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.
Thank 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!
Some of you have been agitating (ever so gently, though, and I don’t mind) about my silence over here. Luckily Tom and his army of subtitlers which now includes our much-loved regular Pacifist have not been nearly as lazy.
I am pleased to announce that there are updates to the Edu Productions page with twofour new movies available for download, with subtitles. They are two early Pakistani Noor Jehan films (1952’s Dupatta and 1958’s Choo Mantar). I have included a link to Richard’s review of Dupatta over at his blog, Dances On The Footpaths so check that out too. And Tom has put the songs and dances on his YouTube channel as always.
I have just added 1943’s Kismet and a rare one called Karigar (1958) starring Ashok Kumar and Lalita Pawar. Tom has done his usual stellar job on the sometimes problematic video quality and these are very hard to find films, especially with subtitles. Many many thanks to Pacifist for joining the team and doing such a great job subtitling! The quality of her work is outstanding, and it is not an easy thing to do to capture the nuances of disparate languages elegantly.
As for me, I have spent the winter focusing on another long-time hobby which conflicts with my movie-watching one: knitting. I am not a good enough knitter to read subtitles at the same time as I knit (although I have always been very pleased by how much knitting goes on in Hindi movies!). If you are interested, you can see some of my recent projects (with Gilda’s “help”) here, here, here, here, and here. If you aren’t, I don’t blame you and I hope to be back discussing fillums here very soon when the flowers start coming out again and it’s too warm to be sitting under a cloud of wool yarn!
My friend and film encyclopedia Arunkumar Deshmukh contacted me a few days ago with the news that he had met family members of “yesteryears” actor and singer Parshuram. He was offering to write a guest post about this largely forgotten but long-time contributor to Indian cinema, who began his career in 1937, in V. Shantaram’s Duniya Na Maane (and Kunku, the Marathi version) and worked steadily for three more decades plus.
Naturally I jumped at this generosity! A big thank you to the family of Parshuram, and of course to Arunji.
I have always felt that bears have the right idea for winter and apparently this year I am joining them. I’ve been watching movies, but the writing part of my brain is AWOL. Hopefully I will be inspired by something soon, but until then I have a favor to ask all of you.
Do you have two or three favorite posts here? I am thinking of compiling the most popular ones to create a book but don’t feel I am the best judge of what the “most popular” are (not being objective in any way, shape, or form). If you do have some definite favorites please leave them in the comments—I will sort through them all and make a list with those that get the most votes!
And let me know what you think of the idea too (please be polite, but honest!). You can select more than one answer, too, but try not to contradict yourself.
Muqabla is basically Seeta Aur Geeta with Fearless Nadia as twin sisters Madhuri Aur Rani. Need I say more? Probably not, but I’ve never let lack of need stop me from doing anything. I will tell you, though, that this review has taken me longer than any other review before it to write, by which I mean it’s just taken longer; don’t expect it to be any better.
Special effects wizard Babubhai Mistry is said to have used split screen technology for the first time in India along with back screen projection to show the twins interacting and passing one in front of the other. And although it isn’t her usual “stunt” type of film, there is plenty of action for Nadia and her fists in both avatars. Probably this is better described as Geeta Aur Geeta, exponentially more awesome for not having a browbeaten helpless little mouse in it; both Rani and Madhuri are fairly kick-ass girls. There are a lot of songs which drag the film down for me (interminable love songs between two sets of lovers, sometimes two or three songs in a row with no respite between); but two songs feature Nadia dancing and that is pretty fun to watch. As a bonus, she has a clever and faithful Alsation dog named Gunboat (who I think appeared with her in other films). Plus a very very young and slender Agha plays sidekick to hero Yakub. He excels at physical comedy, and I always love seeing a young anybody I know better from his or her later career.
Some of you I imagine will scratch your heads and say: “This is the dubious production she’s choosing to review after so long?”
Many more of you will say: “Well of course it is.”
To all of you I have only two words: Arjun Hingorani. I have seen a few films in the month since I last posted a review, but as nice as some of them were they simply didn’t inspire me enough to overcome the cloud of Callie-worry and work overload. I was positive that the letter ‘K’ loving Mr. Hingorani would have something up his sleeve to make my eyes pop out. And so he did. He always does.
So. I know I have been missing here for a while; I have had to travel some for work and actually pay attention to the job that helps me keep body and soul together, where people don’t understand that this is more important—but who also pay me. And Callie (my little dog with encephalitis) relapsed recently so I have had to start from square one with even more toxic medications to try and keep it under control. This depresses me as you might imagine although she seems perky enough about it, bless her.
Khair. I am very glad to have an excuse to post something short (and cheerful), and here it is: Tom has finished putting together a subtitled dvd of the 1962 film Sautela Bhai, starring Guru Dutt and Pranoti Ghosh. It’s not out anywhere else on dvd or vcd as far as I know. It is based on a story by Bengali writer Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (“Boikunter Will”), with music by Anil Biswas; it also features the likes of Bela Bose, Bipin Gupta, Kanhaiyalal and many more.
As usual, you have the option to download dvd files, or to watch the film on YouTube. Check out the links on the “Edu Productions” page link at the top here, enjoy, and don’t forget to say thanks to the team: Raja and Ava for their subtitling, Tom as the General, and Shalini for providing the source video.
It’s Labor Day here in the US and Canada, and let me tell you something: I have really labored for you guys. I recently got my hands on a very fragile and worn copy of Baburao and Sushila Rani Patel’s 1952 book called “Stars of the Indian Screen.” It features 36 actors and actresses, with a short biography of each accompanied by a gorgeous colored plate like the ones above. And though the book is credited as written by Sushila Rani Patel and edited by Baburao, the bios have Baburao’s trademark snark all over them, by which I mean they are awesome.