Thursday, March 31, 2011

Moustache magic in Bollywood

The power of the moustache is in full flow in Bollywood. Screen idols are banking on it to look different on screen - if Saif Ali Khan has gone for the zappa, Aamir Khan boasts of the chevron and Shahid Kapoor the painter's brush.

When Salman Khan was seen as funny cop Chulbul Pandey, sporting a pencil moustache in the super duper hit "Dabangg", his fans went crazy, especially those from Uttar Pradesh where the movie was set.


Another popular actor to be seen on screen with a moustache is Abhishek Bachchan in "Dum Maro Dum". Director Rohan Sippy, who keeps changing his facial hairstyle in real life, has cast the actor as a cop in this suspense thriller that will hit the theatres April 22. Abhishek, who usually has a stubble, sports a moustache in the movie to look like a real cop.

Aamir is also taking the trend forward with his bow-shaped chevron on his upper lip for Reema Kagti's second directorial venture.

Bollywood's Mr. Perfectionist, who tries to look different in all his films, whether it was "Dhobi Ghat", "Ghajini" or "Taare Zameen Par", had earlier grown a moustache for the period film "Mangal Pandey", but it failed to impress.

So far his new look for Kagti's suspense thriller has no doubt created a buzz.

Another Khan, Saif Ali, has also joined the bandwagon for his role of a teacher in Prakash Jha's issued-based "Aarakshan".

"A lot of men do. If you think of a teacher in a rural town, they have a moustache. Most Indians would have it. So it was a demand for the character and I had to wear it," Saif, who dons a similar look in his home production "Agent Vinod", told IANS.

After the stupendous success of comic caper "Yamla Pagla Deewana", Sunny Doel has turned serious for his next "Mohalla Assi" that will see him as a pandit in dhoti-kurta, moustache and a small ponytail.

Even Om Puri will be seen with one in his upcoming film "Teen Thay Bhai".

Known for his offbeat roles, Rahul Bose has also grown a moustache for an untitled film, which he says "cannot be named".

After finishing the shoot, the actor took to microblogging site Twitter to talk about it, saying, "My last day of shoot. Then this moustache comes off. Children can come out from under their beds. Fervent pleas from friends to keep the moustache. I was very touched till they explained it made them look irresistible in comparison."

Shahid will be seen with a thick 'painter's brush' for his dad's directorial debut "Mausam" where he is seen as a pilot.

Neil Nitin Mukesh of "Johnny Gaddar" fame, who sports a stubble in real life, was seen wearing a moustache as an army major in Vishal Bharadwaj's "7 Khoon Maaf".

"I really liked my look in '7 Khoon Maaf', it's very interesting and different. This is the first time I ever sported a moustache and I really like it. It was inspired by my uncle (chacha) Mohnish Mukesh," Neil told IANS.

It took almost a year for Vivek Oberoi to grow a thick moustache for his role in Ram Gopal Varma's "Rakta Charitra".

Yesteryear dancing star Rishi Kapoor, who in his heyday preferred a clean shaven look, went for a complete makeover for "Do Dooni Chaar". He played a middle-class man in the film, and his role of a teacher required him to sport a moustache. And he did so.

In fact Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, mostly clean shaven for his romantic roles, wore a moustache in Amol Palekar's "Paheli" and Yash Raj Films' "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi".

To make his character more effective in "Omkara", "Aakrosh" and "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai", Ajay Devgn went for different facial hairstyles for the respective roles of a criminal, police officer and underworld don.

Heartthrob Hrithik Roshan looked elegant with a moustache in historical drama "Joddha Akbar", which also got him the best actor award.

Action star Akshay Kumar was first seen with a moustache in "Jaanwar" and again in "Chandni Chowk to China".

In the black and white era, some top notch actors like Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor and Pradeep Kumar sported a moustache. In the 1980s, Shatrughan Sinha and Randhir Kapoor had one. But by and large, the new crop of actors, especially those in romantic roles, have preferred the clean shaven look.

Now, with the new trend, are Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor twirling their long kept moustaches in delight?

Holly Madison needs a dependable man'

Holly Madison has disclosed that she is looking for a boyfriend who will not be easily intimidated by her celebrity status.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the former Girls Next Door star had split with boyfriend and All Time Low singer Jack Barakat.

In an interview with People, the model, who was previously linked to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, suggested she is seeking a man who isn't bothered by dating a "successful woman".

"It definitely takes a guy who is secure and not overprotective and doesn't feel threatened by a successful woman," she said. "He needs to be patient and somebody who knows where he wants the relationship to go."

Despite previously claiming that she hopes to find her soul mate, the Holly's World star was quick to point out that there are benefits to remaining single.

She explained: "I'm happy single, but I'm happy in both cases… I feel like I definitely thrive more as a human and I'm more successful when I'm single."

Madison recently professed that she is very "proud" of her curvy physique.

The second season finale of Holly's World, titled 'Absinthe of Malice', airs on Sunday on E!.

Claire Danes 'would undergo cosmetic surgery'

Claire Danes has expressed her belief that cosmetic surgery can help some women improve their self-confidence.

Stylelist quotes the actress, who made her screen debut at age 11, as saying that she believes women have the right to fix physical imperfections and wouldn't rule out going under the knife as she grows older.

"I'm really fortunate in that I'm still quite young, and can get away with a lot, and my body is very forgiving," Danes said. "We'll see how things progress."

Last year's Emmy winner for 'Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or Movie' also claimed that judgment should not be passed on those who undergo cosmetic procedures.

"I think it's great that women have so much choice now, and choice in products that are backed by science," the star explained.

"As long as people are aware of potential risks, and they're working closely with a doctor, I say go for it… These are real intimate personal decisions, and I don't think anyone should judge anyone."

Model reiterates vow to go nude if India wins

Model Poonam Pandey Thursday reiterated her promise to run in the buff if India wins the cricket World Cup here Saturday.

Pandey tweeted: "3 days to go to Complete my Promise to INDIA :)"


Her tweet came a few hours after India thrashed Pakistan by 29 runs in the semifinal held in Mohali, near Chandigarh.

India will now play Sri Lanka at the final that takes place in Mumbai Saturday.

Pandey is not the first one to pledge to go naked if her country wins.

Model Larissa Riquelme had promised to run nude if her country, Paraguay, won the football World Cup last year. Paraguay lost, but she ran naked anyway.

Shania Twain 'stalker' arrested at Junos

A man accused of stalking Shania Twain has been arrested after showing up at the Juno Awards in Toronto, where the singer was receiving a special award.

Dr Giovanni 'John' Palumbo was picked up by authorities at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday night after being recognised by someone purported to be a member of Twain's entourage, reports the Ottawa Citizen.

Prior to this latest incident, Palumbo had been previously charged with criminally harassing the country music star but the claim was withdrawn when Twain did not appear in court to provide testimony.

A condition of his release was that he's required to stay at least 500 yards away from the star and is barred from travelling to Toronto unless he is attending a surgeon's college.

In a separate matter, Palumbo faces outstanding charges of threatening his ex-wife and was also ordered by the judge in that case to stay away from Twain.

Earlier this week, Palumbo appeared in front of a justice of the peace after being apprehended by police at the Juno Awards and is to be charged with three counts breaching the bail conditions set in his ongoing threatening case.

The justice of the peace ordered that Palumbo is to remain jailed until Friday, when a bail hearing will be held in a Toronto court.

Rihanna backs expiry of ex's restraining order

R and B singer Rihanna has said that she is relieved now that the restraining order handed to her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown has expired.

The actress has admitted that she never wanted their fight to impede his music career.

"What he did to me was a personal thing; it had nothing to do with his career," the Daily Express quoted the 23-year-old as saying.

