No, that's not a random quote from a wandering mind. A kind-hearted judge ordered that young Talula (yes, that random phrase is a name) should have a more natural name that won't get her ragged by her peers. Along the way, check out some of the names that parents are dumping on their children: Sex Fruit (banned), Number 18 Bus Shelter (allowed), Keenan Got Lucy (banned) and Fish and Chips (allowed - for twins).
Now you know why people must be made to take IQ and sobriety tests before allowing to procreate.
Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na is screwing it up for the rest of them because it's a hit. At least, that's what The Indian Expressclaims. But it is a bit short-sighted to believe that this is entirely a bad thing. Sure, there won't be enough screens to show Mukhbiir, Mehbooba and Goodluck. Personally, I think that's great. If you have to invert your publicity material based on your astrologer's advice, you probably don't deserve the time of day. I recommend making a good film and asking the jyotish to bugger off. On the other hand, I don't know enough about the other two movies to comment on them. But they can't be too much better.1
On the other hand, I already know that Hancock and Kung Fu Panda are both mostly disappointing fare. How, you ask? Well, it's because I read the reviews (yes, I trust Roger Ebert and Rotten Tomatoes - they've yet to steer me wrong). You know, it's a good thing to do that in this day and age, when watching a film in a decent environment requires you to surrender your inheritance and your first-born. It helps when you get delayed releases like that; you can choose to watch only those movies which you find are worth the trouble (and money). On the other hand, most production houses depend on reviews not reaching their audiences. That way, even a crappy movie like Love Story: 2050 makes its money before word hits the street. It's a scam, and you're falling for it.
On the other hand, these movies that are currently losing out might actually be good (or just lucky and successful). In which case, the same exhibitors will then expand their screen and show allocations. All will then be well. There's a reason that a number of films are often released on limited release; it is to enable producers and distributors to gauge audience reaction before investing valuable resources on a film. Smaller production houses and independent filmmakers could actually benefit from this strategy. Parzania and Being Cyrus come to mind.
If one were to take this a step further (into the realm of probably-drug-induced fantasy), it could actually be an opportunity to create a parallel economy for art house or indie cinema. Maybe not in Mumbai, because the bloody real estate prices are set to kill, but surely there's a market for it outside. You can't make multiplex-level moolah, but that's not why you're doing it, right? Meanwhile, big production companies will revisit their strategies of market saturation as a means of making money from every production that their factories roll out. The number of films produced will decrease, while the potential of each film will be analysed with a keener eye. Production quality could improve. Audience interest will be retained. Shah Rukh Khan will only occupy 60% of Mumbai's advertising space. Pigs will fly.
But, hey, one can hope. Meanwhile, I think I'll wait for The Dark Knight before my next round of spending money at the movies.
You already know that Radiohead, that most awesome British band, released their latest album, In Rainbows, on ye olde Interwebs, for the grand price of whatever-you-feel-like-paying. Since then, they've also put it out on CD, and on Amazon MP3. But just when you thought that was as cool as it could get, they go and do this.
For those who haven't heard of Last.FM, it's a self-proclaimed "social music revolution", now owned by CBS (who paid $280 million for it). You get your account, you download the player (or stream directly from the site through your browser), and tell it what kind of music you're interested in, and you get a virtually neverending stream of similar music, tagged, rated and recommended by people around the world. Plus a wiki on each artiste and their music, forums, playlists, badges for websites and Facebook apps. Good stuff. You should try it out. You can also download free songs (not too many, though), or buy from Amazon in CD or MP3 form. Apparently, their paid service is even more awesome, but I'm a simple guy made stingy by poverty.
So, Radiohead talks to Last.FM about making their music more accessible online, see, and they come up with this deal. For the next two years, you can stream In Rainbows completely free. If you've heard the music before, you'll know why this is great news. If you haven't, check it out at Last.FM now.
My name is Sumant Srivathsan and I live in Bombay. When I'm not selling online ads, I come here and let the world know what I think of it.Comments, healthy feedback and conversations welcome at sumants (at) gmail (dot) com as well.