And now we reach the era that the majority of us are actually aware of! Yaaaaay! Which is also why this is the shortest post, because I didn’t feel the need to give nearly as much background. Feel free to take off in the comments with your on details for these films, if you want.
I don’t care if no one else is interested in this, I AM!!!! Plus, it’s good for you few people who want a sense of where the industry came from and where it’s going. And it is basically the complete opposite of JHMS coverage, so that’s a nice little refreshing breather for us all. (1940-1955 in the last post)
I got lots of cool suggestions yesterday as to what I should cover next, but while I let those percolate (and please, keep suggesting! Here is the post where I ask for ideas), I am going to do something simple and look at the top grossing film year by year since 1940. Should be an interesting way to see the industry evolving, both financially and creatively. You’ll see what I mean when I am complaining about the out of control box office inflation lately. Plus, gives us all space to talk about something totally different from Jab Harry Met Sejal.
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!
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 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.
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)
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!)
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.
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 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.
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)
Happy Tuesday! I was planning to do a Hindi Film 101 One-Off today on Sanjay Dutt’s court case or something, related back to the Nargis series I just finished. But “nepotism” has become the catchphrase of the day, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the history of families working together in Hindi film, where it started and why. Oh, and I don’t usually plug my book in these posts, but this one is really very similar in tone and contains some content that I go into in more detail there, so if you like it, buy the book!