Finding Mathias Duplessy

Duplessy playing the morin khuur

Duplessy playing the morin khuur

There are too few French artists in Indian cinema not to talk about them, especially when these artists are talented and the film worth having a look at.
The man is Mathias Duplessy. With his Rajasthani partner Mukhtiyar Ali, they composed part of Finding Fanny soundtrack, a film directed by Homi Hadajania ( Cocktail ), shot in English and starring Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor.

In the huge maze of Youtube, I found this unexpected song which gives you so much Ding Dong happiness that you feel you can live forever.

But writing about Mathias Duplessy would take years. Finding Fanny is a needle in the haystack of his career. His web site is full of his compositions. Their common point is great diversity. Mixture of Jazz, Blues, Gipsy, Asian, Arabic hints which is certainly the reason why he is so often offered to work for foreign films, documentaries and commercials.
Each piece of his music is a new journey. The World turns in his magical hands, playing from the Japanese flute to the Morin khuur ( a Mongolian musical instrument).
In India, he took part in the background music of Peepli (Live), produced by Aamir Khan and that you can watch on Dailymotion, but shhh, that’s a secret! In this movie, an indebted farmer decides to commit suicide to save his farm and his family. Diving into cruel real India, you also meet great actors such as Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Naseeruddin Shah.
I could also talk to you about Prashant Nairs Delhi in a Day, or Mumbai’s King by Manjeet Singh… All those films that one misses, gold-fruited shrubs hidden by Bollywood’s concrete skyscrapers.

But really it is too difficult to find Mathias Duplessy! The man has no geographical limit, no musical border. My music is a journey in space and history, he says. His art gathers all the universe, all the cultures, all gods, all sounds…Nothing seems to stop him in his quest for plural sharing.

Also read:  Wikipedia   Mondomix  M.Duplessy’s site

Categories: Cinema, Music | Tags: , | Leave a comment

BOLLYWOOD SHAKER: Rainbow Shot

Which Indian actor will you drink after this colourful recipe?

You need:

… a few glasses of Rainbow shot,

+

half a bottle of Puff Daddy…

shaker-puff daddy

+

..a pinch of Harry Potter…

shaker_harry-potter

 +

and a laaaarge spurt of Care Bear!

shaker_bisou

YOU SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE!!!

shaker

AND YOU GET:

RANVEER SINGH!!!!

RANVEER SINGH!!!!

Categories: Fun! | Leave a comment

Adalaj Step-Well: A Sandstone Jewel near Ahmedabad

Adalaj Stepwell

Adalaj Step-well

I stayed for three weeks in Gujarat last summer. A place I wouldn’t have had the idea to go to if I hadn’t had my friend Shubhra living in Ahmedabad. She took me to a must-see: Adalaj Step-well.

Gujarat is the state of step-wells; they call them « Vav ». Basically, step-wells are water tanks which collect the rain. The water was used for anything in the village, from cooking to religious rituals. There are about 120 step-wells in Gujarat. They were meeting places where rich and poor, men and women, villagers and caravan travellers went to, to get water, to enjoy the coolness of the depth or to pray under the carvings of hindu gods.

The vav I saw in Adalaj was one of them. You have to imagine that construction as a kind of underground five-storey building ending in a sort of staircase which gets deeper en deerper and which is decorated with hindu and muslim carvings: flowers and geometrical symbols for Islam, gods, animals and people in their daily lives for Hinduism and Jainism. The more you walk down, the darker and cooler it is. The water is still, mysterious, silverlike, and glittering with lucky coins at the bottom.

Shubhra told me the interesting legend of its construction and this legend itself epitomizes the usual Hindu-Islamic mixture you often find in Indian architecture:

In the late 15th century, a king called Rana Veer Singh decided to have a well built for his people who suffered from drought. The construction started but unfortunately, muslim Mahmud Begada, attacked Rana’s army and killed him. The muslim conqueror had taken Rana’s land but he also wanted to take his widow Rani. She didn’t refuse the proposal but she asked Mahmud to finish the step-well before the wedding. Once Mahmud had granted her wish, she knew her people was safe and to remain faithful to her dead husband, she ran to the step-well and threw herself from the top.

