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Adding some Kirk
Almost the pioneer of celebrity apps, William Shatner, best known as Captain James Kirk from Star Trek, then as Denny Crane in Boston Legal, turns his quirk digital in style. A form of poetry slam, Shatoetry gets users to Shatoetize either in solo-mode or in tandem with a friend. How? Simply make up a verse, say it out loud to the image of Shatner. But what you will hear instead, is his voice reading rather than your own! Bringing energy to anything he says (including the dramatic reading of Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed on The Tonight Show in 2009), this one is instantly addictive. Speak ing of his creation, the 83-year-old veteran says to Wired, “It’s fun, it’s informative, it’s amusing… It sends the power to the user — I can jump like a puppet now, you can puppetise me.” Details: shatoetry.com
Taking her stardom to the next level, Lady Gaga introduced her fans to Lady Gaga’s Little Monster. A multimedia experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the game, Gaga keeps you constantly updated with everything she does.
iPad, iPhone, mobile and computer compatible, the interactive app/site allows you to chat, watch her films, listen to bonus tracks and music, keep updated with content from the star, play Gaga games and follow her every move from fashion and red carpet appearances to her communication with fellow fans. The star says that it also allows photos and artwork to be shared so creativity is promoted. “ALL DAY 24/7/ YOU’RE an ARTPOP generation. I’m hoping you will all continue to grow together and stay connected through your creativity. much love. love, gaga,” she wrote on Twitter, when the app and site went live. Details: littlemonsters.com
Kim Kardashian really is the queen of social media. After her leaked sex-tape, there’s been no looking back for this default star who seems to make a living out of people’s curiosi-ty. Her latest earnings (about $80 million no less) comes from her app Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, creat-ed by San Francisco-based Glu Mobile. Launched only three weeks ago, the app lets you into the Kim lifestyle as her virtual self helps players to climb their way up Hollywood’s celebrity A-List. So create a star then live the high life at top-notch clubs and parties or even strut your stuff on the red carpet in this one! Oh… did we mention you can date and dump other stars too ? Details: itunes.apple.com
Snoop Lion (formerly Dogg) brings his rapper swag to the digital age with the aptly named Snoopify. You can ‘pimp’ up your photos to be a rebel rapper with graphics and stickers, ranging from the singer’s G-funk era to his Rasta reggae reinvention. While the app is free, the rapper is raking in the moolah with stickers (designed by Munk One, a popular illustrator) that are charged. Before the launch, Snoop Dogg said that he wanted to become part of a larger culture and share his typical style and catch-phrases. “Now that everyone is heavy on social media, I wanted to create an app that would allow my fans to add fun visuals to their photos and Snoopify them-selves,” Snoop Dogg said, adding, “I’m bringing that new flavor to social media with this app, ya dig?!” Details: snoopifyapp.com
Whether you’re a supporter or a mild hater, you must admit that Taylor Swift has taken greeting cards to a whole new level. Instead of tacky creations that open up and scare you with terrible tunes. It’s Swift’s country crooning that you can send over. The singer’s card service app (Taylor Swift Greeting Cards) lets you personalise and jazz up cards to send via email, text, Twitter, Facebook or even good old snail mail. The cutesy notelets will feature lyrics from her songs. Throw in a few pennies, to add her music to it too. Word has it that not just teeny-boppers are going wild, but adults too appreciate this novel wayto show you care. Details: taylorswiftcards.com
Featuring a ‘Z’ sofa set, customised poker table, and denim upholstery, a furniture exhibition is drawing a lot of attention from collectors in Bangalore, Chennai and the expat community in Pondicherry. “500 Days of Work”at Artika Cafe, has 20 pieces from Parisian Vincent Roy.The show has been organised by Karthik Sugumaran, the owner of the cafe, who explains, “Roy opened his furniture studio 500 days ago, when he moved to Pondicherry, thus the name.”
