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Oscar winning actor Martin Landau dead



Martin Landau

Los Angeles, July 17: Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau, mostly known for films like “North by Northwest”, “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Ed Wood”, passed away here. He was 89.

He died on July 15, said his publicist. He had been hospitalised at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where he experienced complications, reports

The veteran of the Actors Studio, for which he was West Coast co-artistic director, had many ups and downs in his career.

The five times Emmy-nominated actor mostly got leading man roles on the small screen, most notably as Rollin Hand, a master of disguise on “Mission: Impossible”.

He also starred in sci-fi series “Space: 1999”, in which he co-starred with then-wife Barbara Bain.

In the late 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola cast him in “Tucker: The Man and His Dream”, which brought Landau the first of his three Oscar supporting actor nominations.

Then he played a successful Jewish ophthalmologist haunted by a secret in Woody Allen’s drama “Crimes and Misdemeanors”. It brought him an Oscar nomination for the second year in a row.

In 1994, he played the dying, once-famous screen ghoul Bela Lugosi, in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood”. Landau won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Landau made his first big screen impression in Alfred Hitchcock’s action suspenser “North by Northwest”, playing the villain. His act led to a major supporting role in the epic “Cleopatra”.

During the 1960s, he had character roles in “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, “Nevada Smith” and “The Hallelujah Trail”.

Landau had been doing television work since the 1950s but got busy in TV in the mid-1960s, with several guest appearances on “The Outer Limits” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

He was producer Gene Roddenberry’s first choice for the role of Spock on “Star Trek”, but the role went to Leonard Nimoy after Landau opted for “Mission: Impossible”.

He and Bain divorced, and Landau spent the 1980s in roles in mostly obscure films. He also worked as an acting teacher, reports

Landau provided voices for the 1997 Oscar-winning documentary “The Long Way Home” and appeared as himself in the documentaries “Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen’s”, “Cannes: Through the Eyes of the Hunter” and “Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There” (2003) as well as a 2011 “American Masters” documentary on Woody Allen.

He started out as a cartoonist, spending four years with the New York Daily News from 1948-51, then turned his attentions to acting.

His film debut came in a small role in “Pork Chop Hill” in 1959, followed by a larger role in “The Gazebo”.

He is survived by two daughters, writer-producer-casting director Susan Landau Finch and actress Juliet Landau, a sister and a granddaughter.



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We haven’t taken care of our beaches as much as Australia has: Parineeti Chopra



Parineeti Chopra

Mumbai, Jan 24: Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra unveiled her holiday videos in Australia and celebrated India’s Republic Day and Australia Day on Tuesday.

During media interaction, the actress said that unfortunately India hasn’t taken care of its beaches as much as Australia has.

“I will tell the truth. The water is there, the beach is there, but the Gold Coast is beautiful. Unfortunately, we haven’t taken care of our beaches as much as Australia has,” she said to the host’s comment of how the venue looked like the Gold Coast in Queensland.

The videos feature a spectacular montage of iconic Aussie experience. In the films, Parineeti, can be seen cuddling a koala, learning to surf on the Gold Coast, getting a taste of Australia’s freshest produce, enjoying a bird’s eyeview of Surfers Paradise on the sky-point climb, spotting whales, watching the sunset over the Red Centre in Uluru and standing amid Brunce Munro’s beautiful art installation, ‘Field of Light’. One of the videos also features the actress sing for a background tune.

While reminiscing her memories of working with the team and on the video, Parineeeti said the project had somehow became a passion for her.

“As actors, we associate with many films, brands, and take up different jobs for different reasons. But Australia Tourism and the trips we do every year, the videos, somehow is just a passion project for me.”

“Australia was one of the countries I wanted to visit since I was a child. I wanted to live there, study there. When I became an actor I never thought I will get the chance to be the ambassador for tourism for Australia,” said ‘Meri Pyari Bindu’ actor.

Parineeti travelled to the country in 2017. She said she regretted not being able to enter the waters on the Gold Coast due to an injury then.

Asked what she would like to do on her next trip in April 2018, she said: “Hands-down scuba diving. Last year, we could not do it because of my foot; I wanted to but couldn’t do so many things. As actors, we shoot on sets all the time and now I want to shoot underwater and I am really excited for it.”

The actress is set to travel for another trip to Australia after she finishes a schedule for her next film ‘Namaste London’ in April.


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‘Padmaavat’: A visual treat sans a soul

All the political brouhaha that surrounds this film is unwarranted.




