Archive for June, 2014


On my 39th Birthday, 22nd June 2014, at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo

On my 39th Birthday, 22nd June 2014, at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo

On my 39th Birthday, 22nd June 2014, at the Cinnamon Grand (Previously The Oberoi), Lobby, in Colombo, Sri Lanka
It’s been a while since I even felt like celebrating my birthday. This year I actually had a ‘Happy’ Birthday for a change. I don’t know why, but I guess I made myself feel happy that day. And it was a pleasant day.
June Pictures 026 B'day for BlogWent out for dinner with my baby sister, at ‘Echo’, connected to Cinnamon Grand. Had a nice evening.

30 years ago…

On my 9th Birthday (22nd June 1984), with my sister, at our home, (SLHC) New Delhi

On my 9th Birthday (22nd June 1984), with my sister, at our home, (SLHC) New Delhi

On my 9th Birthday (22nd June 1984), with my sister, at our home, at the Sri Lankan High commission residence, in New Delhi, India
June Pictures 018 My 9th B'dayOn my 9th Birthday (22nd June 1984), at our home, with kids from the Sri Lankan High commission, in New Delhi, India
June Pictures 019 (22nd June 1984)On my 9th Birthday (22nd June 1984), with my sister, at our home, at the Sri Lankan High commission residence, in New Delhi, India

20 years ago…

On my 19th Birthday (22nd June 1994), in front of our house (SLHC), New Delhi

On my 19th Birthday (22nd June 1994), in front of our house (SLHC), New Delhi

On my 19th Birthday (22nd June 1994), in front of our house, at the Sri Lankan High commission residence, in New Delhi, India (the 2nd time we went to live in Delhi)

Back to the Present day

Two days after my 39th Birthday (24th June 2014), In front of our house, 56, Siripura,

Two days after my 39th Birthday (24th June 2014), In front of our house, 56, Siripura,

Two days after my 39th Birthday (24th June 2014), In front of our house, 56, Siripura, SL.
Boy, I’ve put on sooooo much weight since then.

Other June B’day’s …
June B'days (2014)Billy Wilder, Meryl Streep and Cyndi Lauper (Born on 22nd of June), share birth date with me. Also see my post BW: THE BILLY WILDER BLOGATHON: Love in the Afternoon to see other famous personalities born on the 22nd of June.

Angelina Jolie & Hugh Dancy (Born in June, 1975), share birth month & year with me.
June B'days (2014) tooOther Celebrities born in the month of June …
Artist (Impressionist art/Painter) – Paul Gauguin, Artist (Sculptor) – Paul Landowski, Actor – Charles Coburn, Musician (Music Composer) – Cole Porter, Author – George Orwell, Actor – Peter Lorre, Stage Artiste/Dancer – Josephine Baker, Actress – Rosalind Russell, Actor – Errol Flynn, Actress – Jessica Tandy, Actress – Paulette Goddard, Actor – Robert Cummings, Musician (Music Composer/Song Writer) – Frank Loesser, Actress/Singer – Susan Hayward, Actress – Jane Russell, Actor – Louis Jourdan, Actress/Singer – Judy Garland, Film Director – Sidney Lumet, Actor – Tony Curtis, Actress/Singer – Marilyn Monroe, Poet – Allen Ginsberg, Film Producer – Robert Evans, Film Director – Jacques Demy, Actor/Writer – Gene Wilder, Actor – Morgan Freeman, Musician (Singer/Song Writer) -Paul McCartney, Film Critic – Roger Ebert, Author – Salman Rushdie, Actor – Peter Weller, Actor – Richard Lewis, Actress – Phylicia Rashad, Actress – Kathy Bates, Actor – Leonard Whiting, Actress – Isabella Rossellini, Actor – Liam Neeson, Actress – Kathleen Turner, Musician (Saxophonist) – Kenny G, Film Director/Screenplay Writer – Mani Ratnam, Actress – Frances McDormand, Singer – Prince, Actor – Michael J. Fox, Singer – Boy George, Actress – Sarika, Singer – Paula Abdul, Actor – Rupert Graves, Actor – Johnny Depp, Actor – Vincent Perez, Actress – Nicole Kidman, Actor – Chris O’Donnell, Actor – Josh Lucas, Actor – Jean Dujardin, Model – Heidi Klum, Adventurer/Television personality – Bear Grylls, Actor – Adam Garcia, Actor – Zachary Quinto, Actress – Zuleikha Robinson, Actor – Daniel Brühl, Actor – Dominic Cooper, Actress – Zoë Saldana, Actor – Kevin Bishop, Actor – Jason Schwartzman, Musician (Sitar player) – Anoushka Shankar, Sportswoman (Tennis Player) – Anna Kournikova, Actress – Natalie Portman, British Royalty – Prince William, Actor – Paul Dano, Actress – Sonam Kapoor, Singer – Lana Del Rey, Actress – Sonakshi Sinha, Actor – Michael Cera, Actor – Eugene Simon ….
Paul Baby….and many many more.

