Multilingual Previews, Reviews, Interviews & Point of Views...of/for/with/about various products, movies, books, people, things & events...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quentin Tarantino’s "Kill Bill" Inspired from "Aalavandhan" aka "Abhay"

Note: This post shows the power of South Indian Cinema and the reason why I respect them. So, Bollywood fans, please maintain distance as I don’t need any Faltu comments. Thanks.

Kamal Haasan has inspired many actors and filmmakers in India and that is an open secret. But now, top Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino admitted that he was inspired by the Kamal Hassan.
Quentin Tarrantino

American cinema’s most influential academy award winner director, Quentin Tarantino, who directed many cult movies like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill – 1 & 2, Reservoir Dogs and Inglorious Basterds, has admitted in a conversation with one of our own genius director Anurag Kashyap that a whole sequence in one of his film is inspired by a Tamil film.

Renowned director Quentin Tarantino saw an animated action sequence in a 2001 film which happened to be Kamal Hassan starrer Tamil-Hindi film “Aalavandhan” aka “Abhay”, directed by Suresh Krishna, wherein Kamal played a double role of twin brothers. Taking inspiration from that animated fight scene in the film, Quentin conceived a major sequence in his famous cult classic “Kill Bill” released in 2003-04 (in two parts).
Kill Bill - 2
Anurag Kashyap said, “Yes, this was first told to me by the Sight and Sound critic Naman Ramchandran. I didn't believe it. So, When I met Quentin at Venice I asked him, “Is it true that the ‘Manga’ sequence in Kill Bill was inspired from an Indian film?” He excitedly replied, “Yes, I saw this Indian serial-killer film which showed violence as animated.”

Anurag Kashyap explains, “There is only one Indian serial-killer film which was made before Kill Bill where violence was animated, and that was Abhay.”

Kamal, while accepting Tarantino's compliment, said in an interview: "When I did the animation action sequence 12 years ago it was seen as self-indulgent and odd by a lot of people. Now that it has been endorsed by a filmmaker of such brilliance, critics will be kinder to some of the things I attempt in my films."

How Shameful!!! This shows hypocrisy by Indian media / critics. Abhay’s anime sequences were innovative but lambasted by critics, and Kill Bill was called high on style and a ‘lesson for constructive and creative storytelling’!!

I am still a fan of Kill Bill but why this condescending attitude towards South Indian films by these so called film-analysts. Btw; who cares about Hindi critics?
A Still from "Aalavandhan"

Kamal hassan is “Mr Cinema” for me as far as any Indian personality is concerned. He’s the most complete cinema related artiste in the subcontinent currently (all things considered) and I have argued with many people of so called Bollywood repeatedly.

Agreed to a point because it’s important to note that it’s certainly not Kamal seeking an endorsement, and in fact in his quote what’s suggestive is the sense that within India (where of course he is a legend) some of his more ambitious efforts and gestures are not necessarily appreciated as he would like until someone outside shines a light on it. This is even true where “Hey Ram” and “Virumaandi” are concerned–these films have been given a more thoughtful reception on the festival/university circuit. In any event, this is simply a neat factoid.

What’s funny is still majority of the Hindi audience have negative thoughts about South Indian Cinema and still they think Bollywood as Indian Cinema. Pity on Them.

You can read my original post here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Anurag Basu's "Barfi" : From which movies it is copied?

After seeing "Barfi", I had the feeling that I have seen it somewhere. As a world cinema lover, I regularly watch almost all language movies and that feeling was stuck in my mind. Suddenly I came through this beautiful and informative post on and all my past memories started to refresh.

Anurag Basu has lifted or copied many scenes from different movies. Even music also lifted from different movies and songs. Which I like to share with you. Here we go.

1. Music:
1. The song "Aashiyaan" is inspired from;

2. "Phir Le Aaya Dil" is inspired from "koi Poochhe Hai Kabhi" by Asha Bhosle and Ustad Shuja'at Khan.

