Showing posts from August, 2010

Bhumika: The Role

Bhumika is the perfect title for this frustration-filled story of a film actor. Usha/Urvashi (Smita Patil) rises to every cinematic challenge she takes on - we see her on the sets of mythologicals, swashbucklers, period pieces, art films, and loves songs set among the flowers - but never masters that one assignment that we all face: living our actual lives. Her success in film roles far outshines her success off screen. Her marriage to her abusive, controlling, insecure husband Keshav (Amol Palekar) is a disaster, one or the other of them constantly screaming and hurling accusations as their horrified daughter looks on. I'm unclear what Keshav's relationship to Usha's family is (either a servant or colleague/friend), and the film implies that their marriage is mostly Usha's repayment to Keshav for taking care of her, her mother, and her grandmother when her father died, including taking her to meet a film producer (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). As adults and spouses, h

Sridevipalooza project: other finds

While I let the random number generator determine what videos I would write about for Sridevipalooz, I did not let it stop me from being tempted by youtube's suggested links and setting aside a few goodies for later. "Love Me Baby" from Patthar Ke Insaan (1990) See if your jaw drops at the same spot mine did. "Hai Rama" from Majaal (1987) While Sridevi's gold chain tiara is quite awesome, what I really love - and found pleasantly surprising - about this song are its dollar store accessories used to such pretty effect. Crepe paper streamers and feather dusters - I don't know if these are actually feather dusters, but that's what keeps coming to mind - provide such colorful billowing swooshiness (note the soft-focus effect at the beginning) and the synthesizers that kick in with the big spirals at around 3:30 are a perfect match. It's like a really good Project Runway -style challenge: "make a six-minute song sequence with only t

Sridevipalooza project: random video #5

"Ladki Akeli Tu Bhi Akela" from Waqt Ki Awaz (1988) This right here is why a person goes spelunking through youtube clips labeled "Sridevi." Sridevi and Mithun - my dil goes "Wheeeee!" at the very thought of their combination - do the twist, the robot, and that move where one partner runs away and the other one pretends to reel them back with a fishing pole. She wears a jumpsuit; he wears fingerless gloves. If all that weren't enough, I can't decide whose boots I like better: Mithun's sky blue cowboys or Sridevi's hot pink stilettos or? his duckling yellow or her gold? * This song made me smile. It may not be the fully-loaded cracktastic sparkling stage set I was hoping to discover, but it is entertaining and charmingly everyday. For example, it has but three sets of outfits once the song starts, and they are all in the primary color palette of red, yellow, and blue - and there's only one hat. Visually this is an uncomplicated

Sridevipalooza project: random video #4

Balidaan (1985) This clip is almost entirely devoid of Sridevi, but after discussing this problem with a friend who is both a Bollywood fan and a PhD candidate in cinema studies, I decided to keep it in the Sridevipalooza youtube spelunking project for three reasons: 1) the third shot in it is a crotch-centric angle on Jeetendra in a black leather suit, 2) Shakti Kapoor runs around in a Dharmendra-in- Dharam-Veer -esque leather latticework top, and 3) according to aforementioned PhD friend, it has "Russian constructivist editing, starting at around 7:44." I ask you, how often are those elements combined? Back to number 3. Celi explained to me that "Russian constructivist editing" involves very fast flashes of disparate images so that viewer understands some sort of meaning by their combination, "connecting otherwise unconnected images." My response was "This hurts my eyes!" (Two master's degrees and you still can't trust me w