Monday Morning Questions Post, the Week I Move Apartments!

Happy Monday!  I am writing this from my parent’s guest room, because my apartment is now so packed up, it has become unlivable.  So this will be a bit of an odd week in Margaret-world, hiding out in the back bedroom at my parents and occasionally “visiting” my real place to put a few more things in boxes.  But that just means all the more reason you should ask me stuff and distract me!

As always, you can ask me anything from questions about my personal relationship with the films (“What are the DVDs you brought with you to your parents’ because you couldn’t stand to be without them for a week?”) to specific factual questions if you are new to the films (“why is it harder and harder to buy Indian film DVDs?”) to general discussion questions (“which are better, DVDs or streaming?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Otherwise, it’s no fun for me (plus, as site admin, I like to set the tone for the discussion).  But once I have answered, feel free to jump in with your own responses or follow up questions or anything!

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111 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post, the Week I Move Apartments!

  1. This is a site question: Having seen Bahubali 2 at last I have been trying to get to your first post on it. Winding my way back through the posts, when Iclicked on the link to part 1 from part 2, it brought me to your Pride & Prejudice post, not part 1 of Bahubali. A search didn’t get me there either. So please help!

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  2. Is there a Game of Thrones fan over here?

    If yes, what are his views on Robert’s rebellion not beong a part of Game of thrones prequels and spin off?

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    • I am not a Game of Thrones’ fan, so anyone else can answer. although you might have better luck on a different website/chatroom that is for American TV/fantasy/Game of Thrones or something more closely related.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Possibly, I do like watching big summer blockbusters in the theater.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:05 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I kind of care for opinions and perspectives more than facts or values. So, feel free not to answer my question.

    I see a lot of Hollywood movies. On TV I can show it to my family and almost always there are plot points missing. There are cut scenes to make it ‘clean’. This kind of effects viewing experience. Most of the cut scenes are nude scenes. Do you really think nudism is over portrayed in movies? May be because of my age (25), do I find it completely off putting (in a sexual way) and distract me from the boiling plot?
    I would like to have someone older than age and been through all ‘this’, to explain if they are sensitive to it. Or if it adds anything to the plot at all.

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    • I am 27 if it counts old
      I dont find nudity or gore distracting. Gore can make some movies better like Logan. It all depends on the movie. I have seen Game of thrones many times uncut. I dont fond anything distracting.
      On TV everything is cut now a days. Swear words from Hindi movies are cut. Censor board is a hypocrite now.
      I have seen those moviea uncut with my mother. She never objected. She objects to item songs.

      But it all depends on u.
      I think thay u should watch the movies for content.

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      • I do watch them for content but it always worries me. Do they have to show her assets in a raw picture. Why can’t they use a blurry or a black paint?
        My question is what is this stupid obsession of entire USA made content with nudity. With more web series on rise there are more and more scenes of nude. I am okay with Gore though.
        I am like Margaret here while watching movies. I always fill in emotion in places where movies don’t concentrate on it or care to show it at all in the same way I substitute plot points in Indian movies. But all this is somehow distracted by this sexism and all. Don’t they feel uncomfortable say, seeing someone thrusting into someone for good long minute amidst the whole hall of people of both the sexes?

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        • It is an issue in America, there is a lot of debate about it and how our films and popular culture are getting increasingly sexual and increasingly violent. Part of it is that there are few family options left, that is, products made for parents and children to watch together and enjoy together. If the assumption is that only adults are watching certain products, the sex and violence just goes out of control because it is thought that no one will mind.

          On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:28 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • This is exactly my issue. What message are we giving with so much pervasive, or aggressive to be precise,
            adult elements in the movie ?
            How is the audience composition vary like in America? Like do they go out in packs like whole families do in India, or do they go in groups.
            I read a strange article about a woman as frustrated as I am, to see a sensual scene and her boy friend’s advances on her right there in the cinema and then when she denied it he pointed out to some other couple in the row behind doing it there. It felt odd and creepy to me reading about that. Doesn’t that say something?

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          • In America, since about the 1990s, the main audience that films have been aimed at is teenagers. The thinking is that they have enough disposable income to buy movie tickets, but not do anything else. I don’t necessarily agree with this thinking, but there it is.

            Families don’t see movies together. Unless the children are really too small to be left alone in theaters. Once they get to be 12-14, they are left at the theaters in groups of friends and picked up by their parents later. Grandparents and the older generation would never see a film with their grandchildren. Everything is divided along generation lines. So there are very childish films for kids, so childish that parents don’t want to see them. And then this huge burst of films for teens, everything with a little bit of sex and violence so they can feel grown up, but with no big mature themes to it that will challenge them. And then very very rarely, there will be a film aimed for true adults with big ideas to it.