3. The BG Music is inspired from this Oscar winning short film.

4.  Here are some more tracks from which they are inspired (??) :P



2. Film Scenes:

1. See this scene from 22:22 from the movie "The Adventurer" starring Charlie Chaplin and you will immediately recognize the scene from Barfi...

2. The scene in which Rupa Ganguly, tells her daughter Illeana about her lover, is copied from this scene from the movie "The Notebook."

3. The scene where Priyanka comes and lies next to Ranbir, is again copied from "The Notebook."

4. The scene where Ranbir walks into a door and his nose gets bent + another scene in which Ranbir is sitting on a sofa with a dummy is copied from "Singing in the Rain."

5. The scene in which Ranbir is sleeping under the cover of a statue is lifted from "City Lights." Scene starts at 1:50.

6. The scene where a paper sticks to his hand and he tries to get rid of it is lifted from "Mr. Bean back to School." Scene starts from 08:14.

7. The bicycle chase scene in the narrow lanes is lifted from this scene from the movie "Project A."

8. The scene where Ranbir catches the bus from the movie "Cops."

9. The scene where Ranbir reads a nacked guy's newspaper is lifted from this Swedish ad.

10. The scene with two car headlights is lifted from movie "Mr. Nobody." Scene starts from 01:10:59.

11. I think that white rat in a rotating cage is inspired from "Black Cat White Cat." See it at 1:38.

May be some more scenes or Music are copied from some other movies which I or my friends have not seen. You can tell me in comments if you know such scenes or Music.

Visit my original post here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interview with Fenil Sherdiwala (CEO-Creative Head, Fenil Comics)

         Interview with Fenil Sherdiwala (CEO-Creative Head, Fenil Comics)


Fenil ji ne kuch questions k jawab nahi diye, jo uhhone bharosa dilaya ki samay k saath wo sabko pata chal jaayenge.

Q.    Your views about the present condition of Indian Comics Industry?
 Ans. These days Indian comics industry is in poor condtion and it requires some new and fresh projects. Worst condition of distribution comics in india will panic industry soon.

Q.    What challenges one faces as a comic publisher? How is India different from other nations with huge craze for comics?
Ans . As publisher lots of challenges we have to face with. Biggest challenge is production and for that selection of perfect artist for ur concept. At last moment DISTRIBUTION is major problem in India. India is different becoz in india parents allows their children to watch movies like DABANGG, SINGHAM but they will not allow their child of reading comics.On the other side in USA and UK comics is big market not for teenagers but also for elders.

Q.    Out of 35 characters/series choose your top 5.
Ans.  I m father of my character so all are same for me.

Q.    Tell us something about your hometown & nearby areas.
Ans.  I m from Surat, Gujarat and it is a business hub for textile and diamonds. 80% of saree exports of world goes from surat.

Q.    How many artists, writers are working (or worked) for Fenil Comics (approximately)?
Ans. We are team of 14 persons including writers, artists, editors and some helping hands.

Q.    Please share some of your childhood memories.
Ans.  Childhood is a sweetest stage of life. In childhood I was brilliant in study. Good in cricket also played some village matches. But in vacations we used to read comics and science magazines in noon time. We also started a library in our group where we collected comics, novels, magazines of our circle.

Q.    Your favorite artist(s) and writer(s)?
Ans. Favorite artist in India is Dilip Chaubeyji, Colorist Zakir hussain ji and Writer is Sanjay Gupta ji.
In foreign countries : Artist and writer one and only  ALEX ROSS.

Q. Favorite comics?
Ans. In India : Nagayan Series. And out side of india JUSTICE all 12 parts.

Q.   Current status of your distribution network?
Ans.  Currently we have good grip in major cities of GUJARAT, MAHARASHTRA, UTTARPRADESH, MADHYAPRADESH and PUNJAB.

