This came up in a conversation with Niki in the comments a week or so ago, the difficulty of when a fantasy is too real, too close to reality, not the hero part of it that I already discussed, but the situations, the life that the heroine is leading. And it made me think, is that why Indian films are so consciously unrealistic in certain ways?
This is a very long post with a lot of big thoughts and some specific examples but even if you don’t read the whole post, you should read this new rule I am instituting for #MeToo related comments: IF YOU ARE COMMENTING HERE ABOUT A #METOO STORY, YOU MUST INCLUDE A LINK BACK TO THE ORIGINAL DETAILED REPORT, OR SUMMARIZE IT FOR US. YOU CANNOT SIMPLY GIVE A NAME WITH NO CONTEXT. If you forget, I will find the link and summarize it in a reply. But I’ll only do that three times before I start just not printing your comments, so please try to remember.
This is another old post, but one that is relevant again today as we are reminded both of how aggressive women have to be to get their fair due, and how dangerous it is to make demands, thanks to Kangana and Tanushree Dutta.
This is a post from a long long time back, but it’s a good post! Worth posting again, and so long as we are stuck in a dead news cycle, I thought I might as well squeeze it in.
This is a post I wrote a year and a half ago for the last Rahman/Ratnam movie, but I thought I should repost it today in honor of Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. It’s important to know why it is so especially exciting when a new Ratnam-Rahman movie comes out, and why that director-composer relationship is so special. (also, usually in this posts I try to use images instead of songs, but because of the topic, this will be an all songs post. I encourage you to actually watch all the videos too)
Still no big big exciting stories, but some interesting things today, worthy of discussion. Some more than others, but all worth reporting.
I finally found out how to spell “coup d’etat”! Thanks to a comment, because spellcheck and google certainly weren’t going to help me. As my German teacher used to tell me, French is a silly language where nothing is spelled the way it sounds. To the degree that I can’t even get close enough to google it.
Procrastinatrix just mentioned a helpful post I wrote on this, and I looked and looked and I don’t think it was a post, I think it was actually in my book. So if I were mean, I would make this headline and then the post would just be “ha ha, buy my book!” But now I kind of want to write the post! And it will be better than the book (although you should still buy the book) because I can use video link examples.
I just saw a little news article about Bhushan Kumar being facilitated for having the most popular channel on youtube. Which I thought must mean “youtube in India”. But, nope! In the entire global youtube market, T-Series has the most viewers. By several million. And it has the second most subscribers, on track to become the most subscribed within months. How did we get here? How did an Indian music and movie company become the most popular video streaming channel in the world?
Every once in a while the war drums start beating about how item songs are the cause of all the bad things that happen to women in India, and it always bothers me, because “item songs” ends up including a whole range of songs that are completely different in meaning. Oh, and this is kind of a partner with this post that goes into what objectification means, and this post that talks about male and female gaze)
I already put up my part 1, which I am sure was not fully accurate and certainly not complete. But it is my stab at somehow pulling together what little I know into a cohesive whole, in the hopes that it starts a conversation and I can learn more from you all.
Well, I did it! I finally finished my Rajinikanth biography! Now I just have the Savitri, Hema Malini, and Shashi Kapoor biography on my to do pile. Plus various other film books that aren’t star memoirs. Anyway, now I am ready to very tentatively try to put together some kind of narrative of Rajinikanth’s life, based on the movies I have watched (far more than I realized!), and this book, and information I gathered elsewhere
No particular reason to do this, I just find it interesting to look back at the past 25 years of film through the career of one man. And, I guess, it is also good prep work for the Thugs promotion campaign that is about to start, reminding us all that the road to “perfect untouchable Aamir” was a bumpy one. (part 1 here and part 2 here)
I did this for Shahrukh already, and I found it fascinating! To look at the broad sweep of a 25+ career and see where were the low periods and the high periods and the genre experiments and everything, and also where the industry was going in each era, the changes in the production houses and directors and co-stars, and all kinds of juicy things. Aamir seems like he should be similarly fascinating. Plus, thanks to his perfectionist style, far fewer films! I should be able to knock this out in two parts. Three at the most
This is fun for me! Getting to articulate and remember all that really cool stuff I got to read and learn and talk about in grad school. And now the really fun bit, the original work of applying those theories to Indian film where no one else has really done it before. If academic press was interested, I could get this thing published and get a book deal or something. But they aren’t, so I get to provide it to you lovely people on the internet who are.
This is one of those Big Big essays. And I am very sleep deprived and stressed right now which, strangely, puts me in the perfect frame of mind for this particular discussion. My brain craves theoretical instead of practical concerns.
I was feeling bad for writing such light weight posts lately, and then I remembered, oh right, I watched 3 movies this weekend and wrote 6 full length reviews (2 each) for them. Just, not everybody was interested in those reviews, so for some of you this is a pretty light week. To make up for it, I pulled out some of the more general discussion sections of my reviews of Karwaan and cobbled together a Hindi Film 101 out of it.
The final post in honor of Amitabh’s second birthday, bringing his life somewhere close to the present day.
In honor of his second birthday, I am reposting all my various Hindi Film 101 posts related to Amitabh. This one is mostly about Rajiv Gandhi, but I can’t talk about Rajiv without also mentioning his best friend since childhood, Amitabh(Nehru Gandhi part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here)
Every August 2nd, Amitabh and his fans celebrate his “second” birthday, the day he came back to life after dying. So it is also a good time for me to repost my post explaining what that was all about and what happened.
I hate these controversies, because everyone gets very excited by the first statement, and then forgets to follow the story and loses track of the follow-up. And I don’t want my review of Ali’s new movie (which I LOVED) to get bogged down in going over and over and over this stuff. So let’s get it out of the way first.
Last section! Bringing us through to the present day (finally) and the situation now as movie theaters close their doors and the internet struggles to replace them.