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Monthly Archives: March 2016

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    When fan love turns into obsession, even celebrities can be scared enough to file lawsuits and hire bodyguards.

    Life under the arc lights is not all glitz and glam. Ask American television host, Erin Andrews, who was secretly filmed through the peephole while staying at the Nashville Marriot in 2008. It was only this month that she won the lawsuit and $55 million against the stalker, and the owner of the hotel. Here are a few more incidents that remind us that having a following has its own downsides.

    kylie_jenner1Kylie Jenner
    Jenner recently admitted that if she could turn invisible for a day, she would stalk all her exes. One cannot miss the irony here since it was only last Christmas that a stalker tried to break into her house for the tenth time! Though he was arrested and put in a psychiatric ward, he managed to escape in three days and was back at the youngest Kardashian’s doorstep, at her Calabasas home. Since then, her mother, Kris, has been urging the 18 year-old, who garnered one billion likes on Instagram last year, to restrain her activities on social media.

    mandy-moore-wallpaper-9Mandy Moore
    Last month was scary for Moore, as she found strange notes left outside her Hollywood home. A certain Salahaudin Moutali claimed he was “Satan” and wanted to meet her for “personal reasons”. After a few days, he showed up again at the singer-turned-actress’ home, which was when she called the police. The 31-year-old has a three-year restraining order against him now, and can stop worrying about any diabolic designs he might have had.

    Gwyneth Paltrow
    Our hearts went out to Paltrow last month when she, with eyes brimming with tears, testified against Ohio-based Dante Soiu. He has been stalking her for 17 years, and in 2000, was even convicted of the same crime. However, citing insanity, he was temporarily sent to a mental care facility. This time, it seems he only wanted forgiveness from the Oscar winning-actress. In spite of the 43-year-old stating that he sent her letters, which ranged from “religious to pornographic to threatening”, he was acquitted.

    Lana Del Ray
    It was just last December when Kansas-based Zachary Self — who was ‘camping’ in singer-songwriter Del Rey’s Malibu home — was jailed for 84 days. This year again, the Born to Die hit maker has been plagued by stalkers — two Russian girls who reportedly left nonsensical messages via mail , and threatened suicide as well. The 40-year-old star not only got a three-year restraining order against them, she even hired a full-time bodyguard.

    Rihanna
    In the midst of celebrating the success of her new album, Anti, Rihanna received an explicit video last month from Ralph Alexander. His tweets to the 28-year-old, dating back to April 2015, include a host of death threats and a picture where he posed outside Riri’s former home. Now, the Barbosa-born singer can continue to concentrate on her 63-city world tour, as the man has been confined to a psychiatric hospital.

    Seema Rajpal

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      Rocky Handsome
      Director: Nishikant Kamat
      Cast: John Abraham,
      Shruti Haasan, Nishikant Kamat
      When Naomi, a little girl with whom Kabir Ahlawat (Abraham) shares a special bond, is kidnapped by the drug mafia, he makes it his
      war. Can one man stand against the whole cartel?
      Did you know: For this action thriller, Abraham learnt Aikido
      and Hapkido in Thailand.

      Thozha
      Director: Vamsi Paidipially
      Cast: Nagarjuna Akkineni, Karthi, Tamannaah
      The official remake of the French movie, The Intouchables, Thozha (releasing as Oopiri in Telugu), is about the unusual friendship that springs between a man restricted to his wheel chair and his caretaker.
      Did you know: While Karthi replaced NT Rama Rao Junior, Shruthi Haasan was signed on for Tamannaah’s role.

      The Wild Blue Yonder
      Goethe-Institut is screening movies themed on water. Today, catch Werner Herzog’s The Wild Blue Yonder (2005), starring Brad Dourif, Martin Lo and Roger Diehl. In this science fiction movie, an alien narrates how he escaped from his planet, with the aim to make Earth his community’s potential home. Meanwhile, astronauts initiate a search for another habitable planet. Today at 7 pm, entry free. Details: 28331314

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        Eye in the Sky
        Director: Gavin Hood
        Cast: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul,
        Alan Rickman
        It’s a war drama starring Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer, who uncovers a suicide bombing plan by terrorists in  Kenya. Her mission is to kill the plot. But as American pilot Steve Watts (Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year-old girl enters the kill zone, triggering an international dispute. An intense drama, with powerful acting, it’s a must-watch for war movie buffs.

