The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

The Great Filmi Comedy Uncle Bracket!

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The final four have been selected in the Great Filmi Comedy Uncle Bracket and you still have a chance to vote. Representing Classic Hindi film, Johny Walker takes on Johny Lever, winner of the Hindi Film 1995-2015 bracket. Representing the South, Brahmanandan takes on Wild Card winner Shammi Kapoor. Learn more about each contender and […]

“The 100 Best Bollywood Films”

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Time Out London shares its list of the 100 best Bollywood films–including selections by friend of the Gutter, Beth Watkins of Beth Loves Bollywood. (See the 10 films she selected and wrote about in the greater list here).

Mithun Chakraborty Returns!

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On a Special Beth Loves Bollywood Audio Edition, Beth and the Gutter’s own Carol discuss Mithun Chakraborty’s Gunmaster G9/secret agent films: Surakksha (1979); Wardaat (1981); and Guru (1989). Fights, mad scientists, zombie robots, radio-controlled locusts, the Green Revolution, amazing clubs that look like Nintendo games or that have plaster animals and villain lairs are discussed. […]

Prithviraj Kapoor Is Alexander The Great

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At Beth Loves Bollywood, Beth watches Sikandar, a 1941 Hindi-language, sword and sandals movie in which Alexander the Great’s army sings these words as they march on Hindustan: “Life exists because of love, so let it be spent in love.”

Disco! Disco! Disco! Disco! Yeah!

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The Gutter’s own Carol was invited to watch and discuss the 1983 Bollywood classic, Disco Dancer, with Beth at Beth Loves Bollywood as part of the Mysterious Order Of The Skeleton Suit‘s Swap-a-thon. See pictures, read a report and listen here. (Carol also has a little about it here).

Filmi Fiascos

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Beth Watkins seeks out the truest fiascos in Indian film, which, of course, includes Shaitani Dracula. “To paraphrase Seinfeld, these movies are a mess—and they’re spectacular.”

It Started Out Being A Book That Obeyed The Laws of Physics: An Interview with Samit Basu

via Times of India

Author Samit Basu’s first American release, Turbulence, is the story of a few regular people who arrive in Delhi on a flight from London…with superpowers. Talk about baggage. Not just the standard flying, invisible, very very fast kinds of superpowers, either: each one of them gets what they most want in life. Basu doesn’t bother […]

100 Years of Indian Film

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of filmmaking in India, CG Guest Star Beth Watkins offers some things she loves about Indian film.

Using Fantasy To Be Better Than We Are In Real Life

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Instead of raving about Satyajit Ray’s well-known-outside-of-India projects like the Apu Trilogy (Pather Pancahli/Song of the Little Road, Aprajito/The Unvanquished, and Apur Sansar/The World of Apu) or Jalsaghar/The Music Room (available through Criterion), I want to rave about his fantastic fantastical 1968 children’s film Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne/The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha.

Filmi Top Ten and More

At Beth Loves Bollywood, Beth shares her top ten films of 2012–and adds special recognition categories such as:  “Women Doing Stuff,” “Hip-Flicking Earworm,” and “The Unpopular Movie That Has A Surprising Number of Supporters and We’re Vocal About It.”

Biceps and Glasses

Move over Ryan Gosling, Beth Loves Bollywood has a gallery of filmi actors wearing spectacles and flashing their biceps.

Responding to Perceived Bimbo Love

Beth Loves Bollywood responds to Firstpost‘s “My favourite bimbo: Why America loves brain-dead Bollywood”:

Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan’s Filmi Bromance

At Bollywood Journal, Beth Watkins writes about her favorite Hindi film pairing: “Shashitabh,” aka, Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan. “The joy of the pairing is the actors’ chemistry, no matter what roles they are playing.”

Filmi Disco

Beth Watkins brings Hindi film disco to the Wall Street Journal’s blog  (with plenty of links). “Disco might just be the pop music soul mate of Hindi films, though it’s not like Bollywood ever needs an excuse to bust out the skin-tight shiny costumes, the opulent sets or the pulsating light design.”

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At the New Republic, B. D. McClay writes about Shirley Jackson and a new collection containing previously unpublished stories and essays by Jackson. “Let Me Tell You, on the other hand, is for the already-converted fan, who will be delighted to read so many new stories and essays. The greatest attraction is the 15 essays, which touch on subjects as diverse as the travails of being married to a book critic (‘book reviewing is just nothing for a healthy young girl to be married to’), Samuel Richardson (‘no small action is consummated in less than ten pages’), poltergeist-bearing postcards (‘I think it is simply too much for any one house to have poltergeists and children’), and clowns.”

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    At Teleport City, the Gutter’s own Carol writes about 12 books that vary in reputability and their harrowing nature. They include books by Shirley Jackson, Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith and Herman Melville.

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    Anne Billson has posted a 1985 interview she did with director George Miller (the Mad Max films). Miller talks about many things including Aunty Entity’s probable past as a hero and Max as, in Mel Gibson’s words, “a closet human being.” (Thanks, Matt!)

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    At New York Magazine, David Wallace-Wells writes about bees, colony collapse disorder and beekeeper Dave Hackenberg. “It’s been a long decade for bees. We’ve been panicking about them nonstop since 2006, when beekeeper Dave Hackenberg inspected 2,400 hives wintering in Florida and found 400 of them abandoned — totally empty. American beekeepers had experienced dramatic die-offs before, as recently as the previous winter in California and in regular bouts with a deadly bug called the varroa mite since the 1980s. But those die-offs would at least produce bodies pathologists could study. Here, the bees had just disappeared. In the U.K., they called it Mary Celeste syndrome, after the merchant ship discovered off the Azores in 1872 with not a single passenger aboard. The bees hadn’t even scrawled CROATOAN in honey on the door on their way out of the hive.”

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    Andrew Nette has a pair of interesting pieces on pulp you might be interested in. First, he writes about “the New Pulp” and a bit about Fifty Shades of Gray in “Fifty Shades of Pulp.” Then he writes about pulp and literacy and furthering social advancement in “Pulp and Circumstance.”  “Most people view pulp as either exploitative lowbrow culture or highly collectable retro artefact. Yet pulp has a secret history which Rabinowitz’s book uncovers. Her central thesis is that cheap, mass-produced pulp novels not only provided entertainment and cheap titillating thrills, but also brought modernism to the American people, democratising reading and, in the process, furthering culture and social enlightenment.”

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    The Projection Booth interviews actor Ed Asner.

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