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And the Oscar Goes To….

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

It was such a surprising night (or early morning, for those of us here in India) for movie lovers. To say that things took a surprising turn, especially towards the end of the night, would be quite the understatement, wouldn’t it? And while we couldn’t be happier for all the wins that Parasite received, and well deserved too, we just have to commemorate all the nominees in the Best Film category, because they truly are, each and every one of them, gems.

 

1. Parasite

The underdog that won it all. A Korean movie directed by the legendary Bong Joon Ho (Okja, Snowpiercer) that ended up winning a total of 4 Academy Awards out of its six nominations. It must also be noted that it is the first non-English film to win best film in the over 90 years history of the Academy Awards. It took home Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.

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Synopsis: A poor family, the Kims, con their way into becoming the servants of a rich family, the Parks. But their easy life gets complicated when their deception is threatened with exposure.

Directed By: Bong Joon Ho

Starring: Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam, Lee Jung Eun, Chang Hyae Jin

Image Source - WallpaperAccess

Image Source – WallpaperAccess

 

2. Jojo Rabbit

Synopsis: A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

Directed By: Taika Waititi

Starring: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson

Image Source - IMP Awards

Image Source – IMP Awards

 

3. 1917

Synopsis: April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Directed By: Sam Mendes

Starring: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays

Image Source - Forbes

Image Source – Forbes

 

4. Joker

Synopsis: In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.

Directed By: Todd Philips

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

Image Source - IMDb

Image Source – IMDb

 

5. The Irishman

Synopsis: A mob hitman recalls his friend Jimmy Hoffa.

Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci

Image Source - Amazon

Image Source – Amazon

 

6. Ford v Ferrari

Synopsis: American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference and the laws of physics to build a revolutionary race car for Ford in order to defeat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

Directed By: James Mangold

Starring: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal

Image Source - Collider

Image Source – Collider

 

7. Marriage Story

Synopsis: Noah Baumbach’s incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

Directed By: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Julia Greer

Image Source - IMDd

Image Source – IMDd

 

8. Little Women

Synopsis: Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms.

Directed By: Greta Gerwig

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh

Image Source - IMDb

Image Source – IMDb

 

9. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Synopsis: A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie

Image Source - IMDb

Image Source – IMDb

 

Most of these are still in theatres in metro cities. Go out and catch as many of these as you still can!

Top of KPop

Friday, August 16th, 2019

While KPop has been taking the world by storm for quite some time now, it took considerably longer to make its way to India (even though we’re way closer geographically to South Korea than most other fan countries). But no matter how long it took, it seems the craze is officially here, and here to stay! And even though you might say that it isn’t your cup of tea, or your friends might claim that they would never go for it, there is definitely one song that came a while back which became so popular that it was a common addition to all dance parties (and sometimes still is, even though the song is from 2012). No clue? We’re referring to Psy’s Gangnam Style. Ahhhh. So you remember dancing to it now, don’t you?

Now that you’ve admitted that you know what we’re talking about, here’s what you need to know to dip your toes back into the giant ocean that is KPop. Here’s a lowdown on the current most popular KPop acts out there. And yes, we’re being stingy. Because there are way too many to count and list out, we’re limiting ourselves to five. But we promise to come back with more if you want.

 

1. BTS

Currently ruling across the globe, these boys are backed by a powerful army (that’s what their legions of fans are called). Not only ruling the charts, they’re also kings in terms of concerts, merch, and album sales. Bangtan Boys are definitely here to not only rule the charts but our hearts as well.

Image Source - okmagazine

Image Source – okmagazine

 

2. BLACKPINK

Currently reigning as the top girl group, these girls are really hitting it big. With only 9 songs under their belt, they’ve already performed at Coachella, among a host of other venues and festivals. Fresh faces, songs full of attitude and sass, and beats to get you grooving, we’re easily looking forward to what they get onto next!

Image Source - AllKPop

Image Source – AllKPop

 

3. EXO

Though they’ve been on the scene since 2011, and are actually often grouped in sub-groups EXO(K) and EXO(M) due some members being from South Korea and some from China. They also have a sub-unit called EXO(CBX) comprising of only three members. But whichever way you look at them, or break them down,  they show no signs of slowing down, and continue to rule the charts till date.

Image Source - asianjunkie

Image Source – asianjunkie

 

4. TWICE

Extremely popular, this group of 9 girls is sitting comfortably at the top, and don’t seem to be looking back. Encompassing all things that encapsulate Bubblegum Pop, they are cheery, vibrant, and oh-so-cute, and can pretty much guarantee smiles. But don’t be fooled by all the charm, because these girls are serious business, winning award after award.

Image Source - Allure

Image Source – Allure

 

5. GOT7

With 7 members from across the globe, it’s no surprise that this group has global appeal. And their music is also something that will definitely make you bust a move. And helping make them even more popular is their antics on stage, easily and seamlessly adding martial arts tricking to their performances.

