Vintage Poster- Rocket Tarzan


This has to be probably the wackiest and zaniest poster I have come across as far as Hindi cinema is concerned. This piece of sublimity was apparently by a certain B. J. Patel and it was released in 1963. Sadly I can’t locate any transfer/print/copy of the film anywhere




बच्चन सिनेमा और उसकी ईर्ष्यालु संतति- गिरिराज किराडू


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अनुराग कश्यप ने सिनेमा की जैसी बौद्धिक संभावनाएं जगाई थीं उनकी फ़िल्में उन संभावनाओं पर वैसी खरी नहीं उतर पाती हैं.’गैंग्स ऑफ वासेपुर’ का भी वही हाल हुआ. इस फिल्म ने सिनेमा देखने वाले बौद्धिक समाज को सबसे अधिक निराश किया है. हमारे विशेष आग्रह पर कवि-संपादक-आलोचक गिरिराज किराडू ने इस फिल्म का विश्लेषण किया है, अपने निराले अंदाज में- जानकी पुल.
[गैंग्स ऑफ वासेपुर की ‘कला’ के बारे में बात करना उसके फरेब में आना है, उसके बारे में उस तरह से बात करना है जैसे वह चाहती है कि उसके बारे में बात की जाए. समीरा मखमलबाफ़ की ‘तख़्त-ए-सियाह’ के बाद फिल्म पर लिखने का पहला अवसर है. गर्मियों की छुट्टियाँ थीं, दो बार (एक बार सिंगल स्क्रीन एक बार मल्टीप्लेक्स) देखने जितना समय था और सबसे ऊपर जानकीपुल संपादक का हुक्म था]
अमिताभ बच्चन अपनी फिल्मों में ‘बदला’ लेने में नाकाम नहीं होता. तब तो बिल्कुल नहीं जब वह बदला लेने के लिए अपराधी बन जाय. बदला लेने में कामयाब होना उन कई फार्मूलों में से एक अहम फार्मूला है जो अमिताभ बच्चन के सिनेमा ने बनाया. और यह फार्मूला – ‘व्यक्तिगत’ स्पेस में हुए अन्याय का प्रतिकार कानून और सामाजिक नैतिकता = स्टेट की मशीनरी से बाहर जा कर ही संभव है उर्फ अपराधी होना एंटी-स्टेट होना है – उन कई फार्मूलों में से एक है जिन पर गैंग्स ऑफ वासेपुर बनी है. ‘मर्दानगी’ का ‘प्रदर्शनवाद’ (एग्जिबिशनिज्म) और उसका सफल कमोडिफिकेशन; स्त्री-‘बोल्डनेस’ के दो बेसिक प्रकारों – एरोटिक (दुर्गा) और लिंग्विस्टिक (नग्मा) – का उतना ही सफल कमोडिफिकेशन और ज़बरदस्त संगीत (चाहे वह हमेशा संगत न हो) ऐसे ही कुछ दीगर फार्मूले हैं जिन पर यह फिल्म बनी है, वैसे ही जैसे बहुत सारी फिल्में बनती आयी हैं….

Image from Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Ugly’ (Updated)

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Kashyap has said that the film is essentially a simple kidnap drama but which also deals with a lot of things- relationships, our patriarchal system, how men look at women, domestic violence…. basically a very personal drama in the shape of a thriller. The film has been selected for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight section this year. It releases sometime at the end of the year only after he finishes shooting for Bombay Velvet. Ugly stars Ronit Roy, Rahul Bhatt (not Mahesh Bhatt’s son but a TV actor), Tejaswini Kolhapure (Padmini’s sister, you might remember her from Paanch), Siddhant Kapoor (Shakti Kapoor’s son), Girish Kulkarni (the famous Marathi director of Deool, Velu and Vihir) and Vipin Sharma. It has been written and directed by Kashyap himself.

