July 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to Edwina!

edwinamontage

Finally, someone has done what really needed to be done: written a book about my talented and gorgeous Indian mother Edwina and her background dancer friends, who appeared in pretty much every film from the 50s throughout the 1960s. She worked with all the greats from that era. Here’s a message from the author, Professor Surjit Singh, an avid film historian whose website I discovered early on as a treasure trove of information.

Dear Edu fans:

As you know today (July 22) is her birthday. You will be pleased to know that on this occasion a biography of Edu has been published. The book is ‘Edwina: An Unsung Bollywood Dancer of the Golden Era’ by Professor Surjit Singh.

For more information, please visit my website.

For buying in US dollars, please visit:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

If buying in Rupees, go to Pothi.com.

Thank you!

Surjit Singh

I have read the book, and he begins with some really interesting information about the history of music and dance in Hindi cinema, and about the Anglo-Indians who worked in the industry from early on. He has included a lot of stories in Edu’s own words, and she as many of you know is very funny indeed. It’s a treat.

Have a very very happy birthday, dearest Edu!

June 27, 2015

Shankar Shambhu (1976)

shankarshambhu

I was telling my friend Suhan the other night that I have stopped writing reviews mostly because I felt like I was endlessly repeating myself, and my threshold for lunacy had become so ridiculous that very little made me sit up and say “OOOOH!” any more. But lately I have been missing my daily masala dosage, so when this Feroz Khan-Vinod Khanna starrer appeared on my radar I couldn’t resist it. It is—not unexpectedly—a predictable and formulaic film, but it moves along at a fast clip thanks to relegating large portions of the action to narration by the characters (often to each other via telephone) after the fact (“Shankar and Shambhu have escaped from jail!” “We have kidnapped your daughter!”) instead of actually showing it to us, leaving details like “How?” “Why?” “Where?” and “When?” up to the viewer’s imagination. Screen time is largely devoted to Ornament with a capital “O”: a mish-mash of dacoit hideaways, corrupt rich people mansions dotted with crazy, and eye-popping disguises. This is okay with me.

The story I can make up; the insane set pieces, wigs, and outfits not so much.

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March 17, 2015

The year in pictures (mostly)

theyear

The cobwebs have grown thick on here, except for the intrepid commenter here and there (thank you for not letting this die completely!). The last year (plus) has been full of things not-Hindi-movie related. I haven’t given up watching Indian movies completely, although mostly now I rewatch old favorites; I think I finally got exhausted by all the poor video quality, no subtitles, and other barriers to my enjoyment. Also, I took up knitting again with a vengeance, and knitting and subtitles (or having to concentrate due to lack of subtitles) do not go together, at least for me.

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December 19, 2013

The luckiest Mem in the world

is mostly likely ME. I need to finish this post and get the sad one off the top of the page, because despite the ensuing sorrow on my return home I really feel very blessed indeed and strengthened by my recent trip to India. I spent three glorious weeks there with my beloved Friend Greg: two weeks in Mumbai and one week in Shimla (joined by my friends Carla—Filmigeek—and her husband at the very beginning and end of the trip in Mumbai). We even managed to fit in Diwali celebrations in both places!

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December 3, 2013

Miss Callie

callielove

I know I promised a post on my recent trip to India, but I have not managed to finish it yet because of very sad events in the weeks since I came home. My beautiful little dog Callie was sick when I returned, not eating and having trouble breathing, so I have been quite worried about her. Last Wednesday her breathing was so difficult and she seemed so frail that I took her in to the emergency room at my local animal hospital. They admitted her to the Critical Care Unit where she was put into an oxygen tent while they tried to figure out what was going on. On Saturday, after no real change and being told by the very good ER vet that there was nothing else to try, and seeing that she was in quite a bit of distress, I made the decision to help her go into whatever is next for us all.

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November 15, 2013

More movies!

I am working on a post about my recent wonderful trip to India, but before I that am thrilled to report that Tom and his cohorts in Edu Productions have been very busy! We have added four new films to the list for downloading or watching on YouTube (if you can, I encourage you to download them, the quality is so much better!): Rattan (1944) starring Karan Dewan, the lighthearted Azaad (1955) starring Meena Kumari and Dilip Kumar; and two more Pakistani films, 1957’s Nooran starring Noor Jehan and Lakhon Mein Ek (1967) starring Shamim Ara.

All these films have good English subtitles and the video quality is the best that you will find out there. This also brings the number of Edu Productions releases to a grand total of 25 films so far—a jubilee well worth celebrating! Enjoy and as always please let those involved know how much their efforts are appreciated. It takes a lot of work to put these dvds together and is a labor of love only for all involved.

Thank you Tom, Pacifist, and Muz!

October 23, 2013

I am besharam.

imageI am becharam.

July 17, 2013

New films!

Two more updates on the Edu Productions page: another Pakistani Noor Jehan film called Neend (1959) and a Hindi film called Milan Ki Raat (1967) starring Sanjay Khan and Sharmila Tagore. There are links to download the dvd version of each, or if you prefer, also to watch them on YouTube. Many many thanks due again to Tom, Muz and Pacifist for their hard work and devotion! Here is a Helen song from Milan Ki Raat which I love:

As for me—I’m not dead, I’m resting! A number of people have been emailing or messaging me out of concern for my well-being and asking about my prolonged absence from here, which warms the cockles of my black, sticky heart of tar. I don’t plan to stop blogging, but I am equally unsure when the desire to take it up again will strike. Since I left off my regular posting I have gained a third dog named Bandit, lost 30 pounds! (13.5 kg) that I didn’t need to be carrying around, improved my knitting skills, seen old friends at a college reunion, and planned my next trip to India (hooray!!!!).

whatimdoing

Family and job have kept me busy too, and I have just not had the time or energy to watch many films and then write them up, although I recently watched the epic Rajput (1982) with my bahen Suhan and had a lot to say about it. So you never know.

In the meantime, enjoy these two new additions to the Edu Productions catalog and let the team feel the love!

April 15, 2013

Patay Khan now available!

A 1955 Pakistani Noor Jehan film called Patay Khan is now available for download from the Edu Productions page. Tom tells me that it’s a good ensemble film, with comedian Zarif as a real standout. Hopefully I can watch it soon and chime in with my opinion. In the meantime, enjoy—and you can find the songs from the film on Tom’s YouTube channel.

Many many thanks as always to all of Tom’s meticulous work putting this into the best DVD form possible and to Muz for supplying the video.

March 19, 2013

Two more Noor Jehan films…

mirza_sahibanThank goodness for Tom, Muz, and Pacifist and the Edu Productions team!

They have just made available two more Noor Jehan films, one a Pakistani film from 1959 called Koel; and 1947’s Mirza Sahiban starring Noor Jehan and Trilok Kapoor (fun to see him in a hero role, na?). Karan Bali over at Upperstall has reviewed Koel (link is included in listing) and although he feels it is a less than stellar movie the songs are worth the price (which by the way is FREE). Pacifist’s opinion of Mirza Sahiban is that it’s a much better film than the later Shammi Kapoor outing by the same name, which is actually not that hard but makes me look forward to seeing it.

Download them from the links on the Edu Productions page, enjoy, and give props to the team for their hard work and generosity!

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