Isn’t this fortuitous? I didn’t plan it at all, but I think I am going to get up to the Sino-Indian war in my regularly scheduled Nehru-Gandhi post today, which makes it also Tubelight themed! Yay! (part 1 of Nehru-Gandhi here)
I was going to do a box office report for Raabta earlier this week, and it turned into this very very long post about what box office is and why I look at it the way I do and so on and so forth. And I thought “heck, I should just turn this into a 101 one-off so people can easily refer back to it later!” (don’t worry, I will come back to my Nehru-Gandhi family history and finish it in a bit)
Well, this is one I’ve been avoiding! Because I know feelings run high on it. And I know that, as a non-Indian, I have no right to talk about another country’s politics. So I am not going to talk about politics, I am going to give as impartial a perspective as I can on the progression from Motilal to Jawaharlal to Indira to Rajiv to Sonia to Rahul. Because as I discovered yesterday when looking at the posters for upcoming films, we are about to have a spate of Indira-era period pieces, and to understand them, you really need to know about not just Indira, but what came before and after.
Well, this is fun! It’s partly a list of every Shahrukh Khan film, but more than that, it is a case study for how a career progressed in the 90s in Bombay. Lots of work, not a lot of hits. And then the 2000s came in, and it was less work and less hits (notice I was able to cover twice as many years in this post as in the last one)
This is just a random idea because I am in the middle of unpacking my Shahrukh DVD box and putting them in chronological order on my shelf. It’s kind of fascinating to look at his career as a case study of how an actor’s career progresses.
Happy Tuesday! Time to finish off my posts on Crime and Film (first post here). And if I end up mysteriously disappearing, or randomly shot in a drive-by, you will know why! But it probably won’t happen. Although my new apartment is in the neighborhood of the American headquarters for D-Company….Oh well, it will probably be fine.
Just saying, if I end up getting threatened/killed for writing this, it’s on all your heads! But I probably won’t, right? It’s not like Dawood is in exile in Karachi reading English language film blogs. (if he is, “Hi Dawood! You should turn yourself in to the authorities because you are a terrible person who deserves to be punished!”) (also, this is one of those posts that is very similar to my book. If you like it, you might want to buy the book)
Accesbollywood.net just updated her amazing “all Indian Netflix films” list to include three new films. So I am going to update mine. This may or may not become a routine, on the one hand it’s a lot of cutting and pasting and all, but on the other hand it is probably a very practical tool for readers. Most importantly, SUBSCRIBE TO ACCESSBOLLYWOOD!!! She does most of the work for this list, and you will find out about updates much faster, instead of whenever I get around to it.
Prepare yourself for another Hindi Film 101 that takes me out of my comfort zone! Someone asked a question on Monday about dancers on film, and there was also suggested that I do some discussion of actresses from the south. So I am going to try to combine that and talk in very very general terms about classical dance traditions in India and how that relates to actresses, especially from the south.
Happy Thursday! It’s too bad this family is so nice, makes for a kind of dull Hindi Film 101 series. But at least now we have gotten to the interesting people, Tanuja and Kajol. Well, exciting might be a better term. Nutan was plenty interesting too. (don’t forget to go to the end and vote for what you want to read about next!)
Do you know about the website accesbollywood.net? It’s run by a very nice woman who reviewed my book, and is a friend of a friend through moviemavengal (moviemavengal=most socially competent and adventurous person I know!). Anyway, one of the greatest things on the accessbollywood website is her updates of the Indian films available through Netflix. I am going to steal her current list, because joyomama asked what I know about each film. But please keep checking her site just in general, and specifically if you want to see a monthly update to this list! Oh, and this is today’s Hindi Film 101 post, because it will give you basically a “watching list” of films to stream, which is an important part of learning about Hindi film.
I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing a post that tries to put Bahubali 2‘s all India success into context. And then both T.J Stevens and Cerusee indicated that they would be interested, so the poor Samarth-Mukherjee family has to wait another week for me to finish them, because I want to try a brief history of “regional” films.
This is not my first post on Vinod, for additional background you can look at his birthday post from last year here, and my post on his involvement with Osho here. And my review of his Chandni here, and Parampara here. But moimeme just informed me that he passed away this morning, so I felt like I should do a special post explaining why he was important and why this death matters.
Happy Tuesday! Back to the Samarth-Mukherjee family. This one is going to be a long one, but not necessarily a super exciting one. I’ll try to make it as exciting as possible, but both families are too old and too savvy to really get involved in scandals. Although that first post did have Shobhna Samarth’s affair with Motilal, so at least that’s something.
This is one of those situations when I get SO FRUSTRATED with how everyone is going “WOW! Did you see this?” While I am going “Yes, when I was 5 years old…..Do you, like, never watch anything before 1980?”, and I just CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE!!!! So I am going to force you all to learn the basics of American musical/dance history on film, so you can better appreciate how that interacts with modern Indian film, and the occasional very very rare modern American musical.
This is partly inspired by the Op Ed that was in the Washington Post a few days back. It was a so-so article, there were some things that I felt weren’t fully explored, but then on the other hand it was just a brief article for an audience with no background in the Indian film industry, so he couldn’t really explore everything. But I can! I want to zero in on one point from the article, how there are so few films with women working behind the scenes, and even fewer films with real female lead roles. This isn’t something that just came up in the past year, and it isn’t something that will be solved overnight.
After taking a little journey through film as a family industry and the Ratnam-Rahman connection, back to the old reliable Hindi Film 101 topic, tragic film heroines! Parveen Babi is a strong contender for “most tragic”. And part of that tragedy is how very short her story is, I bet I can do it all in one post.
Happy Tuesday! I did a quick two-parter on Nepotism (really more the history of Hindi film as a family business) last week, now I want to do another quick one inspired by Kaatru Veliyidai on 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)
Happy Thursday! On Tuesday, I started a discussion of Hindi film history and industrial development, inspired by all the discussion of “nepotism” popping up lately. I don’t usually plug my book in these posts, but if you find these posts in particular interesting, I go into much more detail in my book, so you should check it out. (part 1 here)