Unlike journalism, which thrives on 5 Ws and 1H, we think blogging is all about the distinct blogger’s voice. And so three questions should define you – 1. Who you are 2. What crimes you commit? 3. Define your kink. This is Manish Gaekward‘s first post here. And before you read this interesting post, here’s his reply to those three important questions – 1. someone who tries to speak less and less within the ambit of alcohol, otherwise, even lesser. Love films for what they are – they say more and more of what i feel i cannot express. 2. Content writing for a website, will remain unnamed till i make it as a screenplay writer (will mention it in my struggling period). 3. Chorus girls, love them – for instance – when Lata tai sings dilbar dil se pyaare (caravan) – i wait for the chorus girls to join in – so here is how it goes – Lata – dilbar dil se pyaare. Chorus girls – dilbar. Lata – dil ki sunta ja re. Chorus girls – haan haan dilbar – i tend to accentuate on ‘haan-haan‘ – the part that i get pat. In other kinks – pause and help myself whenever the girls yelp ‘oui maa‘ on the oh la la track from The Dirty Picture.
Like his blogging bio, the post is bit long but quite exhaustive and interesting recco post. Read on.
What have film critics Andre Bazin, Pauline Kael, Satyajit Ray and Francois Truffaut taught me about films?
Bhai, let the films do the talking.
Here’s a list of some that spoke to me.
1. When women walk
Malena – The whole town comes to a standstill when Monica Belluci walks. Hell, why not? Everyone wanted to know when those legs open for business
Volver – Almodovar pours into petite Penelope Cruz the voluptuousness of Sophia Loren
Pakeezah – Meena Kumari does the gajgamini
Gajagamini – Madhuri Dixit becomes the gamine gamini
Daud – Urmila Matondkar runs, walks, struts, halts, gyrates, even lifts her legs up in the air..er..she kicks butt – it is from Daud that Ramu learnt to fix the camera in Jiah Khan’s crotch and shoot the whole of Nishabd through the vaginal eye
2. Where men strut like they have more meat in their balls
Pulp Fiction – John Travolta did not resurrect his career with disco moves, he had to show he could do more than swish his butt
Reservoir Dogs – Tarantino guides this pack of 14 talking testicles
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly – Tarantino’s favourite film
Kagemusha – Japanese people have balls too!
The Battle of Algeirs – behind every agitated man is a woman cupping his cojones, ‘I’m with you’
Taxidriver – Puny man De Niro, but what gigantic gonads
The Godfather Trilogy – less said, better viewed
The Hurt Locker – defusing bombs, dude you need more than balls!
3. Five Meryl Streep movies that you should be embarrassed to recommend
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – Meryl and Jim Carrey in the same film? No!
The River Wild – Meryl and Kevin Bacon in the same film? Worse!
Death Becomes Her – Meryl and Bruce Willis in the same film? When her boobs ‘magically’ swelled in her shirt, my mother gasped it was unreal…uhh yeah!
Mama Mia – she’s having fun, but Meryl singing and dancing – some other day please
Dark Matter – Meryl and who? Fuh-get it!
4. Five Meryl Streep movies even the blind would recommend:
Angels In America – 4 Meryl for the price of one ticket!
She-Devil – she’s funny funny funny when she is furious, pure trash fun
Kramer Vs Kramer – spot on
Silkwood – never seen her this resilient
Sophie’s Choice – queen of accents
5. Five Meryl Streep high octane performances:
The Devil Wears Prada – though you must watch the real Anna Wintour in The September Issue
Out Of Africa – the Oscars seem to think she hit a note
6. Films that Shabana Azmi was smug in (inadequate script could be the reason):
Loins of Punjab – she seemed to be powdering her nose throughout for the next shot
Honeymoon Travels – there was promise of Goa, she did need a vacation, didn’t she?
Umrao Jaan – Allah tauba, did she really think she could be her mother Shaukat?
The Immaculate Conception – Shabana Azmi as Samira…is that even a name worthy of her persona?
Rakhwala – isn’t this the film where she is Anil Kapoor’s schizo sista? She drove the filmmaker up the wall asking what method to madness he wanted!
7. Shabana Azmi’s rage as we know:
Arth – the confrontation scene with Smita Patil where her pallu slips and she wants to cover her modesty while she’s fuming but ab kya faiyda? She gives all
In Custody – ‘Main shayara hoon‘ she rebels, and damn you know whose daughter she is
Mandi – she can be loved when she is pissed
Paar or Godmother – the former is a helpless rage, the latter high-strung – which is the better?
8. Jungle mein Mangal films
Aguirre, The Wrath of God – Herzog’s mercurial venture into the Middle ages
Apocalypto – again, Tarantino hefts for Gibson’s vision
Apocalypse Now – Marlon Brando is the human stain on your soul no detergent powder can erase
9. Karaoke out loud musicals
Cabaret – can Liza Minelli ever keep a straight face? She cracks me up when she wants to be earnest
Chicago – Catherine Zeta Jones
West Side Story
Carmen – hell hot in here, both the Rosi and Saura version – robust, feisty, and passionate – I hope Shyam Benegal makes Chamki Chameli as pulsating
Grease – ridiculous and fun
10. Comic as it should be (Buster Keaton, Monty Python, Groucho Marx – too broad for me, mea culpa)
Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – I’ve no stomach for any other Peter Sellers comedy
Some Like It Hot – Monroe in the middle, perfect tuna sandwich, and ukulele
Andaz Apna Apna
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
The Birdcage – prefer it over the french original
As Good As It Gets – Jack Nicholson makes me want to be a better man
City Lights – Chaplin makes us laugh, but in the end he makes you cry in the final scene
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore – it might not look funny in the beginning, but once the actors get in the car, it’s a fun ride – who could have thought Scorsese could give this?
11. Gay characters humanised by straight filmmakers
Happy Together – Wong Kar Wai – lyrical work
The Talented Mr Ripley – Anthony Minghella is deeply missed for more than this
Infamous – this version of Truman Capote over In Cold Blood any day, it’s warmer
Gods and Monsters – Ian McKellen is a monster, albeit, a human one
Before Night Falls – Javier Bardem in this – then tell me he’s married to Penelope Cruz
My Beautiful Laundrette – Daniel Day-Lewis is gay, enough said
Basic Instinct – Sharon Stone could be gay, she could be straight, who cares as long as she uncrosses her legs, she’s humanised!
Dog Day Afternoon – Gun toting gay, Al Pacino can hold-up a bank yo bitches!
12. Straight actors immortalised by gay filmmakers:
Bad Education – Gael Garcia Bernal was the man in his Natalie Portman affair? Gosh! Pedro does it again, pours Penelope Cruz’s pout into Bernal’s blowfish lips
Milk – Sean Penn – of the Madonna ex-husband fame, could not have been any gayer
Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Guy Pearce in drag! Holy mother of Memento, rewind will ya…
Gia – Angelina Jolie can switch from straight to gay like a chameleon, who cares as long as she puckers her lips, she’s everyone in one!
The History Boys – brilliant ensemble cast, from the filmmaker who gave us Jennifer Aniston’s arguably only watchable film, The Object of My Affection
13. Movies not meant to be understood, yet marveled:
Last Year At Marienbad – critics agree
Rules Of The Game – the sort of comedy of manners film made less french in flavour by Gosford Park’s tribute years later
Memento – Ghajini was difficult made easy pudding
Mullholland Drive – as New York Times pointed out, the less sense it makes, the more you want to see it
14. 5 films Kareena Kapoor should watch to reclaim her skill
Erin Brockovich – this is the Julia Roberts she should be emulating
The Piano Teacher – Isabelle Huppert to the masterly training
Under The Sand – Charlotte Rampling towers like a lighthouse over it
A Woman Under The Influence – Gena Rowlands mad as can be
Monster – Charlize Theron – Bebo should balk at having to look ugly, gain weight, act no!
15. Horror as it should be
The Others – Nicole Kidman is terrified, and so are we
Let The Right One In – twelve year old vampire kid in love, uhh, pretty scary love story
The Shining – Jack Nicholson in anything is damn shit creepy
Rosemary’s Baby – just for the last scene, that look on Mia Farrow’s face, ever-lasting horror
Psycho – What would the genre be without you?
Carnival of Souls – low on budget, high on atmosphere
16. Romance is in this odd coupling:
The Kids Are All Right – Julianne Moore and Annette Bening make the perfect dysfunctional lesbian couple
Venus – A seventy plus Peter O Toole attracted to a girl his granddaughter’s age. Toole’s most endearing act
Brokeback Mountain – Jake wishes he knew how to quit Heath. How inconsolable we were when Heath passed away
The Graduate – Mrs Robinson has eyes only for a plucky Dustin Hoffman
Elegy – Penelope in bed with Kingsley – er Gandhi with an appetite for sex, watch
Moonstruck – Cher doing Nicohlas Cage – you got to be kidding
Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Cruz, Bardem, Johansson tripling, oh yeah, even when there is no sex in the room its one hell of a hot place to be
17. Must watch Iranian New Wave films
The Cow – Possibly one of the best films in the world, ever
Where Is The Friend’s Home? – Abbas Kairostami’s deceptively simple tale
Children of Heaven – The Majidi film Priyadarshan should not have copied, shame shame
A Time For Drunken Horses – where horses are more prized than human beings
The Circle – Jafar Panahi should be released from the circle that has presently engulfed him
The Day I Became A Woman – Makhmalbaf’s wife outshines his debut for sure in this stunning film. He has Kandahar, and daughter Samira has The Apple to bring the house down
Tip – Afghani film, Osama from this region, is magnificent
18. What’s the best in world cinema?
Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita – Raj Kapoor’s predecessor
Rene Clair’s A Nous La Liberte –– Pankaj Advani would have agreed
Sergei Paranajov’s The Colour Of Pomegranates – Kiran Rao, Madonna and yours truly are the only people who might have seen this
Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up – Kundan Shah knows
Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata – the film Rituparno Ghosh, Pedro Almodovar, Khalid Mohammed would perhaps fork and knife over lunch.
