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Showing posts from January, 2006

completely unrelated, but - tag!

Rock and roll lifestyle has tagged me to do the nine quartets thingy, but since she put hers on her non-Bollywood blog, I will too. So here it is. It's even less Bollywoody than the last tag I did.

Oh! I have great news! Rang De Basanti is showing at our art theater in February! I was so afraid they weren't going to do any more Indian movies - they hadn't since October - but it looks like the series is back in full force. I'm going to start taking a bit magic marker to the calendar to cross off the days. It's that exciting.

by geniuses for geniuses

Josh has informed me of bombay tv, a French website that lets you put subtitles on short clips of old Hindi films. This is quite possibly the most fun you can have online. Josh's creation involves replacing someone's coffee with Folger's crystals. Sure to upset many a happy home and a perfectly reasonable reason to exile your son, leave your new wife, etc.

you deserve a major movie star today

I had forgotten how much I enjoy Bollywood stars' commercials - for example, Aish, Rani, Hrithik, and Aamir frolicking around for Coke and SRK, Saif, Preity, and Kareena for Pepsi. I like that in some of these they're actually acting - pretending to be college students or anonymous writers in an email relationship - so the company gets the recognition of their faces, but they don't always have to say, unimaginitively, "I'm Bollywood's most respected actor and I like xyz product." And even my disbelief suspenders can handle 45-second minifilmi.

These also have the srange appeal of being largely incomprehensible, and I happily drift along in the magical world of universally recognizable stock behaviors and corporate logos. In Aamir's "Piyo Sar Utha Ke," for example, I can tell that some touching and inspiring moments are happening and that Aamir is telling me how they make life special and deserve to be accompanied by Coke, but I have no idea …

"audiences don't mind the unimaginable"

"Age Doesn't Mater in Bollywood," but I think the quote above, from the bit on SRK in KKHH, says it all. If we like actors, we're much more ready to take them in any role, no matter how absurd. Not completely ready, of course, as every now and then we are collectively repulsed. It would be an interesting study to see how this phenomenon plays out in various cinemas around the world. I'm sure Hollywood does it all the time but I'm having trouble thinking of an example - the things that leap to mind are notable because of the age difference between the male and female leads, not necessarily because of the age of the actor compared to that of his character. I know it's common in tv, when 20somethings regularly play high school studens.

Main Hoon Na of course plays it just right - we get our beloved SRK in the golden plot mine of college, but there's no pretending he's 22. Instead we pretend he's 30, but that's a little easier to swallow with …

Earth

I finally go to watch Earth. Wow. Just amazing. The thing that really stood out for me, other than how horrible a time and place in history that must have been, is how life can contain chaos and clarity, community and rift, subtle joys and dramatic emotion all at the same time - the contradictions we all contain within mix with those we navigate in the world and other people. Now that I think about it, Deepa Mehta's other movies portray this too, but the differences seemed so harsh here, ranging from ice cream to betrayal in one brief exchange.

a librarian's work is never done

I have moved my response to AFJ's 8 things tag to my other blog, Pies Men Like, becuase it seemed to be a better fit over there. It has a bit of a Bollywood flavor anyway, though. No matter how I try I cannot contain my love of BW to just this site, despite my attempts at classification.

Speaking of which, I wonder what ths LCSH for this blog would be?
Motion pictures--India--Periodicals
Motion pictures--India--Reviews
Motion pictures--India--Personal narratives

librarian unleashed

The thought of you lovely readers not being able to quickly identify whether I had written about a particular movie was breaking my inner librarian's heart. So I made you an index, also linked from the sidebar thingy over there on the right. I promise to update it as much as possible.

Also, the college competition sign index has been updated with KKHH.

I don't think you want to send that to your loved ones at home.

Does anyone else think the raaga.com Citibank ad lady really sounds like she's saying "roofie checking account" as opposed to the more traditional currency? Take a listen.

lunchtime poll #2: Bollywood and your emotional self

Alright, even though the last time I posed a poll question the results were few, I'm going to try again, because I'm very curious.

Here's the question*: as Bollywood watchers, do you feel that Bollywood - its conventions, devices, vocabulary, and/or the behaviors of characters - affects the way you consider, manager, and/or respond to your own emotions?

I think the easiest example of what I'm talking about is how you deal with other people - you find yourself giving into the temptation to overromanticize things, to view interpersonal relationships as either a true match or a true evil, to make things bigger and simpler than they really are, to find big meaning in actions or words that are really more nuanced and more contextualized than they are sweeping. Or, just more broadly, you think that life will work the way it does in Bollywood.

In other words - do you find yourself wearing Bollywood-colored glasses? My answer, pretty obviously, is "heck yeah!"

* Apologie…