When I’m feeling (more) unmotivated to write (than usual), Filmindia and its editor/writer/man-of-all-trades, Baburao Patel comes to the rescue.
(Insaniyat is one of the films I need to write up.)
This issue’s back cover is even good.
Something about the name Hari Har Bhakti makes me want to giggle. Hari Har Har, as it were.
This is the back cover of another issue. I like how very small the priest is.
The usual caustic (or not) captions and photos decorate the inside:
More full-color portraits! I love Bina Rai, she is so very elegant.
I haven’t seen Anita Guha in much, although I think she was pretty well-known for playing goddesses and such (hey that rhymes).
And of course, he writes some reviews. This time, I’ll share what he has to say about some Hollywood pictures. My general sense of it all is that he’s taking the piss out of the Indian government’s censorship of Hollywood imports (one of his favorite targets besides film stars is Nehru’s government and its somewhat strict morality). But as with much of Baburao’s writing, I am not entirely sure about his true intent. It could just be that he hates Hollywood crime films. This is the blurb which introduces the reviews (under photographs of himself and Nehru):
This is not a malicious tirade against all pictures coming from Hollywood. This is a deliberate campaign only against bad and dangerous pictures—pictures which contain lust, crime, violence and other anti-social elements. Good pictures from Hollywood or from any other country are always welcome. Like all good things they sell themselves. But bad and dangerous pictures have to be pointed out to save our people from becoming degenerate and demoralised members of society. Hollywood producers have turned America into a big colony of violent and sadistic criminals. This section is therefore intended to prevent that tragedy in our peace-loving, non-violent country.” — Baburao Patel
Does that reek of sarcasm to you, too?
About The Desperate Hours (starring Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Arthur Kennedy and Martha Scott) he says:
…This picture…is a vivid school for crime and if the picture is followed by actual reports of criminals forcing their way into decent homes and making family members hostage till their criminal objectives are achieved, it should cause no surprise. If, therefore, our Censors are seriously interested in preventing propagation of crime through motion pictures, they must bad this picture straightway as a matter of sacred duty. And the Censors must remember that it is exactly these kinds of pictures which have today reduced America to a vast, stinking swamp of crime…[it] is one large celluloid pill of social poison…and must be banned by the Censors without the least hesitation.
The Treasure of Pancho Villa (starring Rory Calhoun, Shirley Winters, Gilbert Roland) garners this:
History and factuality have no use for Hollywood except when they can fit into Hollywood’s dirty patterns of entertainment and can be exploited to cater vice, lust, greed, violence and other sordid ingredients on the screen…Hollywood is ever ready to distort history, twist facts, rewrite scriptures, pervert truth and slander nations…This sordid story of greed, violence and treachery is no edifying entertainment and deserves to be banned.
One gets the feeling from his reviews that he watches these “must be banned” films with a great deal of glee.