Catching Up: September Edition

In order to keep posts here more uniform (and let's be honest, uniformity requires a lot of editing time), I usually end up posting my micro-commentary, comparisons, and comedic attempts on halfwaythruthedark, and sometimes Twitter. I will hopefully have time to write-up the recent films I've seen here again in a week or so, once classes and new working hours sort themselves out.

Until then, quick links to and summaries of some mini-posts. 

Bengali cinema commentary:

* In the grain of previous filmi-women posts on F~C, re-visiting Saptapadi and applying the question: Is Suchitra Sen's character as "liberated" as everyone has made her out to be? Here.

*A lot of director Ajoy Kar's films are ethical treatise masterpieces, probably. Here.

*Moral of the story: What NOT to say to an Indian auntie. Here.

*How to seduce a workaholic husband. Here.

*How to resist an offer of a smoke from those charismatic Bengali heroes. Here.

*Bengali Cinema and book fetishes. A couple of explanations here and examples here.

Hindi cinema commentary:

*Shashi Stalker Observations: Can you find the common thread between Shashi roles? Here.

*Did Yash-ji steal some inspiration for Kaala Paathar from Dev Anand's Baazi? Here.

*Eating crow. Ok, ok, Dev Anand. Here.

*How classic films may/might be viewed in India or by Indians today. Do you have an opinion on this? Here.

*Raj Kapoor's "hidden meanings" [actually probably not-so-hidden] in "Pyar Hua Iqrar Hua." Here.

*Sharmila looks into your soul. Here and here.

*Occasionally, bad cinema prints don't bother me. Here's why.

*Possibly my favorite camera move in Pyaasa. Here.

*My favorite child actor in Hindi cinema. Beyond baby-Shashi, that is. Can you guess who? Here.

*Was the Censor Board awake for Amrapali (1966)? Here. Was I awake for it? Not sure. Here.

*One actress I will probably never warm up to, and her modern cinema counterpart. Here and here.

And ... the rest ...

Classic American cinema commentary:

*Extensive Q&A: favorite decades, favorite actresses, how to deal with problematic favorites. Here.

*Hiding a cinema crush from yourself can be done for a very long time, but not forever. Here.

*The most useful gif I've stumbled upon in a long time. Here.

French cinema commentary:

*Connections and parallels between Pepe Le Moko (1937) and The Third Man (1949). Plus, why haven't I heard of this film before? Here.

*One of the most hauntingly beautiful films I've ever seen. Hint: It's a fairy-tale adaptation from 1940's France and probably everyone already knew how awesome it was except me. Here.

*Where the best insults are... Here.

Pakistani cinema commentary:

*So ... I finished my first Pakistani film and wrote about it. A little. Here.

*My favorite song from the film. Obviously, Faiz Ahmed Faiz lyrics aren't to be sneered at, but there's also something to be said for a smoky atmosphere and a bewafai song. Here.

*A shocking cabaret sequence in a Pakistani film. Here.

Any recommendations of other Pakistani films to check out? There are a lot available online, but it's hard to know where to start. I think I could live with the 60's Pakistani aesthetics, going from early YouTube perusals. As far as I can tell, it's all mostly unsubtitled except for a few Noor Jehan films, which probably have all been subbed by fans. But at least I can understand enough Urdu to follow plots, which makes them slightly less work to watch than unsubtitled (and probably really awesome and deep) South Indian socials. Masala, well, we can all follow that, language barrier or no.


  1. Came to check posts that i have missed since i was last here and saw this. You may be already knowing this that Amrapalis is based on King Ashoka's life story who converted to Buddhism after a lot of wars - it is said that the Kalinga war in which thousands died made him convert to Buddhism. Ashoka is famous for spreading buddhism through out his vast kingdom and also its export to South east Asia. Amrapali's role in his life may be a story - who knows.

    While it is good to know that you are busy on other sites, I personally prefer to read your longer reviews here. Good to know that you are a student of hindi /urdu. Thodey din mein hindi mein baat kar saktey hain!


    1. Filmbuff, I do appreciate that you like my longer posts here. If you want something more in that vein, check out the Filmi Women-Saptapadi link, Pepe Le Moko compared to The Third Man, and the Amrapali links.

      I realize that Amrapali is part of a greater legend/history, although don't ask me to recite the specifics, lol :) It didn't really do anything for me as a film, beyond some good dances and visuals, but I feel like the myth/story itself is pretty interesting.


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