Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Front Row: Conversations on Cinema by Anupama Chopra

The Front Row: Conversations on Cinema is a collection of Anupama Chopras’ televised interviews with both Bollywood and Hollywood personalities. These include Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut , Priyanka Chopra as well as a host of international celebrities that include Jackie Chan, Will Smith, Martin Scorsese and Johnny Depp to name a few.

These conversations give an insight into the creative process of actors, directors and producers who have made some of the most memorable movies in recent times. The interviews were conducted from 2012-2014, the years the show 'The Front Row' aired on Star World.

Recalling the experience of creating the show, Anupama Chopra said, "The sound stage, now studio number 6, at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studio has a storied past. The studio itself was founded in 1954.  For two years, this space was also my professional home.  The Front Row set, a medley of black, blue and white shimmering mirrors, stood here from April 2012 to 2014.   Every week, we shot reviews, interviews and panel discussions.  The hours were long but the set was intimate.  I remember one December evening when we shot two conversations in a row – first an actor’s panel with Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh followed immediately with a promotional interview for Dhoom 3 with Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra.  The first panel ran late, Aamir arrived early. At one point, there was a star jam on stage 6.  
We shot an interview with Yo Yo Honey Singh at midnight because that’s when he comes alive.  One of the many cats at Mehboob Studio traipsed on the set during a shoot with the Barfi cast – Ranbir Kapoor continued unfazed.  My moment of bliss came when one of my favourite directors Ang Lee came on set for an interview on Life of Pi – I felt that the space had been blessed.  Each interview felt new.  Each day was fun."

Below is an excerpt from the foreword by Kangana Ranaut:

“Interviews are a part of my job, but they aren’t all the same. There are the really crappy ones that test your patience. Those are not real interviews. Sometimes, they ask you to do funny things like sing a song or twirl. You’re treated like a ‘madari ka bandar’, and it’s embarrassing. Then there are genuine interviews, like the ones on The Front Row. I often joke that my interview in The Front Row was the biggest hit I ever had. It was a real interview.  We talked about things that matter.”

For a quick video insight into the book click on the link below.
About Anupama Chopra
ANUPAMA CHOPRA is a film critic, television anchor and author. She is also director of the Mumbai Film Festival. She has been writing about Bollywood since 1993. She is founder and editor of the Film Companion channel on YouTube ( Film Companion offers a curated look at cinema – Bollywood, Hollywood and beyond. Anupama has also worked extensively with Star World, Star Plus and NDTV 24/7. Her work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Hindustan Times, The Los Angeles Times and VOGUE (India). In 2001, Anupama won the National Award for Best Book on Cinema for Sholay: The Making of a Classic.

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