Monday, June 30, 2014

How do you promote a film?

Good morning!! There were an interesting pair of articles in Mid-Day today that I thought I would share.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lucia: I could be dreaming...

Official site: you can rent the film here

If you had such a dream

Would you get up and do the things you believed in?

If you had such a dream

Would you get up and do those things?

-- “I Could Be Dreaming,” Belle & Sebastian

The boundary between reality and dream isn’t as solid as we like to pretend. I’m as rationally-minded as anyone this side of the Neo-Atheist Bro Crew but it’s hard not to be unnerved when you wake up from a nap--as I once did--immobile, with an evil crone hunched in the corner of the room. Thankfully, I’d read enough about sleep paralysis and hallucinations to know what was happening to me but the knowledge that it wasn’t “real” didn’t make it less real, to me, right then.

The lived, human experience of reality is more complicated than what is usually depicted in films. Filmmakers either don’t trust us to navigate the boundaries on our own or perhaps they themselves are too steeped in a dull, literal-minded view of cinema, feeling the need to baby us with some character or other explaining how, “It was just a dream!”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Weekend!!!!!!

You guys, this week totally kicked my butt at work. I'm SO TIRED! But I'm working on my Lucia write up, so hopefully I'll have that up for you sometime this weekend. I really enjoyed the film and would definitely recommend it to anybody who likes cinema that hits the intersection of "smart" and "entertaining." Kind of like how Pizza did, you know?

I'm just so happy to be back and talking with you again!

I don't have much for you today but I was amused at Rajeev Masand's latest column talking about Armaan "HE'S A KAPOOOOO~OOOOR" Jain:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On social media…

The lovely Rekhs dropped me a link to share this morning regarding an inane Buzzfeed style "listicle" from IBN of "subtitle fails" from South Indian films. I'll share her link with you little further below but since I'd been planning on writing a little something about social media today anyways, if only to clear some celebrity "official account" pics I'd saved off my desktop, I'll combine my thoughts into one rambling post. Hopefully it will hold together.

As Hrithik says, "Happiness is simply a stimulated mind."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rani's gonna get'ya.

You, guys!! It's like she read my post yesterday and was like, "I CAN TOP THAT!"

Because, you know, as much as I love Vidya, there is something that just feels very bland in the Bobby Jasoos trailer. "Bobby" comes across as "girlish," unthreatening. She's cute but…

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Just how crap are women's roles these days? Let's check in with Vidya Balan!

(What? Are you saying I chose this image for an excuse to post sexy Vidya in drag?! Then you would be correct!)

Vidya Balan has been out promoting Bobby Jasoos and the big talking point is how women's roles in films are kind of crap still:

"I think 95 percent of the portrayal is still very stereotypical and only five percent portrayals are attempting something different, more realistic like 'Bobby' (her film Bobby Jassos)," the actress said.

I have issues with the word "realistic" getting tossed around but she's not wrong.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Come on summer!

Good morning, friends!! If you are like me and need something to shake off those air-conditioning blues, I highly recommend checking out Andrew Sandoval's Come to the Sunshine podcast. He spins classic pop from the 1960s and early 70s and it's just fabulous. The newest episode features Tommy Roe but the one I've had on repeat is the episode just before which is dedicated to summer time! It makes shivering through the work day a little more bearable if I can step outside into the humid Washington, DC summer and put on the sweet sounds of Lesley Gore and little Keith Green.

I actually had a really restful and relaxing weekend. And watched a couple of great films, that I will hopefully have reviews for, especially the fantastic Lucia.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Siddharth… not my favorite but, you know, I like him okay!

I have a training to go to early tomorrow so I'm posting now! As I was trying to remember some of the films I'd wanted to see, I happened to remember the short teaser for Karthik Subbaraj's Jigarthanda. Karthik, an appealing guy who reminds me so much of all the music and movie buffs I attended university with, is the man behind the fantastic sleeper hit Pizza (which I wrote about here) and I'm dying to see what he does with a "star" cast and all the perks that come it. 

VIP: Mass trailer :)

The winner of Twitter yesterday was, of course, @getfilmy with this:

No further comment needed on the eight billion stories reporting the same fact.

And since the only other news percolating up today is Ness Wadia gets (maybe) threatened by mafia or Sajid Khan's sour grapes press tour, I feel like moving South, specifically, to Dhanush-ville.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Humsha-what now? (Team Bips Forever)

How did I forget Humshakals was coming out? I must have blocked it from my memory to preserve my own sanity because it would have been the perfect example of "HOW NOT TO DO DRAG" to go along with my thoughts on Divine.

Brushing off the cobwebs--and double checking on wikipedia--Humshakals is a Sajid Khan joint, produced by Bollywood's least popular papa, Vashu Bhagnani, whose presence is reason enough to hope it flops hard. (Please save us from another Jackky Bhagnani-starrer.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Too many dickbags on the dance floor...

