Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Gossip!

This is going to be short today - it snowed last night and I have to go dig a path for the dog.

My parents should arrive back tonight, thank goodness!!!

* Bebo will be a cartoon in Ra.1. Also Glamsham seems to think that she is both known for being size zero AND for her curves. Those two things are mutually exclusive, Glamsham.

In my world, Bebo is known for being a blissfully unselfaware diva who gives awesome quotes and performances.

* Karan Johar defends the fact that his films play well with NRIs and promises to go back to songs and dances now that My Name is Khan is completed.

* Kangana Ranaut pretends that she hasn't had plastic surgery.

* Vidya Balan spills some behind-the-scenes gossip from Ishqiya! I cannot wait for this film!!! Arshad dances. DANCES!

* Clearly, somebody in Bollywood needs to hire me.

Exhibit A: the first script of Chance Pe Dance had no romance in it. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Thank God somebody caught that. Although, unfortunately, they didn't stop Ken Ghosh from hiring Adnan Sami to write dance music.

Also, speaking of Shahid, if this story is true then he is indeed as romance-obsessed as he is portrayed in the press, which is adorable - as long as it's not happening to me.

Give me Akki's practical ladies man any day over the relationship obsessed guy...!

* Finally, read this self-loathing op-ed from a 'reformed' Bollywood fan. I don't have time now, but expect a rebuttal.

I totally respect his right to talk about how it feels to him to have Bollywood tied up in his identity as a second generation immigrant and, obviously, have no idea what that feels like. But
anyone who claims to write authoritatively on Bollywood and does that thing where they state that Hollywood is better while bringing up Love Story 2050 and declining to mention the rubbish Hollywood produces (Norbert? Transformers 2?, etc. etc.) is automatically on my no-no list.

17 comments:

aham said...

the article seems like the guy hates bollywood, but if you come at the end he says bollywood still remains a mystery, I guess guy is BBCD(britan born confused desi) counterpart of ABCD. he wants to be british so as to fit in in process forgets his own roots, like you said bad movies are everywhere but I dont think he hates bollywood, he wants to fit in with the British(western) sensibilities thats what I make from the article.

Ami said...

Hi, I'm new here but.. I just want to say.. O God, I can take any of the comments the Nirpal Dhaliwal character dished out regarding his preference in all thing unBollywood, but the last sentence where he self-proclaimed himself as a 'Britisher' makes me want to vomit (sorry, but it's true). Why must the demographics be an issue when it comes to cinema? I'm as 'unIndian' as they come, but I love hindi films as much as I like chinese films, or thai films, or malay films. As long as they come with good stories and good actors, I'm game~

rhilex said...

I like the 'montage' kind of songs, but I love the lipsynced songs and dances, too. It's nice to see Karan Johar do a bit of both.

Haven't read that last article yet, because I don't want it to put me in a bad mood. :P We'll see about it later.

Filmi Girl said...

@aham I see your point but I still don't like his tone - BBCD or not :)

@Ami Hello!!!! And I totally agree! One of my biggest complaints about articles like this one is that it assumes Bollywood is a 'niche' cinema when, in fact, it has been exported to all sorts of countries since the beginning!

@rhilex You know I'm not a big fan of the montage... LOL!

Rum said...

GRRRRRRR (SHAKES FIST) is my reaction to that article, the guardian and the times are full of annoying writers like him and sathnam sanghera who have a snarky and often sneering tone at Bollywood. I don't care if you were forced to watch films with your family in Southall, which my mum was forced when she emigrated, Bollywood has changed since the 70's. These writers have hang-ups from the past and assume the melodrama OTT quotient was carried over! It hasn't ! URGHHH!
Sorry filmi girl, my ire just boils at these pompous guys!!

Ness said...

I have to disagree with all of you getting so angry with the the guy. So he doesn't like Bollywood? That's perfectly okay - I thought the article he wrote was actually pretty fair and balanced and gave a good insight into how different audiences actually want different things out of a film. To me, him bringing up Love Story 2050 was to illustrate the point that yes, he has seen some really bad B-wood but that is because it is an industry that is pumping out so much every year, and like he says many Westerners only get to see the 'best of' a country's film industry, not the whole deal. Give the guy a break :)

zoobee said...