"Saying he has to be 100 feet away from me, he can't perform at award shows – that definitely made it difficult for him," she added.

After Brown assaulted Rihanna, in 2009 he was hit with a strict order meaning the pair could not be at the same events.
Brown, 21, is on probation and is allowed near Rihanna as long as he does not harass her.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shiney Ahuja sentenced to 7-year jail for raping maid

A Mumbai sessions court Wednesday sentenced actor Shiney Ahuja to seven years in jail after he was found guilty of raping his maid.

Ahuja was arrested June 15, 2009, after medical tests on the maid confirmed sexual assault. The Bombay High Court had granted him bail in October 2009.

Ahuja's maid had turned hostile in October 2009, which led to his release on bail.

Ahuja was accused of rape, criminal intimidation and holding his maid hostage, and faced a maximum punishment of up to 10 years in jail.

Actor Farley Granger dies, aged 85

Strangers on a Train actor Farley Granger has died in New York City at age 85, it has been confirmed.

The star died at his Manhattan home of natural causes on Sunday, a spokesperson for the New York medical examiner's office told The AP.

Over the course of his seven-decade career, Granger worked with some of the most acclaimed directors in world cinema including Alfred Hitchcock on the thriller Rope and Luchino Visconti on 1954's Senso.

The San Jose, CA native suffered a difficult childhood after his family lost their home following the 1929 stock market crash and later turned to acting to escape relative poverty.

After making his film debut in the 1943 war epic The North Star, Granger appeared in a string of memorable films including They Live By Night, Edge of Doom and The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing.

He would later land a starring role in TV soap opera One Life To Live as resident doctor Will Vernon, which earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination.

Working steadily through the 1970s, Granger slowed his screen appearances in the 1980s and made his last film appearance in the comedy The Next Big Thing in 2001.

Granger received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in honour of his extensive work in television.

Elizabeth Taylor's 150 million dollars jewellery collection to go under the hammer

If sources are to be believed then late Dame Elizabeth Taylor''s vast collection of jewellery will be auctioned at world-famous auction house Christie''s.

The late actress''s dazzling array of gems are rumored to be worth about 150 million dollars in total.

According to the sources familiar with matter, the collection would be put up for sale at Christie''s, the famous British auction house, which has salesrooms in major cities across the globe, including Los Angeles, where Taylor died last week.

Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills President and CEO Peter Sedghi, who worked with the legendary beauty on her own House of Taylor jewelry line, said that Taylor had an "amazing eye" for jewelry.

"To be honest, she knew more than I did," the New York Post quoted him as telling People mag.

"When you would show her stones, she would tell you the origin, if it''s good quality, bad quality, where it came from,” he added.

Lady Gaga becomes first person to have 9m Twitter followers

Pop star Lady Gaga has become the first person to have nine million followers on micro blogging site Twitter.


The eccentric singer became the most popular person on the social networking site last August overtaking Britney Spears when they both had just over 5.7 million followers, reports the BBC.

She joined Twitter in 2008 with her first Tweet saying she was rehearsing for the ‘Just Dance’ video.

Justin Bieber is the second most popular celebrity on the site, with just over 8.3 million followers.

Gaga''''s latest single, ‘Born This Way’, is at number one in the Billboard Hot 100 and made it to number three in the official UK singles chart.

The star also has 31 million fans on Facebook and her videos have had more than a billion views on YouTube.


Cheryl Cole 'not invited to royal wedding'

Cheryl Cole has joked that her invite to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding may have been lost in the post.

The 'Promise This' singer met Prince Charles last month and confirmed that she is launching a charity foundation in aid of The Prince's Trust. Speaking to Hello magazine, Cole admitted that she has not received an invite to the royal wedding next month.

"I'm going to ask Prince Charles where it is," she quipped. "I think it must have got lost in the post."

Praising the couple, she said: "I love Kate's style - she dresses like a princess. I've met William a couple of times, but never Kate. I can't wait for the wedding - hopefully I'll be watching from an aisle."

Speaking about her decision to launch the foundation for young people in the North East, the X Factor judge said: "When I was a teenager, my life now would have been beyond what I could ever hope to achieve.

"I feel very fortunate I was able to get myself into a different situation, and that I can help somebody else."

It was confirmed this week that upcoming X Factor auditions will no longer be held on April 29 in London, to avoid clashing with the couple's nuptials.

Pregnant Mariah Carey tweets pic of her painted belly

Pregnant Mariah Carey has tweeted a pic of her growing baby belly with a butterfly painted on it.

The painting has one pink wing and one blue, to symbolise the girl and boy that are due any day, reports Radaronline.com.

“My attempt festiveness on 327! For ATLITL thank u plus I?U! Comin soon #dembabies! LYMA+thanx 4 making me happy:)” she tweeted as a caption for the adorable pic on Monday.

The Grammy winning ‘Vision of Love singer’, in an earlier tweet, said she had been taken to the hospital for a false alarm on Sunday.

“So dembabies really wanted 2 celebrate w/us/share the anniversary! I started having contractions last night..went 2 the hospital ... They almost came on 3/27- happy anniversary in deed!!! We have a few more weeks 2 go but- wow!!!: ) soreadyallready!” she posted.

Life Goes On (Movie Review)

One of the many pleasures of watching this supple evocative elegiac family saga is to see the timeless Sharmila Tagore share screen space with her real-life daughter Soha, who by the way, has never looked lovelier.

That inner-glow comes from the company she keeps in this gentle drama suffused in melodious whispers and mellifluent suggestions of tunes long-forgotten and yet stored in the most inviolable chambers of the heart.

Luckily for us, and the film, the Sharmila-Soha togetherness is not harped upon. There are far bigger issues and virtues to do with family ties and cultural disaffectation, secreted in the storytelling, propelling our hearts to soar in ways that modern cinema doesn't allow.

When did Indian cinema cease to be about emotions? You wonder as you watch the silken cascade of debutante director Sangeeta Dutta's family secrets and emotions gush out in an Bengali family in London, when one fine morning the mother simply drops dead on the kitchen floor.

The mother-figure, a constant and non-negotiable pivot of every family, here seems to be much more in demand than usual. All her three daughters seem to be stricken with heart problems that no cardiologist can tackle. Blessedly the mother of the family Manju is played by the gloriously imposing Sharmila Tagore. She looks like a woman who can handle the problems of three demanding extra-sensitive daughters, and then some more.

Life Goes On captures the suddenness of bereavement in snatches of sounds, visuals and dialogues done in hurried snatches. There's far more austerity in the expression of the anguish and despair after the sudden bereavement than in Mira Nair's masterly study of coming to terms with death in The Namesake. At times you long for more time between the members of the grieving family.

There are no big breakdown sequences in Life Goes On after the mother's death. Everyone gets busy with trying to pick up the threads of life through the guiding-signs of recollective silence and dialogues. Everyone is a bit selfish in this family. That's the family secret that the film doesn't get judgemental about.

A lot of the vignettes connecting the mother's memories to the present times appear predictable even pedestrian…The director, fearless in her maiden endeavour, does not shy away from making her film look familiar. In doing so she creates a comfort zone between the audience and the characters' collective and individual grief.

From the death to reconciliation, Life Goes On moves at a gentle pace creating pockets of interesting if unfinished dialogue and emotions between characters whom the dead woman touched and influenced infinitely.

The echoes and resonances of a life that lingers after death is created through a blend of sounds and visuals capturing the feeble but flamboyant light of London at dawn and dusk. The parks, bridges, two-storeyed residential areas and their incriminating quietude are ably captured in the film, as are the pain and postures of grief and mourning.

