Home Archives 2014 December 12

Daily Archives: Dec 12, 2014

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Workshops that make you extra smart at the concert hall and in the garden. Plus, comedy at the theatre

Know your raaga
With the ongoing Margazhi season, brush up on your kirtis and swaras. Prince Rama Varmaa��a classical musician, performing vocalist and veena playera��is holding a workshop. Participants will get to listen to rare compositions by various composers and learn techniques of improvisation. At Anandha Inn,A�tomorrowA�andA�Sunday. From 9 am onwards. Registration fee is Rs.750. Details: 0413 2233000

No strings attached
Did you always want to learn a musical instrument? Ravi from Auroville conducts regular veena classes. Participants can learn the basics of the instrument, strumming techniques and various raagas. At Yatra Arts Foundation, today, fromA�5 pmA�onwards.
Details: 0413 2623071

Print alert
Get ready Pondicherry, Anokhi is coming to town. The store that has transformed traditional block-printing through contemporary designs, is opening its doors on December 15 in the heart of the French quarters, on Caserene Street. Expect all the favouritesa��from garments, both Indian and Western in design, to colourful home textiles and striking accessories. Details: 9840172204

Farm friendly
With many opting to go back to their roots and start farming, this course is timely and effective. Besides a permaculture design course, organised by Sapney Organic Farm, learn about climate change, existing economic and social challenges and more. The course starts today and goes on tillA�December 29. At Heal the Soil CSA , fromA�9 amA�onwards. Course fee is Rs.630, including accommodation and meals. Details:A�healthesoilcsa.org

Dark fantasy
This is one for the chocoholics.
Zuka is organising its fifth annual Chocolate Festival. Spread over five days, you can sample a variety of truffles and origin chocolates from places like Madagascar, Ghana and Venezuela, besides tasting delicacies like Italian chocolate biscotti, fruit and nut chocolate pakoras, chocolate pizzas, cake shakes and Hawaiian hot chocolate. Three varieties of chocolate Yule logs will also be on sale. From December 17-21. From Rs.20 onwards. Details: 0413 2221191

Just for laughs
The classic comedy, The Odd Couple,
is being staged today. Directed by Francesca Ernlia Papale, the playa�� about two contradictory roommatesa��will star actors from Auroville like Otto, Krishna McKenzie and Kripa. At Sri Aurobindo Auditorium, starting today tillA�Sunday, fromA�8 pm onwards. Details:A�0413 2622887

a�� Team Indulge

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This festive season, spend quality time with friends and family on a yacht excursion in Pondicherry

Be it a romantic date or a party with friends, a yacht excursion is always a hit. We have companies like Chennai-based Leisure Yacht Company that takes a limited number of people for a three-hour trip. In fact, their specialty is sunset-watching from the yacht. Now Pondicherry has its own backwater river cruise entertainment, which includes a joy ride, music and dinner.

Starting from tomorrow, the service can be availed till December 28. Pondicherry Tourism and event management company, Varsham Entertainment, are organising the service. a�?We dona��t have anything similar in Pondicherry. Ia��m hoping this will do well, considering it is festival season,a�? says R Ramkumar, an event manager with Varsham Entertainment.

The yacht can accommodate up to 40 people. While the first floor is dedicated to entertainment, the deck is dedicated to dining. a�?We are bringing in comedians from the reality show Kalaka Povathu Yaru. We will also have stand-up comedian Anand to make the guests laugh. There will be games for children and a dance floor, too,a�? adds the Pondicherry native. For dinner, they have a buffet. a�?For vegetarians, there will be chapatis, vegetable biryani, vegetable curry, curd and dessert. For non-vegetarians, we will have chicken starters, chapatis, chicken biryani and dessert,a�? he informs.

Safety is of utmost importance to Ramkumar and his team. a�?We will distribute life jackets to everyone and hand them safety instructions. Nobody is allowed to bring food or alcohol on to the boat. There will be two lifeguards on board, too,a�? he says.
At Chunnambar Water Sports Complex. The yacht can be hired from 6.30 pm to 8 pm (or) 8.30 pm to 10 pm. `1,000 per head. Details: 9381193393

a��Mrinalini Sundar

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The Peoplea��s Puppet Project combines puppetry, therukoothu and a message about heritage conservation

If a performance parade of five-metre-tall puppets doesna��t grab eyeballs, nothing else will. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and the Urban Design Collective (UDC) is jointly organising an international workshop to highlight the issue of its heritage and conservationa��using, you guessed it, puppets.

