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#1 Spoon

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 03:34 PM

I've seen Lagaan, Monsoon Wedding, and Saturday afternoon movie music videos. Based on all that, I dig it.
I just added Hum Tum, Devdas, and Chalte Chalte to my netflix queue.

Anyone else recommend anything?

#2 Overstreet

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 03:48 PM

If you want an absolutely insane party movie, something so bizarre and illogical and jarring in its mix of styles and modes, try the musical called Gumnaam, "India's First Horror Thriller." It's the Bollywood version of 12 Little Indians (no pun intended)... you know, the murder mystery where they're all isolated in one place trying to figure out who's stalking them. Don't watch it solo. It needs to be watched with a group of people with a taste for the bizarre, and keep a wide variety of beverages within reach.

More on Gumnaam.



#3 opus

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 04:34 PM

The local university theatre just had an Indian film festival last week... unfortunately, I didn't make it to a single screening, despite wanting to see every film they were showing.

A really great Bollywood film is Don... if you can stand gangsters breaking out into spontaneous disco numbers and waging kung-fu battles with the help of trampolines... in the middle of a graveyard.

QUOTE
If you want an absolutely insane party movie, something so bizarre and illogical and jarring in its mix of styles and modes, try the musical called Gumnaam, "India's First Horror Thriller."


That sounds great... I just added it to my NetFlix queue.

Edited by opus, 13 August 2004 - 04:36 PM.


#4 Tom Rackham

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 02:28 PM

You might want to check out Dil Chahta Hai

I've only seen a handful of Hindi movies and of those Hum Tum was the best, and a couple were truly awful... though I've been told the older bollywood has much more quality than the newer stuff.

#5 MattPage

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 03:39 AM

I've only watched Lagaan, but would really like to get into it. Tere's a large asian community in Leicester and Loughborough, and we live in a particularly asian part of Loughborough, so there's loads of the stuff readily available, but I don't really know where to start, and the musical parts of Lagaan seemed so different that I wouldn't know what toi appreciate in a movie that waws less designed for international consumption as Lagaan was (IMHO).

Anyone have any tips or good websites?

Matt

#6 BethR

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 10:10 AM

We recently rented Asoka from netflix--it's based on an important historical story, but the musical numbers are (dare I say it) laughably bad--like something from 80s MTV, compared to the more traditional musical styles in Lagaan, e.g. But it was still kind of interesting--and the contrast between the earnest narrative of the king who renounces war in favor of nonviolent Buddhism (and, of course, love) and the cheesy song & dance bits was quite entertaining. I'm thinking about showing at least part of it to my World Lit class.

Currently awaiting the arrival of Yeh Dillagi (1994), which is evidently more or less based on Sabrina.

#7 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 10:51 AM

Asoka was the first "Bollywood" movie I ever saw, and I really had no idea what I was in for -- I went to the press screening because I really, really liked the director's earlier film, The Terrorist, but there were no musical numbers in THAT film!

#8 BethR

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 01:47 PM

QUOTE (BethR @ Aug 18 2004, 11:09 AM)
Currently awaiting the arrival of Yeh Dillagi (1994), which is evidently more or less based on Sabrina.

Definitely based on Sabrina, but with MUSIC and DANCING! And the brothers have parents--because family is very important. The "singing in the rain" number is fabulous.


spoilers1.gif


There's a rather disturbing "love" duet that's really about drugged date-rape...that it turns out to be a fantasy and the would-be rapist's plot is foiled didn''t really make it less disturbing, somehow.

#9 Spoon

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 02:43 PM

QUOTE (BethR @ Aug 20 2004, 01:46 PM)
Definitely based on Sabrina, but with MUSIC and DANCING!

I started watching Hum Tum, which is like When Harry Met Sally, but with singing and dancing.

Isn't this the way it should be? Everything is so much more fun with singing and dancing! largerockband.gif

#10 BethR

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (Spoon @ Aug 20 2004, 03:42 PM)
I started watching Hum Tum, which is like When Harry Met Sally, but with singing and dancing.

Isn't this the way it should be? Everything is so much more fun with singing and dancing!

So true. ohmy.gif

Here's a thing, though--

spoilers1.gif


near the end of Yeh Dillagi--and this may be a true of Hum Tum as well--very definite religious/spiritual elements are brought into the story: e.g., questions of theodicy reminiscient of the book of Job (which certainly never occurred to Humphrey Bogart & William Holden as the Larrabee brothers), and later the brothers are happily compared to the gods Rama & Laksman. This kind of overt religious reference is almost unheard of in mainstream western movies today.

