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Showing posts from September, 2010

Parents Disapprove

I am an NRI, translated into: no real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.

Parents’ disapproval of a marriage is a popular theme in cinema. The reason could be class, religion or race. I always find myself in the middle of the rope, taking sides with either the kids or parents. There are some cases where parents have a point and others where children are right to marry for love.

I think parents were right in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, directed Sanjay Leela Bhansali when they forced Nandini (Aishwarya Rai) to marry Vanraj (Ajay Devgan) and not Sameer the Italian artist played by Salman Khan. I only came to that conclusion at the end of the film, when I realised how much Vanraj loved her. Bhansali therefore disappointed me wi…

Ladies in White

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.

South Africa widows
Films such as Sholay, Mohabbatein, Choker Bhali and Maidan-e-Jung remind me of growing up in Durban, where we would spot a widow by her black weeds. As time went on, women stopped wearing full black and had a black collar on top of the blouse or dress for the bereavement period. This was later abandoned for just a piece of cloth pinned on the jacket or sleeve to indicate a death in the family.

Mourning usually takes a year. A cleansing ceremony is held after that and the widow starts wearing colourful clothes again and can also get married. It is now very rare to see a woman who has lost a husband dressed in black from head to toe, li…

Cannot Read and Write

I am an NRI, translated into: no real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.

The 1957 film Mother India directed by Mehboob raised issues like illiteracy that are still here with us in the year 2010. Just a month ago, a well-dressed woman of about 33, approached me in a post office.

She wanted me to help her fill in the withdrawal slip because she wanted money from her savings account. I must have a trusting face because she also gave me her identity document (I.D.). I helped her with a heavy heart because somewhere in her life, people will misuse her I.D. or cheat her big time because she cannot read and write

Mother India is about land. Jillo Maa wanted to give Shamu (Raj Kumar), her only son a wonderful wedding. She did…

Sweetness The Novel Available

No cinema today. Sweetness, written by Nonqaba waka Msimang is out. You can buy it at:
www.amazon.com
www.dorrancebookstore.com
www.sweetnessthenovel.com

What is the novel all about?
1. It is about mothers-in-law.
2. It is about Phillip and Zaba Zimbi who lived in two glass houses joined by a bridge.
3. It is about how people laughed at them because of that.
4. It is about Zaba’s relief that Phillip did not marry co-wives.
5. It is about their sugar cane farms near Durban called Sweetness.
6. It is about their three sons who did not want to be in sugarcane production.
7. It is about the treatment of workers in sugar cane fields.
8. It is about how sugar production is losing money because people on diet don’t want to eat sugar.
9. It is about townhouse development taking more and more agricultural land.
10. It is about choices children make about their lives despite expensive education.
11. It is about one of the sons who left home and changed himself into a Coloured man.
12. It is a…

Cinema Make-Up

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.

Producers hire all kinds of people to enable directors to do their work properly, i.e. transform what is on a piece of paper into an illusion of reality, the completed film that is. People who work in hair and make-up form part of that team. Nobody knows who they are because they don’t make headlines like the director and the cast, but they are very important because of all those lights.

Brides with light skin
Painful as the story was in Vivah, the make-up department applied so much make up on Poonam (Amrita Rao) to make her look lighter, it achieved the director’s aim of giving the impression that white skin increases the prospects of a successful arran…