10032019-LSTL-01.qxd 3/9/2019 7:47 PM Page 1 c m y b TRIBUNE Big change Actress Bidita Bag, who played the character of Indian stunt woman Reshma Pathan in the film “The Sholay Girl”, says society’s attitude has changed towards women. IANS LUDHIANA | SUNDAY | 10 MARCH 2019 GOLDEN SILENCE Ben Affleck declines commenting on Steven Spielberg GLAM QUOTIENT: Paris Hilton walks the ramp at the Christian Cowan x The Powerpuff Girls fashion show at City Market Social House in Los Angeles. AFP Hollywood star Ben Affleck, who is gearing up for the release of his next film Triple Frontier on Netflix, declined commenting on filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s push for blocking streaming of movies from the Oscars. Spielberg’s Academy Award attention was devoted to ensuring that the race never sees another Roma, a Netflix film backed by massive sums, that didn’t play by the same rules as its analog-studio competitors. He feels Netflix should only compete for awards in the Emmy arena. As the Academy Governor BEN AFFLECK STEVEN SPIELBERG representing the directors’ branch, Spielberg is eager to support rule changes when it convenes for its annual postOscar meeting. Affleck said: “That’s really a question for various other interested outside groups and how they define the popular arts... that they are interested to give awards to or not or how you are kind of qualified for that which I am not. I am not on the board of governors of the AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) or any other group.” Triple Frontier, slated for release on March 13 and directed by J.C. Chandor, tells the story of five former Special Forces operatives who reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. “Triple Frontier”, which had a theatrical release on March 6 in the US, also stars Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal. — IANS ‘I like to celebrate life’ In Chandigarh for a special screening of Mere Pyare Prime Minister, famous filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra says as opposed to what the title says, the movie is on women’s safety Nonika Singh W POSITIVE NOTE HEN a film’s title incorporates the name of Prime Minister, preceded by an endearment, a question instantly raises its head... Is it an ode to Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Celebrated filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, in Chandigarh for a special screening of his latest directorial signature Mere Pyare Prime Minister, agrees the question is valid. But in the same breath, he also insists how his film is not political. “The use of the word Prime Minister is just a symbol of authority and applicable to any prime minister, not just the current one.” Also to those who believe the film set in a slum of Mumbai takes up the issue of sanitation and open defecation, he counters, “This is no toilet film, but focuses on women’s safety and hovers around a single mother and a child, and deals with how we as a society deal with a rape victim.” Indeed, like all his films such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Rang De Basanti, it is inspirational, and he promises to bring a tear and a smile on your face. “I like to celebrate life with its pockmarks and flaws intact. I want you to walk out of the theatre feeling positive.”’ Pray how can the tale of a rape victim be inspirational? He ponders and says, “That is the point. We should stop victimising the victim. Undeniably rape is harrowing and not just violates a woman physically, but also psychologically. Yet there is life beyond rape.” A maker for whom direction is a very personal thing, not just lights, camera and action also explains, “Personal does not mean having borne it on one’s own skin, but how I relate to it at a personal level.” However, to grasp his subject better, he did rent out a tenement in slums for a fortnight and as he puts it, “Till I could understand what it means to get into the line for a toilet, I would have not been able to write the film.” WORD OF PRAISE During the making of Mere Pyare Prime Minister, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra not only spent time in slums, but also picked up child actors from the not-so-privileged background. Since the film pits National Award winning actor Anajli Patil with raw child actors such as Om Kanojiya, he reasons, “With children, experience in acting works against them.” As for Anjali, he is all praise, “She stays in her character and becomes the part.” MERE PYARE PRIME MINISTER IS NOT A WESTERN OR RICH MAN’S OR BOLLYWOOD’S PERSPECTIVE OF SLUMS. IT IS AN INSIDE-OUT FILM. NEARLY HALF OF MUMBAI’S POPULATION LIVES IN SLUMS... THINK ABOUT IT REWARDING EXPERIENCE