Big Thoughts Posts Ideas Please! Anything You Want Me To Write About?

Well, the last time I put up a post like this, I got 5 ideas right away off the comments, and turned them into 5 posts.  And now I am all the way through those 5 posts and I have no more ideas again.  So I’m hoping you can help me a second time.

 

In order to write the Big Thoughts Hindi 101 type posts, I need to be inspired.  My inspiration strikes based on news stories, or comments here, or like random dreams I have.  I can’t control the news, or the random dreams, but I can ask for comments!

 

So if there is any big thing you want to talk about, or are curious what I think about it, this is the place to bring it up!  I won’t promise to write a post on anything you suggest, but I will promise to write an interesting post on something or other so long as you give me ideas.

 

Oh, you can also request history posts here.  Like, “tell me about Smita Patil”.

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56 thoughts on “Big Thoughts Posts Ideas Please! Anything You Want Me To Write About?

  1. Hi! Hope you & Hazel are doing good. With Kalank coming up, I was wondering about multi-starrers in general. We don’t get much of those anymore. Like very few actors choose to work together ? VDW has female stars collaborating which is great but in general I miss the whole k3g type or amar akbar Antony level multi-starrers.
    Like who’d do Bangalore days if it’s remade in Hindi. Do young actors even want to share space ? I can’t help but wonder

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    • Ooo, “multi-starrers”! that’s a big juicy topic!

      Hazel is doing her job of forcing me to pick happiness over duties. I love going for long walks, and coming home at night and sitting all cozy on the couch, and going to bed early and getting up early, and now I have a little furry creature that will nag me to do all those things! Instead of staying up super late and never going outside and so on and so on.

      On Sun, Apr 29, 2018 at 4:51 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I don’t think true multistarrers would happen today. Actors are too wary they would get a raw deal. More than that, the media tends to rip apart the actors too and most of the time unfairly. I think in an earlier era, they didn’t need to worry about that. For example, even though Abhishek got a hit movie out of Dhoom 2, it was pointless for him in reality just because of all the flak he faced about not being able to stand up to Hrithik. Much of it was unfair because he was fine. The media exaggerates like crazy and social media then gets on the bandwagon and destroys the person.

      Kalank isn’t a true multistarrer in my opinion since the main actors will clearly be Varun and Alia. Madhuri and Sanjay Dutt are too old to really matter in BW terms and Sonakshi and ARK are too small to matter.

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  2. How about how ideologies (political or otherwise) are portrayed in Indian films? The filmi take on Communism or Socialism for example.

    In the same vein, how historical events are portrayed in film. Films typically take a lot of liberties with history but I think its interesting to see how a director approaches something like Partition.

    Also – maybe a 101 on female directors?

    And in honor of Hazel, maybe a post on dogs in the movies?

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    • There aren’t enough dogs in movies, is how I feel strongly. there’s Tuffy from HAHK……and that’s all I can think of.

      On Sun, Apr 29, 2018 at 9:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m just gonna leave this link here…its worth watching -just saying…

        This might be a Tamil movie thing but there used to be a lot of animals in movies – pet dogs (and also elephants and monkeys) that did everything from solve crimes and play matchmakers to be defacto babysitters/parental figures. Very anthropomorphic. There aren’t as many nowadays although this movie just came out a few years ago- I believe the dog got top billing.

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  3. `
    Impact / use of different languages in Indian film . . . Hollywood films sometimes might have a sentence of two in a non-English language. But Indian films have all sort of implications concerning which language is used by which character in which context. At least it seems that way. Tell me more!

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  4. I just watched Love Breakups Zindagi and really, really liked it, but it just made me appreciate Jab Harry Met Sejal more. I even blogged about it, which I rarely do. (http://www.jbpaoletti.com/everything-else/love-breakups-zindagi-vs-jab-harry-met-sejal)

    Now I am thinking about about love stories and all the various words for love. I know it’s long past Valentine’s Day, but some deep thoughts about love and romance, Indian film style (channelling my inner Raj from RNBDJ) would be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm. That would be interesting! Let me let that burble around in my head for a bit.

      On Sun, Apr 29, 2018 at 10:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Have you made a TV Trope type post, where you have the tropes listed, what they mean, and which films they can be seen prominently in? I like how you did the male/female gaze and think you can expand it to examine specific character archetypes, etc, found in Indian film.

    I really love studying patterns of behavior.

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    • I’d have to think on that. For now, I think my book has some stuff similar to that, specifically related to caste/ethnicity.

