Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Post... not too much news of interest today. Dilip Kumar is still in hospital... :(

Because I'm weird like this, as I was dozing this morning in bed, I was thinking about this Emily Nussbaum post I read yesterday on fans watching media (in this case Breaking Bad) "wrong." Before you comment here, don't worry, she gets taken to task in the comments section for her judgemental use of language and I'm certainly not going to accuse anybody of watching "wrong." What I was musing on--and it ties into conversations we were having in the comments earlier this week--were the films made for people who don't watch movies (and song picturizations) like I do, preferring a more MTV/Hollywood style of film meant to be put on while you're doing something else starring celebrities whose main talent is selling gossip magazines and featuring songs meant to be played on iPhones while waiting in line at the grocery store.

There is nothing wrong with that--let me emphasize again, no negative judgement implied--but there's no point in me caring about Poonam Pandey and Gauher Khan when I have much easier access to (and to be honest, more cultural investment in) in Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyruse and Demi Lavato. AKA The stuff whose main value is for me to have something to make small talk about with people in my day-to-day life. I do understand the value of having an Imran Khan to gossip about--as somebody who moved back to America as a teenager and had to teach herself American culture in order to fit it, believe me I do understand the value there.

Anyways, there are still lovely films being made that are for people watching films like I watch films and I am overjoyed at the Ram-Leela trailer! And really looking forward to Shahid's upcoming films and Akshay's and Dhoom 3 and anything Rakesh Roshan puts his hands on. But I'll be honest, as somebody with a love for stories AND songs, I do miss the richer musical palate of the older films, the way the emotions were deepened through music. Filmi-Contrast opened up a question on a previous post but I don't think too many people follow old comments chains so I'll re-post here:

I still feel like it is rare to see the type of plaintive individual lament made famous by Mahudbala in M-e-A: "Mohabbat ki Jhooti Kahani." Or the poignant rebuke/lament, like "Jab Bhi Jee Chahe" from Chopra's Daag (1973). Whether or not it was ever a common type of musical expression in any decade, I wish we had more of it! Does anyone have any thoughts/examples on where the individual lament songs are in films today/recent years?

I feel like mostly these types of songs--if used at all--are done as montages:

And... I do miss seeing the characters actually SING their feelings. It feels more immediate and intimate and, yes, "real" to see them singing versus the audience just observing the action, you know? But maybe I'm just old-fashioned. And I know John Abraham would say I'm trying to hold Indian cinema back from competing with the West but I would politely disagree with Johnny and say there is value in using songs in a narrative in the unique Hindi cinema way and who cares what some Hollywood critics think.

(Unless Johnny is just angling to elbow his way onto the cushy Irrfan Khan international film festival press junket circuit and then more power to him. I bet Irrfan gets some SWEET goody bags and other swag. Hollywood does have cash and is appears to be more than happy to throw it around.)


Two directors making films I want to see--Raj and DK! Apparently their Happy Ending is going to be about two authors? Saif's gracelessly aging face is perfect, actually, if he's playing somebody from Los Angeles, which seems to be the case.


It's kind of sad reading Subhash Ghai talk about his films.

Let me tell you one thing – I’ve been working for more than three decades. I’m the only director who delivered 11 hits in a short span of time. There was huge competition back then – Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Feroz Khan and N Chandra among several other big names – but I never complained. As far as my film is concerned, I’m the best. I AM THE BEST DIRECTOR! The moment you start comparing yourself, you get scared. Let the media and trade compare you with others. But you have to believe in yourself, because I don’t make their kind of films and they don’t make my kind of films. I’m not competing with Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee or Karan Johar. I’m competing with Subhash Ghai. There’s no point. It’s not a race track.


I don't even care that the song and picturization are middling (and we're forced to cut to PC's face every 30 seconds)... I LOVE WATCHING HRITHIK DANCE!


And have a golden oldie!


KimT said...

Definite mixed feelings about Krrish 3. Finally Hrithik dancing on seems like forever, but I, too, was disappointed by the song, his outfit, PC's presence, and strangely his bulging biceps. Never thought I'd say be saying the last...but he's looking out of proportion or something. And I've never liked the rolled sleeves and tennis shoe look he favors on and off screen. I know it fits the Krrish character well, but sigh. I prefer him in traditional clothing, suits, or even silly surfer/skater gear a la Dhoom 2. Oh well, I'm not a Rakesh Roshan fan, so my expectations are generally low.

On a different topic, I think the reason I'm so excited about Ramleela besides the fabulous trailer is that I've enjoyed recent films like Bhardwaj's Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur, and even Yah Raj's Ishaqzaade, that have the rustic/pastoral setting that I think lends itself to grittier more nuanced characters (i.e. Omkara and Ishqiya). That being said how the eff would I know if this trend is more "realistic" than the Western-style rom com which I enjoy as much (if differently) for the eye candy and the time pass. Being a white American, I'm constantly questioning how my perceptions of Indian culture are influenced by my film watching (as well as reading about India and observing current events).

filmi-contrast said...

I think I'd have to agree about the montages and sequences taking the place of character's actually singing their feelings. As much as that sort of sequence can be a highlight of a film for me ("Tanyahee" from Dil Chahta Hai comes to mind) I still don't think it serves the purpose in the same way.

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
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