Archive | July, 2005

On The Garden Path

22 Jul

On the garden path

After Kaliyon Ka Chamanand Hawas, Meghna Naidu carries on her scorcher act with Mashooka, released this past week. Directed by Afzal Khan, Meghna is cast opposite popular model Aditya Bal. A triangle with Vidya Malwade completing the third angle the storyline deals with jealousy in love where Meghna portrays shades of grey. “The film is about the deep love between Sanjana and Vicky but Vicky has a past. “I am playing Sanjana who is very possessive about things in life. She has got everything that she has asked for in life. When she discovers that there was a girl in Vicky’s life she turns obsessive and violent.” Meghna says the film ultimately turns into a romantic thriller. “It also shows how youth should tackle issues in romance.” Besides Jackpot, a suspense thriller with Himanshu Malik, which is due for release Meghna is also working in Ishq Deewana. Here for a change she is playing “the mother of a four-year-old.” Some one who wants to work with Salman Khan, Meghna is also playing a glamorous model-turned-singer role in Bekarar. Talking about her journey to the profession Meghna says she came from a middle class and has yet to cross a “hundred miles before she reaches her destination.” On the more obvious journey, Meghna shares she loves to be in the U.S. at least once a year and can’t do without her mobile phone and credit card.

Hindu On Net

Fantastic Four – Kuasai Pawagam

20 Jul

AURA kuasa luar biasa yang dimiliki oleh empat superhero menerusi filem Fantastic Four berjaya meruntun ramai penonton ke pawagam.

Kejayaan itu dapat dilihat apabila Fantastic Four mengaut kutipan tiket paling tinggi sewaktu ditayangkan di Amerika Syarikat (AS) pada minggu lalu.

Sepanjang seminggu tayangannya, filem arahan Tim Story itu mengutip AS$56 juta (RM212 juta) daripada kutipan tiketnya.

Fantastic Four mengetepikan dua lagi filem yang menjadi saingannya iaitu War Of The World yang mengaut AS$30 juta (RM114) dan Batman Begins sebanyak AS$10 (RM38 juta).

Semua kutipan itu diperolehi menerusi tayangan di 3,602 pawagam seluruh AS.

Fantastic Four diwakili oleh empat superhero iaitu Ioan Gruffudd yang melakonkan karakter Mr. Fantastic, Jessica Alba (Invisible Woman), Michael Chiklis (The Thing) dan Chris Evans (Human Torch).

Sementara itu, Fantastic Four menemui penonton tempatan mulai 14 Julai.

Fakta menarik tentang Fantastic Four

– Filem yang mengisahkan empat superhero ini pernah pertama kali diangkat ke layar perak menerusi judul The Fantastic Four pada 1994. Bagaimanapun filem itu tidak dapat ditayangkan di pawagam kerana sebab-sebab tertentu.

– Lapan pelakon wanita, dicalonkan untuk melakonkan watak Invisible Woman. Mereka terdiri daripada Elisha Cuthbert, Julia Stiles, Kate Bosworth, Rachel McAdams, Elizabeth Banks, KaDee Strickland dan Naomi Watts. Namun, akhirnya Jessica Alba terpilih sebagai pelakon yang paling sesuai untuk melakonkan watak tersebut.

– Babak seminit Human Torch terbang di ruang udara Manhattan menggunakan latar belakang imej digital dan mengambil masa empat bulan untuk direkabentuk.

– Set replika jambatan Brooklyn, Manhattan yang digambarkan menerusi filem ini di bina di Kanada.

– Semasa Michael Chiklis (pemegang watak The Thing) disolek, dia sempat menonton perlawanan besbal pasukan kegemarannya, Boston Red Sox di televisyen. Pasukan itu memperolehi kemenangan pertama dalam Siri Kelas Pertama sejak tahun.

– Watak The Thing ditawarkan kepada Michael Chiklis selepas dicadangkan oleh pelakon Jennifer Garner (isteri Ben Affleck).