        — Team Indulge

        Kapoor & Sons
        Director: Shakun Batra
        Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt, Rishi Kapoor
        You may find Kapoor & Sons a rehash of different Dharma Productions’ films—obviously because it’s produced by KJo—but the movie is surprisingly engaging. Rahul (Khan) and Arjun (Malhotra) are brothers living in London and New Jersey. Rahul is a novelist while his younger sibling, Arjun, is a part-time bartender. The two are summoned back to the family home in Coonoor when their grandfather (Kapoor) falls ill. While the movie is  funny and heartwarming, it’s also quite unconventional. Worth a watch.

        — Team Indulge

        Pugazh
        Director: Manimaran
        Cast:  Jai, Surabhi
        The plot explores the issue of open spaces being usurped by unscrupulous politicians. It’s about how a youngster, with the support of the community, takes on the politician out to seize the neighbourhood playground. The film has a focussed screenplay and treatment. The various relationships are well worked out. Jai reveals the more intense side of the performer in him. Only, in its feel and flow, and in its play of local politics, Pugazh is a mild reminder of Madras.

        — Malini Mannath

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          Lauren Gottlieb is cut out for Bollywood, for it is here that she can sing and dance to her heart’s content.

          LAUREN Gottlieb of So You Think You Can Dance fame likes it in India — the people, culture, and the films she is making a career out of, for the last four years. Indian films fulfill her twin dreams of dancing and acting. The dancer-turned-choreographer-turned-actor from Arizona, now staying in Mumbai, says, “When I finally found acting projects in Hollywood, I had to stop dancing. They don’t make the Singin’ In The Rain kind of movies anymore, where you could act and dance. It was around that time Bollywood pulled me over to its side for the lead role in ABCD (2013).” Gottlieb then went on to act in ABCD 2 and Welcome to Karachi and appeared in song sequences in Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! and Welcome Back, while pursuing her love for dance on the reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.

          Acting bug
          The actor, who will be seen next in the Punjabi film Ambarsariya, is keen to explore her range as an actor. “I would love to act in the South. I know I am picking a gamble, but I want to do films that focus more on my acting skills. In India, I want to be known as an actor.”
          And the 27-year-old, who used to choreograph for Tom Cruise and Toby Maguire, and act in TV shows such as Glee, CSI and Ghost Whisperer, is working at it. She is taking language lessons, studying Bollywood films, listening to a lot of Hindi songs on Saavn, eating right, and working out—which includes yoga and pilates. Above all, she is honing her dance skills. She explains, “I believe I have a talent that many actors don’t have. I am a trained dancer and I can pick up a new style in five to 10 minutes, and even look the character.”
          Strange as it might sound, but as a child, Gottlieb hated dancing. “I have two brothers, so I was tomboyish. But my mum wanted me to do something girlie. She enrolled me for dance, and I hated it. I thought I was too stiff and not as good as the others. But I could not quit. Before the year-end dance performance, I cried a lot. But the moment I finished the act and got off the stage, I was begging my mum to let me go back on the stage again. I fell in love with dance.”
          Does she plan to get back to Hollywood?  “It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind scenario there. I wanted to pursue acting in India, so I packed my bags and moved, leaving behind my family, two dogs and dance career. All my focus is on Bollywood now,” she affirms, adding that she recently touched one million followers on Instagram.

          Favourite dance films
          ♦  Any Body Can Dance: What sets ABCD (Gottlieb’s acting debut) apart from the Step Up series is that the culture of India comes through strong in its song sequences, especially the Ganpati and Sadda Dil Vi Tu songs. ♦ Center Stage: The 2000 film follows the life of a young group training to be professional ballet dancers in New York. “I can relate to the ballet background of the dancers, and their training,” says Gottlieb, who has learnt jazz, ballet, hip hop, ballroom and Broadway. ♦West Side Story: Watching the 1961 Broadway-turned-musical is like attending a dance school, says Gottlieb adding, “It has authentic jazz sequences and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. It is such a technically-sound dance film. If I ever have to make a dance film, it will be like West Side Story.”  ♦  Chicago: Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger and Richard Gere, this musical comedy crime film blends jazz performances and acting to perfection, says Gottlieb, adding, “Its music lingers in the mind for long.”

