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Monthly Archives: February 2016

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    Actor Kreshna Kulasekaran talks about his upcoming movies, the horror genre and his new passion.

    ACTOR Krishna Kulasekaran is a busy man. The Yamirukku Bhayame star has Graghanam and Vizhithiru slated to release in the first half of 2016, while he is currently working on Yaakkai and Pandigai. The actor’s equity has been steadily rising at the box office, but not many know that he was a child actor Mani Ratnam’s Anjali.
    “Like all actors, I too have had my share of barriers to overcome despite coming from a film background. My first lead role in Ali Baba, though critically acclaimed, didn’t do well at the box office. Yamirukku Bhayame was probably the biggest movie of my career till date,” says the brother of director Vishuvardhan and son of producer KK Sekar.
    The right choice
    Yamirukku Bhayame (2014)was a horror-comedy directed by debutant Deekay. “I was approached by Deekay after many stars refused to take the role. The genre was new to the industry and to me. But after a few discussions with Deekay, I was quite convinced.” Kulasekaran’s calculations proved right when Yamirukku Bhayame went on to become one of the biggest hits of 2014.
    Talking about horror films and their popularity in Tamil films, Kulasekaran says that he is petrified by the ‘scary ladies’ who play ghosts. The irony is not lost on us when he shares, “I haven’t seen any horror films. I saw Yamirukku Bhayame only after Deekay compelled me to.”

    What’s next
    In Yaakkai and Pandigai, the 38-year-old actor is playing a romantic hero and a street fighter respectively. “I want to experiment with different genres and reinvent myself with each project. I believe that an actor has to be flexible and be able to mould himself in any role. I would like to be a director’s actor. I have always been in awe of directors and their ability to understand every aspect of films. I tried to make films, but feel that I have a long way to go before I am capable of taking on the captaincy.”
    Kulasekaran is focussed on working, but when he is not acting, he hits the streets. His new-found passion for long distance running, he says, has helped him stay fit. His routine starts very early in the morning and he is very keen on completing a 50k run by the end of the year.

    —Rahul Dev

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      Spotlightrachel-mcadams-mark-ruffalo-brian-dg-arcy-michael-keaton-and-john-slattery-in-spotlight-cred-kerry-hayes-open-road-films
      Director: Tom McCarthy
      Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams
      In 2001, The Boston Globe Spotlight team delved into the allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church. Spotlight, the movie, is a gripping detective drama that breathes life into these characters—the investigating team that uncovered the decade-long cover-up. It is one of the best films of the year, with great  performances by the cast. If you are into suspense dramas, this one is a must-watch.

      — Team Indulge

      Neerja
      Director: Ram Madhvani
      Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi
      The Sonam Kapoor-starrer tells the true story of flight purser, Neerja Bhanot. She lost her life while saving passengers on board the hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi on September 5, 1986. You know Bhanot’s destiny from the beginning yet every frame manages to involve us in the fate of this hero. Kapoor shines as Bhanot, and gives us a glimpse of her acting prowess. You will cry along with Azmi, who plays the role of a mother who lost her daughter a day before her 23rd birthday. Don’t miss this one.

      — Team Indulge

      SethupathiCinema24-Snip3
      Director: Arun Kumar
      Cast:  Vijay Sethupathi, Remya Nambeeshan
      It’s about an upright cop, who is ruthless against law breakers. Pitted against a gangster who is out to destroy his personal and professional life, the cop has to use both his brawn and brain to survive. Vijay Sethupathi essays his role with remarkable understanding. A refreshing take on the cop-underworld imbroglio, the film is intelligently crafted and slickly presented. But after the intriguing cat and mouse game between the cop and the thug, the climax comes as a bit of a let down.

      — Malini Mannath

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        Introducing a treasure hunt from a photo sharing platform, that requires a camera and a sense of humour.

        IF YOUR photographs speak stories, they could win you a prize. As part of the activities organised around the first edition of the Chennai Photo Biennale (today to March 13) is a photo treasure hunt, calling both camera and mobile phone photographers to submit storyboards using pictures.
        “Anyone registering for the hunt is given a set of 10 clues about what to click pictures of. The idea behind these clues is to cover the essence of the city,” explains Shefalii Dadabhoy, one of the founders of Photo Concierge, which is organising the Namma Chennai treasure hunt. The digital photo sharing platform, less than a month old, is based out of Bangalore and brings together photographers and buyers.
        The Namma Chennai photo treasure hunt has six sets of clues in all, one of which is randomly allocated to participants. “At the end of the hunt, the participant will be able to make a photo storyboard out of his photographs. The clues have been designed that way. We’re looking for not just photos but the storyboards as a whole that the participant is able to create,” explains the 42-year-old photographer.
        The topics have some fun clues, like seeking pictures of creepy dolls you would want to photograph and forget, and people fishing in a public fountain. This apart from entries in architecture, culture, abstract photography. And what’s any photo event on Chennai without paying homage to its autos, kolams, coffee and beach!
        Best mobile phone entry will win Rs 5,000, and the best camera entry, Rs 10,000. Last day for entries is February 29.
        Details: photoconcierge.com