Ghulam- Spaces, Memories and the ‘Deewar Reversal’



In a crucial scene in Vikram Bhatt’s Ghulam quite a few characters participate in a local meeting to discuss the violence in the neighbourhood. There is Fatima (Mita Vashisht), the Muslim lawyer who plays an important role in the protagonist Sidhu’s (Aamir Khan) life. Then we have a Tamilian vegetable seller, and a crippled Muslim man from Uttar Pradesh. And of course Sidhu himself is presented at the meeting as a Maharashtrian identified by his last name Marathe. Taking the context of Bombay’s linguistic  and cultural hybridity amidst a compressed landscape of architectural chaos, Ghulam presents the urban crowd not as an abstract force but as a multicultural presence. The presence of the crowd and urban chaos are relationally structured around the Marxist idea of ‘empty space’. By contrasting ‘real’ space (the space of the crowd, the street, and the home) with fetishized ‘empty space’, Ghulam creates a conflictual movement between the ‘everyday’ present and the ‘traumatized’ past. This is most vividly imagined in the scenes on the river-bank (‘ghaat’).


Arguing With Gangs of Wasseypur- Satyam on GoW



It is needless to say that everyone should be reading this gem of a piece.In my humble view Satyam is possibly the finest writer on India cinema anywhere in this world. His blog, which apart from him also has the services of exceptionally fine writers like GF and Qalandar, is also one of the best places to discuss Indian films (and often Hollywood and World Cinema).

It is fascinating that Anurag Kashyap does not discern or at least chooses not to excavate the much greater film that lies hidden within the husk of his ambitious and in many ways formidable epic. He scatters clues of this more important project throughout the first part of the existing film and yet never quite fleshes out their meaning except in the most desultory ways. As ethnography his efforts succeed admirably. His journalistic choices vividly and often searingly portray what becomes in his telling a singular slice of the Indian hinterland. Kashyap clearly knows this landscape well as he does the lives of those who inhabit it. He is also astutely keyed into many of its socio-economic, cultural and ultimately political fault-lines. He knows the relevant cinematic histories from Hollywood to Bombay. His auteurist eye often creates extraordinary visuals. He has the ironic post-modern distance from his world which perhaps of necessity asserts itself at this late date in the medium’s history and certainly that of the genres he tackles. And yet even with everything perfectly located Kashyap frustratingly misses the encounter with that greater work. The reasons for this will turn out not to be accidental…


Jimmy Zhingchak, Agent of D.I.S.C.O – a graphic-novel on Mithun Chakraborty



This is a extremely well made one-shot comic book published by Virgin Comics written by Saurav Mohapatra (who also has to his credit some other fantastic comics and novels). The art work is by Anupam Sinha who also designed the Super Commando Dhruv character for Raj Comics. The novel parodies and simultaneously pays homage to those Mithun’s famous 80’s ”disco and rock n’ roll” potboilers like Disco dancer, Dance Dance and Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki. Would surely recommend folks to check this out. Of course Amitabh Bachchan was the first to have an entire comic-book series on his name – “Supremo”




The Hare and the Tortoise in a Chawl (a piece on Sai Paranjype’s Katha)

This one is for my sweet and sexy (or so is my educated guess from the interactions both of us have had though I have not had the good fortune of meeting her. Hope she would not mind this) ‘co-blog owner’. And since David Dhawan recently released the bastardized remake of another Paranjype classic Chashme Buddoor, this piece by Harneet Singh seems even more topical


Harneet Singh : New Delhi, Sat Jun 11 2011, 22:54 hrs

The classic fable was retold wonderfully in Katha

Meet Rajaram P. Joshi, a simple man with basic dreams. A clerk in a shoe company, he feels like the king of the world when he is made “permanent”. He loves Sandhya, the girl next door, but is unable to express his feelings. Always helping his neighbours in a Mumbai chawl, Rajaram believes life is all about being (a good) human.

Now, meet Basudev Bhattacharya aka Basu Bhatt aka Washu who can talk his way out of any situation. A college dropout, he believes “naukri dhoondi nahin jaati, aasman se tapakti hai”. He comes to stay at Rajaram’s house but ends up wearing his shirts and ripping him of his savings. He walks around with a key chain, which he calls his “sudarshan chakra”. Women, including Sandhya, fall for his charm. Washu calls his way of life “kalakar ki bechain aatma”


Some memorable title-credit sequences in Indian cinema


Johnny Gaddaar- Starts from the 2:40 mark