          — Barkha Kumari

           

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            Two camps for children, both with a beach setting and truckloads of adventure. Here’s what you need to know before signing up.

            PAINTBALL, bungee running, mini cricket —you name it, they have it. Children this summer will have a hard time choosing between two upcoming camps, both by the beach at ECR. The first one starts this weekend. A sleep over camp, it is organised by The Wild Tribe Ranch, that sports a new look and address now. Children can enjoy the full range of activities there and end the day with a campfire at night. The second one that starts next month features cooking, frisbee and obstacle courses to boot. Read on.

            Wild Tribe Ranch (5)Wild Tribe Ranch

            IF you are familiar with The Wild Tribe Ranch in Ponneri, you will be pleased to know that the adventure sports and outdoor training centre has relocated to ECR, with a bigger and more challenging setup. At heights ranging from 12 feet to 50 feet, now there is more for adrenalin junkies, like rope walking and zip lining. For the nervous first timers, CEO GV Satish Kumar assures that every person who signs up will be bound by belts and cords and will be accompanied by trained personnel. “We have a total of 19 activities now,” says Kumar, adding that the Devil’s Ramp is presently the toughest of the lot, with various obstacles at three different levels — the last being the zip line at 50 feet.
            Their upcoming camp for children allows the youngsters to try out all of the above activities and more, like ejection bungee and trampoline jumps. Beach football reaches an extremely tough level with body zorb soccer, while the simulated bull setup makes you a bull-rider for a short span of time, i.e. till you can negotiate the wildly bucking ride. For more vertigo-inducing experiences, hop on to the gyroscope or try the descender game, where you rappel down a wall using a rope. “After all the action during the day, the kids can chill beside a campfire all night long, where they play icebreaker games and sing songs. We have deliberately arranged accommodation with bunk beds in a nearby building to increase socialising among them,” he explains.
            Open for ages seven and above. Tomorrow and Sunday. `4,750 per head. Details: 9025689689

            —Karan Pillai

            Gilligan’s Beach Camp

            Covering fun-filled outdoor activities like water yoga to camping experiences like bonfire and barbeque on the beach, paintball centre Headshot, in collaboration with Polaris Off Road Sports and Indian Paintball Federation, are organising Gilligan’s Beach Camp in four different batches from April 1 to June 10. The first edition of the camp was held last year, but for private invitees only. This year, it is open to the public for the first time and is being held at the private beach site of Polaris, in Pattipulam on ECR.
            “Children will be taught cooking as well as barbeque by a team from Anglo Aunty’s Takeaway. There will also be shallow water yoga conducted by trained athletes and canvas painting by art therapists. The young ones get to indulge in other sports like frisbee, volleyball, obstacle courses, and, of course, paintball,” shares Mallika Angela, the camp director of Headshot. Focus group discussions will also be held to aid the children in developing a positive approach, team building and communication skills, she adds.
            “The children can be accompanied by either of their parents during the camp. However, the elders are required to follow the basic camp rules, like no usage of cell phones. They can use the office phone at the site,” adds Angela. “Trained professionals, equipped with safety kits, will be working with and monitoring the children throughout the camp. There are also doctors and ambulances easily available on call,” she affirms.
            Registrations close on March 31. Rs 5,500 per head for 2D/1N

            — Lalitha Ranjani

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              Horror reboot
              “It’s a supernatural-romantic thriller and no one has tried this particular theme in Tamil cinema before,” begins Shiv Moha, describing Zero, his debut directorial venture. Moha, who has apprenticed with Bharat Bala in Maryan, assures us that the film will “give a different feel” and that it will be sans the horror elements we would normally associate with a film of this genre. Releasing today, Zero has Ashwin and Sshivada playing the leads, with JD Chakravarthy in a crucial role.

              A fresh take
              Vamshi Paidipally, the maker of successful Telugu entertainers like Brindavanam and Yevadu, is debuting in Tamil with Thozha (which has a Telugu version, too). The Karthi-Nagarjuna-Tamannaah-starrer (in theatres today) is an adaptation of the French comic-drama, The Intouchables. What drew him to the film? “It’s a story of bondage, love and hope. Its universal sensibility drew me to it,” says Paidipally, adding that while he has tried to capture the soul of the original, he has also interchanged a few characters.

