Ten Bollywood Memories I'll Take With Me To My Grave
November 13, 2012 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Isn't 'sharing them with everyone' the opposite of 'taking them to the grave'? If he took the memories to the grave, the list would just be the numbers one through ten with blanks afterwards.
posted by FatherDagon at 4:05 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]

Apart from that idiomatic issue I think everyone should watch the last one on his list, which is classic in many overlapping ways (background: the court dancer and the young prince are in love, the emperor disapproves):

Mughal - E - Azam - Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya - Lata Mangeshkar

This is a great list because it reaches into Bollywood history rather than being stacked in favor of newer movies.
posted by the mad poster! at 4:10 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Isn't 'sharing them with everyone' the opposite of 'taking them to the grave'?

Not if everyone who reads the article is slated to be killed to become the author's servent in the afterworld.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:11 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

What? No Sholay? I demand more Hema Malini dancing on broken glass while hirsute bandits watch on picking their teeth!

And what about Don (the original, not the ghastly remake) featuring the oddly literal dance number with Amitabh ("can you see that these guys are serious, they are standing here...I'm Don, my name is Don, I'm serious and so are these guys who are standing right here behind me...")

Mrs werkzeuger also nominates the Aishwarya dancing with ducks scene in Guru.
posted by werkzeuger at 7:14 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

My all time favorite is from Lagaan. It's super-cute and beautifully done. It helps to know the backstory, but you can at least get the lyrics in this version, although the quality is pretty bad. Here it is in HD in its full glory, but no subtitles.
posted by antinomia at 8:17 PM on November 13, 2012

I was at a Bengali friend's house as a teenager and we were playing D&D, but there was some Bollywood movie on the TV, and all I remember is some guys standing around in the woods looking dangerous, and a donkey running up to them dragging a coffin behind it. A hand emerges from the coffin and start firing a really old fashioned machine gun, killing everyone instantly. A guy sits up in the coffin and says something or winks at the camera or something like that and lays back down and the donkey runs off, dragging him in the coffin with it.
posted by cmoj at 9:25 PM on November 13, 2012

I used to know a guy who was one of those "work until you make a big pile of money and then quit and go backpacking in Asia until it runs out" guys. Somehow, whenever he went on a trip, he ended up getting a job in some major motion picture (he speaks Mandarin and ended up as a translator for something once, for instance).

but one of his best travel stories came from his last trip to India - he had just landed in Mumbai the night before and was staying there a couple days just to acclimate himself, and had just started his day, wandering out of his hotel and around the streets trying to find breakfast, when suddenly a van stopped beside him and a guy leaned out asking if he wanted a job as an extra in a film. They gave him an address to report to the next day.

Turns out that they were shooting a Bollywood film with a scene set at a wedding in the United States, and the guy in the van had spent the day driving around Mumbai trolling the streets for visibly-Caucasian-looking people to stuff in the background. It bore no resemblance to any wedding he'd ever been to - everyone was in traditional Indian garb, the dancing was all choreographed and there were fake fountains and fireworks going off at points. The shooting took only a couple days, and he ended up making friends with a guy from Uruguay who got so blown away watching them film the dance sequence that he kept backing into the fountains.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 AM on November 14, 2012

Don't get me wrong; I applaud the exploration and appreciation of golden oldies, and some of the films he names are truly extraordinary. But I'm going to be grumpy here and say that this trend I'm seeing -- "non-traditional" Hindi film fans, people who didn't grow up with the cinema, so often framing their love of Bollywood in a manner that fixates only on older films -- well, it seems a little suspicious to me.

(Disclaimer: I'm a "non-traditional" fan, too, insofar as I am not Indian and did not watch Hindi films as a kid.)

My brain is sluggish tonight so I'm having difficulty articulating the cause of my discomfort, but the consistent embrace by "taste-makers" of older Hindi films, and their near-complete silence on new Hindi films, seems like the "safe" move, functioning in much the same manner as ironic appreciation (i.e., it marks one's distance from the object of supposed affection). I mean, this film industry is STILL ACTIVE. In fact, it's HUGELY active. And, sure, current Hindi cinema has its lows (just as older Hindi cinema did), but there are some amazing films coming out of Mumbai these days -- even, yes, some of the more "masala" films.

I guess I wish I saw more acknowledgment (by these people who have "discovered" Bollywood) of current films and current directors and current actors and so on, because Bombay cinema isn't a curiosity or a museum piece, it's a thriving industry that deserves respect and attention.
posted by artemisia at 5:32 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

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