Remember yesterday when I was driven to an existential crisis by the way the release of “Phurr” kept being delayed and delayed? Well, googling around today revealed there is a fascinating industry story behind it. “Phurr” is being publicized as the first song to be released behind a “paywall”. Which isn’t actually true, but that’s another story. (also, it’s on iTunes now, but also on Saavn, if you pay for the app like I do, you can download and listen as much as you want)
I put up a random epic post last Monday going over every step of the filmmaking process. But it seems like as a follow up I should really zero in on what happens during a “schedule”, when you actually start filming. Oh, and my Hindi Film 101 schedule is now totally blown, you may not get anything at all next week, because this exhausted me. But it was so interesting I just couldn’t resist!
We’ve had a lot of discussion on the Jagga Jasoos post about where things went wrong. And I think part of the reason we’ve been going around and around is because the production of an Indian film is so very different from the process for a Hollywood film. And, in addition, the Indian film producers waste a lot less time talking to reporters than Hollywood producers, so it isn’t as easy to get a sense of what really goes into their process. So I am going to lay it out for you here!
Oh boy, getting close to modern times! And the stuff that doesn’t have, like, any “perspective of history” on it at all. Which is also why it is really important to know about it to watch film, because it is the stuff that is kind of being worked through actively still through film plots. (part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here)
Did anyone notice I skipped Hindi Film 101 on Tuesday? These loooooooong posts take a long time to write, and in the meantime I am missing reporting on trailers, news stories, box office. So I am trying to find a better balance, and since Hindi Film 101 is the least read of them all (then DDLJ posts, then Sunday Speculative. Monday Malayalam and Tuesday Telugu/Tamil, so long as I write about newer movies, do really well. No one reads about the K. Balachander films), it is getting the axe. Well, the half axe, I’m still doing it on Thursdays. (last Nehru-Gandhi post 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.