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MTV IGGY Interview.
"Anurag Kashyap is easily the most exciting filmmaker we have in the country at the moment"
On why his happiest experiences have been with first time filmmakers: "testicular fortitude"
Why he admires Shah Rukh Khan (career management, not the acting!)
why Irfan Khan is superior to the actors of his generation, and so much more.
"'Bollywood' was pejorative which used to run down our industry. It's a measure of our combined idiocy, that we have embraced the term"
Link courtesy Ajit Sanzgiri
Also See: Naseer: Not Enjoying Films Anymore
More parts of the interview:
Given that it is Holi, it seems appropriate to mention that the soundtrack of Gulaal is available now (including, needless to say, Ranaji, which is clearly the chartbuster) and is on a loop for me on Musicindiaonline
The happy thought is that the whole movie is apparently a tribute to Sahir and his classic from Pyaasa. Incidentally, while raving about the music, should have mentioned a bit more about Piyush Mishra, who apparently was at National School of Drama (NSD) with Anurag Kashyap. He's the lyricist and music composer, and has even sung two songs (Ye Duniya and Shahar with the other writer-singer-songwriter genius, Swanand Kirkire, who wrote and sang Baawra Man in Hazaaron...).
A bit of googling tells me that he made his debut in films as an actor with Mani Ratnam's Dil Se in 1998 but continued theatre in Delhi. He did the dialogues for The Legend of Bhagat Singh, for which he won some awards. He acted as Kaka in Vishal Bhardwaj's Maqbool and has acted in films like Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Mathubhoomi, Deewar and 1971. He is also the lyricist for Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday and has written the songs of Aaj Nachale, Tashan and Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar. Clearly, someone to watch out for.
No matter where you choose to hear it, I'd suggest not relying on this this site for lyrics. A friend wrote in excitedly to say that there were full lyrics along with the audio-tracks. A brief look tells me that there are major problems. For example, take just this bit from here:
Ghalib ke momann ke khwaboo ki duniya,
Majazo ke unnan kalabo ki duniya ] - 2
Faiz phirako sahil O Makdhoon
Mir ki zauko ki dhago ki duniya
Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaye tho kya hia - 3
Clearly, it should be:
Ghalib ke, Momin ke, khwabooN kii duniyaa
MajazoN ke un inquilaaboN kii duniya
Faiz, FiraaqoN, Sahir-o-Makhdoom
Mir Kii, Zauq kii, DaagoN kii duniyaa...
This is not the only howler. But, never mind. Enjoy the music. Dab some Gulaal. Happy Holi.
Thankfully, some things never change. Came across this recently. Naseer doesn't sound as bitter as he did in between, but is as frank and forthright as ever.
Inevitably, among other things, he's asked about Slumdog and says it was "a Cindrella story. The ethos were real.. the rest wasn’t. If they ever attempted a sequel to it and showed what happened to Jamal after he won, then that would be worth a watch," and speaks a bit about the Slumdog kids too.
It's the same irrepressible intelligence and sense of humour that shines through. Sample this:
Q: Kamal Haasan is remaking A Wednesday in Tamil and will be playing your part.
NS: Okay, but why just mine? (Laughs) He should be playing all the parts.
Later found out that NDTV also had "the first couple of the first wave of new Indian cinema" -- Ratna Pathak Shah and Naseeruddin Shah -- on their Bombay Talkies recently. As usual, ended up catching it on the web. Definitely worth a watch. He may say he's not enjoying films anymore, which is a pity, but he does still seem to be enjoying himself.
Some of the interesting things: Talking about the "new wave" of the 1970s films: "The problem with the 70s filmmakers was that they were making films on esoteric subjects that they did not know too much about".
The film-making, he says, just did not move on. It got stuck..."In 99% cases, their first film is their best," he says, and goes on to name Shyam [Benegal], Govind[Nihalini], Kundan [Shah], Ketan[Mehta], Saeed [Mirz], Sudhir[Mishra], Vinod [Vidhu Vinod Chopra in this category.
And then he pauses to add as an afterthought: "OK, not Vinod. Vinod is yet to make a good film,” while wife Ratna Pathak Shah shushes him -- but agrees with him overall. The couple are delightful together. When asked what was Vidhu Vinod Chopra's first film, he laughs and announces theatrically, "Sazaa-e-maut," and adds that it should be the title of [VVC's] autobiography as well.
But, ironically, after having declared that for most of these directors, their first film was their best, he says that the only films out of the whole lot of 1970s that he at all cares for -- "they are the only ones that would stand the test of time" -- are Manthan and Ardh Satya [both second films, of Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalini respectively]
The interviewer, of course, did not pick on this, though Ratna Pathak Shah provided a perfect cue for it by adding that even Aditya Chopra did not make as good a film as Dilwale Dulhaniya...again but that of today's people she really is enthusiastic about Anurag [Kashyap] & Dibakar [Banerjee], both of whose second films are wonderful, she added ironically. I think she did mean the later films [unless she was talking about Black Friday for Anurag Kashyap] and that they have gone on to greater heights after their first film...
When asked to name his performances that are her favourites, she mentions Sparsh, Masoom, Monsoon Wedding, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, A Wednesday...and then adds, Bombay Boys which perhaps was his benefit as he agrees wholeheartedly. The couple are delightful together [She: 'Don't laugh at Tridev -- it ran our house for a long time']
Talking about Shyam Benegal, he say that even at the cost of hurting SB irreparably, he'd have to say that Manthan was SB's best film. And there is a very frank bit when he describes what happened between them: "I was a well-wisher till I was praising them. And...when I began criticising them, suddenly they said I was a traitor." Or words to that effect.
The biggest revelation for me was what he said about Khuda Ke Liye: "the most significant film i have done in my life...With all its flaws, I'd call it a great movie and not only for its last bit."
It is at the very end of the programme when he starts talking about how the film "connected very deeply" with him as he was "brought up in an orthodox muslim ghousehold" where an old maulana taught him, "muslims must do this, must do that...Islam is the best religion..everybody else is headed for hell...the earth is flat...".
The making of Dev D:
All right, let me gush.
To my off-hand list of good fun films of recent years -- such as Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisii, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Johnny Gaddar and Luck By Chance -- let me now add Anurag Kashyap's Dev D.
In fact, lest I get all rational and "balanced" about it later, let
me just come out and say it: For my money, it is by far the best Mumbai
film of the 21st century.
Let me confess that I went in with grave misgivings after having heard and read that Delhi's notorious "school MMS scandal" and the "BMW episode" were inspirations for the film. Particularly about the former, I had worried that the film would be exploitative. I was pleasantly surprised, if one can say that about something as grim as that. In fact, if anything, Anurag Kashyap's sensitive and empathetic portrayal of what the victim and the family go through establishes and anchors the film's emotional and moral core. Pathos doesn't descend into bathos. There is no melodrama: it is just a very honest look at attitudes and relationships. All the characters are imbued with a fragile vulnerability --the visceral rage of the father and the uncomprehending, innocent, anguished rage of the young child are heartbreakingly real. There is no coyness or sanctimonious moralising.
That, in a nutshell is the film's strength.
And to the filmmaker's credit, despite the very matter-of-fact portrayal of
things sexual, he manages to stay far away from prurience or voyeurism.