Monthly Archives: September 2016

Weekend Movie Club Update

Queen won the poll and I will review it for the coming weekend.  Meanwhile, I realized that though Hindi films were a huge part of growing up for me that is not the case for most of my readers. So before I jump in and start reviewing a movie let me give you some perspective.

Hollywood beats Hindi movies handily in terms of dollars and cents, they have Hollywood  beat when it comes to the number of movies produced every year.  Hindi movies have not made significant inroads in the United States yet. They have a reach far beyond the Indian diaspora and borders. I have found Hindi movie numbers with German, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles.

Hindi is the language of the north Indian plains and one of the 22 scheduled Indian languages. Native speakers of Hindi don’t number more than 25% of the Indian population but Hindi is widely understood and prevalent as a second or third language.

Hindi film industry is based in Mumbai  (Bombay) and in many ways is a microcosm of India and an unconscious representation of its diversity of both language and religion. Yes, they sing and dance and wear their emotions on their sleeve.

If you have any questions about Queen, Hindi movies or the Weekend Movie Club, please feel free to ask. I will try to answer as best as I can. After I review Queen for the next weekend, the insufferable movie snob will review classic comedies. I will put up a poll for the classic comedies this week. If you missed movie snob’s review of the Shock Corridor, check it here.

Before, I end let me leave you with this:

The 10 day long Ganesha festival ended just last week. Here is Shahrukh Khan,  bidding Ganpati adieu in the 2006 movie Don, set to music by the trio Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and sung by Shankar Mahadevan.

Don

The Votes Are In

By two_kittehs ( Picture by: cvf)

Queen has won the poll by a wide margin. So I will be reviewing it soon. Hopefully, this weekend.  We had some unfortunate business with the furnace in the basement, that lead to a 911 call. Kittehs and peoples was safe but firemen gave us an okay to get back into the house only at 1 am. As a result I have been a Zombie kitteh all day.

Movies to Review

For the next installment of  the Weekend Movie Club, I am going east, to India.  If you missed our first installment check it out, here. I grew up watching Hindi movies and more importantly listening to Hindi movie numbers. I must have heard and watched many more songs than the movies themselves. Growing up I used to turn up my nose at most of the offerings that came out of the movie industry which is now popularly known as Bollywood.  There was a dichotomy between commercial cinema and art cinema and there very few  popular Hindi movies that didn’t insult your intelligence or so it seemed to me. For twenty odd years, the new Hindi movies that I must have watched could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Now that I am at a  distance from both my childhood and Bollywood, I think I may have judged those movies harshly. Hollywood can be pretty formulaic too. They have different formulas, that’s all. Since last year I have been rediscovering Indian cinema, particularly Hindi movies, mainly through their music. Through my YouTube meanderings,  I have stumbled across many gems.  The list of movies that I want to see keeps growing by the day.  Either I have become more forgiving or the movies have gotten better. For example, there are many more movies with female protagonists which don’t have a love story as their focus, than the Hindi cinema of yore or even present day Hollywood. Here is a list of three movies with strong female leads.  You can click on the links below to see the trailers with English subtitles.

Queen:  Rani (Queen), a sheltered young woman from Delhi gets dumped the day before her wedding.  Her solo European honeymoon turns into a voyage of internal and external discovery.

Neerja: A biopic about Neerja Bhanot, flight attendant on the hijacked Pan Am flight 73, whose bravery saved many lives.

Jai Gangaajal: A  district police superintendent takes on a corrupt and lawless politician who rules the district within an iron hand in the north Indian hinterland.

So vote early and often. You can also leave  suggestions in the comments below.

Shock Corridor and Masculine Fragility

I want to thank Schroedinger’s Cat for inviting me to post with her on her blog. She thought our two ways of writing about movies and culture would be compatible, so here I am! I still have my (sadly neglected) blog about Pre-Code movies, so I’m going to use this space to talk about other movies in the same vein that don’t fit into the Pre-Code time period of 1929 to 1934. Today’s topic is Samuel Fuller, who managed to independently produce his own films his own way at the height of the studio system by imitating the ploy of the Pre-Codes and not submitting his films to the censorship office until they were completed. This allowed him to explore stories and subjects that were supposed to be off-limits, as in today’s featured film, Shock Corridor (1963).

A word of warning for those who’ve never read my regular blog, The Insufferable Movie Snob: my motto is “All Spoilers, All The Time.” If you don’t want to know what happens in Shock Corridor, go watch it and then come back to read this.

Okay? Okay.  Read the rest of this entry

Introducing the Weekend Movie Club

By two_kittehs

Do you need a respite from the Trump Horror Show that we are watching unfold? Starting this week, we will feature a movie review every weekend. I am happy to announce that the Insufferable Movie Snob, a serious student of  movie making  has joined forces with me in this endeavor. Stay tuned for her review of The Shock Corridor. If you haven’t already done so, you should check out her blog here.

Three Reasons to Celebrate the 5th of September

1. Labor Day, to truly celebrate Labor Day government policies should not favor businesses that treat workers like expendable widgets.  This more than any other factor has contributed to the rising inequality.  What is good for Wall Street has not been good for Main Street.

2. Ganesh Chaturthi*, It is  start of the 10 day Ganesh celebrations. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the leader of India’s freedom struggle before Gandhi, is credited with popularizing the annual Ganpati celebration,in the public square aka Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav. Tilak tapped into the popularity and affection people felt for Ganesha  and harnessed it for grass roots organizing  and public meetings against the British rule. India won its freedom in 1947 but the  Ganesh festival in the public square still endures post independence.

3. Freddie Mercury gets a shooting star named after him on what would have been his 70th birthday. Like a shooting star leaping through the sky he graced our lives with unforgettable music.

*Chaturthi == 4th day of a fortnight. In the Hindu Lunar calendar, each month is made up two fortnights.

Shame On You New York Times

For soft pedaling Trump’s hate and bigotry and your mealy mouthed coverage of Trump’s full on fascist speech. This is their headline about Trump’s immigration speech from yesterday.

Donald Trump Gambles on Immigration but Sends Conflicting Signals

Really, Patrick Healy? Is that what you got out of Trump’s white nationalist speech? The focus of the undocumented immigrants is just a prelude  to a far more radical agenda, overturning the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Make America Great Again is code for Make America White Again.

These are his policies goals:

1. Deport the undocumented by a deportation task force (on the day he takes office)

2. Ban Muslims and any other undesirables as determined by Trump from entering the country on temporary visas (visitor, student, work visas etc)

4. Give local law enforcement jurisdiction over immigration matters which is currently strictly under Federal jurisdiction

3.Overturn the immigration and naturalization act of 1965

5. Get rid of birthright citizenship (remember his rant about anchor babies)

And the final solution, not articulated but can be inferred from the hate he has been spewing for the last one year. Or before, if you take into account his entire birther campaign against President Obama.

6. Impose loyalty tests on naturalized citizens, legal immigrants and children of immigrants for being insufficiently American (you know like Judge Curiel). He doesn’t say what he plans to do with those found not sufficiently loyal but we have history as our guide for this one.