R.I.P. Kumar Pallana. “Kumar Pallana made every film he was in better,” writes Slate’s Justin Peters, remembering the actor as Wes Anderson’s muse and filmdom’s least competent safecracker. The 94-year-old Pallana passed away last week on October 10. Today’s audiences may know him best for his appearances in Anderson’s films. But Pallana, who was born in India in 1918 and came to the U.S. in 1946, also appeared in 1950s Westerns, Captain Kangaroo and the Mickey Mouse Club before appearing in Bottle Rocket. It wasn’t easy, as he told Esther Wu of the Dallas Morning News in 2004:
“Back then, Indians couldn’t even get one foot in the door at the studios. There just weren’t that many roles for Indians.
“Oh sure, I got work — but I played a different sort of Indian,” he said with a chuckle. In the 1950s, Mr. Pallana was cast in such films as Broken Arrow, with Jimmy Stewart, and Viva Zapata, with Marlon Brando.
Things are different these days. “Now Indians can actually play Indians in American films,” he said.
Cyclone Phailin hits India. Named for the Thai word for sapphire, Cyclone Phailin was fierce, as this NDTV anchor who was present when it hit the coast in Odisha, India, experienced. But mass evacuation and preparedness helped India limit the toll, according to Time Magazine. While the full extent of damage and devastation has yet to emerge, the Associated Press reported 17 fatalities as of Sunday night. Ten thousand people died the last time a storm as powerful as Phailin hit India. [Time, AP, CNN]
— UNISDR (@unisdr) October 13, 2013
Where do you lie on the Malala scale? That’s the question writer Sarah Munir asks in her opinion piece about the changing conversation surrounding Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai. “It was no longer about condemning a barbaric attack on a minor who dreamt of getting an education and was made to a pay a life-threatening price for it. Instead it became about everything from drones to foreign policy to Western imperialism to the ‘white man’s burden’ and even parenthood!” Munir shares where she proudly stands on the Malala scale. [h/t Aby Sam Thomas, The Huffington Post]