        —Sharadha Narayanan

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          Experiences like a salsa class for two or cycling in Tuscany are offered on the same platform as fine cutlery on this wedding registry.

          unnamed (4)BACK in 2013, Kanika Subbiah, the entrepreneur who often makes it to best dressed lists by lifestyle magazines, created a buzz with her online gifting service, Cherry Tin. Everything from dried fruit to home, bath and body accessories was available and the brand earned a reputation for its professional packaging and customer service. Subbiah says that over 25,000 gifts were delivered since then, with almost no gift returned by customers. So it’s perhaps a natural progression to find her expanding to wedding gifts. Yet why a wedding registry now, when debates on retiring the concept are popping up abroad? Indian bridal registry websites like Wishberry have long since moved on to other formats and services. After all, while the concept of prospective brides and grooms sharing their list of preferred gifts with friends and family is practical, most millennials, it seems, prefer cash to gifts. But Subbiah is ready with her answers. “I was in the US for 16 years and we ourselves used the registry service. There is no space these days for what is not contexually relevant to our lives and I find myself still using some of those gifts,” she begins. She admits that many Indians are still reluctant to ask for gifts but would like to share their list with friends and family who request their opinion.DSCN4268 [HDTV (1080)]unnamed (1)
          “There are at least 11 million weddings a year, in our country, and only now are people beginning to ask,‘what would you like as a gift?’” she says. Interestingly, the wishes don’t always involve products. And that’s why, in addition to the usual kitchen appliances (refrigerators and coffee machines), home décor and serveware, she has introduced experiences. These range from culinary to travel and adventure ideas. There are salsa classes for couples, photography sessions for a portfolio, spa treatments in Ananda in the Himalayas, and travel packages like a Tuscany e-bike holiday for approximately Rs 1,12,500. Our pick would be the royal walks in Mysore and the drives in vintage cars in Bangalore. It appears Subbiah has found like-minded service providers, for the collaborators, be it Classic Chase or Active Holiday, are popular for their refreshing approach. “We have already got a wishlist from a couple who wanted home décor, kitchen appliances, bedding, art and entertaining accessories, all for about Rs 3,00,000,” says the curator. You can pay for a cushion at Rs 800 or cutlery for as little as Rs 150. Or you could contribute only a portion of the total amount required for a larger gift.unnamed (2)
          Indulge pick: Subbiah says she tries to list gifts that are classic in nature with a longer shelf life. Fads and one-time articles are avoided. With the experiences, she is looking for the unusal. Like the Mysore walk. Or a pass to a marathon (she has signed up for the London Marathon later this year, and hopes to get back with similar options for couples). weddingwishlist.com

          — Rosella Stephen

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            Colour code
            Head to the Inko Centre, where they are hosting an exhibition featuring five acclaimed Korean artists, including Yun Hyung Sun, who currently teaches at the Daejin University, and Ju Tae Seok, who has held 44 solo exhibitions around the world. Titled The Blue Beyond, the art works draw inspiration from nature and cities. Till March 25. Details: 24361224

            Spin it, this weekendballet swan
            It’s time for some jazz. And ballet, hip hop and Bollywood, too. Spin Dance Studio is celebrating its annual dance off, Spin 16, with over 16 performances by both adults and children. While the little ones explore themes like the Hisix charactersgh School Musical, Black Swan and The Swan Lake, adults will impress with lyrical jazz, contemporary and more. Tomorrow, at Sir Mutha Hall, from 4.30 pm. Rs 500. Details: 42815232

            Join the search
            Don’t miss The Madras Players’ play, Six Characters in Search of an Author. Directed by Michael Muthu, the play—an adaptation of a 1921 Italian work by Luigi Pirandello—it follows six characters from an unfinished literary work who turn to another author to bring them to life so they can get their due. From today till Sunday, at 7 pm, at the Museum Theatre. Rs 200-Rs 500. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

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              Finding his nicheStartrek-Snip2
              While working with Koothu-P-Pattarai, Taman was spotted by actor Arya and signed for his home production. The film is complete, but yet to be released. Meanwhile, Taman has had releases like Sattam Oru Iruttarai and the recent Sethu Bhoomi. “My next is Yaali, a romantic thriller mostly shot in Malaysia. There is also the action-flick, Akbar, with the Sethu Bhoomi team. A horror-comedy is on the anvil, too,” says the actor, who has the talent to match his looks. Taman’s career seems to be on the right track.

