Category Archives: Sweet Movies and Wild Books

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Amazing Old Bollywood Poster Shops

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Somewhere on Mutton Street, in Bombay's Chor Bazaar, sits a cave of musty sweetness. It's filled with old movie posters, piled almost six feet high. "You know V. Shataram, yes?" says the pint-sized operator, Khalim, who looks to be about twelve years old. "He's fantastic, amazing," he says, flailing his arms. "You ...

by Andy Deemer / 16 Comments
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Elvises, Genies, and Sandalwood Beach Madness

If you know me, you know I like things big and overdone. I care less about the society of the spectacle than I do the spectacle of the spectacular. And Shangrila fills that fetish. It’s this month’s hit song from next month’s hit Sandalwood movie, Topiwaala, starring the legendary Upendra (Uppi to his fans). And you ...

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Great New Indian Sidewalk Movie Posters

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First, does anyone know where in Bangalore, or perhaps India, I can get cardboard mailing tubes for posters? They just don't seem to be available. What is this nonsense!!! Second, if you missed these posts about the grand outsider Ramachandraiah sidewalk posters, see them now! Batch 1: Original sidewalk posters for Harry Potter, Tintin and more Batch 2: More real ...

by Andy Deemer / 24 Comments
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A Lovely Moment from Ghungroo

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Standing alone, so desperately alone, she waits outside the Odeon. Will he come? Oh, will he ever come? This lobby card for Rajendra Jain's Ghungroo, which I pulled ripped and bent from a stack at Balaji's Rare Antiques, reminds me of college. Although I didn't wear a sari.

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The Great Poster Contest

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So yesterday I got up to some dark nonsense... I ordered 600 more Bangalore sidewalk posters. You know, like these.... But not any of those. Chronologically, the movie's leads were Buster, Louise, Glenn, Lloyd, Hayao, Johnny. Hint: might be directors. Hint: four are Americans. Hint: If you know my taste in film, ...

by Andy Deemer / 7 Comments
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A Huge Pile of Gorgeous Old Thai Movie Posters

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It was the Singapore Agent who told me about the poster guy on Rambuttri. "Rambuttri like Rambutan," he said. "But with a tree at the end. Look for the restaurant with the good pad thai, next to the massage place. That's where you'll find the poster guy." The pad thai restaurant next to a massage parlor? ...

by Andy Deemer / 7 Comments
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Amitabh Bachchan: Comic Superhero

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I'm a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan. But then again, who isn't? He's the king of Bollywood. BBC readers chose him as the greatest star of stage or screen of the last thousand years. I'm sure you've seen him as the angry young man in Sholay, or the angry old man in Kabhi Khushi ...

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
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A Huge New Horde of Hand-drawn Indian Movie Posters

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I hadn't seen Ramachandraiah for far too long. He's the movie poster artist. Some locals curse him as a ruin on this garden city. I hail him as an urban beautifying legend. - See his first batch of posters here. - His posters for my favorite movies: Suspiria, Wild at Heart, M, The Third Man, and ...

by Andy Deemer / 31 Comments
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The Most Amazing Breakdancing Midget Sequence

It's 12/12/12, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAJINI! I posted this before, but I think only my nephew watched it (about 47 times, my count so far says)... so here it is again. The most amazing Rajini scene of all time: Now that's awesome. (As seen 10 minutes into Adhisaya Piravi, available on MoserBaer.)

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Rajnikanth the Superstar

I couldn't resist adding a second clip from Adhisaya Piravi, Rajnikanth's 1990 epic. "Whatever you hear," says the gangster to his bodyguards, "screams, punches, cries for help... I don't want you to turn around." Then Rajini the Superstar just happens to drive by. Such bizarre new wave editing. And what a hero.

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The Amazing Indian Amazing Spider-Man Poster

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My Bangalore pal Hannah just came across this new Ramachandraiah movie poster... Absolutely gorgeous -- I love it!

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American Imperialist Bastards in a North Korean Comic Book

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I don't speak a word of Korean. I wish I did, if only so I could read this North Korean comic that's been sitting on my bookshelf for years. I'm only assuming these chaps are Meejay Nom, or American Imperialist Bastards. (Okay, I guess I know one word in Korean.) What do you ...

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
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Another Indian Film Still

Also found in a crate in Mumbai. Something about her was so desperate, filled me with angst and longing. Is that a wedding poster in her hand? Is she Vijay's bride, or is she his one true love, and she's just discovered he's getting an arranged marriage this afternoon??? I'd love to know who she ...

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
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A Brief Aside on Dr Rajkumar, the James Bond of Southern India

Alone in the hotel, drinking Kingfisher and watching old Karanataka films. In 1981's Keralida Simha, an honest cop has to break up a party of riotous and drugged out delinquents. And it's something akin to poetry. I don't know much about Kannada cinema -- it's called Sandalwood -- but the cop with the sweet mustache ...

by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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A Sweet New Batch of Indian Movie Posters

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I just got some lo-res photos of the new batch of 20" by 30" hand-drawn litho-printed Sandalwood/Kannada movie posters, and they're fantastic! (If you missed reading about Raju, who draws a new movie poster every three hours, and the 1901 litho machine they're printed on, go now!) I have 100 of each of these, ...

by Andy Deemer / 75 Comments
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India’s Incredibly Cool Hand-Drawn Movie Posters

Bootleg Indian Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Poster

Ramachandraiah prints movie posters for a living. He's done it ever since 1971, when he bought an ancient lithograph press. He keeps it in a factory north of Bangalore, far from the English town where it was built 111 years ago. Most movie posters here are lavish. They're digitally-printed, full-color, and reach up to 30 ...

by Andy Deemer / 114 Comments
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Porn, Rats, and Antique Projectors at Sri Lanka’s Classic Cinemas

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We heard there were rats in The Liberty. That it smelled like urine. That the sound was awful. But it's the most famous cinema in Sri Lanka's capital, a 1955 Art Moderne beauty, and how could we turn that down? So we wore socks. Rats don't like socks. It's been modified, ...

by Andy Deemer / 9 Comments
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The Disastrous Fall of Sanmao

Remember the last time we visited that wretched and bruised little street urchin, Sanmao? Oh, what dark laughs we shared. Well, the other day I found two new Sanmao books. From 1980 and 1985, they were full of strips I'd never seen. I leapt with joy and overpaid for them -- they were antiques, the ...

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The Goriest, Raunchiest Chinese Classic of All Time

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"Do you know Leonard Cohen?" Sidney shouts. He's trying to be heard over the album that's blasting through his hutong apartment. "This is one of his live sessions. I think it’s just wonderful. I like to play it really loud and do my taichi." Sidney Shapiro's 90-something years old. He moved to Shanghai looking ...

by Andy Deemer / 8 Comments
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Prosthetic Noses, Red Wigs, and Whiteface… American Characters in Chinese Films

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Hollywood's never been too subtle when it comes to Asia. Mickey Rooney, yellow-skinned, buck-toothed and slanty-eyed, howling "Horry Gorightry!!!" down the staircase yet again. Warner Oland, carefully quoting his ancient proverbs before smacking Number Two Son yet again. And what was that Long Duck Dong quote? Oh yes, of course, "No more yankie my ...

by Andy Deemer / 5 Comments