Film: “Padmaavat”; Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali; Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Jim Sarbh, Aayam Mehta, Ujjwal Chopra, Raja Murad, Aditi Rao Hydari; Rating: ***

All the political brouhaha that surrounds this film is unwarranted.

Inspired from the epic poem, Padmavat written by Malik Mahummad Jayasi, which is considered a fiction laced in history, the film is a work of art that is mounted on a lavish scale.

Image result for Mewar, Alauddin Khilji, padmavati

Set in the thirteenth century, the poem and the film named after the legendary Rajput queen of Mewar, in actuality is the story of Alauddin Khilji, the Turko-Afghan ruler of the Delhi Sultanate.

It exposes Khilji’s obsession for the beautiful queen. After hearing tales about her, Khilji lays siege to the Chittor Fort in Rajputana to capture her. But the brave and righteous queen along with the other women of the palace, in order to save their honour commit jauhar – self-immolation.

Technically the film is astutely mounted. The director has laboured over the production designs which include the sets, locales and the costumes. Visually every frame is extravagant and enthralling. The lengthy shots with seamless camera movements give an enhanced cinematic experience. The wide-angle shots capture the locales beautifully.

The film is well-executed and has all ingredients of a block-buster, but the wow-factor is missing.

And the fault lies in the writing. This story is not weak but its execution definitely is. Every scene, from beginning to the end, is dramatised to give the story a larger than life feel and thus in the process, the finer nuances of the characters are lost.

Case in point is the introductory scene of Padmavati and Maharajah Ratan Singh of Mewar. They meet, but at no stage does the film establish their chemistry. Their romance is very perfunctorily projected.

This apart, the plot laden with cinematic liberties and verbose expositions, makes this poetry on screen a bland affair as the shock value is tempered.

What keeps you hooked are definitely the performances. Every actor is in the skin of their character. Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji is pulsating with his onscreen energy.

Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati is effortlessly convincing. Shahid Kapoor as Maharajah Ratan Singh has a restrained demeanour and is competent.

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In special appearances – Raza Murad as Jalaluddin Khilji is captivating whereas Aditi Rao Hydari as Khilji’s wife Merunissa is wasted.

But it is Jim Sarbh in a supporting role as Malik Kafur the prominent eunuch slave of Alauddin who lights up the screen. A prolific actor, it is interesting to watch him emote. And his myriad expressions are definitely a treat to watch.

As for the 3D effects, initially they are a bit distracting, but over a period of time, with the mesmerizing camerawork, the viewing experience is smoothened. But the animations lack finesse, especially in the scene with the ostrich.

As always, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films rank high with its music and back-ground score. This one is no different. The dances and the action sequences are well-choreographed. The songs integrate seamlessly into the narrative. But it is the songs, “Khali bali ho gaya hai dila” and “Ghoomar,” that stand out.

Overall, this tale of valour is indeed a visual spectacle but lacks the soul.

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Sidharth Malhotra apologises after Neetu Chandra slams him for disrespecting Bhojpuri language



Siddhart Malhoitra Neetu chandra

Mumbai, Jan 23: Actor Sidharth Malhotra, after being reprimanded by actor-producer Neetu Chandra, has apologized for his comment on Bhojpuri and said he didn’t mean any disrespect to the language.

“I recently tried speaking a new language while I was on a TV show. In the process if I inadvertently hurt anyone’s feelings or sentiments, I apologize and assure you that no disrespect was meant in any way,” Sidharth tweeted.

Sidharth was promoting his upcoming film “Aiyaary” along with Manoj Bajpayee and Rakul Preet Singh on a reality show, Bigg Boss 11, where he was given a task of repeating dialogues from superstar Salman Khan’s film “Tiger Zinda Hai” in Bhojpuri. However, the actor ended up saying the language gives a “latrine kind” of feeling.

Actress Neetu Chandra took to Twitter to slam Sidharth.

Neetu wrote: “So disappointed. Sidharth Malhotra, someone who is so fortunate to work with best, who despite being an outsider has made a name for himself, for you to use your words so loosely to disrespect Bhojpuri on national television. Shocked! How on earth does speaking Bhojpuri gives you a latrine feeling. Shame on you.”

Neetu, who hails from Bihar and is the sister of Nitin Chandra who directed the National Award-winning Bhojpuri film, Deswa also shared a short clip, in which Sidharth says “speaking Bhojpuri gives him a feeling as if he is in the washroom.”

“Aiyaary” is releasing on February 9.


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