I'm sorry, but saying he is 'self-loathing' just because he doesn't like the absurdity of mainstream Indian cinema, is really offensive. Also, he is not '2nd generation immigrant'. His parents were immigrants, and he was born in England, meaning he is British.

Frankly I think that 95% of Bollywood is utterly infantile, cretinous, hackneyed, cringe inducing rubbish. Save for people like Abhay Deol, Vishal Bhardwaj, and a few others, he is bang on the money. To say that expressing that opinion makes you 'self-loathing' is laughable.

rossywar said...

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Nirpal Dhaliwal's article as I expected a full on slagging of Bollywood!

"Bollywood's best films are as fresh and technically proficient as anything Hollywood produces." Unfortunately he goes on to quote Dostana as being an example of this(!)

I took a BW newbie to see 3 Idiots and he enjoyed it - was baffled by "irrelevant" songs and very broad comedy, and is the least sentimental person I know but didn't complain about the "mawkish" scenes.

I think it's a little short-sighted to see BW as just having a masala formula. BW has as many genres as any other industry.

Yes Love Story 2050 was rubbish, but then so's Avatar :p

As for failing to capture mainstream imagination - language is a huge barrier for most people, we can't forget that. Also, the stereotyped view of what a Bollywood movie is (as demonstrated in this article). I think a lot of "Britishers" think of Bollywood as a genre rather than an industry.

It's not impossible for a Western person to get Bollywood - I am living proof. :) so are you and several other reading this blog!! I agree that the music is probably the hook - if filmi music crossed over into the mainstream, more people would go to see the accompanying film. Also, if more Bollywood was reviewed on mainstream tv shows and film magazines, more people would go to see it.

On the bright side, there is a Bollywood film released (nearly) every week in the UK and Bollywood films regularly enter the top ten of box offices sales every week.

@zoobee 95% of Hollywood is "utterly infantile, cretinous, hackneyed, cringe inducing rubbish" and the same could be said of all film industries all over the world. Bollywood is no worse or better. :)

Filmi Girl said...

Thanks for all the comments on my bitter intro to the BW piece ;D

I just really dislike when Bollywood is treated as a niche, regional cinema when it is much beloved by non-Indians from the former USSR to the Middle East to Africa to South East Asia among other places.

And this idea that Hollywood produces 'quality' cinema while India spews out garbage really bothers me. He claims that Western audiences wouldn't like "Rock On" because it was not gritty enough and uses "Sid & Nancy" as a counterexample - having seen both films, the comparison is like apples to oranges, which is usually the case in articles like this.

Like I said before, I clearly have no place commenting on his personal reflections on his cultural ties to Bollywood but I think he is misinformed when it comes to everything else he mentions.

Ness said...

Again, I interpret what he said differently re: Rock On. He says he doesn't think it would have much crossover success - which I interpret to mean: an international release of Rock On would probably fail to make a comparable amount of $ internationally compared to the Indian release - based on the idea that internationally films with this type of story are already being made and have been made for a long time, as opposed to the, I guess, USP that Rock On had in India that it was a different kind of story to the standard fare.

That's how I interpreted it - I certainly didn't get the idea that it was going to fail based on a lack of 'grit' or that Westerners wouldn't like it - clearly the point has already been made that there ARE Westerners who like Bollywood, just not enough to guarantee that a B-wood release can realistically challenge a Hollywood release in Western territory in terms of box office takings.

We may have to agree to disagree on our interpretations :D

moviemeh said...

Go easy on him, Filmi Girl, clearly he is damaged by that childhood memory of having to pee against the back of the seat while his parents were riveted to the movie!

Ami said...

I guess the discussion is over, but just feel like contributing my 2-cents worth.