Q.   Favorite Sport(s)?

Ans. Cricket & our National Game Hockey.

Q.   Role model(s) in your life?
Ans. My Father.

Q.   Your hobbies?
Ans. Reading, Writing scripts, Hollywood movies, Body building.

Q.   What was your family’s response when you told them about your idea to start FC?
Ans. An idea of starting FENIL COMICS was in my mind since i was only 15. At that time I developed FAULAAD and also illustrate his comics myself which was 64 pgs issue. Later I changed his story synopsis when I put it in market. My father is my mentor. When I told him abt my project he told me start immediately. Now no more wait. :D

Q.   Your travel diary chapters (places you have been in brief or just names)?
Ans.  I have visited almost 40% of india GUJARAT, RAJASTHAN, DELHI, JAMMU KASHMIR, GOA(my favorite spot), DIU ISLAND, HIMACHAL, KARNATAKA.

Q.   You are also involved in social work. Tell us more about it?
Ans . Not at this time.

Q.   Your schooling & college?
Ans. I finished my school education in JEEVANBHARTI  SCHOOL (surat) and collage education in SIR K.P. COLLAGE OF COMMERCE.

Q.   Passive yet effective contributors who helped you to achieve your dream?
Ans. First of all my family, they inspired me to do better and better. My friends like Saurabh Saxena, Vidur Gotawala, Abhishek Vishwakarma, Sanjay Guptaji(raj comics head). All fans who indirectly helped me in all way, otherwise I was nothing.

Q.   Memories related to your love for comics?
Ans. : Most happiest moment >> When my mom bought me “AGNIPUTRA ABHAY AND TOMANGO”  Most Miserable Moment >>> When I bought : “AGNIPUTRA ABHAY AND BLACK THUNDER”

Q.   Memories related to comic communities, forums you were part of?
Ans.  If I talk about comics communities, first of all I joined RCFC on ORKUT after there were so many communities on ORKUT like RCJ, RFN, VC & of course RC Forums. I m still a member of these communities.

Q.   You witnessed decades 80s, 90s, 2000-10, what changes you observed and things from the past you want back?
Ans. Ys I witnessed all decades written here… but I also witnessed 1970s as I have many comics of that decades too… Changes are in presentation… These days no publisher is fully successful to attract big reader group. Reason is hightek cellphones, gaming, Hollywood movies. I m trying to bring that past back with my little efforts.

Q.   I noted one common thing people say about comic which is, Technological changes made comics an outdated medium of entertainment. What are your views on this?
Ans. Who says comic is outdates medium of entertainment? In fact, These days many bollywood movies releases their comics. Ra-One, Agnipath, Don movie team have created comics related to their movies. I have one project from bollywood, I will announce later.

Q.   Don’t you think that FC base should be closer to North India, as initially it is targeting North Indian Hindi speaking belt?
Ans. FC is at it’s experimental period.  At this time, we are doing only production of our upcoming series of 2012. FC is hindi language which is our mothertongue and it is targeting 70% of Indian terrotary. We shall release ENGLISH translated titles also and some titles will come only in ENGLISH.

Q.   I know this is a bit difficult can you please share the list of online comic lovers who are continuously supporting you?
Ans. : So many comics fans supported fenil comics till now. Mohit Sharma ji (Trendster), Dk boss, anubhav rakesh ji, saurabh saxena ji, mandaar ji, aman ji, prashant arts from facebook, ashish khare ji, saket ji, naval thanawala ji, prateek charanji, shalu gupta ji, hussain zamin ji and many others they all supported fenil comics on social communities like facebook and orkut.

Q.   Progress of FC website and forums?
Ans. Fc forum work is almost finished and we added some tools on its typing pad. So now fans can post pics, post smilies and everything. But it is still work in progress. Abt site we are adding more and more materials on our site. We are also starting ONLINE STORE soon.

