Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “Broken Horses”

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This is Vidhu Chopra’s next directorial project and his début Hollywood venture.  The cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Anton Yelchin, Chris Marquette, Maria Velverde, Sean Patrick Flanery and Thomas Jane. The screenplay for the film has been written by Chopra and Abhijat Joshi (of 3 Idiots and Lage Raho Munna Bhai fame).

Rest of the crew includes Oscar nominated Tom Stern (The Hunger Games, Changeling, Million Dollar Baby) as Director of Photography, Toby Corbett (Crossing Over, Bad Lieutenant) as Production Designer and Emmy nominated Mary Vogt (Men In Black 3, Batman Returns) as Costume Designer.

Plot- Set in the shadows of the US-Mexico border gang wars, Broken Horses is an epic thriller about the bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty and the futility of violence.

For more on the film follow the LINK

Richard Brody (The New Yorker) on Chan-wook’s ‘Stoker’

 

I have not seen the film yet but this is an exceptionally well-written piece. A certain Chan-wook fan on the blog had promised to me that she would she would write something on it (though she can educate us on the first paragraph, or more specifically the first sentence, of this article.)- regrettably she has not even seen it till now (probably because she is deeply saddened by the news that Josh Brolin is going to do a number on his Korean counterpart in the Spike Lee directed remake of Chan-wook’s Oldboy!).

 

“Stoker”: The Fears and Fantasies of Everyteen

 

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Posted by Richard Brody

March 5, 2013

LINK

“The proper translation for Freud’s 1909 coinage “Familienroman,” or “family romance”—regarding the child’s liberation fantasy of “the replacement of both parents or of the father alone by grander people”—is actually the “family novel,” and there’s something agreeably, engagingly novelistic about “Stoker,” the South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s incursion into a cushy corner of Connecticut and the tangled-up desires, dreams, memories, and impulses of one long-deluded teen-age girl, India Stoker (played by Mia Wasikowska). What the movie most resembles is a young-adult novel, of the sort that was the subject of controversy a couple of years ago for being “too dark.” For all the movie’s melodramatic twists, hyperbolic doings, and posh surroundings, its substance is very much the fears and fantasies and family loam of Everyteen (in particular, of familiar media versions of teen-age girls).

It starts out as a variation on a theme by Alfred Hitchcock—that of “Shadow of a Doubt” and the arrival of the mysterious, glamorous, seductive, long-absent Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). But where Hitchcock brings the uncle into a stable home that he then sets on its ear, Park and the screenwriter Wentworth Miller (with contributions by Erin Cressida Wilson) catch the family at a moment of utter vulnerability: India has just lost her father (Dermot Mulroney), with whom she was very close. Charlie, whom she had never met, finally shows up at the sumptuous and isolated family estate and ingratiates himself, rapidly and pressingly, with his brother’s widow (Nicole Kidman).

Things are quickly revealed to be even worse than they seem, as Charlie takes decisive steps to edge out of the picture anyone—the longtime housekeeper, an elderly great-aunt (Jacki Weaver)—who comes to doubt his motives. At first, it appears as if he covets both his brother’s wife and her fortune, and India becomes suspicious as well—but she also seems flickeringly jealous, and, where the young woman in Hitchcock kept her incestuous fantasies tightly contained, India avows them with a full-throated ecstasy (achieved, as it were, with yet another Hitchcockian touch). Yet the violence to which Uncle Charlie sinks is doubled by India’s own rough, physical response to a bullying classmate’s crude aggression. It’s hard to avoid spoilers at this point, but let’s leave it at this: India discovers that her parents have been concealing something very important regarding her uncle—and, given her emotionally close relationship with him, something very important about herself, about character traits that are a part of her own blood. When the truth comes out, her world is overturned, her monsters are unleashed, and she finds herself without the solid footing of character, self-knowledge, and moral clarity to fight them”…..

 

Read more HERE

 

 

Apex’s thoughts- From ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ to ‘Cocktail’ –the ‘menage-a- trois’ Bollywood conundrum

 

Apex left it is a comment here but I decided to make it into a separate post.

 

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I have liked both these flicks a lot but let me clarify that neither of them is very ‘significant’ or ‘great’. Infact neither of them are even worthy of lengthy debates and dissection of minutiae. What did catch my attention is the way Cocktail got misinterpreted, dissed and maligned without even being given a chance. Of course, Vicky Christina Barcelona (VCB) wasn’t exactly the same film (though similar and some would be indignified at this comparison), but VCB was spared a similar plight because of the names associated with it ( Woody Allen) and the unmistakable ‘subservience’ of Bollywood commentators about most Hollywood products especially the one with big names. I may come to VCB separately in a different post maybe (if mood permits), but lets tackle the Bollywood variant/manifestation called Cocktail directed by Homi Adjania, co-written and produced by Imtiaz Ali.

What will happen if Woody allen makes a film for Bollywood audience and sensibilities? Not sure of the product but am sure of the result—‘failure’ on the box office front (the same critics who laugh at cocktail may be more lenient there though).
Cocktail brings together some very interesting influences and to appreciate this, it is important to get down from the ‘intellectual high-horses’ and exit atleast briefly the domains of pseudo-intellectual ghettos one finds peace and reassurance in!
Even within this much-maligned ‘rom-com’ llght genre, it is much easier to defend a VCB than a Cocktail! So expectedly, I shall choose the more difficult job. Infact, most will even find this comparison to Allen ‘misplaced’ or even ‘outrageous’. I am aware that some of the readers who requested me to write this are not aware of the conventional ‘Bollywood traditions’. To understand the nuances, to the uninitiated, a prelude of the influences that go into this film—

READ MORE HERE

Image from “The Congress” (Director is Ari Folman of ‘Waltz with Bashir’ fame)

Anurag Kashyap is also one of the co-producers of the film. It premiers at Cannes this year and it seems to be another feather in Kashyap’s cap. Since Waltz With Bashir is one of the finest and profoundest animation films to have ever been made anywhere this one too seems to be a compulsive watch. This part-animation, part live-action film is based on Stanisław Lem’s novel, The Futurological Congress, from 1971

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Synopsis :

Robin Wright (Robin Wright) receives an offer from Miramount to be scanned. In this way, her alias can be freely exploited in all films the Hollywood major decides to produce, even the most downmarket ones, the ones she has turned down until now. For 20 years she disappears to return as guest of honor at the Miramount-Nagasaki Convention in a  transformed world of fantastical appearances.