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  6. I don’t know if this will qualify as a “Big Thoughts” idea, but let us see how it develops. For this post, I want you to go beyond your comfort zone, learn something new, and, I hope, expand your horizons about Indian cinema. You keep saying that you don’t want to talk about non-Hindi film industries because you don’t know enough about them. So this is a challenge to you to learn about them. I am going to give you a project from the Telugu industry, since that is the one with which I am most familiar.

    Lately, you have gone on an ideological binge, so to speak, about feminism, misogyny, the female gaze, etc., viewing films, it seems, solely from this perspective (which frankly I find tiresome, but others seem to like it, so whatever). So I am asking you to research and learn about three women from the Telugu industry, from three different generations, and each a path breaker in her own way. Besides being accomplished actresses, each was also a successful director (and much more). Bhanumathi was the first woman to direct a film in three languages simultaneously. Savitri’s first directorial venture was a film (Chinnari Papalu) which had not only a woman director, but an all female technical crew. Vijaya Nirmala is in the Guinnes Book of World Records for being the woman director who has directed the most number of films (44). This is a world wide record, not just an India-wide one. I am giving the links to the Wikipedia articles on them to get you started on your research.

    Read about them, take the time to watch a few of their films (you’ve already seen a couple with Savitri, and one with Vijaya Nirmala, albeit when she was a child). Then, I want you to ponder on this question (this is the Big Thought): What happened to the film industry that such strong and accomplished women have become much more unusual at present than in older times? Why are there no comparably accomplished women in the Hindi industry, or to put it another way, why were the Southern industries more “progressive”?

    Have fun. 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhanumathi_Ramakrishna

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savitri_%28actress%29

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijaya_Nirmala

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, thanks to #MeToo there has been a lot of feminism interest lately. Personally I find communal/caste/region issues interesting in the same way, but it’s not what the mood of the times is about.

      Interesting question, because to a lessor degree the same could be said about Hindi film. Devika Rani ran the first major studio, Nutan’s mother produced her launch film. there were more strong independent women in the early years than the later ones.

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      • No offense, but if you think you don’t have the background to talk about non-Hindi films, you REALLY don’t have the background to talk about communal or caste issues. Stay away from that quagmire. (And you can’t get the background by reading English language sources.)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I like several of the ideas in the thread already. I would like to understand a bit better the relationships among composers, lyricists, playback singers, directors, and stars–historically in Hindi movies, and how it is changing these days. For example, what are the established pairings of yesterday and today between composers and directors? Composers and lyricists (when they aren’t the same people)?

    How do stars influence the choice of composers, lyricists, and playback singers? Do composers/lyricists/singers have any influence on how songs are picturized? Is it true that playback singers are becoming more celebrities in their own right, able to draw a crowd on tour without movie stars–or have there always been a few who broke out into personal celebrity?

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  8. A significant number of Hollywood films start out as books that are optioned for film. I always liked that – as a book lover, but also because I think it is a vehicle for bringing in a wider variety of stories than Hollywood might come up with on its own. I’ve been wondering if there are also Indian films that started as books, or if that’s one of the differences between the two industries.

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    • It depends on the language industry. Bengali films are often based on books, so are Malayalam (I think). And sometimes Tamil. Hindi films less common. I suspect, although I haven’t researched this, that it follows a pattern of what regions of the country have a higher literacy rate. There have been more and more Hindi films based on books lately, but they tend to be English language best sellers, like the upcoming Sonam Kapoor/Dulquer movie based on the chicklit book “The Zoya Factor”.

      That’s my first thought though, I’ll have to see if I have more brilliant thoughts, enough to create a post on it.

      On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 11:20 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think I told you before that many Telugu films up through the 1980’s were based on books, not just Telugu ones, but also classics from Bengali, English, and French.

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      • In Tamil, you can watch movies directed by Mysskin. He is primarily a writer. So the quality of his craft is superior to other directors, who don’t enjoy that strong base

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        • What about the late “Sujatha”? I only learned about him when I watched Enthiran/Robot, because I was struck by how well written it was, and also the fact that the writer clearly knew about the state of the field in terms of knowing the conventions about robot stories, the established norms, their history, etc. Then I found out he was a novelist with over 30 published books, including some science fiction. Well, duh! No wonder the film is so well written. That’s actually my chief worry about Robot 2, how it will be written, since Sujatha passed away.

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  9. What about bilinguals? Do they really work? The country is so diverse, that it’s almost like making two separate movies. Or maybe a study of bilinguals you’ve watched?

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    • What’s really interesting is that it seems like it took an outsider, Hollywood, to realize that the best way to have a wide release was to cross-dub it in all the major languages.

