Gehry & Calatrava: The Set Designers Meet Sivaji: The Boss

Spectacularious music video for "Style," a song from Shankar's Sivaji: The Boss [2007], the most expensive and highest grossing Indian film in history. It was shot on location in Spain, and stars Rajnikanth [b. 1950], the superstar of Tamil cinema, as a--oh, who cares what the plot is? We've come a long way from watching bad VHS dubs on "Namaste America" [Saturday night on Manhattan Cable's leased time channel], let me tell you.

This was my favorite production blurb from Sivaji: The Boss:

5. The team of Shankar saw important footages of most of Rajnikanth's films since his debut in 1975. They found that Rajnikanth looked best in Padikkadavan (1985) film. Then Shankar summoned the make-up artist to come up with a similar hairdo for Rajnikanth 22 years later.

6. Rajnikanth donned 15 different hair styles for this film. He also tonsured his head and shaven off his mustache for a get-up in this film. A make-up artist from France is flown in for this purpose.

Until I found this. Turns out they used CG to lighten Rajnikanth's skin in "Style," to show "how the superstar would look had he been a European." They cloned the skin tone of a British backup dancer frame by frame. Took over a year.

Which I guess makes Rajnikanth the Tamil Bruce Willis and Sivaji: The Boss the Indian Hudson Hawk.

Here's a higher-quality version of "Style" than the one at [via afc]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: November 16, 2009.

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