– Michael Chiklis mengambil masa tiga jam untuk memakai kostum bagi menjayakan karakter The Thing.

Utusan Malaysia

New Take For Star Charity

12 Jul

This year’s President’s Star Charity show takes on a whole new approach, with the theme “Helping Hands and Dancing Feet”.

Much like the NKF Cancer Show, there won’t be artistes performing dangerous stunts or competing against each other in gameshow-like contests to raise funds.

Come July 31, local celebrities such as Zoe Tay, Ann Kok, Celest Chong, Darren Lim and Aileen Tan will perform song and dance items in aid of 47 beneficiaries. Actresses Joanne Peh and Li Lin, along with the Flying Dutchman, will host the show.

Zoe will be performing a dance item with fellow actress Andrea De Cruz and 30 children, which she describes a a “heartwarming act”.

“It doesn’t matter what I perform, just as long as it’s for charity,” said Zoe, who was last seen performing her dice-stacking act at the NKF Cancer Show.

The show will also include a special performance from Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam, with a gymnastic act by The German Wheel.

“Singapore is a city that has a special place in our hearts and we are honoured to be a part of this important and prestigious annual charity event,” said Milan Rokic, Cirque du Soleil’s Asia Pacific marketing director.-

Channel News Asia

Half A Million Viewers Tune In To Channel NewsAsia's 'Live' IOC Coverage

8 Jul

SINGAPORE : Nearly half a million viewers tuned in to Channel NewsAsia’s ‘live’ coverage of the 117th International Olympic Committee sessions.

170,000 people tuned in to find out which city gets host the 2012 Olympic Games.

While over 240,000 viewers watched the opening show on Tuesday.

And for many, it was probably the next best thing to being there – as they remain glued to MediaCorp’s Channel NewsAsia.

One viewer said, “David Beckham, his wife and the Queen of Spain…I tune(d) in because I found that interesting, that they came to our city Singapore, and Channel NewsAsia covered that and gave me a feel, even though I didn’t see them in person.”

Another commented, “The coverage was very nice, very exciting, all the people were watching, they really like it.”

A third noted, “I was glued to CNA the whole day and I wanted to know who will win.”

“I felt excited when the results came out and I like the presenters,” said one viewer.

Another added, “They are pretty professional, pretty extensive live coverage.”

“What CNA did do….was show a lot of depth and try to get on site interviews which I thought were well done,” said one viewer.

Ong Hee Yah, Managing Director, Programming, Channel NewsAsia,
“Kudos to the entire production team who spent weeks working on the show as they do for most of our big news event. It’s very gratifying to know that whatever we produced is watched by so many throughout the day and they were all tuning in to CNA; that’s a very nice feeling to have.”

MediaCorp’s two-day ‘live’ coverage of the IOC Sessions was also the preferred choice for foreign delegates as well as viewers in the region. – CNA/ms

Channel News Asia

Sci-Fi As Social Commentary, But Is Anyone Listening?

1 Jul

ANAKIN Skywalker lowers his face, raises one eye, adopts his characteristic scowl and coldly informs Obi-wan Kenobi: “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.”

And suddenly, you’re watching a scathing, and none-too-subtle, critique of the current Bush Administration.

How did that happen?

Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith is, to be sure a Star Wars film. Just 30 minutes earlier, the audience found itself chuckling at Padme Amidala’s request for Anakin to hold her “like he did by the lake in Naboo”.

But by the end of the film, the woman had transformed into Michael Moore, spouting leftist lines like: “This is how liberty dies – with thunderous applause.”

Revenge of the Sith had evolved into Fahrenheit 9/11 – with thunderous applause from the critics.

That’s entertainment. That’s science fiction.

The early prophecies

George Lucas has retrospectively claimed that the idea to write Star Wars came in 1971, as a reaction to the expanded executive under then President Richard Nixon and the escalation of the Vietnam War. The rise of American militarism and the subsequent Watergate scandal of 1974 convinced Lucas to write a space opera about an empire controlled by a leader with a penchant for bombing foreign territories.

