Archives For india

The first episode/short film, The Road Trip, for Ankur Tewari’s Y-Films web series, Love Shots, has finally been released. And it’s awesome. It’s kinda sad that YRF has to put so much great talent on the web and not on the big screen, but it’s great that they put together such a great list of talent. The first episode has Nimrat Kaur, so we all can get our fix there, alongside Tahir Raj Bhasin who crept everyone out in Rani’s Mardaani. Their chemistry sizzles here. They’re both great.

Promising start for the series~

A new episode will be released every Tuesday until all six shorts are out.

I ran into this video on YouTube from the Off the Great Wall channel, and they got a bit of flack over the fact that a vast majority of their picks (3 picks for each of the four speakers) were East Asians xD — only one South Asian pick, because Aishwarya has to be everywhere xD, and then there were the Asian-American (Lucy Liu, I don’t think she’s mixed… is she? And she makes it twice~), the Euro-Asian (but basically) Asian-Americans (Maggie Q + Olivia Munn), and (off the official list) the Euro-Asian (Thai-Swede Praya Lundberg).

The thing is beauty is such a subjective element- whatever floats your boat depends on who you are, cultural background, upbringing, etc. But I do agree with Dan (though he doesn’t apply his own rule when it comes to Munn) — especially when making lists — Staying Power is important.

So I do agree 100% that Gong Li deserves that spot. She’s fabulous and continues to be even more fabulous… In Bollywood talk, Gong Li basically started her career doing de-glam roles in banned Zhang Yimou movies. She was a villager so often, wife of gangsters; and in her 40s, she became an Empress. That’s the complete opposite of the typical Bollywood heroine. She hasn’t been acting much, but a couple of years ago she romanced Andy Lau in a sick powersuit, and just a year or two ago broke everyone’s heart as the wife of a writer during the Cultural Revolution. This year? She’s the baddie in one of the blockbusters on this season- The Monkey King 2. And yeah~ she still looks as fabulous as ever at 50 years old.

Besides staying power? Talent, especially when it comes to celebrities, you know? Someone that can do their job like no other? Interview (variety show appearace) perception is a big plus, but CV is important.

But sometimes, so it happens, I also break my own rules~ lol

Also~ my Pakistan, South East Asian, Middle East and Russian games are not strong. Neither is my Asian-Latino game. So forgive the lack of names there, and I do take suggestions (especially if they come with great movie recommendations~~~).

All below listed by seniority~

Continue Reading…

My Life in Movies

February 5, 2016 — Leave a comment

Will also keep this updated.

*Updated every February 5th.

Customary MUBI list.

*dies*

It really kills me that this movie is opening a few days after my birthday, and I can’t watch it. WHY DO YOU GUYS DO THIS TO ME?

Sidenote: The Fitoor promotions have brought some interesting interview bits with Tabu- like she wants to be part of Golmaal 4 (I haven’t seen Golmaal, but that’s a Rohit Shetty movie, so… xD), she’s fishing for a comedy, she likes David Dhawan’s type of comedies (which are so 90s comedy style type of not my thing), and wants to do a movie with Govinda… who, if I recall correctly, actually doesn’t like many of the 90s comedy movies he did xD

Comedy is such a particular genre, so difficult to please people.

My type of comedy, I’ve found out, is in the realm of Roxana Avalos, Rosalind Russell, and Sandra Ng. I laugh quite a bit with Hong Kong/Chinese comedies.

Ram-Leela on Ice!

February 4, 2016 — Leave a comment

Ice-skaters Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov did a rendition of Nagada Sang Dhol [clip] in their ice-skating routine (which, apparently, won them a gold medal) that made me want to watch Devdas on Ice~~~ or specifically Dola Re Dola on Ice because I’m like that!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcZ-LBJpp2U

As you know~ Russia is big on the ice-skating events, even more so than the Koreans (who had the reality Kim Yu-na’s Kiss & Cry[1]), the Japanese who broadcast ice-skating competitions quite regularly throughout the year, and the Americans (the other day I caught a broadcast of Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute on ESPN).

I never thought I’d see this fandom crossover. xD

Though Fitoor might get trapped by remaking Alfonso Cuaron’s version of Great Expectations… I’m still looking forward to Tabu as Begum. I’m also looking forward to see Haminasto (aka. also romanized as Haminastu) [YouTube] because it’s my favorite track in the whole soundtrack, even though I’ve been butchering some of the other songs out loud late at night. xD I like the song so much that I ended up looking for Zeb Bangash, found Pakistani duo Zeb and Haniya, discovered Coke Studio [1][2][3][4][5 non-Zeb related], and downloaded the compilations on iTunes [S2][S6].

It messed up my language library because there’s so much Punjabi, Urdu and Pashtu, and Turkish… I don’t know which is which xD

ANWYAY~ OCD frustrations aside~

Fitoor promotions are at full throttle~ and it includes the release of this micro clips of dialog, which I don’t understand at all… but Tabu’s just saying “Firdaus, Firdaus, Firdaus” gives me the chills.

More: Duur, Qubool.

I know… Letterboxd is trying to get me to pay~~~

Though I’m still kinda mad that they reset my movie-view count a few couple of hours before midnight, I do kinda appreciate their stats~

letterboxd-2015-review

Being the obsessive compulsive person that I am, I was kinda disappointed that I didn’t reach my 1000hrs of movie-watching, but was also glad because it turns out I’ve spent like 11% of my year watching movies. That’s like more than a whole month during a year. I’m so glad I’ve taken up exercise while watching movies xD

According to this, my bias Zhao Wei was my Most Watched Actor –though I’m missing actual numbers, I think I saw 8 films with her (including cameos) — and about 6 Anurag Kashyap movies (without the ones he’s produced). That doesn’t match the 23 movies I watched of Tabu in 2014 (LOL), and the 13 movies prior to that.

