Thursday, December 28, 2006

Go 'head Munnabhai!

Since my quasi-review of Lage Raho Munnabhai is way overdue and since I probably wouldn't do the film much justice anyways, I thought I'd repost the comment nic made about LRM since it was a cool little "teachable moment."

My comment is pretty long but I hope it will give you some Indian perspective on what makes LRM special.

Apart from the fact that it was quite entertaining, LRM was a hit throughout India, even in the south and even in small towns. This is a very rare event in itself since most new movies nowadays are designed for the city and overseas audiences. When I went to see the movie in Mumbai (Bombay) I could see people from all age groups in the audience. Even handicapped people and very old people had made an effort to come to the theater to watch the movie which is rare.

Now in India, movies are more than just entertainment. People take movies seriously, very seriously. They look up to movies as ideals to emulate. So you have some people jumping off huge heights after watching Krrish, people questioning their marriage after watching KANK, teens driving rashly after watching Dhoom and women copying the latest Bollywood costume designs.That's also why you have so many happy joint families, elaborate weddings and romance in Indian movies because that's what most Indians aspire for.

When Gandhi died, Einstein had correctly predicted "future generations would refuse to believe that a man like Gandhi ever existed" and that has indeed become the case with many Indians, specially teenagers. Most Indians read about Gandhi in history textbooks in school and acknowledge that he was an extraordinary human. But they also find Gandhi's ideals impossibly utopian. They don't think its possible to emulate his principles in practical life.

Also some Indians feel, perhaps only subconsciously, that we have not been able to carry forward Gandhi's legacy. The government in its public service broadcasts tells people, "Lets try and find the Gandhi in ourselves" but the common man doesn't know how to go about doing it. He wants practical ways to resolve his life issues.

What school history lessons could not do, this movie was able to do by presenting Gandhi in a lighter vein, showing how you can change people without resorting to force & violence. It showed that gandhigiri works.

The impact of the movie was that people asked themselves how they could apply Gandhi's ideals in their lives. Some people solved disputes amicably, even court cases were settled after using some of the methods in the movie. It worked for some, didn't work for others but the bottom line is people were willing to give peaceful conflict resolution a chance.

Also this movie caused an entire generation in India to rediscover Gandhi and that is no easy task. Teenagers actually became interested in knowing more about the Mahatma. Bookstores opened new sections on Gandhi due to increasing sales. People wanted to explore Gandhi's life and his ideology.

Outside the theater I could see people selling Gandhi's autobiography and many people actually buying it. Now that's much more than what you can expect from a movie. The effect may be temporary but it was a very positive one.

I only have three worthwhile additions:

  • I love Circuit and I'm glad Munna finally apologized for slapping him around.
  • Watching two old folks get married is about the cutest thing I saw all year.
  • Numerology IS a silly excuse to add extra letters to your name.
Okay, okay I have to ask: Did I just imagine they showed Munna married at the end of the first film? As my one friend said, "That must have been in an alternate universe."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Peace and Goodwill to all Mankind!

Merry Christmas everybody!!!
Hope you're spending the day with family and friends.

Ever wonder why folks were so excited about Jesus' birth? Here's a little snippet straight from Handel's Messiah (borrowed from the book of Isaiah), foretelling the birth of Christ:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Several hundred years before the birth of Jesus, an announcement was his arrival, his authority and his identity. Very, very cool.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bollywood's Hottest

According to Forbes Magazine, "Bollywood is hot."
Geez. I've been saying that all along...

To put it in perspective, Hindi films made up half of the 14 foreign language films that grossed more than $2 million in the U.S. this year--more than any other language. That is a record.
Well, black folks aren't the only ones who like singing and dancing. lol

Anyways, check out the Forbes commentary on the highest grossing Hindi films of the year here. Do you even have to ask what was first on the list? Only one man has the digits to take the world by storm!

[Side Note: According to the Times of India, the third installment of KMG/Krrish is supposed to hit screens next year. If they do more action figures of Hrithik, somebody needs to hook me up! Seriously.]

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

When life takes over

I know it's hard to imagine but lately I've actually had work to do at work--important type stuff and I'm the only one who can get it done. I've also been overwhelmed by social obligations aka celebrations of the joyous Christmas season.

Basically, I haven't watched a Bollyfilm in almost two weeks. This, while suffering from a flu/cold/sinus infection that can only be described as bio-terrorism. Times are hard. I didn't even check out Baabul when it played at the Belcourt on Sunday. No John Abraham for me (or Salman for that matter so I suppose I really should count my blessings).