            The American audience has sort of gotten used to this, we just accept that every theater will be filled with teenagers and every film will have immature comedy. It’s part of the reason that myself, and a lot of commentators on this blog, find Indian films so refreshing. Because they are still trying to attract the full audience, children and adults, not just part of the audience.

            On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:53 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I recently saw an article which explained the top 10 grossers of 2016 and guess what Zootopia was in it. I was shocked. Then I looked at history and found out a lot more about animation motion pictures being in top grossers like Minions, Despicable me, adventures of tin tin. Now that you mentioned I understood why they were commercial and critical success. They attracted family crowds.
            I love my mom. We go to movies together and we love 3d. We have a prime subscription and cable ( much cheaper in India) to watch content. 3d isn’t available at all so I go for torrents. We bought 3d TV just for this. When I finally went on to watch 3d at home it had sex and nudity in 3d. That’s something beyond my comprehension. What irks me is that it’s awkward to watch it with my mom than with my dad. It doesn’t mean we don’t have ‘discussions’ but they are purely educational not explicit. My mom is the best viewing buddy because we are both philosophical and discuss things beyond what is shown. (Part of reason why I am loving this blog – like my mom).
            This whole nudity thing puts us off and when I realize there are these sex scenes I ask my mom to watch in my absence and she doesn’t because it’s no longer fun or enlightening.
            We both read a LOT of books with a wide ranging topics. So, discussions are very varied.
            For excellent plot lines Hollywood offers, like Interstellar, nudity only puts it off. What’s your opinion on this lack of opportunities to converse between family members snatched away by Hollywood? I

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        • It depends on person to person. It is not that every Hollywood movie has nudity in it. Rambo is all action with no sex.
          I dont find nudity as sexist or distracting.
          I dont understamd ur second point.

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        • Ten years ago I was watching the movie ‘Vanilla Sky’ in TV along with my mother-in-law and father-in-law. Suddenly there was a scene of love making between Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. My in-laws were in shock and embarassment 🙂

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      • I am 68, and American. As a college professor, I have taught Popular Culture, though not film. The effectiveness of nudity (and violence and profanity) depends on the film, but also very much on the viewer. The “acceptability”, in my opinion, is all in the eyes of the beholder, and their attitudes are shaped by culture. A nude scene can be very effective from an artistic point, but distracting or offensive to one or more members of the audience.

        It is hard to characterize Americans — or any large, diverse culture — but in general we have had a puritanical streak when it comes to nudity and sex. But there is also a thriving business in internet porn, especially in the most conservative religious areas.

        (Apologies to Margaret for answering before her!)

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        • I am so glad you weighed in. I wanted more intellectual and elderly, I mean experienced cross generational, opinion on this.

          When it is artistic, like in Titanic I totally get it. But recently I watched a horror movie in which the scene is you chase after your BF with a gun to find him killed by a masked man only to find him following the girl. I get it that they just had sex, but is it really needed to show her nude walking into street with a gun in her hand and with a camera long shot. How often do you see people nude on street?
          Where is it driving American culture from where?

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          • I don’t mind being called “elderly” :), though life is just a blink, I know that’s how I may seem to younger people. Perhaps it will help to remember that not all Americans see or enjoy all films. There is a market for every genre. I have never seen a Quentin Tarantino or Clint Eastwood movie; they just don’t appeal to me. I only saw Godfather 1. This isn’t necessarily generational. I have an older friend who loves horror/thriller films, and the gorier the better.

            The beauty of modern internet culture is that we can belong to global communities who share some of our tastes.

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          • I was so alarmed I might have offended you. Thanks for the clarification. Also, I didn’t exactly mean elderly but wise people. Since I always saw old = wise most of the times, whenever I speak I always prefer speaking to older people and prefer listening to younger people.

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    • I can’t really speak to your specific concern, but I can say from the perspective of what is discussed in America about nudity in films, the issue is that it is so pervasive. So you end up with scenes that are important from a plot perspective having nudity in them for no reason, which is what causes this issue with censorship. There is also debate about how the American ratings system is so lax on nudity, which has trained filmmakers that it is all right and not to think twice about it.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:05 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t know if you watch TV shows but let me explain one particular scene. A lovely TV show called Westworld written by Jonathan Nolan recently caught my eye and it was mind blowing. Details aside, there is a scene where our lead actress is a robot and is being error checked in programming. You know what, they make her nude. I asked, can’t they do the same without stripping off her clothes, though she is a robot? BTW the conversations are so serious and important and crucial for the show, yet I find it distracting. I try looking into their faces while camera willing takes a long shot just to show her body. It creeps me out.
        And there are shows and movies, like item songs in India, with no purpose at all. I would like to know, if there is any cultural significance to overly expressive sexuality in the West. Because, when I encounter someone else and I ask ” Do all women sleep around like that with anyone they like?” And the answer is always negative. It puts me in real moral dilemma, because I believe movies both influence and are influenced by real events and situations. What you say?

