“New Who” has made quite a big deal out of its companion character arcs, quite blatantly asking us to emotionally invest in characters such as Rose, Donna and Amy and then to weep incessantly at their exit. I make no apology for admitting that, despite the lengthy emotional drama that surrounded the departure of each of them, I neither wept heartily or felt so much as a lump in my throat at Rose getting trapped in an alternate dimension, Donna losing her memory or Amy and Rory’s exile into the past. I love New Who but am still a little frustrated by its insistence on driving the point home to its viewers sometimes.
Watching Jo Grant’s departure at the end of The Green Death made me realise that not only was this how it ought to be done, but Jo’s subtle relationship with Jon Pertwee’s Doctor was exactly how I, personally, wanted to see a Doctor/Companion relationship. I’m not talking about this in terms of ideological representation of course, Jo is very much a product of 70s family viewing, a woman who can come out of the kitchen so long as she’s sure not to step in and threaten masculine dominance, and as such she can be a stereotypical dumb blonde at times, silly, air-headed, clumsy and annoying. So much so that during her first adventure Terror of the Autons, after the wonderfully liberating Liz Shaw I found her an affront to good taste and a step backwards for the show. Notably during their introductory scene the Doctor feels somewhat the same way, that she was gifted a position at UNIT and not remotely up to the task of being his companion. And yet she’s managed to work her way into the hearts of the Doctor and of fans of the show, and just three seasons later I found her departure to marry and travel the world with Cliff Jones to to be deeply moving.
Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning had undeniable chemistry together but it’s not until their second season when arguably the actual adventures started to get a little weaker that the depth of friendship between the two really started to emerge on-screen. And it’s this chemistry (alongside the clear joy fun they showed working alongside Roger Delgado’s Master) that raises up those perhaps mediocre adventures and makes this a truly great era for the show regardless of occasional scripting issues. There were many times watching these adventures when the closing theme would roll and I’d think to myself how much I’d enjoyed a little scene, a little moment shared between the two; small moments of characterisation that for all its breakneck pyrotechnics the newer show is unable to indulge itself in unless it’s in the service of driving the week’s story ceaselessly onwards. To name a few that stood out, mostly from adventures that are otherwise ill-favoured:
- Just before the end credits close in Curse of Peladon episode 4 the two have a brief exchange about seeing a coronation and the Doctor says “you know I haven’t seen a coronation since Elizabeth I’s .. or was it Queen Victoria” Jo looks at the Doctor and laughs freely “namedropper”. It’s significant because it’s not so much a joke as an intimate moment shared between the two. a minute later The Doctor tenderly strokes her face and says “I wouldn’t like to lose you” when the possibility of Jo’s staying on Peladon with the King arises.
- Jo looks distraught in the Sea Devils (I forget which episode!) as the Doctor steals a plate of sandwiches from her saying she doesn’t have time to eat them, promptly eats one, offers them around to everyone else and then hands an empty plate back to her much to her dismay. (continuing a running gag started in Day of the Daleks on a similar food theft theme)
- The well known Daisiest Daisy scene in episode 6 of The Time Monster, a ridiculously twee monologue from Pertwee which works so well because of the intimacy of the moment between the two. The Doctor apologises, saying “I’m sorry I brought you to Atlantis” and she replies determinedly “I’m not”.
- Finally, my favourite is a monologue delivered by Manning in Frontier in Space episode 4. The two are planning an escape but watched over security cam by The Master and so talk endlessly in an attempt to distract him. Jo ends up rambling for what feels like 5 minutes of screentime as the Doctor slopes off in a scene that pulls you in comedically and emotionally as Jo reminisces, talks about life at UNIT (and being considered tea-lady!) and complains about the Doctor’s attitude, even suggesting that he be nicer to The Master!
The points I’m making here are twofold. Firstly, that the classic show, Doctor Who, never once tells us that we’re supposed to care immensely about the relationship that is forming between the Doctor and Jo, it simply allows us to observe as a bond forms between them as they have adventures together and we, the viewers, share those adventures. And secondly that the way it doeshighlight the Doctor/Companion relationship is through moments that are not obsessively driving the story or plot-arc forward. Part of this is necessity of course, the 25 min episode serialised format of the show in 1972 is very different from the 45 min adventure of 2005-13 and in the former even the tightest stories have time and dead space to fill up, whereas the latter frequently struggles to get everything in. But that’s, I suppose, Serendipity…
Which brings me to the excellence of The Green Death, an undoubted highlight of the Pertwee era which provides a more than fitting closure to the duo’s onscreen relationship. The events of this serial had already cleverly been foreshadowed in Planet of the Daleks, as Thal Latep asks Jo to stay with him on Skaro. Jo sadly declines realising that she’s not cut out for a life away from Earth. The Doctor looks relieved and asks her where she wants to go and she replies “back home to Earth” The Doctor is a little confused by this, since he can’t so much as imagine her not wanting to travel time and space, but willingly obliges.
