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lunchtime poll #7: critieria for and choices of Foundation Masala Films

Superwow! Thank you for all the great responses to the Foundation Masala question! (This concept merits capital letters, I think.) I kept starting to write up my response and then someone else would post something that gave me more to think about. Like Temple said in the comments, your responses remind me how much I have to learn and how many movies there are I need to get my hands on. The overwhelming top Foundation Masala Film in the comments of the last post was Amar Akbar Anthony. Unfortunately, I've only seen it once and don't feel I knew enough when I saw it to appreciate its full impact and to talk about it intelligently much further. It is most definitely going on the rewatch list pronto. Do aur Do Paanch, Duniya Meri Jeb Mein, Geeta Mera Naam, Mard, Naseeb, Sholay, Suhaag, and Yaadon Ki Baaraat also got multiple votes.

On whom can we rely to deliver the goods? Behind the camera, Shweta voted for Manmohan Desai, GP Sippy, and Subhash Ghai. Interestingly, readers don…

lunchtime poll #7: foundation masala films

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Inspired by Temple's concept of "foundation masala" (in the comments on Karz) and Rum's very excellent essay on the various states within the new nation of Masala Pradesh, here's a question for anyone who wants to take it up: what's on your Superwow Masala list and why? What do you consider essential viewing? (Those two descriptors might not always overlap.) Which films define or exemplify the idea of a masala movie? And spinning off of the core list, which films do you love or admire for their variations on the theme (e.g. disco masala)?

I don't want to flat-out ask "What makes a movie masala?" - I'd rather let that arise out of everyone's answers. There are many other masala -related quesitons to explore, and no doubt many other sites and authors and cinema studies graduate students have done so; if this experiment works the way I hope, we'll take a stab at them too. The kind of stab you take at the man who ruined your father/humili…

Rishi-licious disco masala: Karz

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My favorite thing about Karz just might be that it helped bring about Om Shanti Om. I don't know how exaclty OSO came about or how strong the ties are in Farah Khan's mind between the two films (and I don't mean to overstate them), but I think she did some great work with what she found in Karz. Personally, I think OSO is the stronger and more enjoyable film - it's a lot sharper and funnier, and that's what I tend to like.* That's probably not a very fair assessment ot make, though (but might be a good discussion for later: what responsibilities does an original work have for what later people do based on it or how they interpret it?) So let's pretend for a minute that we live in a terrible world in which Farah never saw Karz - nahiiiin! - or, more easily, that I saw this movie about a year ago, before Om Shanti Om came out. In that case, I'd have to say the best, self-contained thing about the movie is Rishi. I'm sort of surprised to hear myself sa…

more on Heyy Babyy

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It could've been worse, but it could've been a lot better. The baby and the camaraderie of the three male leads make it watchable, but I had trouble making its pieces add up into anything coherent and reasonable in either story or message.

Let's investigate. First, the things I liked:
As noted, cutest baby evah (Angel, played by little Juanna Sanghvi).

All movie children now have a new, impossibly high standard of charm to live up to. I thought the clips of her were very well integrated into the movie. They must have had a camera on her for aaaages to capture all those different expressions and gestures while wearing the proper outfit for the scene. I never felt like she was just on a sound stage away from the shoot - she always looked right for what was going on. The Angel's-eye view of the dads leaning over her and goofing around was fun too. I have to give the filmmakers many points for their handling of the baby, both as a character in the story and as a logistical co…

livebloggyy/FFyy Heyy Babyy

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Aaaah work is really busy and stuff so I haven't written up Waqt or Pyar Ka Mausam from two weeks ago despite Asha Parekh's giant fish-shaped hair accessory! Aaah! I didn't have enough energy to face those projects today (and there's also the slight chance that last week I fell into a black hole of old tv shows starring Rob Morrow), so instead I started watching Heyy Babyy. Until I can write something better, here's a selection from my notes. By the way, the responsibility for me watching this movie belongs to Riteish Deshmukh, because I wanted to know if he was as good in it as he was in the Unforgettable Tour, and Shahrukh Khan. (Sorry for the capital letters. They're easier to type than italics when I'm trying to keep up with the movie.)
0:07:14 FOR REAL with the spraying white stuff on women?




0:08:00 Aw, the girl in Fardeen's bed is white (and blonde). Riteish's girl is white (and blonde). Aw, Akshay's is too. Awwww. White women are trampy. Ye…