Uncategorized / ,

Happy Holi!

A few days late, but I was pretty drenched.

happy-holi

/ by Dean Pickles / 13 Comments
Great Posters, Sweet Movies and Wild Books /

Amazing Old Bollywood Poster Shops

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.

poster-stuff

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/ by Dean Pickles / 63 Comments
Holy Curiosities /

So this guy walks into a bar…

mela

(Thanks to Julie for the lovely pic of Woo at the Kumbh Mela.)

/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Devoted Obsession / ,

You Won’t Believe This Bizarre Bangalore House

In a street filled with single-storey houses, Noel Wilson’s juts up like a skinny football-worshipping minaret. It’s bizarrchitecture!

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/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Holy Curiosities / ,

Did You Know that Hindus are Actually Buried?!?

I didn’t know Hindus were buried. Like, they’re always cremated, right?

And then we stumbled on our local Hindu graveyard. And realized how wrong we were.

graveyard1_zps09ce07ef

The Bangalore architect laughed at me when I asked him about it later.

“That’s the great white myth,” he said. “You Westerners still like to romanticize us Indians like the colonialists. But it’s not true. These days, most of us Hindus prefer to be buried.”

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/ by Dean Pickles / 16 Comments
Pretty Pictures / ,

Beautiful Thanaka

It’s Woo’s birthday today. Whoohoo! She took this dazzling picture in Burma. It reminds me of the Diane Arbus girls from so many years ago…

Wish her Happy Birthday at her (way un-updated) blog, TheWooLand Hotel.

/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Extraordinary Eats / ,

21 Amazing Bangalore Breakfast Dishes

The first time I saw the menu, I was lost. Sure, I knew dosas and idlis, but that was as far as it went. The other items were utterly alien to me.

indian-menu

And so I did the only thing I could: I decided to eat them all.

It took longer than expected. Tasted better than expected. And added more pounds than I would have thought possible. But here they are…

Pongal

Poongal

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/ by Dean Pickles / 94 Comments
Nazis Nazis Nazis / ,

This Has to Be The Worst Sales Pitch for a Movie

But do you really need to promote it that way?

metropolis-dvd-2

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Great Posters, Sweet Movies and Wild Books / ,

A Huge Pile of Gorgeous Old Thai Movie Posters

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? In Bangkok, this means nothing at all — on the restaurant-and-massage-filled Thanon Rambutri, doubly-so. But it made for a treasure hunt. And, as you know, I LOVE treasure hunts.

[If I had taken a photo of the guy selling posters, I would have put it here. But my breath was wrenched away when I saw him. I forgot my camera. I forgot this blog. I only saw amazeballs.]

His folding table on the sidewalk, nestled between a jewelry stall and a t-shirt vendor, was piled high with old Thai posters for 80s American action movies, Chinese porn, and Japanese yakuza deliciousness. They were ripped, frayed, stained with water or coffee or blood. They were just $10 a sheet. They were gorgeous.

“Michelle, can you get me a coffee and a pack of cigarettes?” I licked my leafing finger, and started sorting. Holy shit — is this Nikkatsu Noir?

thai-poster-drifters

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/ by Dean Pickles / 14 Comments
Strange Tourism / ,

Shhhhhhhh

calypso

From a night out at Asiatique’s Calypso in Bangkok.

/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Sweet Movies and Wild Books / ,

Did You Know That India’s Greatest Actor was also… a Superhero?

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 Kabhie Gham. Or, if not, as the randy boa-wearing letch in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna? Oh, you really should. (I’m sure you’ll see him in The Great Gatsby when it finally hits screens.)

And then you should read his comics.

Yep, Amitabh, the superhero.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 2 Comments
Copyright Carelessness / ,

Have You Seen Princess Diana’s Gynecology Textbooks?

Found in a Yangon, Myanmar sidewalk bookstall.

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Other Obscura / ,

Happy New Year from Burma

What a wonderful way to bring in 2013…

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Holy Curiosities /

Gorgeously Gory Paintings in a Burmese Temple

Most people visit Ananda Phaya to see the massive gold Buddha. I’m not surprised: it’s remarkable.

But hidden in a side-alcove, propped up in the ceiling, I couldn’t help noticing a series of paintings. Gloriously gore-filled paintings of demons wreaking havoc on mortals: boulders rolling over bloody victims, body parts dangling from coatracks, quartered corpses splayed out for crows, body part littering slabs of tile.

What was this?

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Great Posters, Sweet Movies and Wild Books / ,

A Huge New Horde of Hand-drawn Indian Movie Posters

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 Sixteen Candles.

“You want some samples?” he asked. His workshop was piled high in rolls of movie posters for local cinemas. Outsider masterpieces, they’re drawn in hours, printed on cheap sheets of 30″ by 20″ paper, and slapped up on highway overpasses, building sites, and concrete walls across the city.

His horror posters render horror in full 3-color gore and madness. Sam Raimi’s The Possession has never looked scarier:

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/ by Dean Pickles / 31 Comments
Holy Curiosities /

The Ancient Roots of Swamp Thing?

This weekend we trekked down to Shravanabelagola, to see the 57′-tall statue of a naked god, apparently carved from a single piece of rock. It was big. It was holy. It was awesome.

But at the same time, something about it looked so very familiar…

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Sweet Movies and Wild Books / ,

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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Great Posters, Theme Parks /

13 Amazing Indian Circus Posters

Shravanabelagola, India

We were in this tiny village to see a 57-foot naked man, towering over everything, but he wasn’t the only thing to catch my eye. Wheat-pasted to every surface — crumbling walls and old wooden shop doors — amazing Jumbo Circus posters!

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/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Extraordinary Eats / ,

At Least They’re Being Honest

I guess they were out of the Just Okays.

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Excellent Products / ,

Sidewalk ad for Adira’s Period Panty

Not sure what I loved most about this banner we passed in a Bangalore market: the complete unexpectedness of it, or the incredibly bad photoshopping of two different women.

Anyhow, I’m going for the hipster style.

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