22 May 2009

End of Television --A lovely, inspired piece of writing

Please catch this lovely piece in New York's maverick blogazine, Gawker, on how online videos and help creative television writers circumvent the suffocating studio system.
Internet is revolutionising media, and I have written many times in the past about how TV is changing and will end as we have known it. But this piece makes it read like a fairy tale.

6 May 2009

Breaking News--That's Ram Gopal Varma's next muse

He is done with Veerappan, the Mafia and skinny beauties. Ram Gopal Varma's next muse is Breaking News.
RGV was across the road from my office today at Religare's elegant art gallery, in the company of Amitabh Bachchan, who, a little birdie tells me, will play a character fashioned after NDTV's Prannoy Roy (story revolves around a channel called India 24/7--good for the brand's ailing stature)

The film, "Rann" (Battle) has the tagline "Truth is Terrible" and seems from early hints like an engaging film.
Ramu (touching his cheek about six times in the 10 minutes I watched him) said the movie's intention is to question the business of TV news channels blindly playing the TRP (television rating point) game.
RGV's film has a social message. Now that is Breaking News, for sure.
But seriously, I am glad my publicist friend invited me to cross the road. For one, the Big B of Bollywood spoke at length in his attractive, articulate way about '21st Century Journalism'--having turned blogger himself.
I also salute Ramu's latest attempt to ponder over the mad business of mushrooming TV channels in cut-throat competition that raises too many questions.
I might accuse RGV of stealing a page from another of the latter-day Cinema Verite kind, Madhur Bhandarkar, who made "Page 3" about the colour pages game, but all that is in good intent.
I like the fact that when media cannot introspect enough, Bollywood steps in. I say this in the memory of my late friend Anil Saari, who called Bollywood the Sixth Estate.
Here is a quick list of celebrated Hollywood and Bollywood movies based on life in the media. Surf on to IMDB and look for details

Hollywood: Network (on TV), Front Page, Citizen Kane (newspapers)
Bollywood: New Delhi Times, Page 3.

Of course, many other movies featured media stories, but these are top-of-the-mind.