Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Jon Favreau breathes new life to Kipling classic 'The Jungle Book'
Los Angeles : Building on the structure of Rudyard Kipling's timeless classic and the power of the 1967 animation film, director Jon Favreau has given a new vision to "The Jungle Book" backed by cutting-edge technology.
 
The director says he has blended technology with the old story to honour the original and at the same time appeal to new audiences with his animation offering.
 
The director also asserted that with the film, which will come out in Indian theatres on April 8, a week before it releases in the US, he has tried to push the envelope by embracing new technology to create a virtual world.
 
Favreau, who began his career in the industry as an actor in "Rudy", sat down to explain his vision at Hollywood's The El Capitan Theatre here with selected mediapersons from all across the world.
 
Why remake a classic? Why give it a technological twist? These are the questions that Favreau set out to answer around Disney's film, which brings a story straight from the enchanting forests of India and presents a modern take on Kipling's classic, originally published in 1894.
 
Favreau said that he was motivated by Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn to take the technological route for the film.
 
"The idea of going out to the jungle and shooting this, it just felt like it wouldn't have the magic that the 1967 film had had. There was a dreamlike quality to it. There was a surreal quality to it. It was a high-water mark for character animation and to me, that's what I remember about it. And so I wanted to make sure we preserved that.
 
"But what Horn said was: look at the technology. Look at 'Life of Pi', 'Avatar'. Why not use the technology to create a whole world that transports you? Let's really embrace this new technology and see what we can do if we push its limit."
 
The live-action epic adventure showcases Mowgli's journey of self-discovery when he's forced to abandon his home in the forest. And Neel Sethi, who traces his roots to India and plays Mowgli, is only just being in an otherwise animation film.
 
The film is supported by a stellar voice-over cast including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken.
 
Favreau also presented a glimpse of his vision by screening portions of the film.
 
The director explained that by re-imagining the film "you are serving many masters...you are trying to honour the memory, preconceived memory of people who grew up with it, but you are also trying to make a movie that appeals to the full audience -- that is ethically what we set out to do".
 
"We are trying to pay tribute, and we can also see that with the visual effects, we are pushing the technology. We are mixing the old story with cutting edge technology," he added.
 
So, how was the film made?
 
"We went back to the structure of it and saw what Kipling did because he offered a lot. We kind of picked between the two. The story structure of the 1967 film was good and offered a lot; so I stuck to it as much as I could. What I have tried to do is to focus on the images that I remember from it before going back to look at it again," he said.
 
He is brimming with joy after using "level of artistry and technology" to narrate a story with "humour and emotion, and showing nature, animals, and getting into that real deep mythic imagery that I think always marries well with technology, and always has."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Beware, Facebook or social media addiction can trigger cocaine-like high
New Delhi : Can spending excessive time on Facebook or other social media be as dangerous as addiction to cocaine or gambling?
 
Well, yes, if researchers from California State University-Fullerton are to be believed.
 
They say social media obsession may lead to something akin to classical addiction. Such use triggers two key parts of the brain associated with rewards: The amygdala which is the integrative place for emotions, behaviour and motivation and the striatum -- part of the forebrain and a critical component of the reward system.
 
The findings, recently published in the journal Psychological Reports: Disability and Trauma showed that social media-related "addictions" share some neural features with substance and gambling addictions.
 
Since the meteoric rise of the internet usage and emergence of various social media platforms, many young Indians have been left socially isolated and lonely.
 
It's time for a reality check in our backyard.
 
Take Krishnan (name changed), a 15-year-old social media addict in the capital, who recently visited Dr. Sameer Malhotra, director, mental health and behavioural sciences at Max Healthcare.
 
Hooked on to Facebook for nearly 16 hours a day, he had developed an obsessive personality profile and was neglecting priorities of life, including education.
 
"I have been seeing many youngsters who are in the grip of social media addiction. In the case of Krishnan, I treated him through both counselling and medication which helped channelise his energy in positive work," Dr. Malhotra told IANS.
 
"Facebook addiction is similar to cocaine addiction to a certain level as there are certain neuro-chemicals like dopamine which operate across brain reward pathways and are responsible for maintaining addictive behaviour," he said.
 
