Anurag Kashyap

Ep 15- Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar- Sanju- Sacred Games


In Episode 15 of the Khandaan Podcast, we switch up our format for a special series: over the next few episodes, we will discuss movies nominated by our audience as their all-time favorites. We begin with 1992’s Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. Starring Aamir Khan, this was the second film made by cousins Aamir and Mansoor Khan, co-starring Ayesha Jhulka, Dipak Tijori, Pooja Bedi, and the always reliable Khulbhushan Kharbanda among others.

We are joined this week by The Guardian’s Mike McCahill, who was watching this movie for the very first time whereas Asim, Sujoy and Amrita grew up with this film and its soundtrack as a constant in their younger lives. This movie is also rich in Bollywood trivia, some of which might be found here in the reunion staged by Anupama Chopra and Rajeev Masand (yes, this is the same video that almost drove Amrita mad.)

We also discuss the brand-new release Sanju, the whitewash special directed by Raju Hirani starring an eerily excellent Ranbir Kapoor, who rebounds in style from a couple of years of less-than-successful films. Co-starring Sonam Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Karishma Tanna, Anushka Sharma, and Dia Mirza, this movie should have been a knockout but sadly isn’t.

Lastly, we look at Sacred Games, the first Indian original commissioned by Netflix. Starring Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead, ably supported by a large cast of pitch perfect actors (including Kubra Sait, Radhika Apte, Neeraj Kabi, Jitendra Joshi and others), it’s based on the Vikram Chandra novel and adapted to screen by Varun Grover, Smita Singh (not Bansal as Amrita says in the podcast, sorry), and Vasant Nath. Co-directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, this series sparked quite a bit of conversation.

Subscribers are reminded that Khandaan is currently accepting nominations for our special run. Please send your suggestions for movies of the Khans that you feel we must watch to upodcasting@gmail.com.

Note: The Khandaan podcast is an interactive experience! Please click below to vote for the next movie you think we should feature. For episode 16, we have Shah Rukh Khan’s early era.

*Polls close on Wednesday 18th June

Our awesome theme song was created by mash up king Dj Shai Guy!

Follow him on Bombay Funkadelic Facebook page or twitter so you can attend his unforgettable Bollywood parties all around the UK as well as his awesome mash up mixes that are regularly featured on BBC Asia.

 

Monsoon Shootout, Bombay Talkies to bookend Fourth London INDIAN Film Festival

What an amazing line up that LIFF has in stall for London Audiences! Some of these movies you won’t be getting a chance to see in the UK anywhere else.

The London Indian Film Festival will be running from the 18th to the 25th of July this year.

Here is the full press release:

Amit Kumar’s trigger happy Monsoon Shootout will be the red carpet UK Premiere opening night film of the Fourth annual London INDIAN Film Festival (July 18-25), Together with O2. This film is a version of Sliding Doors meets a hyper-real cop thriller, which will have you on the edge of your seats. Closing the festival will be a special UK premiere of favourite Bombay Talkies with four magical stories by acclaimed directors Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap exploring 100 years of Indian cinema, studded with top independent and Bollywood stars. Both films had a triumphant reception at the recent Cannes Film Festival and special guests are expected to both screenings.

Now Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema, the London Indian Film Festival returns to the Capital, celebrating the exploding movement of Indian Independent cinema and bringing to UK audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of India’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of India and the subcontinent today, in all its diversity. For the first time, the festival is going on tour to Bradford and Glasgow.

The festival will stretch citywide, opening in the West End at the historic Cineworld Haymarket, and continuing at BFI Southbank, Cineworld cinemas, Shaftesbury Avenue, Wood Green, Wandsworth, Staples Corner, and the O2 in Royal Greenwich, the Peckamplex and ICA near the Pall Mall, so there is a screening near you, traversing iconic sights and sounds of the city of London like a Monopoly game board.

The centrepiece ‘In conversation’ on Saturday 20th July at the BFI Southbank, will be with Actor Irrfan Khan, one of the very few Indians to straddle Hollywood, British and Indian cinema, talking to  award winning director of Senna, Asif Kapadia. Khan’s memorable film roles include BAFTA winner, The Warrior and Oscar winners, Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi and Hollywood biggies like The Amazing Spider-Man, The Darjeeling Limited and The Namesake, and Bollywood hits Life In A Metro, Mumbai Meri Jaan, New York and Paan Singh Tomar.

