Slumdog Millionaire Wins Big at the Baftas: Danny Boyle’s Mumbai Masterpiece Takes Home 7 BAFTAs

Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, The Beach) has astounded critics and audiences alike with his latest, greatest film Slumdog Millionaire. Based on the book Q and A by Vikas Swarup, Slumdog Millionaire is often described as a “feel-good” movie, but that is not all it is. Boyle delved deep into Mumbai street life to portray a story that is, at times, almost unbearable. There’s beatings, death and horrifying scenes of child labour in the film, and yet it still manages to convey feelings of warmth and even humour amongst the children of the slums.

Realism and Romance in Slumdog Millionaire

The film dances along on a whirlwind ride, encompassing a gamut of emotions from anger and pity to pure joy. Most of all, the journey is told with a hope and positivity that lifts the spirits. Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy have between them achieved a drama which whilst true to life is anything but gritty. There’s a dusting of fantasy and romance, and yet enough realism to keep viewers absolutely gripped. Perhaps that is why the film has gone down such a storm.

The Baftas

Slumdog Millionaire was awarded seven Baftas at last nights glittering ceremony in London:

  • Best Director – Danny Boyle
  • Best Film – Christian Colson
  • Adapted Screenplay – Simon Beaufoy
  • Music – A.R. Rahman
  • Cinematography – Anthony Dod Mantle
  • Editing – Chris Dickens
  • Sound – Glenn Freemantle, Resul Pookuty, Richard Pryke, Tom Sayers, Ian Tapp

Other Bafta Winners

The other winners of note at the 2009 British Academy Film Awards were as follows:

 

  • Leading Actor – Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler
  • Leading Actress – Kate Winslett for The Reader
  • Original Screenplay – In Bruge
  • Film Not in the English Language – I’ve Loved You So Long
  • Animated Film – Wall-E
  • Supporting Actor – Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
  • Supporting Actress – Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • Outstanding British Film – Man on Wire

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button also won Baftas for production design, hair and make up, and special visual effects. The prestigious Orange Rising Star award went to Noel Clarke, and the Carl Foreman Award (for special achievement on a British film debut) went to director Steve McQueen for Hunger.

Terry Gilliam Bafta Fellowship

Pinewood and Shepperton studios were honoured for their Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, and finally that crazy, wonderful, incredible man responsible for such brilliant cinema as Twelve Monkeys, The Fisher King, Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Time Bandits was accepted into the fold. Yes, Terry Gilliam was awarded the 2009 Academy Fellowship. See what he has to say about it here at the Baftas site.

Company Man (review): A CIA Secret Agent tries (and fails) to overthrow Castro in Cuba.

Grammar (and sometimes Spanish substitute) teacher Alan Quimp, played by Douglas McGrath, is so sick of being pushed to get a better job by his wife (Sigourney Weaver) and father-in-law that he comes up with the perfect lie: he is really an undercover CIA agent. When his father-in-law tells him that the only way he could be an agent would be if CIA stood for “Cowering Idiots Association” Quimp is encouraged. He makes such a good spy because nobody would believe he is one. Of course, he isn’t and his lie escalates until he finds himself helping a Russian ballerina, played by Ryan Phillippe, escape the KGB and defect from Soviet Russia. In order to take credit for it, the CIA recruits him and ships him off to a little place where nothing ever happens: Cuba.

Quimp Arrives In Cuba

Once there he meets his fellow agents; Officer Fry (Denis Leary), the Chief (Woody Allen), and the crazy Crocker Johnson (John Turturro). His first assignment is to find Agent X, an agent believed to be leaking information which has resulted in the deaths of undercover agents. In less than a day, Quimp succeeds. If it weren’t for the fact that he “doesn’t have the wits to be a single-agent” the company would be concerned about him being a double-agent. His other purpose in Cuba is to keep the Cubans happy. Agent Johnson believes that Cuba is on the verge of a revolution. Of course the Chief and Quimp agree that they seem happy and their custom of flaming piñatas (which read Batista and Viva la Revolucion on them) is cute. But Johnson is right. When the newly overthrown General Batista (Alan Cumming) arrives at his door, Quimp is thrown into a mad scheme to assassinate Fidel Castro (Anthony LaPaglia) before he fully takes control of Cuba to return power to Batista. To make matters worse, his controlling wife arrives to view his work firsthand so that she can write a book that will make her lose her faith in God if it “does not outsell the Bible”.

