Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't drop it, Aamir!

Aamir takes his transistor off. *avert your eyes* LOL!

I have to admit… I've been enjoying Hrithik's silly Bang Bang challenges. And I'm even happier now that I found out there's a pretty good chance I'll get to see the film this weekend!! Wish me luck that everything works out!!

I've been listening to Kumail Nanjiani's The X-Files Files podcast and really enjoying it--especially this last episode with producer Steve Asbell. He just had some interesting things to say about making these big budget "popcorn" movies and how they can make a lot of money but they don't stick around, culturally, unless there is a distinct vision behind them. Of course a distinct vision doesn't mean something will succeed but the stuff that does hit MASS APPEAL is at the sweet spot between commercial and artistic. Like a Dabangg or a Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now that I'm typing it, it seems really trite but I was nodding along as they were discussing it. Oh, man. Well, we all know I'm firmly of the opinion that it's the human element that makes things stick around. Big special effects extravaganzas are great… once. Then everyone moves on. It's like the difference between Avatar and Titanic. Two equally dumb, equally vapid, equally massive hit movies but Titanic has stuck around because people connected with the human element and you NEVER hear anybody bring up Avatar anymore.

I'm hoping Bang Bang gives us a human connection--more Dhoom 2/Dhoom 3/Krrish 3 than Race or something, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Montage! A sports training MONTAGE!

Ungli trailer…

Man, I don't know. I love Kangana and all but this got a big yawn from me. Maybe it's just because I tried watching D-Day last weekend and got SO BORED with it. Heist movies are great and all but it feels like we've been swamped with them and none of them are actually SAYING much of anything.

Of course, as Asim always points out, this could just be the fault of the trailer so I may keep an eye on this one but… another heist movie in and of itself doesn't really get my interest.

There has to be some other hook, whether it be sizzling chemistry or meta-commentary or something. Style is fine and all but how many training montages and/or slow-motion walking can an audience take?

Speaking of how much crap an audience can take, D-Day started so promisingly but I just tuned out the moment the action switched to Irrfan Khan doing his wide-eyed "serious ACtor" schtick. Sometimes I feel like he just copy-pasted his Salaam Bombay performance into a career...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, Monday… can't trust that day...

Why does Monday come around so quickly?!

I had a really nice weekend, celebrated my birthday a little early…

A DC United game on Saturday and then apple picking on Sunday!


And a present from my kitty--herself! LOL!


Some apples!


A birdsnest!

And, wow, DC United are doing great this season! Soccer is so much fun to watch. Bend it Like Beckham is still my favorite soccer movie. For all her other faults, Gurinder Chadha has made at least one epic film. Even if all the white people over here call it "Bollywood." *face palm*

Bollywood… well, there's always… no, never mind. I was going to post "Billo Rani" but I forgot how obscene Sana Khan's tongue was. EW!! All I remembered from the song was Bips eyes…

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kill, kill, kill my dil already, Ranveer!

HAPPY FRIDAY! Only one week until Bang Bang, right!?!?!! I really hope I can figure out a way to the theater next weekend because… MUST. SEE!

Yesterday I had a chance to catch up with the Finding Fanny episode of uPodcast and, dang, Asim really made a lot of the points I always make about those kinds of films. I kept wanting to butt in with a comment but then Asim would make it for me! LOL!

I hate seeing films like Finding Fanny or The Lunchbox getting touted as "alternative" cinema or as groundbreaking somehow when, really, those films are a lot like Miramax films, in that they are a) corporate and b) inherently conservative cinema, in that they are generally confirming the social values or ideas already held by the people watching.

I was thinking back on a few of the "alternative" films I've seen in the past couple of years and the ones that really stood out are Pawan Kumar's Lucia, Karthik Subburaj's Pizza, Rajat Kapoor's Ankhon Dekhi, and Prashant Bhargava's Patang. Not that Miramax-ish films can't be good but the fact that they aren't massy doesn't automatically mean they are "quality." Know what I'm sayin'?

And I can add that I'm so tired of that faux-rustic/dance floor mashup feel of "Shake your bhootiya." Sachin-Jigar really brought their C-game to this. Yeesh. It sounds like a leftover track from like mid-late 2000s Minissha Lamba film or something.