Nuwan Sen (JUNE 2014)

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I discovered Sidney Lumet films, pretty late in the day, for a film buff, though I was aware of some of his more famous work, since my teenage years. Some of the first films of his I watched were about a decade ago, The Appointment (1969), Serpico (1973), Murder on the Orient express (1974) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975). And the most recent movie of his I watched was, his feature length directorial debut, 12 Angry Men (1957).
Sidney LumetBeginnings
Sidney Lumet was born in Philadelphia, USA, on the 25th of June, 1924, to two veterans of the ‘Yiddish Theatre’. Thus, dramatic arts being in their bloodline, Lumet was lucky enough to be born into such a family. Lumet’s father was a Polish Jewish emigrant to the United States. Lumet’s mother died when he was still a child.

Sidney Lumet made his debut on Radio at the age of four, and by five he was already working on stage, as part of the ‘Yiddish Theatre’ group. Soon he was working on Broadway plays, and by eleven he starred in his first film, a short film called Papirossen (1935). At fifteen, he appeared on the feature film, One Third of a Nation (1939). But soon his acting career came to a standstill with the Second World War and him coming of age, and he was stationed in India and Burma as a radar repairmen between 1942 and 1946. On his return to the States, he formed an Off-Broadway theatre group, and became it’s director. Soon he evolved into being a highly respectable Television director. But it was only in his 30’s that he got to finally direct his very first feature film, 12 Angry Men (1957).
Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry MenSidney Lumet & Social Realism
I watched 12 Angry Men (1957), Lumet’s first big screen directorial venture, just late last month, when it was shown; projected on to a not so big – big screen; at the Ethnic Centre here. 12 Angry Men is about 12 angry jurors, headed by Henry Fonda.

A young Hispanic man is on trial for the murder of his intolerable father. As the juror’s are locked up in the room, to discuss the case, we find 11 of the juror’s having already made up their mind that the kid is guilty, except for one, Henry Fonda. It’s interesting to watch how effectively Fonda’s character creates doubt in each juror’s mind, and turns them one by one to agreeing with him on a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict, in this highly intellectualised film. A very intriguing character study of 12 varied unnamed men (simply known as Juror. #1, Juror. #2, Juror. #3 et al), stuck inside a room on a very hot day, with their temperatures rising to near boiling point. The film was nominated for three Oscars, including for ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director’.

Beautifully directed, it’s a bridge between art cinema and a commercial venture, which veers more towards art cinema. Yet, Lumet never liked to make his films too artsy, but at the same time wasn’t interested in making an overtly decorated, visually appealing, meaningless film either. He liked a social message input, he loved realism, yet the kind that people would enjoy watching. Lumet abided by a good script, great dialogues and superb performances from his actors, testing them to the limits, rather than action.

I had seen the latter remake (1997 version) of this movie starring Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, Edward James Olmos and Tony Danza, about a decade or so ago. Which too was a very good television adaptation. But the Lumet classic was a magnificent piece of social realism. In fact Sidney Lumet is known for films on Social Realism. Take Network (1976) for instance.