Also, I keep meaning to do a post called "the dark ones" or "views of blackness" or something or other but more pragmatic life-related things keep getting in the way.

L'chai-im! To life!

[I'll be back at some point.]

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bollywood Boy and...Christ

I had been vaguely musing over the fact that I'm quite overdue for an introspective theological post and lo and behold I was drawn into deep thought by a pop lit book masquerading as journalistic inquiry into Hrithik Roshan's meteoric rise into cinematic reign.

When I finished reading Justine Hardy's Bollywood Boy, yesterday, I couldn't help but pause in thought over the cost of fame, the weight of adulation, sameness in difference--life in general. [I won't bother reviewing the book. Folks have done an accurate enough job on]

The thing that started my head spinning was this, "You know I am so tired all the time. I can't remember not being tired." Spoken by Hrithik during his interview with Justine, these words, in the last 5 pages of 264 hung like a heavy mist in the dialogue of my mind. Dang, I thought. How many times have I said that in the past year? Their dialogue continued leading Hrithik to say, "I just wonder what it would be like if it could all just stop and I could get on with learning how to act." By the time I completed the last few pages of the book, the mist hadn't lifted, it had settled. I wonder what it would be like if...I wonder.

In about 15 seconds my mind connected these questions with my personal quandary of existence: What is the point of pursing something that you would wonder about if you had not pursued it only to be wondering after receiving it what it would be like to be released from it? Does the weight of unmerited adulation exhaust more completely than the glare of undesired obscurity? What is the difference between being dead tired from inescapable success and being tired from the inescapable monotony of normalcy if in either instance, you are unable to escape? Any difference is merely outward.

My mind quickly switched gears:
If difference is merely external, only an internal stability will weather the innumerable questions of possibility--an internal stability I don't believe I possess--a complete and clear sense of purpose to weather obscurity and the monotony of life. Hmmm. What else could make life more bearable? Love. Love? Love. It is so easy for me to love beauty and its manifestation in mankind. Purpose is not something that can be gathered from beauty though the aching absence of purpose can be softened by love. Perhaps love redirected will produce the needed result. Weird. A verse from my Sunday school days came back to my mind, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul and your mind." [ref] It rang like a nursery rhyme weighed down only by the settled mist.

So began my dialogue with Christ:

I do not see you Messiah in all things. I see beauty and I love it most. I do not feel drawn by your words, rather feelings of retreat. The song of beauty offers escape so sweet, so easy to follow. I sing in harmony with it, a song I learned when first I learned to choose. How then can I find such sweetness in your voice? How can I be drawn so easily to your side, to your otherworldliness that I will sing your song, your praises, your harmony as if it were the only song I had ever known? Why can I not rest in your love? Find in your eyes fragility, humanity? See you everywhere, hear you in the pauses, in the words that are not said and receive you, believing that you will receive me every time?
I asked and I received. It's a curious thing--barely explicable, too fresh to unwrap--a quiet, growing sense of receiving and being received by an invisible, omnipresent and personal being in my response to questioning whether he was beautiful and being shown that he was. ;)
He is.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Lucky 7 - Picks for Newbies

I got an email from a very cool girl yesterday asking for Bollywood recommendations. I'd like to pretend that I'm some sort of expert but quite honestly, I cast my net wide and normally gather the opinions of much better informed persons than myself when deciding what to watch.

Thus, at this point in the game, I feel fairly confident in making some "newbie"
recommendations since I know that all my choices will be fully supported by the readers of this blog. [Ha! Has anyone who reads this site ever been hesitant to correct me?]

That being the case, here's my recommendations to a girl who's seen only Bride and Predjudice so far. (Did I mention I don't get that movie?) Fresh off the email circuit:

My Lucky 7.
Bollywood Guide for the Western Eye

My next suggestion would be to jump on over to Monsoon Wedding. It's a nice transitional film with plenty of Hinglish but will warm you up to reading subtitles. It's not proper Bollywood in that it doesn't have any big dance numbers but it has cultural elements that will become all too familiar after a few films.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is typical Bollywood fare in both its strengths and weaknesses. The music and costumes are fabulous. It has a strong cast but at times the story slows down unnecessarily and other moments are rife with silliness that probably weren't supposed to be silly. Nonetheless, it's one of the highest grossing Hindi films ever.

