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Friday, June 24, 2011

Iconic Female Characters in Hindi Cinema Part 2: Fearless Nadia, Chhoti Bahu, Sujata

In the second episode of Iconic Female Characters with Ira of Old is Gold, our discussion moves from Fearless Nadia to Chhoti Bahu to Sujata.

We wonder if race played a role in the evolution of Nadia and her enduring effect on Indian cinema. Also, why does Beth hate the idea of a woman whose life has no value other than to love her husband? It worked so well for Chhoti Bahu!

What? Oh.

Plus, Amrita remembers her mother's favorite movie all wrong and Ira muses on the trend in Indian cinema where siblings pass around their exes. Spoilers abound but sixty to seventy years after the date of release, you ought to expect it.

You can listen to Masala Zindabad: Female Icons 2 by clicking the player above, subscribing to our feed, on iTunes or downloading here.
The other parts of this series are here:
1: the Bharatiya Nari
3:  Mother India, Seeta, Geeta, and Bobby
4: Chandni, Simran, Geet – and Sid wakes up 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tollywood in Oz

Temple of Cinema Chaat joins us to share her love for, among other masala marvels, Chiranjeevi. You know, this guy:

WARNING! The following clips contain silver go-go boots, crocheted capes, a robot, sparkles, leg warmers, flying, reverse camera action, and lots and lots of lycra.



More glitter planets? Coming right up!


Mythological!


Pleather!


Hitched-up lunghi means business!


And Beth's favorite.


What started with Magadheera (go on, ask her how many times she's seen it) has quickly spiraled into passion for the Megastar family, crowned by the dancing king himself. Temple also tells amazing tales of movie-watching in Melbourne, Australia, including her stint as an extra in the stands of the big matches in Chak De India or being a 5'10" gori in the cinema hall during the latest Tollywood releases.
other audience members, at interval: Do you understand what's going on?
Temple: Sort of.
other audience members: Do you speak Telugu?
Temple: No.
other audience members: Are you going to learn Telugu?
Temple: No.
other audience members: Oh. You speak Tamil, then.
Temple: No, but she [gestures at film-watching and blog-writing companion Heather] knows a bit.
other audience members: Hmm. Hindi?
Temple: A bit.
other audience members: Ah. But you don't speak Telugu?
Temple: [sigh]
Almost lost amidst all this fabulousness is a throwaway reference to house favorite and famed dance demon Shashi Kapoor (the dancing starts around 4:00 in the clip below):



You can listen to Masala Zindabad: Tollywood in Oz by clicking the player above, subscribing to our feed, on iTunes, or downloading here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Iconic Female Characters in Hindi Cinema part 1: introduction

Ira of Old Is Gold joined us for a long—and we mean looong—conversation about iconic female characters in Hindi cinema. In this introductory segment, we discuss a few fictional filmi women who are icons to us, as well as cinematic iterations of the Bharatiya Nari ("Indian woman," for our non-Hindi-speaking friends). Future segments will move roughly chronologically through the twentieth century and into today's films, investigating memorable and representative female characters like Fearless Nadia, Radha of Mother India, Bobby, and Simran.

The opening music in this episode is courtesy of Paresh of the Curry Smugglers. As you will hear, it's a clip of a mix of MIA's "Galang" and "Mehbooba Mehbooba" from Sholay. According to Paresh, it's "from a bootleg by a DJ named Sunit out of parts unknown. It's the only remix that MIA has blessed on the bootleg circuit, probably because of its inherent coolness factor."

You can listen to Masala Zindabad: Female Icons by clicking the player above, subscribing to our feed, on iTunes or downloading hereThe upcoming parts of this series are here:
2: Fearless Nadia, Chhoti Bahu, Sujata
3:  Mother India, Seeta, Geeta, and Bobby
4: Chandni, Simran, Geet – and Sid wakes up 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Doss the Boss: Action Films of Director KSR Doss

We're back, baby! This episode is worth the wait: with Thrills Coodinator Todd of Die Danger Die Die Kill and Teleport City on board, we romp and stomp through the films of director K. S. R. Doss. "Color! Action! Pure cinema!" raves Todd. If you've never seen any of Doss's 70s films (the focus of our show), you're in for an amazing treat. Elements like frenetic fights, stylized acting, "dances like Laxmi Chhaya on crystal meth," and even the female players leaping in with reckless abandon add up to the feeling that Doss "is trying to destroy the concept of subtlety itself...there's no room for anything to be understated." And we love them!

In addition to summaries and details of a few of Doss's films in detail, we discuss his influences and techniques, common elements across the films, what the kick-ass female characters are all about, and the relationships between his work and today's Telugu action films (other than the Superstar Krishna and Son connection).

Todd's take of some of the films mentioned in this episode can be found at the following links:
Beth has also written up James Bond 777 and Mosgallaku Mosgadu. James Bond 777 is now available on Youtube.

You can listen to Masala Zindabad: Doss the Boss by clicking the player above, subscribing to our feed, on iTunes or downloading here.