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2018 in Retrospect: Celebrities That Left Us

Veteran filmmaker Mrinal Sen, known for his contribution to Bengali parallel cinema, died on Sunday at his residence.

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Veteran filmmaker Mrinal Sen, known for his contribution to Bengali parallel cinema

From superstar Sridevis untimely death to demise of Marvel creator Stan Lee , the year of 2018 was a tough year for Bollywood and Hollywood as the industries have lost some of the best known and well-loved figures.

So before welcoming the new year, let’s remember some of those “unforgettable” names we have lost and celebrate their contribution to cinema, music and art.

·Sridevi

February 24, 2018 would always be considered a dark day for the Indian film fraternity as on this date, the world woke up to the sad news that Sridevi, Bollywood’s first female superstar is no more.

The “Chandni” star, who was in Dubai for a family wedding, died aged 54 accidentally drowning in a bath tub in a hotel, leaving the film industry, her family and legions of fans in a state of shock.

Though she is no more, she will always be remembered for her remarkable work in Indian cinema.

Sridevi, death
Jahnvi Kapoor wrote heart-touching words in honour of her mother, Sridevi.

Born in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu on August 13, 1963, Sridevi began her career at the age of four in the devotional film “Thunaivan”. That marked the beginning of a journey in filmdom that saw her work across Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi productions, leading her to become one of the most formidable actresses of the 1980s and 1990s in Bollywood — in fact, the only female “superstar” the industry has seen.

And for her great contribution to the country’s art and cinema, she was honoured with the National Award and Padma Shri.

The year, no doubt left her fans in grief and tears with her sudden death, but also surprised them with the launch of the icon’s elder daughter Janhvi Kapoor in Hindi cinema, bringing shades of Sridevi back onscreen.

·Stan Lee

Stan Lee, a man who revolutionised comic books and created superheroes characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk, died on November 12.

Born as Stanley Lieber on December 28, 1922, Lee began his career at what was then Timely Comics in 1939. Over the years he was a writer,editor and occasional illustrator. He joined the Marvel Comics in 1961.

Stan Lee, death
Lee made cameos in a total of 26 movies. Flickr

He often made appearances at comic book conventions and lectured at colleges. Lee continued to play an important role as Marvel transitioned into television during the 1980s, serving as narrator on animated series like “Incredible Hulk”.

Lee also made cameos in a total of 26 movies, beginning with “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk” in 1989 and ending with 2018’s “Venom”.

Before his death, Lee completed cameos in several upcoming films, including one for Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet”.

He is survived by his daughter Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee.

·Rita Bhaduri

Veteran actress Rita Bhaduri took her last breath on July 17 this year. She was 62 when she died of kidney ailment.

With a career spanning over five decades, Rita played important supporting parts in movies like “Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa”, “Kya Kehna”, “Dil Vil Pyar Vyar” and “Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon”. She also featured in Gujarati movies.

On the TV front, her credits include popular shows like “Hasratein”, “Sarabhai vs Sarabhai”, “Khichdi”, “Ek Nayi Pehchaan”.

rita bhaduri, death
She was last seen in the serial “Nimki Mukhiya”

She was last seen in the serial “Nimki Mukhiya” in which she played the role of a grandmother.

·Aretha Franklin

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin, who got the epithet ‘Queen of Soul’, died in August after battling serious health conditions. She was 76.

Franklin rose to fame with the release of her first album, “Songs of Faith”, in 1956, which scored regional hits with two gospel songs and occasionally touring with The Soul Stirrers, whose star was Sam Cooke.

In a professional career that spanned more than half a century, Franklin’s songs were not just chart-toppers, but also gave out a message.

Aretha Franklin, death
The singer’s final public performance was last November.

Her song “Respect” was a call to arms, while “(You make me feel like) A natural woman” was an earthy expression of sexuality and “Think” was a rallying cry for women fed up with loutish men. She even won a Golden Globe award for “Never gonna break my faith”.

The singer’s final public performance was last November, when she sang at an Elton John AIDS Foundation gala in New York.

·Mohammed Aziz

“My name is Lakhan” fame singer Mohammed Aziz died on November 27 following a cardiac arrest. He was 64.

Born in West Bengal as Syed Mohammed Aziz-un-Nabi in July 1954, he started his career as a restaurant singer in Kolkata till he got a singing break in a Bengali film, “Jyoti”, before he shifted to Mumbai and sang for the Hindi film “Ambar” (1984).

Mohammed Aziz
Mohammed Aziz

Later, he was spotted by music director Anu Malik and got his first major breakthrough in Bollywood with the song “Mard Taangewala” (“Mard”, 1984).