The Green Death opens with the Doctor excited about a trip he wants to make with Jo to Metebelis Three. Jo has other ideas since she’s interested in issues of pollution and corporate corruption on Earth. She defies the Doctor’s excitement and the Brigadier’s orders to go to Wales and help protest. This time the Doctor is less understanding and insists on going to Metebelis Three anyway, suggesting that it’s her loss. Episode One then sees the Doctor and Jo split and we’re actually offered a little side-plot with the Doctor journeying to Metabelis Three and having an adventure that only loosely has bearing on the Green Death plot (he picks up a crystal that turns out to be useful for resisting mind-control). What’s notable about it is that it’s both amusing, frightening and a little emotionally heartbreaking. The Doctor wanders around Metebelis Three seemingly a little lost with Jo, encountering huge scary monsters in a wild, unforgiving landscape. We frequently see shots of a monster followed by a horrified or scared face from Pertwee. The ferocity of Metebelis Three is clearly meant to represent and foreshadow the pain and loss The Doctor feels and will come to feel without Jo by his side.
That’s from episode one and the rest of The Green Death story contains no overt emotion or hand-wringing, although what’s coming is obvious if you know to look for it. Jo’s increasingly close relationship with Cliff Jones is nicely developed and similarly sees the biologist at first infuriated by her clumsy airheaded demeanour, but later enchanted by her sweet, good humoured and optimistic nature. However, it’s not essentially that different to the story of any other companion falling in love and choosing to leave the Doctor except through the way it is handled at the close of episode 6
Again, the show takes time out – but not an extraordinary amount – to allow for a quiet conversation between the two companions. There’s no flash, no forced partings, no histrionic orchestra, just a farewell conversation that is tinged with sadness and regret and which in my view is far deeper than the tear-fuelled scenes we see in the more show’s more modern incarnation.
Jo asks “You don’t mind do you?”
“Mind? Might even be able to turn you into a scientist
“Don’t go too far away will you? And if you do, come back and see us sometimes…”
…and Jo’s words could melt the iciest heart.
In conclusion The Doctor decides he should give Jo a wedding present, which turns out to be the Sapphire that he got from Metebelis Three, a fitting gift since it represents his separation from her and perhaps some of the sadness that he’ll feel from having to travel without her by his side.
They hug, Jo is pulled away and Pertwee’s Doctor doesn’t offer another word, slipping quietly out the door whilst the Brigadier toasts the happy couple. Jo turns round to see him gone, a look of sadness on her face, a long shot sees the Doctor walk up to bessie whilst music plays in the background, he gets in the car, pauses, listens and almost sheds a tear before driving off … into a sunset that now looks remarkably like the landscape of Metebelis Three.
What happened to writing as a political act?
I almost got embroiled in a lengthy facebook conversation a few weeks ago because I suggested that the act of writing should be political. The reply I received, of course, was that some people like to write for fun and there’s nothing wrong with that. Rather than launch into one of my usual tirades that generally lead to unceremonious facebook de-friendings I decided to sit on that thought for a few weeks; and a few weeks later I realised that I simply disagreed even more. Because whatever way you spin it, writing is a political act. And frustratingly authors and readers are in constant denial about the political content of their writing.
