Tonight I stumbled upon Chakravarthy Thirumagal… It’s available in many places for free online. There are no English subtitles, so unless you speak Tamil, of course, you won’t understand what anyone is saying. But it’s worth skimming through for the visual splendor, the good fight scenes (lots of sword fighting and also some wrestling, if you like that), and the great song-and-dance sequences…
S. Janaki on Sridevi with the music of Ilaiyaraaja… I’ve noticed this combination in a number of scenes from south Indian films of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and it’s always splendid. I’ve found that this dance is a good one for picking up my mood…
P.S. The director of the second piece, Sangita Shresthova, also has a blog that I’m adding to my blogroll. Check out her post of July 7 – excellent taste in filmi dance, if I may say so. :)
Happy birthday, Padmini! I planned my Padmini birthday post more last year, but on this blog these days, almost every day is Padmini’s birthday, or at least she seems to have one every week or two. I’ve been a bit busy, actually (with non-blog-related writing projects), but I had to take a moment out to celebrate Padmini Day anyway. And everyone else should do the same… (Watch a Padmini movie, do some bharatanatyam in your living room…)
P.S. Yes, the subs are somewhat ridiculous. They might add to the amusement, but they might also be too distracting, especially during that great dance by Padmini and Ragini. But you can also turn them off when the video is running – just click the little red box two rows above the arrow on the right.
…And what a reminder this is! Lotus blossoms, bees, peacocks, deer…
Another ancient treasure! The music was by G. Ramanathan; MGR was the star.
Yes, once again, it’s the eldest Travancore Sister! The other day I also saw a fantastic dance that she did with Padmini in the 1958 movie Raja Rajan. (Though I had to sift through the movie without subs for a while before getting to it. Unfortunately, there are no publicly available clips of that dance.) For months and months, I couldn’t find a scene with Lalitha anywhere, and the past few days I’ve almost been tripping over them! But reportedly, she did not become as interested in films as the other two sisters, so she was not in nearly as many as Ragini or, espeically, Padmini. That’s too bad, because it is a joy to see her too.
[Checking back on this post a few years later and I see that unfortunately, the clip is no longer there. I will have to find something to replace it. But I must keep the post up because of all the interesting comments!]
This is the first movie ever in which Padmini was the heroine. (And who knows why it says “1957” at the beginning of the video – maybe it’s a typo; this was made in 1951.) This has been an incredible week for YouTube archaeological finds. Hopefully, since it’s iStream, with all the ads and crap, it will stay up. The song, “Ellam Inba Mayam” (with a famous duet by singers MLV and P. Leela) is quite beautiful, too. The other woman in the clip is probably Lalitha, the third Travancore Sister, who acted in only a few films back in the 1950s.
P.S. By the way, this movie was made the same year as Bahar, which was Vyjayanthimala’s first Hindi movie. Bahar is also a film that many people mistakenly say featured Padmini. (And many movie sites, like IMDb, just reiterate this claim.) As I discussed in this post, that “Padmini” was Pandari Bai. With this clip, you can see what the real Padmini looked like that year. And she does look a little different from the way she looks in all those movies that she made later, because she is so young and skinny here. But she doesn’t look that different…
Now, this one is genuinely, fantastically good!
P.S. For those with a long memory, yes, I did visit this movie a while back, too. (I’m reminded because I see that someone visited that old post tonight.) Back then, though, I spelled it “Adh…” (as it’s spelled in YouTube), rather than “Aath.” Oh, well… I’ve seen it “officially” spelled both ways in different places, so I’m guessing that this is one of these spellings that (due to changes in alphabet) are very flexible.