              Solid innings
              I bumped into Aari recently. The actor was busy dubbing for his next release, Unnodu Ka. “It’s the first time I’m doing a totally commercial entertainer,” he says. A summer release, it has the actor playing an antiques dealer. Following a splendid performance in Nedunchalai, and holding his own in Maya, a woman-centric plot with Nayanthara, his career has been on the upswing. Lined up are films like Maane Thene Peiye and Kadai Enn 6.

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                Braveheart
                As part of World Theatre Day (this Sunday), Theatre Nisha is presenting its eighth one-woman play. Titled Gallantly Fought the Queen, it traces the trials of Rani Lakshmi Bai. Written and directed by V Balakrishnan,  and enacted by Meera Sitaraman, the play will have original poetry by Subhadra Chauhan and  Lakshmi Bai Raso. Tomorrow and Sunday, at Alliance Française, at 3 pm and 7 pm. `200. Details: eventjini.com

                In the abstract
                Painter Madhukar Maithani explores landscapes in vivid jewel colours, in his work titled Distant Views – Vibrant Hues, The Delhi-based artist’s semi-abstract forms are painted on large, dramatic canvases to project his perspective—which, according to gallerists, seem ‘drawn from a subconscious deconstruction’. Till April 10, at Apparao Galleries in Wallace Garden, Nungambakkam. Details: 28332226

                The big dance off
                Prakriti Foundation is calling for applications from choreographers and dance teams for its biannual contemporary dance competition, Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards. The third edition hopes to encourage new and developing works-in-progress. The last date for entries is April 15. Application forms can be downloaded from pecda.co.in and sent in, along with a five-minute video, to Prakriti Foundation. Details: 44668484

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                  Know your music and dance? Find out how much at the fourth Arts’ Quotient Quiz .

                  If you’re an avid quizzer and a keen fan of the performing arts, pull out your yoga mats! As odd as it sounds, 136.1 Yoga Studio will be playing host to the fourth edition of Arts’ Quotient Quiz, an attempt to take arts beyond the auditorium by the performing arts company, Aalaap.
                  Be it a recent concert featuring five prominent Carnatic exponents exploring the audava (five note) ragas, or the monthly concerts at a boutique in the city, Aalaap has been behind unique events. “It’s our idea to curate experiences for people to engage with the arts in an informal way, and we thought why not have a quiz exclusively on the performing arts,” says founder Akhila Krishnamurthy. From Carnatic music to Chauu dance, Mohiniyattam exponents as well as the Tetseo Sisters, the quiz will cover the entire country, she adds. There will also be a live performance and brief lecture-demonstration by a celebrity, on which one of the six rounds will be based. Hosting the quiz is Sundararaman Chinthamani, who has authored a guide to Carnatic music using film songs and is also a member of the Quiz Foundation of India.
                  Twenty four teams (of three members each) will get to participate. “The number of participating teams has doubled since the last year,” says Payal Chhabria, chief operating officer. That includes 70-year-olds as well as an 11-year-old who is a music lover. “Once a quizzer, always a quizzer. So we’re hopeful of meeting some of our regulars from the past three editions,” Krishnamurthy adds.
                  On April 3, at 4 p zm, at 136.1 Yoga Studio, Alwarpet. Registrations open till the event date or till 24 teams are formed. Details: facebook.com/theaalaap

                  —Sharadha Narayanan

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                    Anil Srinivasan, Usha Uthup and others unite for an evening of music and charity.

