Catching Up

My perfectionist inner blogger is waiting. Waiting for me to stop watching films and write about all of them. All of them. Properly. Not just in bits and pieces. Until that happens, if you'd like, you can check out briefer commentary about my recently watched films and regional cinema exploration linked below from Halfway through the Dark.

1. Uttam and Suchitra

Why they work as a screen couple. Must see: Indrani and Trizama.
2. Bengali Lyrics

Differences between Bengali and Hindi poetry and why it's nice to have something different.

3. Subtext in Humjoli

Where all the queer women in Hindi cinema are. (Hint: Humjoli.)

4. What happens when you mistake lyrics in one language for words in another language . . .

. . . And neither language is your first language. Do you hear it too?

5. A Satyajit Ray interview

By Sharmila Tagore. 'Cause how could I not click on that? And highlights.

6. Conflicted about chemistry.

Why? Because of the underage thing, darn it.

7. Reveling in . . .

Sharmilee moments. Exhibit One, Two, and Three.

8. The Amazing! Silk Smitha! Workout

With a little help from a guest star.

9. Bollywood leading men

Why some of us prefer the THEN to the NOW. Conversation: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

10. Aruna Irani 

As we rarely see her, and yet as very much herself.

11. Housecleaning

Mystic bleach. It's not the name of the song, but maybe it should be.

12. Lessons from Shabana

How to make yourself crystal clear without saying anything at all.

13. Recommendations: 10 Hindi films from the 70's and 80's appropriate for the old-fashioned viewer

There's a small, but vocal, group of bloggers on Tumblr who prefer the 50's era of Bollywood above all else. Though we don't share most of our *ultimate* favorites, we do share a certain sensibilities and academic interests. I'm all for being stretched in my personal film journey. As long as I can stretch someone else back--which is where the list comes in. This is a proper post for anyone who wants a real read. I didn't post it here because I wanted to save my Blogger editor energies for the films I've got piling up that I maybe, probably should write about before they fade from memory. AND if this list eventually appears here I will make some changes so it eliminates films of which I've already talked about extensively here.


  1. Why do you have two blogs? :) (I find it hard enough to maintain one.)

    1. Good point. Yes, well, I actually had the other one first. I've focused it up a little more as my curated cinema leftovers. Some things are easier to express in different blog formats, too.

    2. It was more a rhetorical question than anything else. *grin* I was thrilled to find the Ray interview, by one of his favourite actresses.

    3. :) Yes, they are a dream team together. I need to dig a lot more for the Ray and Sharmila connection, whether it be interviews or bits of biographies. I'll probably pick up that collection of essays/memoir edited by Sandip Ray next. [Obviously, I'm going a little Bangla crazy lately. It's kind of a slow burn, but I find it such a nice parallel to the Hindi fare I'm watching. It scratches a totally different mental itch.]

    4. Also, the obvious answer to your rhetorical question is obviously: I'm evil and I want to make everyone work that much harder reading TWO blogs *wicked grin back*

  2. Read your 70s and 80s recommendations post via the link posted. K Vishwanath is famous for movies based on social themes. Have heard about Saptapadi but haven't seen it. Thanks for that info. I am sure the original telugu version will be rich in terms of cultural context. Will hunt for this movie on my next holiday

    1. Good idea, as Jaag Utha Insan is probably not available outside India on DVD or VCD. I haven't seen Saptapadi yet (altho I've seen a song and some screencaps), but I will. I can't imagine it would be quite as awesome [for me] as something starring two of my ultimate faves, but it should be moving and beautiful in its own right. I've started another Viswanath film or two, but without subs (and with no understanding of Telegu) the South films take extra effort (or just an evening w/ brandy) for me to continue.

  3. I generally prefer to watch the original rather than the remake if I can help it. I guess I am lucky coz I am fluent in hindi as well as tamil (my mother tongue) and telugu . So I get to watch the south indian films in original. Once I am able to get a copy of saptapadi, I will read your review of the hindi version and share my thoughts. Again my general observation with some hindi remakes of original south indian movies (esp those of vishwanath etc) is that they are not able to capture that special cultural context in which the story is set - eg a very traditional Brahmin family and their cultural norms in the context of a poor economic background being forced to make difficult decisions and compromises etc. I guess I will have to elaborate on this point with a specific example. Shankarabaranam is a classic Vishwanath movie

    1. That makes total sense, Filmbuff. Considering your background and your fluency, why would you even need remakes? And like you said, sometimes remakes take the story out of the context where it ACTUALLY makes sense. (Whether or not remakes should even be necessary is another conversation, probably.) That said, this time it is Viswanath remaking his own film in another language, which I think is a better deal.

    2. That is a very valid point about vishwanath re-making his movies in another language.I am wondering why he did not do so. I think he has if I can recollect - Sargam in hindi was a remake of his sagara sangamam. I haven't seen either the original or the hindi version though I have heard that famous song duffli waley from the hindi version. This is my next project - "get as many as K Vishwanath movies as possible" from India soon!


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