Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween: Becoming a Bombay Bombshell

Picture - Heroine of the graphic novel Bombaby: The Screen Goddess by Antony Mazzotta (You can buy it for free, here, at Slave Labour Comics)

So....basically, my costume this Halloween is of a Bombay Starlet of the late 60's, more precisely the "good girl" of the 60s . My look, even though I could never equal the beauty of these heroines, was inspired by these ladies, and even more specifically their looks in these films. I also liked the styles of Sadhana and Nanda in the 60s as well.

Vyjayanthimala in Sangam (1964)
Inspiration: The Sleeveless Choli
Sharmila Tagore in Talash (1969) (I wonder why....duh, the red hair!)
Inspiration: The Hair Style

Hema Malini in Abhinetri (1970)
Inspiration: The Makeup (Eyes and Lips) and Flower in Hair

The look:

The Sari: One color, mostly pale or pastels with embroidery of silver or gold patterns

The Choli: Sleeveless (seemed to be the trend at the time), also I wanted a low back with a bow but I did not have the time to sew one.

The Hair: BIG. Long black hair would have been great but I have medium length red hair. So I did the 60's bee hive look (seen on the pic of Sharmila Tagore) or as we now call it the Amy Winehouse look. I got tips on how to fix my hair from this video. Also, I stuck two curls to my face with hair gel and sprayed lots of hair spray on the hole thing.

The Eyes: Lots of black eyeliner and pale eye shadow.

Now that I've got the look, all I need is Shammi, Jeteendra or Shashi. (Or Shashi ?, no, just Shashi!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Laxmikant Pyarelal: Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli (1970/1971)

This is a great soundtrack and, in my opinion, one of Laximikant and Pyarelal's best. Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli is a bit on the experimental side, but most of the songs are based on very simple melodies. The main character of the film is a young woman with a passion for the arts, more precisely song and dance. So this album suits the film well in the sense that the music must be very theatrical and grandiose (two defining features of later films by V. Shantaram) to be incorporated with dance. Most songs have long instrumental intros, breaks or outros that create strong emotional and atmospheric moods.

One of the most famous tracks is "Taron Men Sajke Apne Suraj Se" inspired by this famous song (I would be surprised if you have never heard it before, but I posted the link anyway) from the classic spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Original music by the famous composer Ennio Morricone.

Also the title track "Jal Bin Machhli" is also well known. In the video the heroine dances and tries to imitate a gold fish out of water. There is also a new remix version (2005) by Akriti.

"Baat Hai Ek Boond Si Dil Ke Pyale Men" brings back memories from an obscure Disney film from 1985, called Return to Oz. I don't know if it's the fact that in this film similar music, by David Shire, is used to create a very creepy setting or atmosphere. It is present in a scene when Dorthy, once in Oz, meets a princess who collects the heads of many young women to use as her own. Return to Oz Clip (You hear the music at around 2:40 into the clip and the section I am referring to in the Jal Bin Machhli song is an instrumental bit starting at 50 sec). I would also like to mention that this comparison is totally unimportant to this post and that it is only a personal connection that I made.

So continuing, the best example of theatrical music on this record is a song I enjoy, "O Mitwa Yeh Duniya To Kya Hai". The last instrumental part gets quite "groovy" for the time. The clip has such great interpretive dancing.

For the rest of the album, the other songs do not impress me as much, but are also good.

I posted the original cover of the Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli vinyl which I find amazingly bizarre and psychedelic. I love it!


Side 1

1. Lata Mangeshkar: Jal Bin Machhli
2. Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh: Baat Hai Ek Boond Si Dil Ke Pyale Men
3. Lata Mangeshkar: Karja Laga Ke Bindiya Saja Ke
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Jo Main Chali Phir Na Miloongi

Side 2
5. Mukesh: Taron Men Sajke Apne Suraj Se
6. Lata Mangeshkar: O Mitwa Yeh Duniya To Kya Hai
7. Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh: Jhoomke Gaye Dil

Lyrics: Majrooh

Stella_1's score: 4/5

Get the music now: Laxmikant Pyarelal Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli

Yay! My record player!

Oh, joy! I finally got my record player with a USB plug, I am so happy!

The only difference is that the files will be in Wav. format and that's it.

I will post an album as soon as I can. Thanks for your patience.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Naushad: Gunga Jumna (1961/1978)

The soundtrack to Gunga Jumna runs in the same veins as O. P. Nayyar's music for the 1957 film Naya Daur. The music also resembles some of Naushad's earlier work in Amar (1954), especially in what I like to call the "village girl songs". In short, the sound is not original, but that does not take away from the quality of Naushad's work. Gunga Jumna was nominated for a Filmfare award that year.

As far as the plot goes the now famous pair (after the success of Devdas in 1955, Naya Daur in 1957 and Madhumati in 1958) goes on to make another hit by playing lovers in early post-independent India. With Dilip Kumar playing the role of the hard working Gunga and Kumar's fictional well educated brother Jumna played by his real brother Nasir Khan, with Vyjayanthimala as the lovely and colourful heroine. Themes such as right vs wrong, village vs city and battling social status of the new educated vs uneducated India live together and create friction in the film.

But if we come back to the music, it is mostly based on folk, with it's regional instruments and simple melodies.

To start, we have the beautiful Helen doing some Kathak on "Tora Man Bada Papi", well it's more like dancing around (it's good dancing, but not Kathak) in a Kathak outfit, not actually dancing a classical Indian form. The song is kind of plain, it does not interest me much, but I like the video.

After, looking at the big difference between the lives of the two brothers (Ganga and Jumna) as children, the video reflex's the contrast present in society of the "new India". This patriotic song, "Insaf Ki Dagar Pe" is a little to idealistic, but at least it is looking to a bring future. Everyone needs hope.

My favorite song has to be "Do Hanson Ka Joda", I love the sarangi (or sarod, I'm not sure), its beautiful. It's sad, simple and sweet.

Two other songs that I like are "Jhanan Ghoongar Baje" and "Dagabaz Tori Batian", because they are joyful and playful.

"O Chhalia Re Chhalia" and "Naina Lad Jaihen" (in this one you get Dilip Kumar dancing, yay!) just didn't get me moving. foot was taping, but I expected more.

Overall, there are more ordinary songs than good songs. The album flows very well and I am sure Naushad put effort into this soundtrack.


Side 1

1. Lata Mangeshkar: Dagabaz Tori Batian
2. Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi and Chorus: O Chhalia re Chhalia
3. Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus: Jhanan Ghoongar Baje
4. Mohd. Rafi: Naina Lad Jaihen

Side 2

5. Lata Mangeshkar: Do Hanson Ka Joda
6. Hemant Kumar & Chorus: Insaf Ki Dagar Pe
7. Asha Bhosle: Tora Man Bada Papi
8. Lata Mangeshkar: Dhoondo Dhoondo Re Sajna

Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Stella_1's score: 3.5/5

Get the music now: Naushad Gunga Jumna