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        • For Westworld in particular, there are a lot of really deep discussions online about the meaning of that particular scene, how it is confronting us with the reality that that character is seen as only a body, not even given the dignity of clothing.

          Generally for how sex etc. is shown in American popular culture, think of it as a heightened reality. Similar to how in Indian films sometimes you will have a realistic vision of an arranged marriage, but more often it will be a little over the top with a father forcing a daughter and so on. Yes, there is minimal societal stigma if a couple wants to have sex before marriage, live together, all of that. It is accepted. But people are still people, most of my friends have one or two relationships and then get married or otherwise settle down together.

          So it’s not reflecting the reality exactly, but it is reflecting a version of the reality.

          On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Do you think with that version of reality they are manipulating people into like, oh this is the new cool. Like it’s is always portrayed that bad is the new good. There is no place for virginity beyond teenage, or something like you need to have to taste drugs at least once if you have been to college.
            Are they really bluffing us into thinking and acting with mass psychology influences using thematic elements like this?
            For e.g. after watching breaking bad I felt like meth cooking is shown to be so cool and adventurous, and after girls guide to depravity I lost interest in marriage or sex.

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          • I don’t think so. Part of this is because it is so pervasive. Americans have learned to tune out, or process in a more sophisticated manner, a lot of this content. Not all of it, but a lot of it.

            In the same way in India, you don’t expect huge song and dance numbers to start up where ever you go. You know that is part of the fiction of film, not something that is “real”. Yes, media has some effect, but there have been plenty of psychological studies over the past 30 years as to the effects it has, and they aren’t one to one “if you show this, then people will be like that”. It’s more layered than that. Breaking Bad, for instance, probably won’t make people go into the drug trade, because that message is so obvious that makes it easy to ignore. But it might reinforce some gender issues with how the wives/girlfriends are treated. While Sex and the City isn’t going to make everyone have casual sex, but it might make people place a higher importance on female friendship than they did before.

            It’s not just about showing sex and violence, for instance, Japanese culture/film has much much looser sex/violence rules. And their violent and sexual crime rates are some of the lowest in the world.

            On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 8:06 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Thank you for the reply. I have a new perspective here. It cleared a lot of things for me. I am pleased you replied patiently to all my comments. Thank you again.

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      • I’m not quite sure where in this discussion to enter, but I will be addressing issues brought up in several posts here.

        About nudity in films (or even TV, on the cable channels) — most of the time it is pointless, IMO. And thus boring for me as the viewer. But the real point to note is the ratio of female nudity to male. Here’s a quick way to judge the “acceptance” level, or lack of eyebrow raising reaction. A full frontal nude shot of a woman will get the film PG-13, but a full frontal shot of a man will get an R rating. So a nude female is not considered to be as big a deal as a nude man. Similarly, an uttering of the “s—” word will get PG-13, but the “f—” word will get R. (These were the guidelines from some years ago, but I haven’t read of them being changed.)

        Regarding trends in movies, it is heartening for people like me that for some time now (within the last ten years or so), Hollywood movies have been turning away from R rated films to focus much more on the PG-13 ones, as more and more parents have objected to the sex and violent content. Back in the 70’s (when the Hays code was first done away with), and on through the 80’s and 90’s, R rated films dominated, and it was very difficult to find films that were suitable for children (and I mean 9 – 14 year olds, not even small children). During those times, film makers used to regard getting a G rating as the kiss of death, and, even in films meant for small children (around 5 years old), they would deliberately throw in a “damn” or a “hell” in the dialog, so that the film would get a PG rating. Now, of course, there is a plethora of G rated films, even if they are almost all animated ones. So I some change for the good.

        A little aside that might illustrate what I’m talking about: When the first Star Trek movie came out, it was rated R, I think — at any rate, it had a lot of violence, and perhaps some sex, I can’t remember (it was a sufficient amount of each that it kept me from seeing the movie). Now Star Trek as a franchise has a fanatical fan following, practically cultish, starting from the days it was a TV series (when it was brought back from cancellation due to a letter writing campaign from fans), on through all the subsequent series. So there were millions of people eagerly waiting for the first Star Trek movie, who were now adults with families of their own. These people were highly disappointed, not to say scandalized, at the, shall we say, “adult content” of the movie. Again there was a huge backlash, with many, many people writing to Paramount (the producers) along the lines of “I grew up watching Star Trek and was eager to introduce my children to this wonderful universe, but you made it impossible by making a film that is not suitable for children.” Well, Paramount knows where their money comes from, so they toned down these elements in the next movie, which was rated PG-13, and have kept the films there ever since. I hope that answers Sheshank’s question on what is acceptable to “normal” American society.

        As for films influencing society, one huge influence that I have noticed over the period of my life is that what used to considered “unprintable”language (that was not to be used in polite society) has now become very common (if not quite as common as people in India think). to the point where many young people now literally can’t speak without using the “s” and “f” words. They just don’t have any other vocabulary. I am talking here of teenagers, high school and college age people, though sometimes you find even younger kids using such language (though usually they still get reprimanded for it).

