Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vacation Post!

I wasn't going to post on vacation but I have been told that even though I will be out of town for it (self-centered, right? LOL!), I should probably put up a link to the DC South Asian Film Festival! Omi Vaidya will be there with Big In Bollywood and there are a couple other interesting films playing like Shagird and Ashes.

Done and done. So, go out and see some good films if you're in town! (I'll be out at the beach but it's all good!)


Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Newsss Post!

The Indian Film Festival in New York has kicked off! How did I not know they were screening Bubble Gum?! I'm dying to see that one; it looks so cute! Do go if you get a chance - I think they are also screening Chittagong, which is supposed to be miles better than the Abhishek film on the same topic.

And an announcement - I'll be on vacation from Saturday to Saturday and I'm not sure what my Internet situation is going to be like. Hopefully nothing terribly exciting will happen in B-town while I'm gone but... I'll be back in time to bring you plenty of excitement over ROWDY RATHORE!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bol Bachchan Trailer!

BOL BACHCHAN! I never thought the day would come where I was looking forward to an Abhishek Bachchan movie but if he keeps hooking up with my man Rohit Shetty, then I think we might be on the road to forgetting his past misjudgments.

First of all, ROHIT SHETTY CAR STUNTS AND SLOW MOTION FIGHTING!

Secondly, ROHIT SHETTY COMEDY AUNTIES! Hello, Archana Puran Singh!

Thirdly, Abhishek seems relaxed and having fun instead of trying too hard. Give me a performance on a level with the Dostana one and I'll be satisfied.

Fourthly, I think Asin pairs quite well opposite these older heroes. She has a REALLY strong personality that can hold it's own opposite the biggest of heroes. Plus, if her past choice in scripts is anything to go by - Ghajini, Ready, Housefull 2 - we're looking at a mass entertainer that should bring in the bidness.

I cannot wait! How many films does this make coming up that look really, really good? Thank god our May dry spell is almost over. They actually brought Vicky Donor back to our theater because everything else blew so bad.

Thursday Gossip!

First of all, I think people misunderstood that Firstpost article from yesterday... my understanding wasn't that the author thought Bollywood was stupid but that she was pointing out how Westerners (especially) see most Indian films through the "Bollywood is sooooo campy" filter. Anyways. It doesn't matter today.

If you are in Australia, you can watch Anil Kapoor in a documentary on slavery in India.

And if you are in Mumbai, don't forget to check out Kashish Film Festival for films about community that is too often cruelly stereotyped and marginalized.

Last thing before the news - this isn't a film but I have a feeling other people would be interested, too. I know there are some mafia buffs out there (myself included). The title: "Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia" by S. Hussain Zaidi. Unfortunately Flipkart doesn't ship overseas, as far as I know, but maybe we can all find some copies on eBay or something.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cannes 2012: It's like Slumdog Millionaire meets Amélie!

With both Miss Lovely and Gangs of Wasseypur making waves at Cannes this year, there have been more opportunities than usual for journalists to drag out the old cliches about how India is “evolving” past the old song-and-dance format into “proper” cinema. These stories are not only tedious in their judgemental tone but also culturally myopic and (worst of all) unoriginal, popping up every time somebody vaguely South Asian makes a film that Western film critics are able to wrap their heads around.

The narrative of these stories is always that India is making films incorrectly and with films like Gangs of Wasseypur is finally starting to understand how to do film right (i.e. OUR way).

Bullshit. 1.2 billion people (give or take a few) aren’t wrong.


Wednesday Gossip!

Let me start with a link to a post that captures some of the discomfort I feel when I see Bollywood fans focus too much on the camp, the ridiculous, the "mouches"...

From Lakshmi Chaudhry at Firstpost:

Bollywood is now the official bimbo of the international film scene. No one cares what our movies say as long as they look good and offer mindless fun. In fact, that’s our designated job according the kitsch-is-cool pose adopted by American critics. Cartoonish characters, absurd plotlines and bad dialogue? Thank you, that’s exactly what we ordered, with a giant serving of exotic locales, dance numbers, and costumes, please!

Lakshmi also calls out Rachel Saltz for her bullshit reviews, much to my eternal pleasure.

Obviously, I'm not part of the "our" but it does annoy me to see cinema that I love with my whole heart and am deeply affected by (I still think on O.P. Ralhan's films when I need to remind myself to hate the crime, not the criminal) summed up as "over-the-top musical romances with silly and exotic outfits." Sure, there is a pleasure in silly outfits but the other pleasures of Indian films are much more rewarding. (If you ask me, which nobody did.)

