Photo of the week: The Cast of ‘Happy New Year’ visit Twitter Headquarters!

Check out the cast of the upcoming movie, ‘Happy New Year’ at the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Farah Khan and others from the film posed with the CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo yesterday.

The B-town stars are out promoting their new action comedy-drama and they seem to be creating a buzz in a new type of way. The crew also visited the Google headquarters just hours before. They later participated in a live question and answer session on Twitter premises, which was reported to be a full house.  HA! Shocking! ;)



Woody Allen Pulls Film ‘Blue Jasmine’ Over India’s Censorship Laws



Woody Allen has decided to pull his latest film, ‘Blue Jasmine‘, from it’s Indian premiere date and showings in India over the nation’s censorship laws concerning the depiction of smoking in films.  Ever since 2011 a change to the  Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act of 2003 has made it compulsory that any film in which the characters smoke must also have a 30-second ad from the Ministry of Health decrying the ill effects of smoking along with a message that scrolls at the bottom of the screen. The scrolling message again reiterates the harmful effects on one’s health from smoking and that the actors in the film are in no way endorsing smoking.

Allen chafed at the idea of an extremely graphic ad interrupting his film. The ad shows mouth tumors, unhealthy, cancer ridden lungs, and other shocking images to dissuade Indians from smoking. India has 275-million users of tobacco with 1-million dying annually of tobacco-related illness so this represents an extreme attempt to curb smoking, especially among highly impressionable youngsters.

Blue Jasmine‘ stars Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., and Peter Sarsgaard in a film about a New York socialite arriving in her sister’s life in San Francisco amidst a whirlwind of trouble. The legally-required smoking messages in India are a source of derision in India with filmmaker Onir noting “Every time they appear on the screen, entire theaters in Bombay erupt in laughter. It shows the double standards of the country. On the one hand, you create an exclusive space on the airport for privileged people to smoke, while on the other hand, you have a problem that other people are watching fictional characters smoke on screen.”

In a country where alcoholism seems to be a growing problem, the singling out of smoking in cinema seems a bit hypocritical by the Indian government.

‘Fruitvale Station’ Opens Same Weekend as Trayvon Martin Verdict Reached



In a weekend that saw ‘Despicable Me 2‘ beat out newcomers ‘Grown Ups 2‘ and ‘Pacific Rim‘ for box-office supremacy, but Sundance Film Festival favorite ‘Fruitvale Station‘ also opened to great reviews and good returns given it’s limited release.  The Forest Whitaker produced debut from 26-year old debut director Ryan Coogler deals with the events that culminated in the shooting of  unarmed African-American youth Oscar Grant by a police officer at a San Francisco transit station in 2008.

Grant died of his injuries and the officer who shot him was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but only served 11 months in jail.  The movie came out on the same weekend that a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, causing some critics to draw parallels between Grant’s death and Martin’s.

Here’s a trailer for ‘Fruitvale Station‘:

The film won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award as well.  Michael B. Jordan‘s portrayal of Oscar Grant is already causing some to speculate that he may be up for an Oscar come awards season.  The film was released July 12th and BET is going to air a special about the film in the coming weeks.

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