Art meets furniture
The cafe, which is known for its homely vibe with “a living, dining and even a bedroom,” also has, as pointed out by Sugumaran, “sculptures by artist Supriya Menon, some paintings by German artist Tona and installations by Manoj Dixit.” But it is the showcase of chairs, sofas, coffee tables, dining tables, desks and beds that is drawing the most visitors. Fashioned from vintage wood, usually 80 to 100 years old and sourced from old buildings in Karaikudi and interior Tamil Nadu, the pieces are minimalistic and utilitarian.
As his personal favourite, Roy picks the butterfly table (left), which is inspired by the furniture from the 50s and 60s. ‘‘The table is painted with industrial paint that is generally used to colour auto rickshaws. It has a contemporary design and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Most of my designs have a Scandinavian touch to it. But the pieces exhibited at Artika are designed like those from the World War II era,” he continues. Inspired by Danish-born Hans Wegner who, he says, ‘‘has made more than 200 chairs and sofas in his life,’’ Roy also has unusual almirahs that combine metal and wood.
The exhibition is on till August 18. Rs. 18,500 for a coffee table to Rs. 98,700 for the Z sofa set that has three pieces and is a five seater. Details: 9894910080
besides the annual Auroville marathon that sees at least 1,000 participants, Pondicherry will host the first edition of the Pondy half marathon, two weeks from now. More than 500 people have already signed up, but the organisers expect at least 1000 participants. Flagging off from the Gandhi Thidal, the half marathon covers Pondicherry Museum, Manjini Nagar, Muthi0apet and Pillaichavady. For beginners, there is a 10 kilometre run as well. According to Santhosh Kumar, the head of marketing and operations of Chennai-based Eyeball events (the organisers), this is the first marathon that is routed through the city. “This is going to be the first city marathon in Pondicherry with international standards, using timing technology,” he says. Can children take part? “Those below 18 will have to register in advance. Children must have their parents’ consent and a medical fitness certificate,” says Kumar. The winner of the four- hour marathon will be awarded a cash prize of `20,000. Organised by the Department of Tourism and Government of Pondicherry, the event will see counters stocking refreshments every 2.5 kilometres. Kumar has also assured crowd control and enough medical facilities for the runners. Santhosh agrees that the event aims at promoting tourism,‘‘We have very few people from Pondicherry. Most of the participants are from Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.’’
From Gandhi Thidal, on August 10, from 5 am onwards. Registration fee for the half marathon and 10 kilometre run is `1,000 Details:pondy-marathon.com
Actress Scarlett Joha-nsson is riding the high wave. After her successful movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Under the Skin, the sultry actress is all set to turn superhuman in the thriller, Lucy. On the personal front, this year the 29-year-old is getting married to Romain Duraci, the owner of an advertising agency in Paris, and will also be having her baby. Currently settled in Paris, she talks to us about her action role, relationships and a weekend in Paris. More from her:
You play the titular character in Lucy.
I play a character (of a drug mule) that, throughout the course of the film, begins to use a greater and greater capacity of her brain. (Because of a drug leak in her brain). Lucy gradually loses the ability to empathise and to feel pain. Even though she can delve deeply into someone’s memory and eventually control him physically, she doesn’t have any opinion.
What were the factors that attracted you to the movie?
The film poses some complex existential questions. It would have been hard to imagine how the script has evolved because so much of that is Luc Besson’s vision. I remember meeting him and he said, ‘You have to trust that I know what this is about because it can be vague at times. But if you see what I’m seeing, you’ll believe in it.’ So, I took a leap of faith.
How do you feel about being an action star following The Avengers.
I never thought of Mark Ruffalo as a big, green, giant, mutant thing! But he is. More than I ever thought. Yeah I liked it. You get into the mind-set and accept that for the next five or six months of your life you are going to be permanently bruised. I worked for months to prepare and I really didn’t want to be perceived as a little wuss who couldn’t do it.
Tell us something about your relationshipwith Romain Duraic?
We do different things. He’s in the whole art-scene world. So it’s nice, because we can enjoy each other’s worlds, but we don’t have our crazy conflicting schedules and all that other stuff to contend with.
You and Romain are splitting time between New York City and Paris. What’s a typical weekend in Paris?
