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  • 08/04/16--09:55: The Woman in Question (1950)
  • Aka (in the US) Five Angles to Murder. The last English-language film I reviewed on my blog was Anatomy of a Murder, which, while not strictly a multiple narrative film, was one of those that peeled back layers of a … Continue reading

    dustedoffJean Kent in and as The Woman in QuestionAlfie goes to deliver the newspaper to Mrs HustonLodge and his assistant talk to Mrs FinchThe ultimate lady, Mrs HMrs H opens her heart to Mrs FinchA visit from the shrewish Catherine... and from the bullying Bob BakerCatherine yells threats at her sisterAgnes, drunk and frumpyAgnes accuses Catherine of having an affair with CharlieCatherine and BobBob confesses, and proposesAgnesThe romantic dream of a young manThe comfortable hope of an older mandustedoffJean Kent in and as The Woman in QuestionAlfie goes to deliver the newspaper to Mrs HustonLodge and his assistant talk to Mrs FinchThe ultimate lady, Mrs HMrs H opens her heart to Mrs FinchA visit from the shrewish Catherine... and from the bullying Bob BakerCatherine yells threats at her sisterAgnes, drunk and frumpyAgnes accuses Catherine of having an affair with CharlieCatherine and BobBob confesses, and proposesAgnesThe romantic dream of a young manThe comfortable hope of an older man

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  • 08/11/16--07:00: Rashōmon (1950)
  • Although it’s been several years since I first watched Rashōmon, I’ve always avoided reviewing it, for the simple fact that this film, one of the most highly rated works of one of the world’s greatest directors, has been dissected and … Continue reading

    dustedoffToshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo in RashomonThe woodcutter and the priest shelter in the Rashomon gatehouseThe woodcutter begins to tell his taleAn unnerving discoveryThe priest testifies in the courthouse gardenA samurai leads a horse with his wife seated on itTajomaru lets fly at the man who arrested himA gust - and a revelation... and its effect on TajomaruTajomaru spins a tale to entice the manThe woman tries to defend herself with a daggerTajomaru kisses the woman - and she ends up kissing him backThe woman sees contempt in her husband's eyesThe woman testifiesThe bandit, the man, and his wifedustedoffToshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo in RashomonThe woodcutter and the priest shelter in the Rashomon gatehouseThe woodcutter begins to tell his taleAn unnerving discoveryThe priest testifies in the courthouse gardenA samurai leads a horse with his wife seated on itTajomaru lets fly at the man who arrested himA gust - and a revelation... and its effect on TajomaruTajomaru spins a tale to entice the manThe woman tries to defend herself with a daggerTajomaru kisses the woman - and she ends up kissing him backThe woman sees contempt in her husband's eyesThe woman testifiesThe bandit, the man, and his wife

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    Every now and then [with distressing frequency], I come across a film that, just by looking at its cast and crew, sounds mouthwatering enough. This was one of those. Saira Banu, when she still looked pretty. Joy Mukherji, still at … Continue reading

    dustedoffSaira Banu in Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen HaiA man eavesdrops on a conversationDinu Kaka tries to persuade Princess Sarita to come homeWilliam goes to meet SaritaMr Jolkar, the neo HitlerMr Jolkar tells Olga of his daughter's deathJolkar goes to meet Guptaji, while plotting his deathJolkar's co-conspiratorsSanjay chats with a toy in prisonSarita and Princess Sarita... and some instructionsSanjay meets Princess Sarita... and begins to hound herMailika-e-Husn and Mr HandsomeOn the banks of the SeineSaira Banu and Joy Mukherjee in Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen HaiSaira Banu and Motilal in a scene from the filmdustedoffSaira Banu in Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen HaiA man eavesdrops on a conversationDinu Kaka tries to persuade Princess Sarita to come homeWilliam goes to meet SaritaMr Jolkar, the neo HitlerMr Jolkar tells Olga of his daughter's deathJolkar goes to meet Guptaji, while plotting his deathJolkar's co-conspiratorsSanjay chats with a toy in prisonSarita and Princess Sarita... and some instructionsSanjay meets Princess Sarita... and begins to hound herMailika-e-Husn and Mr HandsomeOn the banks of the SeineSaira Banu and Joy Mukherjee in Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen HaiSaira Banu and Motilal in a scene from the film

