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  Bollywood Watch        Bollywood | Bollywood Preview

Not To Be Missed: Khaas Baat picks the 12 best movies of 2005.
By Shephali J. Rele

Each of these films presented something special to the audience, whether it was sheer entertainment, unique storytelling, inspiring performances or a combination of these qualities along with memorable music. (listed alphabetically)

“Black”

“Bunty aur Babli”

“Dus”

“Hazaaron Kwaishein Aisi”

“Iqbal”

“Morning Raga”

“My Brother Nikhil”

“My Wife’s Murder”

“Page 3”

“Paheli”

“Parineeta”

“Sarkar”





Anusha Kuchibhotla stars in “Chains.”
THE ‘CHAINS’ OF FILMMAKING
By NITISH S. RELE - editor@khaasbaat.com

Meet Madan Bellam, a former engineer who founded Maaya Corporation, a software company in the Silicon Valley, and now is director-producer of an Indo-American thriller “Chains.” The California resident is gearing up to send the 108-minute movie starring Eric Roberts, Anusha Kuchibhotla, Jacob Narayan, Rashmi Rustogi and Ann Russell to film festivals after private screenings.

Shot in San Francisco, the film is about two friends, Meera and Susan, from different lands whose bonds transcend nationalities, until Susan mistakes Meera’s marriage as abusive. Bellam is quite open about the influence and inspiration behind the story, which he co-wrote.

“I wanted to show the subtleties of domestic abuse by weaving it into a story that will inform and entertain,” says the 40-year-old who spent $250,000 to make “Chains” in less than a year. “I was influenced by the wonderful integration of the Indian culture into Western culture in ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and have attempted to present a realistic and non-stereotypical point of view.”

Bellam is working on his next project, a film that will be shot in Telugu and Hindi in India. “The film’s roots are based on ‘The Godfather’ by Coppola,” he reveals. “I will shoot it in Cuddapah village in Andhra Pradesh, where I was born.”

For more information on Bellam’s film, click on www.chainsthemovie.com


IN MEMORY OF A GREAT MUSIC DIRECTOR


The Kronos Quartet poses with Asha Bhosle, second from left.
U.S. STRING GROUP PAYS TRIBUTE TO R.D. BURMAN
By NITISH S. RELE - editor@khaasbaat.com

Kronos Quartet deserves a pat on the back. Make that two. After all, how many string quartets would dedicate an album in honor of one of Bollywood's favorite musical directors R.D. Burman?

The soon-to-be-released CD, "You’ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R D Burman’s Bollywood" is produced by the California-based group, which is made up of David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola) and Jennifer Culp (cello).

It’s the first time that Kronos Quartet, founded by Harrington about 32 years ago, has produced an album. It also is a first collaboration for the group with a Bollywood personality - Asha Bhosle. Harrington explains in detail how the CD came about: “I’ve known R D Burman’s music for 15 years,” he says.

“My collection of Indian film soundtrack is probably the largest of any kind that I have. As I listened to the collection, I began to realize that quite a few were either composed or sung by Burman. And the female singer was Asha Bhosle.”



The Kronos Quartet
More than a decade ago, a friend handed Harrington "Aaj Ki Raat" - Asha Bhosle’s album. In 1999, the Quartet recorded a solo version of Aaj Ki Raat with tabla maestro Zakir Hussain. It didn’t take long for Bhosle to hear about Kronos’ work.

“Since 2000, I began to go back to Burman’s music and finally it seemed like the right time to make an album,” says Harrington. Soon, he got in touch with Bhosle and within a few months, recording for the album was completed.

“I wanted to use original recordings like in Western classical music,” he says. “In the spirit of Burman’s musical polyglotism, Wu Man’s pipa was substituted for the santoor and sarod. And because rhythmicality is an essential ingredient in Burman’s music, we brought in Zakir Hussain.” v Kronos itself augmented its acoustic sound with keyboards, percussion etc.

Of the 12 tracks on the album, Bhosle has sung eight, including the ever-popular Dum Maro dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna), Chura Liya hai, (Yaadon Ki Baraat), Piya Tu ab to aaja, (Caravan), Mera Kuchh Saaman, (Ijaazat), and two Bengali songs.

“Asha Bhosle is not just a great singer but also a great musician. Her voice is an instrument in itself,” says Harrington. Each member of Kronos also has contributed a solo with the cello, violin and viola

"You’ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R D Burman’s Bollywood," will be released this month in the U.S. Harrington hopes that it will be released in India some day also.

“Burman was an amazing creative composer and I feel inspired, better and refreshed after wrapping up the album,” says Harrington.

“I hope an audience is out there that will become acquainted with the genius of R D Burman and the unbelievable mastery of Asha Bhosle.”




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