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        • I think I made an error above, it can’t be the “first” Star Trek movie that received this backlash, as that was made before the 90’s I think. Anyway, there was one that came in the 90’s that went beyond PG-13, got a lot of flak from fans, and subsequent films all went back to PG-13.

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        • Regarding the language issue, it is not only films that had this influence, though they paved the way. Most of those “unprintable” words started to appear in print in “literature” starting in the 1970’s, though newspapers and TV still resisted. I believe the “seven words you can’t say” still are in force on broadcast TV, though not on the cable channels (this was one of the big draws for cable channels in the early days, that they were not subject to the same broadcast standards as the regular channels). Now, such words regularly appear in even such publications as the NYTimes and Washington Post, usually in quotes from someone.

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          • They still bleep out those words when a film is shown on broadcast TV. There is nothing sadder than watching “The Commitments” — one of my all-time favorite movies — with every profanity replaced by a bleep.

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          • Excellent background! Thank you!

            One thing I find really fascinating about American versus Indian censorship, is that America is fairly unique in that film producers’ decided early on to police themselves, rather than risk letting the government do it. So all along, it has been a matter of the producers responding to audience activism before it could go any further.

            The Hays office came into being back in the late 20s in response to increasing scandals and so on which were causing some smaller civic bodies to institute their own censorship rules. For instance, in Chicago Jane Addams helped found a committee to determine which films should or should not be played within city limits (Birth of a Nation never played in Chicago). The movie producers got scared of government interference, and so created a censorship office with authority over them which would be so extreme, no one could complain.

            This is also related to the way movie studios owned theater chains in America at the time. So since every major studio signed on and agreed to the “Hays Code”, without that stamp of approval, none of their theaters would play the films. After the Paramount decision in 1948, those theater chains had to be broken off and become independent, which opened up the possibility of playing movies without the Hays stamp. At first it was just European art films, but then The Moon is Blue (terrible film, not worth watching) came out without the Hays office approval, because they used the word “pregnant”. And a fair number of theaters played it and the world didn’t end. Plus, the European films were eating into the Hollywood box office with their looser attitudes. So Hollywood switched to the ratings system, looser films could come out, but they were clearly labeled, and there were still standards.

            The ratings system has been revised several times. And even with ratings, at first, you couldn’t release something beyond an “R”. Midnight Cowboy was the first film to challenge that. It really truly needed all the very adult content to make it work and for the plot to make sense, and it could not get released even as an R. So it was released “unrated”, and again, a fair number of theaters were willing to play it even without the rating, and it got huge critical acclaim, I mean, it’s a classic! So the ratings system was revised again with additional layers added beyond R.

            It’s still not a perfect system. The rules are arbitrary and often context is not considered. Plus, it is run by the major studios still, so an independent film has a much much harder time getting a favorable rating for the same kind of content than a mainstream release. But it’s still progress from the previous versions we had available to us. And the public can always “vote” as to how we feel about it with our wallets,since the producers are just responding to market forces in an attempt to keep the audience happy.

            On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 8:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Very nice summary, Margaret. Of course there is a strong tradition of resisting government censorship in the U.S., which is not there in India, nor even many other “western” countries. You brought back memories of the phrase “Banned in Boston!” being used to sell books. 🙂

            Yes, Midnight Cowboy was a huge exception, and so was a Japanese film called “In the Realm of the Senses” which released some years later. They both helped to change the perception that an “X” rating (really it means unrated) automatically means sleaze. One point about X rated films is that, not only was it difficult to find mainstream theaters which would screen them, but for a long time (maybe even now) no mainstream newspaper would carry ads for X rated films (I think the LA Times did carry ads for In the Realm of the Senses — and by “ads” I mean that they listed the theater it was screening at in their movie listings — but that again may have been either a first, or one-off type of situation). That was one reason why the new NC-17 rating was developed, to give an option for film makers who wanted to go beyond what was allowed in an R rated movie, without getting the commercial kiss of death that an X rating would assure.

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        • Thank you so much for answering another baffling contradiction I faced about censorship. When I first started talking to people outside my country, thanks to internet, my only source of how to hold conversations was based on movie dialogues. So I thought that f word and s words and all swearing was common. Also my social skills were pretty bad in the beginning. But when I actually took to it people were so much put off and I was judged rude and all stuff unthinkable, like one of those brutes from third world countries come to annoy exotic people. I didn’t know where/what I was lacking.
          Then I slowly thought about it and realized I used swear words at home only when angry and casually only with my close friends. So, I stopped using them. So it was so uncommon to what was shown about American culture with Brad Pitt saying f**** o*** so many times.
          After those 7 years, now this abusive language is so pervasive in all the forums including here in India, I feel cheated and abused for the same thing I did some time back.
          It was all confusing to me. Thanks for the clarification here.