As well as films in the Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi languages, and our first Pakistani film Josh, in Urdu, we will be having a rare ‘Life in Pictures’ Masterclass, by the great South Indian Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, on 19th July at BFI Southbank.

London Indian Film Festival also has films and events for a wide range of audiences and includes industry events at BAFTA, exploring UK and Indian subcontinent co-productions. The winner of the annual Satyajit Ray short film competition will be announced at the end of the festival at The Nehru Centre in Mayfair.

We are delighted to announce that our Major sponsors this year will include O2 International Sim, and the festival is also grant funded for the first time, by the BFI Film Festival Fund.

Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director comments, “We are delighted that the festival is growing from strength to strength. If you want to find out more about South Asian cinema come and soak yourself in a week of magnificent films in London, or catch the festival tour in Bradford and Glasgow.”


For more information on the festival please visit: www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

Join us on social media: www.facebook.com/LondonIndianFilmFestival & www.twitter.com/LoveLIFF

London Indian Film Festival is supported by partners including: O2 International Sim, BFI, Satyajit Ray Foundation, Cineworld, Grange Hotels, Zee TV, BBC London and BBC Asian Network.

@asimburney

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The 4th London INDIAN Film Festival Launches in July

We’ve been fortunate enough to have been covering the London Indian Film Festival for the past couple of years and we just received exciting news that in July the festivities in London are starting again!

Previous years we chatted with Abhinay Deo and Imran Khan for Delhi Belly as well as Anurag Kashyap for Gangs Of Wasseypur!

Although the full program isn’t out yet. At least we can mark down our calendar with this press release:

Now Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema London Indian Film Festival returns to the capital celebrating the exploding movement of Indian Independent cinema. The fourth annual festival will run from 18-25 July, bringing to UK audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of India’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of the Indian subcontinent today, in all its diversity.

The festival will stretch city wide, opening in the West End at the Cineworld Haymarket and continue at BFI Southbank, Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue, Wood Green, Wandsworth, the O2 and ICA. For the second time the festival is also teaming up with the Tate Modern.

The London Indian Film Festival also has films and events for a wide range of audiences and includes industry events at BAFTA, exploring Indian/UK co-production and specially commissioned music and performance pieces.

A diverse range of World and UK Premieres will be screened including red carpet opening and closing nights of the hottest previews.

The latest confirmation is a centrepiece master class by actor Irrfan Khan, one of the very few Indians to straddle Hollywood, British and Indian cinema. Khan has come to world attention over the last 25 years with an impressive range of roles from under-dogs to action heroes, long distance runners and corporate megalomaniacs.
His memorable film roles include Oscar winners Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire and Salaam Bombay, BAFTA winner The Warrior, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Bollywood hits Maqbooland Paan Singh Tomar. The festival will be honouring this versatile actor with a dedicated evening at the BFI Southbank on Saturday 20th July.

The London Indian Film Festival’s full programme will be released on 18 June.

We are delighted to announce that our major sponsors this year will include O2 International Sim, and the festival is also grant supported for the first time with Lottery funding through the BFI’s Film Festival Fund.

Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director says:

“It’s great to be working on the zeitgeist of new Indian cinema and we aren’t just showing Indian films for Indian

audiences, but kicking open the door to the rich diversity of independent cinema emerging across the Indian

subcontinent today. These films are accessible to everyone! It’s also exciting to see some of the best of the

filmmakers we have helped champion, now starting to be recognised on the world stage, where they belong. We

are very proud to be showcasing these new films here, first, in London, surely the world’s number one city of

culture, style and innovation”.

For more information on the festival please visit: www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

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Anurag Kashyap chats with Upodcast at LIFF 2012

Anurag Kashyap, the firebrand director, was at the London Indian film Festival which is going on this week and took the time to speak to Upodcast! Sujoy discusses the differences between his brother and his approach to masala cinema, the music of Gangs Of WasseyPur and much more in a pretty short chat!