They have roped in Australian puppet theatre company Snuff Puppets to conduct the workshop, titled Peoplea��s Puppet Project (PPP), in which participants will be involved in designing and building puppets, among other activities. a�?We heard about them in 2012, when they were in Mumbai as part of the Oz Fest,a�? says Devangi Ramakrishnan, co-trustee of UDC. According to Melbourne-based Katrina Chandra, production manager of Snuff Puppets, they will teach participants how to make costumes and perform with puppets. a�?The performance is developed using everyonea��sometimes participants have musical skills. Or we may use local musicians to create our sound,a�? she says.

Open to anyone above 13 years, with an interest in theatre, the 10-day workshop will be followed by public performances in and around Pondicherrya��s Boulevard Town and a performance at the DakshinaChitra Cultural Centre. The team will also be collaborating with Indianostrum theatre, who will give them inputs on local theatre traditions, including therukoothu. a�?The idea was to use public performances to highlight the issue of heritage conservation and promote the local heritage and culture,a�? says Ramakrishnan.

Pondy ahoy
She explains that they picked Pondicherry because of the distinct style of its Tamil quartersa��with the thinnai and the thalvaram. a�?They used to be called Talking Streets because of how the thinnais facilitated interaction on the streets. Wea��ll be using them as a backdrop and will highlight the role they play and why they need to be conserved,a�? Ramakrishnan adds.

Fun off stage
Besides building a giant puppet, there will be warm up games, story-telling sessions about the city, and a lot of hands-on creativity, says Chandra. a�?There are different options when creating the puppets in terms of moving partsa��the eyes and mouths can open and close, and the hands can wave,a�? she adds.

Small talk
a�?Wea��re really looking forward to the French/Indian food,a�? she adds. a�?One of our team is French so he is interested to see Pondicherry. The team really enjoys meeting new people and learning new things as well as sharing and teaching.a�?
Workshop is on from December 15 -24 and the performances from December 26 – 27 in Pondicherry and December 28 at DakshinaChitra. Registrations close tomorrow. To register, visit urbandesigncollective.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/peoples-puppet-project-pondicherry-faq/

a�� Janane Venkatraman

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    Hawaii 5.0,
    AXN, Monday to Thursday, 9 pm
    A remake of the 1968-1980 TV series, season five of Hawaii 5.0 features the special police force formed by the Hawaii government to tackle crime on the island. The latest episode talks about the death of two tourists, run down while exploring the mountains. Will the task force be
    able to find out who was behind the hit-and-run case?

    Star World, Monday to Friday, 10 pm
    In season seven of House, the relationship between House and dean of medicine, Lisa Cuddy, forms the major plot. In the latest episode, House reveals his relationship to the rest of the team, though worried if they would be able to keep their professional and love life separate. Meanwhile, the team treats a skateboarder who sustained injuries during a competition.

    Cougar Town,
    Z Cafe, Monday to Friday, 8.30 pm
    Season two of Cougar Town revolves around single mother Jules Cobb (Courteney Cox) and her son who is about to leave for college. In the latest episode, she plans a week full of activities. But it doesna��t work out when her son calls her smothering and leaves early for college. Now Cobb has to learn to let her children live their own lives.

    Yankee Jungle,
    Animal Planet, Saturday, 11 pm
    The show is about the relationship between human beings and animals and the effects humans have on them. The latest episode saw the founders of DEW Animal Kingdom in Maine, preparing to open the animal kingdom. But a certain discovery about a sick animal brings their plans spiraling down.

    England Vs Sri Lanka,
    Ten Sports, Friday, 10 am
    After England Captain Alastair Cooka��s suspension, England will have their task cut out ahead of game six of their encounter with Sri Lanka. With the series poised at 2-1 in favour of Sri Lanka, the host team will look to seal the series with experienced in-form bastmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in their ranks.

    Billy on the Street, Comedy
    Central, Monday to Friday, 8.30 pm
    Comedian Billy Eichner, one of the nominees for this yeara��s Emmy Awards, takes to the streets of New York, finding people and quizzing them about random everyday happenings that would interest the audience. The show is also popular for its lightning quiz round that Eichner conducts, quizzing people at insane
    speeds and making them crack up.