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    • “I would like to have someone older than age and been through all ‘this’, to explain if they are sensitive to it. Or if it adds anything to the plot at all.”

      I can add some Polish/european perspective. I should have been used to nudity and sex scenes, because almost every polish movie has it, but I have never liked this kind of content in films. Mainly because I always found those scenes unnecessary. There just must be some nude woman and the sex scene to attract audience. And the scene must be as real as it gets, with moans and crunching bed. I wish they make it in more concealed way.
      That’s why I like indian movies so much. I must confess that in the beginning I didn’t understand if and when there was sex in bollywood movie. I was so used to explicit scenes, that I didn’t get those subtle details, raining scenes etc Now I understant it and love it and it’s funny, because I hate when there are sex scenes in hindi movies. Like in 2 States. I was shocked that they had sex so early and in such “normal” non-romantic way. I was all like “Wait a minute, what they just have done? Where are mountain scenes, wet saris, running across fields? It’s all wrong.” 😉

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      • You know what thee is an actual outage among people , especially after people, about too much skin show and sex appeal in movies these days. They are citing baahubali songs and saying ” Hey you can have sweet romance too without showing explicit sex or skin show. And we like it equally.”
        I always liked how Indian cinema broke into song whenever there needs to be a sec scene shown in the movie. Song is romantic with tender touches here and thee and romance expressed more in the form of literature invoking imagination than showing it explicitly. I am proud of it actually.
        I am surprised that people from the west like it too when left to imagination. Don’t they?

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        • I do!
          When I see explicit sex scene in movies I always feel awkward, like voyeur, and I’m adult, married woman, not a shy young girl. But when I watch romantic scenes in indian movies, I feel like part of this romance, it feels good, and I like it.

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  4. Spiderman : homecoming will be dubbed in Punjabi. Do you think that dubbing of hollywood movies in Punjabi a good way to promote Punjabi movies?

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    • I would think it would be the opposite, because now if people want to see a movie in their native language, they can choose to watch a dubbed film instead of one from the Punjabi industry.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • You have to study Kannada film industry to understand the positinve and negative impacts of dubbing. This is the only industry strongly prohibiting dubbing for the last 50 years. Thus they could save their Kannada movies from competition from other language movies.

      But I can argue that the down side of protectionism is that they lost the opportunity to compete with others. Telugu people eagerly look for a movie dubbed from Tamil industry and vice versa. But both Telugu and Tamil peopl don’t care that much for a movie being dubbed from Kannada.

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      • You make a good point.
        It is just that Punjabi cinema is too small to compare with anything. Dubbing might create some interest like Good day to die hard did a good job in dubbed version. Punjabi superstar Gippy Grewal dubbed the movie. Trailer said “Die hard in the voice of superstar Gippy Grewal”

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          • Last year got to see Sachin at close range which was one of the biggest achievements for me.

            Here he is sitting behind me:

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          • You are lucky dude. I was in Mumbai for 2 years but couldnt see him
            My cousin is in Airport security. He has met Sachin many times. According to him, sachin is the most humble celebrity. You cant tell that this guy is revered by billions. He greets my cousin and his team very humbly.
            Which is your fav sachin memory?

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          • I would love to have Non Sachin fans or who doesnt know Sachin at all to watch it more than us since we already know about him. That is why Iam pleading to Magret to watch it and write the review.

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          • My favourite memory will be one of his bowling spell. The, 5 wicket haul he took against Pakistan in 2004. I was at the stadium.

            In TV it will be the 1998 Sharjah innings against Australia

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          • An incident happened right after I took this photo. Two small kids aged 5-7 started climbing the thing in front of Sachin to meet him. Sachin got really scared for their safety and went and picked them up and made them sit in his lap for the whole duration of the match

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          • I have difference of opiniom over here
            I dont think that non sachin fans can truly appreciate it. I wont be able tp appreciate Babe Ruth documentary. I can accidently insult a legend. For Indians, Sachin is the biggest celebrity ever. But it cant be said for Americans.
            For me my fav memory is his 146 against South Africa when Dale Styen tested him with fiery spell

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    • She is keeping it a surprise, so I don’t know yet. But I am trying not to get my hopes up, she said that it was really hard to find stuff in stores, she kept being told “everyone buys it online”. Which doesn’t work if you are traveling and your address is changing every few days.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:18 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. So what are the DVDs you brought with you to your parents’ because you couldn’t stand to be without them for a week?

    I’m guessing DDLJ is part of the list 🙂

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    • No, actually! It was the DVDs I just bought recently/are kind of hard to find streaming/I’ve been showing to my friends a lot and I want to keep being able to do that. So, Running Shaadi, Raees, Qurbani, Bangalore Days. And Bijjugaddu because of Prabhas-fever. And Ittefaq and Maya Bazaar because I keep being to watch them.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:22 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh wow 🙂

        That’s an interesting list you’ve got there. That reminds me that I still haven’t seen Running Shaadi or Raees yet. By the way, do you know whether Einthusan has any scenes cut from Raees?

