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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Edition 26: Bollywood…For the sake of posterity!

The gun-totting Shashi Kapoor with his hooked nose, macho Dharmendra sporting a double chin, Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man, and a svelte Nargis with her exaggerated pout.

These superstars might not have been flattered by their yesteryear posters but what was once considered cheap publicity for films in India is now coveted art in cities like Paris, Toronto, London and Berlin.
In romantic Paris, ambassador cars emblazoned with colourful posters of Bollywood flicks whizz past attracting curious onlookers, while London, Tokyo and Berlin all have stores which sell such posters.

"Most hand-painted posters we get here are done by artists in Mumbai. Since the market for such posters in India is limited, we are trying to promote the art in France," says Sophie Legoubin, whose Limona Studio sells customised painted posters in Paris.

Legoubin who visits India frequently along with her friend Sarah Loosdregt picks up the posters from artists in Mumbai and sells them in Paris for an average of 500 euros each.

"The accomplishment of these painters is amazing. Recently, in Lille (in France), a few film poster painters from India worked with French graffiti artists and the outcome was mind-boggling. It's too bad that this art is shaky in India," says Loosdregt.

She points out that markets for poster art is stronger in countries like France, Spain, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia than in India where the handpainted posters, hugely popular in the 50s and 60s have given way to those printed using digital technologies.

"The major problem was that we painters weren't united. We had no unions. When digital technology threatened our livelihood we accepted our lot without a fight. Many of us were forced to switch our profession overnight," says Vijay Singh, a Delhi-based artist who gave up painting posters a decade ago.

His brother Ranjeet, however, chose to brave the rough tide. "This is my life. I won't give up that easily. Although my work today is limited to painting hoardings during election campaigns, painting is my passion. I still have a lot of tourists who come to me to get their portraits done with the typical film backdrop," says Ranjeet.

Now, A comedy On Bin Laden!


Young filmaker Abhishek Sharma is coming with 'Tere Bin Laden' (Without you, Laden), a satire on Osama bin Laden.

It might sound incongruous for an Indian debutant director to dabble in a global theme like a satire on the world's most wanted terrorist, but Sharma is confident of pulling it off.

'Post-9/11, I wanted to react to the incident as an artist to express what happened after the terror attack - the world got divided into two parts. But I could never find a subject to express myself,' Sharma, 32, told IANS.

'I thought it would be better if I tell my story in a comic way rather in a serious tone because sometime comedy cuts across better...'

The story centres on a Pakistani reporter, Ali Hasan, who wants to go to America but runs into visa restrictions post-9/11. So Ali is stuck in Karachi working with a small shady news channel and covering trivial news when he bumps into Noora, a poultry farmer who looks like Osama.

So, he gives him an Osama makeover, tapes his speech to make his way to America.

A post-graduate in design and direction from the National School of Drama (NSD) in Delhi in 2001, Sharma did theatre in Delhi before coming to Mumbai, where he joined Adlabs as studio executive.

Kareena-Bipasha Are Friends!

Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu are friends again. The two had a bitter past after they engaged into some mud-slinging in public not that long ago.

But, recently at the IIFA awards, the two top Bollywood ladies decided to bury the hatchet. Actually, it seems it was Kareena who made the first move. Apparently, Kareena invited Bipasha over to her suite and the two bonded like they had never faced problems with each other ever.

With Bipasha and Kareena joining hands, it must ring alarm bells for their competitors who have enjoyed the cold war between the two beauties till now.

‘Idol’ Route To Promotion For Raavan


Abhishek Bachchan is planning to take the small screen route to promote his forthcoming film 'Raavan'.

He will use Sony TV's music reality show 'Indian Idol 5' as a platform to create awareness about the movie which has been directed by Mani Ratnam.

The actor will shoot Wednesday with the show's judges - Anu Malik, Salim Merchant and Sunidhi Chauhan - and contestants for the special episode, said a source.

The episode featuring Abhishek will be aired next week.

In 'Raavan', releasing June 18, Abhishek plays the negative role of Beeran and has teamed up with wife Aishwarya Rai and southern star Vikram. The film also stars Ravi Kishan and Govinda.

Earlier, Abhishek appeared on Colors' daily show 'Balika Vadhu' to promote his film 'Drona', which bombed at the box office.

Before Abhishek, 'Indian Idol 5' became a promotion platform for 'Badmaash Company', 'Housefull' and 'Raajneeti'.

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