Subsequently, he sang for top music directors like Naushad, O.P. Nayyar, Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Bappi Lahiri, R.D. Burman, Rajesh Roshan, Ravindra Jain, Raam-Laxman, Usha Khanna, Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin-Lalit, Aadesh Shrivastava and others.

·Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef, storyteller and writer who took TV viewers around the world to explore culture and cuisine, shocked everyone with his sudden death.

He died on June 8 and suicide came out as the cause of his death.

Bourdain was a master of his crafts — first in the kitchen and then in the media. Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves.

Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain. Flickr

He advocated for marginalised populations and campaigned for safer working conditions for restaurant staffs.

Before his death, Bourdain was shooting for his TV show “Parts Unknown”.

·Nargis Rabadi (Shammi Aunty)

Nargis Rabadi, popularly known as ‘Shammi Aunty’ in the industry, passed away on March 6. She was a veteran actor who appeared in more than 200 films.

Having started her journey in 1940s with her first film “Ustad Pedro”, Nargis later starred in films like “Coolie No. 1”, “Mardon Wali Baat” and “Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi”.

She became a popular character artiste portraying supporting roles of aunt, granny, elder spinster in the family.

Nargis Rabadi (Shammi Aunty)
Nargis Rabadi (Shammi Aunty)

The late actor also appeared in many popular television serials such as “Dekh Bhai Dekh”, “Zabaan Sambhal Ke”, “Shriman Shrimati”, “Kabhi Yeh Kabhi Woh” and “Filmi Chakkar”.

· Mrinal Sen

Veteran filmmaker Mrinal Sen, known for his contribution to Bengali parallel cinema, died on Sunday at his residence. He was 95 and he died of old age complications, said his family member.

Also Read: Bollywood Remembers Mumbai Terror Attack After 10 Years

Born in 1923, in the town of Faridpur, now in Bangladesh, Sen made his first feature film, “Raat Bhore”, in 1955

He was the National Award-winning director and recipient of Padma Bhusan award. He had also been conferred with Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2003. He made his final feature film “Aamaar Bhuvan” in 2002. (IANS)

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Alexandre Aja’s Love for Horror Lead to Great Success

Meet Hollywood's master of blood, gore, kills & chills

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alexander aja
Aja says that he just wants to keep growing, and spread chills and thrills. Pixabay

Alexandre Aja’s love for horror made him dive deep into the genre and create hits like “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Piranha 3D” and “Mirrors”. The filmmaker says he initially thought that he would get over the genre, but is glad that his obsession with the genre is intact. The director says he just wants to keep growing, and spread chills and thrills.

“I have been watching horror movies since I was a young kid. I loved them and I thought that at some point by making them, I will, kind of, get used to them and not be in it anymore, but I am still into it,” Aja told IANS in an exclusive sit-down interview.

“Every week I go and see a new horror movie and enjoy it and love it. I love to be scared. I love to be in the room with the audience. I love to share that feeling. I want to keep growing,” added the director. Aja feels it is a great time for horror as a genre.

“Today, there are so many opportunities. These movies are so successful in theatres and I think it is very important to see them on big screen. It is very important to feel on the big screen,” he pointed out.

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Aja feels it is a great time for horror as a genre. Pixabay

Aja’s cinema is known for blood, gore, wince-worthy kills and for building suspense with music. He got his break in 2003 with “Haute Tension” (“High Tension”) — which turned out to be his ticket to Hollywood, where he made “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Mirrors”, “Piranha 3D” and “Horns”. He will be back with a disaster horror movie “Crawl”. Aja has returned to water to narrate a suspenseful tale of a daughter trying to save her father from an alligator-infested house amid a hurricane.

“Crawl” chronicles the struggle of a swimmer Haley Keller (played by Kaya Scodelario) as she tries to save herself and her father (Barry Pepper) from alligators amidst a Florida hurricane. The horror thriller will open in India on August 23. The movie will be distributed in India by Viacom18 Motion Pictures. It is written by Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen, and produced by Craig Flores, Sam Raimi and Aja. The story is simple, and that is what drew Aja in.

Also Read: Custom Android UI To Provide Better User Experience

“I wanted people to have a wide, scary and intense suspense film experience. I remember when I got the script for the first time, what got me in and made me fall in love with the story was the log line. The simple idea of this young woman who has to go and save her dad during hurricane category five in Florida in a place infested with alligators –That was all I needed,” he said.

After “Crawl”, it is being reported that Aja is prepping to bring an interactive haunted house horror experience to the big screen. The movie will reportedly allow audience members to influence the storyline through an app on their phones. They will be able to decide how the story will go and end. An official confirmation and details about the project is awaited. (IANS)