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        • I don’t, the DVD doesn’t (thank goodness!). The easiest way to check is if Shahrukh’s intro is shirtless or not. It’s supposed to be shirtless. If you get to that point and it isn’t, you can stop and buy the DVD, or just go to I think part 4 of my summary and read my description.

          On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • There are several missing words in your post, which make it difficult for me to understand (although it makes me feel better that I’m not the only one who does that. 🙂 )

        So, my question: Is Maya Bazaar a dvd that you own and have watched, or just one that you own, but not yet gotten around to watching?

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        • I finally watched it last week, review will go up sometime (if I ever finish Bahubali). And I liked it, just like everyone said I would!

          On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 8:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Glad to hear that! And look forward to your review. Did you watch the colorized version or the original black and white? (As a film student, you might want to check out the black and white version, too, for its aesthetics).

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          • Colorized, because it’s what you can buy on DVD. It was a really well-done colorization! I didn’t even realize it had originally been shot in black and white until I read about it later, it didn’t have that awkward fake look that colorized films can have some times.

            On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 10:05 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I heard there was a dvd set with both the original b&w version and the colorized version. That’s what the Cinema Chaat people got.

            The people who did the colorization gave a long explanation around the time it was being released, about all the technical aspects which made it superior to all previous colorizations. Unfortunately I’ve forgotten most of it now, but what it boiled down to was they did it with about four times as much detail/resolution as all previous efforts (this means they had 400% better resolution).

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      • Unfortunately Maya Bazar could not go beyond geographical boundaries as Bahubali did. But it has all bahubali traits to remain as a alltime classic – containing nava rasas, memorable songs, satisfying audience of all ages, genders, classes and tastes and so on. It was produced in 1957 and still a favourite of me (born in 1971) and audience of many generations. By the way have you got Tamil version or Telugu?

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        • NTR, so that’s Telugu, right?

          I was surprised by how it reminded me of Bahubali, but not in the ways I expected. The plot is different, the spectacle is different, but it has that same feeling of a childhood story rediscovered. Making you feel like a child again watching it.

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          • NTR acted as Krishna in both language versions. Most other actors are also the same in both versions. But the main hero Abhimanyu was played by Nageswara Rao in Telugu and Gemini Ganesan in Tamil.

            Actually the story was not taken from Mahabharata, but based on characters in Mahabharata. In the movie we don’t see the five pandavas at all. It was just a speculative romance between Abhimanyu (Krishna’s nephew) and his cousin Sasirekha.

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          • I didn’t realize that the romance wasn’t in the original at all, not even a note that they married. That’s interesting. It also seems like maybe the ages don’t match up? Abhimanyu was supposed to be much younger at the start of the exile, from my memory.

            On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 11:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Maya Bazaar is based on a famous stage play, Sasirekha Parinayam (The Marriage of Sasirekha) which was very popular. The story of Sasirekha had been long embedded in folk tradition before the play happened. You can think of it as an “alternate Mahabharata”, just as there are many “alternate Ramayanas.” It is true that this romance is not there in the Vyasa Mahabharata, though there are some indications that Balarama did have a daughter named Sasirekha.

            As for the resemblance to Bahubali, Rajamouli has specifically named Maya Bazaar as the kind of movie experience he was trying to replicate. There are many films made on various stories from the Mahabharata, most of them starring NTR, though there are some less famous ones starring other actors. These were the general kinds of films that Rajamouli grew up on, which stopped being made around 30 years ago (not coincidentally when NTR was not acting that much any more). Telugu audiences always had a huge appetite for such films, but after the nadir of the 80’s, there were basically neither producers willing to put in the effort, nor writers or actors capable of delivering such a product.

            Liked by 1 person

    • I think you read it wrong. I like it a lot, but I wouldn’t say it is objectively the best.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:46 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Okay. Thats good
        Otherwise It would have been bigger insult to action genre than Tiger shroff as Rambo. I hope that I go to a place where there is no Bollywood befor the release of this movie.My friend said Australia is that place.

        I think you wpuld agree with Tiger Shroff as Rambo. You are his fan and callex Flying jatt as better movie than The Dark Knight

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        • Please stop repeating things that I have not said and have corrected you on and discussed multiple times. I am not a Tiger Shroff “fan”, I did not say The Flying Jatt is better than The Dark Knight, that is something that you have made up and repeated so many times you have convinced yourself it is true. Please do not put that on me.

