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|Gandhi (Collector's Edition)
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Sir Ben Kingsley stars as Mohandas Gandhi in Lord Richard Attenborough's riveting biography of the man who rose from simple lawyer to worldwide symbol of peace and understanding. A critical masterpiece, GANDHI is an intriguing story about activism, politics, religious tolerance and freedom. But at the center of it all is an extraordinary man who fought for a nonviolent, peaceful existence, and set an entire nation free. Winner of 8 Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Attenborough) and Best Actor (Sir Ben Kingsley), GANDHI's highly acclaimed cast also includes Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, Sir John Gielgud, Roshan Seth and Martin Sheen.
Sir Richard Attenborough's 1982 multiple-Oscar winner (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley) is an engrossing, reverential look at the life of Mohandas K. Gandhi, who introduced the doctrine of nonviolent resistance to the colonized people of India and who ultimately gained the nation its independence. Kingsley is magnificent as Gandhi as he changes over the course of the three-hour film from an insignificant lawyer to an international leader and symbol. Strong on history (the historic division between India and Pakistan, still a huge problem today, can be seen in its formative stages here) as well as character and ideas, this is a fine film. --Tom Keogh
Stills from Gandhi (click for larger image)
Beyond Gandhi on Amazon.com
Other Oscar Winners at Oscar Central
More Biographies on DVD
The Films of Ben Kingsley
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American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family's unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways.
Adapted by screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala from the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, director Mira Nair's The Nameksake is populated by well-drawn characters and filled with memorable shots and engaging scenes. But in the larger sense, the film is a provocative look at the two sides of immigration: the adjustments faced by a couple who move here from a distant land, and the struggles of their offspring to reconcile their parents' traditional culture with their own distinctly American outlook. The tale begins in the late '70s, when aspiring engineer Ashoke Ganguli (Irfan Khan) and his new wife Ashima (the radiant Tabu) move to New York from Calcutta. Life in America is strange, in ways both good (the gas in their apartment stays on 24 hours a day! You can drink water straight from the tap!) and not-so-hot (New York's winters). But for their children, first son Gogol (a standout performance by Kal Penn, heretofore best known for the stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle), nicknamed for his father's favorite author, the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol, and then daughter Sonia (Sahira Nair), "the American way" is at odds with their folks' more conservative mores. Gogol (who later adopts his more formal first name, Nikhil) smokes dope, calls his parents "you guys," goes to Yale, and hooks up with a preppie white girl (Jacinda Barrett); for her part, Sonia complains that she wants to "go home" when the family returns to India for a visit. Only when tragedy strikes suddenly does the young man realize how totally alienated from his family he has become, prompting some major changes. There's nothing especially original about any of this, and even those who haven't read the book may sense that some of Lahiri's material has been lost on the way to the screen (the treatment of Gogol's marriage to a beautiful Bengali-American girl, played by Zuleikha Robinson, seems oddly truncated). But even while dealing with life's Big Issues (birth and death, marriage and separation, joy and misery), Nair has created a winning, intimate film that reminds us of the strength of family ties and effortlessly persuades us to care. --Sam Graham
Kal Penn Blogs About The Namesake
Welcome to The Namesake DVD. After touring the festival circuit last year, our film opened globally (including North America) in March of this year, and I’m proud to bring you the DVD!
This is a project that has been close to me from the beginning. I was a big fan of the book ever since John Cho recommended it to me during the first Harold & Kumar shoot. John and I tried to get rights to turn the book into the film, but Mira [Nair, director of Monsoon Wedding and Salaam Bombay] had already acquired them. That began a really aggressive campaign on my part to try to get seen for the role. I’d call Mira’s office, have my manager call – but we had no luck in getting in the door. Luckily, unbeknownst to me, Mira’s son Zohran and her agent’s son Sam were lobbying on my behalf (turns out they are huge Harold and Kumar fans, so they were trying to get their parents to bring me in to read for the part of Gogol). Mira finally agreed, and I got a call saying that I’d be able to audition. I flew out to New York, and luckily things worked out.