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      Inherent Vice
      Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
      Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon
      The film revolves around detective Larry a�?Doca�� Sportello, a drug addict, who is investigating the disappearance of his former girlfriend.
      Did you know? Inherent Vice is based on a book by Thomas Pynchon. Josh Brolin had such a good time with Anderson that he considers him a brother.

      Director: KS Ravikumar
      Cast: Rajinikanth, Sonakshi Sinha
      The story revolves around the construction of a dam and one mana��s fight for it. Rajinikanth, reportedly, plays a dual role in it. Did you know? Sonakshi Sinha finds films made in the South very a�?content-richa�?.

      The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

      Director: Peter Jackson
      Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen
      The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies marks the end of Bilbo Bagginsa�� adventures. Bilbo and company are made to join a war against the terrifying Smaug, to stop him from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and destroying all of Middle-Earth. Did you know? This will be Peter Jacksona��s last film based on JRR Tolkiena��s work. The film has a 45-minute fight sequence.

      a�� Team Indulge

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        Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain
        Director: Ravi Kumar
        Cast: Martin Sheen,
        Mischa Barton, Kal Penn
        Set during the Bhopal disaster of December 2a��3, 1984, it sees Motwani (Penn), a tabloid reporter, questioning the chemicals at the plant, and how he ropes in an international journalist (Barton) to make the issue global. The film then follows how the CEO (Sheen) of the chemical company disregards all warnings, leading to the blast. While it isna��t completely accuratea��it stays clear of assigning blamea��ita��s a haunting film, where Sheen steals the show.
        a�� Team Indulge

        Action Jackson
        Director: Prabhudheva
        Cast: Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Yami Gautam
        Romance blossoms between small-time crook Vishi (Devgn),
        and HR executive Khushi (Sinha). But their relationship takes a complicated turn when the police and an international don are on the lookout for professional assassin AJ, who looks like Vishi. Poor direction and a mixed plot makes for a movie that fails to entertain.

        1 Pandhu 4 Run 1 Wicket
        Director: Veera
        Cast: Vinay Krishna, Hashika
        The movie is about a couple who elope and take refuge in a mansion, whereA� eerie things happen. It also touches on the obsession of women with TV soaps, men with cricket, and the resulting conflict in a household. It has an interesting premise with the potential to build up some engaging comic-horror moments, but an insipid screenplay and mundane treatment make it a monotonous experience.

        a��Malini Mannath

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          Biopics on rock stars are coming soon. For now, athletes and scientists get big-screen treatmentA�A�

          Dizzying rise to fame, turbulent careers and personal dramaa��biopics pack in all of these ingredients about unforgettable personalities, and naturally have Oscar potential. If made well, they are magnificent. Few biopics over the last year or so were memorable (remember Jobs, based on the life of Steve Jobs, and Diana?). But the upcoming months will see tributes to musicians and some that showcase snipers and wrestlers, too. With some movies releasing earlier, youa��ll agree with us that both Channing Tatum (as an Olympic gold medal winning fighter) and Eddie Redmayne (as Stephen Hawking) deserve a shot at the big prize.

          Directed: Angelina Jolie
          Cast: Jack O Connell, Dohmnall Gleeson
          Release date (US): December 25
          The story is about Louie Zamperini (Connell), who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and fought in World War II, as part of the US Army Air Force. When his plane went down over the Pacific, he survived the crash and spent 47 days adrift on a raft. But then he was picked up by Japanese troops and taken to a POW camp, where he suffered under the hands of a sadistic guard, Bird.
          Did you know: Jolie was mesmerised by his brave tale and felt it was just the kind of story she wanted to tell. Zamperini died last year at 97, but before he died she showed him the cut of the film.

          American Sniper
          Directed: Clint Eastwood
          Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
          Release date (US): December 25
          Known as one of the most lethal snipers in American history, US Navy Seal Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) has made it his lifea��s mission to protect his comrades. He is known for his pinpoint accuracy, which helps him save countless lives. The story is a take on modern warfare and how it takes a toll on soldiers.
          Did you know: Kyle is known to have put a bullet though a human target 1 km away. To play the lead, Cooper had to gain 22 kg. He also loved Kylea��s Texan drawl that he maintained it for three months.

