By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Nov 8 (IANS) Shekhar Kapoor is on cloud nine. He has just finished a short film in Argentina, for which the music was by A.R. Rahman, and has been asked to sculpt a structure inspired by the film that will join likes of Salvadore Dali and Picasso in a museum in Europe.
"Rahman composed a classic opera song that he recorded in India in an Indian female singer's voice from his music institute in Chennai. When I played the song in Argentina, they said, 'My God, what a great opera and an operatic voice!' Their jaws fell open when I said both were Indian," Shekhar told IANS.
Shekhar shot a 25-minute film called "3 Graces" with Haley Benett, Lily Cole and Julia Stiles in Buenos Aires.
"My colleagues in Mumbai are so jealous. I've just returned from Buenos Aires after shooting with three of the most beautiful women in the world and I'm feeling on top of the world."
"Julia Stiles is the leading lady from all "Bourne Identity" films. Haley Benett was the pop singer with Hugh Grant in "Music & Lyrics". Lily Cole is one of the three top models of the world, in the same league as Kate Moss. It's the story of three sisters. One of them is a tango dancer played by Lily," says the director whose film "Elizabeth" was nominated for seven Oscars in 1998.
Interestingly a leading multinational company enters the filmmaking business with the film by Shekhar.
"I was in New York when I got the call. I immediately flew down to Austria. They told me they had seen my films and they wanted me to make a film for them. And they've a museum where some of the greatest modern artistes, including Salvadore Dali and Picasso have done sculptures. After I've completed the film, they want me to get together with an architect and install a permanent sculpture inspired by the film."
Shekhar thinks that short films are the future for world cinema.
"A lot of big-name directors are today making short films. It takes so little time. I shot a short film for Mira Nair in New York in just two days. And I shot the film in Buenos Aires in just five days," says Shekhar.
"We shot like mad people for 14-15 hours a day. At the end of it my actors said 'We've never had this kind of experience in our lives'. We shot on the edge and that's the only way to shoot."
Quite an achievement for a director who has a reputation for taking years over a film.
Shekhar protests: "That's a very strange image I have. If you look at my last feature 'The Golden Age', my studio told me, never has so much been done in so little time. With all its visual effects 'The Golden Age' took 65 days."
"Yes, the Indian projects were delayed. But not my fault. Those were different times. Actors were doing three or four films at a time. It was a situation very difficult for me to comprehend. My Indian films 'Masoom' and 'Bandit Queen' were done at a stretch."
"Unfortunately some of the films that I made later were done like coitus interruptus. 'aadha aaj baqi kal kar lena' (complete half today, rest tomorrow)."
"That's not how you make love ...or a film. You've to sustain that emotional high. You can't afford to stagger and be interrupted. Imagine, if I had to live with 'Bandit Queen' for two years. I'd be emotionally devastated. No more marathons for me. Even in Bollywood they've realised it. We cannot imagine 'Wednesday' or 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' working the way they did if they were made over two years."