The Rabindra Sangeet in the original Bengali and a rather quaint Hindi translation suffuse a warm and endearing quality to the proceedings. The cross-cultural references resonate across the film's somber skyline with unobtrusive emphasis.

The film creates a fine balance between real-life elegies and their cinematic rendition. A lot of Sangeeta Dutta's mise en scene project a first-time director's effusive affinity to creating a defiant poetry out of the prosaic rhythms of life. But the selfconsciousness of a debutante never distracts from the film's elegantly laid-out pastiche of pain hurt and their healing…if at all the pain of loss ever goes away.

Life for the Indian Bengali family in Britain never seemed more complex.

At times you feel the director has 'Britain' more than she can chew. The sub-plot, on Islam-phobia brought in through Soha's boyfriend's character Imtiaz (Rez Kempton) and the rock band that Imtiaz and his friends put together despite Mullahs' objections, seems to go off into tangent away from the Bengali's family's bereavement.

But at the end when we see the band playing a punk version of Hemant Kumar's Ganga aaye kahan se laced with a French rap section, you smile for the cultural shifts and translocations that the plot endeavours to establish without falling off the map of the human heart.

The performances by the veterans Girish Karnad, Om Puri and Sharmila Tagore are uniformly skilled and supple. Among the younger cast members Soha Ali Khan as the youngest Cordelia-like daughter to Karnad's King Lear emerges strong and yet vulnerable. But it is the unknown young actress Neerja Naik who plays Soha's lesbian sister who proves a complete natural.

The subtle delicate tender and utterly disarming play of light and shade, of mellow memories and the hard present-reality, of the various cultural cross-generation clashes…. all these could have made any film topheavy. Not Life Goes On.

It is a gloriously polished and poised look at the chaos that rules the bereaved heart in our troubled times. This film is a triumph on many levels and layers. And you don't have to be a Sharmila Tagore fan to realize how resonant her presence can be even when she is lost to the plot.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kate Winslet struggled with 'tough' break-up scenes in 'Mildred Pierce'

Kate Winslet has revealed that she struggled to portray the breakdown of a relationship in new TV mini-series 'Mildred Pierce', because the scenes reminded her of splitting from husband Sam Mendes.

The 'Titanic' star announced the end of her seven-year marriage to the 'American Beauty' director last year (10).

"It was tough. There were moments like that one where I was using things from my own life in my performance," the Daily Express quoted Kate as saying.

"There were days when I'd almost feel comatose."
But the actress found a delicious distraction during filming in the form of male model Louis Dowler, whom she dated for eight months.

In 'Mildred Pierce', a remake of the 1945 Joan Crawford film, Winslet plays an American in the Thirties who refuses to be a victim of the economic downturn and works hard to make something of herself.

"I connected with Mildred. I share her survival instinct. My parents didn't have any money. I know what it's like to work hard to get by and make something of yourself," she said.

Britney Spears walks into new airbrush row

Britney Spears has been accused of trying to dupe fans after releasing a heavily airbrushed image of herself.
The singer appeared to have shed pounds in glamorous publicity shots for her new album Femme Fatale.
The 'Toxic' hitmaker looked super slender in a polka dot swimsuit, but in a gig on TV she looked much bigger.

She was seen bursting out of a leather basque and fishnet tights and appeared much older than in the album shots.
"Britney still looks good but she's changed a lot since she first found fame as a teenager," the Daily Star quoted a source as saying.

"The leather outfit made it impossible to hide any lumps and bumps but these photos make her look like a different person. It definitely looks like she's had a helping hand from technology," the source added.

Tania Zaetta wept in prison after nightclub arrest

Former Bollywood actress Tania Zaetta has revealed that she broke down in tears in prison after being arrested at a Gold Coast nightclub in Australia.

The TV host and Australian actress, 41, was charged with being a public nuisance and obstructing police after a disturbance outside the nightclub last Monday.

The former ‘Who Dares Wins’ host said she wept when her night in the cell meant that she left her father, who is battling prostate cancer, stranded at the airport.

"That was the worst part, the most upsetting part, not being there for him. He was calling me after I left a message on his phone that something had happened, but I couldn''t go and get him," News.com.au quoted Zaetta, as telling Woman''s Day.

Zaetta will face court early next month.

Kashmera Shah gives Pakistan team a cold shoulder!

Not many can do what actor Kashmera Shah does! As if going topless for her newly launched calendar wasn't enough, the reloaded sex symbol has done the unthinkable again!

It so happened that Kashmera was in Chandigarh for a city launch of her calendar Kashensuous and was put up in the same hotel where the Pakistan team is staying.

As coincidence would have it, she encountered the entire team (or should we say, the team encountered her), at the hotel's coffee shop.

But when Kash saw the Pak team members giving repeated glances and staring at her, she looked away, ekdum filmi style, letting the team's jaws drop at the royal ignore!

“Luckily for them, Kashmera didn't hand over a copy of her calendar, otherwise the Pak team would have been distracted by now and lose the upcoming match with India,” laughed her publicist Dale Bhagwagar.


“We all want a fair fight, don't we,” he winked.

Aamir Khan is 'Maharashtrian of the Year'

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and Maharashtra Home Minister R.R.Patil received the 'Maharashtrian of the Year' award, instituted by leading Marathi daily Lokmat, at a function held recently.

While Aamir received the award in the entertainment category, Patil received it in the politics category. Others who received the award on the occasion include Kalpana JoshiSanjay Gaikwad (industry), Bhagwan Rampure (arts), Kavita Raut (sports), Dr Ravindra Kolhe and Smita Kolhe (social service). (science and technology),

Speaking on the occasion, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “Democratic systems and free media are true strengths of the state”. Delivering the welcome speech, Lokmat director and Rajya Sabha MP, Vijay Darda, voiced concerns about malnutrition, slow industrial progress rate, and farmers’ suicide among other aspects plaguing society.

The event also marked a social cause where Sanjeev Gupta of the leading outdoor branding agency Global Advertisers donated a sum for an adivasi (tribal) community clinic, earning applause from the audience.

The jury members included former High Court judge B.N.Deshmukh, Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, Anna Hazare, Lila Poonawala, Gulzar, Rajdeep Sardesai and Dilip Vengsarkar.

The event was also graced by Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken, state education minister Rajendra Darda, actors Jackie Shroff and Jeetendra and industrialist Gautam Singhania.

Monica (Movie Review)

One doesn't know if the real-life journalist Shivani Bhatnagar was meant to be a kind of promiscuous enigma. But that's how she is purported to be portrayed by writer-director Sushen Bhatnagar. A kind of Madame Bovary (a novel by French writer Gustave Flaubert) of the fringe world.

A cryptic woman and a mystery to others and to herself whose story is pieced together after her death through the wonderfully nimble vision of the movie camera.
Alas, the camera, contrary to belief, does lie quite often.

In this interesting though flawed film about a deeply flawed woman who knows not what her body or mind wants, director Sushen Bhatnagar takes a real-life incident from the newspapers and converts it into a well-meaning cinematic treatise. It's done with much restraint but not enough of a grip to keep the slippery characters from slipping off the story board.

Frequently the characters appear on screen with very little to recommend them as mere human beings or even as flawed character-studies.

Bhatnagar's world of politicians and media persons in and around Lucknow and Delhi appears to be colonised by self-serving stereotypes, trying hard to appear subtle in their devious machinations. Failing in that endeavour, they appear more sinful than sinned against.

Frequently in the course of the narration we feel the characters are being let down more by a lack of creative and financial resources than by destiny.

