Name games

Director Shoojit Sircar continues to grapple with name games. After the title Hamara Bajaj was struck down by a court following the automobile major’s complaint, he has named his another production as Running A romantic comedy with elopement as the central theme the film is set in Amritsar. Having started his journey as an ad filmmaker, Shoojit says the title and the first trailer are crucial to attract attention. “Hamara Bajaj was only a working title but in Running’s case we have registered the title and don’t foresee any problem. I agree that Hamara Bajaj was as a good as the final title and given a chance I would have liked to retain it,” says Shoojit, whose Madras Café was first called Jaffna but the title was later changed to avoid too much attention on the subject of Lankan Civil War before the release.

Starring Amit Saadh and Taapsi, the film is directed by Shoojit’s friend cinematographer Amit Roy, who has shot many Ram Gopal Varma films, including Sarkar. “I have come up the ladder and don’t mind helping others.” However, despite Vicky Donor and Madras Café, his much awaited Shoebite, which was also renamed from Johnny Walker, with Amitabh Bachchan is still lying in the cans. “The matter is between UTV and Fox. They are taking time to sort out the issue regarding the rights.” Can Bachchan put in a word. “I know he is influential but at the end of the day he and I are technicians. But I am at it and hope that things will be sorted out.”

Guess who?

Taking her exotic appeal further, Priyanka Chopra is now the international face of Guess. Said to be the first Indian actress to get this opportunity, she has joined the league of the likes of Cindy Crawford and Drew Barrymore and Anna Nicole Smith. For the campaign Priyanka has been shot by Grammy Award winner and three time Academy nominee Bryan Adams, who goes behind the lens to capture Priyanka in her free spirited best in a series of black and white photographs. In the campaign, Priyanka portrays a movie star at home in an elegant Mediterranean villa wearing some of the season’s stand-out dresses.

Paul Marciano, Creative Director Guess says Priyanka reminds him of Sophia Loren but perhaps the real reason comes through when he emphasises that the Indian movie industry exploding on a global stage and Guess having a brand presence in 87 countries could not have found a better global brand ambassador. Priyanka sees it as is a remarkable opportunity which in its own way, erases boundaries and makes the world a smaller place. “When you look good, you feel great...and to me, that’s what Paul Marciano captured in these pictures….”

Mumbai magic

After the authors, now it is the turn of the filmmakers to explore Mumbai’s past on the celluloid. But the problem is where to shoot for the maximum city has changed so much over the years that there is hardly any space to recreate the Mumbai of the yore. While Anurag Kashyap is shooting in Colombo for his Bombay Velvet, director Sanjay Gupta is relying on special effects to bring back the old and out of use mills that once used to dot the city’s landscape in his forthcoming film Mumbai Saga. “We will be showing such vacant properties fully operational. We will be recreating miniatures of these mills to show them being burnt down.” The film’s crew will also be heading to Belapur to shoot some action sequences. “We will be shooting some scenes with a train that used to run on the tracks in the ‘90s. Now, it can only be seen in Belapur,” says Gupta.

Veterans in the Sin City

Las Vegas has been a familiar hunting ground of Hollywood filmmakers. The Hangover has just about gotten over and now legends Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline are sharing screen space for the very first time in a comic caper Last Vegas. Directed by Jon Turteltaub, Last Vegas follows the lives of Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline), who have been best friends since childhood. So when Billy, the group's sworn bachelor, finally proposes to his thirty-something girlfriend, the four head to Las Vegas with a plan to stop acting their age and relive their glory days. However, upon arriving, the four quickly realize that the decades have transformed Sin City and tested their friendship in ways they never imagined. Sin City has had its own coming-of-age but it’s these guys who are taking over Vegas, and how! The film is releasing in India on Novemebr 22.