Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday Post may be your last for the week...

First a small announcement. I'll be traveling from Thursday until next Wednesday so no daily updates! I will try to post my Aurangzeb write-up at some point and maybe some pictures since the reason for my travel is my family art show! If you're in the area, feel free to stop by and check out some art!

Secondly, this past weekend I met up with Asim from uPodcast in New York. When conversation turned to films, it sounded suspiciously just like an episode of uPodcast and got me thinking about things. Like how the only guys able to bring out the families anymore are the Three Khans (and to a lesser extent Ajay and Akshay and Hrithik) because with them you know what you'll be getting and what you'll be getting is a good time. Besides the fact that the Three Khans are wonderful, I think this also has to do with the fact that they're holdovers from the previous era. It's brand recognition that cuts across a lot of different ages and classes. EVERYbody knows Aamir, Salman, and Shahrukh. How many who aren't industry watchers or Internet gossip column readers know these new guys (and gals)?

I was thinking about this over the weekend for a couple of reasons. Watching part of The Simpsons marathon on FXX, those early episodes were so funny but their appeal also spread across age and class lines. Everybody liked The Simpsons. I don't think everybody likes anything these days. As we tailor our media more and more narrowly, we miss out on those cultural moments of connection and of provocation. "I'm Bart Simpson; who the hell are you?" seems tame now but it was really pushing the envelope back in the day. I wasn't even allowed to watch the show when it first aired.

The same for the bands of Britpop, one of my other cultural obsessions. (Bollywood, Japanese idols, Britpop, 1960s rock, and stage magic.) I'm reading a fantastic book by John Harris called "The Last Party: Britpop, Blair, and the Demise of English Rock" and it's fascinating to see these bands reach mass appeal. They're on Top of the Pops; they're in the tabloids; they're reaching people who had tuned out of pop music. And there was a sense of insurgency, of provocation, of breaking down the old order and replacing it with something new. Of course that "something new" swiftly devolved into the bland nothingness of Coldplay but for a time rock was really exciting again. I remember.

The idea that something like "Metal Mickey" could be on television…

Brett's aggressive sexualization of himself and his stagey performance still seems really provocative more than 20 years later.

And I'll be honest. One of the reasons I'm so enthralled with Japan's pop culture is that they haven't splintered it. Sure, there are different genres and subcultures but there's also a really healthy and enjoyable and vital mainstream still capable of giving genuine surprises. Golden Bomber, for example.

The only place I feel that mainstream sense of excitement and insurgency and provocation in Bollywood these days is Ranveer Singh. I really wish him the best! I am cheering for him so hard!! As of yet he seems untainted by association with flopola films like Gunday but who can say…

This is still my Song Of The Year.



Divya said...

Hi FG,

I am not sure about this need to appeal to everyone. You really can't try to appeal to everyone, thats what leads to dreck like Anjaan. The stated motive of the movie (by the star and director) was a movie that appealed to kids and older people alike. It ended in the movie feeling like it was directed by committee. The Tamil movie industry is one of the most star driven industries in India and yet most of the successful Tamil movies these days are the low budget, no name actors, strong story and screenplay movies. I don't know what exactly has changed but I like this new direction.

Thelondongirl said...

got to say there was several reasons why Coldplay was popular, there was this period of mediocrity in the late 90's to early 2000's and beyond. i have a theory that it had to do with the political landscape the aftermath of 17 years of conservative government. all those little babies from the 80's grew up and werent trying to change anything, they accepted the status quo. That lack of teenage rebellion and a desire to individuate transpired to art/ music. Got to say, the 2000s had some of the most awful pop in British history, but to hear them tell it, it was great.

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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