The saga of the small-town girl's ambitious rise from salwar-kameez to skimpy skirts and tops has been done with far more grace in the past. Madhur Bhandarkar's "Fashion" created both the fury and passion of that journey into a hurling doom that small-town girls often undertake in implementing their big-time dreams.

Monica Jaitley, as played by Divya Dutta, comes across as a vulnerable vixen. Manipulated and manipulative Monica epitomises the strenuous gracelessness of over-pushy small-towners who topple over the brink in their pursuit of the designer-dream.

The nexus between Monica's world of journalism and the murkier milieu of politics and politicians, as represented by Ashutosh Rana's quietly conniving character, doesn't quite become the heady mix of art and 'vulture' that such cinema has often become in the past (in Ramesh Sharma's "New Delhi" and Rajkumar Gupta's "No One Killed Jessica").

The edges in this hard-hitting story of sex and politics are raw and uneven. The tone doesn't quite catch on the immediacy and urgency required of a docu-drama. The narrative pace sometimes slackens to a slow trot taking away considerably from the why-dunnit's cutting edge.

But the effort to recreate the life of a journalist who dared to dream is sincere. Monica is the kind of won't-tell-a-lie cinema that gets trapped in the labyrinth which separates the search for the truth from the truth itself. But the film does create an aura of doomed sensuality around the protagonist without resorting to lengthy cheesy shots of her journey into the bedroom.

The dialogues suggest deeper thrusts of anguish in Monica's life than the ones that she was apparently resorting to for self-enhancement. At the end one isn't sure what killed Monica - her ambitions or their inherently absurd nature.

For being able to bring out the contradictions in Monica Jaitley's personality, this film deserves some words of praise. The performances of Divya and Ashutosh are tuned well to the theme. But the gifted Rajit as Divya's reprehensible husband is uncharacteristically hammy.

The rest of the cast is stiff, self-conscious and unremarkable.

The authentic locations add a hue of familiar discomfort to the film's politics of sexuality. With better production values and more space for the characters to breed credibility, this could've been a remarkable political thriller rather than a film that gets lost in a maze of possibilities.

Nonetheless worth a watch for recreating an event from the proximate past that showed how closely and precariously politics is related to journalism. And sex.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Abhishek Bachchan breaks Will Smith's record

Will Smith seems to be running into the Bachchans' lives in one way or another. The African-American superstar was very keen to star with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Hitch which she couldn't do.

Now it's Abhishek's turn to run into Will Smith professionally. Abhishek has beaten Will's world record for a film actor performing the maximum number of media events in one day for the promotion of a film.

The earlier record-holder was Will who had performed three media events in 24 hours for the promotion of I Robot.

Abhishek went 4 steps ahead. For the promotion of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Delhi 6 the young actor performed seven media events in 24 hours, thereby making it into the Guinness Book Of World Records.

And now Abhishek's buddy Preity Zinta has a surprise for him. In the coming week she will be presenting Abhishek with his certificate from the Guinness organization on the show that she hosts for the brand, declaring him the official record-holder for optimum media events in record time.

I caught hold of Abhishek to get a response to this achievement. “How do I feel about it? It feels good to be representing the country on any platform. It feels even better to have entered the Guinness Book for something so…. well, different. Have I really beaten Will Smith's record? I remember it wasn't easy. I didn't know whose record I was beating. But we were determined to make it through the maximum number of events that day two years ago. And we did. ”

The Guinness book representatives had followed Abhishek through the record-breaking day in January 2009.

As for finally getting the certificate for the world record Abhishek grins, “I'm not supposed to know about. It's supposed to be a surprise on Preity's show. It will be good to get the certificate from her. Preity is a very dear friend. ”

Wipeout: 'Soul Surfer' lacks bite

LOS ANGELES: Sports writers invariably call any last-minute heroics or unbelievable upset a "Hollywood ending," yet in reality Hollywood usually does a poor job with sports stories based on real-life events.

Such stories force filmmakers to drastically alter the filmmaking playbook, draining away all color or quirks of personality from characters based on living people and removing any complications that might distract viewers from the "inspirational" message they're determined to convey.

Which is what happens in Soul Surfer, a true story of courage, determination and guts that deserves a more exciting approach. No doubt, the film will reach its target faith-based audience but a wider audience may elude the TriStar release. However, if the film's real-life heroine, Bethany Hamilton, promotes the film with enough personal appearances, Soul Surfer may break through to general audiences.

Her story has certainly been told repeatedly, including an autobiography and an earlier short doc, "Heart of a Soul Surfer," made by her sister-in-law. A lifelong surfer born to a family of Hawaiian surfers, she lost her left arm in a 2003 shark attack when she was 13. She returned to surfing a mere month after her harrowing ordeal and continues to compete in contests today, having perfected a one-armed surfing technique.

Few stories can be more inspiring but this one apparently didn't inspire the filmmakers to think outside the box. Director Sean McNamara and no less than seven credited writers, in additional to the three that co-authored Hamilton's book, recite the basic facts in dramatic form but give a viewer little sense of who these people -- Bethany, her family and friends -- are or what makes them tick.

The film's main actors do fill in some of the gaps, especially young AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany and Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt as her parents. Robb goes full-bore in her surfing scenes -- she is actually a beginner -- as well as the dramatic ones, giving the heroine the determination of youth broken only a couple of times by doubts or self-pity. Having been virtually born to surf, she had no real way to give it up. It goes against her entire upbringing.

With little makeup, Quaid and Hunt play people who spend as many hours as possible in the sun: Their leathery, lean skin and unadorned faces speak to a deep love for the outdoors and especially the ocean. Taken together this trio, along with Ross Thomas and Chris Brochu who play Bethany's older brothers, present a family of pro surfers whose sport has given them a competitive spirit and a commitment to excellence that see them through this terrifying ordeal.

But the filmmakers treat them with kid gloves. Put it this way, you would never create such nearly perfect, idealized characters for any fictional story. You'd bore an audience to tears.

The 10-minute episode concerning the shark attack and rush to a nearby hospital is the best sustained sequence in the film. Additionally, all the water work involving cameras mounted on surfboards and jet skis is superb as is the surfing, often performed by doubles that include Bethany herself.

On land though, the film suffers from the Hollywood-itis those sports writers so frequently invoke. A fictional villain is created in a rival surfer, played by a perennially scowling Sonya Balmores, who ridicules and cheats Bethany at every opportunity. The film uses a 2004 humanitarian aid trip to Thailand by Bethany following the devastating tsunami to give its heroine a sentimental shot in the arm to further motivate her to return to competitive surfing.

The film curiously characterizes the media that descends on the Hamilton house as a force of terror that drives Bethany and her family to cover. This is an all too common, even cliched movie portrayal of reporters, but in this instance more than a little mendacious given the countless interviews the young woman has given in the weeks following the attack up until today.

Singer Carrie Underwood makes her film debut in a superfluous role as Bethany's church young group leader while Kevin Sorbo and Lorraine Nicholson play the father and daughter who no doubt saved her life by their quick thinking and reactions in the moments following the attack.

As with all the roles throughout the movie, they perform a specific function within the known storyline but are thinly characterized.

Composer Marco Beltrami should be singled out for a score that brilliantly utilizes old Hawaiian music and songs. (Reuters)

Remembering Liz’ eyes...

Everett Collection In death, as in life, it is her eyes that haunt. After Hollywood’s grande dame Elizabeth Taylor passed away, people paid their online respects, searching out her biography, baby pictures, good works (AIDS foundation), her relationships both familial (children, Richard Burton) and famous (Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol). Yet most unique were those eyes, and people wanted another look into them as they sought out “elizabeth taylor eyes,” “elizabeth taylor violet eyes pictures,” and “elizabeth taylor’s eye close up.”