Faye Dunaway, on the phone, in a scene from, NETWORK

Faye Dunaway, on the phone, in a scene from, NETWORK (1976)

I watched Network, down under, in Sydney, back in 2008, when it was shown at the ‘Art Gallery of New South Wales’. We (my friends and I) use to  go and watch some great classic, and foreign language, movies at this Art Gallery in Sydney, while I resided there (2006-2008). Network is a fascinating tale of media manipulation (electronic media in this case) to get what they want. They’d do anything possible, to the extent of being inhumane to gain higher ratings for their show. The movie, staring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Robert Duvall and Peter Finch, shows how an ageing anchor, when fired, reacts in a strange way, and ends up being a martyr of sorts exploited by the television industry. The movie was nominated for 10 Oscars, and took home 4 trophies. Peter Finch was the first actor to win the ‘Best Actor’ award posthumously at the Academy Awards.

Network is a brilliant insight into media lifestyle, and my favourite Lumet film till date. Network was the second last Sidney Lumet film I watched until I saw 12 Angry Men, end of last month.

In 2007, while studying in Sydney, Australia, I watched Equus (1977), at my University (UNSW) library. Another superb character analysis here, with Richard Burton playing a psychiatrist trying to make sense of teenage boy’s unhealthy attraction towards horses. The boy, played by Peter Firth, finds sexual satisfaction through grooming horses and riding them in the nude. Yet one day in rage he blinds six horses in a stable. In early 2007, the play, by Peter Shaffer, which this movie is based on, was in the talks, as Daniel Radcliffe was performing the role of the teenage boy obsessed with horses, for a stage version, on the other side of the ocean. Soon I knew I had to check this film out, and it was truly worth it.

Richard Burton does a superb job as the psychiatrist, who ends up envying the young man, for the youngster finds more pleasure through horses, than the shrink has ever done in his life. Equus was nominated for 3 Oscars.
Sidney Lumet's Murder on the Orient ExpressLumet’s take on Agatha Christie
One of the first Lumet movies I watched was, Murder on the Orient Express (1974), just over a decade ago, whilst living in Oslo, Norway. Based on an Agatha Christie novel, this was a brilliant adaptation with a great star cast of legendary actors including Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman and Albert Finney to name a few. The whole movie set in a train, Pre-World War-II, where one of the passengers included, the famed fictional Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney). A business tycoon (Richard Widmark), has been killed, stabbed 12 times, and everyone has a motive. The suspects include a great glamorous star cast, with the who’s who of cinema. Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Vanessa Redgrave, John Gielgud, Michael York, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins and Jacqueline Bisset. Ingrid Bergman won the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ Oscar, the movie altogether was nominated for six awards.

Around the same time I also watched Lumet’s The Appointment (1969). Just don’t recall whether I watched in Norway or in England, UK. The Appointment, starring Omar Sharif and French actress Anouk Aimée, was a moderately good movie, set in Rome, about a husband who suspects his innocent wife of being a high-class prostitute, with tragic consequences.
The Appointment was nominated for the ‘Palme d’Or’ at the Cannes Film Festival in 1969.

Al Pacino Sidney Lumet films

Lumet works with Al Pacino
Around the same time, 10 years ago, in 2004, I watched Serpico (1973) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975), on the small screen, while living in Portsmouth, England, UK. Both starring Al Pacino, and both based on a true story. Serpico is a brilliant film, where Pacino plays a real life heroic cop, NYPD officer Frank Serpico, who went undercover to expose corruption in the police force. Dog Day Afternoon is a fictionalised story about an actual Brooklyn Bank robbery that took place in 1972, during the hot ‘sultry dog days of summer’. Both films were nominated in various categories at the Academy Awards, and Serpico took home no Oscars, including the ‘Best Actor’ trophy for Al Pacino, while Dog Day Afternoon bagged one but both Pacino and Lumet lost out on their consecutive awards yet again.

Christopher Reeve in DEATHTRAP (1982)

Christopher Reeve in DEATHTRAP (1982)

Lumet works with his daughter, Jenny
Sidney Lumet cast his writer daughter in three movies, including Deathtrap (1982), Running on Empty (1988) and Q & A (1990). Am yet to watch any of these movies.

Lumet’s last work
I watched Lumet’s last film, Before the Devil knows You’re Dead (2007), early on in 2008, on the big screen, in Sydney, Australia. By now Philip Seymour Hoffman, even more popular, post his Oscar win for Capote (2005), played the lead in this tragic cinematic piece of excellence.