Well, in the case of someone who didn't grow up in a western or Indian environment..surrounded by relatives & friends (and also being one) who enjoy hong kong, tamil, chinese, US+UK+european (these are mutually exclusive industries, really), thai, indonesian, hindi, arabic, and malay movies, with a smattering of South American, Philippines dramas..I have to say I can't see why the guy was so adamantly comparing hindi movies with Hollywood ones, as if that's the only reference point that matters. What is rubbish to others, maybe treasure to someone else (or else we won't have thriving re-cycling businesses in the world).

I think one should always argue about movies on story-by-story basis. Taking them in bulk and lumping them under the vague generalization of 'world cinema' or Bollywood/Hollywood fares is a gross injustice to film-making. There're techniques too to be concerned with. Avatar may have superficial plots or whateva, but it carries some unique ideas in terms of story presentation. Advances like that deserves consideration, IMO. I object to the Nirpal Dhaliwal's article mainly because it smacks of pretentiousness. Was his whole study really based on his love for movies? If one is to argue on the merits of certain film industries, I'd rather they do it in total honesty for the betterment of the industries concerned..not to put points across in order to support a personal crusade.. is all I'm saying.

Filmi Girl said...

@ami You are always welcome to leave comments!! :D

And actually you brought up a point that has been bothering me, too. I watch a lot of Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese dramas and films and it is kind of agravating that so many of the op-eds that comment on how Bollywood can never compete with Hollywood have this Western-focued myopia, like they are still trying to impress the British.

And that Western-focused myopia totally ignores the fact that Bollywood films are ALREADY popular internationally! Do South-east Asian, African, and Eastern European viewers not count as "real" fans?

Ami said...

Thanks.. :P (I blab a lot tho, as you may have noticed. Love arguing/discussing films)

So true! And ohh, it's difficult to explain the addictive attraction of somewhat-wooden acting techniques with totally ballistic plots in japanese/korean dramas & movies (hve u watched Shikaotoko Aoniyoshi?? It has Tamaki Hiroshi. Love it to death!) and the melodramatic-to-the-point-of-tears taiwanese dramas that drag on and on for like 40++ episodes..to someone who's never watched them. But those movies/dramas are out there and people the world over are loving them!

And I really like to point out to Nirpal Dhaliwal-ji (but I don't want to start a net-brawl on his site) that the UK doesn't have a film industry to speak of. Proclaiming oneself as a 'britisher' (is that actually a noun? I thought it's 'british'?) who's proud of western cinema and then citing off one after another names of Hollywood movies, which essentially were produced by US filmmakers no matter what locations the films were made in, is..I'm sorry..total ignorance of the state of the film industry in his own country (i.e. the UK). I wonder if he can rattle off the names of at least 5 internationally super-hit films released by the UK filmmakers in 2009.. :P

Ami said...

..errr, maybe my comment about the UK film industry is insensitive and wrong. I apologize.. pls don't kill me ^^;

rossywar said...

lol @Ami!! You make a good point about our film industry. Although we did have Slumdog Millionaire.We can't manage 5 international super-hits a year - maybe one every other year?

Ami said...

Ack! I'm sorry! I'm usually careful with my words when I'm blathering on the net. I was scrambling to find the 'delete/edit' button but there's none to be found in blogspot! Times like this that I miss LJ.. hehe.

I do take an interest in the UK film industry coz my most fave western actor is a very articulate and intelligent-like-nobody's business British (or britisher? ^^;) called Colin Firth and you won't believe the kind of cinema he's had to do in the past. I've always been in despair of the almost criminal way the filmmakers have handled his talents. His one international claim to fame is that 1995 Jane Austen period piece Pride & Prejudice and he's had to play that stereotype over and over again..while there in Hollywwod, Orlando Bloom is making big bucks. Criminal, I'm telling you. I'm just happy that he's getting recognition now, even though it took soooo long in coming. But of course, it's in a Hollywood-produced movie..hmmm.

(and Harry Potter is NOT a UK-production even though it has an almost full-house of very talented UK actors)

Anyway, I digress ^^; ..but my point is.. what is it again? O yes, Nirpal Dhaliwal-ji (or any self-styled critic) should do more background work b4 he goes on that spiel.. :P

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