Forget Katy Perry's Teenage Dream and Justin Bieber's Never Say Never, M.I.A.'s story must be told, so someone better get on this chop-chop. We thank you in advance.
A teaser for the M.I.A. documentary features a slew of footage of the star, beginning with M.I.A.'s (born Mathangi Arulpragasam) origins as the daughter of a militant Tamil separatist group leader and taking us through her rise to rap superstardom. The trailer even delves into her racy fights with Diplo, Sri Lankan politicians, and also the FCC. Fiesty, eh? Oh and to top it off, interviews with Kanye West, Jimmy Iovine, and Spike Jonze are thrown into the mix. Once again: this movie. must. be. made. NOW.
The trailer teaser for M.I.A.'s documentary (below) was leaked by the film's director Steve Loveridge, who posted it to his tumblr in reaction to the insane delay in the film's production and distribution. Loveridge uploaded the teaser praying that this would be a "wake up" call to Roc Nation, M.I.A.'s label.
A rep from Roc Nation reached out to Loveridge, condemning him for posting the teaser. But frankly, Loveridge didn't really give a s**t. Although Roc Nation addressed issues with "legal stuff and funding," in an email to Loveridge (which he also made public on his tumblr) the director wasn't having it — he says he is now bowing out of the project entirely. "Count me out. Would rather die than work on this…" says Loveridge.
Not only is Loveridge peacing due to lack of support from the label, it appears that M.I.A.'s flying solo as well. The rap star tweeted that she would use Kickstarter and support from her fans to revive the production of her documentary.
While we impatiently await the arrival – if it ever arrives, that is – of this documentary, we shall blast M.I.A.'s latest politically-heavy tune "Only 1 U" for all to hear. Roc Nation, listen up and put some money down — frankly, we know you can spare some cash for this masterpiece.
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Although Madonna was supposed to be the center of attention during last night's Super Bowl halftime show, the Queen of Pop was mildly upstaged by M.I.A.'s rather obscene finger malfunction. The rapper (real name: Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam) went rogue during the "Give Me All Your Luvin'" portion of the performance by flipping off the camera mid-way through the song. This, of course, has caused quite a bit of controversy given that actions like that are usually frowned upon on such a "family friendly" network.
As expected, both the NFL and NBC immediately apologized for the faux pas. A spokesperson for the NFL, Brian McCarthy, released a statement to the Associated Press, saying, "The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans." McCarthy went on to say that the NFL was blindsided by the gesture and that M.I.A. had not indicated during rehearsals that she would be doing anything like that during the actual performance. Additionally, NBC spokesman, Christopher McCloskey, also released a statement concerning the matter, explaining, "Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers." As of this morning, neither organization has been fined.
To be honest, I watched the halftime show and didn't even see that it happened, so hopefully this won't get blown too much out of proportion and overshadow what really was an impressive halftime show. Yes, M.I.A. was wrong doing what she did, but the gesture was barely noticeable. If no one was reporting on it, would you even be aware that it had happened? I know I wouldn't, so it's not as awful as it could have been (although I personally fail to see the reasoning behind the middle finger to begin with). Either way, let's just hope M.I.A learns her lesson from this and keeps her inappropriate sign language to a minimum the next time she performs in such a public venue. Think of the kids!
Click on the picture above for more photos of M.I.A.
Based on the novel Q&A this sharp adaptation tells the tale of a young man Jamal Palik (Dev Patel) who becomes a contestant on the Indian version of the hit game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and ends up being accused of cheating. As we see him beaten into admitting that he “knew” the answers the film darts back and forth in time to show how he came to this place and exactly where the truth lies. We see how Jamal and his brother Salim (Madhur Mittal) joined by their female friend Latika (Freida Pinto) grow up in one of the country’s worst slums where they must resort to a spree of petty crimes in order to survive. Later we catch up with them in their teens as they conduct tours of the Taj Mahal and make up tall tales for the unsuspecting visitors. Out of desperation their crimes get more intense as Latika gets herself into big trouble. By the time we get to Jamal’s appearance on the game show it’s clear he has learned what really counts as the tension-driven sequences have him answering questions at a furious pace by the dubious quizmaster (Anil Kapoor). Using a cast of largely unknown actors director Danny Boyle has created an ensemble that exudes freshness and vitality. Outstanding performances come from all the kids who play the main characters of Jamal Latika and Salim at three different ages. They are countered by the adults in the story who also make the most of their juicy roles -- particularly Indian superstar Anil Kapoor playing the shady host of the game show. His scenes on set opposite Patel’s 18 year-old Jamal are riveting and suspenseful beyond any thriller. Both actors play a telekinetic cat-and-mouse game with complete believability. Patel is terrific a real find as is the gorgeous Freida Pinto as the older Latika. Equally effective is Madhur Mittal as the crime-bent older Salim. Irrfan Khan as the determined inspector has his own intense moments while interrogating Jamal. Serious-minded movies rarely get to show off such talented younger actors but Slumdog is virtually a treasure trove in this regard. Danny Boyle’s direction is vibrant alive and pulsating with originality. This director has shown great aptitude for tackling all sorts of different genres from the dark drug-filled Trainspotting to the light-hearted family fare Millions. He’s even done zombies with 28 Days Later. With Slumdog the Brit tackles a completely foreign culture to his own and effortlessly engages us in the plight of these characters. The filmmaking is crisp and cutting-edge with an array of colors and editing choices that put us smack into the center of the story. Cutting back and forth seamlessly between the game show tapings and the flashbacks slowly filling in the answers to Jamal’s ultimate fate Boyle has crafted a completely original movie-going experience. Ending it all on an upbeat note there’s a great Bollywood-type pop number that ranks as the best musical sequence we’ve seen on film all year. You are guaranteed to leave the theater on a high.