          Theory of Everything
          Director: James Marsh
          Cast : Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox
          Release date (US): November 7
          A romantic film rather than a movie on physics, Theory of Everything tells the story of Stephen Hawking, who is struck by motor neuron disease (ALS) at 23 and is given two years to live.
          Did you know: Redmayne was terrified to play the great man, but on meeting Hawking, found him to be rather mischievous. He spent six months at a motor neuron clinic to recreate the muscle movements accurately.

          Directed: Ava DuVernay
          Cast: David Oyelow, Cuba Gooding Jr, Tim Roth
          Release date: January 9, 2015
          Story: A civil rights drama, it is focussed on the central episode of Martin Luther Kinga��s career: the marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, that he organised in 1965, to press president Lyndon Johnson into pushing for voting rights.
          Did you know: The project had a hard time finding funding, until Oprah Winfrey (one of the producers), stepped in. She also plays a small role, as Annie Lee Cooper, who is treated brutally during the march.

          Big eyes
          Director: Tim Burton
          Amy Adams, Christopher Waltz
          Release date (US): December 25
          Story: Based on the popular paintings of a�?big eyed girlsa�� that came out in the 1960s. Supposedly the work of Walter Keane, they were actually created by his quiet and shy wife, Margaret Keane.
          Did you know: Being a fan of her work, Burton was eager to do the film. In fact, most of his films, have taken inspiration from her works.

          Directed: Bennett Miller
          Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo
          Release date (US): November 14
          It tells the dark tale of the tragic relationship between a wealthy heir and two champion wrestlers. Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum) and his brother Dave (Ruffalo), are invited by John du Pont (Carell) to move to his estate and help form a team for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. But things turn sour when Du Pont and Schultz feelA�threatened by Davea��s talent.
          Did you know: Carell was drawn to the film because of director Miller (Moneyball, Capote). He wasna��t sure if he could do the role, but trusted Miller.

          a�� Lakshmi Nair

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            How to bring in the Superstara��s birthday with a tee, pop art or a miniature doll, or get dialogue-smart at the office

            The iconic Rajinikanth turns 64 today and if you havena��t got yourself a first day-first show ticket to his newest movie, Lingaa, directed by K S Ravikumar, perhaps some retail therapy is called for. Browse through our pick of Superstar-inspired pop art, literature and more. Plus, make early plans to watch Amsterdam-based filmmaker Rinku Kalsya��s documentary, For The Love Of A Man. To be released in February, it features the stara��s phenomenal fan following.
            a��Mrinalini Sundar

            Cook easy
            Whether youa��re thinking Cordon Bleu or Maggi noodles, it pays to do it in style. Make kitchen time fun with the Rajinikanth apron. Retailed at Ashvita, the print is courtesy azo-free dyes and is 100 per cent bio-degradable. Rs.499. Details: 42109990

            Rajini-9How eeeez it?
            This is your shot at being the king of cool. The Rajini T-shirt by Anush Rajasekaran has epic dialogues by the Superstar screen printed on them. Also available in blue, for Rs.599. Details: makemy-merch.in

            Mind the wrist
            Make an impression, Superstar style. This Rajini pop art bracelet by Gobbledegeek is colourful and a conversation-starter. Go minimalistic with accessories and pair it with a plain white tee and denims. Rs.550. Details: craftsvilla.coRAJINI

            Page turner
            Confining the Superstara��s life to just a few pages is impossible. Fans have attempted different tributes to our Thalaiva, and interpreting business tips from his dialogues is one of them. Pick up books by authors Suresh Krissna, Malathi Rangarajan, P C Balasubramanian, and Raja Krishnamoorthy and Gayathri Sreekantha��like Rajinia��s Punchtantra. Rs.51 onwards. Available at all leading book stores. Details: flipkart.com

            On the wall
            As a tribute to Rajini, Chennai-based Digitally Inspired media has come up with 39 minimalist posters featuring the actora��s popular dialogues. The 39 posters were made in just five hours. Details: digitallyinspiredmedia.com

            Small is beautiful
            a�?As many would have mentioned, I am a huge fan of Rajinikantha��s simplicity,a�? says Sri Hari Charan from My Cute Mini, featured by us earlier this year for their ceramic dolls. a�?This is our first Rajini doll and will be out on his birthday,a�? he promises. Rs.2,950. Details: 9551904831, facebook.com/mycutemini

