I’m on YouTube! 3 Different Videos, You Decide Which You Like Best

Moviemavengal is on youtube, a couple of commentators pointed out if I want to drive up my blog views youtube is the place, and I was trapped all day Sunday in the only airconditioned room in my apartment with loads of time to work.  So, it was time.

The airconditioned room thing is the real reason I am doing this, this week.  I was able to write and schedule most of my posts for this week in advance, which meant I had a “night off” last night.  And then I spent about 6 hours fighting with technology until I finally gave in.  I know the sound could be a little better and some of the images could be clearer and everything could be generally more exciting, but I don’t even care any more!  I’ll figure out the rest of it later, this is good enough for a start.

So, you have 3 options for the videos.  Option 1, a talk I gave at an academic conference about 4 years ago on masculinity in Indian film.  The best part is the title, I am very very proud of it.


Next, we have good old DDLJ!  This is mostly the same as the analysis I did here, actually the same analysis with a few parts cut out.  But with my voice and a slideshow, instead of text in between images (and this is also your DDLJ post for the week, because it took soooooooooooooooo long to figure out how to do this audio without a ton of feedback from the microphone)


And finally, something different!  I grabbed random screenshots from City of God and just talked off the cuff about it.  Nothing prepared or researched or anything.  Well, besides the preparing of having seen City of God dozens of times.  And having already written this review.



So, ignoring the technical part of it (I am SO SICK of fiddling with audios and videos!), which worked best?  I’ve got almost a dozen other conference talks, another 24 parts to DDLJ, and I can always pull random screen shots of some other movie I love (although I don’t know that I love anything in the same way I do City of God).  Which works best on youtube versus blogging?  Any other comments or suggestions?

I’ll also be paying attention to the view count and, more importantly, the click through to the blog count from youtube.  That’s the goal, I want people here, on the blog, not on youtube, and whatever gets them in the door is what I will keep doing.  Except I am trying very hard to avoid talking head videos, I really don’t like putting my face on camera.  Even though I know “young white woman likes Indian film” is a blockbuster genre.


24 thoughts on “I’m on YouTube! 3 Different Videos, You Decide Which You Like Best

  1. ‘As you know I really like and respect your film analysis. This last section of the DDLJ piece is brilliant. Here’s the problem: Youtube is a visual medium. You aren’t going to get many clicks without a person to know. That’s why people watch those crazy reaction videos (who thought that up? reacting to a trailer??) But people get attached to the people doing them. You can have your screen shots and illustrations, but in order for you to add to your audience at least on youtube, people want to feel a connection to YOU as well as to your content. Just my thoughts on this…


    • Blech, letting people connect to me. I hate that! I’d much rather hide behind my ideas. On the other hand, thank you! This is exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for, I personally never watch these kinds of youtube videos, so I had no idea what would and would not connect with the audience.

      On Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 11:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • Like M hints at in the last line I thought what drives those reaction vids is very simple: white ppl –specifically women — reacting to desi stuff and desi ppl eager to watch what they think is a superior race react and enjoy and approve.


  2. I hear the “white people react” problem, but there is a MAJOR difference with you, Margaret. You actually know your stuff. No one will be able to challenge you on that, so I think it would work. Having a personal presence that is.


    • I’ll second this! I really hate the “white people react” videos but you have a unique take on things and you know your stuff. I understand your reluctance but for what its worth, I think you’ll do really well.

      Whatever you decide, congrats on the You tube channel!


    • Yeah if this is all M is ready to do for a YT presence then it is unlikely to work. I mean I understand the reticence to talk into the camera (apart from the sheer irony of a person so into films hesitant to face a camera!), but today it is basically a requirement to present yourself first and foremost for YT to be worthwhile. Dunno if moviemavengal also lives in Chicago but if so then maybe she can encourage that and make it happen.


      • I think I’m going to have to agree with Karthik here. I actually watched the JHMS spoilers video before this one (I have been saving “the good stuff” for my off days) and I felt like a Jaby Koay-style trailer review (You gotta watch Jaby, Margaret! If nothing else, he’s entertaining to watch) could have preceded the actual spoilers review video so there’s an expectation v. reality kind of payback for the emotional investment one puts in a film by a big star.

        The white woman/man reviews indian film genre, which is an accurate but kind of offensive description for what’s exploding on Indian YT, really has its roots in us wanting our now global presence to be acknowledged by a whole new type of audience. Like we, the people that have grown up watching Hollywood and global cinema, enjoy discussing those films with people from the countries from where those films originated. And now people from other places are sort of discovering Indian films and it’s interesting to see if they “get us”. Because we “get them” through their films.

