The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bright stars, boring stars

There are stars and then there are stars. We hear about some when a new film is out, a new match is won, a new record is cut. Others we hear about when they go for a holiday, eat dinner, take a bath...

When the spin doctors spin out of control with the star of the second, what you get is the same face wherever you look. Here are a few people Young Metro thinks we all need a break from…


David and Victoria. Posh and Becks. Or just Beckham, Beckham and more Beckham.

He may not be able to dribble past any left-back in the world or control a crucial tie quite like Zidane, but when it comes to being a soccer star in the spotlight, Becks is as big as it gets. His move from Manchester United to Real Madrid was the most talked about transfer in soccer history. And now, every move he makes — in a number 23 white shirt or an Armani suit — seems more important than the battle for Iraq or the war over WTO.


He’s in the news for all the wrong reasons, but for his career, the effect is everything right. Salman Khan, killer of the black buck, may have graduated to larger creatures, but when did that ever make a difference to the fans' The more he finds the spotlight, the more he is loved. While basic ethics would suggest he should fall into disfavour with the starstruck, no such luck!

J.LO & Ben

The sexiest man alive is what People magazine called him in 2002. Then tabloids turned on him when he was leaving a strip club without his fiancée on his arm.

They call her one of the sexiest faces (not to mention bodies) in showbiz. But this much-married woman is under a microscope every moment, personal or professional.

Ben Affleck and J.Lo. The disaster couple from Gigli has found the spotlight once again — this time for their rumoured estrangement just before the wedding.

Who cares' The media, for one. For two'


That a star child could play prostitute on screen (and for a crore, no less! Wow!) makes Kareena Kapoor, apparently, the most revolutionary actress ever. The leader of the brat pack, who usually leaves much to be desired at the box office, was surely not the first actress to play the role of a prostitute, and she surely won’t be the last. But if hype had it right, the younger Kapoor would be in the running for a lifetime achievement Oscar.


Teens for peace

The search for a new peace ambassador is on.

The Teen of the Year competition was organised by Teenager magazine in association with the Don Bosco Youth Services on September 13 and 14. Over 35 students from schools like Don Bosco Park Circus, Ashok Hall, M.B. Girls and St Thomas’ for Girls participated in the event which seeks to create a pool of teen “instruments of peace”. Schools from the districts, including Julien Day Kalyani, St Joseph’s Bandel and St Joseph’s Kurseong were also present.

The event started off with an ice-breaker, followed by a quiz and group discussion on the co-relation between peace and social justice. Most participants agreed with the motion and spoke about communalism, ethics and redistribution of public income. This was fleshed out further in the group project. While some chose to showcase the basic ‘evils’ of Indian society, others dealt with the ‘miseries’ facing the Indian teenager. Group games saw enthusiastic participation. Next, contestants had to appear for personal interviews, answering questions posted by a panel of experts, which served as a general assessment of their attitude towards life. Extempore, with topics such as ‘what are the things that turn on and turn off a teenager’, followed.

The action was at the Don Bosco Park Circus auditorium on Sunday. Fifteen contestants who had topped the previous day’s proceedings performed in a talent show. The western and eastern dance teams from the host school came in for guest performances. The group was narrowed to 10. A question round by the judges, which saw the students parry posers like ‘if there would be one thing that you would change about India what would it be'’, helped narrow the field to five. An audio-visual round was the final teaser. Siddharth Saraogi of Don Bosco Park Circus was declared the Teen of the Year from the east, with Sangeeta Gangadharan of Our Lady Queen of Mission coming in first runner-up and Sreyashi Sen of St Teresa’s trailing in third place. All three shall represent the zone in the national finals in Mumbai from November 21 to 23. “This is not a pageant. This is a show framed for the teenagers to act as instruments of peace,” said Father Manipadam, the man behind the show.

— Harsh Vardhan Sonthalia


Write off

Wannabe writers now have the chance to make it big. The Young Author Contest, an all-India story-writing competition, has come to town, with 45 city schools participating. Students in Class IX through XII can join, by writing an essay on two topics — Crossroads or a ‘Letter to God’ — and handing them over to their school. A teacher will select the best two entries (with a minimum of five and maximum of 10 writers), and the chosen ones will engage in a write-off at Don Bosco Park Circus on September 18. The best three stories from Calcutta will be sent to Bangalore, where judges will select a winner, who will be awarded a trip for two to Paris. But the others need not fret — all 24 stories from the eight-city contest will be published by sponsors ITC.


A question of science

British Council and Stree Shakti organised a science quiz on physics, chemistry and biology, at the Camac Street library on September 8. The afternoon session saw seven teams including Presidency College, Institute of Engineering and Management, BE College, Loreto College and Vidyasagar College battling it out. Sharmistha Chakraborty, a scientist, played quizmaster, backed by Papiya Nandi, director, Jagdish Bose National Science Talent Institute, who was also the chief guest. The Institute of Engineering and Management came in first, followed by Presidency College Team B and Bengal Engineering College.


Camp it out

The students of Chowringhee Kindergarten & High School have an action packed fortnight planned. On Sunday, they conducted free health check-ups for 200 slum children and orphans at Thakurpukur. On September 21, a free eye check-up will be held at the Chowringhee Lane premises of the school. The following day, a trip to a cancer hospital is scheduled, where the students will hand out gift baskets. On September 28, a free cardio-vascular camp, which will include blood sugar tests and general check-ups, will end on a festive note with the inauguration of the school’s Durga Puja by senior citizens from an old-age home.

Students of Lakshmipat Singhania Academy perform Indradhanush as part of a school entertainment show at Kala Mandir on Friday. Picture by Pabitra Das

Expressionist ideas

The department of film studies, Jadavpur University, presented a lecture on expressionist cinema and German film production in the 1920s. Jurgen Kasten, a film historian from Berlin, took an insightful session on September 3.

Kasten, a professor of film at the Freie Universitate, the Humboldt University of Berlin and the University of Hamburg is also the managing director of German Screen Writers’ Guild.

Prof Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, who first took the dais, emphasised the role of expressionism in defining realist experimentation in the early years of cinema. Kasten, the author of books like The Expressionist Film, offered an overview illustrated with videos of rarely-exhibited expressionist film as graphic art, referring to Karl Heinz Martin’s film From Morn to Midnight and The Cabinet of Dr Caligory. His forthcoming book is on new perspectives on expressionist film. He is widely published on early cinema style and dramaturgy in silent films as well as screen-writing and film economics.

He discussed forms of décor in which static shapes dominate, like in From Morn to Midnight. They are reduced to simple lines, which no longer suggest any kind of three-dimensional space.

The lecture ended with an interactive session for students and professors.

— Anisha Baksi,

Jadavpur University

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