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AFTER his brief one-song appearance at the Film fare Awards night a couple of months ago, Shaggy, the reggae rapper, set Bombay on fire this week when he performed before a vast gyrating crowd. As the strains of the Boombastic rang out, his fans sprang to their feet, swaying and clamouring for more. Long queues pressed at the gates of Rang Bhavan and as one reveller said: "The show was a succes.''
HIS impish often self-deprecatory humour belies the earnestness of his purpose: battling the Hollywood juggernaut and keeping alive the creative genius. Anatole Dauman, septuagenarian film producer and indefatigable crusader for 'pure' cinema was in Delhi recently with a partial retro of the films he has produced since the late '40s for the likes of Robert Bresson, Alain Resnais, Nag-isa Oshima, Volker Schlon-dorff, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrei Tarkovsky and Wim Winders among others. "Freedom of creativity is under grave threat today," says Dauman. "Marketing is the new god." But as long as production houses like Dau-man's Argos Films keep chipping away at the commercial giants, good cinema cannot die.
MY STERIOUS are the ways of celebrity veejays. Gorgeous Moroccan-Goan fashion model Laila Rouass has denied that it is her lack of Hindi that has led to the fashion store Pantaloon pulling out of Channel V's Pantaloon Fashion Police Show. "It was just a media-created misunderstanding," says Rouass, about the routine end of a 13-week contract. Fashion lies not in what you say but how you look.
MOHAMMED Azharuddin may have been born on the wrong side of the tracks but things certainly seem to have taken a turn for the better. Now it is only Armani and Rolex for the captain of the Indian team. His pen is Mont Blanc, his car a Mercedes Benz convertible and his watch apparently costs Rs 2 lakh. Yet he insists that he continues to be distressed by poverty. "I do my bit for charity but I cannot say more about it. But that should not stop me from buying nice things for myself," he explains. Who can say that the captain is not a caring and sharing man?
A hundred percussionists and a thousand singers will sing and drum to maestro Zakir Hussain's tune at the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympic games this summer. Hussain, who composed the tune in three days, will conduct the eight-and-a-half minute opening composition along with co-composers Philip Glass and Mickey Hart. The story of the song is the primal tale of the original tribes that lived on earth centuries ago and later migrated to the five continents. Yards of silk will flow in the background, white pigeons will fly out of the drums and Zakir will be at the cen-tre of it all, the only Indian star, perhaps, at the Atlanta Olympics.