Satyajit Ray v/s Steven Spielberg


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA -INDIA           MARCH 23, 2013           00.30 A.M.

Steven Spielberg came to India , he saw and he conquered . Every director worth his name in the Hindi film industry was present in the masterclass organized and arranged by Anil Ambani and chaired by none other than Amitabh Bachchan .

English: Steven Spielberg at the 2011 San Dieg...

Steven Spielberg at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His enviable body of work commands respect . Out of 31 films directed by him , 10 films are in the list of 30 all time greatest hits of Hollywood . I am providing the list :

Highest-grossing films of Steven Spielberg

This is a list of the top 10 highest grossing films which Spielberg directed. Spielberg’s films have grossed a total of more than $8.5 billion, with an average of $236 million per film.

Rank Title Worldwide gross Year
1 Jurassic Park $915 million 1993
2 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial $793 million 1982
3 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $787 million 2008
4 The Lost World: Jurassic Park $619 million 1997
5 War of the Worlds $592 million 2005
6 Saving Private Ryan $482 million 1998
7 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade $474 million 1989
8 Jaws $471 million 1975
9 Raiders of the Lost Ark $390 million 1981
10 The Adventures of Tintin $374 million 2011

Is it not impressive ? Is it not enviable ? Is is not unattainable ? Yes it is !

But then there is an old allegation made by none other than our own Satyajit Ray . In the early 80s , Satyajit Ray said that , ” Steven Spielberg would not have made ” E.T. “ and Close Encounters of the Third Kind , if in 1960 , I have not left behind copies of my script ” The Aliens “ with Hollywood film studios . ”

 

Cover of

Cover of E.T. via Amazon

 

 

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

 

The allegation is hard to prove , though it is supported by Arthur C. Clarke . In the March 17 , 2013 edition of Mumbai Mirror , eminent journalist Aseem Chhabra also claimed that in 1983 he had seen the script Of Satyajit Ray’s ” The Aliens “ and there were certain obvious similarities between ” E.T. ” and ” The Aliens ” .

English: Potrait of Satyajit Ray, painted by R...

Potrait of Satyajit Ray, painted by Rishiraj Sahoo in 1997 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aseem Chhabra also wrote that he interviewed Satyajit Ray at that time and his only regret was that after ” E.T. “ he could not make ” The Aliens “ , else he would have been accused of plagiarism .

I personally respect Satyajit Ray and Steven Spielberg , both . I don’t know what is the truth . It is for the historians to unearth the truth and bare the facts . But as a connoisseur , I cherished ” E.T. “ and ” Close Encounters of the Third Kind ” and would have loved ” The Aliens “ also .

I urge all my students of my acting institute  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  to watch and savour the films of these two great masters of cinema .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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Vidur’s International Forays : Hollywood


Today I am completing 21 years in Mumbai as an acting trainer. In these 21 years I have trained innumerable actors of Hindi films and many more of South Indian Films. I have covered a whole gamut of Indian actors. Suddenly on October 04, 2010, I got a call from  Seher Latif, a Casting Director for Hollywood films. She asked me if I could come to Udaipur to train Dev Patel of ” Slumdog Millionaire ” fame. It was for his new film, ” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel “. Initally I was purplexed at the offer and then I was extatic. I started my innings as a trainer with Geetanjali Khanna and Saif Ali Khan and during these fatefull years, [ October 1989 – October 2010 ] I have trained almost 90% of the new-comers of Hindi film industry and many of the South Ibdian Film Industry. And in the 21st year of my training here I am getting a chance to work with a Hollywood celebrity. I immediately agred and met Dev Patel in Mumbai’s Grand Maratha Hotel. I had one session here and then next day took flight to Udaipur.

 

Dev Patel

Image via Wikipedia

 

For my readers, I am reproducing some facts about Dev Patel from the internet………..

Dev Patel was born in Harrow, England, to Gujarati Indian parents, both of whom were born in Nairobi, Kenya, where there is a significant Indian community.[4][5] His parents both emigrated from Kenya separately in their teens, and only met in London.[5] His mother, Anita, is a carer, and his father, Raj, an IT consultant.[5] He has one sibling, an older sister named Komal.[6] He was raised in the Hindu faith.[7]

