I’m finally here! I’ve never been to Calcutta before (when I’ve come to India, it’s usually been to visit relatives in Bombay or Gujarat).
[Before I continue, I think I should mention that the film “City of Joy” is not what Calcutta (or India) is like; I’m sure that any reasonable person who’s seen that movie would immediately recognize that it’s nothing more than an incredibly Eurocentric, reductionist version of a city and country that is complex and diverse. Since we’re shooting here, I had to make mention of it; hopefully “The Namesake” will replace “City of Joy” as the known filmic representation of Calcutta.]
It’s taken a few days to catch up on sleep and adjust (I still wake up around 4 or 5 in the morning and have random jet-lag-induced narcoleptic episodes every afternoon). The Calcutta press has been very interested in the film, and a few of them have stationed themselves in and around our hotel. Tabu and Irfan are revered and respected, and I’m curious to see how chaotic the shooting gets when we go outdoors.
Yesterday evening there was a press conference to talk about the film, writing, casting, and so on. It was the first time I realized how truly global the film is. For those of you who are interested, it is a 3-way financing deal between a Japanese company, American studio, and Indian corporation. The story, from my perspective, has always been universal, and I hope it is received that way.