Good morning, friends! So… Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia, huh? I have to admit that it's been growing increasingly difficult to force myself to look at the hot mess that has become Preity's life. We all loved her, you know?

Monday, June 16, 2014

I'd better get those cha cha heels...

One of the strange side effects of thinking a lot about Bollywood is that I find myself less and less willing to bring the topic up with people. Part of it is I got tired of trying to explain my own bizarre dedication to the art--I almost never talk about my blog in real life--and the other part is that I'm tired of dealing with all the stereotypes of Bollywood out there. How do you get it through to somebody that a Bollywood film is different from a "musical," especially when the experience most Americans have with "musicals" is the crap on Broadway?

I was thinking, again, about how much I hated contemporary Broadway musicals this weekend because I finally got a chance to see I am Divine, the Divine documentary. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the divine Divine:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Kick: Too much fun.

Happy Father's Day, to all the Papas out there! I don't have much to say on that topic except I love my own papa very much. ♥

But! You guys, so I was linked to two very awesome things this morning.

The first was this song from Guyanese artist Blood Orange.

And the second was…


So, I think we should have a big Kick viewing party in New York! I haven't been this jazzed for a Bollywood film in a while. Maybe since Dhoom 3?

I've watched it about ten times already and I can't quite decide my favorite part. Nawaz and Salman dancing a waltz? Jackie in smart glasses? The way that golden confetti reflects in Salman's shades? THERE IS SO MUCH TO LOVE HERE!

Let's get… KICK-I-FIED! *BOOM*

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Happy World Cup 2014!!

What better way to celebrate the Brazil 2014 World Cup than with everybody's favorite Brazil-set movie?!

Brazil v. Croatia today at 4pm, y'all!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday tidbits...

First of all, whatever the theme is here, I like it. Para-military-bat? Did they just repurpose the sets from "Party with the Bhoothnath" and use the extra cash for a tank? Am I missing something crucial about Humpty Sharma?? I thought it was just a rom-com but maybe Varun is like a secret bat-paratrooper or something?!

You know, I could watch Varun dance all day long. It's nice to see a new hero who has put the time in to learn to dance instead of doing the Imran Khan shuffle.

Alia isn't given much to do but I love her club clothes. I would SO WEAR THAT SILVER TOP/RED BOOTY SHORTS OUTFIT!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The People's Poet

I was going to post the new Akshay song this morning but instead it really pains me to have to bid farewell to English actor/comedian Rik Mayall.

Like many other overly sensitive women of a certain age, I was deeply affected by Drop Dead Fred when it came out. Years later, as a bitter and angsty high schooler, I stumbled across Rik Mayall's The Young Ones, a ridiculous sitcom about four slacker students at Scumbag University. Low budget, low brow humor, low opinion of society. It came along at the perfect time for me. I watched all 12 episodes over and over and over. At the time, I was probably closest in temperament to the overly earnest, eternally frustrated "People's Poet" Rick and being able to laugh at him made it easier to laugh at myself… or something.

What I'm trying to say is this show was REALLY meaningful to me at a certain point in my life and Rik Mayall was a big part of that. And I'm really sad that I have to say good-bye. And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a copy of Drop Dead Fred.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ask Filmi Girl...

Good morning!! I had company over the weekend so I'm afraid I don't have much to say on anything new. And, alas, with my local theater now shut down I didn't get to see Holiday.

So, I thought I'd answer some comments! (I do read all my comments, even if I don't always respond.)

From Kim T:

And here's a question, just because I'm curious: in addition to Indian films and Japanese and Korean dramas what are your other favorite international film/tv industries/genres, if you have any? Or, what kind of Hollywood films do you enjoy the most?

My taste in media runs pretty broad. As far as American products are concerned, I have to say that I haven't enjoyed anything as much as HBO's Silicon Valley in a long time. My two favorite American filmmakers are still David Lynch and John Waters. And the two new(ish) American movies I've seen this year that I really, really enjoyed were Tim's Vermeer and the Veronica Mars movie. I like things that are really earnest with a focus on the performer(s). Just really unfiltered id: The Cruise, American Movie, Twilight New Moon.

I also enjoy teen schlock: High School Musical, Pitch Perfect, The Breakfast Club, Frankie & Annette movies, etc.

International things… I quite enjoy Norwegian comedy, Irish drama, and British sci-fi. And I love old Soviet films from the 1960s and 1970s, like this one:

Basically, things like production values and "script" don't mean as much to me as heart and performance.

And music.

I don't know if anybody else who has migrated away from Hollywood has this problem, too, but I find the syrupy orchestral scores and "curated" rock soundtracks really distracting now. It's one reason I've grown to love Japanese film, with the sparse soundtracks. Or Dogme 95. Or something like O Brother Where Art Thou...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Filed under things I will never get tired of...

Rani Mukerji.

DANG, GIRL! And here's some behind the scenes photos from CNN-IBN.

They claim the film is going to involve Rani on a "relentless" hunt for a teenage girl who has been kidnapped by human traffickers.

