Monthly Archives: March 2016
Just one week after giving a woman sporting white power tattoos a forum, PBS News Hour gave a platform to the known credentialed bigot and author of the Bell Curve, Charles Murray in its weekly segment on economics, Making Sense. This segment usually makes little sense since it is hosted by the economic illiterate and sneering doofus Paul Solman. Solman introduced Murray, as an economist. Murray’s training is in political science not economics.
The topic at hand was the rise of Trump. According to Murray, people support Trump because elites are mean to them. Examples of elites were people in the media, a conservative boogeyman. The grievances of people who support Trump may be legitimate but supporting Trump is going to do zero to alleviate them. Murray’s analysis is plain wrong, Hollywood or the “liberal” media did not create their problems but the 1% favoring policies of tax cutting, deregulation and union busting favored by most Republicans are the cause of their woes, which Murray was mum about.
By the way where can I find this mythical beast of the liberal media? What passes for liberal media on TV these days is nothing more than conventional wisdom soaked, Republican friendly claptrap and PBS (Pure Bull Shit) News Hour is no exception to this trend.
Happy Holi, the festival of colors, that marks the beginning of spring. Holi is the day to let your hair down and have some fun playing with colors, drinking bhang and eating puranpoli. A day when adults have the social sanction to act like kids again. Holi is also the favorite of Hindi movie makers, there seem to be more Holi songs in Hindi movies than that of any of other holiday. Here are some of my favorites.
Lahu Munh Lag Gaya from the 2013 Ramleela: What’s better than seeing Ranveer Singh in a song? Seeing him dance!
Holi Ke Din Dil Khil Jate Hai : Hearts blossom on Holi, from Sholay (Embers). This star studded mid 70s feature directed by Ramesh Sippy, rewrote the rules about how Hindi movies were made. It’s a Western with a masala twist and holds up pretty well after all these years. The look Amitabh’s character gives Jaya’s characters dressed in widow’s whites, watching the festivities from afar just slays me.
Arre Jare Natkhat Na Chule Mera Gunghat from Navrang (Nine Colors) made in 1959. Sandhya’s performance, playing both the male and female parts, makes me wish that I could dance like her.
There are many more which I haven’t included. If you have any suggestions, or other favorites that I have missed, leave it in the comments.
No one can accuse mainstream Hindi movies of being progressive regarding matters concerning gender. We regularly have had fifty year old heroes romancing women in their twenties and mostly interchangeable female stock characters. There is your long suffering mother, your flirtatious but coy virginal heroine, sometimes a hero’s sister or a gangster’s moll. Fully realized female characters with their own motivations that did not fit in these neat boxes have been rare in Hindi cinema. So I am pleasantly surprised with the slate of new movies with fully realized female characters. I would like to see both these movies.
First there is the no nonsense Abha Mathur, the chief police officer in a lawless fictional district in Bihar, where there is little distinction between the elected representatives and the mob. Priyanka Chopra kicks butt both literally and figuratively in Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangajal.
Then there is Neerja, a biopic based on Neerja Bhanot,a flight attendant on the ill fated Pan-Am flight 73. directed by Ram Madhvani . Her presence of mind saved the lives of passengers on board. She died shielding children from bullets, days short of her 23 birthday. She also was a survivor of a bad arranged marriage and familiar face advertising chocolate and crackers on TV. A short life but a consequential one and an inspiration to us all.
Last but not the least, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani deserves a shout out. The women of Bajirao Mastani, whether it was the dutiful wife Kashi (Priyanka Chopra) or the doting mother Radhabai (Tanvi Azmi) , they were no pushovers and had no problems either speaking their mind or acting on their own agendas. My quick review here.
This trend warms the cockles of my cold cynical heart. Any other women centric movies you have seen lately or would like to see?