Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening To The Last Week of September?

Happy Wednesday! Should that be “first week of October”? Oh well, either works I guess.

I’ll start!

Reading: Still reading Thirkells, she wrote over 30 books and I am over half done. What shall I do when I finish???? Well, by then it will be real fall and I can move into my traditional murder mystery reading. Last year I tried Elizabeth George, but she gets DARK. And over the summer I dabbled in PD James, but she is also a little dark. I want one of those mystery authors where the only people who die are deeply unpleasant and leave large inheritances for nice people who are innocent. Maybe good old Agatha Christie.

Watching: Last night my parents and I watched Young and Innocent, an early Hitchcock, which is delightful. It’s available for rent on Prime, highly recommended. Tonight I have my regular friends movie night and I have absolutely no idea what to pick. Has to be on Netflix (for technology reasons), but otherwise it could be anything. Any ideas?

Thinking: I have pumpkins! I made my elderly parents get them for me at senior hours at the store. And now I am going to roast them, and then sautee them with onions and ginger and garlic, and then put the whole thing in a mixer along with chicken broth and a little sour cream, and then cook it up again, and then have a divine creamy soothing pumpkin soup. Unless y’all think that is a terrible idea. I don’t believe in recipes, but it tastes good in my mouth when I imagine it.

Listening: after I wrote my review (which not enough of you read!), I have had the Duplicate songs playing nonstop.

Now, question for you! Shahrukh month starts for realsies in a couple days, What Shahrukh themed posts do you want?

45 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening To The Last Week of September?

  1. Started re-watching Sekhar Kammula movies in the same order he made them. One interesting thing I noticed – In his earlier movies the credits had the names of technicians, others and finally the cast. I am not sure if it was intentional but I am guessing it is. In his later movies though the cast names come first and then the names of technicians. With bigger actors is it kind of forced upon that he had change the order? My rankings – Anand>Godavari>Fidaa>Leader>All others. I did not rank his first movie Dollar Dreams because the copy I watched was bad and I am unable to find a good print.

    Just watched a episode of Green Wing and I think it is hilarious.

    Will you saute the pumpkins with butter? Will you eat the soup by itself or a cheese toast? Now I am hungry!!

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    • I also like Anand better than Fidaa! Fidaa has a tighter plot(ish) and higher film quality and stuff like that, but Anand just has a kind of magic to it. Also, of your list, I only missed Leader. So it sounds like I can watch that and then ignore the others.

      I will sautee the pumpkins and the rest in olive oil, and will probably have the soup plain as a warm snack over the course of many days.

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      • You are right. Fidaa is better made technically but does not have the charm of Anand. Leader is a good watch and you can compare it with Bharat Ane Nenu, both of which have similar plot lines.

        Is Chicago getting cold already?

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        • I HATE BHARAT ANE NENU!!!!!!! So so so so so so much. So I am sure I will like Leader in comparison, just because I could hardly like it less.

          Chicago is getting cold, as of Monday. Thank goodness because I put all my warm weather clothes away a week ago and I was running out of things to wear. We had a lot of rain on Monday and Tuesday which seems to have been the official “now it is cold” marker. And thank you for asking! I love talking about Chicago weather. Well, just Chicago in general, such a treat, Kirre is reading The House on Mango Street and now you are asking about the weather.

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  2. I posted my Moothon review! Watching that gave me a crush on Nivin Pauly because of course it did, so then I watched Ohm Shanti Oshana, which was adorable. I also watched Dream Girl, which was boring. Ayushmann needs to stop with these middle class movies.

    Now I’m watching Cargo, which honestly just reminds me of Mystery Science Theater 3000, or even more than that, Mystery Science Theater 3000 fanfiction. I guess they are both based on Silent Running so not surprising. Anyway, I got to see Vikrant’s girlish legs and feel deeply, deeply homesick for MST3K now.

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    • Oh great, now I don’t have to watch/review it! I’m just feeling so lazy. If anyone asks, I will send them to your Moothon review.

      And you are watching Cargo, which I am also not seeing. Oh well. I’m reading lots and lots of books and making soup, so I’m still being productive.

      On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 8:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Are you burned out on movies or just not feeling anything? I could only watch TV for a few months, but when I ran out of TV I HAD to switch to movies, and here I am, watching Dream Girl.

        Moothon is actually great and you really should watch it eventually, Cargo is a reasonable timepass. I mean honestly MST3K makes the same point in 8 minute comedy sketches with puppets.

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        • More just not feeling anything. I’m in kind of a “brainless TV and knitting” mood more than a “think deeply and prepare to review a film” mood. Plus I’m trying to squeeze in time with friends as much as I can before it gets too cold to get together. Maybe in a few weeks when I have my apartment fully put together with all my projects in a good place, and it’s too cold to see friends, I will be back to movies more.

