August 28, 2015
So proclaims Bhanu Singh (Vinod Khanna) in English at about two hours into this epic, leading me to reflect that if I’ve learned nothing else from Hindi movies, I do know that an unhinged mind and a Rajput heritage are not as mutually exclusive as he thinks. Still, this is possibly my favorite line ever spoken in the history of movies, with the bonus of an unnecessary but hilarious subtitle: “I am not insane, I am a Rajput!”
Actually, the subtitles are one of my favorite things about this movie, and there are a lot of favorite things.
August 20, 2015
As many of you know, I tend to avoid films with titles like “Woman” or “Daughter-in-Law” or “Sister” or “Bride” like the plague they generally are. But after my dear friend and devoted Rajesh fan Suhan sent me a link to one of the songs from this, I investigated further and discovered that, besides a very young Rajesh, the cast included a very young Feroz Khan, the lovely Nazima, PRAN! and a host of other stalwarts (Padmini, Lalita Pawar, Leela Chitnis, Mohan Chhoti, OP Ralhan, Baby Rani—OH Baby Rani. How I love/hate you). I figured with these people and the lovely music by Ravi maybe I could survive the Red Mist that I would likely be afflicted with, and I am so glad I took the chance.
I found it unexpectedly sweet and funny, and if the story went a bit overboard in places…well, such is life. Plus, no Red Mist at all! Or hardly at all. While it is certainly true that Padmini sacrifices early and often, her actions make sense and she is no weeping helpless pushover.
July 22, 2015
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:
If buying in Rupees, go to Pothi.com.
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
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.
March 17, 2015
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.
December 19, 2013
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!
December 3, 2013
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.
November 15, 2013
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!
July 17, 2013
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!!!!).
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!