The Bay of Pigs

Quimp and his fellow agents embark on a series of ridiculous plans to kill Castro, including making him bald and thus unpopular, to offering him poisoned cigars. At the same time Quimp, as part of his cover, runs a radio station to convince people that they really are happy living in Cuba. Their efforts to unseat Castro and a misinterpreted set of songs Quimp plays set off a chain of events that result in the famous, failed mission that history would call The Bay of Pigs.

The Movie Company Man

Directed by Peter Askin and Douglas McGrath, this movie is a hilarious retelling of a historical event and how it could have happened. Although for the CIA’s sake, the viewer hopes it was fictional. It has a unique way of advancing the plot by beginning with Quimp and another CIA officer (Paul Guilfoyle) trying to explain to a Senator just how the Bay of Pigs disaster occurred. The movie cuts between Quimp’s flashbacks and the secret Senate meeting where he tries to plead his case. Despite coming out in the year 2000 and boasting a great cast, this movie got very little recognition. The vast majority of people who would love it have no idea it exists. The movie is full of great quotes and memorable moments as Agent Quimp bumbles through his new job while trying to make the world a better place using proper grammar and insisting on speaking butchered Spanish.

 

The acting is superb and the sets beautiful. The entire movie is filled with theatre style entrances and exits, making it seem almost like a play instead of a movie; an interesting change from usual movies. Anyone who enjoys secret agent movies, comedies, and a dash of history should hurry out and get this movie.

Slumdog Millionaire’s Anil Kapoor Backs New Trafficking Campaign

If there is a scene we remember clearly from Slumdog Millionaire, it is the scene where vulnerable are blinded. What saves the hero’s eyes is his wonderfully terrible voice, deemed unsuitable for begging and singing on the street by the traffickers. Unfortunately, thousands of children and adults do not share the same luck and fall prey to trafficking for begging. This exploitation plagues all regions, including South East Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor on his interaction with the real life impact of human trafficking in India

Anil Kapoor, one of the lead actors in Slumdog, now joins a team of celebrities backing up the latest anti-trafficking campaign: The CNN Freedom Project: Ending modern-day slavery. Anil discusses his trip to an Indian village suffering from large-scale human trafficking. He speaks with CNN’s Radika Kapur. (“Slumdog Millionaire actor on fighting human trafficking”, CNN, 16 March, 2011)

Human trafficking for begging in China and Jet Li

In China, it is estimated that there are between half a million and one million stolen and trafficked children who beg on the streets. Earlier this year in February, movie star Jet Li gave his support to a social blog that posts pictures of begging children, which can then be recognized online by parents looking for their missing child.

International celebrities: UN Goodwill Ambassadors

Anil Kapoor is among the many public figures who use their social power and spotlight to bring attention to human rights violations. A myriad of celebrities have so far joined anti-human trafficking campaigns. Mira Sorvino, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, and Nicolas Cage are some of the recently appointed UN Goodwill Ambassadors.

The question of trafficking for begging under law

In early 2011, the book Trafficking for Begging: Old Game, New Name drew attention to the problem of trafficking for begging as it stands under international law, arguing for the inclusion of the exploitation in the interpretation of legal norms on human trafficking. The legal questions are far from resolved, however. Whether parents forcing their children to beg may be considered as human traffickers is an open question to which developing legal jurisprudence tries to provide an answer. In 2010 a UK court sentenced parents forcing their children to beg and steal: Romanian parents jailed for forcing their children beg and steal, (Robert Booth, The Guardian, 30 July, 2010). And as the legal and social debate on trafficking for begging is far from over, public figures’ contribution to awareness-raising campaigns is ever more needed.

