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April 29, 2007

Apple/Apple

Apple Records

vs

Apple Computer

It's a business concerning records, films and electronics, and as a sideline whatever it's called ... manufacturing whatever ... but we want to set up a system whereby people who want to make a film about anything don't have to go down on their knees in somebody's office, probably yours ..

John Lennon
Apple Press Conference
New York 14th May 1968

I was making my way through the Beatles Anthology series when I caught this. Lennon's thoughts on the manifesto of the corporation that he and the rest of the Beatles had formed are rather ironic when you consider that it is Apple Computers that has actually fulfilled their original charter rather better, lawsuits over names notwithstanding.

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- April 29, 2007 6:07 PM // Technology

April 28, 2007

Surya Dub Tonight

SuryaDubAprilPosterweb

Surya Dub plays tonight at Club Six on sixth street in SF with special guests SoulSalaam and Dov. Surya's last engagement took place on a particularly damp SF night - Maneesh joked they should have renamed their group from Surya Dub (Sun Dub) to Varuna Dub instead. Varuna is the Rain God in the Hindu pantheon. Regardless, this night promises to be a sizzler inside the joint, just like last time, so check it out.

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- April 28, 2007 8:02 PM // Bay Area

April 22, 2007

Main, Mere Patni Aur Woh

The growth of multiplexes across India has had, in addition to making cinema-going a more comfortable and upscale experience, one other unexpected benefit: the rise of the so-called "multiplex films." The idea is simple enough: with punters visiting cinema halls more often, why not offer smaller films in the same multiplex? Slickly shot and edited, these efforts often are leaner and riskier in scope than their masala laden gasbag wannabe-blockbuster counterparts, yet would not exist without their tentpole effect. Khosla Ka Ghosla (Khosla's Nest) is an excellent example of this phenomenon as is Main, Mere Patni Aur Woh (Me, My Wife and Him). The latter deals with the life of one vertically challenged librarian (played by Raghubir Yadav) in Lucknow who, when finally persuaded to get married, finds his to-be wife (Rituparna Sengupta) to be jaw dropping beautiful. Being from the "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member" school, he naturally finds his own self worth taking a beating as his new wife starts attracting attention from his best friend. And then, an old friend of his wife unexpectedly arrives. Hilarity ensues? Tragedy? Dark comedy? Jealous short husband finds crazy way of disposing off wife's former fling! Husband must fend off attentions of unwanted suitors! Unfortunately, much of what happens next is of the tempest-in-a-teapot variety. Damn shame as the whole thing had potential. The buildup and the portrayal of the mind of the to-be married man was really well done.

On the other hand, I did enjoy the production values and, in particular, the non-assuming setting of the film. No frolicking in the Alps here, all the action takes place in middle India, in relatively small cities like Lucknow. From a graphic design standpoint, I have to commend the DVD layout as well. We are all well familiar with the FBI warning when we pop in a disc into our player, but have we seen it quite in this design?

Threats of imprisonment and/or fines have rarely been cuter. That exercise book margin motif is extended to the main DVD menus as well:

And finally, the sheer number of subtitle languages on offer in the DVD blew me away. Take a look:

Fifteen languages! Just for the hell of it, I had the Bengali subtitles on throughout and it was accurate. Anyone out there ready to test Portuguese or Malay?

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- April 22, 2007 11:52 AM // Bollywood , Review

April 8, 2007

Apu vs Abby II

So, post Apu vs Abby, a reader asked my reasons as to thanking Quentin when Naveen Andrews appears in the Robert Rodriguez directed section of Grindhouse, Planet Terror and not Death Proof, Tarantino's segment. Well, from all accounts, this was very much a joint project and, yes, Rodriguez has done a tremendous amount for the hispanic commiunity in terms of casting and more power to him. But, Quentin's gone out of his way in the past to create the United Colors of Benetton with his picks (Sonny Chiba, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Pam Grier ... do I really have to go on?), so giving him the benefit of the doubt seemed the right choice. Plus, we have this:

Maybe actor Naveen Andrews has been "Lost" on a hit television drama for the past three seasons -- but he's not so far out of reach that a huge fan of the show can't pluck him off the mysterious island for a few hours to enjoy a wild trip to the "Grindhouse."

The fan is none other than pop culture nut Quentin Tarantino, who along with filmmaking buddy Robert Rodriguez has effectively recreated the experience of the B-movie dives of the 1970s '80s with the aptly-titled "Grindhouse." The bloody, back-to-back horror thrillers -- with fake trailers thrown in-between the double feature for good measure -- opens Friday in theaters nationwide.

Andrews, of course, plays Sayid on "Lost," one of the pivotal characters on the show since its inception in 2004, and he's thrilled that Tarantino's been tuning in.

I know that Robert was aware of 'Lost,' but Quentin was and is a big fan of the show," Andrews said in a recent @ The Movies interview.

There you go - straight from the brotha himself.

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- April 8, 2007 5:23 PM // Film