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Showing posts from December, 2011

Sex in Cinema: A History of Female Sexuality in Indian Films by Fareed Kazmi

Rupa Publications Pages 375 Rs 395 ' Isak ki baat to besua jaane/ hum bahu beti hain, hum ka jaanein ' (The art of making love is known only to the prostitute/ we women of the household, what do we know of it.) A book that starts with a quote like that plucked from the back of a truck has to be great. First 100 pages are filled with quotes after quotes after quotes after quotes from every 'thinking' man or woman (but mostly man) ever born, right from Xenophon to our own Tarun Tejpal, with Derridas, Foucaults,  Sartres, Mae Wests, Enslers thrown somewhere in between and even our own Gandhi ji drops in a line or two. Basically anyone who ever thought about sex and  wrote about it, pictured it and then wrote about it, is present in this book all to make a case for 'A History of Female Sexuality in Indian Films'. So by page 103 you tell yourself it would have been just as fine if the writer (a professor of  Political Science at Allahabad University) had

Smita Patil


Wanted Cultured Ladies Only!

An ad from filmindia July, 1943. Came across above image in 'Wanted cultured ladies only!: female stardom and cinema in India, 1930s-1950s' by By Neepa Majumdar ( Google Books ) Leela Chitnis and Master Vinayak in ''Better Half' from filmindia, January 1940 The above image (minus the caption) was recently shared on twitter by Pavan Jha . He posted it as a quiz. Quite a few comments raised the issue of 'Smoking in Indian Cinema'. I came to know about the image via Facebook where someone asked me if I knew the answer. I recalled coming across it in filmindia collection shared with me by Greta . I was able to recall it because of the appealing caption: kiss The Kiss. Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai in Karma (1933) Speaking of Captions... From Filmfare, November 1989  Speaking of Ads... June 1982 -0-

Dev Anand (1923 - 2011)

Goodbye, Last Jedi of Indian Cinema . -0-