about ..so they dance!


I'm veracious, a 20-something female nerd from a country called Finland. Back in 2004, I got into Bollywood films. Then around 2005, I really got into Bollywood films, and after a few years of intense film-watching and jealously eyeing other people's gorgeous film blogs, I decided to get my own.

In late 2007, I began this opinion repository, filled with everything ranging from picspams to squeefests, from legitimate reviews of films to scratching-deeper-than-surface type of pondering. It's basically just a place for me to post whatever I feel like that relates to Indian cinema in some sort of way.

My enthusiasm for Indian films varies from year to year, hence why activity on the blog varies as well. Sometimes I'm busy, sometimes I'm busy consuming other entertainment, sometimes I'm just lazy, and then I have spouts of enthusiasm when I'm watching and blogging constantly. It really depends.

Questions nobody's (yet) asked

So why ".. so they dance!"?
Naming things is difficult, so you're most likely going to end up with something boring that you regret or something so stupid you regret it, though it all felt like a good idea at the time. I didn't want my blog to be "this or that Bollywood" because while I do mainly watch Hindi films, and can't say I'm an expert on Tamil or Telugu cinema, I'm always eager to understand Indian cinema more broadly, and some of my favourite actors and directors do mostly Tamil/Telugu films. Even if there are plenty of Bollywood blogs that discuss Southie films as well, I just didn't want the name of my blog to reflect a Hindi film focus.

I briefly played with the idea of making the title a word of some Indian language, or even a word from my native language, Finnish. But since I blog in English (not Finnish), that might just be confusing, and with Indian languages I could misunderstand or misspell the word, so quickly abandoned the idea.

In the end, I settled for this name and haven't gone back, because it has a nice ring to it, and even though it might be interpreted as a negative feature of Indian films (as in "something happens, so they dance!"), that's not precisely how I meant it. It's actually a misremembered song lyric, and I just found it fitting because I do really enjoy song and dance in films. It's not meant to be mocking in the least.

Why "Indian cinema" and not just "Bollywood"?

As mentioned previously, by the time I began this blog, I'd seen a fair few Southie films and already fallen in love with some actors and directors within it, particularly the Tamil industry. Chiyaan Vikram (tag here) is probably my favourite currently working Indian actor, and a couple of directors from the Tamil industry are ones I consider favourites (see: my favourite Indian directors).

With that said, I've certainly seen more Hindi films than Indian films in any other language, and a wider range of Hindi films than of the other industries. Regardless, I've got a passion for the Southie stuff, too, so I don't want to neglect it.

Why don't you rate the films you review? 

Millions of reasons. For one, it's tough. Should I use 1-5 stars or 1-10 ratings? Percentages? And anyway, what am I measuring - the quality of the film, my own enjoyment, a combination thereof, or am I being Taran Adarsh and just guessing how much money the film should make? So I find it best just to use words. If the film is boring and bland to me, I'll say that. If I'd recommend it because of the performances and the songs, I'll write precisely that. Hopefully every review I write will give you a picture of whether I liked the film or not, and whether I'd recommend it to others - or who I'd recommend it to. If these things are unclear, feel free to post a comment asking me to clarify whatever it is that was left unclear by the review.


NIF - ...stands for Non-Indian Film (fan / person). It's a term that sprouted from a discussion on BollyWHAT? message boards, and refers to people who aren't fans of Indian films and don't know that much about them. It's a largely arbitrary term in terms of usage - after all, a person can have seen only three Indian films but desire to see more, and count themselves as a fan, but a casual viewer of Indian films who's seen many but still doesn't count themselves as a fan or a follower of Indian films could count as a NIF. I mostly use it because of the NIF experiences tag I've got. I rewatch a lot of films with friends who aren't big into Indian films but enjoy them on occasion, and it's always fun to recount these experiences, because people's views on films, particularly when they've not seen all that many Indian films, can be interesting.

Sakshay - You know that awkward moment when you're kind of internet-famous for liking something? Well, that's me and Sakshay (tag here). The term refers to the amazing on-screen combination of Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar. The two have done six films together, and while most of them suck, occasionally they capture lighting in a bottle thanks to excellent combined comic timing and just pure chemistry. Well, once, anyway. That film was called Main Khiladi Tu Anari. It is genuinely amazing, and if not, it's genuinely entertaining, and if you disagree, I'm afraid you're just plain wrong on that. I've also blogged about the other ones: Keemat, Aarzoo, Yeh Dillagi, Tu Chor Main Sipahi and of course, the latest one, Tashan.

That Word

I may be alone in this, but I've always been puzzled by the variation in definitions for the word "timepass". To me, similar to the term "popcorn movie" that some Americans use, it seems to mean a film that's very boring or worth watching if unimpressive or quite fine but not so good that anybody should go out of their way to see it. I mean, essentially any film is timepass because time passes when watching any film (similarly - any film you eat popcorn during is a popcorn film). So I try not to use this term, as I'm extremely unsure on the definition, and the usage seems to vary to me, depending on the person. I fully accept that this might just be a misconception on my part, and don't object to other people describing films as timepass, I understand it's an established Indian colloquialism.


Just email me at culling.songs AT gmail DOT com.


Charukesi said...

hey, I've emailed you a couple of days ago - could you have a look and reply when you can please? thanks! Charukesi

Unknown said...

Hi Sanni,

Nice to find a foreigners take on Desi films.
I am always on the look for those films portraing the true everyday village (or small town) life. But mostly the newer the films they try to strike gold by shocking the audience with violence or with jokes "under the belt line".
Would like to get some tips for any other films in the spirit of Lagaan or Swadesh.
Here are some of my examples from backpacking across India for 2 years: http://jpgmag.com/people/etand/stories

Keep it on!