Anyways.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Gossip feat. bonus rant!

Sigh. My immediate response to this article in the Hollywood Reporter was: "Shut up."

The fact that Tesson used the term “Indian cinema” and not Bollywood was telling and indicative of the tectonic shift that is happening in the world’s biggest film industry. Traditional Bollywood fare — star-driven song-and-dance melodramas that adhere to formulaic plots and recognizable archetypes — are now being challenged by low-budget indie productions with auteur sensibilities and decidedly edgy subject matter.

Do we really have to trot out these talking points year after year? What do you mean NOW being challenged AND what do you mean by "Indian cinema" and "Bollywood"? There have been the regional industries along with Hindi language parallel cinema for a long, long time and those aren't Bollywood. On top of that, Western media, you need to get the stick out of your ass about song-and-dance. Just because a film has song-and-dance doesn't make it less serious or less artistic or less meaningful or LESS GOOD than a film without it. The same goes for the archetypes. Sholay: big budget, uses archetypes, has so much song and dance AND a formulaic plot and also happens to be one of the GREATEST FILMS ever made.

Okay? So, stop just googling the stories that came out in the New York Times the last time "Indian cinema" popped up on your radars (that would be Slumdog Millionaire and before that... maybe Bride and Prejudice, then Lagaan and/or the last Deepa Mehta or Mira Nair film) and start actually watching the films and/or reading things by people who ACTUALLY WATCH INDIAN FILMS AND BOLLYWOOD.

Have I ranted enough? I just HATE these lazy pieces by journalists who google around for 15 minutes and then write some half-assed piece that is supposed to be dispensing "wisdom." When, really, throwing together a couple of quotes from Anurag Kashyap about how the "mainstream" isn't mindless anymore means nothing coming from a Western media outlet that doesn't even have any idea of what the Bollywood mainstream IS let alone what goes against it.

I'm not saying that Ready is packed full of meaning but I don't think you can easily dismiss MAINSTREAM films like Munnabhai MBBS as meaningless or as part of this small budget "trend" The Hollywood Reporter thinks it's discovering.

Anyways. What other stories do we have today...


Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Gossip Post!

Happy Monday!!!!! I've (mostly) slept off the effects of my partying! It was a beautiful wedding... ♥

Now! GOSSIP! A nice mixture of high-low brow today...


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Gossip! But I was just protecting the children edition!

Good morning, friends! I'll be attending a wedding today so... let me say preemptively that there will be no gossip post tomorrow. Sorry! The duty to celebrate my heart out is one I don't take lightly. ♥

Okay!

And confidential to Western journalists googling around for material on Aishwarya Rai and her pregnancy weight issues, allow me to direct you to this guest post for The F-Word I wrote about Bollywood actresses and the changing standards for weight. Then check out some pictures of beauty beyond size zero.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Five favorite South Asian songs of the year so far (according to my iTunes count)!

I figure "South Asian" is the safest descriptor here...

I've been on a real music kick recently and here is what my top five jams of the year so far are (in reverse order):

Friday News! More finger pointing edition!

Lordy, lordy, lordy! This latest Shahrukh fiasco is just so embarrassing for him. This is what it's like to see a superstar flame out. The cognitive dissonance of believing that he's number one while reality is increasingly revealing a different story must be melting his brain.

Shahrukh has been banned from the stadium for five years.

Having listened to the audio clip posted, he just sounds like a spoiled brat. And the defensive tone of his remarks at the press conference don't belie that impression at all.

Firstpost has a great take on the incident and on Shahrukh's increasingly obvious midlife crisis. I highly recommend checking it out!

“Ae bewada,” calls out an anonymous voice from the crowd, carrying high and clear over the chatter. An enraged Shah Rukh Khan yells right back, “Tu peeche se mat bolna… samne se aake bol ae peeli shirt ****… yahin gaad doonga.” (Don’t talk to me from back there. Come in front of me, you yellow shirt. I will bury you right here.)

And now onto other news!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cannes! Freida Pinto starts us off with a bang!

Yes, it's that time of year again! Cannes! Remember last year when Aishwarya announced Heroine and then Minissha Lamba got busted coming back from Cannes via Dubai AND Saifu missed his photocall because he was being a diva?!

Can you even wait for the fallout from this year?

And a big congratulations to Armaan Kirmani from Patiala House who will be going with his film Soulmates! Go follow him on twitter because I'm sure he'll be posting updates!