Since it was one of the first Hindi films I watched, Dil Se will always be close to my heart. ;) Mani Ratnam is an amazing director. I'm still searching for one of his films I won't like. It's not typical Bollywood industry fare but it is uniquely Indian. It combines star-crossed lovers, political intrigue and a great soundtrack. What's not to like?

A lot of people really like Lagaan. I don't much care for Aamir Khan so for me, it was a long three hours. It's a story that takes place during the British Raj so from a socio-historical perspective, it's an informative film. Also, if you don't know anything about cricket, you most assuredly will after watching.

Devdas did very well at the Cannes film festival when it premiered. I found the music a bit more challenging than most of the other films. The feel of the music, like much of the film, is the slightest bit dark but it's beautifully offset by the most fabulously ornate costuming and production design you've ever seen.

Another beautiful film with a fairy-tale like feel is Paheli. It's only about two hours long (made with Western audiences in mind). It's an unusual film by any standard and visually stunning. One of my favorites.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and recommend Munnabhai M.M.B.S. as the last of the "Lucky 7." The film is very silly--it is a comedy--but it left me feeling warm and fuzzy at the end, no small feat, so it makes the cut.

Also, if you haven't seen Bend It Like Beckham, you totally should. I don't know any girls who've seen it and didn't like it! It's not Bollywood but it is Indian.
I chose the films I did because it seemed like a nice sampler of styles and subject matter: modernism vs. tradition; love vs. arranged marriage; family ties; the effects of political unrest; colonial oppression; love across boundaries of class, race and/or societal commitment; frustration with bureaucratic ineptitude and of course, gangsters.

Okay folks, weigh in.
Boys in particular, I'd like to hear what you have to add!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

King Khan as Prince Asoka

The tagline for Asoka is: Only the dead have seen the end of war. In many ways that about sums up the film...

[This is my second encounter with Sinister Shahrukh in a month!]

Asoka is a pretty cool story. Shahrukh did a great job progressing through angst-ridden agressiveness to impassioned love to calculated vengence. It was a treat to watch. As much as I may not care for Kareena, off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone else who could carry the "warrior princess" vibe.

The cinematography in the film was very impressive though a bit self-reflective at times. Every other scene had moments that were not necessarily narrative but were visually appealing. My absolute fave was Roshini Si. I loved the monotone set/costume scheme, use of shadows--contrast of dark and light and that weird slow-motion reverse thing they kept doing. Very cool.

One strange thing was Asoka's periodic nose bleeds. I'm guessing it's significant because it would be to strange to do on a whim. Anyone want to drop some knowledge on that one?

While this was a serious film and presented itself as such, it still had a very Shahrukhophilic feel. The Badshah treated us to no less than 5 variations on bathing. As an encore, I present:

"Seven Faces of Shahrukh"

I. SRK Pouty
II. "Come and get it" a.k.a. "Tiger Eyes"III. The depths of despair
IV. Passion by SRKV. Vengeance Cometh
VI. Badshah forever VII. Au natural
or, Variation on Bathing, Part 4

At any rate, Asoka is one of those rare films that even anti-Bollywood menfolk can be convinced to watch. In fact, I added it to my list when my physical therapist, a film fanatic himself, mentioned it. It's the only Indian film he's seen and he loved it.

All that aside, I have one last question. If you were going to battle where there was swords and stuff, would you wear this outfit? Just curious.

And because I can, I'd like to point out that the framing of the next to last scene of Asoka reminded me of the last scene in The Passion which was awfully eerie. Asoka came out first (2001) so I guess it's just one of those strange coincidences...

A little Christmas cheer

Ha ha. I love legos so here's a little Christmas story to brighten your day. Consider this your first Christmas present!

(If only I could be 10 again with the technology we have now...)

[via Bible Films Blog]

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Obscenity in Dhoom 2

Yes folks. It's true. There were several obscene moments in Dhoom 2 and only one involved Miss Rai. The culprit, as you may have already guessed, is one Hrithik Roshan. The following dictums were violated:

Offense 1.1.1:
At no time, ever, for any reason, should any form of liquid, gel, cream, or other water-based product be rubbed on Mr. Roshan's freshly waxed torso. This--while violated for a mere 10 seconds at most--was nothing less than debauchery.

Offense 2.2.2:
At no time, ever, for any reason, should hands or other body parts belonging to cast members--including Mr. Roshan himself--at any time caress Mr. Roshan's freshly waxed torso. Blatant titillation. Blatant.