Ethan Hawke and Marisa Tomei in a scene from BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD (2007)

Ethan Hawke and Marisa Tomei in a scene from BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD (2007)

Most probably the most out and out commercial venture made by Sidney Lumet. And not necessarily as great as many of his classics, but still an excellently well made movie. Before the Devil knows You’re Dead, is about two brothers who decide to rob their own parents jewellery store, yet hoping to make it a victimless crime. But there is no such thing as a perfect crime, thus things go haywire and their mother, who gets shot, falls into a coma. The movie has a great cast, besides Seymour Hoffman, it also stars Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei, and Rosemary Harris. Unfortunately, a talented actress like Marisa Tomei, is wasted in this movie. She’s used as nothing but a sex object, sharing a bed between two brothers. Married to one, and having affair with other.

Lumet classics am yet to watch
Besides Deathtrap (1982), Running on Empty (1988) and Q & A (1990),  there are so many of his films am yet to watch including, Stage Struck (1958), That Kind of Woman (1959), The Fugitive Kid (1959), View from the Bridge (1961), Long Day’s journey into Night (1962), The Hill (1965), The Anderson Tapes (1971), The Verdict (1982), Garbo Talks (1984), The Morning After (1986), A Stranger Among Us (1992), Guilty as Sin (1993), Night Falls on Manhattan (1997), Strip Search (2004), Find Me Guilty (2006) and much much more.

Night falls on Manhattan

Though Lumet was nominated many a times for various films, he never won an Oscar. But he did receive an Honorary Academy Award for ‘Lifetime Achievement’ in 2005.
He was also nominated twice at the Cannes Film Festival.
Altogether 14 of his films were nominated at the Oscars in various categories, and some of his films, made in the 70’s, took home more than one Oscar.

Sidney Lumet died, aged 86, of Lymphoma, on 9th April 2011. As soon as I heard of this, I paid tribute to the great director by making a ‘Set of 7’ list on IMDB, along with seven mini critiques (see my list Sidney Lumet: Set of Seven on IMDB).

Day before yesterday was Sidney Lumet’s 90th Birth Anniversary.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Audrey Hepburn plays ‘the afternoon girl’ of an ageing playboy in, Billy Wilder’s acclaimed romantic comedy, Ariane (1957) a.k.a. Love in the Afternoon.
Love in the Afternoon (1957) - Audrey Hepburn, Gary CooperI am taking part in ‘THE BILLY WILDER BLOGATHON’, organised by Aurora of Once Upon A Screen and Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled. Being a fan Audrey Hepburn, I chose to blog about one of my favourite Billy Wilder (& Audrey Hepburn) films, Love in the Afternoon (Ariane).

The first time I watched Ariane, which is set in Paris, France, was on the small screen, in Paris itself, back in 2008. Pretty late, for an Audrey Hepburn fan since childhood, since the early-mid 1980’s. The following year, 2009, just before leaving Paris, I came across the Ariane DVD, at the ‘Virgin Stores’ on the Champs-Élysées. Obviously I had to buy it, and have watched it a gazillion times since then.

Within my ‘Top-5’ favourite Audrey Hepburn films (4th to be exact), and with a great star cast with the likes of Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier and John McGiver, Ariane is amongst the most beautiful ‘Romantic Comedies’ ever, and one of Billy Wilder’s best in that genre. Wilder was a versatile film director who experimented with many a genres, from ‘Film Noir’ to ‘Melodrama’ to ‘Screwball Comedy’, et al.
Ariane posterSynopsis
A young French girl named Ariane Chavasse (Hepburn), a cellist, lives a simple life with her father Claude Chavasse (Chevalier), a private investigator, in a charming little apartment in the heart of Paris. The private eye’s latest case involves one of most notorious playboys, Frank Flannagan (Gary Cooper), he has been following, and the wife of a constantly grunting businessman played by John McGiver. One day Ariane overhears the businessman planning to shoot Flannagan who is romancing his wife in ‘suite 14’ at the Ritz Hotel. She rushes to save him, as The Gypsy’s play ‘Hot Paprika’ and ‘Fascination’ in the suite, and in turn can’t save herself falling for the very tall, ruggedly handsome, American, that Flannagan happens to be.
Soon she ends up being the nameless girl, he keeps referring to as ‘The Thin Girl’, he meets every afternoon.
Gary Cooper & Audrey Hepburn - Love in the Afternoon picture 2The Analysis
What is really interesting is how cleverly Ariane’s character manipulates Flannagan’s character and drives him to the verge of madness, to the extent of him forgetting his own business, i.e. the business of being a conniving playboy, so that he mends his ways and becomes completely hers. She’s so innocent and yet so smart, managing to push his ‘jealousy’ button to the brink of insanity.

