August 5, 2007

BBC interviews Shabana and Javed

BBC interviewer Noel Thompson sat down separately with Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar last year, probably on the same day, though the interviews aired about a month apart.

Watch the interview with Shabana ji here. There wasn't a lot in this interview that I hadn't heard before - it covers approximately the same territory as the Charlie Rose interview, for example - but if I were the sort of person who got tired of watching stuff like this, well, I wouldn't have this blog, would I? It's interesting to hear Mr. Thompson challenge Shabana ji a little bit; it gets her going, and she responds with energy, so it's a good interview tactic. Shabana ji's voice strikes me as a little hoarse; I wonder how many interviews she'd done that day. There are some nice lines lurking in there ... rather than highlighting them here I think I'll hoard them for posting as "bon mots" later on.

Here, watch the interview with Javed sahib. What strikes me immediately about this is that Javed sahib flatly contradicts his wife's oft-repeated optimistic view that the rise of the multiplex is the best thing that could happen to Indian cinema. He says that the multiplex is sucking the soul from Indian cinema. I suppose it's not too shocking to hear a view like this from a man who wrote so many of India's masala classics. Still, all of his comments have a bit of the tone of the curmudgeon, which he acknowledges when he notes that the present is never considered the golden age.

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