There are some similarities between my life and Gogol’s. We are both Americans of Indian descent, both born and raised on the East Coast, both bilingual, and both passionate about our careers. But Gogol is much more subdued than I am; he carries a certain silence (which he gets from his father). His place in the world is one of constant shift -- a byproduct of being single in New York, being passionate about his job, close with his family, and so on.
This film is my favorite to -date. Mira has been a role model of mine since I was very young, Jhumpa [Lahiri, author of The Namesake] is one of my favorite authors, Sooni [Taraporevala, screenwriter for Salaam Bombay] one of my most admired screenwriters, so it’s an honor to have the chance to be part of the screen adaptation of this story.
To me, it’s a very American film. It’s about family, about hope – about how we all got here, through the lens of this particular family. With so much negativity every time I turn on the television, I’m proud to be part of something that hopefully leaves the audience with a tremendous amount of hope, and a connection to the people we love. -- Kal Penn
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- Format: DVD
- AC-3; Color; Dolby; Dubbed; DVD; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC
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The rain is coming - and so is the family in this critically acclaimed celebration of life, love and laughter that Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune calls "sumptuously entertaining."You are invited to join the festivities as one colorful and eclectic family gathers from all over the world for a traditional wedding - a non-stop four-day celebration as unpredictable as the monsoon season itself. Anything goes when love, lust, hope and happiness take them by storm and bring them ever closer. With this family, when it rains, it pours.From award-winning director Mira Nair, Monsoon Wedding is an exhilarating film Carrie Rickey of the Philadelphia Inquirer calls "a banquet for the heart".
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In a seductive tale of love and betrayal, a king's courtesan is forbidden to embrace her one true love. Trained in the art of pleasure, Maya, the beautiful servant girl becomes defiant, rebelling against the ancient tradition. As passion takes over, the conflict brings consequences that no one ever envisioned.
If you're looking for a deep, intelligently romantic movie with complex characters and a richly rewarding plot, don't bother with Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. On the other hand, if you're feeling sexy and in the mood for a lush, seductive, and visually stunning film set in 16th-century India, this one will please you like the best foreplay you've ever experienced. Or it will relax you like a full treatment at a pampering spa--either way, you're gonna feel pretty fantastic. Okay, okay... maybe we're getting a little carried away, but there's no denying that director Mira Nair (best known for her acclaimed film Salaam Bombay!) has crafted a sumptuous film for the eyes if not the head. Its melodramatic plot is involving enough to elevate the movie high above soft-core adult fare, so you won't feel guilty after watching it.
Kama Sutra is the story of a young woman named Maya (the stunning Indira Varma) who has always been lower on the social scale than her well-born friend Tara (Sarita Choudhury), and has always lived in Tara's shadow, wearing her used clothes and being made to feel inferior. When Tara is betrothed to the handsome King Raj Singh (Naveen Andrews, from The English Patient), Tara sneaks into the king's tent on the eve of the wedding and seduces him. Later, after being trained to master the Kama Sutra's many "lessons of love," Maya will be the king's courtesan, and emotions will run high between the former best friends. But the plot is of secondary importance here (a fact that resulted in many mixed reviews), and so Kama Sutra works best as a colorful and irresistibly sexy story that is worth seeing just for the startling beauty of the film and its cast. --Jeff Shannon
- Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
- Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
- 114 minutes
- English & Spanish, French Subtitles
|Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
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Yashvardhan Raichand lives a very wealthy lifestyle along with his wife, Nandini, and two sons, Rahul and Rohan. While Rahul has been adopted, Yashvardhan and Nandini treat him as their own. When their sons mature, they start to look for suitable brides for Rahul, and decide to get him married to a young woman named Naina. When Rahul is told about this, he tells them that he loves another woman by the name of Anjali Sharma. Yashvardhan decides to meet with the Sharma family, and finds out that they are middle-classed, unsophisticated, and will not be able to it into his family circle, as a result he refuses to permit Rahul to marry Anjali. A defiant Rahul decides to leave, gets married to Anjali, without his foster parents blessings, and re-locates to London, England, where Anjali's unmarried sister, Pooja, also lives. Rohan, who was studying in a hostel, returns home to find that Rahul is no longer living with them, and he also discovers that while outwardly his dad is not interested in seeing Rahul get back, Nandini wants the family back all together for all happy and sad moments. Rohan also misses Rahul a lot, and decides to travel to London in order to try and get Rahul to return home. Yashvardhan, is unable to prevent this, and as a result Rohan does travel to London, meets with Rahul, Anjali, and Pooja. The question remains will the hurt and sorrow that Rahul experienced with his foster parents be erased and enable the family to be reunited, or will Rahul forget about the past, and continue to live his life without getting back to his roots and the family who brought him up, leaving Rohan to return alone?