Now, even if the presence of the tourists inside the well deprives you of enjoying the freshness and the silence of olden days, the park surrounding the monument is the perfect place to have a nap under a frangipani tree or to have a picnic on the lawn. However, don’t think you could flirt with your sweetheart between the twisted arms of the large banyan because we saw on our way back, a group a policemen, sticks in hands, going to chase the shameless lovers!

A few pictures:

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MTI playing the full with a broom...

MTI playing the rani with…a broom…

 

Hindu carvings

Hindu carvings

Banyan tree in the park

Frangipani tree in the park

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Categories: A Piece of Myself, Gujarat, India in pictures, Voyages | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Six Pack Dictatorship…

For a few days, the whole Bollywood world has been buzzing after the publishing of this photo from Farah Khan’s next release Happy New Year:

A pack of six Khan...

A pack of six Khans…

Shah Rukh Khan proudly showed this on Twitter, adding with his usual false-humility that he was shy speaking about his body. He doesn’t seem shy about showing it!

However, this muscle trend is not new! It was launched two decades ago by Sanjay Dutt, but it is Salman Khan who really built his success on weight-training machines and became the godfather of body-building. Now, the 6 pack virus has spread in B-town: the stronger, the sexier, the more hairless, the better!

The web-debate is raging on Twitter, facebook and other, to know if Shah Rukh’s 6, 8 or 10 packs (whatever!) are real! Fake, photoshops, cocktails of anabolic steroids, hours and hours of weight-lifting, will-power, Divine grace, everybody is speculating but the only thing that everybody is sure about is that Shah Rukh Khan has changed beyond recognition!

Strangely enough, the fans are dazzled with admiration, very few seem to be bothered by this superficial craziness. As for me; let’s be franck; King Khan’s new body reminds me of a dead cockroach lying on its back under a kitchen cupboard!

Between you and me, I don’t understand that excitement for cheese graters! While young wolves such as Varun Dhawan, Ranveer Singh or Tiger Shroff can show off their oily chests (and the rest!) onscreen, older actors -we won’t call them « veteran actors » yet, they’re so moving trying hard to look like still virgin Adonis – desperately busy themselves turning their middle-aged love handles into Mr India’s bumpy torsos!

Yuk!

High Tec Body!

The result is becoming pathetic: some actors jeopardize their health in the gyms – are Hrithik and Salman’s serious brain problems a mysterious coincidence? – and filmsmakers make fools of them by using softwares enabled to make them look like Hulk after his transformation! By the way, I won’t talk to you about Aamir Khan in Ghajini, I prefer to forget this puzzling mistake.

Well, what else can I say? These men that one calls « spornosexual » (I let you analize this word by yourselves! Hum…) have now invaded Bollywood films! Although some actors still resist the fashion and make acting their priority; we must face the facts, sisters; we have found serious competitors in the race for diets, waxing and beauty tricks!

Categories: Cinema, Society | Leave a comment

Shoebite: Bachchan’s Unseen Masterpiece

Shoe_BiteHave you seen Shoebite, by Shoojit Sircar?

I haven’t.

Nobody has.

The plot is simple: On The Times of India, I found this very short summary! “Shoebite” traces the life of John Pereira, a man in his early 60s who sets out on a journey of self-discovery and penance that leads him to rediscover his love for his wife in the fag end of their marriage.”

I must admit that these only few words as well as the presence of Amitabh-ji in that film were enough to made me thrill with excitement! A road-movie for love! Life is a route scattered with bumps, holes, bends and obstacles. Shoebite…lovebite…  I was already dreaming of Great Bachchan walking on the difficult path of existentialism! Indian landscapes… Lonely adventures…

 But it would be too good to be true!

The film was shot in 2008 and has never released!

The reason?

This is due to a sad story of rights. Once the film was made, UTV Motion Pictures – the Indian production company – realized that the film couldn’t go out because the 20th Century Fox had opposed:

“Fox says the rights are with them, and they wish to make the film with Denzel Washington, but much before that we had already completed the film on the assurance that the rights were cleared.”