Dystopian Review – The Handmaid’s Tale: Margaret Atwood’s Dystopia for Women Critiqued

Dystopia is a concept that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can contemplate; after all, if Utopia is nowhere than its antithesis must be everywhere. At the same time, however, Dystopia has a more narrow meaning – it is a locale where very unpleasant things tend to take place, and there is frequently little hope of changing it. For the standard-issue reader, Joe W.A.S.P. Average, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Huxley’s Brave New World resonate well. For his wife Jane, The Handmaid’s Tale has a very particular orientation.

Dystopia For Women; Atwood’s Nightmare World

Set in a hypothetical future where the United States government is overturned and replaced with a theocratic regime dubbed The Republic of Gilead, the role of the average woman is devolved to the point of slavery. Facing a particularly grave crisis of fertility, women are (naturally) assigned blame for this crisis and all but the most sinless of married women are reduced to performing the paraphrased role of, as our protagonist Offred puts its, ‘Wombs with legs.’ Ah, but what’s this? What kind of name is Offred? Well, she is of Fred, of course; Fred is the name of the government leader who effectively owns this woman and determines her future. If she is shown to be capable of having a child, she will be forever thanked by society by knowing she need never be challenged in this way again by her next master.

If she fails to have a child, however, she is to be declared “Un-Woman,” and sent to clean up toxic waste in one of the many regions that have been defiled throughout the Republic of Gilead. This barbaric treatment is naturally downplayed to foreign visitors, outsiders who are only allowed to see what the government shows them. This limited picture certainly excludes a wall where people are executed and a label is provided demonstrating the reasons why – a yellow star to show they were Jewish, for example, following a trend reminiscent of The Scarlett Letter. Offred’s existence is a tenuous one, indeed, and the tale of her arrival at this predicament is, as discovered at the end of the novel, a series of tape-recordings of her reminiscence about the days before the government was overthrown and she, her husband and her daughter lived a typical middle-class existence.

The Handmaid’s Tale’s Role in American Culture

As one of the “newer” Dystopian authors, Margaret Atwood’s work is far from ingrained in the American consciousness. While its true that the book is even taught – and, according to an article in The Star (http://www.thestar.com/article/571999), challenged – in some high schools, it hasn’t reached the cult status of other Dystopian novels. While Atwood herself remains an up-and-coming author, with recent novels such as Oryx and Crake continuing her exploration of worlds which are unpleasant – even devoid – of humans, her first novel remains a defining work in her career.

 

The themes Atwood addresses are, at present, not exactly threatening to manifest themselves. The American political system is too strong to be easily disrupted, and even if the leadership of America was eliminated it’s implausible that the military would simply concede to an organization of religious fanatics. A more comparable situation is the one that Iran found itself in, before the rise of the Islamic republic; a country with a largely reviled government that lends itself to a popular overthrow. Nevertheless, there is something to be said for watching the encroachment of religion into public life – should the government begin to ensconce religion in its practices, it falls on the people to rebuke them before things can grow too outlandish.

In short, Atwood’s tale creates a feasible example of an America gone wrong and crossed with a fundamentalist dictatorship the likes of which she is fighting abroad, today, in the real world. As with all Dystopian literature it serves as a warning to resist the forces of totalitarianism, but whereas two of its aforementioned predecessors cater to the common audiences of their day, The Handmaid’s Tale focuses on those who could well fit its Chaucerian title; the plight of women in a world of hellish nightmare.

 


 

Blindness – 2008 Film Dogged By Controversy

Blindness follows a group of unnamed characters as they struggle to survive an epidemic that renders its victims sightless. Rounded up and institutionalized they are left to create a new social order as the outside world slowly succumbs to a blindness bathed in light.