|Chess Players (1977)
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In 1977's The Chess Players, Satyajit Ray India's "extraordinary filmmaker" (George Lucas), turned his celebrated eye for everyday life on his own country's trouble history. Made during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's era of press censorship and curtailed constitutional rights, The Chess Players dared to examine India's future through its past. n the kingdom of Awadh, rich landowners Meer (Saeed Jaffrey, The Man Who Would Be King) and Mirza (Sanjeev Kumar, Sholay) pour every ounce of passion into a never-ending game of chess. At the same time, an ambitious British General (Sir Richard Attenborough, Jurassic Park) plots his own moves against Awadh's King (Amjad Khan) and Prime Minister (Victor Banerjee, A Passage to India), in the hope of taking the region for his Queen. Heedless of their political and family responsibilities, Mirza and Meer keep playing. But as British soldiers march on their homeland, an innocent game escalates into deadly confrontation and catastrophic loss. Rich, poor, winner or loser, everyone is revealed to be history's pawn. A film of "exquisite performances" (Variety) and epic sweep, the New York Times praised The Chess Players for "the manner in which an entire civilization has been encapsulated in a few particular gestures." Adapted from a short story by Hindi author Munshi Premchand, The Chess Players evenly examines both colonial greed and Indian aristocratic indolence with the same dramatic scrutiny. His first-ever historical drama. The Chess Players is imbued with the same "deep observation, understanding and love of the human race" (Akira Kurosawa) that made Satyaijit Ray one of the preeminent figures of international cinema.
Written, composed, and directed by Indian master Satyajit Ray (Pather Panchali), The Chess Players presents a stylized world in which the landed gentry lounge about, endlessly pulling on hookahs and engaging in the "king of games." Outside their gilded doors, the order that allows them this luxury--let alone their marriages--is crumbling. They couldn't be more oblivious. As the narrator notes, "Mr. Meer and Mr. Mirza are only playing at warfare. Their armies are pieces of ivory. Their battlefield: a piece of cloth." Set in 1856 Lucknow, the noblemen (Saeed Jaffrey and Sanjeev Kumar) are situated in one of the few Indian territories not ruled by Britain's East India Company. The British, meanwhile, are also playing a game of chess, and equally oblivious Oudh ruler Nawab Wajid Ali Shah (Amjad Khan) is the king they intend to capture. Forthright General Outram (Sir Richard Attenborough, Ghandi), assisted by the more culturally erudite Captain Weston (Tom Alter), is the man charged with the task. It shouldn’t be difficult: Like Meer and Mirza, Wajid would prefer to relax--to write poetry, to fly kites--rather than to rule. Along the way, Oudh will fall, but the chess will continue. Based on a story by Munshi Premchand, The Chess Players was Ray’s most elaborate production. It was also his first in Hindi (with English) and its frames are filled with music, dance, opulent pageantry, and humorous banter--even a lively animated sequence. Behind the attractive façade, however, lies a lament for lost opportunities. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton-Kicking and Screaming, The Bourne Identity) gets the bad news from his boss: his job has been outsourced. Adding insult to injury, Todd must travel to India to train his own replacement. Through a series of hilarious misadventures, this charming, critically acclaimed romantic comedy reminds us that sometimes getting lost is the best way to find yourself.