          On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 8:34 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, I get it. Choosing what to watch is an endless struggle, although I will now sink into the warm embrace of an old fandom for a bit.

            Starting to think Cargo was inspired by MST3K a bit, because of the hexagonal hallway and some other details.

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  3. Reading: ‘The House on Mango Street’ by Sandra Cisneros. Such a lovely book! I remember getting this assigned as reading in elementary and it is still as good as I remember and the cover art is just so beautiful even if its a paperback.

    Listening: 3 guesses as to who with no prizes, but I’ve gone a bit back to listening to Indian music once again as well.

    Watching: Not many movies or series or even documentaries lately. Just more into music now, I guess.

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  4. Reading: The four Agreements and the power of now both really good espeicially tpon if you have anxiety. Watching : the presidential debate- no comments and thinking of watching indian match making but not sure. Listening to podcasts and Ar Rahman playlist. Thinking: of having a spa selfcare day at home :p
    Question: Maybe SRK interviews and performences more stuff outside movies?

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    • I was thinking about doing something with Inner/Outer. I really think it’s the best documentary/interview there is with him, and it captures him right at the peak of his career. Maybe a watchalong? Or review? Or something?

      I bought facial clay from Target and it is AMAZING. I don’t know if it actually does anything, but it makes your face feel all nice and tingly, and it is very fun to spread it on and then wipe off.

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      • I would be down with an Inner/Outer conversation. I can never make your watchalongs, but going back to re-watch those would be a good match for my mental/emotional state. I re-watched the Think interview a couple of weeks for the first time in a long time.

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  5. Last week went in the mourning of the great singer SP Balasubramanyam who died of corona, hardly covered by Bollywood/Hindi/so called National media as expected. Most of the South Indian (esp Telugu, Tamil, Kannada) film fans couldn’t come out of it.
    He had many Hindi hits too, but famous for Salman in MPK, Sajan, HAHK and Kamal in Sagar, Sadma, etc

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  6. I actually splurged on a home massage machine during lockdown: https://www.naipo.de/collections/neck-shoulder-massager
    It works like those massage seats you sometimes find at malls and actually manages to lessen the tension a little. Perfect for the home office.

    And Margaret, your subliminal endorsement works: I have now discovered Queer Eye for myself. I would otherwise never have even considered a reality show about make-overs. But the Fab Five really are surprisingly supportive, have some actual good advice. And the stories are often enormously touching. I started with the most current season and the gay pastor, so I was immediately hooked.

    Sometime during the past few weeks I also squeezed in Duniya. It was nice enough, but actually not as ridiculously entertaining as Dostana. Though I loved the scene with the con that was lifted exactly from the beginning of “The Sting”.

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    • My mother is a licensed trained massage therapist, so I feel silly buying a massage thing. But also weird asking her for a massage. I’ll see how I am doing as we get farther into the winter 🙂

      YES! Queer Eye!!!! I am going to indulge myself and list out the top most touching/queer friendly episodes. All the episodes are good and loving and open minded and stuff, but they throw in a few each season that are specifically making over Queer folks who have a hard time accepting themselves.

      Season 1 Ep. 4, young man is afraid to “look gay”, and needs help preparing to come out to his stepmother because he regrets not coming out to his father before he died.

      Season 2 Ep 1, a godloving church going woman is struggling to repair her relationship with her gay son who she first rejected, but now loves and accepts fully, the fab five end up helping both mother and son equally

      Season 3 Ep 5, a young woman who was thrown out of the house by her family at age 16 when they learned she was gay struggles to accept herself and appreciate the new friend-family she has built, and learn that people won’t always leave you

      On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 2:12 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Love love love that Season 1 episode. Also, this is basically every episode of We’re Here. Oh, and the Queer Eye Japan episodes are especially lovely in terms of self acceptance.

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      • It’s not just the specifically queer episodes, though. The season 5 victims of the week were all just so extremely deserving. I mean, that guy who had just stopped being homeless himself, who struggled with whether his foster mother still loved him, but spent all his time working for kids? Seeing him get some love was just so cathartic. And then Netflix skipped around on me a bit, so I also already saw the season 4 episode at Jonathan’s old high school. That was special because of his reaction, but also because of those massive amounts of students who clearly loved that music teacher.

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          • And the 5 are really good people. I keep waiting for a moment of them making it about themselves, or saying an unkind thing, or anything like that. And they are just good good people. Full marks to the producers for picking these 5, and for all the subjects they have selected!

