rock on

A couple of news items caught my attention today. First from the BBC comes the announcement that the singer, writer, and artist, Marilyn Manson, is going to Berlin’s European Film Market on February 9 to seek financing for a movie he’s developing.

Called Phantasmagoria – The Visions Of Lewis Carroll, Manson will play Lew Carroll, and the film is budgeted at $4.2m. Apparently Manson has been working on the costumes and make-up for the movie for a year, and terms the film an “arthouse horror”.

A number of thoughts came to mind when I read this. Manson has opted for a reasonable budget, and he’s seeking financing from the European market, which may be more receptive to his project. I’ve always been struck by the man’s intelligence and knack for business whenever I’ve seen him interviewed.

Manson has a huge fan base, so this reasonably-priced movie is not much of a risk— some music videos have cost more to film. Many of Manson’s music videos have shown a great deal of artistic flair and imagination, and the singer has directed several of them.

Of course, a music video is a drop in the ocean compared to a feature-length movie. I hope “arthouse horror” isn’t a code word for plotless visual extravaganza. Yet, I’d be interested in viewing the results. You never know, it could be great.

On The Guardian I spotted a story about India’s latest child prodigy.

Kishan Shrikanth is only 10 years old, and is already a writer, actor and director. Check out his photo that accompanies the piece, and note the angle of his chin. This is a kid who is aware of his supreme importance.

Kishan has been an actor for six years: he’s been in 24 films and 1,000 episodes of a local soap opera.

The storyline to “C/O (care of) Footpath” with a faint echo of Oliver Twist, is about the life of a street urchin drugged by a woman who uses him as a begging prop. It impressed Bollywood enough to attract big names including the actor Jackie Shroff, who comes from a humble background.

Kishan said: “I saw the kids selling newspapers on the streets at the traffic lights and felt sad. I asked my dad why they had to do this. He told me that they were not like us. They did not go to school or study and they had to work for a living. I wanted to talk about their life.”

Kishan, whose script grew out of a short story he wrote, said he hoped that the film would encourage “slum children to go to school”, and that Footpath was “for all the underprivileged children of the world”.

Best of luck to Kishan in his future career–he has plenty of time ahead of him to build on his already formidable foothold in the industry.