Offense 3.3.3:
At no time, ever, for any reason, should Mr. Roshan's "V" and subsequent sport boxers be on display for public consumption. Nor should his jeans be placed in such fashion that they appear as if they...just...might...slip...if he moved in an unpredictable manner. Raising licentious, though unfulfilled, desires in innocent moviegoing audiences is never justified.

Offense 4.4.4:
At no time, ever, for any reason, should Mr. Roshan be seen locking lips with anyone other than his wife Sussane. It is not appropriate for women the world over to think that they too, given the right circumstances might be able to extract "some lovin'" from Mr. Roshan.

Because of the aforementioned offenses, not only was my dignity challenged but my ability to breathe was placed under undue duress. Having paid $11 to have my health and decorum disrupted, I will use the remainder of this time to recount other notable aspects of the evening:

  • Hrithik Roshan makes an ugly woman y'all.
  • Did anybody else know you could make those jetski things go under water?
  • One must have the body of a Greek god to masquerade as one.
  • Was it really necessary that Aish say, "I'm hot." Was it? They already made the poor child speak about her character in the third person. Must she also allude to herself so blatantly?
  • Aish moves like a girl, runs a like a girl and plays basketball like a girl.
  • Ali = Carlton = a hot mess.
  • Carnival in Brazil is Bollywood on steroids.
  • When Hrithik was wearing that white outfit and the ponytail weave, I kept hearing Riiiico Suaaave. [If you don't know why, you need to find out.]
  • I shouldn't even ask but, "Why is Snow White--the Disney version at that--in the dinosaur exhibit?"
The only real acting in this entire film happened just pre-kiss. Excluding the inexplicable end-of-scene turnaround, that was the most real moment. Frightening--why does Hrithik go psycho in every film?--but real. The present lawsuit simply proves the point that what is not seen is more powerful that what is seen. 'Cause all the grown folks in the room know what would happen after a meltdown like that and there's nothing PG-13 about it.

I now leave you with several conclusions:
  • Hrithik dances like a Chippendale, which explains my desire, yet complete inability, to look away.
  • Bips is one hott mama! This is the first film I've seen her in. Normally I see her in photos with John and for some reason *cough* I never noticed her before.
  • Uday is not annoying when he's being funny. Without him this movie would slosh around like a slurpee with no ice. The Baywatch thing - priceless!
  • Aishwarya and Hrithik are both such perfect looking, fabulous dancers that there's no way either of them are from this planet. I think however, they're both from the same planet, on which they are known as brother and sister. (Hrithik's extra digit is simply evidence that even in the best of laboratories, things do occasionally go awry.)
I rest my case.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Don't we all?

Not to be outdone by Will Smith, reports have it that George Clooney has recently stated that he loves Bollywood and would welcome the opportunity to perform in a Hindi film.

Geez, if everybody starts doing it, it won't be cool anymore...

Read the trascript and watch the video on CNN-IBN.

[For the record, they really need to stop calling him the world's sexiest man as if that wasn't Hrithik's birthright.]

Thanks Susan!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Is that Michael Richards with Jesse Jackson?!

Why yes, I think it is!

Oh, what a difference a few days and a PR campaign make! He's doing a good job of repositioning himself. One can only hope it is with sincere intentions. The NYTimes did a nice update on the Michael Richards fiasco in the Sunday paper. You can read it here.

I'll spoil the ending for you:
“What is worse than a white man calling a black man a nigger?” [Dick] Gregory said, quoting his son. “Calling a white man Michael Richards.”
LOL!!! Michael Richards shall forever live in infamy...

The wifi on my laptop is burnt out. It's working about as well as a homemade radio. That being the case, my fabulous, photo-filled commentaries on Asoka and Lage Raho Munnabhai are stuck in Never Never Land. Hopefully this situation will be resolved by Thursday so I can recount all the ways Hrithik Roshan is Bringing Sexy Back...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's hard out here for a hottie

LOL! Looks like Hrithik's hottness finally got him in trouble...

Apparently, Bollywood Boyfriend #1 and Aishwarya Rai have caused a bit of a stir with their lip-locking in Dhoom 2. I know, it's hard to watch two such ridiculously beautiful people share a passionate moment and then go home to your ordinary looking spouse.

In the name of ordinary looking folks everywhere, there's a fella in Madhya Pradesh who filed a criminal case against the pair accusing them of obscenity. Personally, I think he needs to admit that this has quite a bit more to do with hotttttness than it does with actual offense.