Mr. Flannagan only meets Ariane twice, initially, before leaving Paris, and she’s already head over heels in love and pain. When he returns, he fails to recognise her on a chance meeting at a Symphony (here there is a cameo by Audrey Young, wife of film director Billy Wilder, as Cooper’s character’s date for the evening). Once he manages to remember Ariane, they start meeting every summer afternoon, but she let’s Mr. Flannagan only kiss her. She pretends to be a playgirl herself whose had at least 19 men before him, and sights many a stories of her various concocted conquests, that she has read through her own private library, i.e. her fathers collection of his various investigative files. Added to which she manages to bring false proof of her lovers, by showcasing fake gifts like a Herman fur coat or a platinum anklet. Yet she never lets him know who she is. She even hides her cello so that he has no aware that she is a musician. Thus the biggest complain for poor old Flannagan is that he can’t get to ‘first base’ with her, dispelling any indication, that the audience might assume, of the couple having sex in the afternoon. A playboy falls for a virgin, who pretends to be a playgirl that doesn’t let him touch her. A hilarious movie, that twists the playboy’s existence through a naïve young girl madly in love. The original ending of the film was changed (or rather a voiceover added), for the film was otherwise threatened to land on the ‘Catholic Legion of Decency’s – Condemned List’.

The music is beautiful. The scenery, the art décor and the cinematography are breathtaking. The atmosphere is romantic. And Love in the Afternoon is one of the most romantically enjoyable films ever made. One can just lose oneself in the movie, just like one can just lose oneself in the city of love itself, Paris.
Love in the AfternoonOther Essential Facts
In the beginning of the film, the voice over of Maurice Chevalier is heard saying, ‘‘….in Paris, people make love ….., The butcher, the baker, …….. Once in a while even existentialists do it…..’’. Audrey Hepburn filmed Ariane back-to-back with Stanley Donen’s Funny Face (1957), which too was set in Paris, and where Hepburn played an ‘existentialist’ herself (see my post Audrey Hepburn & The Musical).
Originally Cary Grant was to be cast as the male lead, but he refused, as he felt he was too old for it. Ironically, an even older Gary Cooper was cast instead. The 55 year old Cooper, though initially felt miscast for the role, ended up feeling very happy with the results. Cooper and Hepburn had great chemistry besides their massive age gap.
Director Billy Wilder, one of the greatest film personalities ever, was born on the 22nd of June, 1906. ‘THE BILLY WILDER BLOGATHON’ was created to celebrate this master’s work for his 108th Birth anniversary, which falls day after tomorrow. Billy Wilder was born exactly 69 years before I came into existence, to date. Some other famous personalities who share our (Wilder’s & mine) birth date, but not year, are Andrée Lumière, Charles Lindbergh Jr., Lionel Banks, Michael Todd, Prunella Scales, Amrish Puri, Meryl Streep, Cyndi Lauper, Douglas Smith and Joe Dempsie to name a few.

A must watch for any fan of Billy Wilder, Audrey Hepburn and the good old ‘Romantic Comedy’.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Thank you Aurora and Kellee, for letting me write about Love in the Afternoon (Ariane) for ‘THE BILLY WILDER BLOGATHON’.