Anyhoo, I really enjoyed the discussion and it got me jazzed up for the coming fall season of films.

Because, you guys:

I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE IMMEDIATELY!!!! GO GO GO GOVINDA!!!!!! Seriously, I think Yash Raj reached into my brain and pulled this out. Because I don't care how Yash Raj-y it gets, each of these three on their own can hold the screen like a boss--put together… I think my brain my explode from awesomeness.

Not to overhype or anything. *cough*

ETA: OMG RANVEER'S HR TRIBUTE!!!!!! He dances to "Main Aisa Kyun Hoon" and when he doesn't get enough attention, rips his mask off, and it's EPIC!! EPIC!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Well, Ali Baba had those 40 thieves...

A big thanks for ksana for reminding me that Alibaba aur 40 chor existed. Ah, Hema Malini, living proof that talent is not hereditary.

I'm always so torn over Ali Baba, though. Not in that film, specifically, which I haven't seen, but in general. You see, I adore fairy tales but as much as I love the 'exotic' story of "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" itself, it frustrates me to no end how the West just accepts it as an "Arabic"--or sometimes "Indian"--story and representative of all culture "over there," a vast region stretching from the eastern border of Israel all the way up to China, full of brown people, sand, hammer pants, turbans, despots, beheadings, etc.

Exotic is all well and good but not if we conflate it with reality. I see this all the time in the various Internet circles I travel in--and on both sides. America is an exotic place to many people. I'm always charmed to see a Japanese pop star really into the Rolling Stones or an Indian hero who digs American speed metal or something… but then I'm sad that America's global cultural export machine only sends the WORST IMAGES of us out into the world. People are surprised when they come here and the streets aren't paved with luxury brands and drugs, black people don't murder them, white women aren't prancing around in bikinis and flinging themselves at every man who passes by. That we have a lot of poverty, hunger, willful ignorance, brutal daily violence, religion, kindness, openness, acceptance, and people of all shades and all shapes and sizes.

Also, this American can make a mean apple pie.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I overturned a giant mug of coffee earlier and never made another pot so if what I'm saying makes no sense just ignore and enjoy Hema and Zeenat!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Happy Wednesday, Comrades!

In the middle of everything, a book I'd ordered from the library finally came in: Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War by Kristin Roth-Ey. I haven't really had a chance to dig in but--like my grandfather taught me--I have investigated in the index and saw a few Bollywood films listed! The author appears to dig into the Soviet love for Bollywood films so if I come across anything of interest, I'll be sure to report back to you.

I know I've mentioned it before but I have a real fondness for Soviet-era films. It's part of the same pull I have towards vintage Bollywood films. Part of it is the moral values unconcerned with the judeo-christian-capitalism I find so loathsome, part of it is how they operate completely outside the 'realist' standard for film that took over Hollywood, and part of it is… just plain fun.

From one of my favorites, Brilliantovaya Ruka. Ah, I miss the sound of Russian.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Random, random Tuesday.

Good morning! Another random post from me today. My brain is still remolding itself back into shape after the intense couple of work-weeks I had. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I wanted to be in my point yesterday if dingax1983's comment was any indication. It's not that pop artists don't have fans anymore or buy merchandise but there is a more tangible relationship to the art itself when you have something physical to tie it to. I forget half the songs I bought on iTunes but I remember each and every DVD or CD I've purchased in the last year. The nice packaging and "extras" included in a DVD or CD can help give a piece of art more "weight" than just streaming it on youtube. You just remember it better. That's why I think the move to spotify everything is such a shitty idea. Music as background noise. Movies as background noise. For a nominal fee that goes to the company and not the artist. You get what you pay for.

Anyways. In other news, I was highly amused by a) Rajeev Masand's latest drivel about how AB Jr. has been going around pontificating and b) reviews of Sonam's latest drivel that are like, "Well she's annoying as fuck but OMG FAWAD KHAN IS SO HOTTTTTT!"

Also:

THE RETURN OF KANGANA!!!!! ♥

That's literally the only thing I care about for this film.

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl