Archive for September, 2011

September 27, 2011

Sher-E-Watan (1971)

If I didn’t know any better, I would now believe that Sher-E-Watan means “Men Without Pants”. Experienced Dara fan though I am, the sheer amount of male crotch-and-thigh on display amazed me; most of them wear nothing longer than a micro-mini tunic (Dara’s looks like leopard print velvet) or short skirt. Female costuming is confused and random, ranging in style from Arabian Nights to 1950s American Prom. Of course, I am not complaining; in fact along with the music by Usha Khanna, muscular men and pretty women in sparkly costumes are basically the reason to see this. Along with the monster named Octopus which is actually a man in an ape suit with bear claws.

Oh Indian cinema, you truly are the gift that keeps on giving!

September 23, 2011

Loafer (1973)

How much do I adore this film? Let me count the ways! 1) Dharmendra; 2) Mumtaz; 3) everybody else in it—wah! what a cast; 4) the gorgeous songs; 5) the fine ultra-masala plot; 6) Dharmendra’s chaddies; 7) the props and sets, including my new obsession the Egyptian Room; 8) the best use of Indian Movie Balloons and (possibly) Padma Khanna EVER; 9) Mumtaz’s outfits and Spare Hair; 10) no Comic Side Plot to speak of; 11) wooden gora extras; and 12) everything else I haven’t mentioned. Everything.

September 15, 2011

Karma (1933)

Finally I get to see Himansu Rai and Devika Rani paired together (although they aren’t very happy for much of it) in this early English-language talkie, a collaboration between Rai and an English movie studio. Unfortunately the audio and video in my copy is completely out of synch, but I persevered because the visuals are so great and at least I could understand what was being said, even if it was coming out of the wrong mouth. The ending is also very abrupt; I am not sure if it was due to damage or what, but you can’t have everything.

I gather that the film is mostly famous for having a very long kissing scene although no one ever mentions that Himansu Rai’s character is completely unconscious through it.

September 10, 2011

Jaal (1967)

As with most unsubtitled, murky films with missing key scenes and transitions—and likely some reel mix-ups—I early on tossed any attempt to understand the plot by the wayside. But Jaal contains some highly entertaining elements like good songs, including a beach romp with Helen, Johnny Walker, and a host of emaciated goris in bikinis; Nirupa Roy in her element as the disturbed, bereaved Aunty; Tarun Bose as her creepy butler; and miniature boats and flashing lighthouse lights. Mala Sinha is given full scope for the things she does best: looking terribly chic in 1960s outfits, and going berserk in her own inimitable style.

September 5, 2011

The Memdogs

A week ago or so, I left a comment over at Atul’s blog in which I mentioned my dogs. Atul responded with a question about my use of the plural, and I realized that I have never given a proper welcome here to my second third (counting Gemma) little Miss Thing. Then Salim left a comment asking about Callie and I took it to mean that the universe is telling me it’s time to give the two girls who light up my life their due.

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