            On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • That was my Grandpa’s school! Jonathan’s school I mean. Remember back at the beginning of the pandemic I talked about how I had to go for a weekend to see my aunt buried and say good bye to a family house? It was in that town! It’s a really interesting town. Conservative and old-fashioned, but at the same time has the highest percentage of the budget spent on arts of any small town in Illinois. Amazing library, amazing schools, amazing arts program, and also always votes conservative. Kind of funny combination, but you can see it in this episode I think, Jonathan grew up in a town that didn’t fully accept him, but also had these great places he would be able to flower. And it’s also just a beautiful beautiful town, along the side of the river so it has these natural bluffs, and a bunch of beautiful old houses on old streets. The cemetery where my aunt is (and her parents and my great grandmother and a bunch of other relatives we can’t remember how they are related) is really lovely. Oh, and Jonathan grew up in one of the Best Families, they owned the local newspaper and radio station and stuff.

          On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 1:00 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I watched The Body so y’all don’t have to.
    It didn’t look bad during watching: Emraan was good, Rishi also, Sobhita Dhulipala was stunning, the twist was unexpected. But later I watched the trailer of El Cuerpo , the original movie and I saw all the flaws in the remake. And there are many. One of the biggest is the casting: Emraan plays the husband, Sobhita the wife and Vedhika the mistress. It doesn’t have sense. They don’t look good together. Sobhita is too young, too sexy, Vedhika too “girl next door” plain. There are also some logical problems and stuff. I wish I watched the original movie instead of this remake.

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    • Thank you! You have saved us so much time. I will just watch the original, if I feel like it. To be clear, the Emraan sexiness is not enough to make the movie worth watching for itself, that is what you are saying?

      On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 2:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes. His character is annoying and boring. You keep thinking why Sobhita married him. She is beautiful, very rich and influential, so why this guy? There is nothing interesting in him.

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  8. Watching: Jab We Met saved me after the unbearable spectacle of the debate. I just love them both in this movie. One thing I noticed more this time – Kareena is all excitable talk talk talk but she is very kind to him, there’s a softness that comes out in that very first scene, and he is very kind back to her once he lifts out of his depression a bit. The characters are both just decent, good people at heart.

    Listening: still on a Hamilton kick, especially Satisfied, Wait for It, and Dear Theodosia. I keep listening to Dear Theodosia over and over, I think this part of the lyrics just has me by the feels right now:

    You will come of age with our young nation
    We’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you
    If we lay a strong enough foundation
    We’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you
    And you’ll blow us all away
    Someday, someday

    It’s the “we’ll make it right for you”. Sigh.

    Reading: started The Story of My Assassins by Tarun Tejpal but finding it slow going so far because the characters are all so disagreeable. The opposite of Jab We Met. Hopefully this is the beginning and there’s growth coming eventually. There’s a guru making things more interesting at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m watching Anarkali right now. Have seen 1 hour so far and it’s so boring! Tell me if it will get better, because I don’t have a patience anymore for this film. I know that malayalam movies start slow and don’t explain things in the beginning but man here the first 45 minutes are so usless, just people doing things and I wondering what is happening. I was waiting for the flashback but it’s even worse. And why they keep changing languages. The girl is supposed to be north Indian and first she talks Hindi, then suddenly Malayalam and later English.

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    • Is this the Prithviraj one? I thought you already saw it, but it must have been someone else. Anyway, the person who saw it said it was slow and frustrating and it sounds like you would agree.

      On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 5:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, it’s Prithviraj movie. I hoped you will tell me it’s worth watching 😦 I’m not sure if I should continue. Yesterday I also abandoned a movie. A marathi one about a wedding. It was so boring: just families preparing the wedding, talking about costs and dances. Who cares?

        I’m happy tomorrow is the premiere of Madhavan/Anushka Nishabdham. I didn’t love the trailer, mostly because I found Michael Madsen terrible, but will try to see the movie.

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  10. Classes started today and I’m glad to be back to work and see the students but I have extra classes because students can’t go on study abroad and so far I’m exhausted. But I’ll get used to it eventually.

    I watched two movies that are probably not everyone’s cup of tea. The first was Photograph. Photograph is for people who saw The Lunchbox and thought “That was not ambiguous enough for me.” But I came up with a theory for Ritesh Bashra: he’s working with negative space. I saw The Lunchbox and I interpreted the ending as happy, never really occurred to me it was anything else, and then I started reading the reviews and everyone thought it was ambiguous or even sad. There’s no reason for it to be those things, it’s a quietly hopeful movie. He just won’t show us the two main characters rushing into each other’s arms at the end, because we know it’s going to happen. He leans into this a bit more in Photograph: it’s like he mapped out all the expected scenes and made the scenes in between them. For example, Nawazuddin has to convince Sanya to pretend to be his fiancee. We see how he finds her and approaches her on the bus, but we don’t see how he convinces her. They just are making plans to meet in the next scene.