(Amitabh Bachchan explains in his blog/ quoted on Gomolo.com )

Shyamalan2

Night Shyamalan

 Actually, the original script, untitled Labor of Love, was written by director Manoj Night Shyamalan in 1993 and sold to the Fox in 2001! Can you imagine? Mister Shyamalan! The Sixth-sense-guy, the UFO of Hollywood, this accursed genius whose movies always twist smartly between the blockbuster masterpiece and the art-house film failure – or  between the blockbuster failure and the art-house masterpiece… !

 Unfortunately, at that time, Fox didn’t want the young American director to achieve this project. Thus, 13 years later, the situation is more or less stuck, an Indian film has been shot with an Indian superstar, Sircar and UTV will be allowed to release Shoebite only once the Hollywood movie is out!

 Despair and anger:

 You can easily imagine Shoojit Sircar’s despair and anger!

“Our film is like our child and I feel even production house should treat them the same way. For me, ‘Shoebite’ not getting release is like a miscarriage. I had cried a lot and I was very upset about it,” he said on The Times of India.com

shoebite

Sircar and Bachchan on the shooting of Shoebite

And you can imagine my own despair!

Because, you see, I’m part of these women who swoon as soon as they see the brushy chest of the Angry Young Man or the pepper-and-salt beard of Big B.! I was so overwhelmed by Black,- the real masterpiece of Sanjay Leela Bhansali in which Mr Bachchan plays the role of a man suffering from Alzheimer disease– that I felt extremely frustrated when I realized I would not see Shoebite before I become the heroine of a Karan Johar film!

Film Black with Rani Mukherjee

Film Black with Rani Mukherjee

 A glimmer of hope:

 Currently, a glimmer of hope seems to be rising in the sky of the Indian cinema. Rumours say that Shyamalan would be working on his script… but I am a little doubtful…

“(…) a spokesperson from the Hollywood studio says, “We don’t have the film on our official slate this year but if Shyamalan is working on it, it would be great!”  (Mid-Day.com) I’m sorry but that’s the kind of statement which means everything and nothing!

 In the meanwhile you can go and read more information about Shyamalan’s story where many details are given. (eg. Scriptshadow) In the American version, the main character is called Maurice and he walks through the USA of course, to show how much he loves his wife, whereas she actually died in a car crash.

  So now, what we can only do is to keep on hoping and say: Show Must go On!

What about watching Shyamalan’s After Earth starring Will Smith?

Sircar’s Madras Café is going out on the 23rd of August. It seems to be a marvel! I find John Abraham better and better!

 

A. Bachchan in Shoebite

A. Bachchan in Shoebite

Categories: Cinema | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Harry Potter on the Walls of Old Bikaner…

Strange sight…

Categories: Cinema, India in pictures, Voyages | Tags: | Leave a comment

Le Khan Festival

French Version here.

AAAAA_Bombay_Talkies_2013_Film

 

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Raghunat Manet at the Institut du Monde Arabe: Shiva Dances in Jannah!

Mughul India (Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris)

Mughul India (Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris)

Raghunath Manet is one of the greatest Indian dancers in the world. He made Bharatha Natyam popular and opened its door to male dancers. He is also a choreographer, a veena player ( it’s a kind of huge lute that you can see in the photo above).

Despite his fame in France, (he was knighted by the French government and took part in many French shows), Raghunat Manet is still a mystery. How old is he? Is he married? Where does he live? Is he a God? Is he a man? Difficult to really know…

It was the first time I had seen him on stage. It was at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.

You may ask: But what was an Indian man doing in a place dedicated to the Arabic culture?

Actually, the performance was called « Mughul India » and Raghunath Manet was not on his own on stage. Tunisian violin player Jasser Haj Youssef was there to collaborate with the amazing dancer. I must admit the two men do not have the same physical appearance and you may wonder what on Earth they can do together! Actually, as soon as Manet touches the strings of his veena and Youssef joins him by making his violin weep, it is quite magical and enchanting!

Jasser Haj Youssef  Raghunath Manet

However, what I preferred was the dancing parts. Raghunat Manet is both graceful and virile. His face has determined and godlike expressions and his gestures are broad and generous. It is a real pleasure for people who like dance…- and the others! – and this show really made me feel like seeing other performances like that.

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Click here to watch a report on Youtube and you’ll see that Manet speaks French perfectly!

Categories: Dance, Museum, Shows | 1 Comment

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