Geez! As if Aish didn't have enough on her plate with her tree marriage and all...

BTW, I've seen the kiss--yeah, YouTube!--and it's only medium hott. Maybe it's more offensive in context. Can't wait till Thursday!!!
Story from Reuters.

Um, yeah. And on to the real reason why Hrithik's married to Sussanne and not me:

“While doing the scene, all I knew was that I had to answer the challenge set by Sussanne.

She said, ‘If you are going to do the kiss, make sure it’s the best g*ddamn kiss in the world.’

Eventually, both Sussanne and I loved the kiss.” Who was on his mind during the lip-lock? “You think of (the characters) Aryan and Sunheri, that’s it,” he states. [Hindustan Times]
I, on the other hand, would be far more inclined to take K-Jo's advice and lock Hrithik in the closet...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

From a non-Bollywood fan...

I've been keeping up with the blog of Ryan Nee, a guy who's spending this year in a "round the world" type tour. I found out about his blog from somebody (his brother I think) over at Ryan was in India the past few weeks and saw Dhoom 2 without subtitles on his last day in Kolkata. His description made me laugh out loud:

One of the few things I knew about Bollywood is that they release the songs from the movie well before the movies hit theatres so that people can sing along and get really into the movies as they're watching them. Sure enough, I somehow knew a few of the songs just because I've been in India for a few months. The whole movie was in Hindi, so it was a little bit confusing, but I understood most of what was going on. Actually, I guess you could say the movie was in Hinglish, the weird Hindi-English crossover language spoken by the Indian upper middle class. Dialogue went something like this:

Oh my god! Hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi. That's so cool, man! Hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi is all that I've ever wanted. Hindi hindi hindi hindi hindi. Oh, I know darling! Hindi hindi hindi.
I'm watching Anbe Sivam right now without subtitles. (I know, that's what happens when you obtain media illegally.) I like the movie. It's really funny but I'm not sure how engaged I'd be if there wasn't any Hinglish Tinglish Tanglish! How else is a monolingual supposed to know if they're following okay?

As for Ryan, you can read about his travels at If you check his older posts, he's got some pretty nice photos and mini-video clips of his time in India and China. I think he went to Nepal and Bangladesh too but I can't remember so you'll have to check it out for yourself!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hurry! Offer ends December 15!

Yeah, so rather than do something productive, I was checking my site statistics only to discover this:I was targeted for Citibank NRI Business ads featuring DON. (Does that mean my "ghetto pass" has been revoked?)

Anyhoo, besides getting a copy of the new DON if you set up a new account with Citibank NRI, even without making such a big commitment, you can enter a contest to win a walk-on role in an undisclosed film (!) or random things like (no lie) "trendy sunglasses" and "snazzy movie t-shirts." [Link] Don't think you're going to get something for nothing. You have to answer 5 true/false questions correctly and come up with a showstopping slogan to finish the phrase: The DON is one of a kind because---.

In case you're wondering, of course I entered. I don't have any snazzy movie t-shirts in my collection. Hurry! Offer ends December 15!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Goodness. I wasn't sure how much more I could suffer in silence! Dhoom 2 is coming to Nashvegas on December 7.

Why Thursday night I don't know but I will most certainly be buying my ticket early to avoid any potential violence on my part should the showings become sold out.

I am so looking forward to seeing Bollywood Boyfriend #1 on the big screen again. That Abhishek guy ain't bad either...

See you: 6 p.m. at the Belcourt.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kareena Paris

There's just something about Kareena Kapoor that reminds me of Paris Hilton. I guess that's why I have such a hard time liking her...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Salman Khan in 1989

Let me begin by acknowledging that some time ago, Daddy's Girl tagged me to do a post on my favorite Khan. As would anyone with good taste, I fully intended to do a post on my love for SRK in coordination with Beth’s suggestion that we Bollybloggers should write odes to the Badshah on his birthday, November 2. I only bring it up because without contest, Salman Khan was ranked as my LEAST favorite Khan.

Not much has changed after watching Maine Pyar Kiya except for the fact that I do feel the slightest twinge of guilt at dismissing Salman so completely before seeing the spectacle that was MPK. I can’t think of any better way to send the 80’s out in style! [Have you SEEN the movie poster?!]

Let’s begin with the opening sequence, a silhouetted Dirty Dancing simulation set to a tune overly reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called to Say I Love You.