The recent self-publishing phenomenon has in many respects been one of the worst things to happen to my reading in a long time. It may be a great publishing model (I’m sure that I’ll be driven to self-publish something in my lifetime) but it has become a marketing and quality control nightmare, a constant cause of frustration and a huge reason for me to disengage with current releases. And frustrating because so many people want to engage with it for the very reasons that drive me away, they feel like they’re “sticking it to the publishing-man or something. As a fan/user of the popular reading site Goodreads and as a heavy Kindle user, one cannot avoid being bombarded every day by half-baked advertisements and half-baked literary content from a new author every day who advertises themselves as the next big thing in fantasy literature, or vampire fiction. Or romance. Or erotica. For myself I’m so staggeringly uncompelled to click, follow through or buy any of these (Kindle daily deal needs to die a death) that it just makes me loathe their very existence. Because Twilight is bad enough. 50 Shades of Grey is bad enough. The Hunger Games is … probably bad enough. I certainly don’t want to know about “The Lives and Loves of a Virgin Vampire Academy Princess” or “Fields of Thorns and Gods and Magic: The Drearily Pointless Overlong Saga of Magic Magic Magic and Dragons Part 5”. They’re not going to knock my socks off, I don’t need to read them to know I can barely get through the work of famed authors like Michael Moorcock for their derivative laziness, so “Hot Shades of Vampire Sex! Sex! Sex! vs Werewolves pt 9 for Young Adults” is clearly not going to work for me.
But it feels sometimes like that’s what the publishing – or self-publishing – industry has become. And of course someone is going to argue that popular literature is great and if people like to read it and people like to write then that’s great and we should embrace it and stick it to the man. And I do hate the-publishing industry as it stood pre-Kindle. And it is great.
Only, it kinda isn’t.
It isn’t because all of this writing is political and people are pretending that it’s not. Which means that an overwhelming ideology of not-caring about politics or society or life has flooded the book market. Readers are becoming lazy, writers are becoming lazier and reading and writing fiction has come to embody everything that I believed the act of reading not-to-be when I first opened Charlotte Brontes Jane Eyre as an older teenager. Because reading Austen, the Brontes, George Eliot, Charles Dickens and so on during my informative years, there’s one thing I couldn’t fail to notice and that was that reading is a political act. Reading JRR Tolkien or Stephen Donaldson and George Martin, Gene Wolfe or Robin Hobb as a fantasy aficionado there’s one thing I can’t fail to notice and that’s reading these books is a political acts. By that I mean that as both a form of literature and as entertainment the people who have sat down and written these books have an ethos, a world-view, an ideology and an interest in society that they wish to convey by writing those books, and as a reader if I pick one up and start to read it I’m subverting the expectations to conformity of those around me by allowing my world-view to engage with and be informed by another’s. Through the act of reading I can become something more than the person who wakes up, goes to work, carries out tasks like a drone, agrees with what they see and hear on the news, and then goes to bed.
This isn’t a distinction between high and low art in the sense that many literary commentators would have you believe that there should be. I’m not arguing for the distinctive turn of Joyce’s prose over the childish strains of a Patrick Rothfuss or Scott Lynch. The psychological insight into the human condition of a Flaubert or Tolstoy over the petty concerns of a JK Rowling. I believe that “popular fiction” as it is called has as big a part to play in shaping who we are as the literary giants that make up the literary canon ever did and that one ignores either at their own detriment.
But what truly bugs me is the de-politicisation of the act of writing in an effort to allow more people to have more fun more of the time at better prices. An illusion of empowerment at the expense of a genuine political voice. If anyone ever asks me why I write – which generally they don’t because I’m unpublished – I tell them it’s because literature is important to me, because I’ve spent my entire life reading and engaging with it and I want some day to influence someone else – to change someone’s life – like many authors before me have influenced and changed me. To have someone say “I just do it for fun” seems to me to miss the point in the most fundamental way because it takes the act of writing and makes it a meaningless act, in a similar way to going to watch a football match. When people ask me why I criticise sport and prefer reading, and I respond that sport is repetitive and aimless and designed to stop one from thinking or questioning, they generally add into their argument “well you read stories and watch movies that are pointless anyway. Star Wars is pointless, Harry Potter is pointless” and so on, and it’s surprisingly difficult to respond to someone who holds theworldview, that “all art I pointless.” and to convince them that art, popular or literary, always has a point. Because to this sport-afficionado, whatever way you spin it we all live, go to work and die don’t we? So why not just have fun in the meantime?
And I genuinely want those authors to have fun and to enjoy self-publishing and I want people to enjoy reading those works. Only I don’t really. And I don’t want them constantly shoved in my face like the football results are. Because there’s a world of literature out there that doesn’t involve the narcissistic egotism that the self-publishing model so readily embraces. But how is someone to know whether they should reject a certain author/work – such as Stephanie Meyer (who isn’t self-published but reads like it and has been the dominant force in dumbing down attitudes surrounding popular literature in the last 10 years) – in favour of another if we reciprocate this idea that reading is for fun, as opposed to the idea that “reading is fun because it’s interesting and rewarding” it’s the difference between killing time and genuinely engaging with your reading.