              The crusaders
              Lyricist-hero Pa Vijay and seasoned director-actor SA Chandrasekhar play a journalist and an ex-armyman respectively in Nayyapudai (out today). It revolves around an incident that turn them into crusaders. The film is directed by Vijay Kiran, who is just 19 years old. Son of veteran cinematographer Jeevan, the father has wielded the camera for his son’s debut. “I’m privileged to work with such a team in my debut work. Age was no barrier and both Vijay and SAC were so co-operative,” says the debutant director.

              Startrek-Snip1Twist in the tale
              “Producer Murali, who had the rights for the Tamil remake of the Malayalam film Memories, asked me to watch it. I was hooked by its intriguing plot. Since I was in talks with director Arivazhagan, I suggested we sign him,” explains actor Arulnidhi, on how Aarathu Sinam (today’s release) took shape. Sharing frames with Aishwarya Rajesh and Aishwarya Dutta, Arulnithi reprises Prithviraj’s role of a cop persuaded against his will to investigate a series of murders. Arivazhagan has adapted it in his own style, without disturbing the soul of the film, adds the actor.

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                Daadhi from Comedy Nights with Kapil turns producer with the play, Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji

                Playing a grandma is not the role you hope to be best remembered for. Definitely not when you’re a male actor. But actor-standup Ali Asgar has made peace with it. Then again, Comedy Nights with Kapil was not just any other show. And Daadhi, the role he played, was no ordinary character, given the cult following she enjoyed. With the completion of the Colors TV show last month, the actor has moved on to a sitcom, apart from launching his production house, Be Positive Entertainment, to produce a play, Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji, which will be staged in the city today.IMG_5403
                “It is a light-hearted production on a person embarking on an extra-marital affair with his secretary to spice up his life,” says the Mumbai-based actor, who is playing the lead role in the play, which is being organised by the Madras Esplanade Round Table 30 and Madras Esplanade Ladies Circle 100. Ask him why he chose to start a production house, and he says the offers that came to him “with due respect, weren’t appealing”. The play, directed by Dhiraj Palshetkar—and co-starring  Prasad Barve, Sanjay Bhatia and Monaz Mevawala—tackles a serious issue, but with humour.  Meanwhile, the 49-year-old actor will also be seen in a romcom on SAB TV, Woh Toh Teri Bhabi Hai Pagle, which has just completed a month’s run.
                Today, at Sir Mutha Hall, at 7.15 pm. Rs 500 onwards. Details: eventjini.com

                —Sharadha Narayanan

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                  As part of the Chennai Photo Biennale, AlterVision explores identity and privacy through the work of four photographers.

                  Harsha BiswajitAt 27, you mdogight think he is quite young to be the curator of an exhibition that brings together the talents of four photographers, but Harsha Biswajit says it’s been a challenge that he was quite up to tackling. After all, he’s a digital artist working in Brooklyn, New York, and his pedigree—as the son of cartoonist Biswajit Balasubramanian and gallerist Shalini Biswajit—is impeccable. Harsha has curated AlterVision—as part of the Chennai Photo Biennale—which will explore the nature of images and how we experience reality through them. “All the four artistes (Harsha is one of them) tackle the same idea, but focussing on issues like privacy and identity,” he begins, elaborating, “We live in a world where we are flooded with visual data and information. So the question is, how do you take all that noise and make sense of everything that is thrown at you?”

                  Reality framed

                  Harsha’s own body of work—around 35 image—follows a documentary style. In I Once Took a Walk Outside, he tries to highlight that a photograph is not a true representation of reality. “Reality is not one-dimentional. You might see a dog on the street, but as you look at it, you might also think of your friend’s dog. So there is a meta-reality in your mind. I try to insert this as little psychedelic moments in my pictures,” says the graduate of NYC’s School of Visual, who turned his back on his economics degree as he felt disillusioned with the politics of it all. Even as he admits that he is excited about how people will respond to the show, he says he is working on something similar back in the US, where he will “expand the dialogue beyond just photography and bring in artists working with other mediums”.

