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Star-studded cast in “Om Shanti Om” October 29, 2009

Posted by Alex in Uncategorized.


So was I the only one a little lost at the musical number “Om Shanti Om” when the film seemed to be featuring in great length, characters we had never seen?  As the scene continued however, and we saw the female star from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and even their signature handshake from the film, I began to understand that this cameo is not so unfamiliar.  It seems incredibly similiar to our equivalent of a star-studded cast like in Ocean’s Eleven.

This seems like a similiar strategy to reach a greater audience and entice people to come see it.  In one article I found on the internet, it mentions that Bollywood actors are considered to be almost demi-gods, so this seems to back up my theory.


Jadoo October 21, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

Let’s start with Jadoo himself. What kind of sci-fi figure is he? As Alessio and Langer suggest, Jadoo seems to be a combination of sci-fi and Hindu mythology.

So, how do we analyze the following equation: E.T. + Krishna + Ganesh = Jadoo?

E.T. (here’s a link to the Spielberg film, if you haven’t seen it):

The Hindu diety Krishna (depicted here, as he often is, as a child; here’s a link to the role Krishna performs in Hindu mythology):

The Hindu diety Ganesh (here’s a link to Ganesh’s role in Hindu mythology:

Bollywood in Motion… October 19, 2009

Posted by payjr in Uncategorized.

Hey everyone,

I was asked by a friend to perform a couple of dance routines for Diwali in a couple of weeks (the holiday was actually celebrated this past Saturday, October 17).  One of the songs we’re dancing to is called “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from the film Dil Se (1998).  The dance sequence in the film is AMAZING.

The mere idea of singing and dancing atop a moving train couldn’t get more Bollywood.  I then found this article which, in many ways, puts a damper on this visual spectacle.


Also, here is a link to the movie, Dhoom 2 (2006), mentioned in the article.  The train scene is within the first 6-7 minutes of the film.

Western elements nextdoor to the slums October 15, 2009

Posted by lillyrice in Uncategorized.
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I wasn’t able to add this picture as a supplement to my earlier comment, but I thought you all my find it interesting. This is a snapshot from my summer travels in Alexandria, Egypt. I found it somewhat ironic that they have a three-story KFC in Egypt…

KFC and Baskin Robbins Alexandria

While these commercial elements of Bombay were not as prevalent in Ghulam, there appears to be a continuous gap between westernized/industrialized parts of town and that of the slums in developing nations.

Bombay October 13, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

Since the setting of Bombay is foregrounded in Ghulam, I thought we could begin our discussion with what the city signifies (in this film and/or in our general understanding). What do you know about this city, which is typically thought of as unique because it is the most multicultural and Westernized place in India?

This is Bombay today:

And this is Bombay too:

What kind of city do you think Bombay is? What kinds of conflicts does it give rise to?

Sheila J. Nayar article October 12, 2009

Posted by annabethsanford in Uncategorized.

In Nayar’s article, The Values of Fantasy: Indian Popular Cinema through Western Scripts, she says, “finished products adapted from foreign works are less remakes than extracted skeletons: plot repositories, molded and shaped for a more sufficient and efficient cultural refilling.  Even given the filmmakers’ borrowing, stealing and blatant plagiarism, these finished products are indisputably Indian” (74-75).    Because American themes do not always translate, and vice versa with Indian themes, Nayar seems to suggest that Bollywood films are not remakes, but simply borrowed plotlines.  While I don’t completely agree with this, I can see how she makes this argument through the frequent inability to sucessfully translate themes cross-culturally.

Kaante October 7, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

What kind of remake is Kaante? How do we understand its relationship with Reservoir Dogs and/or with City on Fire? Is it an instance of homage? Or is this just plagiarism? How does Kaante revise the earlier texts? On the other hand, how does it work with the Bollywood formula?

Comment on Verevis Reading October 6, 2009

Posted by kellyparry111 in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

I made this observation while I was reading and I wanted to see what everyone thought…I’m trying to figure out a good way to say what I’m thinking so here goes…

Why is it that biographers will research the life of a filmmaker? Obviously the personal life of a director impacts filmmaking, but I found the interest in Tarantino’s life especially strong. Would his movies be as valued and analyzed if there were no knowledge of the personal motives behind different characters and themes? Do the life experiences of directors give them the “authority” (page 174) to include fictitious events in films?

Two or Three Things I Know about Bollywood September 30, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

1) High drama: Bollywood films exaggerate . . . everything. It seems there are no truly low-density moments in a Bollywood film. If something happens, it must be really important and therefore must be highlighted, underlined, italicized, and put in bold. Why? Is it because the filmmakers want to make sure the audience knows about the gravity of each scene? Are they following a more expressive (almost out of silent cinema) aesthetic?

2) Causal logic versus diegetic logic: Most Bollywood films are not conventionally logical. Sometimes the characters’ motivations don’t make sense (you’ll find yourself saying “I’d never do that!” quite often) outside of the diegesis. That’s because the films are not meant to be realistic. The events unfold based on the kind of world the film has created; it’s the internal diegetic logic that the films adhere to rigidly. For instance, is Anjali really in love with Aman or Rahul in the second half of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? Is she picking Rahul for love or out of familial obligation?

3) Song and dance: Well, you can’t really comment on Bollywood without talking about the song-and-dance sequences. But how are these sequences different from a Hollywood musical? Are they more or less fantastical? Do they add anything to the plot? Or are they merely offering visual spectacle?

Lost in Translation? September 24, 2009

Posted by kellyparry111 in Uncategorized.

Hey everyone!

I was surfing YouTube and found this interesting video! I’m not sure where this video came from or how legit these translations are, but I think its interesting to see that people have translated this scene in so many different ways. Also, read the comments below…it is funny to see the arguments about translation!