Showing posts from May, 2011


Bawandar , based on the true story of gang rape victim Bhanwari Devi and her struggle for justice, is the kind of film you don't want to write about because you don't want to think about it anymore, but you do so anyway because to ignore the story feels cowardly, like being part of the problem. I will admit I don't have the heart right now to read thoroughly about the real-life case of Devi (Nandita Das, every bit as amazing as you'd expect), but from the articles I have skimmed it seems the film presents only some of the injustice, deliberately blinkered pronouncements, and damaging attitudes converging dangerously on her life. In the film, the people with power follow their own agendas with little or no compassion for or interest in the facts and their contexts. Almost everyone in the film seems determined to maintain the broken system of which they are a part, trampling human rights and basic kindness and decency from the gut-wrenching level of basic personal s

Love in Canada

No, it's not about Matthew Perry or Michael J. Fox or William Shatner...or a tell-all from my graduate school years at the University of Toronto. To celebrate finally booking my flight to Toronto for the 2011 IIFAs, here are some excerpts from a 1978 Filmfare article on the film Love in Canada called "Vinod Mehra: Shooting the Canadian Way ." My status as an hono(u)rary Canadian demands I share this 70s take on Indo-Canadian interpersonal relations in the true north and star Vinod Mehra's thoughts on working in contemporary Hindi films, complete with snark from me in brackets. "Love in Canada" deals with the problems that arise when people belonging to two different cultures and used to two different ways of life try to come closer. It is the story of a brain surgeon settled in Canada. His attitude towards life is still basically Indian. He does not like the [presumably white, going by the pictures] Canadian girl with whom he falls in love dancing cheek

"Ramu the He-Goat"?!?!

Mithun costarring with...a goat...who is a graduate...of "Devar's Film Institute of Animals"*! WOW. Does anyone know if this school is just part of the film or is it a real thing? I looong for it to be a real thing, producing top-notch graduates who feature in films for decades, including superstars like Moti, Charles, Pedro, and the Subliminal Marmoset featured in the Animalympics . from Filmfare , September 16–30, 1978 * PS I strongly advise against googling "Devar's Film Institute of Animals." Baaaaad things happen.

"The Jennifer I Knew": Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal pictures from Filmfare

This lovely Shashi-authored photograph collection was published in the December 1–15, 1984 issue of Filmfare . I was ethically torn over blogging these: they're not my photos to share, but the bittersweetness of them tugged at my heartstrings until I let them loose on you. Look at them in New York in 1963: part standard tourists seeing the sights squinting against the sun and wind, part easy, bouyant confidence of critical acclaim for the struggling artist, part the curve of her coat against the straight flagpoles. DIL SQUISH.

Mosagallaku Mosagaadu

Next up in an eventual trilogy of posts on films by director K. S. R. Doss, all courtesy of Todd of Die Danger Die Die Kill : Mosagallaku Mosagaadu , a film I've been calling Vintage Pastel Telugu Cowboys because I have no idea how to pronounce its proper title. In my defense "vintage pastel Telugu cowboys" evokes quite a lot of the fun of this 1971 romp through the deserts of Rajasthan and the closets of a local production of Oklahoma with a heavy splash of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly .* This post is going to sound an awful lot like my writeup of the last Doss film I saw, James Bond 777 , because I found many of their shared features very attractive and gleefully fun to experience. If you read that post and are in a rush at the moment, you'll get the gist of what I'm about to say by mentally replacing any kind of reference to "spies/espionage" with "cowboys/treasure," "black and white" with "candy store," and "g

an interview with Shashi Kapoor from Filmfare August 8, 1975

As promised, here is the text of Bikram Vohra's interview with Shashi Kapoor entitled "Shashi Kapoor: I'm playing a Class 'C' Stuntman," a photo from which is in my previous post of Shashi goodies from the 1975 Filmfare s . Photo by Dhiraj Chawda. There is something very disturbing about film stars who will not conform. A man expects them to behave in an extraordinary manner so he can make good, readable copy bouncing them round. Now take Shashi Kapoor. He's a bit of a spoilsport. Not only does he answer the telephone himself, he said, let's meet around eight o'clock tomorrow. I said, could we make it a little earlier in the evening (there's no percentage in working after hours). He said, I meant in the morning. I said, morning, but you won't be awake till eleven. And he said, I wake at six every day. This I had to see, I mean, it was a filmland first. Five to one he'd be dead to the world, sleeping off last night's riotous party