A final word on Mumbai

25 Apr

Here is a link to the listening from the last class on Mumbai where we discussed scenes from three different films that drew on “Light” classical styles as a way of indexing various aspects of the past or the weight of tradition.

As we discussed in class, there are many versions of “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein” from Kabhie Kabhie (1976). Here is the video featuring the voice of playback singer Mukesh (he won a big award for his playback performance in this song).

Here is a link to the entirety of Umrao Jaan (1981). The scene we discussed occurs around 40-minute mark. Don’t forget to select the “cc” to see the English subtitles. The song/scene we covered from that film, “In Aankhon Ki Masti,” was recorded by playback singer Asha Bhosle:

There are many versions of “Radha Kaise Na Jale” on youtube. The one below has the option of English subtitles if you want (select “cc” and then “English” for it to work). However, if the choreography and colors are what excite you about this example, feel free to hunt around for something better.

As you prepare for Friday’s quiz, note that track names and movie titles are more important than the names of the playback singers or composers when discussing Bollywood. When there is both visual and musical material to consider, the video is most important for how it relates to the conventions (i.e. the “context) of bollywood music clips. For example, with “Yunh Hi Chala Chal” from Swades, the video was really important to that discussion because it was such a departure from convention. For “Radha Kaise Na Jale” (Lagaan), the scene and music are about equally as important. The conventions are important to DDLJ as is the “situational” setting for “Yeh Dosti Hum Nahim” from Sholay. For all of the Bollywood material, the readings can really help to elaborate on the content and issues we discussed, such as the relationship of industry and modernity to the music or differing ways of referring to the past.

If any of you are especially invested in the material we covered in this unit and want to learn more about it, I am willing to share additional resources, including books, articles, and other film recommendations.


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