Well, he loves art, so we might visit some of the galleries or go to a museum. That’s his true passion. I like to experience that with him. I guess part of the wonderful thing about living in Paris is how people take their time with things. And I like to feel no pressure on the weekends. Sunday, most things are closed in Paris, and there’s something wonderful about that. So I’m much more comfortable just spending the weekend in my bed.
How has your outlook towards relationships changed since your marriage to Ryan Reynolds?
I feel I now know more of what I need in a relationship, what I want in a relationship. And I know I have more tools to communicate, not just with my partner, but with myself. That’s not necessarily any reflection of who I was married to or what was happening in my marriage, but really where I was in my life.
Lucy is scheduled to release on August 1.
two Bollywood and one Hollywood movie in hand, Tanaaz Bhatia, a marketing expert, brings in new strategies to take a movie to the masses
HAVING marketed blockbuster movies like Ra-One, Don 2 and Cocktail, the founder of Bottom Line Pvt Ltd, Tanaaz Bhatia, believes that the key is to find the perfect synergy between the brand and the film. When not promoting movies, Bhatia is busy working with actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Dhanush and others for brand endorsements. “I take up marketing for movies based on the script and, a lot of times, friends. More so if the script is challenging with a different genre to interest me, as one has an opportunity to work on different kind of marketing plans, which would make us think out of the box and create different marketing trends,” begins the 34-year-old, who completed her graduation in economics from Sydenham College.
Back to the movies
Taking the leap from investment banker to marketing executive was not difficult for Bhatia. About her nine years in Wall Street, the Mumbaikar says, “My core sector was media and I always covered it even as a mergers and acquisitions banker.” The movie buff spent her initial banking days at Universal Studios. “I always loved movies. Seeing how the studio worked and the mechanics of how a movie comes together intrigued me. My earliest memory of watching films would be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins. I loved the fact that magic and colours can make one feel so good and just take you into a world of fantasy and illusion,” shares the MBA graduate from Stern School of Business, New York.
Besides marketing movies like Ajay Devgn’s Singham 2 and Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year this year, Bhatia informs, “We are also going to market The Zero Theorem, a Terry Gilliam Film.” As for some tips that she has learnt from the West she agrees that, “Timeliness, creative input and lookbook, all come into play prior to the shoot.” Talking about pioneering ideas and strategies to market a movie, “We created a special meal with gifts at McDonalds as part of their Happy Meal for movies like Agent Vinod and Ra-One. We also had special games and a flash mob to promote the film. Wait till the end of the year and you will see more,” she promises.
After roles in movies like Pizza and Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi, actress Pooja Ramachandran aka Pooja Gallyot has been busy but far from the media eye. Now she is ready to talk about her projects—six movies, all scheduled to release this year. Admitting that none of this was planned, the former VJ says she likes to “go with the flow.” More from her:
I choose my movies based on the production house and the comfort level I share with the director. The vibe you get when you speak to the director initially is a major indication of whether you want to work on the movie or not. I do not take up movies for big names or just to be seen.
After Pizza, I am working on a horror-comedy, Muni 3: Ganga. I have six films releasing this year and for the past year, every month has been hectic. After Muni, I have Nanbenda with Nayanthara and Udainidhi Stalin. Then there is Ore Nyabagam,a romantic film and Saamiyattam with Srikanth. I also have two Telugu films.
I am tired of playing a college girl. Why don’t we have movies like Paa? I want to do a role like Pooja Umashankar’s in Naan Kadavul. I know I will never sign up for a period drama though. I cannot wear head gear and become a princess. It just involves too much effort. But I do want a role that is a departure from glamour. A character role with no makeup, very rustic and impactful.
My inspiration will always be Vidya Balan. While shooting for The Dirty Picture, she had said she would stand in front of the camera and just shoot without inhibitions. I do not have an iota of the boldness that she has, but that one line was very inspiring. When you are shooting, there are 10,000 people around you, judging what you wear, what you say, how you sit or how you eat. To get disconnected from all of that and to act is challenging.
All her movies are scheduled to release in the second half of the year.
