Hindi Film 101/Discussion Post: Incest/Not Incest in South Asian Culture

No real reason for this post, except that I suddenly remembered I had purchased a year long access to JSTOR (very expensive, thank you donors here for funding it!) and could probably find a useful ethnographic paper on this topic. Which I am guessing will interest you all, because who doesn’t find incest interesting? Oh, and I also know there are all kinds of regional variations I am missing, I really hope you add on in the comments. This is more of a discussion post than a 101 post.

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Hindi Film 101: How Do You Become a Hindi Film Star? Let’s Find Out By Looking at the Current Stars!

Let’s see if I can do this! Maria in the comments said she has a hard time understanding what “debutante” means in descriptions of casts. And it sent me down a road, and I think what I am going to try to do is give the very brief highlights of all the working actors in Hindi film today.

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Hindi Film 101: PewDiePie Versus India and “Funny” Racism

Well, this just got fascinating! At least, I think so, I am having a hard time finding confirmation of this news story, so either I am super ahead of the curve, or it isn’t reliable. BollywoodHungama is reporting that the Indian Supreme Court issued an order to youtube to take down some PewDiePie videos. And I hope it is reliable, because it is FASCINATING.

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Hindi Film 101: Weddings! Sangeet, Mehendi, Whole Thing

I realized watching Made in Heaven that there are a lot of cultural bits of weddings that it is just assumed the viewer knows for most films, instead of having them explained. But why not explain them? Not for my desis, you already know this stuff and more, but for my non-desis who might be struggling a bit to figure out what makes a “Sangeet” different from the actually wedding.

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Hindi Film 101: Hegemony, Politics, and Star Studies, or the Strange Case of Shahrukh Khan

Ready to get a whole bunch of media theory dropped on you? Fun fun fun!!!! Oh well, there’s a good bit about Shahrukh too, so that’s a good time. And hopefully this is more of a “thank you, I could feel that happening but couldn’t articulate it” post and less of a “well, that’s depressing, I had no idea” post.

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Hindi Film 101: The Sangh Pariwar Philosophy, and What It Lets In

I’m back! To more depressing stuff! Be warned, this section starts with some hard hard stuff. But also important stuff, a reminder of why all this philosophy and discussion matters. And this will, once again, get people mad at me. But I’ve decided it is worth it (even though I hate it when people don’t like me). And if necessary, I can also close the comments.

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10 Films With Unofficial Surprise Marriages

Well, I’ve now moved out of the “genre recommendations” arena and into straight “what are fun tropes to list off”. But hey, I have to do something to kill time while all these patriotic movies I refuse to watch are releasing. Oh, and this post is littered with illegal youtube videos, so watch them FAST FAST FAST before they get pulled.

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10 Indian Historical Non-Epics Dramas

Writing the 10 Historic Epics post got me thinking about the movies that are set in the past, but not so they can do a big historical fight scene, more for purposes of putting this particular story in this particular time and place, whether it is a semi-fictional biography or a completely fictional invented story.

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10 Epic Indian Historical Films to Watch

Normally I do “10 films to watch once you finish the standard list”. But there are so few historical films from India, that I don’t think I could come up with 10 to recommend without dipping into the standard list. Plus, everyone should watch Mughal-E-Azam, and that essentially IS the standard list.

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Hindi/Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam/Kannada 101 RePost: Rajinikanth Part 2, Homeless to Millionaire (in honor of the release of 2.0)

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.

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Hindi/Tamil/Kannada/Malayalam/Telugu Film 101 RePost: Rajinikanth’s Life, Part 1 Bus Conductor to Movie Star (in Honor of 2.0 Releasing)

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

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Hindi Film 101: Ramayan and Mahabharat Part 4, Karna, the Saddest and Best Character

The Mahabharat is so complex, each character is the lead in their own story, and each character (of the many many characters) could easily have their own post.  But I am going to restrain myself and just focus on the two most intriguing (to me) characters of the epic who are not part of the Pandavas or the Kauravas, Krishna and Karna.

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Hindi Film 101: The Mahabharat and the Ramayan Part 2, It’s All About the Questions Without Answers

I want to clarify, I am in no way a religious scholar or even just a regular average Hindu.  This is the story and philosophy at the most basic level as I have gleaned it through reading various simple versions of the text, and seeing how it played out in the lives of people I know and in the films.

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Hindi Film 101: The Basics of the Mahabharat and the Ramayan, Part 1

This was a request from Angie, to break down the essential elements of these stories and save you the effort of trying to research them yourself.  Obviously, if you are a desi person, you already know them more than well enough.  But if you are a non-desi, I can give you a sort of primer on them.

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Hindi Film 101: The Structure of the Tawaif/Item Song, Inspired by how “Suraiyya” Wasn’t Quite Right

I already did a general post on item songs (here), this is specifically looking at how they are structured, the components of them, inspired by how “Suraiyya” from Thugs of Hindostan kind of twisted the standard structure.

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