Europe for President (2008)

Excellent. I love films about presidential campaigns, <so am downloading this for sure>. Remember the one with Warren Beatty, yeah, then there was Travolta in one, wasn’t he like being Clintonesque – Bill not Hilary – and doing the whole Southern fried handshake from the elbow thing. <Only one hour of downloading to go before I can watch this, yaay>. Oh, and Josiah Edward Bartlett, the greatest US president ever, of course he was more European, but I watched the West Wing all though like twice, at least – <just 323 mb to go – exciting> – and then there was the one with Michael bloody Douglas. Ok, that was a bit like pulling teeth, but because I am mad for President films, I watched it all the way through. Hell, I even watched All the presidents Men, hoping that was a comedy too, like Primary Colours was. And Independence Day, that had a believable president. The very idea – hopefully addressed in your film Thomas? – of the entertainment of the Oval Office. I mean, I grew up with Nixion. <1 hr to go>. I am going to keep on writing about President films until its watchable – because you know, vimeo is slow unless its downloaded and I want my own copy to post and share, because we do need a Europea for prez. <God, vimeo has a 1000 character limit on comments so I am continuing here>. There was Nixon/Frost of course, and the Nixon film proper by Oliver Stone. One of the first things I can recall ever being played over the school announcement system, besides the British National Anthem, which was the Australian one then too, was Nixon’s I am not a crook speech. Formative. Then, the Kennedy Assassination, and the Kennedeys box set series and the Kennedy this and that. Oh, fuck it, once you get to that you are really scraping the barrel. Zapruder? Get a tripod, hold that camera still – it just cries out fake authenticity doesn’t it. Donald Duck cartoon president campaign, I should mention that. Maybe not. Might do a search as I think there was a Bugs Bunny one too, with Elmer Fudd as Dick Cheney – or did I make that up? Well it is an election year, or, no, its not, but it always seems like it. Fake democracy shovelled down our throats all the time, as if New Hampshire were the fount of all democracy – should try actual democracy for a change, it takes a lot more meetings I am sure. And time <more time than it takes to download this vid>. What is democratic about delegating decision making to an unrecallable cabal of high finance lobby-group selected preening puppets? Oh, you already got the puppetry metaphor going strong in this film. <Yep I’ve watched the first couple of minutes now, settling in for the long haul, just 58 minutes of downloading to go>. <a brief word from our sponsors while I post this on Trinketization> And I am back. <81MB downloaded>. I think its actually unloading, I had more downloaded before the break. What about the Lincoln film? I should talk about that, he was a prez, but his media savvy was way up on today’s candidates. I mean, even getting a letter written by Marx from the IWMA. Vote-winer that for sure – and really, I guess Marx’s tone is a bit mocking hyperbole. I bet he would have loved the golden era ot television we live in that brings us all these great presidential tv things. I mean, Geena Davis as the Commender in Chief we would want but will never get her and there is no way HC could be like that, and of course it was just a cash-in really, on Borgen. Now, you used to be Danish right, so you gonna give that a run for its money? <98mb> Oh, just remembered that Star Wars has-been Harrison Ford was president on a hijacked plane in one Presidential film frappery. Talk about your war on terror Air Force one spooky allegory/bad pun potential. I don’t think it was intended as a comedy that one, but it was. The problematic of movie stars as candidates was trialled of course in South India with MGR and NTR, never having the momentum to win national office of course, I don’t even know if they desired such, but they took their states with huge margins well before Arnie Governator paved the way for the rerun of Bush Wacker George – <wheeee 104 mb downloaded>. I am on this like a rash on an interns… No, lets not go there. I was trying to remember the Warren Beatty prez character, but it was just bad, didn’t he go a bit rogue? Not anywhere close to Josiah there. Jammy Foxx in White House Down – the less said about that one the better. <AND this is getting old… so, folks, download this film, it is gonna brighten up your day>. Four More Years Four More Years <I hope that is not how long it takes> Go TA.

Sharmistha Gooptu’s ‘Bengali Cinema’ 2010

have just finished Sharmistha Gooptu’s wonderfully detailed book Bengali Cinema: An Other Nation, and while I understand her decision not to write about Ghatak and Sen et al, I do hope there is a follow up. For sure this will not be the first time such a lament has been aired, but I think there must be a sequel since leaving things pretty much at the end of Apur Sansar is a jolt. Even though there are a dozen pages that skim through the 70s and 80s, the text really stopped at the detailed description of Chatterjee as Apu and this suggests more to come – can only hope there is a sequel that engages with Apu’s subsequent political mobilisation…

Sharmistha Gooptu seems to be custodian of an archive of filmi memorabilia, you can see some of it here.

Ustad Alaudin Khan – by Ritwik Ghatak

(24 mins of music doco from 1963)

someone asked why I posted this. . OK. Maybe because Alaudin Khan was the father of Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi, uncle of Raja Hossain Khan, and guru of Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Pannalal Ghosh and more…

And that isn’t even to get started on the great films Ritwik Ghatak.

Big Fight, punchy new book to come… #India #Media #Film #SouthAsia (if I can get the final edits done this weekend).

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 22.47.58“TV is now increasingly entertainment. News is entertainment. You have to create some element of entertainment … people shouting at each other … or some kind of conflict. It is not always about information. I am not saying in the Big Fight you don’t try to inform but if the entertainment element was not there the programme would probably not have survived. You have to package it … First Punch, Second Punch … Otherwise who will see? There has to be some heat” (Sardesai interviewed in Mehta 2008:255)

(these pictures are not directly linked to the quote, which is about NDTV 24X7 news coverage as part of the new book < but there is indeed discussion of the film also>)

<Mary Kom was the winner of the 2008 World Boxing Championship>