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Entries in Mira Nair (5)

Wednesday
Nov 23 2016

Best Director Chart Revisions

by Nathaniel R

This morning's update -the Best Director chart.And just as I'd finished those chart updates theSilencetrailer arrived so we'll discuss that later today.So much happens all at once.

Speaking of.You don't want to see the way my doorman looks at me whenever I walk into the building - there's always a new stack of packages from the studios to sign for.Today alone there have been 4 deliveries of multiple packages.Why must campaign teams wait until the day before Thanksgiving to send everything?It's overwhelming really.It's the same as the studios waiting until the second half of December to release all movies ever.

But back to the topic at hand - Best Director Hopefuls.We'll divvy them up into 3 categories after the jump...

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Wednesday
Sep 28 2016

Review: Queen of Katwe

by Eric Blume

Usually adjectives like "inspirational"and "crowd-pleasing"make most serious moviegoers want to go running straight for the hills,and indeed the trailer for Disney'sQueen of Katwemade me shudder.  This true story of a poor Ugandan girl (played here by newcomer Madina Nalwanga) who becomes a candidate master at chess has all the markers of the usual Disney underdog story,and you expect all the typical manipulation that comes with it.

But most films aren't directed by Mira Nair,and she turns Queen of Katwe into something rare:  a true story that plays authentically and simply.  Nair shot this film in the actual slums of Katwe in Kampala,Uganda,and her love for the place,the people,and the culture is unmistakable...

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Thursday
Nov 12 2015

Women's Pictures - Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding

The problem with only getting 1 month - 4 weeks or 5 if we're lucky - to cover an entire career is that things get left out.Movies,genres,occasionally entire decades are skipped over because (thankfully) many of the amazing female directors we discuss made more than 4 films.In the case of Mira Nair,we're skipping both movies,genres,and decades.

BetweenSalaam Bombay!in 1988 andMonsoon Weddingin 2001,Mira Nair honed her craft making 5 movies in different genres: agreat romantic drama,ashort,aCuban-American romcom,amovie about the Kama Sutra,anda drama about Indian-Americans in the South.Nair also became a professor and Columbia,where she met the student who would eventually writeMonsoon Wedding,Sabrina Dhawan.The net effect of the 13 years between her first feature and her big hit was a maturation of character as a director.The motifs Nair explored inSalaam Bombay -tonal balance between comedy and darkness,bright cinematography,exploration of social structures - are put to seemingly completely opposite ends in the lightheartedMonsoon Wedding.

Monsoon Weddingis a Bollywood musical by way of Robert Altman.[More...]

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Thursday
Nov 05 2015

Women's Pictures - Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay!

When beginning a month long retrospective of Mira Nair,there probably isn't a better intro than the opening ofSalaam Bombay!: A brightly colored circus,a stonefaced child left behind,a train ride to the bright streets of Bombay.Nair's films are eye-catching spectacles that find the beautiful in the mundane.But her playfulness is sharply contrasted with the real issues her films address.Salaam Bombay!is an observation of the secret world of the often-overlooked children living on Bombay's streets that balances bright visuals with social realism in order to paint a complex picture of Indian homeless youth.

Mira Nair's first feature follows a closeknit group of kids living between the cracks of Bombay city.The stonefaced boy at the beginning is Krishna (Shafiq Syed),who goes for an errand for the circus owner and comes back to discover that his temporary home with the circus has left without him.Krishna makes his way to Bombay,which is as colorful as the circus,but also more dangerous.Krishna eventually gets a job selling tea,and falls in with a group of urchins.He befriends a drunk,a prostitute,and her daughter.He's illiterate but street smart and is trying to save the unimaginable sum of 500 rupees to bring back to his mother - though he's not sure where he is.But don't mistake Krishna's story for a Dickensian tale of woe.Salaam Bombay!is not melodrama.Nair approaches her subject with empathy and curiosity,and gets the children to open up to her as well.

more...

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Thursday
Nov 20 2014

Lupita Nyong'o to Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe'

Great news,Lupita fans!The selective Oscar-winning actress has signed on to a new project,the next film from acclaimed director Mira Nair (Mississippi Masala,Monsoon Wedding).

Word around the project has been surprisingly quiet-- it's not yet listed on IMDb,nor has there seem to have been an official press announcement-- but Nyong'o and Nair announced the news themselves at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards on Nov.11.The project is an adaptation of the sportswriter Tim Crothers' bookThe Queen of Katwe,which tells the real-life story of Phiona Mutesi,a chess prodigy from the slums of Kampala,Uganda.

The project is set up at Disney,according to Nair,and it seems like a collaboration between these two women has been a long time coming-- Nyong'o was a student of Nair's,and their families have been long acquainted.(You can see footage of the announcement and an interviewhere.)

Lupita Nyong'o has had such a quick rise to acclaim and stardom,it's easy to believe she's got the bends.It's been hard,as a fan,to be patient during the long wait for new casting announcements,but her selectiveness looks like it may yield results.Between theStar Warssequel she just wrapped and the adaptation ofAmericanahunderway with Plan B Entertainment,to say nothing of her multi-year contract as the face ofLancôme,her future in the cultural landscape is looking more and more secure.Let's hope the projects keep on coming.

Which upcoming Lupita project are you most looking forward to?What do you hope she'll announce next?