According to Dr. Malhotra, teenagers with Facebook addiction-like symptoms may "have a hyperactive amygdala-striatal system, which makes this 'addiction' similar to many other addictions."
 
For Dr. Samir Parikh, director at department of mental health and behavioural Science, Fortis Healthcare, excessive use of social media is a common trend today and such preoccupation leads to an interference in one's social, occupational as well as other areas of functioning.
 
"Yes, it could be considered similar to drug addiction to a certain level though it is not exactly the same. The difference is more in terms of the physiological manifestations involved in the influence of a substance," Dr. Parikh told IANS.
 
Addiction is defined as repetitive habit pattern that increases the risk of diseases or associated personal and social problems. It is a subjective experience of "loss of control".
 
Addiction connotes dependence because there are common neurochemical and neuroanatomical pathways found among all addictions -- whether it is substance, gambling, sex, eating, internet use or Facebook obsession.
 
"They all display similar patterns of behaviour like inability to abstain, impairment in behaviour control, craving, diminished recognition of significant behaviourial problems, interpersonal issues and a dysfunctional emotional response," says Dr. Birendra Yadav, psychology clinical operations at telehealth venture-Poccare, Healthenablr.
 
Experts say Facebook addiction can lead to impulse-control disorders, especially among adolescents where it has led to high prevalence of depression, aggressive behaviour and psychiatric symptoms.
 
The social media has also been found to have affected lifestyles, resulting in irregular dietary habits, decreased physical activity, short duration of sleep and increased use of alcohol and tobacco.
 
Is it true that getting out of Facebook addiction is easier than that of substance abuse?
 
"This is subjective and depends on the context, personality and state of mind of the individual concerned and you need to build the will power of the person through both counselling and medication," Dr. Malhotra says.
 
"Overcoming any kind of addiction is possible with adequate professional interventions," Dr. Parikh said.
 
The bottom line: use social media, but do not let it take over your life. Investing time in "real" relationships rather than in the cyberworld can lead to improved mental health, say experts.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Rajya Sabha disrupted over Rohith Vemula's suicide
New Delhi : Loud anti-government slogans causing an uproar over the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula disrupted the Rajya Sabha Wednesday -- the second day of the long budget session of the Indian parliament.
 
The upper house was adjourned five times after members assembled for the day at 11 a.m.
 
After earlier adjournments in the morning, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 2 in the afternoon when members refused to let the house function and wanted the government to discuss Vemula's alleged January 17 suicide. 
 
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has 10 members in the house, blamed the central government for the scholar's suicide in Hyderabad University. They gathered at the chairman's podium, demanding the government suspend the Question Hour and debate the issue first.
 
They raised slogans, seeking justice for the family members of the dead student. They alleged that the government was anti-Dalit. "Rohith ke parivar ko, nyaay dou, nyaay dou", "Dalit virdohi sarkar, nahin chalegi, nahin chalegi", they shouted incessantly in front of the podium.
 
BSP leader Mayawati insisted that the government should respond first and debate the issue. "This is not the first time a Dalit student committed suicide," the BSP supremo said.
 
"Rohith Vemula was Ambedkar supporter. RSS did not like this, he was exploited," Mayawati said, referring to B.R. Ambedkar, the author of the Indian Constitution, who was a Dalit leader.
 
The upper house was forced into five adjournments till afternoon despite Ansari making a passionate appeal to slogan shouting members, requesting them that they should let the Question Hour proceed and raise the issue later in the day.
 
"Disruption of question hour is violation of privilege of individual members. Is the house going on that track," Ansari asked.
 
"The questions have been listed and they have to be answered." 
 
The government as well as the chair pointed out that a debate on the Vemula death is listed for discussion later in the day.
 
But the protesting members didn't relent and continued with their slogan shouting near the chairman's podium.
 
The death of the Dalit student triggered widespread protests from opposition, who demanded action against central ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, who were blamed for forcing Vemula to take his life.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

Disgusting behavior from BSP. If the question is on the schedule to be discussed later, then why the ruckus? Only to show their supporters that BSP can flex its muscle to disrupt Rajyasabha? If BSP cared so much for this Dalit student's suicide, where was it during all the preceding weeks of turmoil?

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