Fenil Comics k CEO, Studio head, Writer Fenil Sherdiwala ji se baat hui. Pesh hai unse puchhe kuch pramukh sawal.  Kuch aur bhi sawal the jinke jawab Fenil ji ne phir kabhi bhavishya mey dene ko kaha.

Originally posted on Raj Comics Website and forums (December 2011).

- Mohit Sharma (Trendster)

Interview with Kshitish Padhy (Author)

April 2012
Interview with writer, poet, translator & a friend Kshitish Padhy. Once upon a time he was active on RC forums, username - enigmatic9 / jamming. Pesh hai interview k mukhya ansh. Unki upcoming Novel "Law of Averages - A Love Story with Twists" k liye unhe Good Luck! :)

Kshitish Padhy @ Comic Con, India 2011

Ques. Firstly, congratulations on the completion of your Novel “Law of Averages”. Tell us more about LOA?
Answer: Thank you! Mohit. Law of Averages is my debut novel. It is a light comedy story following the exploits of a struggling scriptwriter Rithwik. Rithwik did not have luck on his side and all his lucky breaks proved to be false hopes. Things take an exciting turn when he meets an attractive woman while travelling in a crowded bus from Meerut. The initial part of the story is set against the backdrop of Raj Comics and working of comics industry in general showing the struggle of Rithwik while the later half focuses more on Rithwik’s love story and the exciting misadventures that follow.

P.S. The protagonists are comic fans who work as a scriptwriter and an illustrator who work at Raj Comics. The backdrop has a lot of incidents related to comics industry.

Ques. Born and bought up?
Answer: I was born in Aska, a small town in Orissa in 1980. My parents were natives of Orissa but my father worked in a company in Ranchi so I spent my entire childhood in Ranchi with sporadic visits to Orissa.

Ques. Childhood memories?
I was a pampered kid and I had an active life beyond academics. I used to play cricket, football and badminton matches a lot but the summer vacations were reserved for storybooks and comics. We used to share comics since pocket money was scarce. I was a voracious reader and I would hide comic books and novels in my textbooks like most fans. I was good at creating stories but was too lazy to write them. Now that I am a writer, let’s say that there is some poetic justice in nature.

Ques. How many publications have you worked for?
RC, Campfire, Vimanika, Arkin.

Ques. All comic publications?

Ques. Kitna time ho gaya aapko industry mey?
7 Years

Ques. Difference between a comic and a Novel from a writer’s perspective?
While writing a novel you need to describe the location, setting and emotions better since you don’t have the benefit of visuals as compared to writing comics. While writing novels, you have to be more careful with your punctuation and grammar. On the brighter side you get more leverage in narration and there is no restriction of page count while writing novels.

Ques. You worked with few active comic and graphic novel publications. Your experience… especially in Raj Comics, Campfire and Vimanika Comics?
Raj Comics – Raj Comics was my training ground where I learnt my first lessons of my craft. I began as a translator and graduated into writing scripts. The two people who were instrumental in making me a better writer were Sanjay Sir and Lalit Sharma. Sanjay Sir taught me a lot about connecting with the audience and writing scripts for different genres. Lalit was the first critic of my work and he literally ripped apart my first script. He asked me to understand the science of scriptwriting and provided me with lot of learning material. At Raj Comics everyone is like a large extended family. My coworkers were fun to work with and the fan following is mind blowing. The single most impressionable memory of Raj Comics is when a fan touched my feet out respect. It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Campfire: Campfire is a very professional organization, which is trying to cater to an international audience. The editor in Chief Andy Dodd was very supportive and I got an excellent mentor in Divya the editor for my first project. She helped me to overcome my flaws in writing especially grammar and sentence construction. Though I learnt to work on titles other than superheroes and comedy, my stint at campfire was a failure. The learning curve was too steep and due to their excessive focus on classic titles I found the place like a regular book-publishing house where writers have less or no creative liberty. Unlike Raj Comics there was no teamwork and collective responsibility while planning a project. Their editor hardly read comics and I was a total misfit for the organization. I would suggest fans cum writers of Super heroes to stay away from Campfire.

