Archive for July, 2008

July 17, 2008


I was in NYC this week, and this was the view from my hotel room of Ground Zero (the World Trade Center location). Very busy! And noisy (especially at 7 am). Click on the photo to see it much bigger (it’s a composite, obviously, and not a terribly professional one, but you get the idea). Just thought it was interesting what a hive of activity it is compared to the last time I was there in February, although it still mostly looks like a big mess.

The PATH trains to/from New Jersey have been running for a few years now, but the rest of it has mostly been silent and pretty empty. I guess the memorial site is well underway now!

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July 14, 2008

Nau Bahar (1952)

This is the story of a rich blind man who falls for a poor girl, regains his sight and is forced to marry a wealthy girl whom his father has chosen. It’s very similar in many ways to Deedar in that blindness is associated with joy and sight with sadness, but a much happier film overall, to my great joy and abiding relief. I was on a mission to see more of Nalini Jaywant (who was Shobhana Samarth’s sister, according to imdb, making her Nutan and Tanuja’s aunt). She was lovely in this, and I really liked her pairing with Ashok Kumar, who is also absolutely beautiful.

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July 12, 2008

My ten favorite film qawwalis

Like most westerners discovering Hindi films and music, I fell in love quickly with the wonderful song form known as “qawwali.” People have many different interpretations on what a true qawwali is; I am just going to list my favorite film qawwalis, which I know have taken some liberties with the pure form. I like this particular article about qawwali and its history and development.

My personal criteria are that there be at least one singer with a chorus, and the song should build in rhythm, accompanied by clapping in addition to musical instruments and picturized in front of an audience which joins in. I also prefer the ones from older films which use more traditional instruments (e.g. dhola, harmonium, tabla, sarangi), and which usually begin with an alaap. If a “nautch-girl” is dancing, I consider that a mujra, not a qawwali. My definition and preferences might be too narrow for some, and too broad for some, but hey—it’s my blog!

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July 10, 2008

Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha (1998)

This film will always have a special place in my heart since it’s the first Hindi film I ever really watched. There’s a lot more on that topic here so I won’t go into it all again, but I was enchanted. From the sweet, funny romance to the lunatic embellishments, I loved it unreservedly. Ajay was so sexy, Kajol so cute; Kashmira Shah was such a vamp, and Om Puri so lovely as a cop with a heart of gold. I loved the scenery, the goofy stunts, the lively songs, the Ajay-Kajol chemistry. Oh Baghwan. It was so much fun!

When it was over, I watched it again.

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July 9, 2008

Trivia time #27

One more trivia question since I’m feeling too hot and lazy to review a film today.

Who is this actress? She was a child star who successfully transitioned into adult roles, although for some incomprehensible reason she was always in a supporting role and not a heroine (as you can see, she is beautiful, and a good actress to boot!).

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July 8, 2008

Trivia time #26

In which film’s climax did a mother shoot her own son dead for the sake of a woman’s honor (he was abducting her)…a couple of years before Mother India was made?

Carla’s review of Mother India brought this one to mind.

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July 7, 2008

Maha Badmaash (1977) Part 3

Our hero’s training continues with an endurance test inside the Room of Ice…as the temperature gets colder and colder! Mogambo urges him on—even Mike is rooting for him. Will he survive?

Oh, the suspense! The tension! The gazillion beeping gadgets!

Has there ever been anything sillier, dear readers?

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July 7, 2008

Public service announcement

We interrupt our Maha Badmaash serial to send you lucky people to the funniest review of Love Story 2050 you will ever read.

July 7, 2008

Maha Badmaash (1977) Part 2

We catch up with our hero as he checks into the Hotel Hilton. He is shadowed by a girl in green hot pants and floral go-go boots.

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July 6, 2008

Maha Badmaash (1977) Part 1

This film could have just as easily just been a comic book. A racist, stupid comic book, but a comic book nonetheless. So that’s how I’ll pass it along to you, faithful readers—in installments, since it’s hard to swallow this much insanity all at once.

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