100 years cinema

Dear Movie Critics


What do you gain by giving shitty reviews to beloved YA adaptations? You think you’re showing your smarts by condescending to teenagers? You think you’re proving how intellectual and discerning you are by dissing good movies simply because they are about teens? The only thing you’re proving is that you have no idea what you’re talking about when you compare Twilight to Vampire Academy or The Hunger Games to Divergent. You have no issues with one after the other Iron Man, Super Man, Spider Man, Cockroach Man, This Man, That Man (no Wonder Woman, btw), but you complain that “There are too many dystopian science fictions with strong female leads”. Hypocritical, much? (Your idea is that there can never be enough of movies that cater primarily to men, but when it comes to movies aimed at women, there can only be *one* franchise for people who like vampires, and *one* for people who like magic, etc.)

You know what you’re really doing here? You’re dragging down franchises that-
1. Have female leads, and female characters that tell young women that their primary function is not to serve as a romantic interest for a male, and that romance is only one of the many possibilities in their lives.
2. Pass the Bechdel Test with flying colours.
3. Portray sexual and gender minorities with respect and empathy.
4. Cater to the entertainment and intellectual needs of young people simultaneously.
5. Give young women role models of their own gender.

I’m glad The Mortal Instruments is getting a sequel no matter what you said, and I hope the same for Vampire Academy and Divergent. We need more movies about women like Clary, Isabelle, Rose, Lissa, and Tris, who represent what women are really like: a mixture of strengths and weaknesses, who have their own voices with which they tell their own stories, and have complex lives. In other words, we need portrayals of women not merely as the tits-and-ass object of a guy’s fantasies (I’m looking at you, Transformers). After more than 100 years of cinema, we are finally getting to see ourselves on screen.
No wonder the hoary old farts in their ivory towers want to take it away.

No, I think it’s quite unrealistic to expect what we call Bollywood or–I don’t think we should restrict ourselves when we’re talking about 100 years of cinema, we shouldn’t be talking only about Bollywood because after all there’s the Tamil cinema, and there’s Malayalam cinema and so on. But I think what unites all of them when we speak of their genre of filmmaking is that it’s commercial cinema. And I think to have expectations of a certain sort of–of any kind of politics, especially radical politics, coming out of a system which is essentially constructed around money, I think its an unrealistic assumption. I think that it’s something which will never be fulfilled. After all, if we look at America and you look at Hollywood, there are films that question the status quo in America, but they don’t come out of the studio system, because that studio system is like Bollywood, it’s all about money its about somebody is going to invest money. Now the sum of money may not be a hundred crore like in a big feature film, it could be five crore, but who is going to give you five crore and not expect returns. So I think the key to understanding commercial cinema whether it’s out of Bollywood or Chennai or Thiruvananthapuram or Kolkata, is that it’s essentially about money. And I think there was a brief period in the ‘70s and '80s when, what used to be called the Film Finance Corporation and later the National Film Development Corporation, tried to slip in and support what was called alternative cinema. It was an interesting experiment but doomed to fail because, you know, here you had films that were meant to push the boundaries of what we are talking about, they were meant to take on themes of the countryside, of what was happening in villages, but it was funded by the government! The government was happy to give a little bit of money to allow those films to be made, but they put nothing into the distribution of those films–and I’m not surprised because some of those films were, in their own way, quite radical in their questioning of what was going on. So whether it’s Bollywood commercial cinema or it’s a state supported alternative cinema, I think that it would be very very naive to expect them to actually produce anything which questions the status quo–which is I think when we are talking about political cinema, that’s what we are talking about, films that actually question things, and that’s not going to happen.
DAY 3173

Jalsa, Mumbai              Dec 5/6,  2016             Mon/Tue  12:32 am

Just came to learn of the passing away of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalitha , a dynamic politician, but before that, a super star of Tamil Cinema … her work as a leading lady is iconic. Then to shift to politics and succeed as a woman in the hustle and bustle of politics, facing hardships but coming out victorious, is historic documentation of the will and the strength of the lady. She had become the Amma of the State, loved and admired by her followers and her adversaries. An iron lady !

Prayers now for her soul to rest in peace !

I had met her on several occasions. Initially when she was a leading lady in films in Tamil, I had met her at the Gemini Studios in Chennai, where during my early years I would be shooting there as well ..

Later when she joined politics, one followed her dramatic rise as a politician and her attaining the highest honour of being voted the first woman CM of Tamil Nadu ..

I had last met her when she conducted a massive event in Chennai in celebration of 100 years of Indian Cinema - the only State and CM to have done this. Not only did she honour the local Tamil Industry, but acknowledged the artists from all the regions of the nation - a most noble gesture. I wrote to her acknowledging this and she replied back. My last communication with her was when I wrote to her congratulating her on her recent massive mandate during the last elections in her State. And got a prompt response. 

Some of the schemes she doctored and initiated was the efforts made for the poor. The people of Tamil Nadu loved her and she will be dearly missed now, in the changing scenario.

When a leader, a Chief Minister, the head of State, passes away in the middle of their term it creates a most sensitive situation. Who passes the orders for the running of the State, who shall execute now on her behalf, or be sworn in as interim head ? These and many more questions shall be the most important issues in the days to come ..

The Southern regions of India have always been very culture conscious and emotional in their demeanor. I pray that the situation settles down with this demise of the CM. 

An important pillar of the Tamil people and its politics has fallen !

An event that I had committed to took place this evening and I was to attend another celebration later tonight .. but have stayed back .. as they say in show business ‘the show must go on’ …. and so it does .. 

One of the aspects of medical care is the knowledge that one gathers on the complex human body .. and it is quite remarkable that when one studies it, one cannot but admire in wonder and in awe, how on earth did nature construct our system. Such an intricate labyrinth of parts and functions .. it is impossible to even decipher what and how we were all made and constructed .. 

And so what we conclude from the facts of nature are that, since we are unable to fathom the construct and functioning of our body, is it not collectively mandatory to honour and respect its functioning, by doing justice to it and giving it sufficient care and concern, so that as time passes, it comes to our help in more ways than one.

And this is the reason why care to our systems is a must. We cannot tell or even begin to gauge what the genes born with, were attributed to. But we can through experience and medical advice give the body what it needs most .. CARE .. !!

my love to all .. I care therefore I leave .. its 6 am call tomorrow !

Amitabh Bachchan