Vimanika: Vimanika is run by a man possessed with a vision. Karan is passionate about comics and that was the one reason that I chose to work with him. I researched a lot on Indian mythology for more than six months before I could get a break at Vimanika. All the titles are immaculately researched and there is an additional cushion of a researcher helping with the script. Shail Gulati ji has been a good mentor while writing scripts for my first graphic novel on Shiva. Karan is involved in all processes of making of every title and is juggling several hats and running the show superbly. He has been very supportive and gives me lot of creative liberty in presenting the script.

Ques. You chose a writing career over your academic degrees? Please share some interesting incidences, your struggle story?
Being a pure scriptwriter for comics and graphic novels is tough and we are almost an extinct breed. Since the sales of comics and graphic novels have gone down the payout is not the real reason you would like to be in this industry. So I had my own share of struggles.

Most of my dates with my wife were restricted to one cup of shared coffee at CP near palika bazar. She always got her birthday and valentine gifts belatedly. My in laws were not sure about my career and I was under severe pressure to prove myself to win their approval. My wife slogged for 14 hours a day at National School of Drama to support the family while I was writing Law of Averages and I hope I do justice to her sacrifice. My parents did not approve of my vocation as they wanted me to have a secure career but they did not stop me. They have been patient and are still waiting for their son to prove his mettle.

Despite the struggle I will not swap it for a swanky job at an MNC office. I have met some wonderful people who have helped me all along. I made some friends and I am trying to mentor as many young talents as I can. I will leave a legacy behind for the future generations with the books I write.

Ques. Your hobbies?
Reading Comics and Novels, Watching movies and sitcoms.

Ques. Future plans and projects?
For Vimanika comics I am working on two Graphic Novels – Shiva volume 2 and Dashavtaar volume 2. I am also working on a graphic novel on Hound of Baskerville (Sherlock Holmes), which is an independent project. I plan to write at least three more young adult fiction this year. All of them will have soft romantic stories.

Down the line I will like to write a fantasy series and young detective stories.

Ques. How you conceived the idea of LOA?
 In those days (2008) we used to work hard and late and then crash at RC. Our gang consisted of Sushant (artist), Wishumady (RC Guest Editor-Writer), Anurag (writer) and Shadab (artist & colorist). Everybody knew that I was contemplating to write an English novel. We were crashing in the room where Anupam ji churned his tales for decades when Sushant suggested that I should give him a prominent role in the story. Anurag said he also wanted to be in the story. Their comments triggered the formation of a story. When i narrated few incidents of misadventure Anurag backed out saying that "आपके नोवेल में हीरो की बहुत दुर्गति होगी." I then chose a scriptwriter and an illustrator as my protagonists working at RC. I developed the story in such a fashion that it gave glimpses of facets of people synonymous with Comic Industry. This book went through at-least six drafts before it was ready for print.

 Ques. Favorite Comic Characters, Comics?
Hindi – Super Commando Dhruva, Nagraj, Bhokal, Bankelal, Ram Rahim and Krookbond.
English – Batman, Daredevil, Tintin, Modesty Blaise and Amar chitra katha
My most favourite comics/graphic novels are Shiva, Grandmaster Robo and Hush.

Ques. Delhi vs. Orissa (Odisha..he he)/Jharkhand?
Delhi. I have adjusted to the life here. I have not forgotten my roots but still I cant imagine going back.

Ques. Favorite writers, Novels? Any influence of them on your writing style?
J.K Rowling (I share my birthday with her), Arthur Conan Doyle and Enid Blyton.

Favourite novels – Harry Potter Series, Hound of Baskerville and Famous Five series.

Ques. People who inspire you?
My Father, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling.

