Showing posts from March, 2006

balle balle in the most sincere and superwow way

I'm going to India!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This summer! I have been selected to participate in a Fulbright-Hays summer seminar for educators, and the program I'm in is called "Broadening the Knowledge Base on India." You can read about it here and also see a list of the places I'll be going. And that's about all I know so far - I am waiting a big formal packet from the US Department of Education ("Plenty of Children Left Behind, Thanks Very Much") with more information. But in the meantime - YAY!!!!!! And to my dear penfriends in India - Obi Wan, trivialmatters, and AFJ (anyone else?) - your towns are all on my itinerary.... update to post March 30, 2006: Look who sent me a note! update to post (March 31, 2006): linky to my trip blog , which will have a better description when I figure out a fancier or funnier thing to call it

the ugliest shirt ever: Ishq Vishk

Note to the person who recommend this to me: I'm really sorry, but I didn't like this at all. But I'm glad you did, and I'm even more glad you kept watching Bollywood. My own first film, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! , seems not to be terribly popular either, so I write this to you with empathy. Not to start out with a snarky note or anything, but this to me was the most noteworthy thing about this movie. Not only is the shirt really bad, it also has a vest over it, the wearer's sunglasses match it, and it's worn while swinging on a rope over the cheering crowd. Not a good set-up, but look: You can guess what sank it. It's the arms. I have never seen even Hrithik or Salman in something so ridiculously muscle-flaunting. I mean, I guess I'm glad for equal opportunity, since cut-out clothing with tiny strings holding bits of fabric together is usually swathed on women. But this is so tacky. I know, I know, many of you may argue that there are gaudier, meshier, mo

I heart Paheli

I have been waiting forever to see this. I kept thinking the video store would get it, but no, and it was never in at the grocery store. So, after an esteemed advisor told me he thought I would love it, I just gave in and bought it. And zowee was he right. What a beautiful, touching movie - full of color and light, choices and love, footsteps and anklets, murals and puppets. No particular time, no particular schedule, just gently and with care telling this lovely story, watching what happens when individuals make choices. It raised so many interesting questions but never threw them in your face; instead, options played out, drenched in sun and color and quiet yet dearly-felt emotions. Whom should you choose: the one who loves you but might be too good to be true? or the one who is completely real but blunders, not knowing anything and probably too afraid to try? the accountant you know or the ghost you don't? And what a miserable, dreadful ending. I don't think I've ev

Beth Loves Seth?

I don't know what is going on in my head, but somehow over the last few days I am finding the wisdom and solace that I ususally rely on Bollywood for in... the OC . I am midway through season two and more addicted than ever. As a long-time 90210 junkie it is really no surprise this show has grabbed me, but it's got an extra little sarcastic edge that does me in. The bad kid loves Journey. The good kid requires a social-life strategy session before school each day. The girl we hate to love watches a show called the Valley that, when snippets are heard in the background, quotes her lines from previous episodes. Plus, you know, making fun of Peter Gallagher's eyebrows. Quotable lines from this binge include "You're the bad boy. You're supposed to lead me into temptation, not to homeroom" and, about a deep and difficult problem that is different from others previously borne, "It's different.... Different as in not fixed by pancakes. And don't

you know, it tastes Bollywoody

Okay, not really. But I am still delighted to have found this at my local grocery store. Trolling Devon in Chicago turned up no celebrity-emblazoned packaging, but the IGA in walking distance from my house came through. Is SRK actually on Lux packaging or just in ads? Because I would love some SRK soap.

another site to bookmark

My friend Kamla, of Talk News India , has a new website, the Kamla Bhatt Show . She digs into an amazing range of topics - technology and culture and media - and is really engaging. Go! Read! Listen!

I'm with her. The D is definitely for "deewana": Disco Dancer

I watched Disco Dancer four days ago and I still don't know what to say. What could I possibly add to the conversation about a movie like this? Teleport City and Gorilla's Lament have gleefully pointed out its joys and foibles, how it is both sugar-frosted seductively ridiculous and far too easy to make fun of. So go read their reviews and imagine me saying "Totally! What they said!" Starburst-from-a-streetlamp highlights include: I actually liked some of the music - or rather, I would happily select it out of a pre-2000-Hindi-film-music-only jukebox. the dancing was delightful - I can't say it was good , exactly, but it certainly was fun. I hadn't realized disco involved so much tippy-toe prancing. somehow I really enjoy Sam, even though he's a perfectly awful cartoonish villain, stumbling around with bottle and syringe and falling off his debauched bedroom's raised platform floor. I mean, I don't think the poor guy was ever very secure in h

if only it came in pill form

Head is swimming with goodness. I just went down the hall at work to the medicine cabinet, looking for tylenol to fight off a very bad headache (so bad it made me wonder if people who practice traphaning may in fact be on to something), and I was introduced to one of our new student employees who lo and behold loves Bollywood too! We've just had a spirited conversation from Sholay (her: "I can't believe he dies!" me: "Me too, me too!") to Bunty Aur Babli (her: "They're so cute!" me: "I know! It's so pink and happy!" her: "It's great!") So I add to my list of things I like about Bollywood its persistently rose-colored powers. You have to know where to look, but I've learned. It's hard to maintain a self-indulgent melancholy when you're watching Rani do her Lucille Ball hommage, seeing a really good arm-fling, or overwhelmed by rollicking pink cheer.