Could someone’s eyes truly be purple? If photos or her namesake perfume — Violet Eyes, which debuted just last spring — weren’t proof enough, eyewitness accounts certainly testify to those riveting orbs. A remembrance by Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy recalled a meeting in the 1970s, when the actress had essentially retired from the big screen. “What should abruptly stop me in my tracks,” he wrote, “but a pair of eyes unlike I’ve ever beheld, before or since; deep violet eyes of a sort withheld from ordinary mortals that were suddenly looking up into mine from mere inches away.”

David Stratton, a film critic for the Australian, also swooned in a 1973 encounter following a festival premiere of her movie “Night Watch”: “I was ushered into her presence at the official reception and found myself transfixed by her famous violet eyes. I have never seen eyes of that color before or since and I don’t believe cinemagoers were able to appreciate how remarkable they were.”

Eye of the Beholder

Violet is indeed a rarity, more so than green eyes, although theories as to what makes them purple vary. Color, of course, is determined by how much melanin pigment the eye has and, to get really scientific, those variations in single nucleotide polymorphisms (thankfully shortened to SNPS) near the OCA2 gene, which are responsible for the color of eyes, hair, and skin.

Then again, the simplest explanation would be the same one her doctor gave her mother when describing baby Elizabeth’s double row of eyelashes: a “mutation,” according to the 1996 book Elizabeth.

Those eyes inspired longing, envy, and a few beauty products: Chicago optical company Wesley-Jensen created violet contact lenses in the 1980s. Before their debut, a W-J spokesperson told The New York Times, “pictures of Elizabeth Taylor are pasted all over our R&D lab.”

A California ocularist, one of the few in the world to create artificial eyeballs, fulfilled one patient’s request for “Elizabeth Taylor eyes.”

If you wondered what the scent of violet eyes might be, that would be “light shades of purple rose and violet peony, combined with velvety accents of white peach” with a “voluptuous blend of cedar wood and amber to convey the power, sensuality, and mystery of Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes.”

Credit : dailymailnews

Kylie Minogue spends GBP 10m on designer costumes for latest tour

Pop singer Kylie Minogue has apparently forked out almost 10 million pounds on designer costumes for her latest tour.

The singer, who kicked off the UK leg of her Aphrodite world tour in Cardiff last night, was dressed by Dolce and Gabbana.

She wore gold costumes encrusted with Swarovski crystals and real pearls, a chiffon gown so sheer it "looks like smoke" and a chain-mail Barbarella-inspired dress covered in priceless vintage brooches.

All her backing dancers and singers have also been decked out by the Italian designers.

"Kylie's petite but perfectly proportioned and looks stunning in whatever she wears," the Daily Express quoted a D and G spokeswoman as saying.

Happy birthday Lady Gaga

NEW YORK: It feels like Lady Gaga has been around for ages, so it’s hard for us to believe that the pop star is only celebrating her 25th birthday today Monday!

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, born March 28, 1986, better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American pop singer-songwriter. After performing in the rock music scene of New York City's Lower East Side in 2003 and later enrolling at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, she soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records.

During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and signed her to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.

Gaga came to prominence following the release of her debut studio album The Fame (2008), which was a commercial success and achieved international popularity with the singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face".

Gaga is well-recognized for her outré sense of style in fashion, in performance and in her music videos. Her contributions to the music industry have garnered her numerous achievements including five Grammy Awards, amongst twelve nominations; two Guinness World Records; and the estimated sale of fifteen million albums and fifty-one million singles worldwide.

Sonakshi Sinha 'finds ally in Sarah Palin'

Sonakshi Sinha has reportedly been praised by Sarah Palin after the two spoke at the same event.

The actress, who recently signed up for a Bollywood remake of Hannibal, was a recent speaker at a conference in New Delhi, DNA reports.

A source said: "Sarah seemed impressed by Sonakshi. Both ladies chatted about women's empowerment and how it can change the world."

Although Sinha has only appeared in one film, Dabanng, she has become a popular figure in Indian celebrity culture.

"Though Sarah admitted that she hadn't watched her film, she was reportedly taken by surprise at the actress's popularity," the source continued. "Sonakshi too added that she wants to do her bit in creating awareness amongst the masses."

Sinha has also reportedly signed up for a sequel to Salman Khan's Dabanng.

Game (Movie Review)

“What a story!” Abhishek Bachchan, playing a cross between a fugitive and a guardian-angel, says wrily at the of this elegantly crafted whodunit.

What a story, indeed. And full marks to writer Althea Delmas Kaushal for crafting a jigsaw that would have made Agatha Christie smile. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say, they don’t make movies like this anymore.

Stylishly crafted, cunning in plot and nubile in its narrative thrust, Game is one of the most aesthetically-mounted Hindi films in recent times.

Huge efforts and resources have gone into shooting the murder mystery in places where intrigue seems infinite, escape seems undesirable and redemption appears as distant as the sound of the waves splashing against rocks that have centuries of stories to tell.

Welcome to the Greek island of Samos. Anupam Kher, looking pricey in his tycoon’s avatar invites four of the most distinguished elitist-outlaws on this side of Charles Sobhraj. Each has a past tense and a future imperfect.

Everyone has a history and a back-projection. This is a world defined by a wealth of unexpressed resentment and smothered anger waiting to erupt.

Debutant director Abhinay Deo displays a remarkable grip over the proceedings. Though the narrative moves through a number of continents and exotic cities (Istanbul jumps out at us from the James Bond movies) propelling his tortured characters forward into motions of restless salvation, there is a quietude and grace at the heart of the narration that we’ve scarcely ever seen in desi whodunits.

The crime and its denouement are worked in graphic details. But the narrative is never bogged down by over-punctuation.

For a crime thriller that pays a homage to the best traditions of the genre represented by Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and James Hadley Chase, there is a tightly-wound feel to the storytelling, as though the director were moving contrary to the dictates of the genre, without slipping up with the details.

If God lies in the details then why does the devil seem to have taken over Game? At heart Game is a love story about a high-profile gambler and his doomed lady-love…a kind of Bonnie and Clyde with the inherent desperation of the duo’s togetherness reined-in and qualified by ripples of elegant punctuation.

No hiccups, then, in Abhinay Deo’s directorial debut. Like all cinema by filmmakers who come from the ad-world Game is a visual feast. Contrary to films by other ad-turned-feature director Deo doesn’t unnecessarily abbreviate the shots in the fear of losing audiences’ attention.

The characters, specially Abhishek Bachchan’s, get sufficient breathing space in a script that favours flirting with fate rather than fornicating with flamboyance.

There is a delicacy in the textures and colours used to bring forward the tensions in the plot. Shashank Tere’s art direction and Kartik Vijay’s cinematography imbue a gritty cold edge to the spill of blood and the smell of greed.

The portions shot on the Greek island are particularly hypnotic, the splashing waves creating a ripple of anxieties in the turbulence of the characters’ lives without toppling the storytelling boat over into the sphere of the stormy.

Whether it is Anupam Kher as tycoon-host on the mesmeric island or Gauhar Khan as his seductive secretary, the characters never cease to appear glamorous on screen.

The performers are eminently watchable. Anupam Kher, Kangna Ranaut, Boman Irani, Shahana Goswami and the underrated Jimmy Sheirgil get the tenor of tantalizing terror right. Sarah Jane Dias is quite a find, though she needs to work on her dancing skills. Her fabulously choreographed dance number suffers from the Two Left Feet Syndrome (hint hint!).

Abhishek Bachchan proves once again a master of silences, his eyes conveying the pain of lost love, his lips curling up to convey the cynicism of a man who has seen it all and couldn’t care anymore. His two ey action key sequences are heart-stopping in their credibility.