Cheers
Nuwan Sen

Yesterday evening I watched L’Effrontée (1985) starring a prepubescent teenage Charlotte Gainsbourg. Daughter of two very famous/notorious controversial celebrities; French singer/songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg, and British born actress, Jane Birkin; Charlotte Gainsbourg, is one of most talented film personalities of France today.
L'Effrontée (1985)Directed by Claude Miller, L’Effrontée, is a coming of age story about a 13 year old motherless teenage girl, Charlotte Castang (played by Gainsbourg), on the verge puberty, set during the school’s summer vacation. The bored Charlotte always seems angry, especially as no one seems to understand her or take her seriously. Only friend she has, in her rundown neighbourhood, is Lulu (Julie Glenn), a sickly 10 year old tomboyish girl, who adores Charlotte, though Charlotte finds her a pest. One day Charlotte meets a sophisticated child prodigy, the famed pianist, Clara Bauman (Clothilde Baudon), who is the same age as her. Clara in jest asks Charlotte to be her manger, which poor Charlotte takes seriously, and feels might be her one way ticket away from her drab life.

The focal point of the movie is none other than Charlotte Gainsbourg herself. I don’t think there is even one moment without her presence, with the exception of the beginning of the party scene, where we see Clothilde Baudon playing the piano, and Gainsbourg making her entrance in the balcony. The camera moves around with Gainsbourg, in the whole movie. We don’t see anything she doesn’t. We aren’t aware of anything she isn’t aware of. Director Claude Miller has done a beautiful job of directing a very sensitive and delicate topic like adolescence, and Gainsbourg’s portrayal of this impudent girl, whose mother died when she was a baby, is nothing less than brilliant. One can see the inbreeding of the beginnings of a very successful career for the future Charlotte Gainsbourg.

One of best thing about this movie is, that it’s not about a teenager’s discovery of her sexuality, for a change. That particular cliché, associated with many a movies dealing with teenage issues, doesn’t really exist here. True there is an older man, Jean (Jean-Philippe Écoffey) who she hangs out with a couple of times, but she has no sexual interest towards him. In fact when he tries to force her, she escapes by hitting him on the head with glass globe. And though Charlotte’s adoration for Clara, is almost bordering on homoerotism, yet her deep admiration for Clara is more to do with her musical talent and posh lifestyle, than an attraction towards Clara herself. She keeps saying how much she loves Clara, but in actuality, what Charlotte really feels is an admiration towards her, like towards an idol, like little Lulu’s admiration towards Charlotte.

Another interesting role is that of Jean-Claude Brialy, as Sam, Clara’s manager. A genuine person who has great regard for Clara’s piano skills, and isn’t her manager, just for the money. Although he enjoys the luxury lifestyle he gets to live, thanks to her. He is also like the comic relief in somewhat tense moments where Charlotte is involved. Though this beautiful drama is not an out and out comedy, there are many a hilarious moments thanks to the natural acting talents when it comes to children, especially little Lulu. It’s also a great insight into growing up in the 1980’s, in a cut off little French village.

Charlotte Gainsbourg won the César Award (France’s national film award) for ‘Most Promising Actress’, for her role in L’Effrontée (1985).

L’Effrontée (1985), My Rating: 8/10. Very Good!! 

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Yesterday I watched a beautiful short film called Blood of Man (2013) on Youtube.
Blood of ManSet in the late 60’s, one summer, in Georgia, USA, the film is about a little boy who happens to be a compulsive liar, to the extent that his mother washes his mouth with soap. But one day, when the little boy Charlie (Cooper Guy) is walking with his older brother, Neal (William J. Harrison) through the woods, they come across a disturbing situation. Here the older brother tells a white lie, but Charlie, the compulsive liar, the day he should have lied to save someone’s life, out of fear doesn’t. The instant he should have actually lied, he doesn’t, which is something he would end up regretting for the rest of his life.
Ben Watts directing Canon KuipersDirected by Ben Watts, this beautiful little movie; though some what a bit too slow paced, with a feeling of it seemingly never ending, for a short film; is really worth checking out.

Blood of Man (2013) Rating 8/10

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Happy 29th Birthday to actress Sonam Kapoor.