Francois Truffaut’s 400 Blows – the film Vikramaditya Motwane will accept and Aamir Khan deny – freeze frame anyone? – Satyajit Ray admitted his last shot in Charulata
Vittorio Di Sica’s Umberto D – if you can get over The Bicycle Thief
Luis Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou – Dali’s surrealist vision; razor slicing an eye, who can forget this indelible, hair-raising horror sequence
Jean Luc Godard’s Breathless – the ever so loveable rake Belmondo
Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour – I should not be surprised if Ondaatje likes this
19. Films that have been successful with ‘potato eaters’
Fried Green Tomatoes – Chop, chop, chop girls, this is it, meat-pie in the oven
Babette’s Feast – where gluttony is sin, there devout small portions is all you will need to thank the lord for
Woman On Top – f*ck the food, Penelope Cruz with a chopper headed for you meatballs, dare you move
Ratatouille – it’s animated, and yet so wonderfully glazed, you want to nosh, and the food critic in the film, is certainly Proustian in hauteur
Julie & Julia – has food ever been filmed this lovingly, Nigella Lawson, you have competition
Chocolat – Juliette Binoche grinding cocoa with her creamy hands, won’t you lick her fingers off when she is all messed up whipping a chocolate meringue?
20. Sex scenes you may have missed
Last Tango In Paris – Marlon Brando using butter – I thought butter was meant only for spreading, how naïve I was
Anatomy of Hell – A stone dildo? Only in a French film will you see a woman getting lucky with it
Sex And Lucia – Beautiful locales, gorgeous women, great music, and loads of sex – plus some festival awards. Perfect
The Ages of Lulu – Javier Bardem’s very early film, graphic sex scenes, very risqué
The Postman Always Rings Twice – not a great film but if you want to see Jack Nicholson kneading Jessica Lange covered in flour on a kitchen table, go for it
In The Realm Of The Senses – The Japanese use egg in foreplay, find out, yep
Shortbus – After Caligula, if anyone has dared to film another orgy, pop your eyes here
21. Sweet n Sour Bengali films
Meghe Dhaka Tara – Dada, ami baachte chai (Brother, I want to live) – isn’t that what Bhansali keeps trying to convey to us through his films
Charulata – My favourite Ray film, what I would do to get hold of that pair of binoculars
Antarmahal – Where Rituparno dares, and Rupa Ganguly seductively bares
36 Chowringhee Lane – The one time Aparna Sen was spot on with her casting of Jennifer Kendal
22. The Khans should stop wiggling their butts and watch these actors do full frontal (performance included)
Vladimir Mashkov – The Thief – passionate, volatile, hard-knuckled, a seasoned man
Klaus Maria Brandauer – Mephisto – such incredible drama off-stage, especially with his mullato
Vincent Casell – Irreversible – crazy as a nut, this man
Edgar Ramirez – Carlos – that scene where he’s feeling himself in a mirror, he’s loving it!
Alain Delon – Le Samourai – dude, this guy cools you with his point-blank shot
Birol Unel – Head-On – Drunk, uncouth, bedraggled, he gave to the role more than its demands
John Hurt – The Naked Civil Servant – hahahahaha, truly one of a kind
23. Banned films I should not be recommending
Salo – please do not watch this film, its puerile
The Last Temptation of Christ – what was the fuss about, it’s hardly spectacular
Brief Encounter – considered adulterous entertainment then, classic now, ask Anurag Basu where he borrowed Life In A Metro from
Caligula – terrible, terrible film, who wants to see Helen Mirren naked? God no!
A Dirty Shame – so gross, you don’t know whether to laugh or to wince
Zack & Miri Make A Porno – Thailand banned it because teens might learn how to make a porno, hello world!
24. Cult films you will never watch
The Holy Mountain – Director saab was on LSD while filming, and actors were fed ‘magic mushroom’ to experience their characters, roles, skin, whatever
Plan 9 From Outer Space – considered the worst film ever, but please watch Ed Wood before you watch this, you will die laughing at its incongruity
Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, Lost Highway – strange David Lynch films that hypnotize
Man Bites Dog – biting cruel humour, this is not for the faint hearted
Showgirls – so camp, you’ll reach out for cheesecake and pour honey over it
The Rocky Horror Picture Show – the mai-baap of camp and cult, thoroughly entertaining
25. Where are the Hindi films in this list?
Apart from a gazillion films I have not spoken of (will come back with Part 2), there’s about only a handful of hindi films I love. It’s so bourgeoise to repeatedly discuss them.
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi
Kagaz Ke Phool
Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam
And a film that will always top my best list, my heart belongs to Mughal-E-Azam (coloured version please).