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Ganesh will always bring me memories of Asami Mizukawa [1].

Here’s a clip of the show featuring Black Ganesha. xD

I finally re-watched my BR copy of Kuch Kuch Hota HaiKajol’s eye makeup close-up in THAT scene on a big screen is stunning — my third time overall since I began watching Bollywood films and the best 9 hours of my life.

While watching KKHH last night, right after catching the trailer for Japan’s remake of Love Actually, it made me think what the world of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai would be like through the eyes of Shunji Iwai. Of course that would mean several cultural changes and cuts for length. I’m uncertain on whether I would place the main characters as college students or last years of high school… or even whether the school years should be taking place in the late 90s.

ayumi-ito-shugo-oshinari

What I was more focused on is the characteristics of the actors and their characters. For Kajol’s Anjali, I knew I needed someone who could be one of the boys but at the same time should be physically interesting, and I immediately thought of Ayumi Ito. Her boyish aura is best shown by her character in SOLANIN — her squishing the beer can is burnt in my mind — while having a sort of rough exterior. I know a lot of people who don’t mind Ayumi Ito, but I also know of some of these people who… given the time… were taken by her. So I don’t have any doubt in her talent.

Next up — I know SRK’s role is pivotal because Rahul is the epitome of the Bollywood heartthrob dufus, but I’m taking it down a notch. I’m not very knowledgeable about Japan’s heartthrobs, but I don’t want someone who would be too pretty to make guys nervous nor a guy that’s more of a guys’ guy. I thought Shugo Oshinari would be a nice middle point.
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This is my first (proper) Aishwarya Rai movie, and though I wasn’t blown away or bothered by her acting (maybe yet); Sanjay Leela Bhansali more than over-compensates for his direction. While watching Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, I just kept thinking “this has got to be the most artistic movie to ever have a fart joke in.” It’s a pretty gorgeous movie to watch.

While watching the performance for Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje [lyrics + translation], my brain just went “OMG, this is a beautiful sequence.” Then again, so was my reaction while watching Black. And so it was with Khamoshi: The Musical. Can you tell I’ve been taken by his directing?

And the music in this was awesome. Is it really true that they spent two years working on it? Coz with IMDb, you never really know these things for sure.

Think this already deserves an India tag.

I just checked Amazon (and other online sources), and there doesn’t seem to be HD releases of his movies, though. It pains me so much.

I really can’t remember exactly when I started out the Top Flicks About Chicks list on MUBI, but it must have been around the same time I wrote how Chick Flicks was a doomed genre in regards of critics. So it might be almost 4 years… and I’ve finally reached 300 titles in the list!!!

A Chick Flick should center on little girls, girls, young women and women… as students, as neighbors, as friends, as daughters, as granddaughters, as sisters, as mothers, as lovers. They are simply women. With that alone, we can tell all sort of other stories that have little to do with romantic comedies.

The purpose of the list, of course, was to encompass an array of female character — not only in the binary sense, since the list also includes men/boys who identify as women/girls… and viceversa — of various cultural, ethnic, social backgrounds. Not favoring one genre over the other, not valuing dramas over comedies… just simple stories about different women.

Though I’m sure the list could be longer, that’s 300 feature length films out of the 2896 (counting shorts) currently rated on the site- that’s roughly 10% so I suppose the list could expand to up to 500 or maybe 1000 once I reach 5000 or 10000 rated films on the site.

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1. Treeless Mountain 2. Welcome to the Dollhouse 3. Juliana 4. Labyrinth 5. Fuckin’ Amal 6. Mirrormask 7. Gun Hill Road 8. Pariah 9. Bend it like Beckham 10. Swing Girls 11. The Land of the Deaf 12. Sunny 13. Whip It 14. Stoker 15. Maria Full of Grace 16. Breaking the Waves 17. My Marlon and Brando 18. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 19. Dil Bole Hadippa! 20. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 21. Kotoko 22. Violeta Went to Heaven 23. Skin 24. Raise the Red Lantern 25. Incendies

I picked 25 of the 300 films to illustrate some of the variety (I hope it’s AS varied as I intend the list to be), though I ran out of picks and couldn’t include any of the ‘older’ female characters. If I could pick 5 more, they’d be: Lemon Tree, Frozen River, Late Bloomers, Mother, For 80 Days.

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.