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    Specifically, Hindi cinema of the 50s and 60s. This post had its genesis in a post sometime back, in which blog reader and fellow blogger Rahul commented that he tended to not watch foreign films. I decided, then, to create … Continue reading

    dustedoffClark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One NightMargaret Sullavan and James Stewart in The Shop Around the CornerCharlton Heston and Stephen Boyd in Ben HurJane Fontaine and Laurence Olivier in RebeccaChristopher Plummer, Julie Andrews and the children in The Sound of MusicIrene Dunn and Charles Boyer in Love AffairKirk Douglas in Paths of GlorydustedoffClark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One NightMargaret Sullavan and James Stewart in The Shop Around the CornerCharlton Heston and Stephen Boyd in Ben HurJane Fontaine and Laurence Olivier in RebeccaChristopher Plummer, Julie Andrews and the children in The Sound of MusicIrene Dunn and Charles Boyer in Love AffairKirk Douglas in Paths of Glory

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    Happy Krishna Janmashtami! I am not a Krishnabhakt (I’m not even a Hindu), but when you’re a diehard fan of old Hindi cinema, you can’t really avoid noting the many, many references to Krishna, can you? The fact is, Krishna … Continue reading

    dustedoffKrishnaAan milo aan milo, from DevdasManmohana bade jhoothe, from SeemaJaago Mohan pyaare, from Jaagte RahoKanhaiyya tori murali bairan bhayi, from New DelhiBanwaari re jeene ka sahaara tera naam, from Ek Phool Chaar KaanteAb tere sivaa kaun mera Krishna Kanhaiyya, from KismetKanha Kanha padi main tere dwaare, from ShagirdMeri sun le araj Banwaari from AankhenManmohan Krishna Murari, from Saanjh aur SaveraaJaa tose nahin boloon Kanhaiyya, from ParivaardustedoffKrishnaAan milo aan milo, from DevdasManmohana bade jhoothe, from SeemaJaago Mohan pyaare, from Jaagte RahoKanhaiyya tori murali bairan bhayi, from New DelhiBanwaari re jeene ka sahaara tera naam, from Ek Phool Chaar KaanteAb tere sivaa kaun mera Krishna Kanhaiyya, from KismetKanha Kanha padi main tere dwaare, from ShagirdMeri sun le araj Banwaari from AankhenManmohan Krishna Murari, from Saanjh aur SaveraaJaa tose nahin boloon Kanhaiyya, from Parivaar

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  • 08/31/16--19:34: Ben-Hur (1959)
  • When I was compiling my post of English-language films that might appeal to a lover of old Hindi cinema, I needed to check something about Ben-Hur (which was on my list) on IMDB—and I discovered something I hadn’t realized. That … Continue reading

    dustedoffA moment from the memorable chariot raceJesus of NazarethStephen Boyd and Charlton Heston as Ben-Hur and MessalaMessala comes homeAn altercationEsther comes to ask for permission to wed...... and finds herself confessing to loveThe new governor arrivesTirzah and Ben-Hur watch the processionMessala flatly refuses to help Ben-HurAn unknown carpenter takes pity on a thirsty manQuintus Arrius sees Be-Hur at the oarsArrius suggests an alternate life for Ben-HurBen-Hur rescues Arrius, even from himselfCaesar and Arrius agree on Ben-Hur's innocencePontius Pilate announces his imminent departure for Judeapic18Stephen Boyd as Messala in Ben-HurA glimpse from the chariot raceJack Huston and Morgan Freeman in Ben-Hur (2016)dustedoffA moment from the memorable chariot raceJesus of NazarethStephen Boyd and Charlton Heston as Ben-Hur and MessalaMessala comes homeAn altercationEsther comes to ask for permission to wed...... and finds herself confessing to loveThe new governor arrivesTirzah and Ben-Hur watch the processionMessala flatly refuses to help Ben-HurAn unknown carpenter takes pity on a thirsty manQuintus Arrius sees Be-Hur at the oarsArrius suggests an alternate life for Ben-HurBen-Hur rescues Arrius, even from himselfCaesar and Arrius agree on Ben-Hur's innocencePontius Pilate announces his imminent departure for Judeapic18Stephen Boyd as Messala in Ben-HurA glimpse from the chariot raceJack Huston and Morgan Freeman in Ben-Hur (2016)

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  • 09/07/16--21:22: New Delhi (1956)
  • Over the years, I have heard and read much praise for this relatively little-known film. Its songs, which various people have introduced to me over the years, are good, and Anu—whose taste and opinion usually match my own—had good things … Continue reading

    dustedoffAnand meets Janaki in a taxiAnand at the Bannerjee's homeKumaraswamy assures AnandAnand gets the thumbs up from Mr SubramaniamJanaki goes to meet an 'uncle'... and reads out a letter about Mohini'Anand finds himself corneredThe new student meets his professor... and charms her with a songAnand discovers that Janaki is Mr Subramaniam's daughterAnand's parents arrive in town, and Kumaraswamy gets a job at their homeAnand and Nikki manage to manipulate Daddy into letting them go outNikki and Anand meet Ashok at the Red FortA chance meeting at the Red FortJanaki's father tells her to fetch Anand and his father sometime...... with disastrous consequencesAnand faces up to his fatherVyjyanthimala as Janaki in New DelhidustedoffAnand meets Janaki in a taxiAnand at the Bannerjee's homeKumaraswamy assures AnandAnand gets the thumbs up from Mr SubramaniamJanaki goes to meet an 'uncle'... and reads out a letter about Mohini'Anand finds himself corneredThe new student meets his professor... and charms her with a songAnand discovers that Janaki is Mr Subramaniam's daughterAnand's parents arrive in town, and Kumaraswamy gets a job at their homeAnand and Nikki manage to manipulate Daddy into letting them go outNikki and Anand meet Ashok at the Red FortA chance meeting at the Red FortJanaki's father tells her to fetch Anand and his father sometime...... with disastrous consequencesAnand faces up to his fatherVyjyanthimala as Janaki in New Delhi

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  • 09/12/16--20:26: Ten tips to write better
  • By which I mean writing that doesn’t make an editor wince. Let me provide the context to this. Every now and then, I am approached by a wannabe writer who wants me to have a look at their manuscript and … Continue reading

    Good writingdustedoffGood writing BooksEditingFocusedWork onGood writingdustedoffGood writing BooksEditingFocusedWork on

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  • 09/17/16--08:43: Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai (1969)
  • Early in 2013, to mark hundred years of Indian cinema, I dedicated an entire month to regional Indian cinema. I reviewed several films of different languages, and realized, in the process, just how difficult it is to get hold of … Continue reading

    dustedoffPrithivraj Kapoor as Gurmukh Singh in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiGurmukh Singh and Prem SinghGurmeet is namedPrem and Ratan get marriedRatan begins to reveal her true coloursSukha tries to poison Ratan's mindPrem refuses to agree to Ratan's demandsSukha takes time off from preening to give his adviceGurmukh Singh pleads with RatanThe inspector scolds SukhaRatan and Sukha rejoice over the money Channi's mother refuses to break off the matchChanni and Gurmeet fall in loveRatan gets furiousGurmeet's vision is gonePrem offers to accompany GurmeetNanak Naam Jahaaz HaiNishi Kohli as Ratan Kaur in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiVimmi as Channi in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiThe Dalai Lama and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (?) appear in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaidustedoffPrithivraj Kapoor as Gurmukh Singh in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiGurmukh Singh and Prem SinghGurmeet is namedPrem and Ratan get marriedRatan begins to reveal her true coloursSukha tries to poison Ratan's mindPrem refuses to agree to Ratan's demandsSukha takes time off from preening to give his adviceGurmukh Singh pleads with RatanThe inspector scolds SukhaRatan and Sukha rejoice over the money Channi's mother refuses to break off the matchChanni and Gurmeet fall in loveRatan gets furiousGurmeet's vision is gonePrem offers to accompany GurmeetNanak Naam Jahaaz HaiNishi Kohli as Ratan Kaur in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiVimmi as Channi in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiThe Dalai Lama and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (?) appear in Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai

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    Not nayan, not naina, not chakshu or any other Hindustani/Hindi/Sanskrit word for eyes, but aankhen. This post, though the immediate spur for it was Anu’s delightful list of zulfein songs, has been in the pipeline for the past several years, … Continue reading

    dustedoffBeautiful eyes - Shakila in 'Mast aankhen hain ke paimaane do' from Nakli NawabAankhon hi aankhon mein ishaara ho gayaAankhon-aankhon mein hum-tumAankhon mein kya jiTeri aankhon ke sva duniya meinJeevan se bhari teri aankhenHumne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushbooLikha hai teri aankhon meinAankh khulte hi tumDo pal jo teri aankhon se peene ko mileAansoo samajhke kyon mujhedustedoffBeautiful eyes - Shakila in 'Mast aankhen hain ke paimaane do' from Nakli NawabAankhon hi aankhon mein ishaara ho gayaAankhon-aankhon mein hum-tumAankhon mein kya jiTeri aankhon ke sva duniya meinJeevan se bhari teri aankhenHumne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushbooLikha hai teri aankhon meinAankh khulte hi tumDo pal jo teri aankhon se peene ko mileAansoo samajhke kyon mujhe