The movie as well as the Festival which runs until 3rd of July has been setting the city in a blaze of excitement with celebrity appearances and the whose who of Londontown.

You can head over to the Official website for more information as well as the programme of amazing movies they are showcasing by clicking here.

Here is an excerpt from the Press Team about what went down at the premiere!

The third edition of the hugely popular London Indian Film Festival (June 20-July 3) got off to an explosive start with the sold out UK premiere of director Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. It was standing room only at the Cineworld Haymarket as film buffs from across the world jostled for space at the glittering red carpet arrivals. Anurag Kashyap arrived looking natty in a Narendra Kumar creation. Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee, whose film Dekh Indian Circus plays June 23 at the Watermans Arts Centre and June 24 at BFI Southbank, glittered in a Khubsoorat outfit as did Rang Rasiya (Colours of Passion) stunner Ferena Wazeir.

The celebrity wave continued with acclaimed British Asian actors Riz Ahmed (Ill Manors, Trishna), Upen Patel (Namastey London) and Shiv Jhala (whose Arjun & Alison will enjoy its World Premiere at the festival on June 30), walking the red carpet and obliging screaming fans with photo opportunities. Directors Asif Kapadia (Senna), Michael Winterbottom (Trishna) Q (Gandu), Sidarth Sharma (Arjun & Alison), Devanand Shanmugam (whose Tooting Broadway will World Premiere at the festival on June 22) and Sarovar Banka (A Decent Arrangement) were just some of the high-octane talent present on the occasion.

Bollywood royalty arrived in the shape of Pamela Chopra, the legendary Yash Chopra‘s wife and the Associate Producer of one of Indian cinema‘s all time biggest hits Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Anushka Sharma who is currently filming in London for Yash Chopra’s next, along with Shah Rukh Khan, sneaked into the cinema anonymously. She enjoyed Gangs of Wasseypur enormously and is looking forward to working with Anurag in Bombay Velvet.

 Anurag Kashyap said: “The London Indian Film Festival is lucky for me. My Dev D played in year one. That Girl In Yellow Boots premiered in year two and got UK distribution and now I’ve opened the festival. It’s a great platform.”

Festival Director Cary Sawhney said: “We are delighted that this year’s London Indian Film Festival has opened to such a tremendous response. We have a diverse range of events scheduled for the next two weeks, including the brilliant collaboration of director Q’s Gandu Circus along with Susheela Raman and the Asian Dub Foundation’s Steve Chandra Savale at BFI Southbank on June 21, and many World and UK film premieres. And for those who couldn’t get tickets for Gangs of Wasseypur, there are two more screenings scheduled on June 28 at the ICA and on June 30 at Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue.”

Here is a short podcast interview with our good friend Sujoy Singha (@9e3k)

Let us know what you thought of our chat in the comment section below!

@asimburney

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Gangs of WasseyPur Review At LIFF 2012

Right from the 6 minutes uncut first shot which has enough guns blazing to make Tarantino proud, Gangs of Wasseypur (GoW) sets out on a journey that will leave you gasping, shaken and stirred to the core. We are thrown right in the middle of the action, in the smokey and dark alleys, and you feel that despite of its length, Director Anurag Kashyap’s two-parter 5 hour long gangster magnum-opus, has a kineetic sense of urgency. Set in the land of coal mafia hub Wasseypur and Dhanbad, GoW  is rocking, grim, real and yet poetic somehow. It deserves all the praise that it has garnered from every possible film festival out there, to the last drop. I was at the London Indian Film Festival Premiere of the first part, which sees the rise of Sardar Khan and the genesis of the coal mafia of Wasseypur, and what I witnessed, might just be one of the best works from the auteur.

 

The story of GoW is nothing less than a Greek tragedy; immersed in revenge, betrayal, loyalty, and blood – lots of it. Spanning across generations, and overflowing with characters which will leave an indelible impression on your minds, this epic gangster story begins with Shahid Khan, who is oucast from Wasseypur by the Qureshis. He leaves for Dhanbad to work for the British coal mines. Post independence, these coal mines become the property of Ramadhir Singh. Shahid Khan, being the hot-blooded Pathan, plans on taking over Ramadhir Singh, and is murdered by Ramadhir Singh. Shahid’s son – young Sardar Khan, shaves his head, vowing not to grow his hair until he has Ramadhir Singh destroyed. And this sets the whole course for a story so bizarrely engulfed with bloodthirsty elements, that you’re compelled to wonder if the events have been exaggerated to some extent. Director Kashyap’s movie has no disclaimers stating the events depicted are fictitious, although he does point out that some timelines, and characters have been juggled around to make it more cinematic.