          To remind you, here is a link to the most recent time we went around and around on this point:

          https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/04/24/monday-morning-questions-post-baahubali-week/

          On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 7:54 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I wrote it for humor. I didnt mean it seriously.
            Sorry, if you felt offended

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  6. According to you, which is most overrated and Underrated movie
    For me overrated is K3G. I cant watch it fully. It is full of plot holes, geographical errors, and was boring
    Underrated is Ghatak. It looks like a dumb action movie but it filled with brilliant performances and good story and good action. I will write my full review on wednesday

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  7. I have recently watched Pardes on Einthusian, and I swear there were scenes I don’t remember — conversations between members of the two families, not Shah Rukh scenes. I first saw it on Netflix USA — is this another case where there is an Indian version and a western version? It is so frustrating! I constantly see Pardes on lists of his best films, but it doesn’t do much for me. The two supporting young folks — Rajiv and Ganga — are not that good, and the good actors can only do so much.

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    • I don’t think there are multiple versions of Pardes. But I could believe that randomly the copy that Netflix ended up getting was missing a reel or something. Just like the Amazon version of DDLJ is infuriatingly missing the end of the church scene for no particular reason.

      Pardes is, I think, the only time Shahrukh worked with Subhash Ghai. Ghai is such a great director, the visuals are always amazing, and the songs. But I don’t think it’s really a great “Shahrukh” movie, I mean, his performance isn’t very interesting in it and his character doesn’t really interact with his persona and so on. He makes it his own, but as written it could have been played by anyone else.

      In the realm of Shahrukh movies, I would say that Pardes is in the top 25. Because there is that lower 50 (many of which you have seen!) with journeyman directors and scripts that weren’t really thought through and terrible songs.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 9:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Thanks, both of you! I was sitting here wondering which older SRK movie to watch. Pardes will fit the bill–the abbreviated version where I skip several annoying scenes and that one song that has bits of “Obladi Oblada” in it.

        Pardes is in the top 20 for me. I like his chemistry with Mahima Choudry, especially early in the film when he’s being the pompous NRI/Indian family liaison, and they’re becoming friends. I think SRK makes the most of the “loyal family retainer torn between his internal morality and what the family is asking him to do” bit. And I LOVE the speech at the end when SRK finally lets Amrish Puri have it. 🙂

        Obviously some really problematic gender stuff–like when SRK keeps trying to convince Mahima to go back to the family home after she is assaulted, and when her own father says he wishes she had died instead of dishonoring her family and his friendship with Amrish. Ouch.

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        • Oh oh oh! Pardes is Bahubali if Kattappa and Anushka had fallen in love!!! Which just sounds so wrong, I have to even mention it.

          But Shahrukh has very Kattappian themes of servitude and loyalty versus the higher good. (sorry if you are one of the people who hasn’t seen Bahubali yet, everything just seems to turn into that discussion nowadays)

          Liked by 1 person

          • I haven’t seen Bahubali 1 or 2, but given part 2 merits a scene by scene breakdown here, they are definitely on my “to watch” list. My movie watching time is limited, and to be honest, I watch (or re-watch) about 2 SRK flicks to every 1 non-SRK flick, so that slows me down too!

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    • The Deol family tradition! Dharmendra only produces movies to launch his kids. And Hema too.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 1:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • No, it’s not just you! But that’s another Deol family tradition, the kind of broad face makes them look younger than they are.

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          • Karan is at least 25, could be 26, 27, or even older. His debut was originally planned about four or five years ago, then delayed due to Sunny needing surgery, then some financial setbacks as some of his (Sunny’s) films didn’t do well.

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  8. Saw this video. And also I am expecting kabali kind of review for chatrapati from Margaret. Note that chatrapati, an SS rajamouli-prabhas starrer was based on a movie of Sean Penn about refugees. So, can anyone, especially Margaret with huge movie knowledge , help me figure it out?

    Also wanted to ask, do people not just Americans but everyone really get the picture/theme/meaning or hidden intention behind the songs. Looking at the given video, I kept thinking that Rajamouli made the song raunchy and concentrated lyrics on how female breasts are explorable in a sensual way.
    For e.g. lyrics start with something like female saying
    ” A flat head needle has pierced from me to you which has pulled these hidden beauties / fruits for you. ”
    And male version goes
    ” If the needles pierced into me, it must have pained you so should I just reduce the pain by smoothly blowing over the ……”

    Lyrics are sweet and raunchy. But my question is, do all people including locals and non locals to Telugu cinema get it? Or do they just enjoy dance and leave it?

    Note : if this feels too raunchy or vulgar I request admin to delete it before I embarrass myself.

    I also noted Rajamouli , if concentrated on romance, tend to follow his mentor in exploring one portion of female body and explaining men how to explore it. Fascinating.

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    • Speaking for myself as someone not fluent in Telugu, but somewhat fluent in Hindi, the lyrics are often missed. In Hindi films, I can combine the subtitles with the words I know to gather the full meaning. But half the time there aren’t even subtitles for the songs. In Telugu or Tamil or any other language, I have to rely on subtitles entirely.

