Posts tagged ‘Hindi movie character actors’

November 23, 2010

Radio silence broken

This has been a month full of distractions both good and bad, with a week’s vacation in northern California (good), a sick dog and an increasingly incomprehensible paterfamilias (bad). I haven’t felt much like writing, although I have still been watching lots of fillums.┬áBut now you can listen in as I talk with friends and fellow bloggers Amrita (Indiequill) and Beth (Loves Bollywood) about the origins and treatment of my obsession with Hindi cinema’s character actors. Download or play it over at their new podcast-blog Masala Zindabad—we had a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy the conversation; and stay tuned for Part 2 (now up)!

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December 23, 2007

Manoranjan (1974)

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This movie had many things to delight me: my beloved Shammi both acting and directing (his first film as director); a veritable “Who’s Who” compendium of character actors; and a screenplay by Abrar Alvi (who wrote for such classic films as Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Mr & Mrs 55, and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam). It is based on (and Shammi has always credited) the Billy Wilder film Irma La Douce. The action all takes place on Manoranjan (Entertainment) Street, whose denizens are mostly pimps and kind-hearted prostitutes.

It’s a very stylish film. I loved the sets and song picturizations (songs by RD Burman)—they seem to show Vijay Anand influences, from Teesri Manzil in particular (especially the songs). The movie is also refreshingly honest about sexuality, although one of its major weaknesses is that it glosses over the pain that prostitution causes to women who are forced into it—the girls in this film seem positively happy to be prostitutes! Shammi did not direct again (only Bundal Baaz two years later), I guess because he was discouraged by the lukewarm response his films received from audiences. Too bad! I would have liked to see more from him.

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