                    Event management company Ace Events seems to have nailed it with its choice of musicians for Rock N Roll Chennai, a concert celebrating the spirit of the city and raising funds for post-flood relief. Singer Usha Uthup may not be a resident, but she proudly wears Madras—as she calls the city—on her sleeve, having made a statement all her life with her kanjeevaram saris and malli poo. Pianist Anil Srinivasan, who is collaborating with her for the first time, is another art ambassador of the city—giving its classical music a new dimension with a grand piano.
                    Bond over this
                    When the duo ascends the stage tomorrow, Chennai will take the spotlight. “This is a concert celebrating the city. I’m doing a segment on the music of Madras over the decades, from Papanasam Sivan and MS Visvanathan to Ilayaraja, AR Rahman and GV Prakash,” explains Srinivasan.
                    Kolkata-based Uthup says she will sing anything the people want her to. It was here in the city after all, that her career in music started in 1969. Not to forget that she has family here and fondly recalls visiting relatives in Mylapore and Saidapet. “The concert will be a mixed bag, and will be purely demand-based,” explains the 68-year-old performer. “One of my popular recent hits is Adele’s Skyfall. Incidentally, when I started singing in the city, in 1969, James Bond songs were heavy on my repertoire, be it Diamonds are Forever, You only Live Twice or Thunderball.” Forty five years later, she still finds herself singing Bond songs. “I will be singing Skyfall in Madras, too, besides a few of my Hindi, Tamil and Punjabi hits” says Uthup, who recently sung and performed a number in Farhan Akhthar’s upcoming film, Rock On 2.
                    Comic relief
                    Hoping to accompany her in Skyfall is Srinivasan. “She’s a great icon and I’m sure she is on everybody’s wish list. I’m looking forward to working with her,” says the 38-year-old. The event will also include a segment by popular comedian Chinni Jayanth, who will be singing accompanied by Saindhavi. Part of the proceeds will go towards building a school in Urapakkam for those affected by the floods, an initiative by Rotary Club of Madras. “More than 8,000 families were displaced. A 14-classroom school for classes VI- X is being planned,” concludes Srinivasan.
                    Tomorrow, at The Music Academy, at 6.30 pm. Rs 500-Rs 2,000. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

                    —Sharadha Narayanan

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                      Folk tales
                      Art for Concern is back with the second edition of its annual traditional and folk art show. Featuring the works of 20 artisans—including names like Jaipur miniature artist Babulal Marotia and Pichwai artist Nilesh Kumar Soni—expect over 48 artworks. Kerala mural artist, Jiju Lal, will be exhibiting for the first time, too. Rs 7,500 to Rs 1,00,000. Proceeds will go towards grassroots programmes. On March 30, from 5.30-9 pm, at the Audi showroom, Anna Salai. Details: artforconcern.org

                      Rock the night
                      Catch singer Sunitha Sarathy today at the Mainstage Festival of Bands at Bay 146. The contemporary vocalist and gospel singer promises to entertain with a selection of Indian and western music. Next Wednesday, rock ‘n’ roll band Grey Shack will take the stage. From 9.30 pm, at Savera Hotel. Rs 500. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

                      Small talk
                      Check out Micro Trends, an exhibition of small-format paintings and sculptures by the Progressive Painters Association, at Labernum and Indigo galleries. On April 10, they will also conduct a Micro Camp, to explore an alternate studio experience in a world that is going micro and digital. At the Cholamandal Artists Village, from tomorrow till  April 17. Details: 24490092

                      Braveheart
                      As part of World Theatre Day (this Sunday), Theatre Nisha is presenting its eighth one-woman play. Titled Gallantly Fought the Queen, it traces the trials of Rani Lakshmi Bai. Written and directed by V Balakrishnan,  and enacted by Meera Sitaraman, the play will have original poetry by Subhadra Chauhan and  Lakshmi Bai Raso. Tomorrow and Sunday, at Alliance Française, at 3 pm and 7 pm. Rs 200. Details: eventjini.com

                      In the abstract
                      Painter Madhukar Maithani explores landscapes in vivid jewel colours, in his work titled Distant Views – Vibrant Hues, The Delhi-based artist’s semi-abstract forms are painted on large, dramatic canvases to project his perspective—which, according to gallerists, seem ‘drawn from a subconscious deconstruction’. Till April 10, at Apparao Galleries in Wallace Garden, Nungambakkam. Details: 28332226

                      The big dance off
                      Prakriti Foundation is calling for applications from choreographers and dance teams for its biannual contemporary dance competition, Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards. The third edition hopes to encourage new and developing works-in-progress. The last date for entries is April 15. Application forms can be downloaded from pecda.co.in and sent in, along with a five-minute video, to Prakriti Foundation. Details: 44668484

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