August 8, 2008

Loins of Punjab Presents finally on U.S. screens

It's been a long, long wait - nearly a year - but Manish Vij over at Ultrabrown reports that Manish Acharya's Loins of Punjab Presents ... is finally seeing a (limited) U.S. theatrical release.

Manish says the film, a screwball and very original comedy about a small-time desi talent contest in New Jersey starring Shabana Azmi, Ajay Naidu, and a bunch of other talented folks, will open September 12th on two screens in New York, and will later show in the San Francisco bay area, Chicago, and a few other cities.

I hope that if it does well it can be picked up for an even wider distribution. There are at least two art houses in metro Boston where it would fit right in to the usual program. But I am not going to wait to find out; I think I'll be heading to New York for that opening weekend. It's absurd that I have still not seen this movie.

August 4, 2008


The first real star I met as a journalist was Shabana Azmi. Long before meeting her I idolised her. As a rookie I still remember how fast my heart pounded as I sat wide-eyed in the portico of her beautiful house in Janki Kutir, waiting for her to emerge from inside. When she eventually did in a chic salwar-kameez, her hair falling to her shoulder and her eyes penetrating into a horizon far beyond human vision, time just froze.
-- Subhash K. Jha.

Source: An edition of Jha's Times of India column from a few weeks ago. I'm not a big fan of Jha - he's an inveterate name-dropper, and this particular article seems to have no other purpose - but these comments struck me; I think all of us who idolize Shabana ji can sympathize. I'm sure that once time started moving again for Mr. Jha, he was able to do the business he went to her house to do, and to leave with a good interview for his editor. When I met Shabana Azmi, though - it's still only been the one time - I lost my tongue, and was unable to make any impression on her whatsoever. I hope I'll be able to keep my head a bit better, next time.