How political an act it is to ignore politics!
It’s the ultimate political act, to say that politics don’t matter, engagement doesn’t matter. To essentially say that reading and writing don’t matter. It’s like voting by not-voting, since a no-vote helps the dominant political party of the day maintain power.
When I sit down to write if I thought that it didn’t matter I don’t think that I could ever bring myself to do it. The process would be akin to my day job and I’d be helping or enriching the lives of no-one. If someone ever reads my work and says to me “it’s a flippancy, it doesn’t matter” I don’t care if they enjoyed it, I’ll feel that I’ve fundamentally failed on some level.
This post probably won’t stay up. It’s the opening extract – or the perusal of anyone who, at this point, cares to see it - from the noirish Vampire novella that I’m working on, about a young girl who wakes up an amnesiac vampire and has to work out who she is and why it happened, whilst contending with her now out of control passions and unreliable, manipulative companions.
It’s trash, but hey that’s the point..
NB I couldn’t replicate the correct formatting through wordpress, but it’s mostly right.
I awoke confusion. A man scowled at me. But
Alive. This is
He wiped his arm across his mouth, removing something which, from the glitter of red in the dark I thought blood. He sat for some time straddling my prone body. Strange and hysterical, he cackled maniacally, stopping occasionally to gaze longingly at my figure. I had no idea what was happening or what he wanted from me, and I had neither presence of mind or speech to be able to ask him.
I’d awoken in a strange place, a crazed bloodied psychopath pinning me down and eyeing me lasciviously.
I realised that I was naked; I was in trouble; I started to panic.
My instincts pleaded with me to lash out at my attacker, yet the sharp pain that shot through my back, the debilitating cramps, the thick throbbing in my side and the heady pounding of my skull informed me that that was an insane plan. Poor recall told me that I had amnesia too. I’d forgotten everything. I’d awoken in virtual darkness with no sense of who I was or how I’d gotten there and no knowledge to the identity of my attacker (as I presumed the man was). I could barely take in a single breath through the crushing pain in my ribs.
and the buzzing noises in my brain were asking me questions I didn’t know that I wanted answers to.
Who am I? Not my name, but try to get a sense of self-identity. What at least did my body look like?
I was a young adult girl. At a guess I’d have said late teens or early twenties, and by the looks of it, of Indian descent. I could just make out my frightened face partially reflected in the dim light of the insane man’s eyes; it would be a beautiful, comely face when not lined with fear and bruising. This body was young and well formed, but completely b r o k e n.
I was covered in bruising from head to toe and smashed, snapped shards of bone pierced through the flesh in my legs, side and elbows. Across my left breast was a huge gash an inch thick, almost as if it had been sliced opened surgically, and continuing down the stomach I made out smaller but substantial slits and cuts. This body lay in a sticky, stale pool of blood which had slowly trickled down from a beaten-up skull. This body had been beaten, raped (the groin, too, felt sore) and subjected to abuse on every physical level; hammered, smashed, pummelled and crushed. Clearly this body was going nowhere.
Where was I?
Not my location – I couldn’t know that – but what surroundings could I make out through the darkness? It was cramped and evidently quite small or enclosed and it gave me, on top of the physical pain, an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia. It was black and dank and smelled of foetid garbage and ageing corpses. A low domed roof made from old, heavy stone hung above me. All around me stood imposing, ten foot high sarcophagi all carved out into the exact same shape and size. I was trapped in an unknown place -apparently a tomb – naked and damaged, with a crazy aggressor leering down at me in my defencelessness with a buzzing whining in my nauseously confused head.
Please. Stop buzzing…
Who the fuck was he?
Amidst the darkness I could only make out a few features of his face, and his body was shrouded in the murky coldness. My first thoughts regarding him were of pure revulsion – the instantaneous, natural reaction to an attacker – but on closer inspection I could tell that he was at least handsome, with clean symmetrical features that were marred only by several uneven, peculiar deep cuts across his lips. He seemed to be of an immature age, probably a little younger than myself. It bothered me more that it was a young, pretty child tormenting a girl like me in a sordid place like this. Why was he doing this? Was it a robbery or sexually motivated? Why was this level of brutality necessary? Perhaps it was a racial attack? He was white and I was a desi girl after all.
I had nothing much to lose. He’d been staring and jibbing constantly whilst I’d climatized myself to the situation. I was going nowhere fast and if death was to be my fate then nothing I could do would stop it. I may as well at least find out why. I opened my mouth and attempted to speak, finding that, alongside the staggering pain that shot through the nerves in my jaw, my throat and lips were cracked and moisture-less. Too little came out
“…. You? … am I? ….want?”
“Heh hehe.” He wasn’t insane, I realised. Although his actions initially suggested lunacy I could see a glint of knowing in his eyes, and I also realised that the brutality happening here wasn’t spontaneous. I was robbed the time to consider this as he flashed his face in my direction, his teeth connecting firmly with my cracked lips. He wasn’t kissing me. It hurt, but my face was so raw I couldn’t physically register any more pain. Yet something about it was almost gentle and affectionate. It was tender hurt and a stabbing prick. He’d bitten my lips. He’d bitten me but not to cause me pain.
His throbbing tongue thrust out and it slid slowly, sensuously across my lips where he’d bitten into them, mopping up the emerging blood with eager relish. “What the hell is going on?” I just had time to think to myself before further weirdness followed. He pulled his head backwards from my face, scrutinising me again. His eyes glowed in the dark, and beyond the shadows I could see twisted expressions on his face; he relished my fear. Yet, inexplicably there was a fondness and profound respect cast upon his features. “Heh he,” he laughed again and then his head darted downwards for a second time; this time not towards my lips but finding the gash on the side of my head where the blood still spewed forth. He remained there, sucking and drooling for maybe a minute or more until, seemingly content, he got up and seated himself on a nearby tomb. I tried and failed to move, glad to be free of the weight of his body and the fear of his touch, but despairing at my inability to take any kind of action. The lunatic glint left his eyes and he settled to quietly watch my struggle. He smiled at me and the next time he spoke was with the calm, serene voice of another person entirely.
“Well met,” he said. OK, I wake up practically a demented corpse, this guy descends upon me, sucking my blood like a fucking maniac and his first words are, “Well met?” Surreal. Had I been capable of speech my retort would have been bereft of pleasantries. Instead I let out a horribly dis-empowered croak. “What?”
“This probably seems very strange to you now,” he smiled at me, “but in time it will make sense. We will look after you.”
We? – - – We? Jesus H Christ, there were more of them?
10 maybe 15 more figures emerged from the shadows. I couldn’t tell through the dark and the blur, but they seemed to be more young people, girls, boys – teenagers all – with a similar maniacal glint in their eyes. They shuffled towards me agonisingly slowly but with eagerness to – What? Whatever it was I was eager that this ordeal be quickly over one way or another.
(I’d awake and die again in agonising pain and hopeless confusion. A short, meaningless, brutal resurrection.)
Why were they all looking at me with such love, as if they wanted to caress, fondle and care for me ; not torment me? Why did the first to approach, a young, pretty, light skinned blonde girl, touch my cheek so sweetly, stroke my naked flesh from my shoulder to my breast in a sensuous, erotically beautiful way before placing a lingering, affectionate kiss on my lips, followed by a hard vicious bite and again the licking of the blood? Why was this repeated by each of the young men and women; the touching of my body, the kiss, the bite, the lick with no further attempt to physically or sexually abuse me?
Even more strangely, before I finally blacked out again after maybe the 6th or 7th young thing touched me, I recall, alongside the pain and the bruising, feeling a slight tingling sensation of erotic pleasure caress my lips and surge through my strengthening breast. As I passed into unconsciousness I felt slightly aroused.
In a sense,
Apart from a highly amusing scene involving a cute stuffed dog and some fireworks, Storage 24 is not a particularly good movie. It’s the kind of unremarkable movie that you probably won’t go and see and, regardless of whether its spread of reviews is slightly below or above average (currently mostly poor), it’ll never get the marketing behind it to find an audience. And no-one will particularly be missing out.
What intrigued me about this mostly cliched monster movie was that, despite the obviousness of the setup – people get locked in a storage locker, a random monster kills some of them and they try and escape – and notable lack of any interesting themes, story lines or visual flourishes, it still managed to break the mould of the traditional schlock horror in a couple of interesting ways. Firstly, the main character was a black male who was not remotely stereotyped in any way, shape or form. Played by Noel Clarke, better known as Mickey from Dr.Who, his character Charlie is very much a continuation of Clarke’s work on that show, since he’s notable only for being an average Joe in every way possible. He’s the kind of black guy I might actually happen to meet and know rather than the socially and economically deprived problem seen in The Wire. *shock*
The point is, for once, there’s no point. Clarke just happens to be a good actor for the role. (I like him. He has charisma)
Even more irrelevant is the female lead Shelley, a character with little screen presence who remained mostly unnoticed by me until she spectacularly failed to scream. After sticking a knife into a monster, running away and holing herself up into an elevator, Antonia Campbell-Hughes plays her character as realistically tense and nervous without opening her mouth in the way I’d come to expect she would at that point. It was a relatively successful scene and none the worse for the silence.
Both of these points are very minor and it’s not like we haven’t seen characters of these kinds in genre movies before. British horror cinema has in fairly recent years done a good job of portraying strong female leads in quality movies like The Descent or Triangle, but this instance stuck out to me because it wasn’t self consciously about women (and the movie wasn’t self-consciously about black people as was last years highly praised “Attack the Block”). I began to wonder if after a number of years of strong directors – from Ridley Scott to Tarantino, to Joss Whedon – making the point that women are far too strong and far too interesting as people in their own right to be routinely relegated to the scream-queen, that the message had finally started to filter through and is starting to be applied to regular genre cinema?
- Spoiler -
Another nice, unusual, touch occurred as the movie ended. Three of the cast survived and two of them happened to be women. One of those women, Shelley, had been morally promiscuous enough to cheat on Charlie with his best friend, and then to leave him upset after their 5 year relationship. Shelley didn’t jump back into Charlie’s arms after a “manly rescue” of her, she simply offered him a lift home, which he refused. This was another nice nod towards the idea that women have a complex emotional and sexual life and are no more to blame for the tough choices in life than men are. Shelley’s behaviour towards Charlie wasn’t amazing but she acknowledged the fault and the couple began to move on. In this movie, for once, she didn’t have to die for being a slut.
-End Spoiler -
On a more negative note, this is an independent British cinema release and not a mainstream US production. These attitudes filtering through to smaller movies is not necessarily indicative of a wider change and attitudes towards Black people have never beenm quite as hostile here as they have been in the States. Regardless, it was encouraging.
Sometimes I feel like I’m stagnating. Nothing feels fresh or new and every new movie or piece of pop culture is the same as the last. Whilst I continue to enjoy my constant headbutting with movies and literature I come away with the feeling that I’ve not challenged myself in any meaningful way. Whilst internet communities at large will have you believe that movie-watching is purely about “having fun”, I also like to think that there’s a positive purpose to it that involves pushing the envelopes of our understanding and bettering ourselves as people.
What I’m trying to say is that I need a new project and I’ve been struggling to find something that isn’t either overtly intellectual or too trashy, since both become a little tiring if overindulged. Today it dawned on me that for all my bluster about watching “foreign movies” I’ve slipped away from exploring new types of film in favour of catching up on Modern Hollywood classics. Having watched and admired the duo of Come Drink With Me and Golden Swallow these last two days I felt at home with the culturally unfamiliar again. I came across an excellent list of 100 Greatest Hong Kong movies from Timeout and was shocked at how many I hadn’t even heard of, letalone watched. Sure, I’ve seen Once Upon A Time in China and The Killer and In the Mood For Love and so on, but not a lot of the movies that never received arthouse attention in the west. Westerners have a tendency to be faddy about Eastern cinema, clinging onto the genre staples and discarding the non-popular, just as we do with our own movies. It also occurred to me that I’ve dipped in and out of Bollywood the last few years but never made an effort to watch the classic staples of Bollywood cinema, so I’m going to do that too. Totalfilm have published what I understand is a very flawed list of 50 greats, but I chose this one to watch through because it does at least dare to highlight movies from 1950-2010. I’ll brush up on the others when I’m done. There aren’t a lot of good Bollywood movie lists out there, though there’s a good looking book “100 Bollywood Films by Rachel Dwyer” that should help.
I’m excited by this 150 movie project because it’s going to mean a significant reduction in the amount of Western movies that I watch over the next couple of years (I’ll still be watching new releases at the cinema and I have a rom-com thing going on right now, too anyway). It’s also going to be a challenge to get hold of some of the films and the chase is just a little bit fun too! It’s not a feminism related movie project and I’m staggeringly not qualified to talk about the role of women in Chinese or Indian society and wouldn’t dare to. I will attempt to update my progress and throw out some recommendations when I encounter some good stuff though!