From stamps with crystals embedded in them, to chocolate-flavoured ones – the expo by the South India Philatelists’ Association promises not to disappoint. “We will be showcasing 30 frames, each having 16 A4 sheets with stamps on a particular theme,” says CG Bhaskar, treasurer of the association, about the expo that begins today. “This expo is only to spread awareness about the hobby. We want more youngsters and school children to learn about stamps,” he says, insisting that the hobby is not just about rare or expensive stamps. After being displayed at the Shiraz Hall in Egmore, the 3,000 stamps will be exhibited in schools, and the association is in talks with Don Bosco, Madras Christian College School and Velammal, among others.
Mark the unusual
At the expo, look out for stamps made of alternative materials (rubber for example), a collection of football-themed stamps (one even shaped like a football, from Portugal), some with holographic detailing, a couple of stamps with crystals embedded in them (from Austria and Hong Kong) and chocolate flavoured ones from Belgium and Switzerland. Curated by a committee of 10, the stamps showcased at the expo have been contributed by members of the association as well as students of schools like Maharishi Vidya Mandir and Baktavatsalam Vidya Mandir. According to Sirish Patel, a collector, the hobbly has declined in India, ‘‘it is only the older generation who are involved in collecting stamps. The South India Philatelists’ Association has an exhibition every second Sunday of every month to promote the hobby,’’ says the business consultant. “Of our 730 members, about 10 per cent are youngsters. The youngest, a girl of 13, will also showcase her collection at the expo,” concludes Bhaskar.
Starting today, till July 27 at Egmore, from 10 am to 6 pm. Details: 32001626
Consummate actress, Monica’s appearances in films have been few and far between. But now sheis back adorning the screen in Nadhigal Nanaivadhille. Sharing screen space with new face Pranav and Risha, Monica essays a character that plays a supportive role in the hero’s life. The film produced, scripted and directed by Nanjil Anbazhagan, centres on parenting, family bonding and values.
Twice as good?
All set to hit theatres today Jigarthanda, is a bilingual (Tamil/Telugu) which stars Sidharth and Lakshmi Menon. A suspense thriller, it centres on an aspiring film maker, an idli seller and an ageing gangster. The film is scripted and directed by Karthik Subbaraj. As the director’s debut film, Pizza, had earned him both critical and popular acclaim, his second venture has naturally generated much anticipation and curiosity.
All in one
The Jack of all trades is back. T Rajendar who wears many hats with ease, is on to his new venture, Oru Thalai Kadhal. He scripts, directs, composes the music and pens the lyrics, apart from playing the lead role. It’s a village-centric plot where he plays a singer. The rest of the cast is yet to be finalised. Two new faces are slated to play the female leads. Rajendar is one of the few makers whose enthusiasm and passion for films has never waned over the years.
Circle pays tribute to Simon & Garfunkel
Fans of hits like Sound of Silence and Mrs Robinson can rejoice, as Mellow Circle is celebrating 50 years of Simon & Garfunkel this weekend. Music director Augustine Paul will conduct the likes of Timothy Madhukar, Christopher Stanley, Yohan Chako and Johnson J Wilson, accompanied by the Blue Note and backed by the 50-voice Mellow Circle choir, on a nostalgic trip through some of the greatest works of the legendary pairing.
“Simon & Garfunkel is the music I grew up on. I still remember listening to their songs with my brother and sister. Their music was so unconventional at the time; it just changed the musical arrangement scene,” says Madhukar. Adds singer Malgudi Subha, “I would see the notes dancing in front of me every time I heard their songs. Their music was just sublime. Even today, after a bad day, I listen to their music.”
With a mission
Founded in 2000, Mellow Circle is a registered society of professionals who work for the less privileged. The society conducts one play every November and a musical every July. In the past, the musicals have featured everything from Disney medleys to covers of Adele and Bon Jovi. The show will feature 21 songs from the duo’s repertoire of over 98 songs.
On July 26-27, at Museum Theatre, at 7 pm. Tickets from Rs. 300 onwards. Details: in.bookmyshow.com