But Lucas had no intention of depicting the Nixon administration through a film such as All the President’s Men (1976). Instead he gave Nixon a black helmet, called him Darth Vader and shielded his political commentary behind the black cloak of science fiction.

This is nothing new, of course. The first instance in full-length feature film-making was Fritz Lang’s seminal 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis, telling a history lesson before the history had been written.

Lang created a futuristic dystopian nightmare. As industrialised factories with Henry Ford’s revolutionary production lines materialised across the western world, Lang recognised the widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots.

The Metropolis of Lang’s film featured endless skyscrapers and hellish, crowded subterranean dwellings. His simple message was prophetic: Dictators will learn to control science and dominate industry to rule over the masses.

Blade Runner (1982), Star Wars: Episode II – The Attack of the Clones (2002) and the upcoming The Island (2005) are just three films that have expanded on Metropolis’ basic theme of manipulating technology to incorporate the perils of human cloning.

(On a smaller-scale on television, but with equal if not greater impact, was Gene Roddenberry’s cult TV series Star Trek, which used alien worlds to more palatably discuss social issues of the day. Star Trek is also notable for featuring the first ever inter-racial on-screen kiss.)

Invasion of the unseen enemy

Interestingly, the Star Wars franchise and War of the Worlds, which was released worldwide on Wednesday, also highlights modern society’s inability to learn from its 20th century mistakes.

Lucas was fascinated by man’s willingness to forgo personal freedoms in his quest for greater homeland security to conquer perceived threats to society.

Examples include the Roman Empire after Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler after the humiliating Treaty of Versailles and, of course, Nixon after the perceived lawlessness (race riots, student protests, anti-war demonstrators of the late 1960s), which triggered the first in George Lucas’ saga, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).

In 2005, little has changed. The parallels between Nixon/Bush and A New Hope/Revenge of the Sith are obvious.

America is once again manipulating a nation’s fears to fight an unpopular war against a foreign, weaker enemy, suppressing personal freedoms in the process.

But the evolution of War of the Worlds is quite remarkable. Written by the fervent socialist HG Wells in 1898, the novel tapped into Britain’s genuine concerns of an invasion.

Germany’s expansionism at the turn of a century was a very real threat to Britain’s empire and naval interests (the two countries would be at war by 1914).

The martians who invade our planet represent the ultimate imperialists, and highlight the folly of man’s dependence on technology.

(In line with Darwinism, the martians are eventually destroyed not by weapons of destruction, but by the Earth’s “alien” environment. Global warming, anyone?)

When Orson Welles’ radio play of War of the Worlds terrified the New Jersey populace in 1938 (they thought it was a genuine news bulletin), Hitler’s quest for Lebensraum (living space) would plunge the world into darkness a second time just a year later.

It just keeps going on

In 1953, War of the Worlds hit the silver screen for the first time. The Cold War was just warming and Joseph McCarthy had Americans looking for “Reds under the bed”.

But there is only one thing more terrifying than being attacked by a fellow superpower with an opposed political doctrine: Being attacked by an invisible enemy.

War of the Worlds has never been more relevant today. To Wells’ martians, the loss of human life is an irrelevance; a necessary but insignificant detail on their way to pursuing a greater goal (they want the planet for themselves).

It all sounds depressingly familiar and Steven Spielberg, who helmed the latest version starring Tom Cruise, has drawn parallels between the movie’s basic premise and the world’s fears of a faceless invader since 9/11.

The apprehension of German militarism has given way to concern over nuclear and biological weapons, but little else has changed.

From Nixon to Bush, Bismarck to Bin Laden, science fiction movies continue to present cryptic history lessons disguised as escapist fantasy.

Unfortunately, the storyline keeps repeating itself. –

Channel News Asia