Now Playing:MZ20: Don!

Get previous episodes of Masala Zindabad!


Going to the Movies

We all know Indian cinema is beloved and consumed around the world. But what's it actually like to go see a film in some of the different places all of us fans are scattered?

Send us your story! Record yourself (important: all files should be .mp3 or .wav, please!) talking for no more than 10 minutes about your favorite Indian-film-going experiences in any place you've lived or visited. We suggest working off a script because it's a lot easier that way! Was your setting multiplex, single screen, old, new, boisterous, bored, overpriced, or bargain basement? Who else was there and what were they like? Has an audience ever surprised you? Has your behavior in the theater ever surprised you? And how were the snacks?

We'll post your stories as long as you keep sending 'em!* Amrita and Beth will kick the series off, and all stories will be linked back to this central page for the collection. In case you have a story to tell but don't know how to record, get in touch with us and we'll set it up for you!

Send your stories to bethlovesbollywood at gmail dot com.

* And do we need to tell you to keep your posts relatively clean and free of hate speech? Good.

Published stories in the Going to the Movies series (click on the name to go to the blog post for that story, which contains a link to the audio file):

And as always, you can find previous episodes of Masala Zindabad at iTunes.


  1. Oh, so this is where someone would come to orally recount a spectacular serendipity such as, say, reluctantly walking into a screening of Autistic Disco (coz all tickets to My Mothers Tears were sold out) only to sight a polka-dotted Deneuve seated seven rows ahead ("in the flesh, as softly beautiful as she ever was, and possibly will always be") ... You know, the Indian (as opposed to foreign) film equivalent of stuff like that? Though doesn't necessarily have to be half that magical, right? A really cool idea!

  2. EXACTLY! :) My access to new films is still unpredictable enough that ANY Indian film in the theater feels magical, as you will see from the gushing in my episode! And now I will dream of a polka-dotted Shashi Kapoor in my cinema...(like that's different from most of my dreams).

  3. Here is a fine five-years-ago recounting of one Indian film critic's "Going to the Movies" experience.

    "And after all this crap [called commercials], the real horror show begins -– the previews, spilling the beans about everything that’s best about the movie in question. If it’s a comedy, the best gags are in the preview. If it’s drama, the most powerful moments are in the preview. If it’s an action spectacular, the best stunts, the money-shot special effects are in the preview." I don't believe much has changed at all, with movie promos as we know them today! :)

  4. PS: No sooner had I said the above than I read filmiholic rave about the Dhobi Ghat preview, LOL.

    Personally, I loved this longish promo very very much... really atmospheric. But remains to be seen how many of the "key moments" were given away. Also, I'm not at all a fan of being clued into "making of the movie" type TMI stuff (the "sweet souvenirs" filmiholic says she was handed) in advance of watching the movie... sort of feels like putting the cart before the horse, don't you think? But then, I guess we're perpetually torn (given the era we're in) between knowing too much about a movie vs simply letting it come at us, wash over us...