I’m going to have to run headlong into traffic here and say that I thought Blindness was a fantastic film. Though negative swaths of critical review, audiences and even The National Federation of the Blind will beg to differ and have made no secret of their frustration and distaste for the film. Actually it was just this ground swell of negativity that lead me to shuffle Blindness onto my ‘see only if my life has a surplus 120 minutes that I cant possibly do anything else with’ file. In some ways I guess this turned out to be a good thing for now four years after its initial release I can see it stripped bare. Unadorned and free of the clutter that battered and bruised it from the very day of its premier.

2008 Cannes Film Festival

Honored with selection as the opening film for the 2008 Cannes Film Festival it was to receive a brutal 1.3 average out of 4 by Screen International’s Cannes screen jury (which tabulates results polled from a panel of international film critics). Subsequent reviews were no less scathing and this wonderfully sculptured film was set to limp away into obscurity. A shame for there is a hefty swag of talented film making on show here that far and away out paces the lulling and even tempo that now defines mainstream contemporary cinema.

Fernando Meirelles Directs

Fans of the genre will appreciate the intricately constructed post-apocalyptic canvas that director Fernando Meirelles creates here as a backdrop to his vision of a world stripped of its sight. The utter chaos that lays ruin to every aspect of a society that is unfairly weighted toward those who ‘can’ see is the films most enduring element. It is then surprising that quotes the likes of “…it is quite obvious why blind people would be outraged over this movie. Blind people do not behave like uncivilized, animalized creatures.” from the American Council of the Blind would swirl about the film.

Blindness – Controversy Amid the Ruins

From a personal point of view Blindness more than any other film I can recollect extolled the hurdles mastered and surmounted by the sight impaired each and every day. The difference here is that the cast of Blindness are dropped suddenly into their ‘whited out’ world. They are not born into it nor have they had the luxury of learning how to manage it. As the film progresses it is not their blindness that leads the characters to grovel into their base instincts, its fear. That which was once taken for granted is lost and balance shifted, with those who were already blind now able to reign above the scrambling masses. It doesn’t help I guess that in this instance the narrative casts a blind character, The repugnant Accountant as such a negative and opportunist scumbag. But then of coarse there is nothing correct or pandering within this breath of foul air.

The films depiction of rape and the debasement of its female characters has also shouldered a blistering storm. Though again I see anything but gratuitous cinema here with every harrowing moment seemingly essential to the films bitter premise. Bleak and gritty does not always equal poignant cinema but here it works so well at dragging the viewer into frame. It here creates its hell with such putrid clarity that even the most simplest of tasks (bathing, buying food, dressing…) will for many become just that little less taken for granted. Not for everyone but search it out there is much, much more here than initially meets the eye.

Blindness

Tagline: Your vision of the world will change forever.

  • Director… Fernando Meirelles (City of God)
  • Writer… Don McKellar (screenplay) From the novel by José Saramago.
  • Cast:
  • Yûsuke Iseya (Casshern) as First Blind Man
  • Don McKellar (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as The Theif
  • Yoshino Kimura (Masters of Horror – Dream Cruise) as First Blind Man’s Wife
  • Mitchell Nye (GravyTrain) as The Boy
  • Danny Glover (Age of the Dragons) as The Man with Black Eye Patch
  • Alice Braga (Predators) as The Woman with Dark Glasses
  • Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island) as The Doctor
  • Julianne Moore (Children of Men) as the Doctors Wife
  • Gael García Bernal (Babel) as the Bartender/ The King of Ward 3
  • Maury Chaykin (The Sweet Hereafter) as The Accountant
  • DVD Release Date… February 10, 2009
  • Filming Locations… Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Montevideo, Uruguay. São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Runtime… 120 minutes
  • MIRAMAX

 

What is C-Panel Hosting and How Can You Have It

C-Panel was one of the first interfaces used by webmasters to manage their websites online. Practically, it is the ‘skeleton’ of a website, and the makes it easy for web developers to access it and use it.

The hosting hardware has a simple circuit in principle. The developer has access to the C-panel, to manage a website hosted on a drive of a web-hosting company. Some of these services even eliminated the c-panel interface, replacing it with a more intuitive Content management system. However, also if the user sees something different in the front end, there will be a c-panel at the back-end, which takes care of all the website’s functions.

