February 25, 2010
(Image above is the back cover.)
Here are four more goodies from the “Best of” Stardust issue. The first is an expose (in her own words) of Nutan’s war with her mother Shobhana Samarth over money, and her wrath with Sanjeev Kumar when she discovers that he is behind the persistent rumors of her affair with him (she gives him a tight slap! Go girl!). Then we have an interesting short article speculating on the “Mangeshkar Monopoly” and whether Lata and Asha are sabotaging the careers of other singers. In the third, Rajesh Khanna and Anju Mahendru air their relationship dirty laundry (bit-ter!); and finally, Shashi Kapoor’s secretary accuses him of all sorts of shenanigans and loyal wife Jennifer leaps to his defense.
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February 24, 2010
In October 1971 the first issue of Stardust magazine was published and a new era of film journalism began: it was snarkier, more gossipy, more intrusive, and a smash hit with readers.
Seven years on, a special edition of the magazine called “The Best of Stardust” was published to commemorate its success.
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February 23, 2010
Yes: I am going there! I am putting a stake in the ground and saying that these ten films are the ones from 1970s Hindi cinema that I would take with me to a deserted island* (*subject to change without notice).
Several I have only seen two or three times (they are hard to watch although excellent); others I watch every other month or so when I need the equivalent of my mommy’s lap. The main thing they have in common is that they make my dil go *squish* and make my aankhen sparkle (or spill over with tears), my ears perk up and my feet start moving. They engage me fully and I love them like I made them, despite—or perhaps even because of—their flaws. For me, eye candy and heartfelt emotion trump more “arty” considerations like a tight script and flawless direction almost every time. (You’ve been warned.)
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February 22, 2010
Despite my near-certainty that I should know better, I once again succumbed to the lure of the Mithun-Ravi Nagaich combo. Feeling that I needed something *fun* to do, I watched Gun Master G-9 battle the unnecessarily complicated maneuverings of Evil with equally needlessly elaborate gadgets and code names—all the while still failing to convince me that his lacklustre activities in various nightclubs could really be classified as “dancing.” Ahem.
The beauty of Surakksha lies in the triumph of imagination over economics. I pretty much have to love and respect a filmmaker who spends most of his spy-movie budget on wallpaper and furnishings. This lacks the yellow plastic locusts of its sequel Wardat, sadly, but compensates by making said locusts appear positively high-tech in comparison to what GMG-9 encounters here. And the cinematography, courtesy of director-producer Nagaich in a triple threat, is really interesting. Crazy angles, migraine-inducing lighting…it’s all there. This writeup is even more screenshot-heavy than usual, due to the spectacular visuals which have to be seen to be believed. No real attempt to link plot points together is made: the story consists mostly of random (stolen from Bond) events which serve as an excuse for plenty of action and accessories which are a cracktastic tribute to the Indian spirit of jugaad.
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February 21, 2010
I am hoping to contribute as much as I can to Beth’s Seventies’ Week initiative. I will be starting with the loony Surakksha, which I think sums up the beauty of the decade perfectly (well, minus the generally great music): a period when there may not have always been a lot of money floating around, but where plenty of “inspiration” and creativity took advantage of what little budget there was to produce some of the most entertainingly crazy and fun films on the planet.
Stay tuned! and check out Beth’s blog for all the participants and fun!