Waltzing wickedly between the incredible and the inevitable Game succeeds in sustaining our interest right till the devilish denouement at the end.

Game is a film that never lets us forget that the whodunit attains an enticing aura only when the characters assume framed postures. Abhinay Deo’s narrative walks a fine thin bloodied balance between dread and delight.

Game is one helluva stylish knick-knack. We haven’t seen any Hindi film shot in these colours or with such an attitude of restrained resplendence.

Elton John 'planning royal dinner party'

Elton John is reportedly planning a star-studded dinner party with Prince William and Kate Middleton as guests of honour.

The singer has also invited David and Victoria Beckham to the event, which is due to take place at his Windsor home three weeks before the April 29 royal wedding, The Mirror reports.

"Elton loves entertaining and hosting people at his home," a source said. "He is touring America at the moment but flits between there and the UK, and comes to his Old Windsor home whenever a short break in his schedule allows.

"He has wanted to invite Kate and William for dinner for a while now to thank them for his wedding invitation. He always puts on the most incredible feasts fit for royalty anyway, so they should feel right at home.

"The Beckhams will be invited, but it depends on whether his club let him travel."

Elton John recently confirmed that he will attend the royal wedding with partner David Furnish.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kate Moss 'buys own engagement ring'

Kate Moss reportedly paid for the ring that boyfriend Jamie Hince proposed with.

The supermodel, who has apparently amassed a £45m fortune during her career, allegedly wanted a ring out of The Kills guitarist's price range, meaning that he had to use money she had given him to build a recording studio.

"Jamie has virt­ually no savings but did make a contribution for the ring," a source told the Daily Star. "They joke about how dependent he is on her. Kate even calls herself his 'Sugar Mummy'. Kate wanted a ring fit for a princess but Jamie knew he couldn't afford to get her dream ring.

"He was desperate to surprise her so he used money she'd given him to build his recording studio. That way she paid for the biggest chunk of it, but him popping the question still came out of the blue. He even designed it based on her heroine Zelda Fitzgerald's ring.

"Jamie knows there really is no matching Kate's wealth. She knew the type of ring she wanted. Getting engaged to Jamie is a special time for her and she wanted the ring to be just as special and so out came the Moss cheque book. Jamie loves her and that's what matters to Kate."

It was recently reported that Moss is planning a "mini-Glastonbury" for her wedding reception in July.

Alex Reid 'considered suicide after split'

Alex Reid has admitted that he considered suicide during the darkest moments of his split from Katie Price.

In an interview with the News of the World, the cage fighter expressed his anguish at the model dating Leandro Penna so publicly and confessed that he often wonders which parts of their relationship were real.

"I've had some really dark moments over the last few weeks," said Reid. "I'm a fighter but this has drained me. At my lowest I thought it would be easier not to be here. It was horrible because I usually live life to the full. I'm a strong guy. I'm a fighter.

"But this has drained me and taken all my energy and vibrancy. I've gone through unadulterated rage and then into the depths of despair. I became ill. I was depressed. Now I don't know what was real. I've started to question lots of different parts of my whole relationship with Katie."

Speaking of Price's attack on his dress sense during her new reality show, he said: "I feel humiliated by that. I felt she was mocking me. I'm the same Alex who she met and who won Celebrity Big Brother. She was slagging off my clothes, but then Leandro's dressing in an identical way to me - the same style of jeans and tops. It doesn't make sense."

It was reported yesterday that Reid compares Price to Cruella De Vil when talking to friends.

Winslet, Dicaprio voted most romantic onscreen couple

LONDON: Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have been voted the most romantic movie couple ever.

The 36-year-old US heartthrob and the stunning British actress, 35, appeared opposite each other in James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic, which was based on the tragic sinking of the infamous ship in 1912.

More than 500,000 movie fans offered their opinions in a poll for ABC TV and People magazine, with the results airing on US TV.

According to statistics, almost a quarter of voters considered the ill-fated destiny of Rose and Jack to be the most passionate, as the couple's love blossoms while one of the most horrific maritime disasters in history plays

Bachchan's wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong

Amitabh Bachchan is the first Bollywood actor to get a wax figure at the world famous Madame Tussauds museum in Hong Kong. His statue features in the Hall of Fame section and was unveiled by award-winning actor Moses Chan.

With a successful career spanning 40 years, Amitabh has four National Film Awards to his credit. The 68-year-old's wax avatar sports a black sherwani with red buttons, teamed with a white pyjama.

"There are more and more Indian visitors taking the star-studded journey through Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. We are sure that the new Amitabh Bachchan wax figure experience will appeal to our Indian visitors, who will get to meet their legendary star here, as well as other local and international visitors," Kelly Mak, general manager, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, said in a press statement.

The wax figure was unveiled amid a group of Bollywood dancers, who struck an Indian pose along with Chan and Mak later.

The statue will be displayed against an Indian style facade, highlighted with light bulbs. The guests will be able to enjoy a theatre-style lighting show inspired by Amitabh's movie "Aladin".

So far no other Bollywood actor has a wax figure in the Hong Kong museum.

Amitabh also has a wax statue each in Madame Tussauds' London and New York museum, respectively.

Hugh Jackman, Aishwarya Rai bag top honours at FICCI-Frames

The 12th edition of the three day FICCI-Frames conclave concluded Friday with Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai bagging the top awards.

FICCI Frames Excellence International Honour was awarded to Jackman, who is best known for his role as Wolverine in the "X-Men" series. The actor is also famed for his versatile style of acting and his rugged on-screen roles in films such as "Kate and Leopold", "Van Helsing", "The Prestige" and" Australia".

Aishwarya was honoured with the Decade of Global Achievement award for her contribution to Hindi cinema. Vidya Balan bagged the best actress award for her performance in "Ishqiya" and Shah Rukh Khan was honoured with the best actor award for "My Name Is Khan".

A film that has sky rocketed at the box office, breaking all records in collections, "Dabangg" also scored two awards at FICCI - Best Film of the Year and Best Music of the Year Award. It also fetched its heroine, Sonakshi Sinha, the award in the the Best Debutant (Female) Category.

"Band Baaja Baaraat" was another film that made a mark at the box office delivering the Best Debutant award - Male to Ranveer Singh for his acting and the Best Director Debut to Maneesh Sharma.

"The entertainment industry in India is booming along with business excellence and we are happy to recognise such levels of talent in both fields. We take pride in honouring best performers for their contributions in their area of work," said Yash Chopra, Chairman, FICCI Entertainment Committee.

Another highlight of the evening was the impromptu gig between Vidya, Shah Rukh and Jackman where the three shook a leg together on stage, entertaining the audience.

Other awards were:

Best TV Series - Non-Fiction - Indian Idol 5 (Fremantle Media, SET and Wizcraft Television)
Best TV Series - Fiction - Pavitra Rishta - Balaji Telefilms
Best TV Actor - Male - Sushant Singh Rajput in Pavitra Rishta (Zee TV)
Best TV Actor - Female - Rashmi Desai in Uttran (Colors)
Best General Entertainment Channel - STAR PLUS
Best Radio Channel - Radio Mirchi
Best Director - Karan Johar (My Name is Khan)

Elizabeth Taylor 'was expecting to come home'

Elizabeth Taylor was expecting to return home from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre before her death from congestive heart failure this week, her friends have claimed.

The Hollywood legend, who made a full recovery from an emergency tracheotomy in 1961 and cardiac surgery in 2006, passed away at the age of 79 in her room at the Los Angeles facility on Wednesday.