            Make the cut
            For Hari Chakyar from Paperwalla Art, Rajinikanth is very special. a�?My first assignment was pro-bono. My then roommate, Raman Iyer, requested me to make a papercut of his Thalaivar,a�? says Chakyar, who runs an advertising agency. The custom-made piece costs Rs.6,000. Details: facebook.com/paperwalla

            Face off
            Digitally designed, Vinay from Art Ua��s mock ups are actually photo frames. a�?We wanted to make it the a�?Face off with Rajinikantha�� stylea��where your photo is on the left, facing Rajinikanth,a�? says Vinay. Rs.1,950 for the face off, they are framed 13 x 18 portraits on imported art paper. Details: artu.in

            Round the clock
            Rajini clocks are common. But these from The White Box are worth a dekho. Painted by Vineetha Naval, they are fashioned from wooden planks with Rajinikantha��s face painted on them. She has four versions, and will take at least two days to complete the clocks. Available on order. Rs.1,500 onwards. Details:facebook.com/TheWhiteBox.Vinee

            Tech corner
            Last year, AVM and Sun Music came up with a Rajinikanth mash upa�� songs, dialogues and stills from his filmsa��that still gets aired on TV. But the star has his own set of apps that cover everything from dialogues and jokes to songs. The Rajini SB app features powerful dialogues as well as funny English one-liners from his career. Details: itunes.apple.com

            Note to self
            As part of Play Clana��s social media campaign, they made a Rajinikanth poster. Known as Weekly Wisdom, this caricature is unique and perfect for your room. They also have T-shirts that sport the actor. Rs.1,295. Details: theplayclan.com

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              Sunil Menona��s next fund-raising calendar for Sahodaran,A�puts the spotlight on headgear used in Keralaa��s theyyam rituals

              One of the few platforms in the city for fresh South Indian male models, the Sahodaran fund-raising calendar is something many look forward to. In its sixth edition this year, the calendar, that has portrayed themes like resort wear, elements of nature, yoga, heritage jewellery and sports, is showcasing something closer to the heart of Sunil Menon, the founder/director of Sahodaran, the male sexual health project. a�?Our photographer Kapil Ganesh suggested head gear, and being from Kerala, I immediately thought of theyyam,a�? says an enthusiastic Menon, referring to the ritual popular in Northern Kerala. The headgear used in these rituals are quite large and always made fresh using bamboo and leaves, among other materials. a�?Visually, it was the impact of the headgear and the organic makeup that worked,a�? Menon says, adding that a theyyam team from Kannur was involved in creating the headgear for the shoot.

              After completing the shoot in 24 hours at his ancestral property in Kerala, Menon and team are currently working towards launching the calendar on December 15 at Amdavadi, the Gujarati restaurant in T Nagar. With more themes in mind, Menon shares that he hopes to do the calendar on a larger scale in the future. And currently using only South Indian models, Menon shares that ita��s a conscious decision. Since most of his buyers are from outside the country, he explains that he uses only South Indian models to showcase that dark/tan skin is also beautiful.
              The calendar is priced at Rs.1,000. Details: sunilmenon@yahoo.com, 9381016129
              a�� Ryan Peppin

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                Strong start
                She got positive feedback for her performances in all her three releases so fara��Saattai, Yennamo Nadakudhu and the recent, Mosakutty. Mahima Nambiar is now looking forward to Kitna, the P Samuthirakani-directed film (in which hea��s also acted), where she shares frames with Hansika. In the pipeline is an untitled film with Attakathi Dinesh as her hero. a�?I am fortunate to have got such varied roles so early in my career,a�? says Nambiar.

                Readying for the rush
                Everyone will be chanting Lingaa this weekend, with the Rajinikanth-Anushka Shetty-Sonakshi Sinha starrer hitting theatres today, the superstara��s birthday. Directed by KS Ravikumar, it traverses two time periods, with the Superstar essaying a dual role. a�?Instead of the usual desaturated colour and tone given to a bygone era, Ia��ve tried to give it a more vibrant look,a�? says cinematographer R Rathnavelu. a�?Rajinia��s intro song will be a treat for his fans,a�? he adds.

                Spook fest
                Vying with Lingaa for theatre space today is the horror thriller, Yaro Oruvan. Directed by debutant K N Baiju (a former associate of Malayalam director Padmarajan), the film stars debutant Ram and Adhira. Ita��s about a husband who, along with a detective, goes in search of his missing wife, and the paranormal phenomena that they encounter during their journey.

                -Malini Mannath

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