 

In a gangster film, you might assume that the males would be the ones who cast a shadow, and the women are left in the corner, beaten up and shut down. There are only four female characters in this male-club. But even then, when the males are comparable to ruthless animals, the female characters sometimes outperform their male counterparts, with the aid of a broom, or a ladle. Nagma, Sardar Khan’s first wife is the strongest of the lot. She’s the mother of four, and although she might be wearing the compromising wife exterior, her core is of a relentless fighter. Played brilliantly by Richa Chadda (Dolly from Oye Lucky Lucky Oye), we find shades of the Nirupa Roy mother to even a “HunterWali“. Sardar’s second wife Durga, played by Reemma Sen, is the Bengali sexy siren in the tale, y’know – deep neck blouse, sari drapes and all that. She can be a mute at times, and she belatedly contributes to the other branch of the Khan family, quite surprisingly called – “Definitive” Khan (to be played by writer Zeishan Quadri in part 2).

 

Amongst the males, of course male lead Manoj Bajpai stands out as the centre-stage character Sardar Khan. Bajpai is flawless, and breathes life into the persona of Sardar Khan, a man who always has sex on his mind, does not flinch a bit when it comes to stabbing someone on and on. And yet, he fears going back to his wife’s nagging and beating. Tigmanshu Dhulia (director of Haasil and Paan Singh Tomar) makes his onscreen debut as the older Ramadhir Singh and gives a commendable performance. There is not a single note of artificiality in his portrayal, and his transformation from the coal mine contractor to corrupt minister, and staying true to his gangster roots is all reflected in his speech and mannerisms. But the true icing on the cake is the brief round-up of the story of Sardar Khan’s second son, Faizal Khan, played brilliantly by Nawazzudin Shaikh. Faizal will be the focal point of part 2, and I cannot wait to see where his story takes us.

 

Faizal’s courtship with Mohsina might just be the most naturally funny and romantic scene that has been on the Indian screenspace in recent times. And with Mohsina and Faizal, we also get introduced to one of the omnipresent characters of the movie – Bollywood. Throughout the narrative, Bollywood serves as a quite witness to the unfolding of the events, often present as scraps of posters on walls, or tunes on a radio in a tea-stall. From “Trishul” to “Kasam Paida Karne Waale Ki” to “Maine Pyar Kiya“, the influence and reach of Bollywood almost aids as an indicator of the shifting times. Amidst all the gun-cultured gangsters, like in Ishaqzaade, we do get a taste of rural entertainment as well. But instead of a gyrating Gauhar Khan, we have a Yashpal Sharma cameo singing “Salaam-E-Ishq” in both male and female voices, accompanied by the world’s most horrible orchestra ever. Just cinematic gold!

 

No review of GoW is complete without mentioning the cracking soundtrack by Sneha Khanwalkar. From the folk sounds which capture the rural backdrop of Dhanbad and Wasseypur, to the moody tunes of Kehke Loonga, to the “Super-Heroic” Jiya Ho Bihar Ke Lala, the soundtrack offers adrenaline shots at regular intervals. Hunter is already a runaway hit, and deservingly so. Offering the more poetic side to the violence, and the ongoing gut slashing, is the background score which switches from western spaghetti acoustic guitars and trombones, to metal riffs in a flash. Take a bow Ms Khanwalkar. I am ready to get drowned in the second soundtrack CD for Part 2.

 

To conclude, go watch this epic of a movie, and be a witness to the unveiling of a story of Mahabharata proportions. The language is colourful (like in a X-Rated way) and the humour will leave you giggling. The violence, though is not gory (most of it is suggestive), yet is shot in a continuous format, and is more effective. The cinematography by Rajeev Ravi leaves you with numerous painting shots, and I cannot say any further about how much I loved this movie without revealing any further plot details (although the subtitles were a bit disappointing – they translated “Saale” as fucker). We have been promised a climactic showdown in Part 2, which releases in a month. And I’ll definitely be back to the land of Wasseypur, hungry for more.