Speaking to People, the Cleopatra star's friend Firooz Zahedi revealed that she had begun making plans for her departure from the centre, to which she was admitted with heart failure in January, as her health improved.

"She was hoping to come home and optimistic about everything," the photographer stated. "She had her bedroom at home redecorated."

Further details of Taylor's final days have also been revealed by her longtime friend Debbie Reynolds, who confirmed that the double-Oscar winner had been aware of the seriousness of her condition in the days prior to her death.

The Singin' In The Rain star said: "We talked about how it's really hell getting older. We were complaining to each other about that, like two girls would.

"She expressed how scary it was when you see that it's perhaps the end, to find a way to leave this world and go onto the next."

Khan says, 'RA.One' will change the genre of films

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan says his upcoming sci-fi superhero film "RA.One" is an attempt to create something that will change the genre of Indian films.

"It's an indigenously made film and it's made in VFX studios in India and is trying to create something which will change the genre of films. If Indian filmmakers would like to make something alike, they have the access to the technology," King Khan told reporters at FICCI-Frames Friday.

He also said that the film would be his first step in paying back to the audiences the love and honour he has received in the last 20 years of his career.

"I have made one promise to every one in India. I have been working for 20 years and I have been given too much; much more than I deserve as an actor, as a star, and I think it's time to give back some," the superstar said.

"RA.One" is scheduled to release at Diwali time but the star has already started its marketing so that the superhero character sinks into the psyche of his audience.

"I just thought that we don't have any background of a superhero in terms of comics like 'Spiderman'. We have superheroes like 'Krrish' and 'Drona' but they are film superheroes.

"I tell people this is the one who's gonna do... he is going to fly, he has these powers and once this becomes known, then people would like to come and see the film... I just thought to market a year before, hope it pays off," Shah Rukh said.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shahrukh Khan "Tom Cruise of Bollywood"

Kareena Kapoor has admitted that she has no desire to make it in Hollywood because it is too much work.

The Kurbaan actress also compared co-star Shah Rukh Khan to Tom Cruise, The Times of India has reported.

Speaking to the paper, she said: "I think Shah Rukh is our answer to Tom Cruise. For me he is bigger than Tom Cruise.

"And talking of Hollywood... to get a role there you have to give screen tests, park yourself there for about seven to eight months, and then maybe you'll get a two-bit role. I'd rather enjoy the best of Bollywood."

However, it was rumoured in January that the star had met with Hollywood agents.

She will next be seen in the film Bodyguard, starring opposite Salman Khan.

Penelope Cruz: 'Depp likes toilet humour'

Penelope Cruz has revealed that her Blow co-star Johnny Depp is a big fan of toilet humour.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the actress recalled being pranked during an incident on the film's set involving a "fart machine" owned by Depp, with whom she recently reunited for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

"He fooled me once when we were doing Blow," she recalled.

"I was doing a very dramatic close-up, and he kept making that sound with the machine… I was just thinking, 'I hope they're not thinking it's me'. When I met him ten years ago, he had a plastic [fart machine], and now, ten years later, he has one with a remote control."

However, Cruz went on to say that aside from the jokes she has nothing but respect for the actor, adding: "I only have good things to say about him... He's really one of the most kind and genuine people that I have ever met. He became a good friend. And he's so funny - I guess people know how funny he is. He has one of the best senses of humour, he's kind and smart. I love working with him."

Elizabeth Taylor 'leaves bulk of her 375 million-pound fortune to AIDS charities'

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away on Wednesday after losing her long battle with congestive heart disease, has reportedly left the bulk of her 375-million-pound fortune to AIDS charities.
The star, frequently praised for her role as an AIDS/HIV activist, has continued her good work by leaving a large portion of her wealth to her beloved charities, reports The New York Post.

According to Fox News, Taylor''s famous jewellery collection will be auctioned off to benefit The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and amfAR, the AIDS charity she founded in 1985, reports the Daily Express.

As of 2002, the collection had an estimated value of 93.7 million pounds.

Bipasha Basu set to launch second fitness DVD

MUMBAI: Actress Bipasha Basu, known for her fitness levels, will launch her second fitness DVD soon.


"I'm working on it and it will come out in July. I was supposed to shoot it a couple of months back, but I've been very busy. My schedules were really tight; so I pushed it back. I'll film it as soon as possible," Bipasha told Indian news agency.

Trailer of final Harry Potter film released

LOS ANGELES: The first trailer of the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, has been released online. The film is set to be released in the UK on July 15 and will bring the series to a close.

The trailer shows footage from the film, plus video of the cast and crew talking about tying up the loose ends of JK Rowling's story.


Daniel Radcliffe, who plays lead role as Harry said: "The reason they're on this journey is much bigger than any of them and it's got to come to a head at some point."

"Something’s got to give. Harry's aware that this is going to be it, that the floodgates are open, and he’s going to have to be the one that deals with Voldemort. It’s gonna be fantastic!" he added.

The seventh and final of Rowling's novels has been split into two movies to allow producers to realise the scale of the story.

Emma Roberts bags role in 'Adult World'

Actress Emma Roberts is set to take the lead role in coming-of-age drama "Adult World".

Emma, who is Julia Roberts' niece, beat off strong competition from contemporaries Carey Mulligan, Rooney Mara, Emily Browning, Juno Temple and Brie Larson to get the role of a Stanford University graduate with aspirations of becoming a poet who ends up working in a bookstore.

Contactmusic.com reports that Scott Coffey will direct the movie which is scripted by Andrew Cochran. Michael Ohoven and Kevin Turrin will produce it.

Actors Zach Galifianakis and Shiloh Fernandez have reportedly been approached for the male leads.

Emma's next release will be "Homework" with Freddie Highmore and "Scream 4" opposite original "Scream" stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette and she revealed she is "honoured" to be a part of the movie.

"I was so honoured to work with veterans like Wes and Neve. And of course, the new generation - we called ourselves the 'new blood'. I basically spent two months screaming, covered in blood and laughing my head off in between each take - of course I'd do it again," she said.

Elizabeth Taylor's 'White Diamonds' still best-selling celeb fragrance

Elizabeth Taylor's 'White Diamonds' remains the world's best-selling celebrity fragrance of all time - 20 years after it first launched.

It is estimated that the global sales of the scent, which is manufactured by Elizabeth Arden, reached 61.3 million pounds in 2010.

The Oscar-winning actress, who died on Wednesday at the age of 79, was one of the first stars to launch a signature fragrance with any success, reports the Daily Mail.

Follow-up perfumes, which include ‘Diamonds and Emeralds’, ‘Diamonds and Rubies’ and ‘Black Pearls’ also continue to enjoy retail success, with sales of 76.9 million pounds in 2010.

‘White Diamonds’ sold for 200 pounds an ounce when it first launched in 1991 at the Marshall Field and Co department store in New York.

A private tea with the actress was on offer to the first 150 customers who bought a 300-an-ounce pounds limited edition.

Elizabeth Arden chairman E. Scott Beattie reassured consumers that the perfume range would not be discontinued.

“White Diamonds remains a best seller almost 20 years after its 1991 introduction, a testimony to her transcendent and enduring appeal,” he said.

“Our best tribute to Elizabeth Taylor will be to continue the legacy of the brands she created and loved so much,” he added.

Boasting 10 fragrances, Taylor launched her first ‘Passion’ in 1987 and released Violet Eyes in 2010.

With no major acting work in the last 10 years, the star''s fragrance sales enabled her to give generously to charity and maintain her lavish lifestyle.

A year after its launch, ‘White Diamonds’ won Women''s Fragrance of the Year and Best National Advertising TV Campaign for a Women''s Fragrance at The Fragrance Foundation''s FiFi Awards.