I mean, after watching Salman do his best impersionation of Patrick Swayze on at least two seperate occasions, I had to cut the guy a break. So what if he stalks his ex-girlfriends and kills endangered species for fun--he can dance like a ballerina! So while he still holds last place on my list of Khans, it's only because everyone else is much more endearing, not because he doesn't have any redeeming qualities...

At times this film was a bit exhausting. I don't think it would have felt the same way in 1989. The "teens commit to love each other despite their parent's wishes" theme was probably pretty fresh back in the day but in 2006, it's pretty tired. The highlight for me was watching Salman, whose street creds far exceed the behavior he exhibited in this film. (Come on, just look at that baby face!)

Finally, I close with a message courtesy of our friend Totally Basmatic: Guns don't kill people, doves kill people. I guess that's what happens when doves cry...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A King and A Kingdom

This is my favorite song this week:
A King & A Kingdom
by Derek Webb
from the album Mockingbird

who's your brother, who's your sister
you just walked passed him
i think you missed her
as we're all migrating to the place where our father lives
'cause we married in to a family of immigrants

my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
it's to a king & a kingdom

there are two great lies that i’'ve heard
“the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him

but nothing unifies like a common enemy
and we’ve got one, sure as hell
but he may be living in your house
he may be raising up your kids
he may be sleeping with your wife
oh no, he may not look like you think

my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
my first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
it's to a king & a kingdom

Listen to the song here. If you like it, download the album for free here. (I promise, it's legal!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dhoom Again

As if you hadn't seen enough already...
Here's the newest music promo for Dhoom 2.

Seems like a little Gene Kelly meets NSync to me!
[From Our Bollywood]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Worse than Mel Gibson...

...only because this jerk was sober.

By now you may have heard about Michael Richards, the actor who played Kramer on Seinfield and his belligerent racist tirade that caused half the audience at the Laugh Factory to walk out of the club last Friday. In fact, the folks at the Laugh Factory were so mortified, they offered everyone at the show a refund. From their website:

This is a comedy club and while we have always supported the comics first amendment rights, we have done so with the understanding that they were exercising that right in an effort to be funny...We have made it clear that Mr. Richards is no longer welcomed here. The Laugh Factory is a comedy club not a forum for personal attacks.

I can't imagine a professional comic losing it that bad over a couple of hecklers regardless of what they were saying. Even if Richards had stooped down to heckling but kept it at that level--if he was straight up like, “Oh, you can call me a cracker but I can’t call you a nigger?”--quite honestly, I wouldn’t have had much to say about it.

The thing that lets you know that he has supremacy issues is the way that he brought in the Jim Crow era with reference to bodily harm in his attack. That's when he crossed the line. I don’t know too many sane white folks who want to align themselves with the atrocities of the Jim Crow period unless they're closet members of Stormfront or something...

Naturally, somebody caught half the ordeal on video. You can watch it here if you're in a moderately reflective mood and a safe place where it would be okay to watch something like American History X because the language is that bad.

[From Racialicious.]

The 4th Dimension

After consulting my site statistics again, I realized that most of the people who google their way to the site are looking for one thing or another about hottie of the universe, Hrithik Roshan. As much as I hate to infringe upon the trinity of Beliefs, Blackness & Bollywood, I've given everyone's favorite fake-pretend boyfriend his very own category:

Try not to overdose...

Monday, November 20, 2006

What do Dhoom2 and Coca-Cola have in common?

...Hrithik Roshan of course!

While I'm on the Coca-Cola kick, here's a little refresher on why I can't wait to see Dhoom 2...

Sidenote: Is anyone else the least bit bothered that there is NO way that could be Hrithik's hand holding the Coke in the bottom left of the screen in the last shot?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Blast from the Past

RA HA HAHAAA!!! I know Coca-Cola is shameless but this is right up there with using Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai...

Did I ever mention how much I love YouTube?! [FYI, this is Grambling State University's band.]

Friday, November 17, 2006

After all that...

Thanks for all the input on what to watch first! It's been a busy week and I still haven't gotten to any of the films in the last post. (Although it's safe to say I'll stick with my instincts due to the overwhelming response for HDDCS!) Unfortunately, it'll be a while before I get to any of those selections.
This Sunday at the Belcourt Nashvillians will be treated to Bommarillu, a Tamil Telegu film by Bhaskar featuring our previously naked friend, Siddarth.