The low-key, charming Outsourced is a thoughtful satire about the human side of contemporary frustrations associated with the global economy. Josh Hamilton (The House of Yes) stars as Todd Anderson, vice president of customer relations for a Seattle company that sells phone-order, patriotic kitsch. Part of Todd's job is keeping his operators' order-taking time down to a few minutes. He's good at what he does, but that doesn't stop the company from outsourcing Todd's entire department to somewhere in India, where local workers can field customer calls more cheaply. A reluctant Todd is sent to the subcontinent to train his own replacement and get the new operators up to speed. Neither task goes well, but adding to Todd's frustration is culture shock over everything from Indian table manners to public transportation to minimal bathroom fixtures. There’s something familiar about this particular fish-out-of-water tale (television’s Northern Exposure, as well as such features as Local Hero and Doc Hollywood). The gentle but illuminating Outsourced proves the story, as long as it's told well, never gets old. Todd eventually realizes the best way to escape India and get back to Seattle, ironically, is to let go of his resistance to India's culture and people. Transformation precedes liberation, but the lovely question in Outsourced is this: once Todd is transformed, what does he need to be liberated from? The film's deliberate, carefully paced narrative can't obscure the feeling of epiphany that permeates Outsourced. Nor can some of its other delights: assured location shooting and a fine supporting cast, including a wry Ayesha Dharker as Todd's romantic interest, and a brief appearance by Larry Pine as a kind of older, more serene version of the disoriented central character. --Tom Keogh
|The Mangal Pandey: The Rising
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Starring: NARGIS, SUNIL DUTT, RAJENDRA KUMAR, RAJ KUMARSynopsis: From India, the cradle of the Gods, comes this epic drama of an Indian mother, the nucleus round which revolves the tradition and culture of the ages in this ancient land. In India, every woman is an integral part of a man. With marriage she merges her individuality into her husband's and both together form a single entity in society. One without the other is but half the story of an eternal harmony going beyond a single birth and through seven births as the Indian scriptures say. A woman's marriage is thus an eternal spiritual bond and in her absolute dedication to her husband, her single prayer is to die in the presence of her husband and be carried out by him even as a bride in death. To this eternal Indian woman, the home is her temple, the husband her god, the children his blessings and the land her great mother. This a story of one such Indian woman, a supreme symbol of millions of mothers that make this ancient land Mother India.
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|Salaam Bombay (Widescreen Special Edition)
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From director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding), this "brilliantly achieved, stunning and powerful" (Los Angeles Times) film "burst onto the Indian cinema scene with the force of a tornado" (Time Out London)! Winner of the Caméra d'Or at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® in 1989, this riveting look at life on the hardened streets of Bombay went on to accumulate accolades and awards across the globe! Forced to leave his family at a very young age, Krishna lives on the streets with pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts and other homeless children. He earns very little money – but it's more than most – delivering tea so he can return home to his family. But his honest plan is foiled when his hard-earned money is stolen by his closest friend, forcing Krishna to follow in the footsteps of so many street children of Bombay…by turning to a life of crime.
Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) adds her angry voice to the cinema of forgotten children in this wrenching drama of an 11-year-old boy (real-life street kid Shafiq Syed) who heads to the big city and joins a sea of homeless kids and down-and-out adults scrambling to survive the pitiless streets. The fantasy of Bollywood dreams hangs just out of reach in posters, movies, and radio tunes, momentary respites from the hard reality of a world ruled by brutal pimps and drug dealers. In the tradition of Los Olvidados and Pixote, former documentarian Nair's feature debut is shot entirely in the slums of Bombay with a largely nonprofessional cast from the same streets. Though the drama is at times misty and melodramatic, her clear-eyed look at the mercenary world around these ultimately fragile forgotten children earned her the Caméra D'Or at Cannes in 1988. --Sean Axmaker
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