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Thursday, November 27, 2008

[ ACTOR P.O.V IX ] In the era of Slumdog

Bollywood today is known to be more than just a name derived from the dubious contortion of it's western counterpart. Now inspiring western directors to take up projects in India with local talent, bollywood has begun to more than just carve a niche... it is breaking into the mainstream. Although bollywood actors have appeared in western films for 2 or more decades (e.g., Amrish Puri, Irfan Khan, Om Puri, etc) current bollywoodmania is a result of bollywood moving forward relying on its own talents. Recent Oscar nominations snagged by bollywood films such as Lagaan and Water, and daring launch of movies centered on the indian experience (Namesake) has caused audiences to look east and forced them to shake it to the addictive rhythms, yea literally, click here .
(Foreign actors seeking bollywood opportunities ?? no joke!)

What I have been recently part of, has proved to me that infact bollywood has arrived. I am currently helping out with production tasks, such as gathering costumes, props, assisting with puppet making and publicity for a production called "The Great Puppet Bollywood Extravaganza!" yep!! that's right.... bollywood with puppets and even better as it is an improv show! Improv a 2 hour bollywood musical by a cast of actors who have had a lot of homework comprising of watching bollywood movies, dance numbers, songs, common bollywood names.

I have been impressed by the research, which involved understanding the basic plot line of a bollywood movie, what always has to happen? what never happens? It meant field trips to the Naz Cinema to watch Sharukh khan shake it along with 20 supermodelish backup dancers, rehearsals included rigorous dance warmups, scene work, understanding the emotional range depicted by bollywood where the concept of subtext is thrown out the window.
Not to mention the puppets show off the crafty and innovative talent.

So if you cannot get enough of bollywood or have yet to be bitten by the bug ... what better experience than a cozy little theatre in San Francisco, next door to the Union Square.

Opening Night : Nov 28th 8pm.
facebook event link: