halfway through the dark

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

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  1. bollymusings said: The film is worth watching for Waheeda and Guru, the overal gorgeousness, but the plot is not feminist-friendly at all.

I will finish when I get a free evening, but that is good to know. I realize it’s a muslim social, and the values aren’t necessarily going to line up with mine. Maybe it’s shallow, but I can overlook the value-problem easier than Rehman, lol. 

  1. santhipoma reblogged this from halfwaythruthedark and added:
    rehman does not get any better, abandon it while you can

I will have to have to come up with a coping mechanism for Rehman. Maybe alcohol. We’ll see. 

Filed under santhipoma bollymusings Chaudhvin Ka Chand

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Waheeda and co. criticize Rehman’s oversized portrait, not knowing his character is hiding in the room. (Chaudhvin Ka Chand, 1960). 
Gosh this movie is hard to get into. I tried to watch it last year and failed. This time I’m more disciplined, and I know I’ll finish when I have a free evening, but still. I don’t like stick-in-the-mud Rehman as a co-lead (rather than a villain), and the beginning of the film is WAY too much Rehman. Guru Dutt hasn’t even appeared yet, and it is very mediocre in dialogue and plot so far. Waheeda is a breath of fresh air, however. 

Waheeda and co. criticize Rehman’s oversized portrait, not knowing his character is hiding in the room. (Chaudhvin Ka Chand, 1960). 

Gosh this movie is hard to get into. I tried to watch it last year and failed. This time I’m more disciplined, and I know I’ll finish when I have a free evening, but still. I don’t like stick-in-the-mud Rehman as a co-lead (rather than a villain), and the beginning of the film is WAY too much Rehman. Guru Dutt hasn’t even appeared yet, and it is very mediocre in dialogue and plot so far. Waheeda is a breath of fresh air, however. 

Filed under Rehman has like one facial expression Sour Chaudhvin Ka Chand Guru Dutt Waheeda Rehman

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Don’t ever get into old Bengali films. They will ruin you for other things. 

1. You will suddenly expect people in Hindi films to actually talk about their problems rather than running off to do something crazy (which you should be, and usually are entertained by)

2. Women will seem very unliberated

3. Men will seem very stalker-y

4. Songs will be far too plentiful

Watching Bengali films, you will miss the item songs and dances tho, and the crazy loud symbolism. 

Filed under this is way oversimplified It helps if you like Uttam or Soumitra or Suchitra Bengali Cinema

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Growing up with West Side Story ….

When I was a kid, my mom told me that this was her favorite song in West Side Story. I was dumbfounded. Couldn’t understand why. Half of it is the same word and he’s just effing walking the whole time. No dancing or anything. But then, I was also so young I couldn’t quite process the end, so I made up my own. In my mind, I somehow believed Tony went off to the circus instead of, well, you know. Maria would join him later, and they would have gypsy babies somewhere in the slums of middle america. I believed this until I watched it again some years later. Even tho I was obsessed with it enough to make all my friends name our water game teams the Sharks and the Jets, we didn’t own it or have easy access to it, so my misunderstanding continued. [Hey, we had to rent the double VHS the first time … it was no small undertaking.] Then I finally saw it again and realized what really happened at the end. I was totally devastated. Eventually I got older and understood what the minds behind the script had said, that unlike Juliet before her, Maria was “too strong to die, it wouldn’t make sense.” And that was beautiful to me, as someone who wanted to be someone who could be called “too strong.” And then, years later, West Side Story was my first record for my first record player, and I got obsessed all over again, and I realized THEN … only last year … that Maria was truly one of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard. 

Filed under Growing up with west side story Maria Also the colors give me the shivers

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vintageindianclothing:

1971-1980: The Blouse

The blouse as we know it, the kind a small time tailor will run up for you with cloth from the local “matching centre”, is everywhere and on trend in the 1970s (pics 1-3). Key features: must match some component of the sari, almost always plain, short sleeves and normally ending a little below the bra. It is a very modern version of the brief choli, like a final final cut-off from Victorian influences. Of course you could skip the sleeves and head straight to the halter too:) - pics 4 and 5 have Sharmila and Rekha (@8.30) looking effortlessly awesome in the look.

The 1970s was very matchy-matchy.  In Pic 3 for e.g., Raakhee  has a matching bindi, handbag and more. And the crochet net for a hair bun (also popular in the 70s).

The pallu was fairly short in this decade (pics 6-8). After a decade of structured sarees, the 1970s provides one of the most casual drapes of the sari

I have a huge thing for this look, and I’m especially partial to how Rakhee wears it. (But then, I’m partial to all things Rakhee.) There’s this moment in Blackmail where she wears a white blouse and bottom without the actual pallu, and it’s a great metaphor for her character’s vulnerability and emotional nakedness in the scene. Besides the fact that it shows that Indian women don’t actually wake up with their sari already draped perfectly. 

Filed under Rakhee Gulzar Blackmail The 70's Sari Blouse