In 2009, it came first in the Fragrance Hall of Fame along with ‘Davidoff Cool Water’.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Movie tribute for Formula One legend Ayrton Senna

Formula One legend Ayrton Senna journey has been documented in a new film, which is set for release this summer.

Opening in Cinemas in June, ‘Senna’ tells the remarkable story of the Brazilian’s rise to superstardom in the world of racing.


After starting off in karting, Senna moved to Europe at the age of 18 before switching to open-wheel racing, The Sun reports.

But winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1983 acted as the springboard into his illustrious F1 career.

Senna made his F1 debut a year later and Asif Kapadia’s touching film documents the Brazil hero’s early years with Toleman-Hart and Lotus-Renault prior to his switch to McLaren-Honda in 1988.

A warts-and-all look at his rivalry with McLaren-Honda team-mate Alain Prost is also brought to life using previously unseen archive footage.

Senna won an astonishing 41 grands prix during his time in F1 before his untimely death at the age of 34 during the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994, The Sun reports.

Lady Gaga urges Malaysian fans to protest gay lyric censorship

Pop star Lady Gaga has urged fans in Malaysia to protest over her gay lyrics in 'Born This Way' single being censored.


Malaysian radio stations are playing edits of the song because they fear fines if they broadcast lyrics which promote acceptance of gay people, reports the BBC.

Speaking at a Google''s Californian HQ, Gaga said it was fans'' "duty as young people to have their voices heard".

"You must do everything that you can if you want to be liberated by your society, you must call, you must not stop, you must protest peacefully," the singer added.

In the song, she sings, "no matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian trans gendered life, you were born this way".

Elizabeth Taylor mourned by family and fans

Elizabeth Taylor was laid to rest Thursday at Forest Lawn in Glendale, with a private service conducted inside the Grand Mausoleum where she was to be interred, L.A. Now reports.


Security had been requested for the three to four dozen family members and friends expected to attend the funeral, Glendale police said. Shortly after 2 p.m., five limousines scooted past the media pack that surrounded the memorial park's entrance. They left shortly before 4 p.m. without making a public statement.

Family members planned to gather again Thursday night for a private service memorializing the legendary actress, who died at 79 of congestive heart failure.

Fans had been placing flowers at Taylor's star, near Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Avenue on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, since word of her 1:28 a.m. death Wednesday began to spread. A candlelit shrine was set up by staff in the VIP room at the West Hollywood bar the Abbey, where Taylor had been known to hang out, according to TMZ. A special "Blue Velvet Martini" was being sold in Taylor's memory all weekend, with proceeds going to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. At the Newseum in Washington, D.C., a display of front pages of myriad newspapers marked Taylor's death.

The speedy funeral service and interment — Taylor died at 1:28 a.m. Wednesday — is in line with Jewish tradition; she'd converted to Judaism in the 1950s, before she married Eddie Fisher.
The actress' good friend Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, is interred in a different wing of the Grand Mausoleum. See more pictures below.

Credit : latimesblogs.latimes.com

Yuri Gagarin's historic space flight recreated in movie

Late Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's historic flight around the Earth in 1961 has been recreated in a movie.

There is no film to show what Gagarin saw through the view ports of his Vostok capsule, there is only an audio recording of his observations, which has now been matched to high-definition video shot from the station.


“When you combine these pictures of what he was genuinely able to see with the excitement and tingle in his voice, it’s quite amazing,” the BBC quoted film director and space historian Dr Chris Riley as saying.

Gagarin became the first human to venture above the Earth’s atmosphere when he blasted away from the Tyuratam missile range (now the Baikonur Cosmodrome) in Kazakhstan at 0607 GMT on 12 April 1961.

His 108-minute journey around the globe took him across the Soviet republics, across the Pacific Ocean, over the Straits of Magellan in South America, above the Atlantic and Africa before re-entry and a bailout back to the ground near the city of Engels in southwest Russia.

The view down to Earth along this same path has now been filmed from the International Space Station (ISS).

Riley said organising the filming onboard the busy space lab was not straightforward.

“My stipulation was that we had to film it at the same time of day that Gagarin had seen it, to get the Sun angles right. Those chances only happen every six weeks,” he explained.

FirstOrbit will have a YouTube premiere next month to celebrate Gagarin’s achievement 50 years on.

Indians loved Elizabeth Taylor, the original Hollywood diva

Her posters made people freeze in their tracks. Her movies were seen again and again. But Elizabeth Taylor will be remembered by Indians as much as a woman who lived life on her own terms as an actress of striking beauty and talent.

Be it her many marriages, her phenomenal jewellery collection or her zest for life, she was the original Hollywood diva.

With the film legend passing away in Los Angeles at the age of 79 Wednesday, many Indians in showbiz and fashion recall being smitten by her arched dark eyebrows, piercing green eyes and oomph factor in the early 1960s.

"For me, she defined cinema and cinematic beauty. When I was a kid, people used to be very attracted to English films. We used to be in awe of her looks. I remember stopping for a glance at her poster," filmmaker Rohan Sippy told IANS. "Her presence will certainly be missed a lot."

Her portrayal of a promiscuous woman in "Butterfield 8" (1960) and an alcoholic woman trapped in a vicious marriage in "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" (1966) won her Oscars.

But perhaps her most famous role in India remained "Cleopatra" in 1961 - on the sets of which she met and fell in love with Richard Burton. Taylor was married eight times, including the two marriages to Burton.

"It was with a sense of awe that I watched 'Cleopatra' because it opened up a whole new world for me, particularly on gender issues. At that time in India, a woman's place was generally regarded as at home even though my own mother had a full time job," said journalist V. Romesh Kumar who saw "Cleopatra" at the age of 11.

"The fact that a woman could be a queen and a powerful one at that, able to exercise her own judgement was quite a revelation - and Taylor portrayed this forcefully."

Her wide eyes captivated many men.

"We have always perceived her as a rare personality... a lady who thinks from the heart..., and you can see it in her decisions," Jai of designer duo Parvesh-Jai told IANS.

"Like getting married again and again... falling in love again and again..., but nothing could stop her. She was a person who did what she felt was right," he added.

Jai feels at times, her love life overshadowed her work as an actress, although it reinforced her stardom and celebrity status.

Her style statement is still an inspiration for fashion designers.

"I loved her bold and individualistic style statement. Her death indeed comes as a shock. The loss will be irreparable to the world of art and cinema. She was truly someone who owned the room once she walked into one! Truly an inspiration for us," said designer Nida Mahmood.

Designer Arpan Vohra added: "It's really sad to bid goodbye to one of the most iconic glamorous beauties in Hollywood who in every way, be it with the movies or her personal life, made people talk about her.

"Her unmatched style statement of wearing jewels, and it is believed she had one of the world's best collections, hardly comes as a surprise because she used to flaunt them at all occasions," he said.

After reigning in Hollywood industry for over two decades, major movie roles started to dry up in the 1980s, although she later appeared as a guest star on "The Simpsons" and several TV movies.

In her later years it was her charity work for AIDS with the establishment of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and her friendship with late popstar Michael Jackson that kept her in the news.

She also launched lucrative perfume and jewellery lines, pioneering merchandising efforts by Hollywood stars.

Her life was also marred by health problems, many of which were attributed to a horse fall she suffered while filming "National Velvet". She also famously battled addictions to alcohol and drugs.

For the young southern actor Rana Daggubati, who is making his Bollywood debut with "Dum Maro Dum", her screen persona was very strong.

"Elizabeth Taylor was one of those actresses who had a very powerful hold on people here in India. Not only on-screen but her off-screen persona was really strong too. I have followed quite a lot of films of her," he said.