In the past year or so, the internet has been rife with discussions about the role that nepotism plays across fashion and showbiz industries.
And being that Kaia Gerber followed in the footsteps of her famous mother, her name is among those now firmly intertwined in the ongoing discourse.
In case you aren’t familiar, Kaia is the daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford and entrepreneur Rande Gerber.
She took the modeling world by storm as a teenager, bagging numerous designer campaigns and a coveted Vogue cover alongside her mom at just 14.
Now age 21, Kaia is an established name in the fashion industry and has since turned her hand to acting, already boasting small roles in FX’s American Horror Story and Damien Chazelle’s new movie, Babylon.
And while many of her famous peers have been reluctant to pay their dues, Kaia is happy to admit that nepotism gave her a leg up in more ways than one.
Talking more explicitly about her mom’s influence, Kaia was keen to clarify that things aren’t quite as straightforward as people probably want to believe, but acknowledged that her familial ties definitely propelled her to the right places.
“My mom always joked, ‘If I could call and book a Chanel campaign, it would be for me and not you.’ But I also have met amazing people through my mom whom I now get to work with,” she said.
However, when it comes to her acting gigs, Kaia is less willing to hand the credit to her parents, hinting that a famous family can only get you so far.
“With acting, it’s so different,” she said in contrast. “No artist is going to sacrifice their vision for someone’s kid. That just isn’t how art is made, and what I’m interested in is art.”
She continued: “Also, no one wants to work with someone who’s annoying, and not easy to work with, and not kind. Yes, nepotism is prevalent, but I think if it actually was what people make it out to be, we’d see even more of it.”
Despite garnering praise for being one of the few famous kids to publicly own the “nepo baby” label, Kaia is facing some backlash online for her take on the acting industry.
Among the responses, people have highlighted that, in some instances, Hollywood cares more about making money than it does “art,” and that a way for a project to gain more attention — and therefore money — is by casting the relative of someone who’s already famous.
“‘Someone’s kid’ is a nice way to cleanse ‘a rich and influential Hollywood power player’s kid,’” one critic pointed out on Twitter.
“lmao no way she really said this… hollywood doesn’t even care about ‘art’ they care about making money,” someone tweeted.
“girl be so serious,” someone else added. “as if filmmakers will not jump at casting a nepo baby knowing how much free press they’re going to get.”
Another user suggested that “the recent state of TV and film” serves to show that many executives and filmmakers are more than willing to “sacrifice their vision” in favor of casting a popular person, regardless of their acting credentials, while someone else wrote that Kaia’s perspective is “naive to a fault.”
That said, the overwhelming majority of critics felt that the entire nepotism discussion is growing very tired.
“This conversation has gotten so redundant like I don’t even care anymore,” someone responded.
Might this be the last we hear on the matter? Unlikely, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Mumtaz appears on a TV show for the first time. Watch new Indian Idol promo
Mumtaz surprised her fans as she appeared on a TV show for the first time on Wednesday. Sony Entertainment Television has shared a new promo for the upcoming episode of Indian Idol 13, which will feature Mumtaz and Dharmendra as guests. (Also read: When Mumtaz said no heroine except Waheeda Rehman ever spoke to her, did not even say hello)
Dressed in a shimmery golden outfit with large golden bangles and her hair styled in big waves, Mumtaz sat next to Dharmendra on the sets of the show. Dharmendra was seen in a formal grey suit. Both of them held hands as host Aditya Narayan introduced Mumtaz to the audience.
“Today is a special day due to two reasons. First, Dharmendra and Mumtaz are seen together after 50 years, two stalwarts of Hindi cinema. They did two films together. Loafer and Jheel Ke Uss Paar, both released in 1973. Secondly, she never went to any show despite thousands of requests. For the first time, she has come here on her own accord to meet her favourite singers,” he said. Fans of the veteran actor were excited to see her again. “My diva Mumtaz love u,” read a comment on Sony’s post.
The 74-year-old actor Mumtaz made her debut with the 1958 film Sone Ki Chidiya at the young age of 11. She went on to feature in several hit films with Rajesh Khanna and they were a popular onscreen couple. After a break of 13 years, she came back onscreen with Aandhiyan in 1990, but quit acting after that.
Mumtaz doesn’t live in India but interacts with her fans through her daughter’s Instagram account. During an Instagram Live, she spoke about the possibility of her comeback to movies. “Bollywood? I do not know. I am not sure if I will get the kind of role that really touches my heart and it will be nice and people will appreciate it.” She then added, as her daughter laughed, that, “First I will have to take my husband’s permission. He will say, ‘Okay you can do one’. Then maybe I will. Otherwise no.”