But overall, these skin-deep newsletter shows a good reflection of my movie-watching~ a little bit Chinese, a little bit Indian, a little bit European, a little bit of animation, and some Taiwanese melancholic rom-com.

You probably know I’m excited for Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor, of course, mainly because of Tabu xD but also because of the whole tortured emo broken-heart soul of the story. Plus, it’s Amit Trivedi’s music. I was (and usually always am) less excited about the leads… even less with Katrina “I can’ts but I tries” Kaif. Like- I don’t even know why I sat down to watch Phantom, because that’s hilarious.

But I’m always surprise to hear people saying that Katrina sucks at dancing… because I’ve never seen that. I think the first time I saw her was in YRF’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan, and — okay, I was mostly in love with Saans [clip] because that’s a damn good sexy song. LOL — but I don’t remember her sucking in the Ishq Shava [clip] number at all. In fact, I remember I actually said she wasn’t a bad dancer.

And I know everyone EVERYONE loves to hate and hates to love Sheila Ki Jawani [clip], but it appears on so many movies I’ve come to accept its catchy qualities despite movie and content. And even then when it appears people say she’s not a good dancer, she dances alright.My Kaif knowledge ain’t extensive, but even in Dhoom 3 [Kamli][Dhoom Machale Dhoom], she does totally fine. I can’t picture her at all doing Indian dance, but she totally nails modern and contemporary.

They looked pretty good doing this. Who choreographed it?

Indian Cinema of 2015

December 29, 2015 — 2 Comments

I already published my list of 2015 Best Films, now I’m just segregating all the content from each other. I even have my Top10 Films Directed by Women.

The journey, you guys, the journey is two-and-a-half years old [1][2][3][4][5] already and counting. I’m no longer tracking what I’m watching because it got way too complicated. And though the number of Indian films I get to watch is minuscule to the actual output; at 38 films this year (of 203), it’s the most I’ve seen in a year. It’s almost one movie a week (!!) and it almost reaches my mark of 46 (of 274) of last year. And it totally surpasses my 33 mark in 2013 when I started it all.

*Note: Though 113 films (over 55% of the list) is English-based, not all of them are Hollywood movies. The number also considers UK, Canadian, Irish and Australian productions and some other mix-and-match co-productions.

Of course, I’m way more comfortable navigating mainstream Hindi cinema than I am Tamil or other industries. But Anupama Chopra has just released her video of the Best and Worst of Hindi Cinema in 2015, so I got inspired to have my own segregated list. xD

The Best of Indian Cinema 2015

  1. Dil Dhadakne Do (dir. Zoya Akhtar)
  2. Talvar (dir. Meghna Gulzar)
  3. Piku (dir. Shoojit Sircar)
  4. Masaan (dir. Neeraj Ghaywan)
  5. Dum Laga Ke Haisha (dir. Sharat Katariya)
  6. NH10 (dir. Navdeep Singh)
  7. Margarita, with a Straw (dir. Shonali Bose)
  8. Bajrangi Bhaijaan (dir. Kabir Khan)
  9. Baahubali: The Beginning (dir. S.S. Rajamouli)
  10. Angry Indian Goddesses (dir. Pan Nalin)

The Worst of Indian Cinema 2015

  1. Dirty Politics (dir. K.C. Bokadia)
  2. Badlapur (dir. Sriram Raghavan)
  3. Phantom (dir. Kabir Khan)
  4. Katti Batti (dir. Nikhil Advani)
  5. Hawaizaada (dir. Vibhu Puri)

Haha, Kabir Khan in both lists xD

Still Pending~

  • Aligarh
  • Ayal Njanalla
  • Bajirao Mastani
  • Charlie (dir. Martin Prakkat)
  • Dilwale
  • Dhanak
  • Kothanodi
  • Main Aur Charles
  • Orange Mittai
  • Premam
  • Shaandaar
  • Tamasha
  • Thani Oruvan
  • Thoongaa Vanam
  • Umrika
  • Zubaan

 

Merry Christmas, everyone! I spent all day listening to Xmas music xD

During this year’s family dinner, I made a decision on my New Year resolution- I bow to try to not be a moral superior asshole in discussions. And I kowtow to those I had ugly discussions with (if any), if I ever made you scream at your screen- I’m sorry. I had an ugly discussion about food! FOOD! A discussion on food got ugly! LOL It was like being on an internet forum, and I kept feeding the troll. I’m sorry.

Anyway~

Today I decided to not stress over my End of the Year list any longer, so I finally published my list of Favorite Films of 2015~

amys-favorite-2015-films

I managed to get 195, without counting the films that I didn’t rank because I don’t rate certain documentaries. I managed to squeeze in Carol, The Revenant, and Spotlight… which did almost crack my Top10 Films in English. I wonder if I hadn’t post the list, if it would’ve placed differently.

Oh, that also means that, just like my movie collection, I’ve segregated my lists by languages. There’s a general list, but also included lists for films in English, Chinese/Mandarin, Indian, Latino and Miscellaneous languages, which includes all languages that I didn’t watch enough films for a proper Top10.