Saturday, February 14, 2009

Toldja! Here's director Anurag Kashyap on the debt owed by "Slumdog Millionaire" to his "Black Friday"

Previously on Hungry Ghost…

…these reflections on some of the possible Indian influences on the shooting style of Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, including a suggestion that some scenes in Anurag Kashyap’s procedural docudrama Black Friday bear an uncanny resemblance.

Now here’s Kashyap himself, in the February 13 issue of the North American edition of The Indian Express (interview not available online):

IE: You’ve credited Danny Boyle with helping you shoot the drug scenes [in Kashyap’s new film Dev D].

AK: We did not want to show Dev actually tripping on drugs but only create the feeling of it. So, I asked Danny if the camera could trip, if the visual on screen could go crazy without spending a lot on SFX. He told me about a still camera he used for the riot scene in Slumdog Millionaire or in the end, when Salim throws money at the camera. We used that camera and hence, I thank him in Dev D’s opening credits.

IE: The chase through Dharavi in Slumdog is based on a police chase in [your film] Black Friday. Do we see a meeting of creative minds here?

AK: Danny is now a friend. After he saw Black Friday, he wanted to meet me to talk about how I shot in these locations. He met the crew of the film and ended up using a lot of them. His idea behind shooting the chase was the same as mine – exploring the geography of the area and exposing a way of life. We have discussed many ideas to work on together but so far it has been random, as I was busy making Gulaal and Dev D and he with Slumdog… I hope it turns out to be meeting of minds as he’s my favorite director and his movies have inspired my first film Paanch. Most of the time I’m either tongue-tied in front of him or excited like a child.
"A man's gotta know his limitations" -- Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in Ted Post's Magnum Force (1973)

UPDATE: Journalist Aseem Chhabra sent a message to point out gently that this is hardly a scoop: he had the same information from Boyle months ago, during an interview at Telluride:
I talked to Boyle in Telluride, standing in queue to see an early morning screening of Nandita Das’ haunting directorial debut Firaaq. He said he knew Bollywood cinema well, having watched everything from Subhash Ghai’s Taal, to his favourites — Black Friday, Satya and Company, long before he committed to making Slumdog Millionaire.

“We have spent decades in the UK, isolating ourselves from this kind of horror, madness and insanity that you get in Mumbai every day. So it was a great place to make the film,” He said.


In making the film, Boyle became friends with Anurag Kashyap. “I rate him very highly,” Boyle said. “He’s a lovely man and he was a big help in making this film.” And he also depended a lot on the guidance of his casting director, Loveleen Tandon. “As we were auditioning, I thought that I would have to have her at the film throughout the shoot,” he added. “So we have given her the credit as a co-director.”
So this is not exactly a scoop, especially for people more familiar than I with Indian press coverage of the film.

1 comment:

Amrita said...

What Anurag didn't mention there is that Paanch has been awaiting release for years and years but was held up because it showed (gasp!) rampant drug use. That's why he didn't want to show Deol snorting or injecting. He's been around that particular mulberry tree once already.

However, I guess times are a-changing coz I hear it's finally being released in the next month or so.