I, for one, welcome this new badass, bad-guy hunting Rani and would like to learn more about the various butch outfits she will be wearing in the film.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It must be the drugs! On internet critics and bubble dwelling denizens.

Sexy Zone's latest single: King & Queen & Joker, a delightful pop concoction, no matter what Internet Critics have to say!

A couple of days ago a well-meaning friend linked me to Ian Martin’s latest insufferable word vomit over at Martin, like many Internet Critics, lives inside a specific, deeply conservative cultural bubble which, for lack of a better term, I’ll call Fight Club, named after, of course, the book and film of the same title. Inside the Fight Club bubble, rebellious young men are eternally having to prove how hypocritical society and/or women are while a soundtrack of carefully curated classic rock hits plays. Inside the Fight Club bubble, the things that are “good” are the things that hit all the right post-1960s counterculture buzzwords--authentic, original, raw--as well as, by pure coincidence, of course, speaking to the experience of the same white, middle-class dudes who are members of Fight Club.

The difference an actor can make...

I'm still catching up on what's happening so I'm sure everybody has seen these two trailers but I thought it was worth sharing them here because they are both films that I would have no interest in if it wasn't for the lead actresses: Vidya Balan and Alia Bhatt.

Perhaps not everybody agrees with me but I do think there is an intangible and unique quality to every actor or actress, something that transcends script or story or character. Vidya Balan always seems to shine with intelligence and compassion, whether she's playing "heroine" or is in an author-backed role. It makes me want to watch whatever it is she's doing, even a dippy detective film with what I can already tell is an ill-advised romance subplot. (Can't a lady just be a detective in dumb disguises without some dude macking on her?!)

The Alia Bhatt-Varun Sharma film is another example of a genre I have less-than-zero interest in but I do like both the leads and I like their chemistry together and, much like R… Rajkumar, their performances will probably be enough to carry me through whatever dumb rom-com plotting is involved in Humpty Sharma.

This is what annoys me when the New Bollywood types get all uppity about how the Script Is King. Yes, story is important. Obviously a good story and good pacing and good dialogues are important. But so are the actors, the people involved. Heroines aren't interchangeable, no matter how underwritten the role. Two equally competent heroes can make the exact same line of dialogue, delivered with the same emotion, in the same scene but it will be two different films. That's why the inter-industry remakes can be so fascinating. Aamir Khan and Suriya, two phenomenal heroes, two very different films.

Anyways, I'm still upset that I won't get to see Holiday this weekend but hopefully soon. I was thinking about this in relation to that film, too. As much as I like Vijay--and, really, I do like Vijay quite a bit--I have a feeling Akshay in his epic, older man bossness will be able to handle the role much more to my liking.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sona-Style Tuesday!

I just want to wish a big happy birthday to my favorite heroine Sonakshi Sinha!! The woman gets dumped on for her weight, her film choices, her clothes, and just… herself. But she keeps on keeping on.

I have to say that as much as I enjoyed all her jiggly bits in films like R… Rajkumar, I've also been enjoying Sonakshi and her transformation into her boxer character for Holiday. I love how much satisfaction she took from being able to complete her workouts and how she was growing stronger and tougher.

But above and beyond all else, I just love the way Sonakshi carries herself on film. She inhabits the space in a way few actresses do anymore. Sona isn't afraid to take up film and in age when it feels like actresses have to be shrunken and tiny and demure and buttoned up in classy outfits and always saying everything right (in English) and being cosmopolitan and just… not offending anybody. I really do enjoy Sonakshi and her willingness to mug for the camera with Shahid Kapoor and post butch selfies from the gym and to basically not give a fuck what any media dum-dums (including me) have to say about her.

As long as she keeps making films, I'll keep watching.

Even if I did have to block her brother on twitter for trolling me.

And in conclusion:

There are so few actresses who really have the screen presence and physicality to match up with a hero like Akshay. Sonakshi just has this amazing *sparkle* in her eyes.

Maybe it's a healthy glow from having actually eaten a meal that day or just confidence in herself.

Either way, I think she's just wonderful.

And PS I'll try to get to your comments this evening!! My apologies for not responding sooner!! Apparently we all need to talk about Singham 2!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hello, June! Here are some Hindi films I'm looking forward to for the rest of 2014!

Good morning, June!

Thank you so much for all the nice comments on my previous post!! It really means a lot to me. I'm still in the process of figuring out how I'd like to continue and on what schedule (and with what films) but I'll be honest with you… I'VE MISSED THIS! Breaking a five year (or more) habit of daily writing is much harder than I thought it would be, even with a pile of new responsibilities.

But I've scouted this site called Desi Company that seems to be a Netflix for Indian movies. Has anybody dealt with them? I just sent an e-mail asking if there was any way to tell which (if any) DVDs had subtitles.

In the meantime, I thought I would ease into things with some films that I am looking forward to! The second half of the viewing year is always so much better than the first, these days. Remember the ending *pow* of last year with Dhoom 3, Krrish 3, Ram Leela?! 

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