    I can see people getting annoyed by that, but this movie really is able to sell the highly unlikely central couple. They are both quiet people who silently go along with what everyone else wants and give up a lot because of this, and then they find in each other someone who will listen and try to please them. Despite the huge gulf in social class you can see them getting closer. You don’t get a big pay-off at the end, but it’s lovely movie and Vijay Raz makes the best cameo I’ve ever seen in my life.

    Then I saw Cargo which I loved for its wholly original story and set design. I thought it would be science fiction, but it’s more metaphysical (and I wish I had more of a grasp on the Hindu idea of the afterlife–I get a feeling there were jokes I didn’t get). Vikrant and Shweta are demons guiding souls into their next incarnation, in a spaceship that looks like it’s from a movie from the 60s. (The screen they communicate with has a dial and buttons on the side). It is a very prosaic afterlife with uniforms and boxed meals and an older uncle supervising. Again, not a lot happens. There’s a bit of black humor with the way people die. They kind of bury the message in one short scene: all our stuff will drift into space when we die, but love remains. Konkona has the second best cameo I’ve ever seen in my life.

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    • How does everyone seem to get the “message” of Cargo? And my biggest feeling about it is just: interesting concept, that almost could have been made within the COVID restrictions.

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      • It’s about isolation and what relationships and your place in society mean about being a person. What happens when you are not in the world or you lose your function in it, how do you define and keep your personhood? What makes you alive and what makes you exist? I mean, I think you got it already.

        Cargo isn’t very clear about it though, like I said above I’m very familiar with this from other media so this is why it’s easy to understand.

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    • My sister is similar with the start of her semester, all the classes are online which takes some management, but also they threw the class limits out the window. Because technically (as I am sure is true for all schools) the class limit is related to the literal number of chairs in a classroom. But if there is no classroom, the administration doesn’t see any reason that a teacher can’t just teach as many kids as will register.

      I totally saw Photograph! But not sure if I reviewed it. I feel like I reviewed it? HA! I did! And I went on a rant about how critics loooooooooooooved this movie but didn’t appreciate JHMS. And I noticed the same thing you did, it is all about what is not shown: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2020/01/10/friday-classics-photograph-a-familiar-story-told-in-an-unfamiliar-way/

      And you are making me want to watch Cargo, which I thought I could avoid because the costumes didn’t look very flattering on Vikrant.

      On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 6:33 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Vikrant doesn’t look bad in this. He’s not ripping his shirt off and showing his muscles, but I’m still plowing through Kalank and Varun has taken his shirt off about nine times and I’m only two thirds in, so it’s kind of a relief for me.

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        • Yeah, when you watch he bull scene and think “does the bull have fewer muscles than Varun?”, that’s not a good sign.

          On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 10:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Spoilers for Lunchbox: I read an interview with Nimrat Kaur before I saw it, and she of course was talking about what an honor it was to work with Irrfan, but added that they had had no scenes together. So I was expecting an explicitly sad ending and was prepared for that, and then when it ended I thought “Oh! He’s going to find her!” and my lizard brain interpreted this as a fully happy ending. And I’m sticking with that.

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  11. Reading Middlesex super quickly because I forgot it’s going to vanish shortly. Watched Talaash last night and I (the Tamil film) the night before. My husband and son loved the crap out of it. It may be bonkers, but it’s actually a really good film!
    I went out and stimulated the economy by purchasing a second set of clothes to leave at my daughter’s house so I can not have to live out of a suitcase anymore. Two weeks there, two weeks here – too short to unpack, but it feels too long to be digging through a suitcase.
    Not sure I’ll be around for Friday watch along. We are taking a quick 4 day trip to Venice Florida with my brother and his wife, so that should be interesting. It feels very grown up. I always thought I’d be taller when I was grown up. Also, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t really feel like an adult even though I’ve *technically* been one for a really long time now.

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    • Middlesex the fascinating memoir, or the old British novel?

      “bonkers but actually a really good film” is the perfect way to describe I! It’s totally illogical and nonsense, but you are never bored, and you are never really confused as to what is happening, really the whole thing is just perfectly constructed and presented.

      Is this your first time with Talaash? If so, I am so happy you watched it! Such a surprisingly good movie.

      I am doing half a week at my parents and half a week at my place and also have two sets of clothes. But I didn’t have to buy anything, thanks to the “living with my parents” laundry schedule. I went from doing laundry once every two weeks, to having it done for me once a week, and my wardrobe magically doubled.

      I also never feel like an adult, but at the same time I feel older than I was before. Like, I can look back at stuff I was nervous about, or which seemed too hard, and now I feel like I could do it easily and it is no big deal. Having a dog for instance, for a long time that seemed impossible, figuring out Vet bills and training and stuff, and now it’s a challenge but not impossible. Huh. Maybe a good topic for an open discussion post? I was gonna do “who do you find sexiest?”, but this is a little more deep.

      On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 3:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

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