Move over, life! I have Bollywood to attend to!

Other things have overrun my mind lately, but never fear, I will be back soon. And what better way to return than with my thoughts on Disco Dancer ? In the meantime, I leave you with a lovely thought from an insightful friend I know through this blog: do everything you can to value people fully. Although I've never heard that in a film, it seems a Bolly way to approach life, hai na?

the meme for nagging filmi mothers everywhere

The much-quoted Gorilla's Lament has gotten his revenge and tagged me to do a guilt meme. So it's over here . I tag Obi Wan and AFJ and any other Bollyblogger who is so inclined because I'm really curious as to what else they like to spend their time doing in secret.But, you know, don't feel bad if you don't want to. It's not as though I worked really, really hard writing this up.


Black is beautiful. I don't really know what else to say about it. It's a little emotionally manipulative, a little heavy on the attempt to inspire, the characters a little broad and shallow, but I very much enjoyed watching it. Not so much the story but the performances and the visuals. I loved the not-quite-defined time period, the Indo-Euro mishmash house that was more like a gallery than a home, the storybook village that was really only safe if you knew where you were. Rani and Amitabh handled their unoriginal parts with grace, energy, and just the right amount of humor. Although I haven't seen The Miracle Worker , there so many other familiar threads here - misfit grizzly type with one last chance to save himself, angry young person softened when she can reach out to others, jealous-but-loving family member - that the whole package was familiar. But it didn't matter. Certain story devices and themes are reused so often because they work, and these worked sufficie

L'amour est l'amitié?

Quelquechose se passe dans mon coeur. Because I am a humongous nerd, I decided to watch a bit of KKHH with the French subtitles tonight, French being the only other language I know even remotely well enough to follow at subtitle speed. It's trippy to have three languages bouncing around in my head, since I've remembered a handful of the Hindi here by now, and sometimes I have to run the French back into English before I truly recognize it anyway. Their trip to Scotland is made even more scenic, Anjali's tears even more poignant, Rahul's lines even sparkier by the accent marks. Quelquechose s'est passé.

Emergency! Giant sparkly mothballs - stat!

I hate to badmouth a project starring my fake-pretend movie boyfriend, but honestly, what are they wearing? I can sort of forgive his ensemble (and not just because Akshaye's inside it). It's 80s-esque in a slightly gaudy way, but nothing out of the ordinary except for the shoes, which, if it were up to me, would be pink to better match the graffiti on his shirt (there might be red in there too, I can't quite see, but pink's a little more nutty, don't you think?). But hers. Also 80s-esque, but I think it misfired, and I blame the butterfly. Her top is just silly, but the ragged rising top layer begs a cause-and-effect with Midriff-Mothra here. Is the butterfly attached to the shirt with a little silver thread? Like it might actually fly away and it needs to be on a leash? And how does that work when you get dressed - is it separate and you clip one end of the leash to one part of your outfit and the other to the butterfly? At least she won't lose it when she

Which quotable quote should I use as the title for my post on Mr. India?

My favorite is "Mogambo is pleased," but that seems too easy. Finally! Mr. India ! I've been looking for this for awhile - by which I mean I kept re-checking the video store online catalog, hoping they purchased it - and was delighted to see it at the grocery store. The man who works there (whose name I really must learn, as I inkle he's going to feature prominently in my life for the next little while) approved of my choice and then told me to watch Black , which has been on my list for ages but I never feel quite up to it. Anyway. Last fall I met someone who said she used to think Anil Kapoor was the dreamiest, and something in this movie made me see that, I think when he was romping around with Sridevi on the beach. He often looks like he enjoys being in movies, and that's hard to resist. This movie wins the award for "masala-iest" of the 72 movies I've seen (yes, I have a spreadsheet). I can't think of a Bollywood component that didn'

A for effort

I won't say where or who, but I have just heard an ensemble of many, I think seven, people attempt a version of "It's the Time to Disco" from KHNH. I was so very excited when the MC announced the song. I started dancing in my chair as the synthesizer kicked in. But I really had to stop myself from rushing the stage and grabbing the mic away because they just didn't do it justice - and I could have, as one of the singers had the lyrics printed out and was holding them while singing. However, I have at least three people who now want to see the real thing - so it was all for the greater good.

When it has to be seen to be believed...

buy your own dang copy of Disco Dancer . Which I have just done. Hurrah!