[Sid, I'll have you know it's all for you that I'm going to see this one. I skipped Stalin on your account! ;) So far, all of your recommendations have been on point. Right now you're 3 for 3! Feel the pressure?]

No worries. I'm sure the film will be interesting. Siddharth is an excellent actor even if he does look about 18 years old. (He's 27, married and father of 1.)

But it is at his time I must make a personal confession: I don't like mustaches. Seriously, if Hrithik Roshan himself committed to wearing a mustache from here to everafter, I would shed a few ceremonial tears then move on to Kunal Kapoor as Bollywood Boyfriend #1.

I like facial hair on men. It's very, well, masculine. It's just that my dad has ALWAYS had a mustache and a mustache alone. (I remember him once shaving it off when I was a kid and he looked like an alien.) I can't think romantic thoughts about someone who reminds me of my dad, or any other old guy for that matter!

I only bring it up because I know our boys from the South love their "mooches" (meeshas?) Anyways, I'm hoping there'll be more goatees and less reincarnations of my dad...

[For the record, Siddharth is absolved from 'old man' status by attempting to grow a French Beard though I get the impression his won't grow in properly.]

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What next?

Friend Susania loaned me 6 Bollywood flicks and I'm debating over which to watch first. I'm leaning quite heavily toward Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999). I haven't seen Aish in anything recently.

What do you think? Here are the choices:

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Zamaana Deewana
Biwi No.1
Chori Chori

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How we roll in the Dirty Third

This weekend I had the privilege of sneaking [no, for real] into Vanderbilt's Masala-SACE Diwali performance. Apparently, those in the know know. These kids were not playing. For $11 you got an all-you-can-eat buffet and a 2.25 hour show! [Photo from 2005.]

And that brings me to how we roll in the Dirty Third. I have to admit a great deal of the amusement to me was the apparent fascination (obsession?) with hip-hop a few of the guys had. It's no more odd than me and Bollywood but still a surprise. Maybe I was just in "Diwali" mode as opposed to "117 college students showing off for their friends" mode.

There was this running skit with four of the guys being college-y and one of them was imitating Lil' John complete with dreadlock wig. I wonder how that would fly outside the third coast. I don't get 'crunk' style. I really don't. [I'm east coast FO LIFE!] I'll let it slide though. There were enough black folks in the production this year to tip the brown scale to the dark side.

Believe it, the white folks were out in full force as well. As I heard some kid say before the show, "I know! There's as many non-Indian students as Indian." It slipped out of his mouth just as I entered his peripheral vision. I'm not hating, I hear him though.

That unskillful segue brings me to my favorite part of the show--the spoken word. It was performed as a skit with two opposing couples at dinner. Y'all, I knew it was about to go down when they said it was about arranged marriage vs. love marriage but I was next to tripping when I realized that the girl speaking in favor of arranged marriage was--gasp--black like me.

Ok, ok, she wasn't black like me, she was about 4 shades lighter which meant that under the stage lights, with her silky straight hair and salwar kameez, one might not notice as she poured chai for everyone seated before looking to her "husband" for approval to sit. Her delivery gave her away though--crisp spoken syllables with a sing-song lilt. It sounded like spoken word as I'm used to hearing it. The others were a bit more loose in their form. Overall it was great though.

The dance teams were amazing! It was a lot of fun to watch. There were over 100 performers. Every thing was pretty varied and the remixes they used were hot to death! It was mostly modern-ish filmi stuff, a little hip-hop, one classical (bharatanatyam) piece and of course a big bhangra number. Next year I'll be prepared. The class of 2008 better come with it!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Humanity's Sins

“All of humanity’s sins are forgiven by God.
All of them—while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
The love that he has for us has not increased or decreased in capacity one bit since the moment he died.”
Wow. That’s the most radical thing I’ve heard in a long time.

I haven’t done a ‘beliefs’ post in a long while primarily because I’ve been thinking about a lot of things that are difficult to articulate. When I heard the pastor say that this Sunday, I figured it was as good a place as any to start.

The past month and a half or so, I’ve been overwhelmed with a sense of discovery every time I look at the Bible. I am desperately wanting to bridge the gap between the truth of scripture and present reality. I am overwhelmed by Jesus’ claim that he came to
  • to preach good news to the poor
  • to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
  • and recovery of sight for the blind
  • to release the oppressed
  • to proclaim the Lord's favor
and grossly underwhelmed by dour half-hearted attempts by the church-at-large to complete the task. I am underwhelmed to the point of implosion. [Seriously, as I was telling some friends the other day, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” à la Network.]