 

Verdict: A Slashing Five Star Out of Five

 

This review was written by Sujoy Singha also known as @9e3K on twitter, to check out more of his amazing work, head over to his blogs OneKnightStand and BollywoodLife

 

Gangs of Wasseypur’s World Premiere Opens to Packed Houses At 65th Cannes Film Festival

The movie we are licking our lips to watch like a cat looking at a goldfish in a bowl, with the bowl being the Cannes film festival is Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur. On a charming offensive since Girl With The Yellow Boots Anurag’s profile has steadily been increasing as a filmmaker to watch out for more so for the western audiences that weren’t aware of his excellent previous work.

Here are some shots from Cannes that we hadn’t posted yet and as well some of the press clippings:

 

 

“Today, Tuesday 23rd May saw eager crowds line the streets outside the world renowned JW Marriot for the exclusive world premiere of Gangs Of Wasseypur, the first mainstream Bollywood film to be selected for the Director’s Fortnight.  Onlookers screamed as the Belles of Bollywood sashayed down the red carpet and dazzled the fans with their jaw-dropping floor length gowns. Once again the supporters of the most highly anticipated Indian film of the 65th Cannes Film Festival proudly donned their statement red gamchchas as they took their seats in a fully packed 800 strong capacity screening.

Actresses Huma Quereshi, Richa Chadda and Reema Sen, and Bollywood’s only female music director, the 28 year old stunner Sneha Khanwalkar, were joined by the film’s acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap and the male leads in the film Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, known as two of India’s most critically acclaimed actors.

 

Gangs Of Wasseypur, a mainstream Indian film, combines clever filmmaking with a powerful, high-concept and entertaining plot, with revenge at its core. Accentuated by strong performances by a talented and eclectic cast comprising of Hindi cinemas finest, Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Richa Chadda, the film is cleverly told in two parts. Gangs Of Wasseypur represents the brave new Indian cinema breaking the cliches and conventions, something which Anurag Kashyap has come to be known for. The film is presented by one of India’s leading integrated film companies, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and produced by AKFPL.”

 


If you haven’t checked out the awsome trailer for Gangs of WasserPur, then here it is again!

 


@asimburney

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Anurag Kashyap’s Peddlers in the International Critics’ Week, Cannes 2012

Anurag Kashyap has been firing on all guns lately, after Cannes he will be flying over to London for the premier of Gangs of WasseyPur at LIFF but before that his production house will be competing for Camera d’Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2012. Directed by first time director Vasan Bala, Peddlers has been selected to represent India as the official selection in competition at the Cannes Critics’ Week.

Here are some excerpts from the Press Release by Eros:

The film is about Mumbai inhabited by millions, a lady on a mission, a man living a lie and an aimless drifter and how they collide. Some collisions are of consequence, some not, but either ways the city moves on.

Announcing Peddlers nomination, Charles Tesson, Artistic Director – Critics’ Week said, “Peddlers answers our prayers to India Cinema. Indian cinema is now fearless. Rejoice!”

Peddlers is the first Hindi language film to be nominated in this Critics’ Week section, chosen out of the 1200 films viewed by the Selection Committee. Founded in 1962, Cannes Critics’ Week is the oldest parallel competitive section of the Cannes Film Festival. It showcases first and second feature films by Directors from all over the world and only selects seven feature films each year. It has a long-established tradition of discovering new talents including Bernardo Bertolucci, Ken Loach, Wong Kar-wai, Jacques Audiard, Arnaud Desplechin, Gaspar Noé and François Ozon.

Vasan Bala has been Anurag Kashyap’s Assistant Director for Dev D, That Girl in Yellow Boots and also the Associate Director of Trishna by Michael Winterbottom starring Frieda Pinto and Riz Ahmed.

Anything Kashyap is bound to be interesting cinematically, so we’re very much looking forward to both Peddlers and Gangs of WasseyPur.

@asimburney


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