#11 Spoon

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 11:12 AM

Just finished Hum Tum last night. Wow! What an emotional experience. Everything is over dramatic and cheesy, and I loved it.
I thought alot about it was very well done. Beautiful direction, cinematography, genuine acting, great writing.
I highly highly reccomend it. Funny, entertaining, heartfelt. I wanna watch it again right now!


#12 Tom Rackham

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 02:39 PM

I wanna watch Hum Tum again too! I had a great time watching that, and while not being one of the very best films of the year, certainly one of the most enjoyable.

I've not often had as much fun at a cinema as when I first saw Kuch Kuch Hota Hai with a friend I'd dragged along. About 30 mins into it he wrote a messgage on his phone "I'm going to kill you". But by the interval we both we loving every minute and sitting there with big grins on our faces wishing we could dance and sing along!

#13 MattPage

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 03:27 AM

Good series of articles at the BBC website here.

Matt

#14 Spoon

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 11:20 AM

The latest bollywood film I've seen, Kal Ho Naa Ho, is very good.

They do a version of Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman that is fabulous. Alot of the musical numbers in this film are awesome.
Its a movie about friendship and love and living life to the fullest. Kal Ho Naa Ho translates 'tomorrow may never be'. Nothing new in content but done very well. Very funny and emotional. The acting was excellent. I'm wondering when a bollywood star will cross over and do an American film. They have the talent.


#15 BethR

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 10:10 AM

spoilers1.gif

Asoka improves somewhat on second viewing, and after the featurette on the big battle scene, understanding that it was done more or less old-style, virtually without CGI, using 6000 extras, most of whom had never been in a movie before, 60 elephants, and 600 horses (according to the director--nice round numbers, I must say).

Stars seem to have done much of their own stunt work, too, including some crazy sword waving that I thought was CGI...nope!

The music and dancing is still kinda weird, but evidently intended to be more traditional, at least in instrumentation. O-K...

Still going to show at least 50 minutes to class...wish me luck! And thanks for background info sites.

This site is a somewhat helpful, if breezy, introduction, too.

#16 BethR

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 02:24 PM

More Indian movie info from a guy who's teaching a course on Indian film:

Philip's fil-ums: notes on Indian popular cinema

Reviews and some background info. I e-mailed him and he gave me a few helpful suggestions and shared his course syllabus with me.

#17 BethR

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 02:42 PM

QUOTE (BethR @ Sep 9 2004, 11:09 AM)
spoilers1.gif

Asoka improves somewhat on second viewing, and after the featurette on the big battle scene, understanding that it was done more or less old-style, virtually without CGI, using 6000 extras, most of whom had never been in a movie before, 60 elephants, and 600 horses (according to the director--nice round numbers, I must say).

Stars seem to have done much of their own stunt work, too, including some crazy sword waving that I thought was CGI...nope!

The music and dancing is still kinda weird, but evidently intended to be more traditional, at least in instrumentation.  O-K...

Still going to show at least 50 minutes to class...wish me luck!  And thanks for background info sites.

This site is a somewhat helpful, if breezy, introduction, too.

The 50-minute version of Asoka went over better than I expected--and from some students' comments, better than they expected, too. A couple wanted to know if they'd be able to find it at the local video outlet (unlikely, but you never know), and others said they wouldn't mind seeing the whole thing. I might do that, but I'm thinking of a different movie for "foreign film" night...

Here's what I did (if anyone cares), using the DVD, which is not very helpfully divided primarily according to the musical numbers. I distributed some background info on Bollywood cinema & a synopsis/review of the film before class.

MANY spoilers1.gif


Scene 1--introduces Asoka & his family, his "destiny," and his rivalry with his brothers, through Susima's assassination attempt.

skip (with minimal explanation) to

Scene 4--big village dance number, which is followed by scenes with introduce Asoka's relationships with the princess & prince of Kalinga. To save time, some fast-forwarding is required here

skip (with minimal explanation) to

Scene 11--climactic battle as Asoka, believing princess is dead, invades Kalinga and discovers the futility of conquest. FF through one section



#18 fon Rokas

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 05:33 AM

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#19 MattPage

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 07:57 AM

There's a new Bollywood film due out here in the next fortnight called Bride & Prejudice" a Bollywood take on the Austen novel. Sounds interesting.

Matt

#20 opus

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 01:25 PM

This site has a brief introduction to Bollywood, as well as a list of MP3s from various Bollywood soundtracks (including Gumnaam's). I'm listening to "Yeh Mera Dil Yaar Ka Diwana" (trans. "This Heart of Mine is Crazy Because of a Lover") from Don, and it's faboo.