Dharmendra is still active in the movies and will soon be seen in Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.
Jennifer Anistons look in a Manish Malhotra lehenga in the Murder Mystery 2 trailer goes viral
Hollywood stars getting clicked in Indian wear these days is not a rare sight. There are plenty of accomplished designers in India who have had their designs picked by International singers and actors who have flaunted traditional wear at various events. The latest is none other than Jennifer Aniston who went for a gorgeous Manish Malhotra lehenga in her upcoming film Murder Mystery 2.
Jennifer looked stunning as always, what was even more beautiful is how she truly went Indian with her choice of accessories to finish the look. She was seen sporting a messy bun and Kundan chaandbaalis.
Manish Malhotra has been a go-to Indian designer for many stars, hence this does not come as a surprise.
Against the Tide review: Men at crossroads in Mumbai’s Koli fishing community
In a scene from Sarvnik Kaur’s Against the Tide, the only Indian documentary that premiered at Sundance Film Festival this year, a fisherman from the Koli community in Mumbai, named Rakesh, faces an extremely violent storm as he makes his way ahead. In this weather, there are far more chances of catching fish, he knows. Its a stark, wordless scene shot from behind- as Rakesh pulls his swaying boat ahead. In more ways than one, this scene combines the danger and faith that lies at the heart of this fragile, expansive film.
Rakesh is not the only one that Kaur is interested in. Her focus also shifts towards Ganesh, who has a larger boat and uses the modern fishing technology of using LED lights to catch fish. He has studied in Scotland, and has newer ideas. Rakesh, on the other hand, adheres to the fishing traditions that he had learnt from his father, and catches small amounts of fish near the dock, in the shallow waters. He will give into the allure of catching fish using a different, illegal technology, that will certainly harm the sea. Both Rakesh and Ganesh belong to the indigenous Koli community of Mumbai, and also happen to be friends. With shifting circumstances forcing them to confront their assumptions and lifestyles, Rakesh and Ganesh struggle to maintain their friendship.
The first component of Against the Tide that quickly settles in is the invisible lens that hovers around the lives of both these men. This is not a documentary where there are people who are speaking to the camera directly, and explaining their perspective. Neither Rakesh nor Ganesh are provided that structure of exposition- as Kaur fashions the film like a piece of narrative fiction; it almost blurs the lines between documentary and independent feature. This takes time to sink in, as there are scenes when the conversations tether around the edges of uncomfortable truths and realizations. Does the camera simply watch them as their friendship turns sour? Yet, Kaur never gives in, and aided with cinematographer Ashok Meena, lets the camera observe the two men from a paradoxical distance. The effect perplexes and illuminates, as the line between what is ‘real’ and what is partially ‘staged,’ becomes inevitable.
The cinéma vérité approach of Against the Tide (for which it won Special Jury Award for Verite Filmmaking at Sundance), examines the relationship between two men as a microcosm to expand on the larger unspoken evils that they cannot bridge- between tradition and modernity, the power dynamics built by the imbalance of class, and the inescapable structures of the Indian household. Only then does one realize why it works. Against the Tide is not interested in the skills and processes used for fishing- and this choice works to a perplexing degree of truthfulness. There is no gorgeous underwater sequences to romanticize the process. At most times, when Rakesh pulls in the net, there’s a ton of waste from which he has to manually pick the fish and throw away the rest. The work demands double the effort and patience, so where is the time for fooling oneself in seeing the beauty in it? Rakesh’s standpoint is enough to hint his concerns for a world headed towards the bitter reality of climate change. Kaur makes time to show how he preserves some amount of his home made food for the crows that settle on his roof, even on a harsh day of rainfall.
Against the Tide is stark and unrelenting in its transparency of a country where there is no language in expressing how the socio-economic divide has slowly eroded a community at large. The grievances of the Koli community alone is reflected in the later scenes when Rakesh will have to make a tough choice for the sake of his family. The editing by Atanas Georgiev and Blagoja Nedelkovski are effective in creating a specificity in the 97 minutes of screentime, even as Kaur never operates towards a grand resolution or payoff. In her film, neither of the men are villains. The bristle, cold tone might be frustrating to some, but is necessary to stay afloat in the harsh, unforgiving tide of capitalism.
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