When Christ stood up in the synagogue and read those words from Isaiah, then said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,” people—religious people at that!—got so angry, they tried to throw him off a cliff!!! [link] How’s that for intolerance?

Not much has changed in two millennia. Religious folks, as a whole, are no more interested in the message of Jesus—good news: freedom, recovery, release, proclamation—than their secular counterparts but a heck of a lot less honest about it. And all this ranting is to say, I am just now beginning to realize how very much I fit the description of the angry mob that was so willing to throw Jesus off a cliff because they didn’t like what he was saying. They didn’t understand it so they thought he was a fraud.

For a long time I didn’t realize Christ wasn’t just talking smack—trying to be poetic because somebody was going to write a bestseller about it—he was stating facts. If he, God-in-the-flesh, came to do something, by definition it will (has been) done.

I could write for days about revelatory minutia because the revelation of Christ is that big. It’s that complex. Today, I stop here. The rest is marinating…

Monday, November 13, 2006

Jolly Bolly Cross Pollination

I'm beginning to think all actors and actresses come from the same gene pool. I'm pretty sure they're manufactured in a secret laboratory.

Rekha & Michelle Pfeiffer - cousins?

Crowd pleasers Aamir Khan & Tom Hanks share a few too many similarities as well.

Looks like a well-hidden conspiracy to keep below average-looking people out of work if you ask me...

[Connections courtesy of Manish.]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Don.....Don.....Don.....Don .....Don.....Don

[In my imagination, there's at least 2.5 people eagerly awaiting this post...]

Despite all the whispering of Don's name, the remake left me mostly underwhelmed. I don't guess that's any big suprise considering that the classic version wasn't that good to begin with. [Don't hit me! Amardeep said it first.] That's not to say that there weren't good things about either film. There were several.

My favorite thing about the original Don is the music! Not the dance numbers either, the background stuff. It is unashamedly '70s--hard hitting bass lines, twangy strings and distorted guitar. I LOVE that sound.
One of the tracks seriously sounds like a 1996 Quad City DJs backbeat dropped an octave. [For reals! Listen to this track then pop in Don and fast forward about 24 minutes to the scene where Roma goes to the restaurant.]

Other than that, there are a few cinematic moments that give cause for pause. The opening is an obvious one. Is that a wheat field?

If I were in a room with a man known to be unpredictably dangerous and he donned a lion mask, then began singing and dancing, I'd be creeping the heck out of there. But that's just me...

The "baby beluga" bodyguard from Amar Akbar Anthony is back. I guess that’s what “fierce” looked like in the late ‘70s.

Somebody has got to help me understand the pink scarf! It appears on Ab1 over and over again. I notice this time other people are wearing them. Maybe it’s the marker of a secret society…

For all the remake’s foibles, I was impressed by Shahrukh’s seemingly innate sense of villainy. (A bit too much of that might have leaked into his acting in KANK.) He was remarkably vicious. On the other hand, Priyanka did a great job kicking butt. And I hate to admit it but I wasn’t too sad about seeing Kareena’s character die off early on…

I didn’t miss anything from the 70’s version besides the music. The most impressive part of the remake were the stunts and chase scenes. I’m curious as to whether there are any other Indian films to date that can match them.

Visual moments that stand out: the car chase in which Don gets nearly killed was impeccable. Jumping out of a plane! That actually had me on the edge of my seat. I think I threw out a WTF at that point primarily because I’m thinking, There’s NO way Vijay could pull that off! Um, yeah. Also, the scope of the final fight scene of course! Did I mention I added Malaysia to my list of vacation locations? [Note to the police: If you are in a helicopter hovering over a member of the police force being beat to death for 2.5 minutes, it would behoove you to use the large assault weaponry in your possession to free him from said beating. Just a thought.]

The camerawork in Main Hoon Don, aka Song of Crushed Velvet is also noteworthy. It was sporadic and disorienting with delightful moments of visual pause. It reminded me a bit of Moulin Rouge which of course, was Baz Lurhman recycling Bollywood…

Even though I’m not so impressed with Don, I like Farhan Akhtar’s directorial style. I guess the problem with remakes is that they’re so often self-referential. Do we stick with the original or flout expectations? You could almost hear the whisper between every scene. So I guess we have to blame the staleness of the film on its initial incarnation. Still, I’m hooked on Farhan-ics. I look forward to Kismat Talkies.