halfway through the dark

Giffing the Obscure in World cinema. South Asian Poetry & literature.

1 note &

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How much do you think your interest [or maybe “fixation”] with an actor from a time period was necessary to get into that period’s films? Now that I’ve “discovered” Uttam Kumar, I have an insatiable need to get into Bengali cinema from the 50’s. With that interest rising, I realized that I haven’t yet felt that passion about Hindi cinema of the same time period.

In interest of being honest with myself, I wonder if that’s because while I like a few fellers (Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar) and ladies (Waheeda Rehman, Nargis) no one has struck my fancy or won my love *quite* enough to spark obsession. It’s also possible this is a love-hate relationship that is soon to bloom into something more…given my sudden interest in this question. But my thoughts here still lack form.

What are your thoughts? Experiences with this?

Filed under 50's Bollywood Raj Kapoor Waheeda Rehman Nargis Uttam Kumar Bollywood Obsessions

0 notes &

Indian Cinematography ShorthandAn interesting choice of shot for Waheeda’s character, Reshma.
At this point, in the very beginning of the film, she is a maidenly, almost childlike woman. But during this qawwali, she is about to meet her destiny, her Romeo, her Shera. This shot of a woman walking behind the other bodies, in a space that shouldn’t exist (given the the tendencies of crowds in standing room performances), is a livelier version of the usual “ghost woman” camera take popularized by fare such as Mahal and Madhumati, and revived recently in films like Om Shanti Om and *spoiler* Talaash. If you see this shot in slow motion, especially when the figure is wading through a crowd (but no one else seems to notice her) you can almost bet you are watching a ghost or a memory in the protagonist’s mind.
In this case, perhaps this moment tells us subconsciously of Reshma’s fragility, her closeness to death. Or conversely, maybe it is a foreshadowing of her immortality in the minds of her kin and the lives of those for whom her tragedy will make all the difference. Or maybe it’s just a typical crowd scene. You decide. 

Indian Cinematography Shorthand

An interesting choice of shot for Waheeda’s character, Reshma.

At this point, in the very beginning of the film, she is a maidenly, almost childlike woman. But during this qawwali, she is about to meet her destiny, her Romeo, her Shera. This shot of a woman walking behind the other bodies, in a space that shouldn’t exist (given the the tendencies of crowds in standing room performances), is a livelier version of the usual “ghost woman” camera take popularized by fare such as Mahal and Madhumati, and revived recently in films like Om Shanti Om and *spoiler* Talaash. If you see this shot in slow motion, especially when the figure is wading through a crowd (but no one else seems to notice her) you can almost bet you are watching a ghost or a memory in the protagonist’s mind.

In this case, perhaps this moment tells us subconsciously of Reshma’s fragility, her closeness to death. Or conversely, maybe it is a foreshadowing of her immortality in the minds of her kin and the lives of those for whom her tragedy will make all the difference. Or maybe it’s just a typical crowd scene. You decide. 

Filed under Reshma aur Shera Indian Cinematography Shorthand Waheeda Rehman Sunil Dutt My gifs Indian Ghosts Bhooth Shot