on Sunday, June 24, 2007 near Thiruvanmiyur Railway Station

It’s only a movie for Christ’s sake

Is there anybody in this city who hasn’t heard of Sivaji? The hype about the Rajnikanth starrer both in the media and off it has been overwhelming these last few weeks. I found it irritating at least towards the last few days when you could hear nothing else on TV.
I occasionally write movie review for the newspaper that I work for and am passionate about film. But the hype had even a person like me say: “It’s just a movie for Christ’s sake.”
I was glad to miss the movie, which I don’t intend to watch anytime soon. It’s hard to get the tickets anyways.

The Magic of Sivaji


I am not the type who goes to a movie in the first week of its opening. But the hype created in the print media, FM and the TV created an urge to go to Sivaji.

Two days before the release of the movie TV Channels like CNN IBN and Headlines Today were having editions on Sivaji running for 2 hours with live coverage of interviews with the fans spread across the metros. I found Rajni also has fans in Lucknow who was arguing in favour of Rajni. A college student at Mumbai, in spite of not knowing Thamizh recited the dialogue “Naan oru thadavai sonna nooru thadavai sonna mathiri” from Basha

The Sivaji Phenomenon

I think every one from Madras(I still prefer to call it that way) can feel proud of the movie Sivaji. Not because it has the Superstar as the hero. Not because it is directed by none other than Shankar, the man behind Gentleman, Indian, Jeans etc. Not because it has the Mozart of Madras aka AR Rahman wielding the music. Not because it is produced by one of India’s oldest production houses viz. AVM. I think this movie has put Madras, and the tamil movie industry not just on the Indian map, but the world map. For the last 10 days, the only programmes I see on NDTV, CNN-IBN, Times Now and the likes is Sivaji; the movie, the excitement and the popularity across the world starting from Chennai. Reuters had it on their news scroll. BBC on their international feed. iTunes had the Sivaji ring tone on it is home page, a first. Tickets in Europe are being sold at 20 Euros plus, and people the world over are googling Rajnikanth, Chennai, Kollywood to know what Sivaji is all about. In Madras the movie has opened in a record 16 screens with initial 10 day collections of close to Rs. 17 million. 20 shows a day in Mayajaal (a city based Multiplex) alone, and an estimated 65 shows a day. I haven’t seen such frenzy for any movie in recent times. And the movie is already a runaway hit, expecting to cross 1000 days in Madras. It can’t get better for the industry as a whole.

Chennai – HOUSEFULL !!

UPDATE : The “Blind Date” in Sathyam Theatres, this thursday, is all booked up, already. Usually the Blind Date is even available on Thursday afternoons, and I have booked tickets. For people who dont know about Blind Date, Sathyam Premiers a new movie every week (Thursday evening) as a surprise movie – the audience unaware of what they will be watching.

Looks like everyone is expecting this week’s movie to be Sivaji, otherwise the tickets for Blind Date would still be available. If someone goes on a Blind Date, let us know if it was Sivaji. They would be a set of lucky people, who didn’t stand in any queue and just gambled on their luck, and watch the movie before anyone does. We will know, tomorrow. (End of Update).

House fullu ma !!

Sathyam is screening Sivaji for atleast 10 shows per day, this weekend – the opening week for the mega-blockbuster Sivaji. Abirami is showing Sivaji in three of its four screens. Udhayam is showing it in all its theatres. Picking up the new trend, Sivaji not only gets released in Simultaneous screens of a same Cineplex, it also sets a record in the number of theatres a movie gets released in Chennai at a time. Reports have it, that 60,000 tickets are available per day at Chennai alone.

This is clever business, and Kollywood has been following it for quite some time now. But no movie like Sivaji. Not these many theatres. The promos are already dazzling. The City’s double-decker buses now feature Sivaji advertisements. Shankar and team have brought out the complete charisma of the Superstar, and it shows.

Just three more days to go, and we will know.. Sivaji Rightaaa ?

Sivaji – The Boss an update

The release date of Sivaji – The Boss, the much awaited block buster film starring Rajini, under the AVM banner and directed by Shankar has undergone a change and now will be released on June 15, 2007, reports The Hindu. According to M S Guhan one of the producers, the release of the highly anticipated Rajinikanth film is being postponed due to some “technical difficulties and other small issues”

The Roof Top Film Festival

rtff.jpgThe April edition of the The Roof Top Film Festival (rttf), organised by a few young film buffs in the city, will take place, probably, on the 21st. The rttf, which is modeled on similar events abroad, is an attempt by those taking part to watch good and rarely seen films as a community and discuss them through the night. You can chip in with, among other things, the choice of movie you want to see, or help out by providing a roof.

Here’s how you do it. The festival has a wiki. It’s here. Once you go to the wiki page, the rest should be self explanatory. This month, the theme would be ‘Actors who became Directors’. Works of actors making early attempts at direction will be showcased.

Already, three movies have been shortlisted. All The Pretty Horses, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Good Night, and Good Luck.

Though, the listed three are Hollywood movies, there is no restriction in language. You can suggest the remaining two movie by using the wiki. We would also like to showcase local talent. If you have a movie or documentary to show, please bring it with you on a DVD or VCD.
In March, the theme was first movies. Ashwin has already blogged about it here at Metblogs.

A word of caution: Do keep an eye on that wiki. The date is tentative, and we are still searching for a roof. Do let us know in the comments section if you have one.

At the Roof Top Film Festival

A very cool thing happened last week, on the terrace of a house tucked away in M.R.C.Nagar, a part of town I associate with school kids and cricket coaching, and the quaintly-retained name of the Quibble Island Cemetery that you see as you’re passing by. The night’s event is called the Roof Top Film Festival. The crowd of about twenty strikes you as motley. Some are standing around and chatting, some are already making use of the recline that the mattresses wonderfully laid out all over the terrace floor provide, some speak in the instantly recognizable argot of the college student.

There are no welcome speeches; introductions are put off for later. The first order of events, as I pleasantly found out, was to switch off the lights and screen a movie. The theme is significant first movies by directors, interspersed with movies by independent, local film-makers. By the time Hard Candy and Blood Simple are through, it’s about 1 A.M., and nobody shows any signs of letting up. Cigarettes are lit, the snacks which have been making appearances through-out give way to full-fledged dinner, a group here and there chats away.

The atmosphere is perceptibly lighter, some of the ice has been broken. A short and a feature, both by Chennai-based film-makers, slot themselves in. Happily, the choice of the next movies is made flexible too – though Annie Hall wasn’t Woody Allen’s first movie, it’s a damn good one, and that should be reason enough to play it.

I thought this several times during that night, and each time I smiled to myself – it doesn’t get much better than settling comfortably into position to watch movies on a screen as the cool night breeze drifts by.

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