Image Source - Billboard

Image Source – Billboard

 

How many of them have you listened to?

Rhythm By The Bay is Back!

Friday, April 26th, 2019

NSPA brings you Rhythm By The Bay – BSE!

Back with our third edition, this time we take you all on a journey of the great poet Sant Kabir! The Mumbai-based band Folkkalvokal brings an evening of music, commemorating the ideology, thoughts, and lifestyle of Kabir. They will be showcasing seventeen elements of Kabir’s life as a tribute to his great works and wisdom, entitling their presentation ‘Chadariya‘.

Join us for an evening of beauty and grace at the BSE International Convention Hall, Mumbai on 4th May 2019 from 7 pm to 9 pm.

 

Don’t forget to register at bit.ly/RBTB19 as seats are limited. (No charges, you just need to register)
NSPA Presents – ‘Rhythm By The Bay – BSE’, Bringing the Streets to the Stage!

Featuring Folkkalvokal:

Debanshu Shekhar – Narrator

Suresh Kala – Vocals

Deep Kadam – Guitar

Asit Sakpal – Backing vocals, Harmonium, Melodica

Swarna Murthy – Violin

Manoj Pandya – Percussion

Punit Acharya- Bass

Avinash Lamba – Dholak, Tabla

Kailash Jadhav – Drums

 

Look forward to seeing you for an enjoyable evening designed to let you soak in music in its purest form!

Arty hidden gems on Netflix

Friday, June 8th, 2018

It’s Friday, and the weekend is here! And with storm warnings sneakily finding your ears through quiet whispers, you may just be thinking of staying home, and snuggling in with some Netflix. Well, if that’s what your plan is, have we got some help for you. We’ve found a list of Netflix programs that you just have to watch if you’re into the arts, or creating, or even just feel like sitting there going ‘Wow’ while staring at the screen.

 

Abstract: The Art of Design

Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life. Each episode focuses on one designer from a specific field, and gives you a unique and “inside” look at what it takes to be a top car designer, set designer, and even graphic designer. A definite must-see if you’re into the arts, and if you love to know about the genius behind some of the coolest things out there!

Image source - Netflix

Image source – Netflix

 

Tales by Light

Follow renowned photographers as they explore far flung locales, capturing extraordinary images that present nature and culture in a light. Episodes across two seasons will take you on an extensive journey where you’ll see humpback whales, penguins, Holi, and even a cheetah. Do watch if you love to look at the world through a lens.

Image source - Netflix

Image source – Netflix

 

Moving Art

Experience nature’s art as filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg highlights the beauty that lurks in oceans, forests, deserts, and flowers. Thirteen episodes across two seasons take you on an exploratory journey that will inform your mind, captivate your eyes, and help satiate a bit of that wanderlust without even leaving the comfort of your home.

 

Image source - Netflix

Image source – Netflix

 

If you like these, then let us know, and we’ll hunt up some more for you. Till then, Netflix and Chill!

Top 5 Places for Photowalks in Mumbai

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Shutter bugs are constantly on the lookout for interesting places to shoot at. New spaces provide new scenes, new challenges and new compositional possibilities that stem from both these. If you too are a photography enthusiast and are looking out for new and cool places to enjoy a photowalk at, here are some destinations you can head to.

Crawford Market

Thousands of people head to Crawford market every day. The market is known for selling goods at wholesale prices and hence, is always bustling with shoppers. Because of the wealth of human activity, this place is the perfect location for photography, especially for documentary and street photographers.

LBB

 

Image courtesy: LBB

CST/ Churchgate stations

Both stations are known for their architectural beauty. Gothic design elements like gargoyles, stained glass windows and pointed arches shape these stations into true examples architectural brilliance. Plus, these stations are always bustling with rushing commuters, making it the perfect place for those interested in architecture and street photography.

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Dhobi Ghat

Mahalaxmi’s Dhobi Ghat is the city’s largest open-air Laundromat. Dhobi’s bring their stock of clothes to wash, dye and dry here. One gets to see these cleansing rituals in action, as well as a variety of tourists, for the place is a major tourist destination in the city.