                  Meet the othersRonny Sen - Untitled 02 - Pigment Print - 12 x 18 inches

                  Maximus Clarke - Per Speculum In Ænigmate - Series of 5 Digital C - PrintMaximus Clarke: He creates visual experiences that explores the tension between concealment and exposure in a surveillance-driven society. As part of his work, Per Speculum in Ænigmate, the New Yorker asked people to send him encrypted messages that he converted into QR codes and overlaid with stereoscopic portraits. “It is not just a photographic project, but a dialogue. His work, which must be viewed with anaglyph 3D glasses also plays with the idea that not everything is as they seem,” explains Harsha.
                  Rachel Rampleman: Also from NYC, she works with video art and, in Bodybuilder Studies,  she explores what it is to be a woman and push the boundaries of how you are supposed to look. “She has explored identity in a very in-your-face way. This is a technique that cuts through our desensitised vision and makes us step back and question reality,” shares Harsha, adding two experimental video installations will take people deeper into her work.
                  Ronny Sen: The Kolkata-based photographer’s work, Khmer Din, evolved out of a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where he clicked people living on the fringe of society—from beggars to prostitutes. “His work—featuring people who don’t want to be photographed—is a stark juxtaposition to Rachel’s work, where people do everything possible to get noticed.”
                  At Forum Art Gallery, till March 10. Details: 42115596

                  —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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                    Thaikkudam Bridge and Masala Coffee are back with new tunes and a video.

                    Come Sunday, Chennai will get a taste of Kerala’s indie music scene, courtesy the Rotary Club of Madras Coromandel. Rock for Vision, a night of music featuring popular bands Thaikkudam Bridge and Masala Coffee—curated by Amaranta Entertainment—aims to help raise funds for the Karna Vidya Foundation, the club’s line of service for the visually-challenged.thaikkudam bridge
                    Having been popularly received in the city in the past, both bands are keen to come back. Masala Coffee’s drummer Joe Jacob says they recently launched the soundtrack composed for Tamil movie, Uriyadi, and the audience will get to sample that, as well as a surprise track where they have collaborated with Antony Dasan. “From lullabys to death metal, we will play covers and original tracks,” he shares, adding they will also perform the Tamil version of the popular Malayalam track, Kanthaa.
                    Meanwhile, the 16-member Thaikkudam Bridge is here as part of their album tour—for Navarasam, with 10 original tracks. Co-founder and violinist, Govind Menon says, “The coverage for indie music is low in India. So live shows are the platform for us to introduce some new music and also play some favourite tracks.” The new music video for their track Aarachaar, directed by Bejoy Nambiar and featuring Aditi Rao Hydari, will be showcased at the show.
                    Sunday, at 5.30 pm, at Sir Mutha Hall. Rs 400 – Rs 2,000. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

                    —Preethi Ann Thomas

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                      Apparao Galleries kicks off its destination lectures with five temples, a historian and a luxurious boutique hotel.

                      011 (167)When Sharan Apparao launched the ongoing series of lectures on Indian heritage, culture and art at the Apparao Galleries, it was an endeavour to help artists look inward, at their roots, and get inspired. But she soon realised that the crowd it was attracting went beyond just them. “We were getting a wide variety of people interested in culture, even business people,” she explains. So, almost as a logical next step, she is now taking the lectures to the places they speak about. Thanjavur is the first stop on the destination lectures’ circuit. Planned as a four-day experiential trip, it will include temple visits, illustrated talks, and a stay at a newly-opened heritage resort. “Sometimes it’s good to do things in a nice way,” she smiles, adding, “We began with Thanjavur as historian Chitra Madhavan, an expert on temples and a great speaker, was available, and Svatma, the resort, was just opened by a friend. So why not combine it all?”
                      Let’s talk historyChithra Madhavan

                      The temples of Thanjavur may be familiar to most of us, but Madhavan assures us that a revisiting will throw up new stories. “As a student of art history and architecture, I will be pointing out the nuances, the characteristic features of the temples’ architecture, how to identify the sculptures, etc,” she says. While many know that the vimanam (the super-structure above the gopuram) at the Thanjavur Brihadeeswara temple is the tallest in the world, not many know that the big three—the temples at Thanjavur, Darasuram and Gangaikonda Cholapuram—are called the royals. “They were commissioned by royalty, for the use of  royalty and were the grandest structures built in their reign. Moreover, the kings’ names have been intertwined with that of the deities, too. The original name of the Thanjavur temple was Raja Rajeshwaram (as it was commissioned by Raja Raja Chola I),” she shares. Each day will begin with a city tour—with visits to the museum or the Saraswati Mahal Library (a one-of-its-kind repository of ancient manuscripts)—followed by the talks, capped off with a temple visit.

                       

                      First of manyDarasuram Airavateswara 1

                      The talks have been structured so that participants get a bit of everything—from culture and history to great food and a luxury experience. Next on the agenda is Khajuraho, where art historian Ashrafi Bhagat is expected to conduct the talks. “We are thinking of doing one destination lecture every six months,” Apparao concludes.
                      March 3-6. Rs 40,920 for single occupancy. Details: 9941012388

                      —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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