      On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 12:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Really? Indian films are and were routinely dubbed into other Indian languages, long, long before Hollywood even realized that there was more than one language in India, and it wasn’t English.

        As for the question above, yes, bilinguals were very successful. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, there were several big production houses which would make simultaneous bilingual films in Telugu and Tamil, with different casts for the different languages, but with all the other crew the same. And of course there were plenty of remakes between languages.

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        • And this is why I don’t write posts on other industries! I don’t want to be inaccurate, I hate the feeling of being wrong about these things, so I will just be quiet.

          Anyway, what I meant was before Bahubali, I can’t think of another Indian movie that released at my local theater simultaneously in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. Meanwhile, part of the reason the Marvel movies, and The Jungle Book, and various other films had such massive openings in India (including Infinity War this week) is because they were released dubbed in all the languages, not just Hindi. There were bilingual productions of course, going at least all the way back to the original Devdas, and before that intertitles of silent films could easily be switched out, but the wide release movies were not routinely dubbed so they could be wide released in every region at the same time until, seemingly, just the past few years. Of course, there also weren’t wide release movies as that term would be understood in the west until just the last few years either.

          On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 12:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s interesting, this shift happened fairly recently worldwide for a lot of different media as digital formats grew up and content started to fly between countries much more easily. Hollywood started releasing worldwide in multiple languages. Big bestselling books like the Twilight series or Paulo Coelho or Stieg Larsson also started getting simultaneous release in multiple languages. Netflix made simultaneous release in multiple languages a baked-in part of its business model for original content. It’s complicated and doesn’t always work, unless you have either one distributor worldwide or a really big property and a massive marketing budget.

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          • And meanwhile the BBC is still trying to restrict access to their shows until they sell the overseas rights. I’m a Call the Midwife watcher, so I’ve been thinking about this recently 🙂 Such an odd thing that almost every media now is released simultaneously worldwide, but TV shows lag behind. And also most Malayalam films for some unknown reason, I usually get them in America 2-3 weeks after their release in Kerala.

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          • For the recent, how about Robo/Endiran – I was in Boston when it was released in 3 languages – Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

            Dubbed releases of Hollywoood movies is also not a recent trend – started with Jurassic Park (and Lost World) and strengthened with Titanic and Anaconda in 90s.

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  10. OK, one more, a SRK post idea. What actors, from any industry, could represent possible paths forward from this point in his career? Like, who went from boy heartthrob through romantic lead through action type to…something still worthwhile and interesting that isn’t any of those things? Or have you done that one already?

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    • I don’t think I have, but it is interesting. In a discussion in the comments months ago, we talked about Robert Downey Jr. as someone who successfully reinvented himself. Very different situation from Shahrukh of course, since it was a personal reinvention as well as professional.

      On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 11:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Robert Downey Jr. is an interesting case, but agreed, pretty unique. I was thinking about Antonio Banderas, probably because Spanish film is the industry I’ve seen the most of outside of the US. He’s nowhere near SRK’s stature in Hollywood, of course, but prob the most famous living Spanish actor. And there’s a bit of a parallel with a director like Almodovar, who likes to work with the same actors over and over again – if you look at Banderas in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) vs. The Skin I Live In (2011), his evolution as an actor is evident, and you can see the huge difference in the kind of film Almodovar built around him as a young and beautiful newcomer vs. as an experienced star.

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  11. With release of Dhadak approaching, how about a review of the original Sairat.. if you like it, may be you can review couple of other Marathi movies as well. Netflix recently added a lot of Marathi content.

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  12. I would love to see a post on feminism and Bollywood actresses who are feminists and who are not, and the whys of it. 🙂 or a post on how actresses and actors are tackling issues of mental health and better women’s rights in films and personal lives.

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    • Oooo, I like this! Public feminism through the years, and all the twists and turns it has taken, from Zeenat Aman wearing pants to Kangana publically calling out directors. Might make for an interesting post.

      Thanks!

      On Thu, May 3, 2018 at 7:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      • And Deepika Padukone in the ‘my choice’ video would be a great addition. Priyanka also has become a feminist after her move to Hollywood, Anushka started off in the industry not believing in feminism and you can see her gradual realisation in learning that she is actually a feminist.

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  13. Can you write about how maybe PR dictates the news today? Only what the PR wants is let out, that’s such a radical shift from the earlier days. How did it get here?

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    • It is strange, isn’t it? Seems like a function of the growth of the industry. Anupama Chopra in one of her books talks about when she first started writing on the industry, and you’d just sort of show up at studios and talk to people like friends.

      On Fri, May 4, 2018 at 12:57 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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