February 14th, 2005


Coming Soon (but not soon enough)!

I saw a movie at the Kendall yesterday, and so got to see some indie/foreign/arthouse movie previews for a change. Two in particular made me squeal and bounce in anticipation.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: There has been, for years, a flock of wild conures over by Coit Tower. I read about them in the Chron in the early 90's, and I actually saw them one weekend in 1995 when I had a weekend minibreak in a furnished apartment on Filbert Street which was owned by the company I was working for at the time. I am psyched that a documentary has been made about this fascinating tribe.

Kung Fu Hustle: Stephen Chow. New comedy. Stephen Chow. Ganglords vs. Landlords. Stephen Chow. Jackie Chan spoofs. Stephen Chow.

Uh, did I mention it's a Stephen Chow film?

It's a little scary that I already know what two of my best movies of 2005 will be...and I haven't actually seen them yet.
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    The Fortune Cookie

Bride and Predjudice

Gurinder Chadha is the next Bridget Jones. Because, let's face it, I've learned more about Jane Austen through everyone's favourite singleton than I ever did in any high school class or yellow-and-black leaflet. But now...now, I understand it. Bride and Predjudice does for 19th Century literature what West Side Story did for Shakespeare and what Jackie Chan did for Kung Fu movies.

Granted, Bollywood is something of an acquired taste, but it's hugely popular and a larger industry than its California namesake. If you've ever caught one of these films on a late night international channel, you know they are as structured and predictable as any other musical. Certain things always happen, and there are always certain types of musical devices. It's just that Bollywood is so colourful, exuberant and enthusiastic...Busby Berkeley on acid couldn't have matched it. And the most interesting part is that Pride and Prejudice lends itself exquisitely to the format of Bollywood storytelling.

The soundtrack is awesome (I had to go buy it on the way home), and the lyrics are...well, it's a musical, not a rock-opera, so the lyrics are silly, but clever, and it's fun to hear them in English for a change. I would love it if this brought more Bollywood to the States...and I'd love to see more classic tales told in its style (Shakespeare, in particular; something like Twelfth Night or Romeo and Juliet would be tailor-made for the Bollywood treatment).

It's good, old fashioned fun, but there's also some 21st Century issues brought up in it: multi-culturalism, post-colonialism, traditionalism vs modern life, and actually has a tiny bit of politics tossed in before a song comes along to keep you from noticing. But it's there, and it's every bit as fierce as it was in Bend it Like Beckham.

It's probably a good idea to have an Indian place in mind, too, before you see this...you'll come out of the theatre singing and dancing...and also starving for some chutney, naan and curry.
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