To use your website through the c-panel, you will first need a domain name. The has an IP that can be accessed only through the internet, but the domain name represents the name used by a visitor to find that specific IP online. It can have a termination such as .com, .edu, or many other extensions, but also specific country ones such as .co.uk for British websites. Hosting has to be fast and accessible for users – a slow website will not have priority in Google, and it will also have a high bounce rate.

You can find many c-panel hosting packages responding to all types of needs and activities. Some web hosting companies will host your entire website, while others will only offer a ‘skeleton’ that you will have to manage with the c-panel. If you want to avoid unpleasant surprises such as a slow website that is offline most of the time, before deciding on the one you call.

Types of c-panel web hosting available

  1. Free hosting – yes, you can host your own website free on some platforms such as Blogger or WordPress, but the site will not be ‘entirely’ yours. It will have an extension such as yourname.wordpress.com, and it will actually belong to WordPress. Such websites are really Google-friendly, but they will not offer you the customization features required by a professional site. Moreover, it is tough to find a with c-panel
  2. Shared web hosting – the cheapest hosting method available for beginners, ideal for new websites. These websites consume the resources of the same server, dividing those between them whenever needed. You can go with this solution for months, but as soon as your website hits a few hundred visitors a day, you will need to think of a more performing package.
  3. Reseller web hosting – it is some kind of affiliate service in which a hosting company sells space and resources from a more significant provider to third parties. As the most reliable companies in the field have their own servers and they sell hosting directly to users, this service is not as used as it used to be.
  4. VPS – Virtual Private Server has many elements in common with shared hosting, but the resources are more prominent and their repartition is fairer. Practically, shared hosting means 100 websites on a server, while VPS means only ten sites on the same type of server.
  5. The most performing hosting solution is the Dedicated server, in which big websites benefit from a complex c-panel to manage a server solely for its needs.

Tips for Increasing Muscle and Managing Your Weight


Contrary to the saying “thin is in,” there is a percentage of our society who dream otherwise. These are the people who want to add a few muscles to their bones. For those who are seriously trying to gain muscle fast, here are a few tips:

  • Ask an expert. Before anything else, before starting any diet or exercise regimen, consult with a physician.
  • Do your research. The market is saturated with weight gainers that lure you into getting results fast. Read the labels. Remember, you can’t gain weight overnight the same way you can’t lose weight that quickly.
  • Eat healthy. If possible, consult a dietician or nutritionist to help you create a diet plan that will work for you. Avoid empty calorie snacks.
  • Lastly, psyche your mind. Gaining weight takes a lot of discipline, patience, and willpower. You better put your heart and soul to it if you want to achieve your goal.

People are constantly posing the question of “how to lose arm fat,” while the answer is relatively straightforward. To maintain a healthy weight and ultimately lead a healthy life, there are two essential components; diet, and exercise.  Many products or programs will pitch that you only need one or the other, or in rare cases, neither.  It is possible to lose weight without diet and exercise, however maintaining your new weight will be nearly impossible without lifestyle changes.  Regardless of what you use to lose weight, to lose the weight faster initially and to keep it off, ensure you exercise for thirty to sixty minutes three times a week, and watch the intake of fat and calories.

These two combined with any product or program will be a long-lasting solution to weight management.

5 Steps For Choosing The Right Size Corner TV Stand

After purchasing the TV of your dreams which is after a long period of saving cash, the next dilemma comes to selecting the right size of the corner TV stand. Apart from the TV, you are bound to have more electronics such as home theater systems, DVD players and video games therefore you will be required to choose the right kind of TV stand that would hold all this items in position and still maintain the beauty of the living room. TV stands come in different sizes depending on the needs of the customer therefore you should select the correct size of TV stands depending on your needs.

