Hadh Kar Di Aapne (India, 2000)

I was really looking forward to this movie, partly because of the songs which are all great and partly because Rani/Govinda are one of my favourite jodis. But this was nothing but a let-down.

Here’s the scale I use to determine the quality of a Govinda movie:

  • Govinda is one of the best things in the movie
  • Govinda is the best thing in the movie
  • Govinda is the only good thing in the movie
  • Govinda is the only bearable thing in the movie
  • Not even Govinda is bearable in the movie

Not many make it all the way to the bottom category, but this is one of them.

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Red-haired Alibi (USA, 1932)

After Viktor und Viktoria, I was in the mood for some pre-code, so I chose this movie based on the line “You don’t drink, you don’t smoke, what do you do?”, which I’m guessing was the inspiration for Adam Ant in Goody Two Shoes.

In Red-haired Alibi, Lynn goes to New York at the behest of a mysterious man who promises her a place to stay and a job. It’s clear in the movie that Lynn’s relaxed standards in this instance are the result of the economic depression, and she still clings to her own ideas of decency in behaviour (see the above line).

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Il Cinema Ritrovato: Shiraz (India, 1928)

This year I went to Il Cinema Ritrovato for the first time, along with silentsplease and some other friends. I had a really fantastic time; with my friends ❤ of course but I also loved the festival. The selections were so great I had trouble choosing and the way it’s set up makes it really easy to run into people as well as meet.

For more reviews (some of things I also watched) go visit silentsplease. I’ll post about some of the films I watched which I found significant, the first of which is the BFI restoration of Shiraz. Indian silent film, two of my greatest interest combined into something greater. The restoration was excellent, beautiful quality and a wonderful score by Anoushka Shankar.

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Kunwara (India, 2000)

A note: when talking about Hindi films, I usually use the names of the actors because I can hardly ever remember character names.

In Kunwara, Govinda meets Urmila on holiday in New Zealand. He has to go back to India before her, and on his way he meets a woman about to commit suicide because she’s pregnant by a man who disappeared on her.

Govinda promises to pretend to be her husband for a short while, so she can pass off the pregnancy as his, after which he will leave her, allowing him to take the blame for the situation. This goes well until the woman’s sister shows up and it’s Urmila.

Viktor und Viktoria (Germany, 1933)

I was going to open this blog on my Il Cinema Ritrovato experiences, but I’ve already watched too many other things I want to write about so let’s steam ahead.

Why, why, why isn’t this film better known? This is, in my book, one of the best films of the 30s, and it is definitely the best early talkie I’ve seen. If there was any justice in film studies, this would be on every “classic films to watch” list.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the Victor/Victoria remake a lot, too, but to me this is definitely the superior film and it really deserves better than to just be known as the original of the remake.

The plot goes like this: Viktor is a struggling actor who has a side gig as a drag act. When he can’t perform one night because of a cold, he asks his struggling actress friend Susanne to fill in for him. An agent sees her perform and her drag act as “Viktoria” becomes a smash success. Sadly for Susanne, who is very much a cis woman, this involves her having to pretend to be Viktor as well as Viktoria. Things get even more complicated as Susanne falls in love with rich playboy Robert and Viktor with stage bunny Lilian (?).

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I’ve wanted to start another film blog for ages, but whenever I started one based on a particular idea, they never seemed to work out.

However, I watch so many movies, some of which no-one else seems to watch, or that other people have such wrong opinions on, that I decided to have another go. If anything, maybe now I’ll have a way to find out if I’ve watched something before.

Let’s see what happens.

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