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|Gandhi (Widescreen Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
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A critical masterpiece, GANDHI is an intriguing story about activism, politics, religious tolerance and freedom. But at the center of it all is an extraor- dinary man who fought for a nonviolent, peaceful existence, and set an entire nation free. Winner of 8 Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director (Lord Richard Attenborough) and Best Actor (Sir Ben Kingsley), GANDHI’s highly acclaimed cast also includes Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, Sir John Gielgud, Roshan Seth and Martin Sheen.
The extras include more than 90 minutes of new material, including interviews with director Lord Richard Attenborough; actors Geraldine James, Saeed Jaffrey, and Edward Fox; Diana Hawkins (Director of Publicity), Terry Clegg (Executive in charge of production), Billy Williams (Cinematographer) and Stuart Craig (Production Designer). The DVD includes a Director’s commentary with Attenborough, who also filmed a personal introduction to the film. The featurettes include In Search of Gandhi, Reflections on Ben, Madeleine Slade: An Englishwoman Abroad, The Funeral, Shooting an Epic In India, Looking Back, Designing Gandhi (3 mini featurettes) and From the Director’s Chair (2 mini featurettes).
Sir Richard Attenborough's 1982 multiple-Oscar winner (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley) is an engrossing, reverential look at the life of Mohandas K. Gandhi, who introduced the doctrine of nonviolent resistance to the colonized people of India and who ultimately gained the nation its independence. Kingsley is magnificent as Gandhi as he changes over the course of the three-hour film from an insignificant lawyer to an international leader and symbol. Strong on history (the historic division between India and Pakistan, still a huge problem today, can be seen in its formative stages here) as well as character and ideas, this is a fine film. --Tom Keogh
Stills from Gandhi (click for larger image)
Beyond Gandhi on Amazon.com
Other Oscar Winners at Oscar Central
More Biographies on DVD
The Films of Ben Kingsley
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American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family's unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways.
Adapted by screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala from the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, director Mira Nair's The Nameksake is populated by well-drawn characters and filled with memorable shots and engaging scenes. But in the larger sense, the film is a provocative look at the two sides of immigration: the adjustments faced by a couple who move here from a distant land, and the struggles of their offspring to reconcile their parents' traditional culture with their own distinctly American outlook. The tale begins in the late '70s, when aspiring engineer Ashoke Ganguli (Irfan Khan) and his new wife Ashima (the radiant Tabu) move to New York from Calcutta. Life in America is strange, in ways both good (the gas in their apartment stays on 24 hours a day! You can drink water straight from the tap!) and not-so-hot (New York's winters). But for their children, first son Gogol (a standout performance by Kal Penn, heretofore best known for the stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle), nicknamed for his father's favorite author, the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol, and then daughter Sonia (Sahira Nair), "the American way" is at odds with their folks' more conservative mores. Gogol (who later adopts his more formal first name, Nikhil) smokes dope, calls his parents "you guys," goes to Yale, and hooks up with a preppie white girl (Jacinda Barrett); for her part, Sonia complains that she wants to "go home" when the family returns to India for a visit. Only when tragedy strikes suddenly does the young man realize how totally alienated from his family he has become, prompting some major changes. There's nothing especially original about any of this, and even those who haven't read the book may sense that some of Lahiri's material has been lost on the way to the screen (the treatment of Gogol's marriage to a beautiful Bengali-American girl, played by Zuleikha Robinson, seems oddly truncated). But even while dealing with life's Big Issues (birth and death, marriage and separation, joy and misery), Nair has created a winning, intimate film that reminds us of the strength of family ties and effortlessly persuades us to care. --Sam Graham
Kal Penn Blogs About The Namesake
Welcome to The Namesake DVD. After touring the festival circuit last year, our film opened globally (including North America) in March of this year, and I’m proud to bring you the DVD!
This is a project that has been close to me from the beginning. I was a big fan of the book ever since John Cho recommended it to me during the first Harold & Kumar shoot. John and I tried to get rights to turn the book into the film, but Mira [Nair, director of Monsoon Wedding and Salaam Bombay] had already acquired them. That began a really aggressive campaign on my part to try to get seen for the role. I’d call Mira’s office, have my manager call – but we had no luck in getting in the door. Luckily, unbeknownst to me, Mira’s son Zohran and her agent’s son Sam were lobbying on my behalf (turns out they are huge Harold and Kumar fans, so they were trying to get their parents to bring me in to read for the part of Gogol). Mira finally agreed, and I got a call saying that I’d be able to audition. I flew out to New York, and luckily things worked out.
There are some similarities between my life and Gogol’s. We are both Americans of Indian descent, both born and raised on the East Coast, both bilingual, and both passionate about our careers. But Gogol is much more subdued than I am; he carries a certain silence (which he gets from his father). His place in the world is one of constant shift -- a byproduct of being single in New York, being passionate about his job, close with his family, and so on.
