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Author Topic: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film  (Read 15130 times)

Bondo

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2011, 12:14:33 PM »
That seems rather unfair to Helen Keller. She's deaf and blind, not crazy.

Bondo

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2011, 12:46:57 PM »
I've read The Miracle Worker.

Bondo

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2011, 12:58:01 PM »
Maybe it is the film that isn't being fair to her. ???

smirnoff

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2011, 01:14:44 PM »
The production value of Leopard looks impressive and I like the idea of Burt Lancaster in the role, but part of me is afraid it could be a Heaven's Gate debacle of a movie that I won't have the patience for. You did say it was slow...

I don't know... should I consider it for future viewing verbALs? Don't worry, I won't hold you responsible if I dislike it.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2011, 02:21:11 PM »
I liked The Leopard quite a bit. I don't think I understood most of the socio-political backdrop, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the film.
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Lobby

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2011, 09:14:12 AM »
Re: Mahanagar: I had no idea that there were such a thing as un unbollywood side of Indian cinema. It sounds like a movie which is surprisingly modern. Unfortunately actually. I believe that at least in some parts of the world such a thing as a working, successful woman isn't considered a natural part of life. One day this movie will only picture historical issues, but not quite yet.
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MartinTeller

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2011, 12:05:54 PM »
Since it's in my all-time top 5, I'm very pleased that you liked it.  It manages to be culturally specific and still 100% relatable to anyone.  And Madhabi Mukherjee is absolutely captivating in it.
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worm@work

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2011, 12:29:03 PM »
Am so glad you watched and loved this, verbALs :).
Somehow, I never saw the film as an homage to Indian values. Sure, the same qualities that make Arati such a beloved wife/mother/d-i-l also seem to translate well into the workplace and maybe that's an affirmation of the qualities an ideal Indian housewife is expected to possess and so on.
However, isn't the film also critical of a lot of those old fashioned ideas? The father-in-law's ideas are definitely exposed for what they are, no?
Also, I never saw what happened to Edith as comeuppance. I am just as outraged as Arati was by the manager's prejudice and to me at least it's yet another indication of the clash in social values. The manager seems outwardly liberal (at least when it serves his own interests) and is appreciative of Arati's accomplishments. However, he would rather have his smart, independent women served to him in the garb of a traditional Bengali housewife in a saree.
Also, I love that last scene between Arati and her husband and reading your review is making me want to rewatch the movie right now :).

sdedalus

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2011, 03:48:29 PM »
Definitely not Bollywood.  It's from the other side of the subcontinent (Calcutta opposed to Bombay), the Bengali side.  I don't know much about Bollywood, but Ray seems much more like the art films from the rest of the world from around this time (especially Japan, and Ozu in particular) that he does four hour musicals (Ray was an assistant to Jean Renoir on Renoir's Indian film The River and was heavily influenced by neo-realism and other European films).

I really liked this movie as well.  I thought it was very critical of the father-in-law's attitudes and actions, as well as the racism of the manager.  Mostly, I loved the nuanced depiction of the relationship between Arati and her husband.  They aren't always on the same page, but they're always on the same side.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 03:51:05 PM by sdedalus »
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worm@work

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2011, 04:09:52 PM »
The father-in-law is interesting. It seems to be played as if he has a right to go to his former students with his hand out. Is that acceptable in this society? Particularly as at the time he does it the family as a whole are doing OK; seems as if his pride means his has to do something underhand instead of accepting his daughter-in-law's gifts. Also his students start off seeming to respect him and then we learn he was caning them constantly at school, ugh!
Yeah, it's not really acceptable at all :). But a deep reverence for your teacher is a huge part of the culture for sure. We are raised to think of our teachers as second only to our parents in terms of the respect they deserve. It doesn't quite work out that way anymore but Indian/Hindu mythology has a lot of references to great student-teacher relationships and the importance of the teacher to one's success is emphasized a lot. So I definitely understand where he's coming from.

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The anglo-indian girl seems to be set up as a character who will get on the wrong side of her boss, but the film is careful to show that the time she has off work is genuine. It makes the point even more strongly about Arati's strength of character that she reacts the way she does to the dismissal; so yes my impression overall was that Ray was praising those traditional values and using the sunglasses and the lipstick as symbols of a woman making steps into a newer world. So I saw that side as very positive and affirming.
I agree with most of what you're saying I think.  Except that as much as I think Ray appreciates Arati's traditional values, he understands that the lipstick and the sunglasses are not so much an evil influence as much as a way for her to open herself up to new things. Like Arati, I too saw them (and Edith) as superficially foreign and different but fundamentally positive and something she could learn to appreciate.

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I love the line she repeats to her husband a couple of times- "don't YOU misunderstand me" pleading with him not to be as dense as the rest of the family...very affecting; you want your partner to be the one person who will always understand.
Yep, agree completely. I love her relationship with her husband and as idealized as it seemed to me while watching the film, I want to believe that this type of relationship is possible. Madhabi Mukherjee's performance is more immediately noticeably great but I think Anil Chatterjee who plays her husband is pretty great too (as is Jaya Bhaduri as her sister-in-law).

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btw this film has absolutely the worst set of subtitles in the history of subtitle-dom. Great expanses of no text followed by bursts of everyone's conversation butted together. Like most things you can get used to it but they seemed to be put together by somebody who wanted to sabotage the film.

btw2 the dvd box said this was a Bollywood film. The setting might be right be, but you wouldn't call this Bollywood would you?


Ouch, this probably means you didn't watch the Artificial Eye release :-\. The Indian DVD is terrible especially in terms of the subtitles. If you decide to explore his other films, it's worth trying to get a hold of the Artificial Eye box sets. They're much better.
And no, I wouldn't call his films Bollywood at all. Regional Indian cinema is a lot more interesting than Bollywood to me. Especially Bengali and Malayalam cinema and they have little to nothing in common with Bollywood for the most part.