Archives For Films

When women play tomboy girls or girls who have to pretend to be boys on screen is hardly believable, mainly because mainstream actresses are normally TOO pretty and productions wouldn’t bump the masculinity to make them look less like girls — at least that USED to happen in a film like Queen Christina (and Morocco, though I don’t think Marlene Dietrich intends to play tomboy as much as play Dietrich on that) [1].

Actresses like Bynes in She’s the Man [1] didn’t exactly hit the mark, though it could come close to Ella Chen’s level in Hana Kimi [1]. However, the other adaptations of the same manga series- the Japanese version of Hana Kimi with Horikita Maki [1] or the most recent Korean version To the Beautiful You with f(x)’s Sulli [1] suffer from similar problems. Same could be said for Zhao Wei- maybe I could overlook her role in Red Cliff [1][2], but I definitely CAN’T overlook her prettyfied self in Mulan [1].

In general, though, Taiwan and China leave me very surprised with the gender-bending… intended or unintended. It’s countless the times that I’ve asked myself whether I was seeing or listening to a boy or a girl. It doesn’t help that most names (without characters) look very gender-neutral.

ANYWAY, I’ve gone way off topic here. The main thing in this post is supposed to be Rani Mukerji, whom I saw for the very first time in Dil Bole Hadippa. Though it’s a pretty decent film, I’ve come to appreciate it more now for Rani- especially for her mannerisms in the Bhangra Bistar number. Though the number is before she gets to pretend to be a guy, her character works as a performer at a moving acting troop, with the lack of a leading man… she’s made to play the part.

And she does it perfectly.

I usually very hard to please on these issues, but Mukerji sells me the role of ‘the dude’ in this one. She pulls it off better than Ella or Bynes, though all of them get to be funny while doing so.

You can even see a bit of the shooting of this part of the film [1].

There’s also an official upload, but quality is not as good and they only include the musical numbers without context.

I was looking for Chulpan Khamatova news (she’s gonna be acting and co-producing a film on the life of writer Vladimir Mayakovsky, if you must know), and ran into news about this short documentary for the Sheredar Foundation [Facebook][Twitter][VK.com] titled The Man from Sheredar (Человек из Шередаря), and it’s got to do with charity work.

I haven’t watched the whole thing (just ran into the subtitled version), but it seems to deal with children with severe illnesses and the rehabilitation they get through this charity fund, which allows over 100 children to get the help they need.

The Vimeo version available is HD but lacks subtitles.

The documentary is also competing at this year’s Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema in the category of Documentary, so I don’t know if there’s a longer cut of the film available since it’s not considered Short-length.

This is one of the last movies I saw with Chulpan Khamatova in — titled The Event or Sobytie (Событие), it’s supposed to be a stage play or something by Vladmir Nabokov, but somehow it’s dramatically shot by Andrey Eshpay, who has directed Khamatova in Deti Arbata (Дети Арбата, aka. Children of the Arbat… or The Children of Arbat Street) as well as Mnogotochie (Многоточие, Ellipsis).

I haven’t been able to watch all of Deti Arbata because it’s got no subtitles AT ALL, but the first episode seemed kinda good. Mnogotochie is supposed to be good, but it’s also sans-subtitles and I fell asleep. Also, Khamatova doesn’t play such a big role in that film, so maybe my bias made it possible for me to sit through Sobytie and enjoy it A LOT with or without subtitles.

It’s a really quite gorgeous piece of cinematic theatricality.

On the split YouTube uploads, it’s not as evident… but you could try to see for yourself. It’s dramatic as Russian theater can only seem to be, and Khamatova sports some very drastic style that actually… suits her really great!

I have a thing for Khamatova’s hair style changes for roles. It’s crazy, she’s nuts. I’ve never seen anyone sport the hair she’s sport in the history of the worldwide arts EVER. She really REALLY must love her characters. xD

If any Russian-knowing kind person stumbles upon this post, would anyone care to help me work out subtitles for it? You guys, where do you hang out for subtitles? So many films left without subtitles!

All this much touching should be forbidden! They don’t eve kiss, yet-yet is just so over-the-top-Pyramid-dancing-and-musical-non-graphic-love-making. I’m obsessed with the song, and specially the clip of the video, which I actually had caught on a Top SRK-Kajol songs video, that I immediately added to my list to watch because THOSE VISUALS.

That’s some sexy stuff without ever taking any piece of clothing or over-touching. Considering the lack of touchy-touch that I’ve seen in mainstream Bollywood, this feels like it almost should be censored for some audiences. Yet, deprive the audience of such a song feels like a sin.

I also love the lyrics to the song…

The sun dims into twilight, the moon beams simmer brightly,
and the sky seems to be melting.
I stand still as the earth spins around me,
my heart beats faster, as my breath goes deeper.
Is it the sigh of first love?
My love, is it the sign of first love?

Savour these beauteous moments, when everything changes-
Our dream blends into the realms of reality,
I wonder if our love travels through centuries,
and has bound us in its silken threads.

Let this season of love remain eternal,
Let us meet through birth after birth, like today.

The colors of our souls have melted into one,
I’m losing myself to your love.
Beloved, it’s the waves of your love that drown me,
before transporting me to the shore.

It’s the thirst of the ocean, it’s the dream of the night,
the hearts of the flames have been set afire

via IndianMusicLyrics.com

zhao-wei-mark-chao-love-ai-scene-still

I think I’ve seen Ai Love at least three times, and I really like more when we get to focus on Zhao Wei’s storyline, even though most of the stories are pretty good. But with the re-watches, Zhao Wei’s character gets extra good. EXTRA. The camera sizzles when Mark Chao is in proximity of her, then smacks one on her and she slaps him.

And, of course, Zhao Wei does her ‘sexy’ funny dance with a cast hidden behind the door frame. And she aches, and she’s embarrassed, worried, nonchalant, pissy and a total ditz.

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