Patel grew up in Rayners Lane, Harrow, and attended Longfield Middle School. He had his first acting role as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the school’s production of Twelfth Night.[5] Patel was given the Best Actor award for his performance and says that was the day he knew he wanted to become an actor.[citation needed] He later went to Whitmore High School, receiving an A* in GCSE Drama, for his “self-penned portrayal of a child in the Beslan school siege“. During the exam Patel moved his examiner to tears! [8] His drama teacher Niamh Wright has stated: “Dev was a gifted student who quickly impressed me with his innate ability to communicate a wide variety of characters imaginatively and creatively. … He was awarded full marks for his GCSE performance to a live audience and the visiting examiner was moved to tears by his honest portrayal of a child in the Beslan school hostage crisis in Russia.”[8][9] He eventually completed his AS Levels in PE, Biology, History and Drama in 2007, while he was working in Skins.[8]

Awards and nominations for Slumdog Millionaire :
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Won :

I was elated when I was told that the director of ” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ” is Mr. John Madden. I was delighted to meet and work with the director of ” Shakespeare In Love “. I met him next day of my reaching Udaipur and found him so unassuming and down to earth, that I got a shock of my life. There are so many lesser mortals in Hindi Film Industry, who after their minor and insignificant success, behave as if they have conquered the world and here was a director who had been nominated for Oscars for his film ” Shakespeare In Love ” and he lost the Award to Mr. Steven Spielberg, who won it for ” Saving Private Ryan “” , but was behaving as if he has done nothing. I am reproducing some informations about Mr. John Madden from internet………………………………

John Madden Photo

John Madden Biography

JOHN MADDEN

Date of Birth: April 8, 1949

This native of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England began his career in the English theater, moving later to the BBC to work in television and radio drama. Madden’s resumé as a stage director includes prestigious work in both Britain and the United States. He directed Caritas Christi at the National Theater and helmed Broadway productions of Beyond Therapy, Wings and Grownups; he also staged the latter at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

In 1975 he crossed the pond and moved to the States to develop radio drama with Earplay, a National Public Radio drama project. During his time directing in radio and on stage, he taught in the acting and playwriting programs at the Yale School of Drama.

In 1984 he began to work extensively in TV as well as directing for the BBC and for commercial television in the UK. He worked on popular series like The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Morse, as well as telefilms like A Wreath of Roses and The Widowmaker.

Madden’s first feature, Ethan Frome (1993), was not a box office hit. However, there was praise for Bobby Bukowski’s striking cinematography, which added to the bleakness of the tale, and Madden was established as a competent storyteller.

He first garnered wide-scale notice with his feature Mrs. Brown (1997) starring Judi Dench. Dench was denied an Academy Award for her starring role, but was given a “runner-up” Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Madden’s next and most successful film, Shakespeare In Love (1998). The film not only received applause from critics and viewers alike, but it gave Madden nominations from the Oscars, BAFTA and Golden Globes for Best Director.

Filmography:

===================

Killshot (2009)
Proof (2005)
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
Shakespeare In Love (1998) – Oscar Nomination for Best Director
Mrs. Brown (1997)
Golden Gate (1994)
Ethan Frome (1993)

In Udaipur I met writer of the film, Mr. Ol Parker also. I was impressed by his simplicity. I made few suggestions in the script and he agreed to all of them without any annoyance or protest. He patiently listened to me without frown and smilingly agrred to all of them. I have no knowledge of him , so I am quoting from the internet………………..

Ol Parker

(born 1969, London) is an English TV writer and director.

In 1997, he married actress Thandie Newton, who starred in his first film, It Was an Accident (2000).

His birth name was Oliver Parker, but he changed his first name to Ol, to avoid confusion with Oliver Parker who directed An Ideal Husband (1999).

Filmography :

==============

 

Judi Dench

Image by lewishamdreamer via Flickr

 

I met Judy Dench also, who is part of the cast. I had never imagined that one day I would be meeting M of James Bond films. On 11 October I returned to Mumbai after a week long session with Dev Patel and immersed in my routine work.

My life has been a saga of frequent changes. I am not going to give up acting training for sure but I am starting my career as a film director. It is a Bhojpuri film and it would be my second directorial venture. My first directorial venture was ” BHAKTI HEECH KHARI SHAKTI ” in Marathi. My billing for that film was as a Co-Director. So in a awy this Bhojpuri film is my first film as a director. Naturally film direction is going to take much time of my life now.

In a sense I am feeling happy that as an acting trainer I have reached my pinnacle. From Indian films in Mumbai to the International Arena in Hollywood is a very satisfying journey indeed.

Vidur

Mumbai – Maharashtra – India

http://www.vidur.co.in

[ For the information about  Dev Patel, Mr. John Madden and Mr. Ol Parker, I have quoted extensivelyfrom Wikipedia.I am thankful and express my gratitude. ]

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