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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Bollywood today: I do not think we can claim to be in the same league as Hollywood on exploitation

krrish-movie.jpgBollywood’s success is leading to Western greed, Reuters reports from Mumbai in the dispatch, “Bollywood toys with spinoffs.” “For decades, Bollywood was happy just to sell filmgoers a 20-rupee (US50c) cinema ticket. Now studios, tentatively evolving from dynastic family firms to Hollywood-style companies with a taste for merchandising, are increasingly trying to market everything from movie hero action figures to mobile phone ringtones of film soundtrack snippets. Krrish, Bollywood’s all-singing, all-dancing, black-caped answer to Superman, was perhaps the industry’s most full-on attempt yet to cash in on merchandising…” After seeing 2006’s biggest Bollywood entry, “children could nag their parents to buy them Krrish dolls, Krrish superhero mask, Krrish dartboards, Krrish Rubik’s Cubes, and Krrish school stationery. It is all a contrast to a a few years ago when old-fashioned revenge melodramas played in often dilapidated cinemas… Studios and analysts say the industry is ambitiously aiming at following Hollywood with “media convergence” – the buzzword for plastering a product across a wide array of media such as television, radio, the internet, video games and mobile phones… “The Indian film industry has definitely opened up to exploring various innovative revenue streams,” Siddharth Roy Kapur, marketing and communications chief of… a leading Bollywood studio, said. “However, I do not think we can claim to be in the same league as Hollywood on exploitation of our content amongst non South Asian audiences.” [More stats at the link.]

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles