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We did a gig for Loungerama at the Fly called To Bollywood & Back, and absolutely loved working with the vintage Bollywood material we collected and compiled for that gig. It was just the MOST fun theme we've worked with, and since then it's become a bit of a trademark theme for us, including a huge outdoor street party for the Fremantle Festival.

Some of the movies that we used and recommend for other VJ's or anyone else interested in watching some cool old Bollywood movies are:

1970's - 1980's:

Disco Dancer - sort of a Hindi Saturday Night Fever. Excellent for tacky disco clips, more glitter and flashing lights than any John Travolta movie ever had!

Chalbaaz - featuring two of our favourite Bollywood stars, Sri Devi and Rajnikanth. Story of twin girls separated at birth, one raised in the slums can kick arse bigtime, the other raised by an abusive rich family needs rescuing - and her sister's the knight in shining armour. Has the most brilliant scene where Sri Devi dances drunk in a monsoonal downpour, Looks like "Thriller" meets "Dancing in the Rain" if you can imagine that.

Ram Avtar - Odd story with almost homoerotic scenes of two boy's true and noble love for each other - running through the sunlit fields of Kashmir in slow motion together, hilarious. Their lifelong loyalty gets torn apart when, you guessed it, they fall for the same woman.

Mr Bechara - Yes well, I know if I got washed up on a beach with amnesia, I'd really want the doctors employing an actor to play my husband to assist in my recovery. Some great tacky 80's dance numbers in this one.

Andhaa Kaanoon - Featuring a very sexy Rajnikant in leathers on a motorbike, and a female police superintendant who's particularly cute in her uniform with a leather riding crop constantly at hand. "The story of the angry younger man who tore the world apart". Surreal scene where Rajni's mind flashes back to when his Mum and sister were raped by an evil gang, then the tension is broken by a perky song and dance number, gotta love Bollywood!

1950's - 1960's:

Kashmir ki Kali and Raaj Kumar both feature Shammi Kapoor - sort of a Bollywood Elvis Presley or Rock Hudson. Wonderful costumes (especially the Kashmiri ones).

1940's B&W:

Awara (also spelled Awaara, featuring Raj Kapoor, 1940's) - Has an excellent scene where the main actor dreams of heaven and hell (the former features a huge buddha and the later, giant satanic heads - very odd for a Hindu movie?)

Anari and Shree 420 are two more Raj Kapoor movies from the 1940's with some great traditional village dance numbers.

Devdas is another early Bollywood classic worth buying.

There are also some really good compliations of dance/song numbers that are particularly good for harvesting VJ loops from - with none of that pesky plot stuff or subtitles to get in the way :)

Another fun thing to use at a Bollywood party is this exercise video. Why is it that exercise videos seem to VJ well to just about any music?

Honey Kalari's Bollywood Workout (2001)

We do recommend buying movies you use loops from. While using short loops during live VJing is argued within the industry to be 'fair use', it's still good karma to buy a copy if there's any chance that the studio may get some of the do$h (ie, if it's a legal copy and it's not in the Public Domain)

This isn't the case with Public Domain stuff - nothing usually goes to the studio that originally made it, but they're generally so cheap it's worth buying them on DVD for the sheer convenience factor.

We recommend Nehaflix for inexpensive Bollywood DVDs.


copyright all material 2005 kat black & jasper cook