Ques. Which genre(s) suits you the most?
I have worked on various genres and have read extensively on various genres. I am equally comfortable in all of them. However I am not comfortable with Horror genre. But if I have to choose then I am most suited to young adult and children fiction along with mythology and fantasy genre.

Ques. Active on any comic community, group?
I am quite busy, but I am subscribed to and enjoy the interesting updates from pages, groups, communities full of die hard comic fans. Apart from working for RC I was also one of the Moderators on RC Forums (2006-2007). I miss those days and wonderful people like Arun ji, Trendster (Mohit), Wishumady (Mandaar), Vivek, Pradeep, Soumya, Sagar.....

Ques. Tips to aspiring writers?
For me there are two sets of writers. The first set writes about their perspectives and their ideals and the themes, which are excessively close to the heart. The second set writes to attain their audience. Since I belong to the later class I have tips only for the aspiring writers who want to be in the second set.

1. Do a SWOT analysis of your writing
2. Research the market well before you start on a project
3. Study your publisher and the books they publish before you pitch your work
4. Proof read your work and minimize errors in the script
5. Be prepared for a lot of rewrites and lot of rejection mails
6. Don’t get carried away by initial success. Stay grounded and work hard.

Ques. Flaws in Indian publishing and media? Your suggestions?
India is a tough market to crack. The market is severely divided into Hindi belt, English belt and regional languages belt. The distribution gets challenging and can be the bottleneck as it is almost an unorganized segment. Most of the lead distributors have a monopoly and they are notorious for delayed payment.

Alternative platforms like Flipkart, etc and other online portals can be game changers in days to come.
The Indian comics industry suffered for a long time due to the apathy of Indian media. The media still goes gaga over a graphic novel, which is a mere subset of Comics while it dismisses comics as pictures for kids. More awareness and Comic conventions can entice the media to support this industry.

Ques. Why should we buy Law of Averages?
It is a good and entertaining read. It is a simple sweet love story with some unconventional twists and a refreshing approach. The narration is witty and has some catchy one-liners. From the perspective of Comic fans, the story is set against the backdrop of Raj Comics so you do get to know bits and pieces of the working style at Raj Comics. It also has Mr. Anupam Sinha and Lalit Sharma in cameo roles while Mr. Sanjay Gupta is playing a pivotal role in the novel.

Rest the audience is the king. If they like the book, then there is no need to hard sell the book. A good story with surprises and a happy ending can be the ideal way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Ques. Spoiler..LOA ki "happy ending" hai..Bhai! he he...So, Is translation a boring job? Tell us more about your ‘translation’ days.
Nope, fun and challenging. You have to adapt to writer's style and approach in that work? dhruva and doga have contrasting styles, unke styles ke hisab se hi likhna padta hai. dialogue length ka bhi khas khayal rakhna padta hai.

Ques. Your comment on Indian Movies, TV Industry? Any plans of joining projects related to other mediums of Indian Entertainment Industry?
It is too star driven. That doesn't leave scopes for developing projects like Dhruva and Nagraj for theatrical release. TV industry is full of soaps and reality television. Neat and clean entertainment is disappearing slowly and there are hardly programs channeled for teens. Not channeled – Targeted, Why not, If it is a good project, i would like to work in other mediums. A movie on my story..... :))

Ques. What about offbeat and more flexible modes like documentaries, parallel cinema?
No! i am not looking forward to documentaries and offbeat cinema.

Ques. What's the difference in a 'single' creative and a 'married' one?
As a single creative i had more time at my hand and i could hang out with other creatives at odd hours. Plus we could keep discussing and working on projects without bothering about commercial viability. As a married creative, I have to be selective of my projects and ensure that i meet my deadlines. Plus juggling household chores and spending time with your partner when they demand your time becomes a priority. basically you are answerable to someone you consider special.

- Mohit Sharma (Trendy Baba)

Also Posted -

i) Raj Comics Website Homepage

ii) RC Forums