      However, the nice thing about music and dance is that the general meaning can be conveyed by the visuals and the melody, even if nothing more specific is understood. I think that is a big reason that these films have such crossover appeal, not just to Americans, but even to other people within India who may not understand the language.

      As for Chatrapathi, no luck on finding any Sean Penn film that seems at all similar. He did a documentary on the refugee crisis in Haiti, and he released a refugee fiction film in 2016, but that’s it.

      I watched Chatrapathi almost two years ago, it was one of my first Telugu films, and I am sure I missed a lot. I will have to come back to it and see if I can find anything more now. I can’t promise that I will go as deep as Kabali, but I will try to go a little deep.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 2:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • To help you out, I think you will find parallels with the story of real shivaji who was honored with title chatrapati – the shadow giver, or something similar. The Mumbai railway station is named after him. Shivaji fought against the mad man Aurangzeb , the great great grand son of Akbar (from Joshua Akbar) and is the son of shah Japan, who constructed taj mahal. He destroyed secularism and forced religious conversions, bad reputation and weakened the economy of entire country which eventually led to Persian rides and financial weakness of mughal empire and lead to east India company rule in India. So, while people rebelled against him, they were suppressed like French rebels. Ruthlessly crushed. Among them was a Maratha who fought guerrilla warfare against mighty mughal army.

        Also when British left India wasn’t united as you see it today. It was torn into pieces. Some places choose to join union of India and some places asserted independence. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal are the ones that choose not to join Indian union. Later when Sri Lanka were forming their constitution ethnic Sinhalese asserted their authority and dominance over minority familiars, who didn’t see them as different countries when British occupied. British treated them so. When Sinhalese try to force their language and customs upon familiars they rebelled and formed LTTE , a terrorist rebellion organization. There were large scale migrations and genocide on migrants
        But when they came to India they turned into refugees who pressured into Indian governments. India worried, instead of providing camps have supported Sri Lanka in peacefully settling these. While south Indians showed sympathy on them, govt in Delhi despised them. The terrorists even killed PM of India for that in a bomb blast.

        While refugees were being not cared for, local politicians and goons took advantage of their sotuation, like with all refugee camps, and make them do dirty cheap work for little to no wages. Since refugees don’t have right to vote or any privilege they won’t have public voice. Only thing that protects them are humanitarian laws.

        This movie goes deep into exploring how refugees are exploited by local politicians all the way up to Delhi. In the movie central influence is Pradesh rawat of Ghazini Movie, while his brother is local goon. Look out for electrifying interval scenes.

        Also note how it explores the theme of how important it is for family to establish that blood sibling ness for step brothers. Naturally step children feel isolated and feel jealousy.

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      • I would say it depends on translation. The problem with the lyrics like those from Gundusoodi is that it’s so difficult or almost impossible to translate without losing the meaning. You need a very good interpreter to translate well the songs (and if he knows local culture, and idioms is even better). Unfortunately almost nobody cares, and that’s why often songs don’t even have the lyrics translated.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I so wish you people knew the language to appreciate the poetic lyrics about romance.

          For Hindi, especially persianized hindi I depend on translations too. Like songs in Jodha Akbar which use more Persian than hindi

          As a bonus, here is a wonderful romantic lyric you might appreciate

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          • I always appreciate a Sonu Nigam song. Beautiful lyrics and beautiful voice. Thank you.
            You reminded me the time when I watched my first Bollywood movie ever – K3G and when Suraj Hua Madham came I was literally blown away. I didn’t know that songs can be so romantic and poetic. I think it was the moment I have fallen for indian movies.

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  9. Sorry Margaret. I sincerely tried to donate on pattern. I thought more like once in six months kind of programme with all 6 months paid at once. I am unemployed so can’t go for monthly basis. But Alas ! PayPal doesn’t seem to work for India and my credit card, better not speak about it.
    I hope you really understand my intention here. I will try again after some time.

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    • Thank you, that is so nice of you! It’s a totally optional thing, I just put it out for people to have that option if they want it.

      On Tue, May 23, 2017 at 11:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well, there is a hidden intention to it. I just wanted posts more kabali like with social intentions once or twice a month would be good. It would be like talking to my mother, or at least someone who has a good eye for things. So I thought , well, if I can donate I will have a voice to demand. Selfish of Me, but god punished me for that.
        Thanks again.

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  10. Have you read Mahasweta Devi’s Queen of Jhansi? It’s a bio of the 19th century rebel queen that Kangana will be playing soon. I think I want to read it before the film…there’s also a historical fiction by a white author, Michlle Moran called Rebel Queen. Also contemplating reading that before the film.

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    • I haven’t, I’ve been relying on the week or so we spent on her in my South Asian history class. But if I ever finish Confessions of a Thug (which will never happen), then I may move on to this before Kangana’s film comes out.

      On Thu, May 25, 2017 at 9:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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