Mar 27, 2010

Tonight, 6.10 pm at FunX radio!

Hi everyone,
The multicultural station FunX radio is doing a special on the fast growing entertainment industry in India, at around 6 pm. And i have the honour to be invited for a phone interview during the show!
If you'd like to listen, their website is (for an online stream)

Mar 15, 2010

metal versus bollywood in India

I recently saw a cool documentary on the globalization of metal music, called Global Metal. A metalhead and anthropology graduate travels all over the world (except for Africa unfortunately) to visit the local metal scene. His conclusion is that, although it is a 'product of globalization', metal is different for everyone, and still a single community. Metal is mixed with local influences, but for everyone it is a revolt against authorities. Be it religious, political, or whatever.
This is the superb conclusion to the documentary, when he visits an Iron Maiden show in Bangalore in 2007. (Shit, I was there at the moment!!!)

Below you can see the part on Mumbai. A few metalheads talk about their love of metal, and how they can't identify with the main culture in India, yes, of course, Bollywood.

But I have to disagree with them. I even felt a little pissed off by these upperclass, highly educated city boys. To them Bollywood is nothing more than the stereotype, dancing around trees, etc. etc.
But I think it would be interesting for them to check their film culture again, and notice that, probably since the same time metal is becoming huge, the films also have started changing.
Perhaps they could identify more with a movie like DevD. Sure, it's commercial, not metal, but definitely sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.

Metal and Bollywood? I'd love to see a future in that..

Mar 9, 2010

What happened to the little slumdogs?

Exactly one year after Slumdog Millionaire won 8 oscars, Dutch journalist Wilma van der Maten, based in Delhi, decided to visit the two children that played the small Latika and Salim. The question is: How are they doing now? You would assume 8 oscars and a bunch of millions profit would improve their circumstances. Besides that, Danny Boyle has created a fund that provides money for their education and a bonus for finishing their studies once they reach their 18th birthday.

In this small video she shows how the girl still lives in the slum, with her stepmother. She doesn't go to school. All she dreams of is being a moviestar. Her father doesn't want to move to the flat that was offered, since it is too far away from his sources of income.
The boy does considerably better. He lives in a reasonable flat (with a lot of family), and goes to school now and then. That is, unless one of the plenty journalists offers them some money for an interview. He also dreams of a life as a moviestar, so he can one day afford a house with a swimming pool.
Now, the relation between the little stars (their managers/families) and the director hasn't improved, since the media attention seems to have made them a little greedy.

Can we draw conclusions? Not really. I guess it merely shows that improvement of life in the slums (or of a few of its inhabitants) is an extremely complex issue, and is not done by making a movie in the West. Indians in India hardly watched the movie anyway. So improvement is something we shouldn't expect of Danny Boyle, already enough criticized on his assumed neglect of the actors.

Please enjoy this video if you like. It's mostly in Dutch, but if you speak both Hindi and English, you should be able to get the points.