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Dadar Flower Market

This place is perfect for still life and portrait photography. In the early hours of the morning, the street near Dadar West station comes alive with activity. Thousands of fresh flowers are unloaded from trucks and filled into waiting baskets. As vendors sell a variety of colourful, fragrant flowers, go around capturing them in action!

india today

Image courtesy: India Today

Sasoon Dock

Here’s where the city’s fish supply comes from. If you can bear the smell, this place is as absolute delight to photograph. One gets to see fishermen and women in action. Not only do you get to see a variety of fish, you also get to see them being loaded and unloaded into trucks and godowns. This, and the colourful attire of the fisher folk make for stunning captures.

youtube

 

 

Image courtesy: YouTube

New Year Resolutions for the Creative Soul

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Resolution-buffs, the ones adept at making New Year resolutions, probably made their laundry list of promises/goals at the stroke of midnight. If you don’t belong to this prestigious, albeit mildly terrifying class, you’re likely to be without any resolutions. But, fret not, for you haven’t missed your chance to make some yet. We’ve come up with a list of purposeful, but fun resolutions to brighten the coming year. Think you’d like to try any of these?

the curvy fashionista

Image courtesy: The curvy fashionista

Try a new fitness regime

Many of us find gym workouts stifling. Running, while wonderful for health, can get a little boring, especially if you’re running alone. So, why not try something different this year? Why not try a fun activity that also helps you stay fit? Maybe join a Zumba class, or take up a crash course in boxing or martial arts? If you’re the more adventurous kind, you could even try your hand at the latest fitness trend – pole dancing!

Read more

We can never read enough. There are so many wonderful books out there that there’s always room for another book. So, try to increase your reading list this year. If you read 10 books last year, try to read 20 this year. Even adding 10-20 extra books to your list will do wonders for your vocabulary and knowledge. For those who don’t read, this might be a good time to start. If books are not your thing, at least try to read online articles. These could be on travel, fashion, cars, virtually anything. But do try to spend a few minutes of your day reading something worthwhile.

Create

When it comes to creating, there is no end to the exciting stuff you can make. It can be a DIY activity a painting or even a poem, there’s always something wonderful that can be done. This year, try your hand at new creative activities, something you haven’t do before. If you’ve always used watercolors, try experimenting with glass paints. If you love making DIY lamps, try your hand at making scented candles. Add to your existing skills by trying something new.

Explore new music

We all love our own playlists and swear that it has the best music anyone has ever heard. While this might be true, listening to only ‘your kind of music’ might be counterproductive to your music taste because you end up listening to the same kind of music.Hence, you won’t expand your knowledge or taste. This year, make it a point to seek out new song suggestions. Give these new songs a listen, no matter how weird their titles may seem. This will help you familiarize yourself with new genres and artists!

Take up a course

We all did a happy jig the minute we got done with our education. Who doesn’t want to leave behind tedious coursework and stressful examinations, right? But, these two activities are actually great to keep our grey cells active and alert. So, this new year, try to get back in learning mode to boost your intelligence and knowledge. If you don’t have the time to travel to college, take up an online course. Several online education companies are offering reputed courses to help you learn a range of subjects. Ready to take up this challenge?

 

5 Songs that Ruled the Charts in 2017

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Another eventful year has come to an end. The year offered us both, bitter and sweet moments that will not be forgotten soon. But, if there’s one thing that helped us get through the bad moments and celebrate the good ones, it has been music. So, as the year comes to a close, it’s only fitting to look back, once again, at the songs that brought melody and meaning to our lives in 2017.

Humble – Kendrick Lamar

This song is the lead single from Lamar’s fourth studio album, ‘Damn’. It received four nominations at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards and was a number one single on the US Billboard Top 100. The song not only has jaw-dropping visuals, but the lyrics too are equally catchy. They speak about the issues that confront today’s society and offer a social commentary on our public and private lives.

Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift

After a long silence, Taylor Swift released a song that shook everyone out of their stupor, even the ones who were not her fans. More than the song, though, it was her music video that made waves, or should we say, ruffled feathers. The imagery makes references to her previous appearances, and through the song, she addresses her own journey as a star, her supporters and detractors.

Despacito – Luis Fonsi Ft. Daddy Yankee

This song ruled dance floors throughout the city. It offered up just the right beats to shake a leg to. Not only was this song popular for its reggaeton-pop beats, but it also became the first and only music video to reach the 3 billion view mark on YouTube!

Wild Thoughts – DJ Khaled Ft. Rihanna

Another song that dominated dance floors, it drew heavily from a guitar riff in Santana’s Maria Maria. While we were quite taken up by the lyrics of the song, it was Riri’s bohemian style in the video that got more attention!

Unforgettable – French Montana Ft. Swae Lee

This song transports us to another reality altogether, where amidst the dirt and dust young children show off some pretty cool moves! This song was on the Top 10 lists of 15 countries, can you beat that!

Have a happy and groovy New Year!

Surprising Facts about your Favourite Christmas Carols

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Christmas celebrations would be incomplete without carol singing, right? However, we rarely look at the history behind these joyous hymns. As you get ready to indulge in some singing this year, here are a few things to keep in mind about your favourite carols.

