You knew she could do this (rocking sitar at Stern Grove, San Francisco - and it doesn’t say at YouTube, but I think I see Karsh Kale there too):
But did you know she could do this?
(Dancing the bharatanatyam, in a delightful little movie called Dance Like A Man. Anoushka plays a character whose mother (played by Shobana) is a great bharatanatyam dancer who obsessively teaches her to be a great bharatanatyam dancer. (Her father, played Arif Zakaria, is a bharatanatyam dancer too – or was one, long story.) Do you think there’s something in this plotline that Anoushka Shankar might relate to just a bit?)
Thalapathi (which came out in 1991) is one of the three or four Tamil movies that I’ve watched through without subtitles. And why wouldn’t I? The soundtrack, by Ilaiyaraaja, is incredible. So is most of the dancing (and it’s so nice to see Padmini’s niece again – go, Shobana!). As I’ve pointed out before, one of the songs, “Kaatukkulle Manasukkulle,” was sampled by M.I.A. for “Bamboo Banga.” But the clip that I showed before had a lot of distracting print running across the bottom. So here’s another copy:
Wasn’t that great?
But I’m beginning to think that this song, “Raakkammaa Kaiya Thattu,” is even better:
Still, it’s nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite. This one, “Yamunai Aatrile,” is just so sweet:
Well someone called Srknkjol was good enough to post the movie Dil Se (with English subtitles) on YouTube. [Edit. note a few months later: Oops, looks like it's disappeared with account suspended. Oh, well...] Although I admittedly could have gotten better screen quality in another version (bought somewhere?), I’m not all that fussy about that sort of thing, so I watched the whole movie. And overall, I do think it was worthwhile.
I am aware that some people don’t like it much, and I can see that there are problems, especially in the character development. It’s not always believable that this guy becomes so crazy about this girl, especially since he doesn’t get to know her much more than he did the first moment that he saw her (and neither do we, come to think of it). Conversely, it seems odd that she ends up loving him (sort of) after, or because of, all his obsessive stalking (but maybe that’s a Bollywood thing).
As for the bigger social subject of the movie – terrorists, suicide bombers, sunshowers, etc. - I didn’t think it did such a terrible job. We see some explanation of the terrorists’ motivations and their own anguish, though it doesn’t get much into individual personalities or get very deep. (At least this is more than the cartoonish crap that we get in some shows or movies about terrorists, especially here in the U.S.) And it does become compelling, especially toward the end (especially because there is some nice acting, I think - but also because the scenes are visually impressive (even on YouTube), and Rahman’s music is usually good at raising the drama level).
The prevailing mood moves very far away from that euphoric train scene in the item number at the beginning…but I think that’s pretty common in these Indian movies too (I’m learning that). Overall, it’s quite grim. But so is life – especially in these situations…
Yes, sometimes I think it’s kind of fun or funny to post something up here, and then I decide that I don’t really want to post that, I don’t want to revisit that singer, or I think maybe it’s a little too something or other to be up here (if you know what I mean). So there have been a few times when I’ve put something up here and decided to take it down in a few minutes. Believe it or not, I’m very picky about what I put on this blog. But it is rather free-form here, so I’m not always sure what I want to do here. I’m not sure if many other people do this sort of thing, but sorry if I’m not supposed to be doing that…
P.S. Sometimes the post is also deleted when the video disappears. Unless there’s good text up there, I don’t like to keep the post up when the video’s gone. (That’s not what happened this time, but it has happened before.)
Yes, I saw Karsh Kale and Cheb i Sabbah live at Drom on March 15, late into the night. In fact, I just got home from that, and I just wanted to say that it was a great show. That’s all on this for now (maybe more later)…
This is one of the better M.I.A. ”mashup” videos that I’ve seen on YouTube lately – from Saagoogoo…
Of course, seeing that, I couldn’t help thinking of a certain Chemical Brothers video (done to the song ”Elektrobank”), which was directed by M.I.A.’s famous interviewer (and one-time “date,” so say the gossip pages), Spike Jonze:
In case anyone’s been wondering about this, no, I haven’t stopped watching old Indian film clips. In fact, I’ve continued to watch a lot old South Indian films (mainly from the ’50s and ’60s) in order to gaze at the beauty and skill of that great Keralan dancer/actress whom I mentioned before, Padmini.
Padmini isn’t alive today; she died of a heart attack in 2006, at the age of 74. But a lot of Padmini-like qualities can be seen in the performances of her niece, Shobana.
And Shobana, just like her aunt Padmini (as well her other two aunts who comprised the Travancore Sisters), was trained in bharatanatyam, an ancient form of Indian classical dance that’s just fantastic to watch (in my opinion – and many others’).
Also like her aunt(s), Shobana is a very good actress. I think that’s evident in the clip that I’m posting today, which I happen to like as well for its kind-of-funny but slightly disturbing weirdness…
Which is related to an interesting plot, as this film, Manichitrathazhu, is sort of a psychological, split-personality movie and ghost/possession movie rolled into one. (I’m not going to get into that too much here, but it’s summed up nicely at the ever-reliable Wikipedia.) And given that this film won lots of praise and generated at least three remakes in different Indian languages, I’m thinking that it might be more than worthwhile to track down Manichitrathazhu in its entirety (though I don’t know if that will be easy to do in the U.S., even in Jackson Heights).
Meanwhile, I’m going to have to credit Bollywood Food Club (yet again). Although I had seen this film clip once or twice before seeing that post, but it’s that post that finally led me to add the clip right here:
P.S. YouTube has a copy of this clip with English subtitles (which is nice for all us westerners who don’t know Malayalam), but it can’t be posted here because, like some kind of ghost, it just…disappears!