Sonam Kapoor at the '67th Annual Cannes Film Festival' last month

Sonam Kapoor at the ’67th Annual Cannes Film Festival’ last month

Born in 1985, to the legendary Anil Kapoor; who starred in some beautiful Indian movies back in the 80’s and 90’s, and made it to Hollywood, towards the end of the last decade, by starring in the British Oscar winning film, Slumdog Millionaire (2008); Sonam Kapoor has managed to make a mark in the industry with her greatly unique dress sense. She’s not afraid to experiment, yet she doesn’t go Lady Gaga (though Lady Gaga’s unique, crazy, punk style dress sense is much appreciated too), by keeping her style elegant and a class apart. With elegance and sophistication, she joins the ranks of classy fashionistas of the past and present, such as Ingrid Bergman, Princess Gayatri Devi/Maharani Gayatri Devi, Jeanne Moreau, Audrey Hepburn, Simi Garewal, Parveen Babi, Rekha, Marion Cotillard, Miss Universe 1994 – Sushmita Sen and current Bollywood superstar – Priyanka Chopra, to name a few.
Sonam Kapoor FashionSo far as her acting career is concerned, I’ve only seen one movie of hers, Delhi-6 (2009) opposite Abhishek Bachchan. I actually found Delhi-6 really bad, close to being one of worst of ever ( I gave it a 2/10 rating), and a waste of time. But Sonam Kapoor was pretty good in her role, though there was nothing great in it. Now am more keen on checking out some of her better movies, like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) for example, which is based on a true story. Ironically, the near worse films ever, like Aks (2001) & Delhi-6, along with the moderately OK/watchable film like Rang De Basanti (2006), and one of best Hindi films of last year, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, were all directed by the same director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. He’s only made four feature length films, and we can see his progress as a director. Sonam Kapoor has worked with him in two ventures so far.
Sonam Kapoor White SuitI have seen Sonam Kapoor on television, in many a talk shows/interviews. I found her quite bold, independent and yet just like a little adorable kid. Her personality has a blend of sophistication, classy fashionista and childlike innocence. She’s already proven herself as an elegant lady with a great dress sense. I would love to see her acting career progress as well. Wishing her all the best for a fashionable happy future.

Nuwan Sen n’ Style
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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On Tuesday, 3rd June 2014, I watched the short film, Le Ballon de Rouge, when it was shown on TV5 MONDE. Released, according to some sources a couple of years ago, and according to some, this year; Le Ballon de Rouge, is the directorial debut of Sylvain Bressollette, who worked as a trainee assistant director for movies like Amélie (2001) a.k.a. Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain and The Devil wears Prada (2006).
Le Ballon de Rouge
A beautiful clever little film, which begins (or rather is just set in one evening in Paris) in 1963.

A couple is seated in a diner in Paris, France, having an argument on the 22nd of November, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, United States of America. In the next booth is seated a young man who is applying for a job as a waiter. As the news of Kennedy’s assassination is announced, the distracted husband moves to the bar. Taking this opportunity the young man starts talking to the young wife in the next booth, seducing her with a picture perfect, with slight imperfections, future with him, up to present day, if she agrees to run away with him this very moment.

What is interesting, in this 20 minute drama, is that he shows her the future with actual historical happening and changing times that took place since 1963. We see the 60’s progressing, the hippies, the youth rebellion of May 1968 (in Paris) a.k.a. Paris Students Riots of 68’, the moon landing in July 1969, to the changing styles of the sizzling 60’s to the bellbottoms and Farrah Fawcett hairstyles of the 1970’s to modern technology (their future grown up daughter, living in the States and speaking to her parents on a mobile phone), and the couple in old age, i.e. modern day Paris. The future of what life might be for the couple post 1963, is interwoven beautifully with accurate historical events and styles, making the movie very realistic and fun. I don’t want to give away the coincidental ending with the symbolic Red Wine Glass (Le Ballon de Rouge).

Le Ballon de Rouge (2012/2014)
Rating 10/10 Excellent !!!

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
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Connection (2013)

Watched an interesting short film, this afternoon, called Connection (2013), starring Jude Law, on Youtube.

Jude Law and Nikolai Khalezin

Jude Law and Nikolai Khalezin

Based on a true story, the 10 minute short film, is set in a London Airport, where a famous Englishman (Jude Law, possibly playing himself, that’s not so clear) helps a guy from Belarus (Nikolai Khalezin, playing himself), who seems lost in transit and translation.

Nikolai Khalezin use to be a journalist and a playwright. He was also known for organising pro-democracy protests in Belarus.

A very interesting movie available on Youtube. Do Check it out when you can.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense