Ahoy! What a shamefully quiet month it's been on Beth Loves Bollywood! What happened was this: I went to Europe for three weeks, and before I left I had plans to write two posts that would go up in my absence, but Blogger wasn't behaving, so that didn't work. I did have many, many Bolly-related adventures, some of which may get written up at a later date.
- Dinner and Rajneeti with The Buddha Smiled. Quite difficult to decide whether TBS or Ranbir is more charming. If I recall correctly, we both liked the film very much, and I also vouch for TBS as a delightful viewing companion who contributes just the right amount of humorous and/or interesting comments and adds thoughtful commentary to important issues like whether Katrina Kaif's Hindi has improved (his verdict: yes).
- A stop by the wonderful fair trade shop Ganesha for chatting and Bolly gossip and later some dinner with the owner and her friends.
Mini Khan is back with me now! I'm not sure when he'll be ready to travel again - it's been almost three years since he set out on his world tour - but you can follow his tweets to keep on his latest shenanigans.
- London Bolly fan meetup in Southall with One Knight Stands, Bollywood Deewana, Ramchandra, Antarra's Ramblings, and others. Good food, great conversation. (Side note: of the eight people present, four had training and/or work experience as librarians/archivists. What is with the Bollywood-librarian connection? I can think of five more Indian-film-loving librarians off the top of my head. We're everywhere.)
- Upon finding myself in Waterloo Station, I thought I'd take a few pictures in honor of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. My pictures barely show the same things as my screen caps, but you get the idea.
Cute conversations on the upper balconies:
The blue horizontal Waterlook sign between their heads is barely visible below the arc of the balcony on the right.
And the big dance number:
Again, look for the big blue sign, in this case the trapezoidal one on the top left of the film still, which is center right in my snap.
And yes, I did start singing to myself as I walked through. And no, Amitabh did not magically appear in his Willie Nelson/pimp/Steve Martin getup.
- Rishi Kapoor! In person! He did a public interview with Nasreen Munni Kabir at the Nehru Centre.
- Bollywood - and much other historical and contemporary Indian and British - imagery in the exhibit of the work of the Singh Twins at the National Portrait Gallery (and an additional work at the Museum of London). Click here to see some of their amazingly intricate and thoughtful paintings - and for a taste of their use of film culture, try Love Lost. I loved their works so much I bought an enormous hardback book about them at the NPG shop - and then, it must be said, had a nervy b in Oxford when I found out that it would cost more to mail the thing home than to buy it in the first place, which led to harsh self-rebuke over how much crap I was toting around. I was only consoled (and just barely) by a really good almond croissant. Fortunately one of my kind traveling companions offered to take the book home in her suitcase (she had only a week's worth of stuff versus my three, plus you've seen my writing and can easily imagine that I have a hard time packing light), which left room for Mini Khan and his accessories (talk about an inability to edit one's traveling wardrobe!).
- Spelunking through a stash of vintage Filmfare with film journalist/student and everyone's favorite white-guy extra of the new millennium, Steven Baker!
Shall we ponder why Akshay Kumar is wearing a peach crushed velvet body suit in this picture from February 1998? No?
- I also hopped across to Germany to visit House in Rlyeh, who has the most extensive DVD collection I have ever seen. As is totally fitting, we watched Nagin, which I cannot WAIT to see again and screencap and write up, and he indoctrinated me into some wonders of other international cinemas, such as my very first El Santo film, El Santo vs. The Martians, the super groovy and hilarious Deathless Devil from Turkey, and two low-budget American...I don't know what to call these films - horror? sci-fi? - about aliens (Don Dohler's The Alien Factor) and swamp creatures (The Legend of Boggy Creek). Special thanks to kindred spirit Todd for keeping Interpol at the ready should I have gotten buried in DVDs or fallen into a Bigfoot/luchador/go-go-boot coma.
At this point, the following are officially old news, but for posterity, I'll just mention them quickly.
- Two of the websites I write for (this one and Bollywood Fugly) got mentioned in Filmfare's hilarious article on sites that discuss Bollywood fashion (June 9 issue with Bipasha and John on the cover).
- Filmi Geek is posting again! New reviews include Shaan, Blackmail, and Ashanti, a.k.a. Bollywood Charlie's Angels. Yeah baby!
- In case you, like I, missed out on all the Govinda madness last month, you can catch up on Totally Filmi's Chichi Week with this list of all the related posts. I absolutely positively promise to write up Pyaar Karke Dekho really soon. Warning: its screencaps might cause seizures.
Phew! I hope to be back with actual posts on actual films later this week.