This film is my favorite to -date. Mira has been a role model of mine since I was very young, Jhumpa [Lahiri, author of The Namesake] is one of my favorite authors, Sooni [Taraporevala, screenwriter for Salaam Bombay] one of my most admired screenwriters, so it’s an honor to have the chance to be part of the screen adaptation of this story.
To me, it’s a very American film. It’s about family, about hope – about how we all got here, through the lens of this particular family. With so much negativity every time I turn on the television, I’m proud to be part of something that hopefully leaves the audience with a tremendous amount of hope, and a connection to the people we love. -- Kal Penn
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- Format: DVD
- AC-3; Color; Dolby; Dubbed; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC
|Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love
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Naveen Andrews, Sarita Choudhury. This sultry tale of romance, lust and betrayal involves a beautiful servant girl who's trapped between her duty to the king and her one true love. 1997/color/114 min/unrated/fullscreen.
If you're looking for a deep, intelligently romantic movie with complex characters and a richly rewarding plot, don't bother with Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. On the other hand, if you're feeling sexy and in the mood for a lush, seductive, and visually stunning film set in 16th-century India, this one will please you like the best foreplay you've ever experienced. Or it will relax you like a full treatment at a pampering spa--either way, you're gonna feel pretty fantastic. Okay, okay... maybe we're getting a little carried away, but there's no denying that director Mira Nair (best known for her acclaimed film Salaam Bombay!) has crafted a sumptuous film for the eyes if not the head. Its melodramatic plot is involving enough to elevate the movie high above soft-core adult fare, so you won't feel guilty after watching it.
Kama Sutra is the story of a young woman named Maya (the stunning Indira Varma) who has always been lower on the social scale than her well-born friend Tara (Sarita Choudhury), and has always lived in Tara's shadow, wearing her used clothes and being made to feel inferior. When Tara is betrothed to the handsome King Raj Singh (Naveen Andrews, from The English Patient), Tara sneaks into the king's tent on the eve of the wedding and seduces him. Later, after being trained to master the Kama Sutra's many "lessons of love," Maya will be the king's courtesan, and emotions will run high between the former best friends. But the plot is of secondary importance here (a fact that resulted in many mixed reviews), and so Kama Sutra works best as a colorful and irresistibly sexy story that is worth seeing just for the startling beauty of the film and its cast. --Jeff Shannon
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Naseeruddin Shah, Lilette Dubey. Mira Nair's delightful tale of a upper class Punjabi family's wedding and the relatives that come from across the globe to celebrate. 2001/color/114 min/R.
Monsoon Wedding is a return to form for Mira Nair, director of 1988's Salaam Bombay! Nair's gift for observation of the everyday and her love for her characters make for a delightful film, which spins a web of family relationships that knit and break during a wedding at a perfect pace. The excellent performances exceed the often stereotypical roles on offer (including the incomparable Nasiruddin Shah as the harassed father, Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the comic uncle, and Shefali Chaya as the orphaned cousin). Nair's sympathetic eye for the unnoticed and the harassed is at its best with the tender romance between the servant and Dube (Vijay Raaz), the marigold-munching, upwardly mobile wedding coordinator, who brings pathos and humor to the often unseen servant classes. The handheld camera gives a docudrama feel to this celebratory look at the upper-middle-class Hindu Punjabi joint family, while paying tribute to modern Indian public culture of music, television, and, of course, "Bollywood." --Rachel Dwyer
|Lagaan - Once Upon a Time in India
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The title means tax, and for the citizens of India living under the British raj, or rule, it also meant a cause worth fighting for. The battleground in this case is the cricket field, where experienced English players compete against local novices, whose victory would end three years of punishing lagaan for their people. A more subtle struggle takes place in the hearts of the story's hero, Bhuvan, and two lovely young women--the English Elizabeth and the Indian Gauri. In English with English and Hindi subtitles. 3 hours 45 min. on 2 cassettes or 1 DVD.
Would you believe the most enchanting musical of the year is an almost four-hour-long epic about a ragtag group of 19th-century Indian farmers who form a cricket team to take on an arrogant British captain? The old-fashioned Hollywood musical is alive and well in India's Bollywood industry, where the joyful explosion of music and dance and innocent romance abounds in sweeping epics. In this infectious tale of bloodless revolution, the underdog outcasts and oddballs of a fractured village pull together into a unified team to take on the oppressive colonial Brits at their own game. Think The Longest Yard meets The Seven Samurai by way of Rudyard Kipling, with cricket bats, choreographed dance numbers, romantic triangles, and a rousing call to solidarity. There are no surprises, but what spirit, what color, what good fun! --Sean Axmaker
|Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
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Brand: Yashraj Films
Shy, introverted, and kind-hearted Surinder Sahni is an office worker for Punjab Power. He quietly falls in love with the daughter of his former professor, beautiful and vivacious Tania Gupta, whom he first sees during the preparations for her wedding. Upon their first meeting however, Taani jokingly berates and blames him for setting an impossible set of standards that she was never able to meet as a child. A short while later, Taani's father suffers a heart attack when the entire wedding party learns that her fiance and his family were killed in a traffic accident. Fearing that Taani will be alone in the world, the professor asks Suri to marry her. Suri concedes; Taani tearfully agrees only to please her father. However, Taani tells him that while she will try to be a good wife, she can never love him due to having no love left within her. Suri still continues to indulge her every desire. This includes frequent visits..