        I know what writing a perfect post feels like and how much more thrilling it is to have the words carved out perfectly, but as a fan of yours, I would definitely want you to keep making videos. A few notes on the first video here:

        1) It’s a bit long. Mostly because you’re pacing yourself like you would were you giving a presentation on the subject. I don’t know if this is something your western audience would find easier but here in India, we’re used to a quicker pace of talking. When I thought about the content itself the first thing i thought was a Dont Call it bollywood noob would see the video length and maybe decide to skip it because it’s slightly longer than what we’re used to in “informative videos”. If you spoke a little quicker, you’d be able to keep the video length under 7 minutes. Making it more “sharable”.
        2) It’s informative and academic but more colours please! It’s Indian cinema. The first thing people see when they see an Indian film is the colors! Bright, flashy graphics to go with what you’re saying in a 6-7 minute video would be so much easier to circulate on whatsapp. I personally want my less academically inclined friends to know your stuff. Because then I’m not the only only talking about the in-depth analyses in here like a crazy person in a group. Oh, also maybe have your site logo permanently visible somewhere on the video’s edge so when shared, people know where this came from. You’re really good Margaret. This NEEDS to be out there! This NEEDS to be out there more than the white people reaction videos!!


        • So, to sum up, more exciting graphics, talk faster. The second is a lot easier than the first! Brings me back to wrestling with technology (blurg!)

          Since you watched JHMS after these, does it feel like I am on the right track? More graphics, letting people see my face, less rehearsed sounding speech?

          I am also getting very few views right now, which is kind of okay, because I want to use you guys as my focus group while I figure out what I am doing. In a month, when everything is brilliant and perfect and entertaining, then I’ve got to go back to you guys and figure out how the heck I promote these things.


          • Yes, you are definitely on the right track with that one. Just for reference, see what Jaby Koay and Koricon Nala do. I like Nala better because he talks like he knows his stuff. Jaby is more style and entertainment. Even promotion-wise, their strategies have been good. You might have to see what they did (they basically did reviews based on request in the comments segments) because their channels sort of exploded on indian YT. I especially like Jaby’s intros. He has built his brand around it. but I guess video production is something he does/did for a living too so that was probably easier for him to set up.

            I am totally volunteering for the focus group!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Asmita Prasad, thank you for supporting my channel. I’m glad you like my videos. It was very kind of you to put me in the same category as a large channel like Jaby Koay 🙂
            You rock!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. About The Pain of Disco now.

    HAH! I’ve been waiting for someone to talk about this! It was fascinating except you probably missed a few bits about the Khans-

    SRK did “Fauji” the TV series before he got into films so his “violence” phase was already in existence in the public’s mind. There were like 2 TV channels in India back then and everybody watched this series and they knew who SRK was before he entered films. With Darr and Baazigar and Maya Memsaab, he already had the violence phase covered before he exploded as a chocolate hero with the romcoms. The “KKKKKiran” thing stopped being THE go-to SRK gag only 10 years ago! So many people are disappointed with SRK because he’s doing next to nothing like his pre-romcom stuff. Raees was expected to be that but it wasn’t!

    Amir never broke out of the chocolate boy image until Ghulam where he nailed the mawali character. Curiously, most heroes start their careers with a mawali character but for Amir it was his comeback. Amir broke his good-looking middle class “good boy” image in the middle of his career when he started playing low-brow characters. I remember the buzz around Raja Hindustani back then. It was talked about as being a relaunch film for Amir. The same happened with Lagaan. Amir needed to be the low-brow village guy. Even in PK he uses the same character (he should be shot for what he thinks is bhojpuri though). And then of course, in Dangal he chose to portray the most dehati of all indian rural cultures- the jaat! Amir’s problem is that he never convinced anyone as an action film guy. Just like Imran couldn’t. they’re just too soft and urbane middle class looking!

    Salman: What I find fascinating about Salman is that in the public’s mind, his image (the bodybuilding and action sequences in films) profited so much from Sanjay Dutt’s ordeals in real life. It’s like Salman’s cult fed off of Sanjay’s. The Sanju Baba fanclub shifted to Salman Bhai when Baba was in jail and his career went to shit. The violence in Sanjay’s real life created Salman’s cult in a way. Salman’s breakaway superstardom creating role was Tere Naam! Every guy in India under the age of 35 had the annoying Radhe hairdo including my brother! The comedies with the shirtless scenes were still chocolatey before Tere Naam hit. Of course then he had the Aishwarya thing which reinforced the rowdy Radhe image and Salman is still the same kind of bad boy hero in every film. That’s why “Pyar nahi thappad se dar lagta hai” dialogue “works”. Even I liked Dabangg and I cant stand Salman films at all!

