Page 10 - Fujifilm Exposure_27 Bride & Prejudice_ok
P. 10

   Photos l-r: Naveen Andrews as Balraj and Nadira Babbar with Anupam Kher in Bride And Prejudice
                                         HOORAY FOR BOLLYWOOD
continued from previous page
Pathe at Cannes 2001 before starting production on Bend It Like Beckham.
Beckham, made for £3m mostly within a stone’s throw of where Chadha grew up in Southall (after arriving as a child from Kenya), has truly ignited her career following its international success.
The former radio news reporter, who was a BAFTA nominee with her 1994 debut feature, Bhaji On The Beach, remains disarmingly modest about the acclaim and box-office pros- perity of just her third of, to date, four features in ten years. She prefers instead to express her delight at the way two of her young stars, Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, have gone on to lucrative careers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Not surprisingly, Southall also makes an appearance in Bride And Prejudice – at $18m, four times more expensive than any of her previous films. Then there’s Los Angeles not to mention the Indian city of Amritsar where Chadha spent some time as an 18-year-old and which provided a rich source of material for her latest film.
“When I was there I stayed with girls who weren’t too unlike Lizzie Bennet who found it hard to find husbands because they were so out- spoken and weren’t prepared to take second best. So elements of this film come totally out of my past. And
I have to say nothing much has changed now.”
The past has also much to do with her decision to make the film a musi- cal. Some of her first and most vivid memories of going to the cinema in neighbouring West Ealing are seeing The Sound Of Music and a re-issue of The Wizard Of Oz.
“Films like these and the Bollywood films I saw in Southall influ- enced me but I have to say that I still wouldn’t really call Bride a Bollywood movie as such. I prefer to call it a British movie with a homage to Bollywood and Hollywood. It opens with this very Bollywood number then there’s a bit of Grease, some My Fair Lady, a Fame moment and even a big Fiddler On The Roof style sequence...”
As Chadha was putting the finish- ing touches to her own film, she reflected on how her abortive Bollywood film had at least helped forearm her for many of the tougher moments shooting Bride And Prejudice.
“It was almost like making two films at one time. Never have I been so much the captain of the ship, a ship
with sails sometimes billowing in all directions. I’d often find myself run- ning from starboard to port containing those who wanted to go off in their own direction, pulling them back and making sure the whole ship followed the course I’d set.”
Chadha sees her films as very much a reflection of her own culturally diverse life and bubbly personality. “I happen to be very comfortable with who I am, and my perception of the world is in whatever film I make.
“The direction comes out of who I am – as an Indian British girl from Southall, with loving parents, and now happily married. It’s not just an Indian thing.” ■ QUENTIN FALK
Bride And Prejudice was originated on Fujicolor 35mm F-500T 8572, F-64D 8522 and F-125T 8532 Motion Picture Negative
Q. Did you know Gurinder well before you worked with her on Bride And Prejudice?
A. No, and I hadn’t worked with her but we knew each other as I was due to have worked on one of her ear- lier films.
Q. What was your first reaction to the project as both a cinematograph- er and, of course, an experienced director in your own right.
A. Well, I liked the idea that she was making a film that embraced Indian values and at the same time, there was humour associated with it – all through a western perspective.
Q. Should we describe the film as ‘Bollywood’ or is there a better expression, do you think?
A. Even though it does have Bollywood elements, I would say it is more a western film. It is interesting that the film has all kinds of people from different countries, in the cast as well as the crew, and it was, of course, filmed in London, India and the United States. We could really say that it’s a film about people from different coun- tries interacting - so it’s bound to be funny and intense. Cross-cultures always ends up exciting.
Q. Can you tell us about your choice of specific stocks and some of the lighting challenges with the film.
A. I did several tests at Technicolor in London and finally decided to use the Fujicolor F-500T, the F-64D and the F-125T.
It’s interesting when you film in all these different countries how architec- ture in London seems to welcome sun- light while in India, where it’s usually hot, the architecture tries to keep light out so you find that light has to literal- ly force itself through. It was particu- larly interesting to see the production designer, Nick Ellis, design an Indian set in Ealing studios.
Q. Have you tried anything specifically new for this film or, given your huge experience, was it all just a variation on tried and test- ed methods.
A. Gurinder actually wanted to have a very different feel to the film. One thing that strikes me is that the world has become so global. We all have the same elements like Coke hoardings or Macdonalds...Things are starting to look the same everywhere. Even in Hollywood films, with digital correc- tions and special effects we find there’s a kind of uniformity.
So while doing Bride And Prejudice, we embraced the romance of light and tried to accentuate the vibrant colours in India and perceive the western worldinawayIwouldfilmina Bollywood movie.
Q. This is the first UK-based film you’ve shot. Any particular reaction to British styles of working?
A. Everything in London was so organised and I particularly liked the fact they did so much pre-production. When finally filming, everyone is aware of everyone else’s problems and there’s much urgency. You can add to all that Gurinder’s appetite for work and all the enthusiasm she brings on and off the set. Well, at the end of the day, the crew would literally end up dancing the musical numbers in the film.
It was a great learning experience for me with John Hayes and his sound crew. I had a wonderful gaffer, Pat Sweeney, and a really good grip, Mr Rupert, who’d flown helicopters in the past!
My most difficult, but enjoyable, sequence was a song with this singer from United States, Ashanti. We filmed her in Goa on the beach, recreating a kind of party with thousands of peo- ple. Gurinder wanted a lot of nights in her scenes.
Q. I’ve read that your favourite director is Kubrick - and you also admire the likes of Kurosawa, Ray, Scorsese and Spielberg, among oth- ers. Are there also particular cine- matographers you admire - and why?
A. Oh yes, I’m a great admirer of Subrata Mitra, Raoul Coutard, Nestor Almendros and Vittorio Storaro. ■
 8 • Exposure • Fuji Motion Picture And Professional Video

   8   9   10   11   12