- Original Yashraj Films DVD
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In a "bouncy Bollywood meets Hollywood romantic comedy" (BBC Films), Ali Larter stars as feisty B-list actress Marigold Lexton, who, stranded and broke in Goa, India, after financing flops on her low-budget film, lands a role in a musical to pay her way home. Eager to prove herself, she seeks famed choreographer Prem Rajput's (Bollywood superstar Salman Khan) guidance, and a whirlwind romance begins...until Marigold discovers Prem holds a powerful, inescapable past--and a future that holds no place for her.
- In a "bouncy Bollywood meets Hollywood romantic comedy" (BBC Films), Ali Larter stars as feisty B-list actress Marigold Lexton, who, stranded and broke in Goa, India, after financing flops on her low-budget film, lands a role in a musical to pay her way home. Eager to prove herself, she seeks famed choreographer Prem Rajput's (Bollywood superstar Salman Khan) guidance, and a whirlwind romance begi
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Both stylish and stylized, Santosh Sivan's Hindi epic Asoka tells the heavily fictionalized but nonetheless compelling story of India's greatest emperor. In the third century B.C., the Mauryan king Asoka built a vast empire by means of ruthless conquest; but after the great Kalinga war he became sickened by the terrible slaughter he had caused, converted to Buddhism and dedicated the rest of his life to spreading peace and prosperity.
The film, though, concerns itself only with Asoka's rise to power, his love for the princess Kaurwaki, and his subsequent descent into brutality. Shah Rukh Khan is a brooding and temperamental prince who woos the lovely princess Kaurwaki (Kareena Kapoor) incognito and with the aid of the obligatory song-and-dance numbers. After a promising start involving mythic swords, heroic combat, and King Lear-like sibling rivalry, the film falls into a familiar Bollywood groove for a while until events overtake the unlucky lovers and Asoka turns mean when he thinks his princess is dead. She in turn searches vainly for her handsome hero, not knowing his real identity; and when the tyrannical Asoka attacks her kingdom she leads her people against his armies in a near-genocidal war. The finale, after a wonderfully staged battle that employs 6,000 extras, is genuinely touching.
Throughout, the film works best when striving for a realistic tone, though the fairy tale romance and song interludes are doubtless contrived to please the domestic Indian audience more than cynical Europeans. It's a shame that Asoka's true greatness is never realized on screen, as the story ends before his momentous conversion, but as a film that tackles big themes with real visual flair Asoka nonetheless deserves to find a worldwide audience. --Mark Walker
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From Sanjay Leela Bhansali, one of India's most acclaimed directors, comes Saawariya, a timeless love story based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's "White Nights." Destiny weaves its magical spell when a shy musician's (Ranbir Kapoor) chance encounter with a beautiful young woman (Sonam Kapoor) leads to four unforgettable nights filled with music, passion and romance. Overflowing with colorful costumes, lavish sets and eye-popping song-and-dance numbers, Saawariya is Bollywood filmmaking at its best. Hooray for Bollywood!
Imagine a movie with the lavish production of Moulin Rouge!, the emotional complexity of a story by the great Russian writer Dostoevsky, a cast of staggeringly beautiful people, and the spectacular choreography of Bollywood extravaganzas? You've just imagined Saawariya, a lush romantic saga decked out in dazzling jewel tones--the entire world gleams with shades of sapphire, emerald, and amethyst. An innocent musician named Raj (Ranbir Kapoor, half Justin Timberlake, half the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz) falls madly in love with a lovely young woman named Sakina (Sonam Kapoor), who stands every night on a bridge with a black umbrella. But when he learns that she's in love with another man, a man who has been gone for a year but who promised to return that very week, Raj's pure soul turns corrupt with jealousy and longing. The charming lead actors are both making their feature film debut, but in supporting roles are two Bollywood superstars: Salman Khan (once voted the 7th best-looking man in the world by People Magazine) as Sakina's wayward beloved and the rapturously lovely Rani Mukherjee (sometimes known as the Queen of Bollywood) as a prostitute who counsels Raj in his affair, though she may have feelings of her own for the foolish young man. There's nothing else like Bollywood cinema; Saawariya combines wildly theatrical performances and insane dance sequences with an irresistibly sweeping romanticism that puts Titanic to shame. Truly a feast for the eyes and the heart. --Bret Fetzer
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