I'll try to keep my eyes peeled for news of Miss Lovely and Gangs of Wasseypur along with whatever red carpet pics I can find.

And now... La Pinto. What do we think of her dress?


Thursday Gossip... the POINT GATE edition.

Oh, lordy! It seems somebody has has taken to drunken brawling again... and only a few short months after Slapgate. Why do I get the feeling a certain long-haired director is giggling into his chai as he reads all these stories?

But first! Are you in Detroit? What are you doing on Saturday? The correct answer is attending the Bollywood-Orchestra concert at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts.

Under the direction of conductor Nan Washburn, 25 Philharmonic musicians, 21 singers and 15 professional artists of Indian origin will perform 17 songs from Bollywood films, including "Jai Ho" from 2008's "Slumdog Millionaire." And actual movie clips will be synchronized to the music on four large screens.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lolo~ Lovely Lolo!

Lolo for Verve! Dangerous Ishhq may not have been the resounding success we all wanted but... who cares! It's LOLO! We never loved her for her acting abilities anyways... ♥


Wednesday Gossip!

Attention people who can't get to Cannes... (i.e. most of us): Be sure to check out the online retrospective festival! 3 Idiots will be one of the films available.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Madhuri Dixit!

And here's wishing Madhuri all the best on her birthday!! Who says a heroine's life is over once she hits 30! Mads is still ruling the headlines and (hopefully) we'll be seeing her back on cinema screens sometime this year.

A few of tributes from the daily rags.

We all know her classics - "Dhak Dhak," "Dola Re," etc. - but here are some of my favorite Madhuri numbers!


Tuesday Gossip!

Good morning!! I want to apologize again for my lack of substantial posts recently. As you may or may not have heard my brother just got engaged and we have been celebrating like crazy!! I also have TWO MORE weddings to attend this month and on top of everything else work has been crazy, so, well... let's just say I haven't had even time to sleep, let alone watch movies or write.

I'm going to try to keep on top of daily news at the least and I do have a post for Box Office Poison simmering, so hopefully I can get that to you soon! Things should calm down in June, which I am really looking forward to believe you me!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Coke Studio Season 5

This has been all over the twitter circles I frequent but, yes, Pakistan's Coke Studio is back! Check out one of my favorite bands: SYMT.

A big hat tip to my buddy Dishoom Bhai for sending the video my way.

The official website is here. ENJOY!

Monday Gossip!

So, it looks like Ishaqzaade has taken a good opening but Dangerous Ishhq has been dull.

I hope everybody had a Happy Mother's Day that was celebrating!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I'll be back tomorrow!!

In the meantime, enjoy a little video tribute to Nirupa Roy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday Gossip!

Good morning!! I hope all is well with everybody today... had a bit of a pirate-y night last night. Thankfully my sister hasn't gotten up to upload the pictures yet. Heh.

OKAY! I'm going to try to hit up Dangerous Ishhq tonight but I can't promise anything. I'll try, though. It is LOLO after all. I feel a strong sense of duty to support her comeback. We over-30 ladies need to stick to together.

Now, onto news!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Two New Song Promos!!

Sonakshi giving her all with "Chamak Challo Chel Chabeli" (and long-time-no-hear to Kumar Sanu)!

"Jiya Ho Bihar Ki Lala" from Gangs of Wasseypur. This looks like it's going to be... intense.

Friday Gossssip!

I can't read any reviews of the films I want to see but I'm sure I'll pick up on the buzz. Light news day today but let's see what the media barfed up for us!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

EK THA TIGER!

Everybody and their mother has posted this already but... DAMN! This is going to be good! I loved Kabul Express and all the non-Neil Nitin Mukesh parts of New York so Kabir Khan is a-ok in my books. No sighting of Katrina yet but considering he got a nice performance out of her in New York, I think we're looking at THE film of the year.

Now, don't kill it with hype and constant news stories and ads and publicity.

Please.

Thursday Gossip! Where's my craze edition?!

Looks like we're getting Dangerous Ishhq this weekend but not Ishaqzaade. Sorry I've been kind of a slacker recently... things have been a little busy around casa de Filmi Girl. I think it's okay to mention this now but... my brother just got engaged!!!!! It's the first wedding in my immediate family so we're all REALLY excited.

New Hampshire folks!! Go and check out the Bollywood screenings on May 12th and the New England Bollywood Film Festival.

Also, Gangs of Wasseypur is heading to the Sydney Film Festival for people in Australia.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Gossip Post!!