The following are points to consider when buying a corner TV stand

1. Location of the Corner TV Stand

Choosing the correct size of corner TV stand will be determined by the location in which the corner stand will be set up. If you want your TV to be suspended on the wall such as on the corridor or kitchen walls, the corner stand will be of different size and appearance compared to normal corner stands.

2. Bulkiness of the Corner TV Stand

When it comes to selecting the right size of the corner TV stand you will have to consider the size of the TV. For example a TV of 42 inches definitely needs a strong corner stand to support the weight of the TV. If you choose the wrong size of the corner stand chances are that it will not support the weight of the TV.

3. Usage of the Corner TV Stand

TV corner stands are manufactured in different ways to cater for different uses. When you are faced with the dilemma of choosing the right size of the corner stand you should list down all electronics that you have at your disposal. In the case for those who have DVD players that would mean the corner stand you will buy has to have an extra space to accommodate the DVD player. If you have many electronic items such as video games, home theatre systems, sound equalizers and amplifiers the correct size of corner TV stand should have as many cabinets as possible to accommodate all electronics that one has.

4. Eye Level of the Corner TV Stand

When selecting the right size of the of the TV corner stand the buyer should consider the height of the stand in respect to other furniture in the living room. If you purchase a corner TV stand that is slightly above the eye level field of view chances are that you are going to strain your neck and back. The correct size should be within eye level range and not too low or too high to make you strain.

5. Consider the Width of the TV

The width measurements of your television will greatly determine the size of the stand that you will have to select. When selecting corner stands it is advisable to choose the ones which have adequate width space to ensure that there is enough room for the TV and also other accessories like speakers. If you a wider stand than the measurements of the TV, this will make your TV look smaller, to ensure you do not make this mistake ensure you select corner stands that do not exceed more than 30percent of the width of the TV.

Icre


Today we think of caviar as a Russian contribution to the world’s list of gourmet foods. but history suggests it was the Chinese who first made caviar – not with sturgeon roe, but with the eggs of the river fish crap. Genghis Khan took Chinese caviar with him when he invaded Russia, but sturgeon soon gained supremacy as the roe of choice because of its attractive colour.

 
 

Although taramosalata made with cod roe has become a national dish in Greece, it has long been produced in southeastern Europe using carp roe. Carp plays an important part in Balkan cuisine, especially in Romania, where their version of taramosalata has the unfortunate name ( at least to English language-speakers ) of icre de crap ( the latter word being Romanian for carp ). After removing the membrane on the carp roe, it is salted, and left until the roe turns orange. It is then pounded with fresh breadcrumbs and blended with oil so that it emulsifies with the roe. Seasoned with lemon juice, salt, and sometimes finely chopped onion, it is eaten on crackers or rye bread That was created with the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler for a tasty snack.

 
 

Taste : Icre has a soft, creamy texture and a delicate fishy flavour that is less salty and strong than commercial taramosalata. Naturally cured, it has a warm orange hue.

Goose Fat


A mature goose of any breed popular today can lay down 2 pounds ( 900 g ) of soft fat around its internal organs, or even more. Rendered down, this fat is used for cooking in the same way as lard. While once closely identified with the Jewish cuisine of Central Europe,goose fat is now more commonly associated with southwest France. It is a key ingredient in rillettes d’oie, pottes goose, all forms of confits, and, very often, the Bearnaise garbure, the cabbage-based soup-stew simmerd in an earthenware pot.

In nutrition and diet, graisse d’oie has been linked to what is known as the French paradox: the question of why, despite a high-fat diet, cardiovascular disease in France has been historically low. Goose fat is rich in monounsaturated ans polyunsaturated fatty acids. The British, too, once valued goose fat for its health-giving properties – they spread it on working men’s vests in winter as a protection against respiratory diseases. Roast goose has always been a popular festive dish and Anglo-Saxon cooks know that goose fat makes absolutely the best roast potatoes, also you can try it on pasta made with the atlas pasta maker.

 
 

Taste : Although goose fat absorbs other flavours, it is never bland. The rich farmyard taste lingers on the palate, adding to any ingredient with which the fat is combined.