Barfi! draws copycat criticism
India's entry for best foreign language film at next year's Oscars has become the latest Bollywood movie to draw flak for plagiarising foreign hits in a "mash-up" of ripped-off scenes. Barfi! is a love triangle between a deaf man and two women, one of whom is autistic - not typical subject matter in Bollywood. But since its release two weeks ago, several videos have spread through social media sites highlighting scenes that appear to draw heavily from international classics. Film buffs spotted stark resemblances to clips from Gene Kelly's hit Singin' in the Rain (1952), Jackie Chan's Project A (1983), Buster Keaton's Cops (1922) and the drama The Notebook (2004). The plot has been likened to Benny & Joon (1993) while the soundtrack has drawn comparisons to the musical score from Amelie (2001). The director Anurag Basu has hit back at critics, saying the film is intentionally paying homage to the classics. "If I would have changed the shots, twisted things around and made it my own, it would have been stealing," Basu said. "I did shot-to-shot because they are famous iconic shots and scenes from famous masterpieces, every filmmaker knows them." * AFP
Zee Aflam marks Big B's big day
Zee Aflam, the first pan-Arab, 24-hour, free-to-broadcast Bollywood film channel in the UAE, will revel in the October 11 birthday of Amitabh Bachchan by screening two movies. The showcase will kick off on Wednesday with the 1975 action-adventure Sholay, its first Arabic-dubbed screening in the region. The 1983 classic Coolie will screen on October 11. Both films will be broadcast at 11.30pm.
German film tops Pyongyang film fest
A German film about an English teacher's struggle to introduce football at a strict school in late 19th-century Germany has won the grand prize at the Pyongyang International Film Festival. The Big Dream also won the festival's award for best actor, while a North Korean-European film, Comrade Kim Goes Flying, won for best direction. The biennial film festival closed on Thursday after an eight-day run that offered audiences the chance to see movies from North Korea as well as France, Britain, Iran, India and Russia. The film festival is the only time North Koreans and foreigners can watch films together at Pyongyang theatres. * AP