Monday, April 21, 2003

dullhousie and safety last

Lovers of movie photographs will find a lot to choose from in Magnum Cinema, a compilation I've leafed through every time I visited a Kudzu outlet. The most interesting photographs for me were Buster Keaton and Chaplin from Limelight (their only film together) and a photograph of a song sequence being filmed with Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman (I have no idea which movie this is, but I hope I don't forget this photograph). The great Kakaji stands in typical dullhousie mode. Yes, I must pause to explain dullhousie. This is part of the argot developed when I was part of the COEP cultural group. The word is an amalgam of english (dull) and marathi (housie-> a stretch of haushi). Roughly translated it means "someone who is enthusiastic about something, without having the faintest idea about it". Like a tone-deaf tone-dumb crow impersonator having delusions of being a singer. So back to Kakaji. He stands there, asserting his star persona, with a complete utter lack of interest in the goings-on as the beautiful Ms Aman attempts to seduce him in PG-rated fashion, adorned in affluent Bharatiya finery. The prevalence of red in the background designs adds to the magic.

TCM is running a special of Harold Lloyd movies, and I finally got a chance to watch Safety Last, after owning photographs from the movie for a long time. The film is Lloyd's most spectacular, and shows him dangling from a clock on the side of a building (the source of those photographs I have). While his work was overshadowed by his contemporaries Keaton and Chaplin (the latter also overshadowing the former), he actually made movies than the two combined. {more about Harold Lloyd}

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