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  • Jingle Bells is the most famous Christmas song we know. It’s a favourite with children, adults, carol singers and choirs. It was also the first carol to be performed in space. But, this song wasn’t written for this merry festival. It was actually written by James Lord Pierpont to celebrate Thanksgiving.
  • The carol ‘White Christmas’ was originally composed by Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin. This version is sung by Bing Crosby and is the world’s best-selling single. In 1957, Elvis Presley created his own version of the song and included it in his album titled ‘Elvis’ Christmas Album’. However, Irving hated Elvis’ version so much that he tried to prevent radio stations from playing it!
  • You’ve probably heard, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘Joy to the World’ many times. These two beloved Christmas carols are also the oldest ones known. It is believed that they originated in the 1700s.
  • The carol ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ was co-written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff. The latter also wrote Celine Dion’s hit number, ‘My Heart will go on’.
  •  In the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans banned carol singing and Christmas celebrations. They believed that such merry making was not prescribed by the scriptures and hence, was a form of paganism and idolatry.

5 Budget-friendly Home Décor Ideas for Christmas

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

It’s the season to be jolly, but festival expenses and quickly suck the joy out of Christmas. Buying a Christmas tree and decoration can burn a huge hole in your pocket, especially if you plan to gifts and sweets as well. So, how about not spending too much on décor shopping? Here’s how you can use simple, inexpensive items to infuse your indoors with festive flair!

Fairy Lights

Instead on draping these on your Christmas tree, why not weave them around house. Use tape, nails or thread to fasten fairy lights to walls, curtain rods and the ceiling. You could also place them in glass jars or bottles. Yellow lights will emanate a warm glow while red, white and green fairy lights can be used to bring out the Xmas theme.

7 beauty tips

 

Image courtesy: 7 beauty tips

Scented Candles

Nothing like a sweet fragrance to evoke a festive feeling indoors. Instead of using an air freshener, why not light scented tea lights instead! Home décor shops have a range of fragrant candles, from fruity aromas to woody ones. Pick a fragrance that suits you best and drop them in decorated tea light holders.

pinterest

 

Image courtesy: Pinterest

Hang Ribbons

Broad satin ribbons make for excellent Xmas embellishments. These low-cost ribbons can be bought in bulk and tied around chair and table legs, door knobs and handles and window grills. Choose Christmas colours to highlight the festive theme.

homes and hues

 

Image courtesy: homes and hues

Plaid Colour Scheme

Replace table cloths and bed covers with plaid ones instead. Red plaid will add a sophisticated charm to your indoors. They also infuse your indoors with a good amount of red without making your room look tacky.

pinterest 2

 

Image courtesy: Pinterest

Painted Bottles

Use acrylic or glass paints to decorate used glass bottles. Stuff fairy lights into the bottles to infuse your room with a muted glow. You could even use the bottles as vases or as a table centrepiece. Choose Christmas-themes designs, like snowflakes, Santa hats, candles and Christmas trees to create a festive feel.

glass paint xmas

 

Image courtesy: Pinterest

3 Books Perfect for Pre-Christmas Reading

Friday, December 1st, 2017

The cold hasn’t really set in yet and the holidays too seem too far away. But, it is December and one of the year’s merriest festivals is around the corner. We’re talking about Christmas, of course! If you’re not feeling too Xmassy yet, here are some books that will surely put you in the mood for Christmas. Happy reading!

A Christmas Carol

ChristmasCarolPage

This is one of Dickens’s most widely read and loved books. It is this book that popularized the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’. The journey of the old miser in the book, from selfishness to selflessness, inspires us to be more loving and giving to those in need. The book demonstrates to us the true meaning of ‘festive spirit’ and the wonderful depictions of Christmas celebrations and feasts will make you super-excited for Christmas!

The Polar Express

polar

A young boy finds himself living with a family that does not believe in Santa. And now the young boy, Billy, has begun to have doubts himself. Then, something magical happens, for he finds himself swept on board a magical train that takes him straight to the North Pole, where he meets Santa himself. Santa then gives Billy a mission, but will Billy be successful? Chris Van Allsburg’s book beautifully explores the themes of trust, faith and imagination. Read this book to put yourself in the mood for this enchanting festival.

The Snow Queen

snow queen

 

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Another classic that explores the mystical, magical quality of winter and the festival of Christmas.  Two children, Gerda and Kay learn about the ‘Snow Queen’ from Kay’s grandmother. So the children look for the ice queen among clusters of snowflakes, for that is her snowy abode. However, Kay gets abducted by the icy queen and Gerda has to brave demons, magic mirrors and wicked goblins to save her friend. Hans Christen Anderson’s ‘The Snow Queen’ speaks about the enduring nature of friendship while exploring the magic of myth and legend.

If you’d like to read a book or two, head over to QTube Café, for the café is furnished with a wonderful library. The café is also the perfect place to get some reading done. It’s peaceful and quiet and we supply you with piping hot free coffee as well! So, what’re you waiting for?