    Also notable is the fact that all three Khans have had a TV appearance mid-career. Amir did Satyamev Jayate which was him talking about occasionally low-brow topics to an urbane middle-class audience. That show wasn’t aimed at the really low and the really upper classes at all! It was good and informative but Amir the activist really lost big with the Narmada protests. That got politicised and then his “my wife wants to leave india because she’s afraid of nationalists” thing dented his image. Dangal was basically him proving his commitment to the nation. A hindu nation, that is!

    SRK did Kaun Banega Crorepati though he couldn’t match Amitabh’s appeal and went on to host Kya Aap Panchvi Pas se Tez Hai. Neither helped his career. Nobody quite knows what’s happening with SRK anymore. The harami guy bit from the JHMS trailer is the SRK we NEED back!

    Salman used his Chulbul Pandey avatar on Bigg Boss which was both amazing and terrifying to watch. No other kind of Salman exists anymore. Chulbul Pandey is all there is anymore.

    And speaking of chocolate heroes, you totally missed the ultimate one- Madhavan! *drools*


    • Well, Madhavan already got that massive “let’s discuss in detail his physical appearance and body changes over the years” post, so I think he is covered. Especially since that is the one post he actually read and re-tweeted, thereby embarrassing me for the rest of my life.

      On Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at 7:48 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  4. The DDLJ vid:

    Loved the screengrabs! They refreshed the memory of the film and i could appreciate details that I may have missed in the moving pictures! Like how pretty the room was and how the light from the outside made it feel “fresh”!

    You could have included video snippets, especially when talking about the hindustani speech and SRK’s voice because the memory of the audio isnt as strong and this wasnt the most famous dialogue from the film.

    Also, I found the volume a little low. I wouldn’t have been able to hear it at all if I were watching this during a commute. Which is kind of what I meant about the graphics too! Being an AV presentation, this has to be audible and visible and attention grabbing for someone stuck in a metro or carpool or even kids watching videos during boring lectures in class or inside noisy campuses etc. IF you want to tailor it to Indian audiences at least. Of course, that runs the risk of it appearing too dumbed down and flashy for your western audience. Maybe do like a flashy trailer review/movie review for Indian audiences and something like this video for your western fans discovering Indian films?


  5. About the actual video:

    I watched the film with my family in a conservative tier-2 city in the plains the year it came out. It felt different when I watched it in the single screen in my hill town with a girl my own age. We were both standard 6 students and this was our first film outing without any grown ups! At no point during the film did we feel uncomfortable. Even the back of kurta tearing scene or her luggage spilling all over the train when she’s stuck alone with SRK and you could see bras flying around felt uncomfortable to us teen girls. You have to remember the mood of a “dirty” scene back then was set more with the background scene and who was playing the role. Shakti Kapoor doing the same exact scene would have made everyone cringe! HARD! But because it was SRK, and his character as the silly fun young adult NRI boy had already been established, none of it felt weird or offensive or rape-y. It should have!

    I have never ever watched this scene and thought of it being an outstanding moment. It felt like a continuation of the rest of it. Maybe it was because our older cousins and uncles and aunts that age were breaking the barriers of sex segregation in front of our eyes and really really subtle references to sexuality hidden inside teasing jokes and gags weren’t as taboo in society around us that nobody remembers the morning after scene as a morning after scene. Because it wasn’t. It would be memorable had the deed happened though. But it didn’t. So it was a joke. And this wasn’t even the most memorable scene from the film.

    Even Kajol’s dance in the towel (plus her backless gown) really didnt linger in memory. And trust me, no college age-girl in India in 1995 watched Kajol and thought that’s how I’d dress! Because, in her heart of hearts, Simran was always the good indian girl! Maybe our powers of denial as a society are too strong. Had DDLJ released today, the discourse would be totally different- Raj would be a stalker and a male chauvinist, Simran would be a blot on the face of feminism, her father would be a relic, her sister would be the real hero of the story, her mother and the weird punjabi fiance might be the only two not getting any flak because those characters exist as is in today’s world too! Plus, Kajol would be all over the news for her “hot” costume choices and the “bold” towel dance!


    • Anupama Chopra in her DDLJ book (back when she was doing hardcore film analysis like I do, instead of whatever it is she is doing now) pointed out that a big part of the Kajol “sexy” dance is that it is happening inside the house. You even see Farida in the background taking in laundry while Kajol is dancing in that little white outfit. So the sexy is paired with the “good girl in her home with a mom around” which makes it a different kind of sexy.

      On Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at 8:58 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Or maybe unsexy because somehow despite doing the siren act, Kajol isn’t remembered for THIS. And she should! She looked hot in this song. Maybe it’s just her real life persona. Nobody wants to think of their favourite girl next door superstar as a sex symbol!


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