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Showing posts from February, 2009

Huzzah! Sita Sings the Blues is available online!

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Scurry over to PBS (WNET New York's "Reel 13") and watch Nina Paley's superwow animated film Sita Sings the Blues ! "The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told" looks gorgeous, sounds delightful, and gives you a lot to think about. From the official site. Images © Nina Paley 2008. Some of my favorite parts: the discussant narrator puppets, musical Sita's hair, Hanuman's banana phone, the dancing moon and frogs, Laxman's tears, a peacock record player, and a riff very like Koi Mil Gaya 's computer's "om" tones as a glittering Laxmi rises out of the waves in the opening credits.

yawn: Rock On

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Yeah. What he said. The thing about reactions to and opinions about art and stories and things like that is that they're so personal and tied to individual experiences. So there's no reason for me to try to convince someone who liked Rock On or found it moving that it was, objectively, facile and transparent and shallow, but that's sure how it came across to me. Instead of listing out what didn't work for me - and how none of this rocked me even remotely - and in fact my general philosophy in life is that if you have to put "rock" in the title, your work probably isn't successfully rocking for itself - maybe I should just say that my favorite song (or musical scene) in this movie was the jokingly, drunkenly karaoked version of "I Will Survive." Purab Kohli, playing the most likable character, the very Ringo-y drummer. That was the only one that felt genuine to me, true to the character and the moment. The rest of this was obvious and dull -

Shash-buckler: Amar Shakti

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Since this will be at least the third blog post on Amar Shakti in as many months (first Antarra , then Memsaab ), I really don't have much to add to the conversation, even in screencaps. These two intrepid gals have comparative cast discussions, plot summary, and actual analysis covered - but even with all of those things accomplished elsewhere, how can a person not write about this film, at least a little bit? Amar Shakti may be " Dharam Veer Light," but because "light" only has meaning relative to each original product's nutritional information, not against some fixed standard of measured intake, it's still a feast of R(ecommended) M(asala) A(llowance) ingredients, and watching it leaves you feeling like a happily dazed glutton, blissed out on Shashi and swordfighting. Alternately, you might call Amar Shakti a poor woman's Dharam Veer, but it's "poor" only in the sense that Wall Street execs are poor with their new TARP $500,00

Delhi-6

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My ability to write anything fair or intelligent about this movie is seriously impaired by my apparent inability to read an email announcing that the movie was starting at 3:00, not 3:30. So I missed the beginning of the film - nahiiiiiin! I knew something was fishy when I pulled up to the theater and not a soul was outside or in the lobby. I'm not sure how much of the set-up of the story I missed and how that impacted my understanding of the rest of it. For example, I have no idea what the problem was between the two families who shared the brick wall. Anyway. As with Rang De Basanti , many of the messages of Delhi-6 were moving, but the symbolism and delivery were a bit much for me. The police officer was so slimy, the village idiot and garbage cleaner were treated so badly, that it was hard to get on board with the "people of Delhi are so big-hearted" idea, as much as I may want to believe such a thing, or to take them as anything other agents of broad, stock idea

Get off the sofa!

And learn the ending dance from Slumdog Millionaire ! Video here . My favorite thing about this, other than giving me a chance to look slightly less idiotic, is how teacher Marshie Perera Rajakumar puts the moves in terms of a Bollywood hero - which is how I imagine Sunny Deol learning his choreography, especially that stomp-dance thing he does in Jeet . "Sunny, now, imagine you're a Bollywood hero...yes, you can imagine you are your dad...as a lumberjack squashing a bug that is threatening to ruin your picnic with Karisma." Does anyone else remember the late-night tv ads for an instructional dance video during the Back Street Boys era called Darren's Dance Grooves , for which one of the promotional points was "I [Darren] break it down, so you can dance along"? Courtesy of alert and awesome reader Temple.

Holiday in Bombay

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The title tells us everything we need to know: We're on vacation in the big city - where anything can happen - and the happily askew font is a promise that jolly times lie ahead! In our cinematic suitcase: Old friends (or half-brothers, or cousins - I couldn't pin down what their relationship is) Nath (Shashi Kapoor) and Gautam (Rajendra Nath), who are super excited to be in Bombay. Their friend Shambunath, who has a good job and great apartment in the city. When Shambunath tries to tell them that he's also added another good thing to the list, they leap to very reasonable conclusions: "Yes, boys, I got a rocket. That makes sense." Actually, he's acquired a wife, the funny and spunky Sharda. Sharda likes her husband's friends, and she gets her aunt to help them find a place to stay in the city. New digs in a chawl, managed by the mean and meddlesome Mr. Hanuman (Dhumal). Love interests! Gautam's is Seema (Naseem Banu), whose father, a b