A Couple of Quick Things About Movies

A good piece by Suketu Mehta in the New York Times Magazine, about why a large chunk of the world loves Bollywood movies: Bollywood Confidential

Ramesh was describing to me an old Dilip Kumar film, Arzoo (1950).

At the end of the film there is a scene in which Dilip Kumar and Kamini Kaushal are standing on the threshhold of a house, conducting a very intense conversation. People keep entering and leaving the house, the conversation is interrupted with polite greetings and good-byes, and then resumed. As soon as I heard this, I thought of my favourite scene in Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se (1998), in which the two main characters are standing in a dark hallway, with a swinging door behind them, conducting a very intense conversation.

Dil Se

People keep passing them in the hall, the swinging door opens and closes, making the light change again and again, very beautifully, and forcing the characters to break off their talk to speak to the passers-by. Is it a coincidence, or Mani Ratnam’s homage to Arzoo?

(I saw it on Mysterium) A lively website promoting Gurinder Chadha's film Bride and Prejudice. (Though it has a number of mistakes -- e.g., in the Cast section, Anupam Kher (male) was identified as Nadira Babar (female); and Namrata Shirodkar as Namarta Shirodokar.) This film was not a success in India -- did it do well in the exotic West?

Ghost World: Bollywood Noir - Essays on noir-inflected Bollywood cinema from the 1940s to the present by Gary Sullivan. (But there's only one essay there at the moment, about Kohraa.)

We saw an amazing film, No Man’s Land (2001), set in a beautiful meadow, literally in the middle of the Bosnian-Serb conflict in 1993. (The New York Times review) Eastern European filmmakers are masters of being funny and harrowing at the same time. You laugh, even though you know that there can be no good outcome. The film was so haunting that we watched it again the next day. It was very, very tightly written, nothing extra at all. It was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

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