PHOTO: NITIN MITTAL THE UNEXPECTED MAKES US GROW, WHICH IS WHAT THE PAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN ABOUT. LEARNING THAT I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH NEUROENDOCRINE TUMOUR HAS BEEN DIFFICULT, BUT THE LOVE OF THOSE AROUND ME HAS BROUGHT ME TO A PLACE OF HOPE Interestingly the writer in Mehra works in many directions; as of now there are six subjects on his mind. “A writer can multi-task as mind can wander in many directions, but a director has to bear in mind the actors as also his crew.” At the end of the day, he finds both endeavours rewarding and fulfilling. Cinema for Mehra is not just entertainment; “Just as we eat to satiate more than hunger pangs, similarly a film goes way beyond the surface level purpose of entertainment.” Yes, at times what he wants to say may not resonate with viewers, as happened with Mirzya. He quips, “I allow myself the luxury to fail with each film. Success and failure are not just the two sides of the coin, but the same thing.” Of course, nothing deters him from looking ahead. UP NEXT In the pipeline is Farhan Akhtar-starrer Toofan. Before you jump the gun and question why another sports drama... he shoots back, “It is the story of a boxer, but the film is essentially an intense love story.” Having pioneered the trend of sports biopics, the last thing he would care to do is repeat himself. So any other real life story agitating his mind and he says, “Unless through that life I want to say something, unless that life is saying something to me as Milkha Singh’s did, I wouldn’t bother.” Milkha Singh is special so is Mehra’s bond with City Beautiful and Punjab. Another story on Punjab may not be in the making right now. But his next production, Pal Do Pal, directed by Atul Manjrekar, will certainly be shot in Chandigarh with dollops of Punjabi flavour and fervour. Piggyback riding on social issues may not be on his agenda, but devoid of heart and soul, his films rarely are. A tear and a smile are not only what he promises, but also delivers! Goldberg almost died! Actress Whoopi Goldberg has revealed that she almost died during her battle with pneumonia, but she is fine now. The 63-year-old Oscar winner pre-recorded a message that was played during the recent episode of The View, a show where Goldberg serves as a co-host. “Hey, yes, it’s me. I am here. I am up and moving around. Not as fast as I’d like to be, but I am okay. I’m not dead. So here’s what happened: I had pneumonia and I was septic. Pneumonia in both lungs, which mean there was fluid, there was all kind of stuff going on,” Goldberg said. “And yes, I came very, very close to leaving the Earth. Good news, I didn’t. Thank you for all of your good wishes. And all of the wonderful things that you have been saying,” she added. The actress said she is also grateful to those who do not like her, but still sent their get well messages. “Even people who are not huge fans of mine have actually said nice things about me. We all know that’s gonna change when I get back, but for right now it’s brilliant,” Goldberg said. She then addressed her co-hosts and said, “Ladies, I cannot wait to see y’all. This has been interesting and I’ll tell you about it when we’re all at the table. See you soon.” — PTI ALL WELL: Whoopi Goldberg email@example.com Irrfan makes an appearance Actor Irrfan Khan, who returned to India last month after receiving neuroendocrine tumour treatment in London, was spotted at Mumbai airport on Saturday. According to the photographs that surfaced online, Irrfan can be seen avoiding paparazzi at the airport as he chose to hide his face with a muffler. He was spotted wearing a pink jacket and camouflage pants. However, it was not clear where the Piku actor was heading to. Back in March last year, Irrfan had revealed that he has been Irrfan Khan was spotted at the Mumbai airport on Saturday c m y b diagnosed with a rare tumour. Soon after, he went to London for treatment. “The unexpected makes us grow, which is what the past few days have been about. Learning that I have been diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour as of now has admittedly been difficult, but the love and strength of those around me and that I found within me has brought me to a place of hope,” Irrfan earlier said while sharing the news of his tumour. It is also reported that the 52-year-old actor will soon start shooting the sequel of his 2017 film Hindi Medium. — IANS “I AM OKAY. I’M NOT DEAD. SO HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED: I HAD PNEUMONIA IN BOTH LUNGS, WHICH MEAN THERE WAS FLUID, THERE WAS ALL KIND OF STUFF GOING ON.”
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