A novel approach to cinema

'Elizabeth' director Shekhar Kapur has been inspired by cockroaches for his next film



ciSWITCHING FROM 16th century queens to tiny urban pests may be difficult for some filmmakers but not for Indian director Shekhar Kapur.­

'Elizabeth: The Golden Age', the sequel to his Oscar-nominated period film 'Elizabeth', opened in Indian cinemas on Friday but Kapur is already hard at work on his next film, 'A Suitable Cockroach'.­ "It's an animation film based on some characters and a story I have created," Kapur said on the sidelines of the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which kicked off over the weekend close to the golden beaches of Goa.­

Kapur is wary of giving details, saying, "I can't keep giving away my stories, someone will copy it."­ But media reports suggest the film is set in the future when the common household insect may be the only living organism on the planet.­

Top Bollywood composer A R Rahman has been roped in to score the music for the film.­ Kapur said he is yet to finish writing his other film 'Paani' (Water), a project announced earlier.­ "'Paani' is about a time when water gets completely privatised," the 61-year-old filmmaker, said explaining why he had stopped buying bottled water.­ "The environmental cost of drinking bottled water is huge."­

As for 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age', delegates at IFFI Goa will not get to watch it at the annual film festival India is trying to promote as its own Cannes.­ "I just came back to India a few days ago. If the Directorate (of Film Festivals) had asked me, I would have probably arranged it," Kapur said. "Perhaps they were not sure of its release date in India."­

The sequel to the 1998 film, loosely based on events during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, sees Cate Blanchett reprising her role as the British monarch.­ Following its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, some critics had said the film contained several historical inaccuracies.­ It was possibly because of this that 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' was released in India with a disclaimer. But Kapur is unfazed.­

"It's not a big disclaimer. It just says that history has diverse interpretations and this is one of them," he said.­

But in a blog post on his official website www.shekharkapur.com, the director seemed to suggest the film hadn't deviated much from history.­ "History? My producer, my writers, my researcher are all historians with top honours either from Cambridge or Oxford. They dominated the script. Surely, the film cannot have gone that far away from history," Kapur wrote in his blog on Saturday.


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