Archive for December 13th, 2011

by Allan Fish

In response to all the hoo-ha! about the onset of that hellish time known as awards season, and following Joel’s departure leaving a gap on Sundays, I propose a new series to run on Sundays.

These will not be essays, they will rather be a poll to be conducted in the form of comments.  It’s going to be my version of the Alternate Oscars but devoted to the performance categories alone and will be compensating for those occasions when a film/performance has been in contention in a year after its original showing.  Hence for example Women in Love and Glenda Jackson will be up for 1969, not 1970.

What I will be doing each Sunday is listing the nominees in each acting category starting with 1921 as this was the year when performances really came to the fore.  On that first post I will publish my winners for 1913-1920 as a prologue.  For 1921-1929 I will do just Best Actor and Actress.  From 1930, supporting performances will come into play.  So this Sunday I will post the winners for 1913-1920 and the nominations for 1921.  Comments to be left and the most votes to decide the winners.  I will then give my choices for 1921 the following Sunday int eh first part of the 1922 post…and so on and so on until 2011… (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(India 1957 160m) DVD1/2

Aka. Bharat Mata

From a village where the stars twinkle

p  uncredited  d  Mehboob Khan  w  Mehboob Khan, S.Ali Razu, Vajahat Mirza  ph  Faredoon A.Irani  ed  Shamsudin Kadri  m  Naushad  m/ly  Shakeel Badayuni  ch  Chimani Seth  art  V.H.Palnitkar  cos  Fazal Din

Nargis (Radha), Sunil Dutt (Birju), Rajendra Kumar (Ramu), Raaj Kumar (Shamu), Kanhaiyalal (Sukhilala), Kumkum (Champa), Sheila Nail (Kamla), Mukri (Shamru), Sajid Khan (young Birju), Azra (Chandra), Jilloo Maa, Chanchal, Siddiqi, Fakir Mohammed,

There’s something of the miraculous about Mehboob Khan’s legendary Bollywood epic.  It shouldn’t be anything special; it’s as subtle as a WWF headliner bout and about as sophisticated as a Judd Apatow comedy.  One might think we had no right to expect anything else from a film labelled ‘the Indian Gone Wirth the Wind’ and yet it still resounds to new audiences over half a century after its premiere.

Let’s take a young girl, Radha, who we first see leaving her family village and her crying parents to be married to Shamu.  Shamu’s mother has paid for the marriage by raising a loan from the vile moneylender Sukhilala, and when they dispute the details of the loan, they are forced to pay Sukhilala a portion of their crop as interest against the loan in such a manner as they will never finish paying back the original 500.  Shamu and Radha decide to try and work the dormant field nearby to pay it off, but it’s filled with tree stumps and huge boulders.  Trying to move one such boulder, one of their oxen is killed, so Radha gives up her last precious belongings to buy another ox.  However, in an attempt to move another boulder, Shamu’s arms and crushed and have to be amputated.  Seeing himself as a burden he leaves and never returns, so Radha is left to cater for her children while falling prey to the advances of the lecherous Sukhilala.  (more…)

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