Start your day off right with some Australian news coverage of the new reality show "Bollywood Star." It looks amazingly entertaining! Also, I would like to visit Australia!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Gossip...

Casting rumors and other industry tidbits today... there are some good films coming up!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Gossip!

Good morning, friends! Another week is with us... some good news for Box Office Poison fans: I watched a certain film yesterday for a new post! Yes, Lafangey Parindey!! And it actually was pretty entertaining! I totally understand why it flopped but it's worth another look if you passed it by. It reminded me of those films we see here on the ABC Family channel. Also, this might be my favorite roles yet for Neal Nitin Mukesh and Dippy, not that that's saying much... heh.

Okay! Let's see what else is happening today!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Gossip... Satyamev Jayate edition

There is only ONE story today. And, no, while Shahrukh did try to make it his story by leaking news of a reunion with Kajol, every headline belongs to another Khan - AAMIR KHAN.

His television show Satyamev Jayate is the only thing anybody is talking about. (Apparently to the extent that the official site crashed.)

So, let's see what the fuss is about!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Gossip: The Imported Edition

Today in gossip... Dancers! I have a question for you. Also, Rajesh Khanna, Rajat Kapoor, Kailash Kher, people's drinking problmes... and some other odds and ends!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday News Post!! (Ass-ton Kutcher Free!)

Jannat 2 seems to be reviewing well. The consensus is it's an entertaining one-time watch, and really what more can you ask from an Emraan Hashmi potboiler? (Although Esha Gupta gets an almost universal thumbs down for her lack of acting skills.)

And good news - the Kashish Film Festival is back for its 3rd year at the end of May! If you're in Mumbai, go out and support your gay brothers and sisters with films that respect them instead of the usual and highly offensive stereotyping that goes on...

Check out an interview with festival director Pallav Patankar!

We have a lot of queer content coming from inside the country, in regional languages not necessarily English, and that will be interesting because earlier in India we were not generating that much queer based content. And it's encouraging to see that people are coming up with local stories with local languages instead of Hindi or English. We have a film in Marathi, we have a film in Kannada and we have a film in Punjabi which is going to be quite new for us.

And with the public service announcements out of the way... onto news!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday Gossip!

Our top story today... Ashton Kutcher is a douche; does an ad for Popchips in full brown face. Popchips has since pulled the ad. I would recommend staying away from the comments sections on any of the posts discussing this unless you feel like reading diatribes against "thin skinned" people who can't take a joke.

Anyways... let's move on to REAL Bollywood news!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday Gossip!

Sorry for the mini-meltdown yesterday, guys!! I was having a really bad day and... that resulted. The dangers of daily blogging, I suppose... I'm feeling much better today. (And I'm still right that the song was bullshit but let's just leave it - I've wasted too much energy on that crap song. If Hollywood wants to be dumb, they can do it without help from me.)

Now, we're back to our regularly scheduled programming! Although you'll forgive me if I didn't have time to link to the epic story of somebody actually hiring Koena Mitra to launch their new plastic surgery clinic. The headline is enough, I think.

Okay! Let's hit it!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Drive by news post...

I got a little distracted tilting at windmills this morning so here are the two most important stories I found today:

Shakti Kapoor: GAY ICON!

And Madhuri Dixit to do a medley of classic film dances on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa!

I'll catch up on anything I missed tomorrow!!

Have a great day!

Cultural melding: Bollywood style...

As you may or may not have noticed, I got into a bit of an argument with Raza Jaffrey on Twitter last night. He was determined to defend that incredibly shitty Smash song by any means necessary - including getting on his high horse to tell me that cultural melding is a grand tradition in "Indian cinema" (WHICH region, dude? They're not all the same.) and that I should take the Aladdin-Indian conflation in the Smash song like that.

Leaving aside the fact that nowhere in the Smash promotional material nor in the reaction to the song in the Western press did anybody even briefly drop a hint that they knew that the "Arabian Nights" aren't actually a Bollywood thing, I thought it would be worth pointing out to Mr. Jaffrey some Bollywood songs that manage to meld two different cultures without resorting to putting white people in Aladdin vests and have them steal lamps. (Because that is what Arabic culture is all about, ammirite? Stealing lamps and waving peacock feather fans for the sultan's wife. I suppose we should be grateful that at least Smash didn't make them terrorists in Aladdin vests, since that seems to be the only other option for representation of Arabs on American television.)

Yes, Bollywood does trade in ethnic stereotype humor (aka all of Double Dhamaal) but that doesn't mean they don't know how to get it right from time to time!


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